Monday, March 16, 2015

Satyrasis Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

In the two months since we released, we have been mostly occupied with getting the music out to as many people as possible.  Since we released it for free, the goal is to just get it to people who might enjoy it.  Other than that, just catching up with all the other aspects of life we pushed aside in order to make time for ...Of The Dead (which, after 7 years of pushing aside other projects, adds up to a lot of stuff!).

2.In January you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

It is completely different from anything we have done in the past.  In terms of musical pursuit, it's almost like we are a new band.  It's been fascinating to read the album reviews because we still aren't really sure how to categorize it, genre-wise.  I mean, on a song by song basis, some are easier to describe than others, but some of the songs have more in common with feature film sound design than they do with thrash metal.

3.This is the first album to be released in 7 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

Oh man, what a question to answer!  This album is a Do-It-Yourself project through and through.  The fact that we do everything long distance over the internet (exchanging session files and demos and such) made the entire process much more complicated.   I would guess that if we had to make another album like ...Of The Dead, we could probably do it in only one year.  Much of the 7 years was spent developing a functional infrastructure which could effectively handle the development of ideas.

The entire album was recorded in just one 30 hour session, including setup and break down.  We wanted the best studio and engineer possible, but when you consider just getting to the studio takes 15 hours for one of the members and then factor in everyone's schedule, you realize something extreme needs to happen.  While recording, we played all the songs live one right after the other, ending up with only like 3 takes of each.  I have never been more tired in my life than after that session!

The thing is, though, we were able to pull that off because we had done it so many times before.  That's part of what took us 7 years.  The final take of the album you hear is the FIFTH time we recorded it in full.  That doesn't include demoing of individual songs or riffs.  For fun, we created a track of all the different demos put together. The result is like an audio equivalent of the fossil record.  It's pretty neat!  You can hear an example here: Every repeat of the riff is from a totally different session.

We licensed the album under a creative commons license (so people can do whatever they want with it, including distribute freely and remix).  We are going to host (on the website) the complete multitrack files for the album, so that someone will be able to download the pro tools session and individually pick through all the sounds and samples used.  We were very, very meticulous about naming all the little clips, so if someone is poking around and finds a sound they like, they will be able to figure out how to track it down from the file name.  Since almost all of the songs have over 100 tracks, we figured people might find it cool to poke around just to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.   Some tracks, like Waltz, for example, have all 100 tracks firing at once!

It's not that we are perfectionists or something, quite the opposite actually.  We just know what we want in terms of sound and scope.  Although we tried very hard to get the album out years sooner, we just didn't achieve what we were looking for until we had developed the ideas to the point you hear on the release.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Life stages, subservience, war, existentialism, epistemology.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Satyrasis'?

No meaning, just letters we thought went well together.  Some people think it is from the word 'satyriasis' which, interestingly enough, it isn't.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Definitely Ogrefest.  We have been organizing a metal festival for the last 9 years, and it has been a really fun time every year.  We only play once or twice a year (do to living 800 miles apart 11 months of the year), so every show is something to look forward to.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
While we did a national (US) tour for the first album back in 2008, we don't have any plans to tour for this one.

As for shows, it will probably be a while yet before one of those, but you never can say for sure one way or the other.

8.On the new album you had done a Rush cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?

We enjoy playing other people's songs as a means of gelling as a musical unit.  On the once or twice a year that we play together, we usually procrastinate by playing Old Man's Child, or Carnivore covers instead of practicing.  We know the  Satyrasis material well enough, and have practiced it to the point that we can pretty confidently play a show without having practiced as a group for months prior (and, in fact, the last few shows have been like this).

9.The new album was released on Seventh Door Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Seventh Door Records is our own imprint, which we own and manage.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of extreme metal?

Extremely good.  We can barely believe how strongly positive some of the feedback has been, both from fans and from reviewers.  We have been working on the album for so long, we weren't sure what the reaction to it would be, to be honest.  I think we know that some people would really dig it, although at times throughout ...Of The Dead it can be pretty strange (not to mention unrelenting) enough that I could see plenty of reason for people to not really getting what we are going after.  The only negative feedback any of us have heard has been along the lines of "it's too complicated to keep up with", which, if you don't like that kind of music.... why are you listening to Satyrasis in the first place?

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Musically, the three of us have been going really different directions in what we listen to and are interested in.  Of course, this is good for the band, because when we get together to write something, these outside influences generally add a lot of maturity to the final sound.  I think songs like "Waltz for a Marionette" and "In Ruins" are an accurate description of some realms we may revisit again.  You have to keep in perspective that although the album was released now in 2015, we were finished with about 95% of the arrangements by the end of 2009, and the rest of the time has been spent trying to achieve the sound we were going for.  That is to say, if we sat down today to write something, it would probably be a lot different than what is on ...Of The Dead, if for no other reason than it has been years since some of those ideas on ...Of The Dead were formed.

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

Many bands were specifically influential on the record, to name just a few: Type O Negative, Rush, Frank Zappa, Janelle Monae, Cinnamon Chasers, Goblin, Acid Bath, Gösta Berlings Saga, Camel, Insect Warfare, Crowbar, Steely Dan.  Right now, here are the 5 things we are listening to:

Horrendous - Ecdysis
Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!
Fear Factory - Obsolete
Sex Heaven - Hot Hooks EP
Al Di Meola - Elegant Gypsy

Strapping Young Lad - City
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 6
Deceased - Surreal Overdose
Artie Shaw - Live at the Blue Room / In the Cafe Rouge
Jerry Reed - The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of

Adventure - Lesser Known
Philip Glass - Aguas de Amazonia
Cinnamon Chasers - Dreams and Machines
Noisia - Split The Atom

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Currently, we are all in our last year of Grad School for various things (geographical/geospatial information and data management, mathematics, speech pathology, linguistics).  We have plenty of side interests, ranging from listening to world war 2 lectures and computer programming, to things like playing hockey and hours long games of Risk.

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

The album is freely available at as a 320 MP3, but also as lossless WAV or FLAC.  There you can find instrumental versions of the album, as well as Guitar Pro tabs of every song, a professionally typeset lyric booklet with illustrations.  You can also stream at

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