Friday, October 10, 2014

Circle of Indifference Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Absolutely! It all started about two years ago, when I decided to pick my guitar again after ten years of pretty much not playing at all. My initial intentions was to get some of the guys from my old band Neurosilence and redo some of the old material with better production. Sadly, after a few months of hard work it fell apart and amounted to nothing more than a handful of almost finished tracks, and I pretty much gave up. But after I had rediscovered the joy of playing music I decided to try and write some new material instead. Initially I just intended to write some instrumentals and post them on Soundcloud, but after I had written a few of them I thought that having vocals on them would be pretty cool. So I started searching the internet after vocalists for hire, and after a few misses I came in contact with Brandon L. Polaris from I am sooo glad that happened, because not only has he recorded some fantastic vocals for me, but he has also gone above and beyond the call of duty and literally worked his ass off to make sure the outcome and everything there after is top notch. As it happens, Tyler (lead guitar) and Nikki (operatic style vocals on "Darkness") are also available through the same service, and I have to say I couldn't be more happy with the result! The only thing about the project that didn't quite turn out the way I intended was the drums. I had a drummer from Poland in on the project, but sadly he dropped out halfway through the recording process. Instead of delaying the release and/or increasing my budget I decided to improve the midi drums I hade made for the demos instead, and I guess it worked out OK in the end. From start to finish I spent about 18 months on the project, and despite quite a few hurdles and obstacles, here we are!

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Metal music is much broader in shape and form now that it was twenty years ago, so putting a sub-genre label on it is not that easy. I suppose you can say that it is a modern form of eclectic melodic death metal. I think much of the retro aspect of it is the fact that my music is quite simple in form, riff-based music made for the sake of music and not for showing off arpeggio wizardry (which I lack anyway haha) and weird time signatures. I suppose lacking the insane skills many guitar players have these days, I have to rely more on writing good riffs and songs rather than using technique as a crutch or easy way out. And don't like to copy anyone either, so hopefully I have managed to create something different than all the other music that is out there.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

Since I always make the instrumentals first, I try to get a feeling from the song before deciding the topic. This led to lot's of different topics being covered. For instance, "Alone" is about a girl who after first being ignored by everyone and then deciding to do something about it discovers at the end that she is in fact a ghost. The title track "Shadows of Light" is about a young adult who was sexually abused as a child, and becomes a serial killer hunting down pedophiles and killing them. Other topics include sociopaths, depression, prison camps, gladiators and submarine warfare, all good family fun :)

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Circle of Indifference'?

I think it is best explained by painting a mental picture of a middle class "perfect" family seated around a dinner table eating and drinking well, all the while this table is set right in the middle of ruins, war, disease, poverty and starvation. This family is perfectly indifferent to all that is happening around them, and this indifference makes it impossible for those around them to improve their own situation. Also, the family portrays the fact that indifference breeds indifference, so the parents pass this on to their children. The logo I made for COI is heavy with symbolism; it is made up of a jagged circle and an infinity symbol. Inside the circle everything is whole and well preserved, but everything on the outside is crumbling and starting to fall apart. Also, the circle is not perfect in form, having jagged edges and so on, meaning that even inside the circle there are problems caused by this indifference. And the fact that the infinity symbol is crumbling symbolizes that sooner or later the circle of indifference will end, and everything will change. Oh and btw, COI is by no means a political activist project or anything like that, these are just pragmatic observations of reality. It is what it is, there's no moral policing behind it.

5.With this project you do mostly everything solos but have worked with full bands before, do you prefer working by yourself more than working with a full line up?

In many aspects being on my own has it's advantages, for example having to rely less on other people and their busy schedules, not having to find somewhere to rehearse, no arguments over riffs or songs or anything like that. But I do like the companionship that comes with being in a band, which is why I highly value the relationship I have with my session musicians. They bring a lot of the feeling of being a band onto the table, even though we are separated by huge distances geographically. So I have probably got the best of both worlds in this project. But one obvious downside of being alone is that it more or less makes live performances impossible.

6.On the new album you had a few quests and session musicians, can you tell us a little bit more about their contributions?

Brandon L. Polaris has been my main partner in all this, and apart from the actual recording of vocals he has been involved in many other aspects, both as a musician, a professional, and a friend. He has also taken some of my vocals and made them his own, tweaking it in some places, adding voices or even cleans etc.

Tyler Teeple is a fantastic guitar player, and when I felt that I couldn't do the album justice doing all the leads myself I found the perfect replacement in him. His ultra melodic style coupled with flawless technique was just what I was looking for, and I must say he has written and recorded some fantastic solos!

Aybars Altay was originally just hired for album artwork, but in the final stage of recording I got the idea of hiring him to do a remix of the title track. He worked for several days nonstop and handed me an awesome electric industrial track!

Nikki Monney was hired to do vocals to replace a sample of a lecture that I originally had on "Darkness". The lyrics on her piece represents the main characters girlfriend/wife.

Aside from their contributions as musicians, equally important is their friendship. We are in regular contact, almost daily, and I really do consider them close friends although we've never met in person.

7.The new album was self released on your own label, are you open to working with an actual label in the future?

I wouldn't close any doors for sure, but the specifics of a record deal would have to be discussed thoroughly. I am not a kid anymore; I have a family, mortgage, a job and a stable economy, so I wouldn't be able to put all my horses in music 100%. So even with a full band I would not be able to tour extensively or practice all day long. And I wouldn't let anyone tell me how to produce my music either.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic death metal?

The response has exceeded my expectations and hopes! I have had a lot of listens and downloads, and I think I have listeners in well over 100 countries. Some of them have even sent me positive feedback, which I really appreciate. The most surprising element was how fast the album spread without any marketing, it took a life of it's own.

9.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?

When I sit down and write a song, I pretty much just improvise on riffs and go with the ones I like. I don't write in a particular genre on purpose, or riff a certain way to stay within a box. But, I have pretty much been the way I am now for the last 25 years, so I wouldn't expect the next albums to be wildly different. There is still room for original songs within the same style I hope.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I am a huge fan of bands like At The Gates, Dismember, old In Flames etc, so I suppose that has influenced me in some way. The same goes for Carcass, Death, Testament, Obituary and old Sepultura. Nowadays I still listen to some of the old stuff, but I am also heavily into bands like Scar Symmetry, Aspherium, Maahlas, Seth Ect, Devin Townsend, Cantabile Wind, Zonaria and anything Tuomas Saukkonen.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Well, I am somewhat of a nerd I am told, so anything related to computers and modern technology of course. And the other usual's, including movies and series (science fiction in particular). Winter sports and fishing are also big interests of mine. Science and psychology too I must add.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I would like to thank everyone that has contributed to the project, and all those who spend their valuable time listening to our creation. Your support is very important to us! I hope you enjoy the album, and continue to support Circle Of Indifference in the future.

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