Intervals are a progressive metal band from Toronto, Canada. They have release 2 EPs(The Space Between and In Time) and an album (A Voice Within). Their latest album ‘The Shape of Colour‘ releases today and I feel it is their best album yet; my favourite track is ‘Meridian‘. The album features a new line up alongside guests like Plini and Leland Whitty (BadBadNotGood). I spoke to founder Aaron Marshall about the album, the new line up and more.
Hi Aaron, how does it feel now that you are on the brink of the release of ‘The Shape of Colour’?
Aaron: It feels great! This year has definitely been building towards getting this one out and its awesome to see people enjoying what they’ve heard thus far. I can’t wait to officially have it out there and flying around!
Writing an album like this is not an easy task. What kept you going during the tough times?
Aaron: Playing music has always been my absolute passion. Regardless of everything that went on this year, I knew that I would be making this record, and more, no matter what. That’s just the way it is and the way it always will be.
How did it feel to write music alone again?
Aaron: The truth is, the Intervals “sound” and the entire back catalogue (barring a few tunes that we were able to collaborate on) were all written by myself, as it is. Nothing really changed in that regard. For those who aren’t aware, Intervals is sort of an accident that stemmed from an early “play through” video that a friend shot for me. I had no plan and no idea what I was doing. I always wanted to collaborate much more with the collective, but distance and other factors always seemed to play into the matter, so I found myself composing everything anyway. That was a long response to say “the same”, haha.
The album features Cameron McLellan on bass and Travis Orbin on drums. How did they become part of ‘The Shape of Colour’ album?
Aaron: It does indeed! I met Cam through working on Protest The Hero’s last record (Volition). Cam was producing and engineering their record and Luke Hoskin (guitar) asked me to help shape guitar tones for the record. From there I ended up working on the previous Intervals record with Cam to track bass (which I played) and he contributed about 20% of the bass parts for the record. We work really well together and discussed working on the next album together. Cam co-produced, engineered and played bass on The Shape of Colour. The dude is a machine. Travis came into play in order to facilitate a live drum recording on the record (which I am fairly adamant about). He is such a professional and was really easy to work with in order to get the parts where they needed to be. I always compose drums as I write and a lot of what I had written for the record is in there. He created a version of each song with his own parts and we sort split the difference on everything and it came out sounding great. Travis is such a consistent player and such a versatile drummer.
‘A Voice Within’ charted in the Billboard Top 100, a impressive feat for an independent band. I am sure that attracted some attention from labels towards the band. Is there a reason why you have chosen to stay independent and not sign up with any label?
Aaron: This can become a lengthy discussion quite quickly, but I will just say that as a musician, you need to know who you’re catering to and what the best way to do that is. With, or without vocals, this music is definitely considered “niche” which is not a bad word. In fact, with how much music there is these days, I think fitting into a niche is a good place to be. That implies that there is a network or culture that revolves around the movement you’re affiliated with. What I’m getting at is, if you know how to market your art to that crowd, and you’re doing it with intent and resource, you need to ask yourself “is trading my art, the only thing I actually own, for a nominal amount of money, something I NEED to do at this point?” I want to be clear and say I don’t think there is anything wrong with being affiliated to a label and there is a lot of good that can come from it, but these days, there are so many mediums in which to create growth for your act or yourself as an artist, that I don’t think it’s a necessity. If signing to a label is something you aspire to do, you’re going to be in a much better situation if you’ve built your worth to a sustainable level yourself before signing that deal. Clout is everything. If not signing the deal is something that’s on your mind, that’s cool too. You just need to come to terms with how hard you’re willing to devote yourself to the 50+ other hats you need to wear to make it work yourself. Its incredibly gratifying to create a piece of art, and see it through every step of the way. I’m always learning new things about the “industry” and I feel like I’m much better off for that.
You’ve toured across North America and Europe multiple times in the past few years. What is your best touring memory so far?
Aaron: Touring Europe with Protest The Hero, Tesseract, and The Safety Fire was by far, the best touring experience I’ve had to date. There were so many ridiculously epic memories from that tour. I’m not sure I can even really chose one in particular, haha. January 2014 was easily one of the best times of my life.
What are your plans for the coming year? Do you plan on touring in support of the album?
Aaron: Absolutely. I have a really awesome tour that I can’t wait to announce, and hopefully there will be some more of that to follow. I also plan on collaborating with a few individuals and I’d love to find time to write a new EP as well!
Listen to ‘The Shape of Colour’ below