THE CONTORTIONIST (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with THE CONTORTIONIST?

Doing wonderful! We’re currently enjoying a little time off before we tour in late January. It’s great being with our families during holidays.

– You have just released a new album, «Intrinsic», which sees the light of dat after a masterpiece as «Exoplanet». Due to this, did you work under more pressure for this new opus? And how is its feedback being so far?

Any sort of pressure or expectations from our current fans is felt, but has to be pushed aside to a certain degree so we can take a fresh look at our abilities and build a sound that pushes the envelope for us as musicians. With this record, there is so much more melody throughout and is implemented more smoothly than Exoplanet I think.

 

– I personally think this new record es musically better than the previous one, with a richer sound. Anyway you have always been quite dynamic and your compositions have always been really well-cared and full of different elements so, could you say the band’s name depicts the flexibility on your music? And I think we could also apply to this the new album’s title.

Photo by Chris C. Collins

Yeah, the name’s application to our sound has seemed to be more and more apparent as we go on. Plus we just love flexible people. haha

 

– This «Intrinsinc» I’d dare say is even more diverse than its predecessor. When did you start writing, were you consciously looking for a result as brilliant as the one you got with «Exoplanet»? Did you want to do, not a copy, but something that really attracts people or do you just do what you want without paying too much attention?

We absolutely expected to create something more dynamic and more melodious than Exoplanet. I think the challenge was to make the record still feel heavy or heavier at times but still move towards a more mature sound that we will want to play for years to come. I think touring has taught us a lot of what we really enjoy hearing and playing!

 

– In general it seems like you have payed more attention to the overall songwriting as, as I said earlier, you’ve added an extra variation adding different melodies, textures and layers. Due to this it gives the impression each song is a different world, but the whole album gives a certain feeling of being some kind of journey. What are your thoughts on this? How does this opus feel personally to you?

The lyrics depict a more internal journey within the mind’s eye, so there’s a more personal vibe with some of the songs. But I still kept the cosmic themes coming, cause that just fits the music so well. And from the beginning of these tracks being written, there was so much more planning and thought put into the flow and the identity of each track. One of our goals is for someone to never confuse two songs with each other.

 

– As I said, each track has its own identity, but it seems all of them are part of a same concept. Which is it? If I’m not mistaken your are still exploring some sci-fi ideas.

Yeah, I’ve returned to a scientific language that was found in the first album… but since it discusses brain phenomena and emotions, there’s a personal message to be found. But overall, the album concept should make people question themselves and their importance. I think there’s an audience we’ve found that enjoys asking these big questions about existence, and just letting go of day to day struggles and bullshit to just use our imaginations and feel a connection to things we can’t necessarily see.

 

– And what does the cover artwork represent? How strong is its link with the lyrical themes?

It was hard to narrow down our front cover to one particular image, so we went with a clean and simple layout. The three symbols represent different themes covered in the lyrics.

 

– This has been your first album with Jonathan Carpenter already being in the band. Could you say with him the band has improved on quality terms? Has changed the writing process?

Attempting to not sound like I’m patting myself on the back haha. But I think that yes, the writing has changed a lot, and hopefully for the better. Everybody went into this album knowing that the ratio of singing would be much higher, so that affected what they were shooting for on some songs. Keyboards were much more planned and more important to the songs than ever before. Otherwise, I consider myself to be a musician in a singer’s shoes, so I think and write like that too. I try to stay out of the way of instrumental sections that dont need vocals. Etc etc

 

– One of the most notable changes I notice on the record is the production. Who has taken such duties?

This time we went to Audiohammer in FL. Working Jason and Eyal was eye opening and amazing. They nailed the dynamic, and most importantly REAL drums that we wanted and needed. Some of the songs have quite a few layers and I think that most listeners can tell that what they’re hearing is real performances. Overproduction is a real problem nowadays with metal bands, and when they get out to play live it just doesnt cut it. So we’ve tried to steer away from that this time and make something that we can listen back to and feel good about.

 

– After the success your first «Exoplanet» got; do you think the vision on the band has changed due to the impressive acceptance the album got? As I guess everyone would be wondering if you can keep the same leel.

I think the “vision” of the band has always been contrast. Heavy parts are as heavy as can be and the atmospheric parts and full fledged and we commit to them giving an ambience to the song. When I joined it was very clear that keys and singing would be a huge part of that contrast. I believe that we can only go up from here! We learned so much this record about our writing timing and abilities. Its all about organization when trying to have enough time to make each song the best it can be before its out of our hands.

 

– I guess that album lead you to signing to such a well-known label as Season of Mist. How is everything going with them so far?

Great! It’s an honor to be European label mates with so many legendary bands.

 

– All this about «Intrinsinc» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Hmmmm. Epic. Sexy. Schizophrenic.

 

– The prog scene is getting better and is also an ever-growing style so, what bands could you suggest us into the style?

Last Chance to Reason, if you havent been lucky enough to hear them. Skyharbor is sick. Intervals, Ever Forthwright, Karnivool.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans?

We will be heading out with Hatebreed, Dying Fetus and Shadows Fall in late January. Come on out if we are near you. I dont care if it’s a three hour drive. Do it!

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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