Trendcrusher

Fountainhead interview

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Fountainhead is solo project of German guitarist Tom Geldschläger. I was introduced to his music by Vishal J Singh. Last month, Tom released Reverse Engineering, his 3rd album as Fountainhead. The predominately instrumental album has a strong influence of Indian classical music, unlike anything I have heard before.

I spoke to Tom about the album, his work as a producer and also his other projects.

 

fountainhead1

Hi Tom, what have you been up to lately?

Hi Peter, I’ve been super busy, as usual. “Reverse Engineering” just came out, only a few weeks after my second album with the “Pitts/Minnemann Project”, called “The Psychic Planetarium”. Right now, I’m in the process of starting a label together with some amazing people and the physical edition of RE will be the first release on it. Also I’ve been recording guitars for a new project mixing metal, dance music and russian influences, which I’m really excited about. Also, I recorded a ton of guest solos and did some more mixing and production-work.

How does it feel now that your 3rd solo album Reverse Engineering has been released?

I’m really glad to finally have it released since it’s been sitting on the shelf for quite some time while I had other obligations to fulfill – years, actually. I’m also glad it seems to get very positive responses from the fans and the press, which is not always a given when you’re trying to do something unique, something that doesn’t repeat what you’ve done in the past and may go totally against people’s expectations.

There is an influence of Indian classical music on a few of the tracks on the album. How did you get into Indian classical music?

I’ve been fascinated by Indian music for many years. Discovering the richness of Indian music went hand in hand with me developing an interest in meditation and eastern philosophy. Fortunately, these days I’m able to occasionally work with some amazing Indian musicians and I’m sure I’ll explore these influences further in the future.

A couple of the tracks have instrumental and vocal versions. What is the reason behind that?

Most of these tunes were originally written as vocal tunes for a band-project that didn’t end up happening. Re-working them as instrumental versions was the easy part and i just didn’t want to decide on either version. However, working with different singers was a lengthy and difficult process and I didn’t even get to include all of the vocal tracks we recorded, unfortunately.

Fountainhead - Reverse Engineering

The album features performances by Derek Roddy, Jacob Schmidt, Linus Klausenitzer and many more. How did they become a part of the album?

By me asking them. Most of these musicians I’ve known for a while and had already worked with in other projects.

With members in different countries, how did you manage the recording of the album?

I recorded most of the basic tracks in my Studio in Berlin, including demo-versions of the remaining instruments/parts, which I then sent to the guest-musicians to “put their own stamp on it”. They then recorded in their own studio of choice and we sent files back and forth until the final result was reached. Sometimes we even worked using skype.

The album has a cover of King Crimson. Which other bands would you like to cover?

No plans for other covers at the moment. “Model Man” was another song we did in the band-project I mentioned earlier, so it made sense to include it on RE. I’m not a big fan of covers, unless you’re able to give the song a unique and fresh perspective. It looks like the next Fountainhead release will be all-instrumental again and will certainly have no cover-versions.

You are also a producer. What projects are you currently working on at the moment?

I just finished producing and mixing an EP of old-school power metal for a band called “Liquid Fire” and mixing an electronic music album. In September I’ll be mixing a jazz-trio’s album. Anybody can hit me up for that sort of work, btw.

What advice do you have for younger musicians who like to become full time musicians?

Keep your ego in check, don’t be an asshole, but also don’t take shit from anybody! Work on your attitude and mindset just as hard as on your music. Don’t take shortcuts, they’ll always come back to bite you in the ass. Look to others for inspiration but never copy them, find your own way to do anything.

Fountainhead

What are you plans for promotion of the album? Do you have any live shows planned?

No full-band shows are planned at this point, it would be just too much of a financial burden. But if the right offer comes I certainly wouldn´t say “no”. For now, I’m looking forward to a few select shows where it’ll just be me and a backing track, for example at the “Holy Grail Guitar Show” this October.

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for your support! Keep spreading the word about Fountainhead, there’ll be more to come. Also, keep an eye out for big things happening at vmbrella.com! In the meantime, get your copy of “Reverse Engineering” at thefountainhead.bandcamp.com. Love & Light!

