Trendcrusher

Posts Tagged ‘Progressive rock

The D/A Method interview

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The D/A Method are a progressive rock band from Karachi, Pakistan. I found out about the band through Patari, a Pakistani music streaming platform. The D/A Method are more progressive sound compared to Odyssey 

Their recently released album The Desert Road is an engaging listen and features classical instruments.  I spoke to Talha Alvie about The Desert Road, working with Bruce Soord and also their plans in the coming months.

Hi guys, you recently released your second album The Desert Road at show with Takatak. How did it go?

The show was great. We had an excellent turn out with about 500 people in the audience. It’s always special playing in front of our home crowd in Karachi and this was no exception. Takatak absolutely killed it, so it was a wonderful show overall.

For those who have not heard of you before, could you share how the band was formed.

The band was formed by Umair and Talha back in 2012. After jamming together, they wrote songs which were to become part one of our debut album, The Great Disillusion. While recording the album we added our friends Usama on vocals and Istvan on drums in 2013. This is the line up that appears on the first album. Danny, who had played bass with us in the past, joined the band in 2016 to complete the line up which has remained unchanged since then.

The Desert Road comes 2 years after the release of your previous album, The Great Disillusion. What was the writing process for the album?

The writing process for TDR was quite different from TGD as for the first time we were under a deadline in order to fit in with our producer Bruce Soord’s schedule. We had been planning on working on a four-song EP with Bruce but he suggested turning it into a full-length album. So the challenge for us was expanding this EP into a proper record in the matter of only a few months. Talha wrote the structures for four additional songs while Umair and Istvan added the final one to get us to a 9 track album. We actually recorded all of the drum and guitar parts before the vocals were finalized but as always, Usama went over the songs and added his magic touch. We only recorded the final vocals once we got into the studio to mix the album with Bruce which ultimately worked out brilliantly because we were able to get his input on vocal parts and harmonies and also have him as a guest vocalist on several songs.

The album features traditional musical instruments like the sitar and sarangi. How did they become a part of your sound?

Being from Pakistan, these traditional instruments have been a part of the music we’ve been listening to since our childhood. It just made perfect sense for us to use the sounds from these age-old instruments as an additional layer to our electric guitars, synths, and drums. The whole East-West fusion thing has been done for a long time, but for us this comes out of interest of adding textures and sounds that both contrast and complement our modern Western instruments.

The Desert Road is co-produced and mixed by Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief, Wisdom of Crowds). How did he become a part of the album?

Honestly it was just a complete shot in the dark. We’d been fans of his music for a long time and learned that he was interested in producing bands, so we shot him an email and he said yes. He definitely whipped us into shape and made sure that we were on point with everything before we got into the studio with him, which is something we probably needed at the time.

You released a music video for the track, the Desert Journey. How relevant do you think music videos are in the age of Youtube and Vimeo?

Music videos are essential. The era of instant information means that people’s attention spans are limited and a video is a great way to capture that attention. Luckily prog rock fans still value the idea of concept albums and long songs, but we’ve always felt that if we want to get our music out to a broader audience we need to put out videos. Fortunately, as fans of film ourselves, we’re willing to put in as much passion and effort into our videos as our music. We just see our videos as visual extensions of the songs themselves.

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

Individually we’re all over the place but as a band we’ve been more interested in singer-songwriter type stuff as of late. Dallas Green/City and Colour, Jeff Buckley, Mark Kozelek to name a few. Of course the new Steven Wilson album is on the top of all of our playlists. The new Mastodon EP is pretty great as well.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are there any shows/tour planned in promotion of the album?

After our last show we’re probably going to lay a little low until the end of the year. We have some material that we’ve been working on which we’ll finally get a chance to make some progress on. We’ll be back on stage with hopefully a tour of Pakistan at some point in the first half of 2018.

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

Thanks for the interview and thanks for supporting our music. To anyone reading this, please check out our music. Our discography is available for purchase on Bandcamp and iTunes and for your streaming pleasure on Spotify. All the best.

