Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Summoned Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
First off, Thank you guys for taking the time to listen to "Sessions" and for giving us an 8/10 review. We've been playing shows in the surrounding states as they come. Making our way up to Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire; as well as heading down to New Jersey to play with our good friends in Cognitive. We've also been hard at work tighten up our new material to take out on the road and share it with everyone.

2. You have a new album coming out in June, 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?
Yes, "Sessions" will be dropping on June 16th and we can't wait! I would personally describe it as Experimental Metal, we take a lot of different stylistic approaches to writing songs. We took a lot of influence from so many different genres of music from death metal to jazz fusion & avantgarde rock to math metal. In my opinion no style is not usable for The Summoned. As for how it differs from our last record "If Only Minds Could Paint Pictures", I would say that we've grown-up a lot since it was released, we all pushed each other to become better musicians as well as writers. Every aspect of what defines our sound has been amplified one-hundred fold on "Sessions". I'm very proud of the work we put into it.

3.The lyrics on the new recording are a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting?
As far as the conceptualization of "Sessions" as an entire album is presented, we spent a long time fine tuning everything about it. I would bring all of my ideas to the table and whatever worked stayed and whatever didn't in the grand scheme of things got trashed. It takes a lot of trust and respect to be able to take that kind of criticism from someone and I have absolute trust in Stephen, Sam, and Jarred's opinions on what we keep and what we change. There were many times where Stephen would tell me a riff sucked and that it didn't work, and I would just hammer out something and we'd all be like "That's it!" The whole album was pretty much that. Keeping the amount of intensity and tension that we wanted to portray about each track is what really ties the whole thing together where as we get to the end of the album and the patient begins to have his own self realization about what's going on, we bring in more melodic elements to ease the tension.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Summoned'?
Sam, Stephen, and myself had been playing together before The Summoned for a few years and when we decided that it was time for an overhaul, we chose the name. Personally I felt like we were called to do music together or summoned if you will and that's what it means to me.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We've had the opportunity to share the stage with a ton of amazing acts. I would say one of the best shows would be when we played the Massachusetts date for The Summer Slaughter Tour in 2012. We played that as our last date on our 23 day tour, we'd been on the road through the northern US and southern Canada and coming home to play with Cannibal Corpse, Between The Buried and Me, The Faceless, Cerebral Bore, Exhumed and so many other bands was surreal. I would describe our stage performance as intense yet enjoyable to watch, we have fun on stage and play well off each other.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Yes, we are currently working things out with our management. That's all I can say right now as nothing has been announced. 

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We decided to go the D.I.Y route this time around as well, we did some shopping around and had some interest but ultimately we want to prove that we are a tour de force and see what comes up down the line.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
Our last release got a lot of positive feedback and every time we've played out we have a great response. I'm optimistic that "Sessions" will receive the same amount of praise if not more.

9. Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

At this time, everyone is currently a little too busy with The Summoned to pursue other full-time projects. 

10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I love this question, I feel like the sky's the limit. We all have such a diverse taste in music that who knows what will be added into the mix. We all love extreme metal so that will always be at our core whether we add more jazz and avant-garde style parts who can really tell. I feel like the music just comes through us and whatever wants to be played will come out. I can see us experimenting more with synths as well as compositional changes as we progress.

11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music?
For me personally, I draw influence from everything. I'm a huge progressive rock fan and Rush is one of my favorite bands, but even more of an influence has been Cynic from a progressive death metal aspect. To hear the way they utilized Allan Holdsworth's jazz fusion style with the death metal edge changed me forever. Last Chance To Reason would definitely be another great influence on my own playing and writing. Another big influence on all of us has been Between The Buried and Me, Colors and The Great Misdirect were always on, we actually have a tour ritual of playing The Great Misdirect to fall asleep (laughs). Vocal wise Stephen draws a large amount of influence from The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Red Chord. From a drumming perspective I would say bands like Necrophagist and Decapitated have been huge on us as well as jazz fusion drummers like Dave Weckl and Marco Minnemann.  

12. What are some of your non musical interests?
I'm a Yoga Instructor so that form of spiritual and physical work on myself is huge for me, as well as hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I'm an avid beer drinker as well so I tend to go out of my way to find great local craft beer wherever​ we go. Jarred's into fine carpentry, Stephen is a pretty big video game nut, and Sam enjoys being outdoors and traveling.

13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts
I want to thank you guys once again for taking the time to share your thoughts on the album with your readers. Keep your eyes and ears open for more new material as we get closer to June 16th. Be sure to head over to to Pre-Order "Sessions" we've got a ton of great deals for you. Thanks for reading. Much Love, Shaun
The Summoned
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