Stream/Download Reverse Engineering below

Written by trendcrusher

September 22, 2016 at 10:00 am

Comet Control interview

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Comet Control are a psychedelic rock band from Toronto, Canada. The band was formed after Quest for Fire split up in 2013. Earlier this year in June, they released their second album Centre of the Maze via Teepee Records.

I spoke to Chad Ross about the album. recording it and also their shift in sound.

Photo by laura lynn petrick

Photo by laura lynn petrick

Chad Ross and Andrew Moszynski were in Quest for Fire. How did Nicole Howell (bass), Jay Anderson (drums) and Christopher Sandes (keys) become part of the band?

After quest for fire broke up… nicole, jay, andrew and i immediately started talking about the possibilities of a new band. We’ve all know each other for years in Toronto. It was definitely a natural fit.

Your second album ‘Centre of the Maze’ released a couple months ago. Tell us a bit about the album.

for our self-titled debut, Andrew and I were consciously trying to write tighter, more melodic songs. Center of the maze sticks with that principal… but we took more time to develop sounds and concentrate on production.

It has been 2 years since the release of your self-titled album. What was the writing process for this album?

We got back from a European tour in the winter of 2015 and immediately started to work on the songs that would become the album. Andrew and I would bring in ideas, then we’d sit down with Nicole in our jam space and arrange everything. Jay came in towards the end of the process and we fine-tuned tempos/dynamics and solidified the songs with drums.

What was the recording process for the ‘Centre of the Maze’? How long did it take?

The bed tracks took a couple of days in the spring, at candle recording in Toronto with josh korody. We took the summer to record all of the overdubs at different spots around Toronto, at my home studio and a couple of backyard jam spaces around the city. I recorded all of the guitars with Andrew, my own vocals and the percussion. Chris recorded all of his keyboard wizardry in his home studio.

The band has more psychedelic sound compared to your previous band Quest from Fire. Was that a conscious decision?

It was a conscious decision to focus on tighter song arrangements, whereas qff was more centered around heavy long jams. The addition of chris sandes on keys definitely brought more psych elements to the production. We’re all into classic garage/psych… those influences came out more in our songwriting when we started paying less attention to riffs, and more attention to melody.

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‘Centre of the Maze’ is your second release through Tee Pee Records. How has it been working with the label?

This is actually my 5th release on teepee if you include both qff records and the Nordic nomadic record I did with them. It’s a pleasure… and it’s a great group of people working behind the scene.

What have you been listening to lately? Are there any band that have inspired you of late?

Morgan delt has been blowing my mind lately.

Do you have any interests/hobbies outside music?

My day job is a finish carpenter. I find great pleasure in that from time to time. Also camping and nature in Ontario’s north country. It’s quite beautiful to venture north of Toronto through all of the lake systems.

What are bands from the Toronto/Canada that you recommend that our readers check out?

Some Canadian favorites are the shooting guns, radiation flowers, the soupcans, elevator, black walls,….

What are your plans to promote the album? Do you have any other shows planned for the rest of the year?

We have some shows coming up in September in Canada, and a European tour in November.

Written by trendcrusher

September 13, 2016 at 10:00 am

Vishal J Singh interview

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Vishal J Singh is Indian guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and producer known in the independent music scene for his band Amogh Symphony. The band are working on their fourth album that should be released later this year. I spoke to Vishal about the album, his work as a producer and composer and also his other projects.

Vishal J Singh

What is the current status on the new album from Amogh Symphony? When can we can expect it to be released? What can fans expect from the upcoming album?

Things were pretty slow after Jim moved to a new house, Andrey had an eye surgery and Derick and I are busy with our regular studio works. Andrey was not allowed to play wind instruments for 2 months and he is the guy who plays maximum number of instruments in the songs. After Derick joined us, we discovered some great new ideas, techniques and concepts of songwriting and production. It’s a joint effort, as you can imagine already. It seems like we are almost done with “IV”. Just few final touches once drums are done. Jim spends a lot of time in writing his parts (which I or anyone else in the band cannot write at all). There were some major abnormal talks and differences in opinions as we four are equally skilled multi-instrumentalists and producers (except me). But sooner or later, we find our common spots to hang out musically. I gotta be honest – my guitar parts make no sense without the sounds that these 3 guys (Derick, Jim, Andrey) create in AS. It doesn’t sound like ATOS, TQHC and Vectorscan at all yet, it’s pretty catchy and tricky. Goregaon Brass Orchestra did fantastic as usual, some brilliant tribal wind instrumentalists from my tribe in North East were recorded too, some ethnic and poppish vocal parts. Almost like an art- action movie soundtrack. We really can’t wait to show this to everyone. And this is not a sequel to Vectorscan. It can be art-pop or avant garde or just soundtrack. About release, I think it should be out in 2016 winter.

