QUADRIVIUM (Eng.)

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

Right now the dust is just clearing from a long recording process and we are all excited about the release of the album. It been a long journey with a lot of obstacles in the way but now it is really happening.

– First off, as you are a quite young band and have just released your second album; could you please share some history of the band?

Me and Lars Jensen started it as a project to express our fondness for the avantgarde side of metal. We both had other bands at the time so we only intended it as a side-project, but when my other band decided to disband I devoted myself fully to the project and eventually it would become my main band. Lars still had Myrkgrav so it remained a side-project for him. When we were starting to record the first album we got in touch with Svein-Ivar Sarassen and he agreed to do the bass guitars. This then completed the main line-up for the first album they are both still in the band after all this time.

 

– And how did you come up with the name of «Quadrivium»? What meaning does it hold?

Actually I cannot really remember exactly how we came up with this name, but originally it was not intended for this project. The name was given to a symphonic black metal band I was working on with a friend of mine and I guess the original meaning of the name is more suited for that kind of band. That project however amounted to nothing except a couple of pre-production demos and the whole thing was abandoned sometime in 2004. So when Lars and I was getting this avantgarde metal project going I suggested we resurrect the name and we have used it ever since our first demo.

 

– You were formed in 2005 and have released two records, so we could say you take your time to unleash new material. Do the commitments of the band’s members with other projects has something to do with this? Will we have to wait 3/4 years until your next opus?

Yes the Methocha album has been a long time coming. After we had released the first album we all agreed that if we were ever going to do another album we would have to take some serious leaps in quality in all aspects. Musically, lyrically and not least production-quality would have to be taken to a whole new level. This is of course the main reason why it has taken so long. Right after we had released the first album I got an email from this Hungarian guy who liked our music and was interested in recording vocals for us. Not expecting much, I asked if he could record something so we could check him out. I was frankly blown away by what he sent us and I asked him to join immediately. This was of course Attila Bakos and knowing that I had two very talented vocalists in the band was certainly a very inspiring for me when I started to work on the new material.

I also decided that we would have to expand the line-up considerably beyond the Adversus line-up if this was going to happen and first order of business was to get a drummer. Since we had already decided that it would not be realistic to do any live shows with this band we didnt have to limit us to using just “local” musicians.

First time I ever heard or saw Etienne Gallo drumming was on a Youtube video and his skills were very impressive. He can play in just about every style and is one of the most creative drummers in metal I think. Needless to say, I was delighted that he liked our music and wanted to play on our next album. We also needed a good guitar player and after alot of try-outs we were lucky to get Thor-Axel Eriksen to join us although later some time conflicts would make him unable to play the rythm guitars on the album and we had to find a session guitarist in a hurry. Luckily he did find time to record some great lead guitar for us and we look forward to having him with us full time on the next album.

Like most album recording, we had a lot of problems. When it was time to record the vocals, Lars had taken a break from music in general so we had to find a replacement for him as well. Leif Johan Strode Godø turned out to be a real worthy replacement and he really put his mark on the album with his vocal performances. Lars is still a member of the band in spirit but he is still on his musical break.

 

– You have just released your sophomore album, «Methocha». What are your expectations on this release?

Hopefully people will want to listen to it several times to get all the details and layers in the music. Most of my favorite albums I had to listen to many times to appreciate all the different elements and I hope people will experience something of the same on Methocha.

 

– And what’s the main concept or some of the lyrical ideas behind it?

On the Adversus album I had a pretty well worked out concept for the lyrics. On this album I decided to keep it more loose and the songs stand more on their own though there is still a concept going on but not as encompassing this time. Some of the lyrics are more philosophical and then you have more direct to-the-point lyrics like Destroyer. I guess it was more important to focus on getting each song to be as good as it could be without having to satisfy a governing concept.

 

– I personally think you have improved compared to your debut album; you have shaped a bit more your compositions, giving the feeling this is a more solid and dynamic record but, what are your thoughts on it? How has your evolution been since your previous «Adversus» came out?

Personally I think Methocha is a huge leap forward for us compared to Adversus. In those days I was very inexperienced as a musician and the album does show that. Having said that, I am still proud of that album in that it was an important steppingstone for me as a musician and a good learning experience but Methocha is a lot more satisfying to me in every aspect. Like you said, it is a much more dynamic record and that is something I do strive to achieve.

 

– Another improvement is the production and the overall sound so, could you please tell us how was the production process this time around and who took such duties?

One of the most important decisions made early on was that we would go to great lengths in order to get a good production. On Adversus we did everything ourselves besides the mastering and that was something that we wanted to avoid this time around. We wanted to get professionals to do both the mixing and mastering. Another thing we learned was that every good sounding metal album needs a killer drum sound so we sent Etienne to Wild Studio in Canada to record his drums. This was a big decision but it was definitely a good decision. During the writing of the album and some time after I was a student and this also goes a long way in explaining why the album took so long to complete.

We also had to make sure that we chose the right people for the mixing and mastering. There are plenty of so-called professionals out there who are way over-priced compared to the quality of their work. In the end, we chose Brett-Caldas Lima at Tower Studio to mix the album and Plec at Panic Room Studio to do the mastering. I have to commend them both on their work and attitude throughout the whole project. They both did excellent work and we are very pleased with the final result.

 

– On your compositions I’d dare say the whole atmosphere has a really important role. Where do you draw inspiration from to create such soundscapes?

I agree with you there. In fact, it is all about the atmosphere. I have no formal training as a musician so I do not feel bound by any rules when it comes to harmony or composition. Inspiration can come from many things. It can be some small piece of music in a movie or some other band. Sometimes it can come from simply trying to create new sounds on my synth and playing around with them. Other times it can be a notion of some atmosphere or idea that I try to recreate in musical form.

 

– This gives QUADRIVIUM a really singular style. Could you say QUADRIVIUM is a way to channel your most personal concerns?

Well I wouldn’t call I personal concerns but certainly the music does reflect different aspects of my personality. When you write music you will always put something of yourself into it, whether you like it or not. It need not always be so obvious how it does represent your personality though. I certainly don’t consider my personality as dark as The Labyrinth of Infinity song for instance, yet I still like the atmosphere of that song.

 

– On this album you’ve had a guest appearance from Carl August Tiedemann (WINDS, etc.). How did everything arise and what has he brought with his cooperation?

Carl August is a friend of our guitarist Thor-Axel Eriksen from way back. At some point during the recordings he had mentioned that he might be interested in doing some lead guitars. Certainly I was willing to try this and the results speak for themselves really. He has a very unique combination of technique and sense of melody. Most people who play those kinds of technical lead guitar are just fast and nothing else. Carl August will always combine the fast stuff with melody at the same time and this was no exception. It really did put some “spice” into the songs he played on.

 

– On the other hand, the cover artwork has a really futuristic vibe to it. Would you mind to tell us what did you want to express with it?

We are very satisfied with the cover this time too. It is a continuation of the first album cover and we really did try to make it reflect what our music is about.

 

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

Curious (dis)harmonic vibrations.

 

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

Right now we just want to relax a little and look forward to the release date.

When it is finally out and we have had a chance to regroup we will probably start planning the next album. We have some ideas but nothing final yet. Hopefully it won’t take four years this time.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thanks for your questions and keep metal alive.

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

 

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