– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the A STORM OF LIGHT’s camp right now?
Thanks much for the interview, we really appreciate the interest. All is good here, we have just begun brainstorming a music video for the new record. There is no specific song yet but ideas are coming together.
– You have just released your new album, entitled «Nations to Flames». How is its feedback being so far?
So it’s been amazing, more than we ever expected.
– This is your second album with the same line-up, a first for the band. How did that affect the final outcome?
It affected the album profoundly. Every other record was written and arranged without drums. The drums were basically added after-the-fact…even the majority of Valley was conceived this way. This was definitely not a choice, but a side effect of our revolving cast. Having a solid line-up from the start was extremely gratifying and made this a stronger record. Billy, Domenic and I were able to bounce ideas off of each other and really dial in the song structures.
– «Nations to Flames» has a quite social concept behind it but, would you please mind to elaborate a bit on it?
The main idea behind Nations to Flames is to abandon all of the nationalism and selfishness in our society, and focus on the wellbeing of our home…our planet. Granted, the message is more directed at our governments, as most of us are caught in the middle of the bullshit. We can however influence humanity’s course by bringing attention to what is happening around us. If things continue to progress as is, then we probably will end up in a situation similar to what is depicted on our album cover…struggling to survive on a damaged and diseased earth. While that may not happen anytime soon, it does seem to be our trajectory.
– The cover artwork, with an postapocalyptic vibe, seems to be strongly connected to the album’s theme. How did you work on it and what did you exactly want to depict?
The concept of the album artwork is laid out in the prologue…a small group of people struggling to survive after some sort of extinction event. The body in the
american flag represents «we the people,» dead and gone due to the destructive path of our race. Executing the artwork was an insane amout of work. We had to find a location, get film permits, make the wardrobe elements, transport the funeral pyre, find colored smoke grenades, etc etc etc. It was a lot of fun needless to say, just a lot work too.
– Musically, I would dare say this is your most aggressive, Metal and fastest album to date. How did this opus ending sounding like that?
Over the last few tours, we all realized that our faster songs were more fun to play live. That was where the idea started. We were on tour with Sleep and we both played with Slayer in London. Seeing Slayer’s soundcheck also reinforced that spark…making it clear to all of us that slower is not necessarily heavier… and so it began…
– It’s also more straight-forward and even shorter. Was this what you were aiming for or did you just let things flow naturally?
that was another thing we learned from touring. the long tunes seemed to last forever. we wanted to cut it down, focus it, refine it. while it was intentional, it was also natural, because we were reacting to our own feelings about playing these songs live. i think a lot of times you don’t truly «know» a song until you’ve played it 30 times. We played Fall and Disintegrate on tour with Converge and edited those songs down a bit after the tour. It will be interesting to see where we end up with the record after a couple of tours on it…not to say that we’d change anything…but how that experience will influence our next record.
– These new «approaches» I think have helped getting a really diverse album, also with a lot of contrasts. Is this diversity something important for the band?
Yeah diversity is hugely important to us. We all listen to a massive variety of music and have taken those influences and internalized them. If you have an hour of blast beats, everything just bleeds together…a cacophony of white noise. If you go back and listen to Sabbath or Zeppelin records, you’ll hear an ebb and flow on those records…a couple fast songs…slow song…ballad song, etc. Variety. It not only make a more solid record and better listening experience, but it also allows us to write songs that have different moods, and yet still retain our own sound.
– In fact all your albums have their own distinctive sound. Do you want them to be like this or is it rather that A STORM OF LIGHT is on a constant evolving process?
Awesome. I think a lot of the evolution comes from us playing the material live, but also comes from where we are in our lives at that point. luckily it keeps leading us to evolve. i hate to say it but some of my favorite bands just continue to write mildly different versions of the same record over and over. eventually you get tired of the outcome. Pink Floyd and PJ Harvey come to mind as artists that evolve with every record…each recording is has its own identity.
– Due to this, how was this time around the songwriting process?
We all live in different states so that affects our writing process. We typically start with a guitar/vocal idea for a full song. I will send that to Billy. He’ll send a version back which will change the mood of the song. Depending on how the drums change the song, i may edited or re approach guitars/vocals. Once we have something solid, Domenic will come in and the entire process repeats. Writing this way has resulted with a lot more refinement than a typical writing process.
– Once more you have some guest appearances by Will Lindsay and Kim Thayil. Could you tell us how did everything arise and what did they bring with their cooperation?
Will has been a long time friend, he’s toured and recorded with us in the past and will always be an extended part of the band. As far as Kim, I have been Soundgarden’s art director for the last 3 years so we have developed a friendship beyond that. We all grew up with Soundgarden and it’s an honor to have him record with us.
– All this about «Nations to Flames» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Earth, not country.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
tours are in the works for 2014. we are playing Roadburn and Temples Fest in April/May and will be doing a full European tour around there. thanks!