Amogh Symphony released a single Aai earlier this year. Tell us about it.

Aai is one of the songs from “IV”. Actually, this is the first track in which i used my custom-newly made hybrid ethnic guitar (Fretless baritone acoustic guitar with hybrid tuning of sarod and sitar) for the first time. Also, it’s the first track with new member Derick Gomes’ synth, foley and percussion inputs. We thought we should upload a track from the new album so that some fans can get back to us with their feedback and criticism. Surprisingly, we received decent response. I, personally, take healthy criticism very deeply to understand the point of “connection” between us and the fans/listeners because it challenges my writing, playing and producing skills every time. You know, everyone need some push so I get that from some honest fans. Like, someone described our music “Robot Jazz” on bandcamp and we really liked it. lol

What is your typical day like as a Producer/Instrumentalist?

My typical day is exactly like a Chef or a Head Cook. Mostly, working on tunes of other artists of creativity. There are just too many ideas and tunes floating inside the brain that sometimes wants to burst out of my skull. Mind works faster than the body. Yeah, sometimes I wish I could turn into a ghost. Sometimes it’s really fantastic and sometimes it’s very saturating. At some point, you just don’t want to hear any music because you know what’s coming up in the next 5-6 months with major promotions everywhere. Not that you hate it but it’s already “too old” to your ears. No matter what, you always have to be on positive side because in artist-life, sometimes there is no reason behind depression and you have to learn the art of getting out of it or to learn how to use it creatively. Working with other people let’s all my creative ideas flush away or flow away to make space for fresh new musical ideas which sometimes I use for Amogh Symphony with my bandmates Derick, Andrey and Jim who are, in reality, way more skilled and developed in creativity than me. I think I must have answered all this in my very old interviews(from year 2009-2013) that I cannot stick to one style of music or song just like how I like to travel to different places as much as I can. I do not have the fear of rejection because I believe that there is acceptance and understanding for all. Sometimes, it’s like reading minds. It can be beautiful or it can be a nightmare. I really appreciate artists/film-makers/musicians who let me feel their heart-beat and who let me see their artistic vision from their eyes, before I get into composing or producing/mixing the music. People can lie but their art cannot. I can put 10,000 ideas in rows but that would lead them to confusion and quick-saturation and things will turn into a giant clusterfuck. Well, that’s not the point and that’s not how we connect through art. I believe in the artist a lot. He/She must have the vision or I will simply turn into a dictating demon into his/her creativity. Because, being a composer/instrumentalist/producer myself, I do have a signature/trademark and limitation. I simply do not want my personal musical influence going into that particular music. I am talking about a perfect balance between brain and heart. We have to keep inspire each other in our lives because one cannot be inspired by itself. While working, I find lots of creative challenges. Sometimes, it’s way beyond my capacity but where is the fun when things are easy? Every day is a test of either extreme simplicity or extreme technicality. Now, tell me, where is the time and space for socializing? I do not socialize much while performing in corporate gigs. When I meet my friends, I get as excited as a 9 years old kid at a circus. I listen to people. I do that a lot. Every physical movement has its own background music. It’s very important for me to hang out with right bunch of people with whom I feel the good vibe and with whom I feel completely disconnected from my “pro-musician/producer world”. Also, best company gives you lot of links to great non-popular music. So, there is inspiration…always.

Ideally, what is your personal approach to compose and produce music? Like, for anything such as film-music score, ads, Amogh Symphony etc.? Do you follow music theory a lot?

