Amogh Symphony Interview
2014 was a good year for the independent music scene in India. One of my favorite release from an Indian band was “Vectorscan” by Amogh Symphony. The release saw the band moving away from technical metal and into “Avant garde” territory. I spoke to the band about the album, how Andrey became part of the and also what the future hold for the band
How does it feel now that ‘Vectorscan’ has been released?
Jim – Like a load was lifted off my back. Now, i can practice my doublebass for fun, not to achieve BPM for a track. It is no fun to have tempos that i cannot play at the time to record. It makes practicing like work, which is detrimental to the creative process.
Andrey – A huge relief. Like it or not, the music finally shaped itself. Creating the album was no easy task for all of us.
The storyboard for the album is quite extensive. How long have you been working on the story for?
Andrey – The story has just begun.
Vishal – The story was written in 2 months but later I had to do a lot more research on it. Especially with tantric mantra style rhymes as song titles/chapter titles. This time, I had to treat it like a proper storyboard with images and visuals. Overall, 3 years of work.
With Jim in USA, Andrey in Russia and you in India. What was the songwriting process like?
Jim – Slow for final arrangements. Vishal is the kind of guy who can create a 5 minute song based on a 7 second drum loop i send him. With all parts in an hour or two. It’s hard to get Vishal to stop changing things. Vishal sent me new song demos, i did listen to them more than once and they went to my trash folder. I learned from TQHC when i would spend two weeks on 4 measures, and i was finally ready to record the next day, that night Vishal would send a new version with that section deleted.
This album did not have re-composing and fitting the drums to the music like TQHC, by chopping them up, changing, adding bass drum parts, starting the groove on th & of 3 etc…
All the songs were set in stone before i hit record. Vishal did change things and recompose, but that was done on top of the drum tracks.
Andrey – Lots of communication, countless phone calls, emails, messages, thousands of shared ideas to be refined later. And thousands of hours, obviously. No random noise. Focused work.
Vishal – lol. I know you guys hate me so much for doing that. You heard them, Peter.
How did Andrey become part of the band?
Jim – Andrey was wandering around the My Little Pony section of Toys R Us crying. We followed him around. Then he found a plastic xylophone and played an incredible etude. Vishal and i looked at each other and immediately bought the giant My Little Pony Stable Playset and a couple of ponies for Andrey. We never saw such an excited guy. He then ran and grabbed a Barbie guitar and played Eruption note for note. We knew that we had found the third member.
Andrey – Started as a new member of RPL, wrote some unusual extra parts, which Vishal liked.
Vishal – I discovered Andrey through Mark during Robots Pulling Levers guest sessions. Andrey amazed all of us with his playing and ideas and I knew that I found the third puzzle of Amogh Symphony lol and Jim made up the story because he is a genius.
How long did the recording process for the album take?
Jim – About a year.
Vishal – About a year? Aye, more than a year.
Andrey – More than a year. Too many ideas we’ve gone through. We could write an entire discography based on leftovers.
How difficult was the recording process for the album? I believe an entire recording of the album was scrapped.
Jim – That is correct. But the amount of songs were more than one album. It was like two albums. And each one had a different style. We knew something was wrong when Vishal had some Irish-like folk song violin parts.
Actually there is a bass line that survived the cut and made it to the album. Except it is not shifting time signatures like a broken record.
Andrey – ‘Finding the right sound’ for a certain idea was the hardest part for everyone. More thinking, more playing, more unique, unusual sounds.
Vishal – I took help from few recording engineers. I wasn’t happy with same old “hi-end” and “crystal clear digitally” styles of production. Same synth, same presets….never. Hence, it was a non stop search for the right sound which means even the scratch recordings were tweaked to get the basic skeleton structure.
What is next for the band? I believe you have been working on instructional videos and a DVD.
Jim – This is top secret info. Since we pissed of many fans of the metal Amogh sound, the next album is designed to piss off everyone else. As far as video, i want to do some lessons on YouTube.
Vishal – You know, that’s been going on since quite a long time but I want to make sure that I do not end up making a regular DVD video where I sit and show off same sets of guitar and production/music composition lessons. All I want is to share something that others do not and/or never shared. For example, how to make top notch music with minimal gear and cheap equipments when you are broke and cannot afford to buy those expensive gear on Youtube demo videos.
Any Final words?
Jim – Don’t blow dry your hair while taking a bath.
Andrey – Thanks for listening our music and thanks for support.
Vishal – You never know where the direction goes. No matter what, a lot of fans supported and accepted our directions that we chose. I really want to thank them all for being with us and believing in us.
Listen to ‘Vectorscan’ below