Written by trendcrusher

November 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

Peura Interview

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Last month, Vishal J Singh told me about a new project with a vocalist from Poland. As a fan of his work, I was intrigued to hear something new that he has worked on. The name of the project is Peura and also features Polish vocalist Svah Vighar and American multi-instrumentalist Jake Linder. Their first release, a 4 track EP titled Red Notebook is out today via Vmbrella Fans of Vishal’s previous band  Feathers of Jatinga will enjoy this. 

I spoke to vocalist Svah Vighar about their origins, Red Notebook and the killer cover artwork.  

 

Peura originates from Feathers of Jatinga. How did you come across the band?

Well, Feathers of Jatinga was the original thought and plan. But it quickly turned into a completely new project. Currently it has almost no relation with FoJ. I had several unfinished songs from 2013 that I just showed to Vishal to learn “how He feels about them”. Vishal is a magical person. We all know that right? (laugh). So I guess it just happened naturally the moment Vishal came in contact with that material. But no-one came across the band. It’s a new project, created from the scratch.

How did you become a part of the band?

A part of the band? We put up Peura together with Vishal and Jake – out from what we created. Not the opposite. There are no “parts” in Peura. It’s the expression of singularity.

Tell us a about the transformation from Feathers of Jatinga to Peura. What does Peura mean?

Like I mentioned earlier, there was no transformation at all. We just decided to record the new material. I still hope that Vishal will change His mind and one day we’ll return to some FoJ material. I really love it. But it has to happen without any pressure – naturally. For now it’s closer to the idea that we’re not going back. Some say it’s a good thing.

What Peura is about?

I think it’s about showing people, that everything in “being creative” is about persistence, believing in your own strengths. That people who never learned to read the notes can be musicians, that they can still express themselves – as long as they wish to. It’s about processing some state of art, into an authentic, organic form of a final creation designed with care and love. Peura is a metaphor of that natural persistence, which lives somewhere – deep in ourselves. Among others Peura is a term open to interpretation. If you want to interpret it yourself – just do it. It’s up to you… If one day Peura will get 7 billion interpretations.. well… Then I’d say “job’s done” or “goal reached”. Because whole project is about making people “stop and think for a moment”…

How did Jake Linder become a part of the band?

He hasn’t (laugh). Like I said – Peura emerged from finished project of the trio of us. But the story behind Jake was the “Red Notebook” song. Vishal sent out the material to some great people, but after Jake responded with His piano… I didn’t even think about anyone else.
His soulful, genuine, authentic play simply added a new layer to the music – literally extended it. For me it was just unbelievable stuff which I loved since the first time I heard it.

With Vishal, Jake and you in different countries. What was the writing and recording process for Red Notebook?

Well I guess that in 2017 this process is quite simple. We’re packed with technology these days. It’s enough for us to have some high-end hardware on our side to record our tracks. Like I mentioned the material comes from 2011-2013 and is a fraction of stuff I recorded as drafts back then. Vishal started with re-arranges and guitars, then I added the vocals, then Jake recorded his parts. It went pretty straight forward – took us about a week to record the songs.

The cover artwork by Chelsea Simpson looks awesome. 

For me the artwork is a one of the kind thing. Mostly because Chelsea is first artist who actually listened to more than a dozen of songs and read the lyrics – and just reacted with an interpretation that honestly… blew my mind. Nobody ever reached that level of understanding nuances – I thought they were kind of a cipher for me for so many years. Actually she made the first step of making the “Peura vision” possible. People like that are just pure gold.

The inspiration behind it?

Being natural, truthful, direct, sensitive and bit naive too. I was inspired to preserve the “handmade feel” of “the picture” (of the EP) – and I just got it the way I feel too. I’m glad more people are noticing the message in the artwork. For me there are at least a few.

What is next for Peura? Do you have an album planned? When can we expect it?

I planned only three albums so far. But I also planned an album 16 years ago (laugh). I have enough material to become the next Rolling Stones (laugh)…But jokes aside – It’s not up to me to tell. I can start recording the new album today, but I need real musicians like Vishal and Jake to make it sound right. It’s up to them to make the next move so I will just wait for “a sign” to just do it. I used to say “I was born ready” – and this is exactly how I feel about it.

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

Thanks for the first real interview ever (laugh). Thanks for asking!