There is no strict rule but I keep changing my approach to avoid saturation. But usually it starts with imagination of sounds and patterns in my head with a random story sequence. 4-5 years back, being a Guitarist and Drummer, my main mediums for writing music were Guitars and Drums. So, if you listen to all my old music, almost all of them are too much “Guitar oriented” or “Complicated drum pattern oriented”. If I ever feel depressed or lacking inspiration, I listen to all my music from initial days till date to remind myself how far I am standing today from where I started. You know, I wish I could start music earlier. I totally regret. Before I started playing Drums (I was 9 or 10 years old when picked up Drums as first instrument), my parents (both musicians) made me listen to various artists and varieties of music. Initial years of focused “listening” helped me a lot to become a Music Composer. Like, if you want, you can apply all the knowledge OR you can ignore all the things that already “happened” in music to write something new. I got into Electronic music some years ago and whatever musical piece I composed on acoustic instruments, their sounds were later engineered to synthetic sounds by me. I studied about synthesizers after Sound Engineering. I do not feel connected with anything standard – standard jazz, standard rock, standard electronica or whatever. You can write a good prog-rock song in 4 by 4 because odd time signatures sound boring after sometime and sometimes simplicity kills complexity(sometimes, it’s the other way round too. Anything is possible). I produce “standard” only when the band/artist/film-maker want something standard and if everyone seems happy, I say “Yeah, cannot be wrong if everyone is happy with it”. You see? I also need money to stay alive.
Today, I see myself more of a “Composer” than a Multi-Instrumentalist. Sometimes, I like to write a very simple tune with only one or two instrument(s). Sometimes, very dense and layered with twisted Brass sections and lots of synthesizers. But I cannot compose without a storyline. You know, that story can be very complicated for a very simple song or a very simple story for a tricky song. It’s the habit of doing background music for art films – I love it so much because when you have a story with an artistic edit, you have a non-punctual/non-linear sequence. When you have such sequence, you have different sets of feels and emotions. To imagine sounds and musical patterns, you need to have a lot of creative ideas, datas stored in your head. You know, coming out from your comfort zone. It challenges you so much that you prepare like a knight to get inside that nightmare to win. Things start with random ideas like “What will happen if I put a holdsworth-like improvisation in E-Piano on top of a Aphex Twin bassline, Buddy rich like retro jazz drums with a Shehnai player trying to copy Miles with sudden Green Day riff moment that keeps coming and going and Lykke Li singing with bad throat?” Mix fire with water and watch the unseen magic. It’s like Chemistry or preparation of a medicine. Sometimes, I say, screw that, I love that verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format because the story/lyric is about something very morbid or very spiritual/love. I got to work with some really creative guys in films, ads and bands who literally forced me to think of something else. I think, I like the fact that whenever a film-maker or a band/solo artist ask me to create/produce/mix sounds for them, they always expect something which is not common. But I simply say no when they ask me to produce something like Amogh Symphony. I cannot do that because Amogh Symphony is my alter ego and you can see how niche the fans are. It’s a little personal yet different music to connect with different people. It’s like giving away your own baby. Usually, it’s all the “rejected” ideas from film-makers and artists which later turn into a new story for new Amogh Symphony song/album.

Sometimes music theory is used for certain parts but mostly theories are not used because then you start seeing borderlines while composing. If the intention is to cross that line in your mind, then first you need to know what new improvised or planned out “idea or concept” in your composition will let you to cross nicely to blend with earlier musical theory. Let’s give you a small example – It’s like making a driller out of diamonds, because diamonds are sharp and tough but not sharp enough to drill into the deep ground to search crude oil. If you combined rotating wheels with diamonds attached to form cutter rings attached to a heavy metallic non-rusting armor, then it can cut any solid rock like things deep underground.

Vishal with engineer Ariel Samson at Benchmark Studios, Thane.

Vishal with engineer Ariel Samson at Benchmark Studios, Thane

How do you deal with session music instrumentalists, music programmers and session singers while working with them for any project?

I connect with them very quickly and easily. Probably because I have done many session works as Session Guitarist and as a Producer with Bollywood Music Composers. I am very strict when it comes to getting the right performance from them in the studio. But I try my best to inspire them with good vibes. A lot of cheerful vibe is what we all need. I let them play whatever they want to, initially, so that they connect with the music immediately. I believe, it’s an indication of showing deep respect from my side to all the session guys and girls who work so hard with patience. I make sure that they are credited properly. There are some really incredibly amazing young instrumentalists and singers who just make you think like “Ok! I better not sing and play to him. I am nowhere close to this guy. Damn. I must practice.”

What advice do you have for younger musicians who like to become full time musicians? Is it very tough to survive financially?

If you want to be in a band and play only one style of music, then simply get a job. But if you want to become a full time musician, the first basic rule is to be a versatile musician with knowledge and taste in all kinds of music. Most importantly, avoid hanging out with rich kids and scene friends but pro-musicians of earlier generation and struggling artists. Be nice to everyone and respect hard work of others even if they are sold out popular ones. Get inspired but follow your own path. Avoid gossips as much as you can. Also, learn to save money. Do drugs but only to a limit when your creative side of the brain gets accelerated.

The lesson that I learned till date: Your unique/creative nature in your music gives birth to your identity but your versatility in nature in your music pays your bills. You must be able to pull both 100% with balance and focused mind if you want to survive in “any” industry. There is no other short-cut. Keep yourself updated with generations. Be nice to everyone and all the artists should help each other – to get work, to help with small money matters etc. We have to look for each other. Sometimes, a Ten dollars project will bring you a Thousand dollars project. Depends on your honesty, word of mouth and time-table.

To certain extent, it is true that surviving as a musician is tough. There are musicians who are still earning a lot but the incoming money-flow always fluctuates and not stable. But how dare you even think to give up? How? Never.

What projects are you currently working on at the moment?

Nothing special really. Few months back, I finished composing and producing songs and background music of US based film-maker/producer Vijit Sharma’s Thriller film called “Mirror Game” starring Parvin Dabas, Omi Vaidya and Sneha Ramachandran. Soundtracks of this film are produced by Amogh Symphony and Mixed by Ayan De. I am quite excited about this because this is also my first BGM collaboration work with my Mother Kasturi Nath Singh (who wrote all the orchestral string parts in the BGM) and my debut as a playback singer. Then, producing music albums of some really refreshing new sounding bands and solo artists from India, UK, Australia, USA and so on. Few ads/commercials with some UK based agencies. Job becomes easier when artists/bands come up with really refreshing, honest and great songs. Financial ups and downs (let’s not even talk about it). Some collaborations with various phenomenal bands and artists/songwriters/producers. My good friend Siddharth Basrur and me are planning something in between our crazy studio work schedules and hoping that we will be able to pull it off. Then…there is Fractured Dimension’s new record – I am done recording the guitar parts with Jimmy Pitts (who is an extraordinary Keyboardist and composer). There is more but I can’t really talk much about it at this point to be honest. Apart from all that, composing and producing soundtracks and Background music for some upcoming film projects with some good Film-makers from different corners of the globe about which I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about. Let’s see if the Earth survives by then. We all know that film work takes a hell lot of time to finish.

What’s up with your other projects like The Library, Vijay Xavier’s XSCT, Feathers of Jatinga and Superzero?

The Library – We have enough materials. I just have to record myself on drums, do few arrangements with Siddharth Basrur. Don’t really know how and when we can finish this first album with crazy schedules. Eh. We already had husband-wife arguments over this band.

Vijay Xavier’s XSCT – Finished producing Vijay’s album. We just did one gig with me playing drums. Though, I am not a part of XSCT anymore for some reasons that I don’t think I should talk about at this point.

FOJ – I cannot write sad songs anymore. I need proper North Eastern Winter to re-write and perform as Feathers of Jatinga. But where is the time?

Superzero – Derick and I can come up with songs in 1 day. But the point is – who will listen to us? Nevermind! After Amogh Symphony “IV”, there will be new Superzero immediately.

 

You are launching a label Vmbrella with Tom Geldschläger, Andrey Sazonov, Fatum Black, Jimmy Pitts and Matheus Manente. Can you tell us about it?

Too early to talk about it. But I think there will be an update very soon from Fatum and Andrey.

Any final words? Anyone that you would like to thank?

Peter. For being connected, always supporting and for being patient with me.