Listen/Download Red Netbook below

Written by trendcrusher

May 8, 2017 at 1:16 am

Empty Yard Experiment Interview

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Empty Yard Experiment (E.Y.E), are one of the few bands that have been around in the UAE music scene for more than five years. I first saw them live in 2009, when they performed at Rock Nation where I was part of the organizing team. The band put on a great show and there was a buzz about them the next day on the Phride forums. Since then, E.Y.E.released their self-titled debut album in 2011 and have also opened for bands like Metallica and Anathema.

Last month, they released their second album, “Kallisti” and I spoke to their vocalist Bojan Preradovic via email about the album and also their plans for the rest of the year.

EYE
Gorgin Asadi (Keys), Kaveh Kashani (Bass guitar), Bojan Preradovic (vocals/rhythm guitar) Josh Saldanha(Drums) and Mehdi Gr (Lead Guitar) [Left to Right]

“Conceptually, the album focuses on the notions of chaos and discord, which often define the way in which any human being relates to various aspects of their existence – whether it’s other people, the idea of authority, a subjective perception of the divine, or the subconscious.” said Bojan describing the idea behind the album. “Kallisti” means “to the fairest”, and is the inscription on the Apple of Discord in Greek Mythology, which represents an argument that may originally be based on a small issue but escalates into a much larger one. You will often find that, in an almost schizophrenic manner, you can be a different person depending on the situation that you are placed in. Discord characterizes the way in which each of us, as members of the band, relate to each other, as well as the way in which we have written this album. So “Kallisti” is, somehow, meant to tie it all together.”

“Kallisti” Bojan explains is a the product of a much more collaborative musical relationship between each of the band members. “It’s basically a collection of the songs that we’ve written since the release of our first album in 2011. Right around the beginning of the summer last year, after we had just opened for Metallica and come back from a headlining spot at Lebanon’s Fete de la Musique, we locked ourselves up at our bassist’s house for about two-and-a-half months and just wrote and tracked demos furiously to make sure that we are ready to enter the studio in September. We learned a lot about both each other, and writing music with each other – and it was not always a pretty picture, to say the least.”

The album was produced by Josh Williams who also produced their self titled debut album. “The recording process very collaborative, not only between band members, but also between the band and Josh as a producer, songwriter and arranger.” said Bojan about the recording process. “Josh had some very valuable ideas that we took on board wholeheartedly, and it all ended up making the record richer and more profound as a listening experience. We’ve all known Josh for a while now and we had both a lot of laughs and arguments with him – as friends do.”

Kallisti “Ultimately, “Kallisti” is a much more mature and consistent effort than the first album was.” said Bojan about how the new album compares to their self titled debut album. “The songwriting and arrangement process was a lot more intricate, thorough, and it took some 6 or 7 months to track, mix and master. “Kallisti” features such a diverse combination of rock sub-genres (prog, alternative, post-rock/experimental and indie) and other instruments like live cello, so the approach was different for each of the songs on the record. We tried to be as professional as we could and originally planned to get it all done in only a month or two – but of course, an album that is so dense and carefully thought-out needs more time. And thankfully, Josh was very accommodating in that sense. In the end, it was always going to be a laborious process, but we are pretty satisfied with the outcome.”

The cover artwork for the album designed by Maryam Fard looks great. “The idea behind it corresponds to an individual’s subjective, discordant understanding of and means of relating to various aspects of their life.” said Bojan explaining the concept behind the artwork. “Maryam actually conducted interviews with each of the band members, and asked them for their interpretation of each of the songs on the album. So, each of the band member artworks inside the album package symbolize that subjective dimension of understanding and conception of what reality is supposed to be.”

“We’re just putting our hearts into promoting this release, because obviously we really want it to be heard by a wider audience.” said Bojan about their plans for the rest of the year. “However, to do that, you pretty much have to get out of the Middle East, rather than spend too much energy trying to conquer it. So we’re working on dates and festivals abroad – in Europe, India and hopefully Australia sometime in the near future.” Stay tuned to their facebook page for more information about their tour dates.

Listen to “Kallisti” below

Band Photo by Athena Ekhteraei

Written by trendcrusher

April 6, 2014 at 11:23 am