Written by trendcrusher

September 8, 2016 at 10:14 am

Pulse of Nebulae interview

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Pulse of Nebulea are an international progressive death metal band. I first met Hisham and Martins (vocalist and guitarist of the band) when they were part of a band called Samosa Terror in Dubai close to a decade ago.

A couple years ago, Martins linked me to a single from the new band he was working on with Hisham. The track was ‘Elusive Elation’ and I was really impressed by the instrumentation as well as production. They have finally released their self-titled debut album earlier this month. The 8 track album has been described as “Progressive death metal” however you can hear hints of melodic death metal and even power metal. The catchy guitar riffs are well complemented by growled vocals. ‘Triumph of the Sun’ and ‘Drone’ are a couple of my favourite tracks from the album. An impressive debut release, Pulse of Nebulea are a band to keep an eye out for in the future.

I spoke to Hisham and Martins about the album, and their future plans.

Pulse of Nebulea band

 

You have been working on your album for some time now. How does it feel to have it finally released?

MP: It feels absolutely fantastic! So much time and effort was put into writing, producing and recording it, I really thought it was never going to end.

HC: We poured a lot of ourselves into this album. Listening to the final product reminds us why it was done in the first place. Hearing this album is like listening to our thoughts. That, in itself, fills me with immense pride.

Hisham and Martins were part of a band in Dubai. How did Dirk Verbeuren become a part of Pulse of Nebulea?

HC: Yes, we first met and formed a band when we were in high-school in Dubai. Noticing our similar interests we immediately clicked and knew we were going to be working together for a long, long time. Both of us being huge fans of melodic death metal, especially the old school Swedish kind, we naturally have always loved Soilwork. When Martins started looking for potential drummers, Dirk was obviously our first choice.

MP: I got in touch with Dirk through my friend and co-producer Matt Wicklund (Ghost Ship Octavius, ex-Warrel Dane). At first when I reached out to Dirk, I did not get a response for several months, because he was on tour. I also spoke to several other drummers, received many demo recordings, but didn’t quite find the right musical fit. Eventually Dirk replied back and said he really liked the two demos I sent him, which later became the singles we released in 2014, and decided to take part in our project. After we had done the first two demos, we absolutely loved the collaboration and asked Dirk if he would be interested in becoming a member of the band, to which he agreed. As a result, Dirk did more than just record drums for the album, he also took part in arranging the songs and breathing life into them. As a result the whole collaboration turned out far better than expected, I honestly can’t imagine having worked with any other drummer.

Your self-titled album is a killer mix of death metal and progressive metal. Tell us about the album.

MP: Hisham and I have always been fans of progressive metal. For me, personally, Edge of Sanity and Opeth have been huge influences. Musically the album is a mix of all the different kinds of music we like, there is death metal, black metal, groove, orchestral elements, and even power metal, for example, before I added the guitar and keyboard melodies, Triumph of the Sun sounded just like a Manowar song.

HC: Vocally, the aim was to diversify, mixing different genres and vocal styles to create a unique and versatile sound. Also, we aimed to take the listener on a journey to try to experience events and themes which occur constantly around us, but are only subconsciously perceived. With astronomical themes, like Triumph of the Sun, the sun turning into a red giant, and hardships of suffering a man goes through without questioning the reason, like Elusive Elation.

With Hisham in Germany and Martins in Latvia, how did you manage to write and record the album?

MP: Since we already keep in touch on a daily basis, it really wasn’t all that difficult, thanks to modern technology that permits it. We already make an effort to see each other in person two times a year, which gives us time to also work on the songs in person. Hisham and I both have home recording capabilities, so we record on our own, exchange ideas and spend long hours fine-tuning them over Skype.

HC: I record vocals in my basement with a cheap mic and interface, Martins is the one with an actual studio. I took two trips last year, in March and September, to fly to Latvia to do the final vocal recordings for the album. Dirk did all of his parts in LA and sent them to us, as we proceeded with the recording process. Martins handled everything else on his own.

Pulse of Nebulea cover

The album has been mastered by Dan Swanö (Unisound). How did that happen?

MP: Mixing this album was quite a serious ordeal for me. Even though I do have a reasonable amount of experience, mixing my own music is always the worst, it never feels done and there is infinite room for improvement. I spent an absolutely insane amount of time mixing this album and was never really quite satisfied with the result. Eventually, I made the decision to take a vacation, an entire month off from the project, when I got back, I sat down and finished it. Turns out that stepping away from something that had become an obsessive habit and clearing my mind, was all I needed. I knew right from the beginning that I wanted the album to be mastered by a name engineer, to give it that extra sparkle on top, so I had contacted three different engineers. Dan replied quite quickly and said that he’s extremely busy and will probably be unavailable until late autumn, but told me to send the mix over anyway, and he will have a look. It didn’t really work out with the other guys, but Dan got back to me in 4 days time with a finished master and the response: “Sounds fucking great I must say. Great mixwork!” That was single best response I could have ever gotten as an up and coming engineer and artist, especially, since Dan is one of our musical idols.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

HC: During the album writing process artists like Dark Fortress, Cattle Decapitation, Be’lakor, Opeth, Insomnium and Sikth made a serious impact on the different vocal techniques I implemented and experimented with. And lately I’ve been really enjoying the new albums by C.B. Murdoc, Black Crown Initiate, In Mourning and Ihshan.

MP: Well, Hisham already mentioned a lot of artists that I also really enjoyed, but I suppose musically, a lot of the compositions were heavily inspired by orchestral music and scores from films and video games. The longer and more atmospheric songs heavily rely on slow buildups and extensive layering, which is something I learned from composers like John Williams and more contemporary artists like Leprous. Atmosphere is something I believe many artists these days overlook when recording and producing albums, which is something the Black metal artists usually aim for as the single most important element, as opposed to technical proficiency that most modern bands focus on. One of the most life-changing musical experiences that I’ve had in recent years, that made me re-think the importance of composition and structured chaos is Gorguts – Colored Sands, an absolute must listen album to any metal fan who is looking for something out of the ordinary.

What are your interests/hobbies outside music?

HC: I am a full time architecture student, which takes up nearly all of my free time outside of music. As architecture is a creative output, it gives me inspiration for developing new ideas in music and vice versa. When I do get free time, I either spend it watching TV shows, informing myself about history, geography and politics, or I just go outdoors.

MP: Since I work full time in software development, I don’t have a lot of free time either, which is probably why it took three years to get this album done. But I really enjoy drinking craft beers, watching and reading science fiction, space operas, and fantasy.

Is the band going to be a studio project or a live band also? Do you have any plans to perform live soon?

MP: We are currently putting together a line-up for live shows and we will be embarking on a short Baltic regional tour this September. With this we aim to gain experience and build on the momentum in order to play festivals next summer.

HC: The main difficulty is finding a suitable drummer, as Dirk is unable to join us due to his obligations with Megadeth.

Thanks for answering our questions. Do you have any final words?

HC: Thanks for having us! Please, check out our album and videos on YouTube.

MP: Hopefully our fans won’t have to wait 3 more years for the next album.

Both: Jus drein jus daun!

Listen to Pulse of Nebulea below

Written by trendcrusher

August 24, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Interview: Nathanael Larochette on Solo Compositions, Workload and Canada

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New interview I did for Nine Circles.

Nine Circles

NATHANAEL_LAROCHETTE_cover

Nathanael Larochette is well known as the guitarist of Canadian bands Musk Ox and The Night Watch. He has also performed on albums by Woods of Ypres and Agalloch. Last month, he released his second solo release, Earth and Sky, a double album. The albums have a distinct sound, Earth consists of solo classical guitar tracks whereas Sky is a single 40 minute ambient track. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to both albums and sent a few questions to Nathanael to find out more about the albums, the writing process and more. 

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Written by trendcrusher

August 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

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Tyranny Rising interview

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Tyranny Rising is an upcoming death metal band from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Members of the band have been part of the metal scene in UAE for some time now. Last month, they released their debut EP ‘Prepare to Die’.

I spoke to vocalist Borna about the EP, recording at Haven studio and also their plans for the rest of the year.

Tyranny Rising
United Arab Emirates is not a country known for its metal scene. How did the band get together?

It’s a really lost story. But to summarize, we all met when we were in school. Mon, our drummer, relocated between many schools, which was a blessing in disguise because that’s pretty much how he met all of us. Eventually, when he decided to start a band, he introduced us to each other and we formed a band called “Story of Grace”. When Story of Grace disbanded, Mon formed another band with Mark (his brother who was also in Story of Grace) and after a few months, they decided to ask Bassel and I to join as the Guitarist and Vocalist, respectively. We then contacted Crabz, who was Mon’s friend in his final year of high school, and he was happy to join us as the Bassist.

What made you decide to start a death metal band? What about the style appeals to you?

We all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, and although we love Metal, our tastes in specific genre differ. For example, I’m more into Melodic Death Metal, which influences my style of Vocals. Marco and Bassel are into Death Metal. Mon is into Nu Metal, and I’m not really sure what Crabz likes. It doesn’t really matter, because he’s the Bassist anyway. And we all have our influences of Thrash Metal.
To sum it all up, basically, we love all types of Metal and we love the music we write. We don’t aim to make it sound like any genre, really. We just put our minds together and write what we want to write, and what we think sounds good to us.

Your debut EP ‘Prepare to Die’ released last week. What are the songs on the EP about?

The title of the EP says it all, really. Go for the Throat, Power Overwhelming and Burn them to the ground are pretty much about change, and fighting back through Power and Hatred. But, Venture is my personal favorite in terms of lyrics. It tells a story. I’m not going to go to anything specific, because the story may differ depending on the readers’ perception. We have lyrics out with all songs on all stores and streams, so everyone can check it out for themselves.

Prepare to Die

The EP was recorded by Hand at Haven studio. What was the recording process like?

Working with Hadi Sarieddine was the best decision we’ve made in this band. Amazing producer, amazing personality, and man is the guy talented. Just a great experience over all. The process of the recording and mixing was rather quick, but we had difficulty with the timing of our release. We had a lot of other issues on the side which we had to deal with before releasing the EP. And we apologize for the long wait. But it’s out now, and even though donations are welcome, it’s completely FREE to listen and to download.

What are your thoughts on the metal scene in UAE?

The metal scene is a really touchy subject, unfortunately. A lot of hate. A lot of cancelled shows due to phony complaints, which just ruins everything for everyone, including the reputation of the people working hard to host gigs. On the bright side, there are more bands coming in from outside the Gulf area, which is a good thing. But the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that there aren’t enough all age shows. Gigs in Dubai, are MOSTLY in the same place, with the same set of bands taking turns to play every week or so, with the same faces showing up to support them. A lot has changed over the past decade, and it’s getting worse and worse. Hopefully we will see a change for the better.

Do recommend bands from UAE and the Arabian Gulf region that we should check out.

There is massive talent out there. A lot of amazing bands. We have played a lot of grindcore gigs, alongside great bands like Gates of Gomorrah, Project Skvll Fvck, Maticrust, In Times of Despair and many more. Apart from the grindcore scene, you should definitely check out Alpha.Kenny.Buddy, Voice of the Soul, and Benevolent.

What are your plans to promote the EP? Do you have any shows planned?

Unfortunately, we do not have any booked shows at the moment, we are busy writing some more music and working on hopefully getting some merch out there. We’ve had a lot of requests for merch, so we will have something coming up in the near future.

Do you have any final words?

Support, support, support. You don’t need to go to every single event in order to be a fan or a supporter. We hear a lot of complaints about people not “supporting the scene”. The sad truth is that the same people refuse to attend other events apart from their own, so how can you expect any different from others. And lastly, support new upcoming bands and give them a chance.

Listen to Prepare to Die below

Written by trendcrusher

August 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Nine Circles ov… India

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My pen pal Manny-O-War is the editor for metal website Nine Circles. I did a round up of the Indian metal scene for the website.

Nine Circles

Food courtesy of the one and only Babu Ji. Absolutely delicious food courtesy of the one and only Babu Ji in Alphabet City.

Metal is not music that you would normally associated with a country like India. The best known music export from India is Ravi Shankar. I have been following Indian metal bands for over a decade now and have noticed the bands evolve. Bands are putting out releases with better quality production and much better artwork. Here are some of the releases from the past year that you should check out: (In alphabetical order)

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Written by trendcrusher

July 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

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