One of the most anticipated albums of 2015 among progressive/tech-death metal fans is undoubtedly the debut effort from Alkaloid. Despite having only recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund the album, the band has already received enough pledges to cover 98% of their €12,000goal and with over 40-days left, the total amount is set to keep rising.
Titled, ‘The Malkuth Grimoire,’ the album is the creation of some of the leading members of the tech-death scene, including Morean (Dark Fortress, Noneuclid), Christian Muenzner (Spawn of Possession, Ex-Obscura, Ex-Necrophagist), Danny Tunker (Aborted, Ex-God Dethroned), Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura, Noneuclid) and Hannes Grossmann (Blotted Science, Ex-Obscura, Ex-Necrophagist).
The band’s drummer, Hannes Grossman recently spoke with Australian website ARMI to talk about the album, the band’s dream line-up, their plans for 2015 and more. A couple of excerpts from the chat can be found below.
What can you tell us about the band, how did you get such an impressive line-up together?
Considering that three of us played in Obscura and the rest of the band are good friends too, it wasn’t very difficult to be honest. The difficult part was to actually make it happen in a professional way. Alkaloid should not just be a side project, but now we’Re all psyched about how the album has turned out. It’s about 300 % more of what we expected.
How would you define your sound?
I’d say our music combines many different elements from all sorts of music, like modern- and neo classical music, folk, pop, reagge, fusion, hard rock. Those elements are mixed with our style of (technical) death metal in the most subtle way possible. The overall sound may seem familiar, but underneath there are those elements which make the music unpredictable. Also the arrangements play a huge role, since we constantly manipulate the range of tension throughout a song.
Who would you cite as your major influences for the project?
The five musicians who play in this band and our own musical background. Really, there is no band we would relate to, because we want to create our own sound. The closest recording we could relate to are Obscura’s “Omnivium”, because I actually wrote a huge part of the music on that album and arranged almost everything. There are elements in Alkaloid that were present in Obscura, simply because Chris and me were Obscura’s main song writers. Other than that, “Metatheosis” by Noneuclid is a huge influence, because our singer Morean wrote that album. Like I said, it’s our own previous musical creations which have inspired us to write.
How’s your crowdfunding campaign for your debut album, ‘The Malkuth Grimoire’ going?
It is going great. We already reached more than 10,000 €, and we still have 50 days left. The campaign is a big success.
When do you plan on releasing the album, should the campaign be successful?
The campaign ends on January 30th. Then we’ll send out the perks before the official release date. I guess the official release will be in March 2015.
What made you decide to take the crowdfunding root over using a record label?
Labels want music that you can label. But since Alkaloid is a new band – or speaking in a business perspective: a new “brand” – we thought it makes more sense to start the band by working independently. I’m not against labels. We have worked with Relapse before and they were just great. But I just had the strong feeling that a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo could get us closer to our fans and also finance the album.
Do you plan on joining a label in future?
If the offer is right and if a label is willing to do the necessary work and investment which leads to a better working balance for us and thus to better music, I’m in. Like I said, I’m not against labels, but only if they are into what we’re doing and share our vision. If it’s just an asset or a sales number for them, no thanks!
Getting back to the album, how did you come up with the title and what is its meaning?
“Malkuth” is the lowest branch on the tree of life representing the physical universe and what is actually there. A “Grimoire” is a book to invoke demons, for example like the Necronomicon. We would like to start our stories at places where actual science ends and think about what could be possible, based on real scientific facts. None of our stories then are real, but there might be the slightest chance that they could be real, because they are based on concepts which are scientificly proofed. So from our perspective you don’t need a man-mad god, angels and demons. The world can be explained already in much more scientific way. And in those areas where you don’t have scientific proof yet, we think about what could be possible and form these ideas into songs.
What is the inspiration behind the album’s artwork?
From the beginning we wanted ourselves to be part of the actual artwork. This band and it’s music is 100% us, so it makes more sense to work ourselves into the artwork than have an abstract painting or visual animation. On artist who inspired us for the cover motive is Olivier de Sagazan, who makes unbelievable performance art by smearing substances into his face. Thus he changes his own appearance in a horrifying way. You should check out his videos on YouTube, it’s simply amazing.
Are all the songs for the album written and ready to go?
Actually the whole album is recorded and some of the stuff is mixed. By the end of December everything should be finished.
Tell us about the writing process.
We just collected ideas and formed songs out of it, mostly on our own. I can’t really say how the songs came together. It’s like having a mental blackout, because I really don’t remember the process. We write a lot on note sheets, because the music is multi-layered and very complex. At a certain point after having put many hours of work into a song, we just realize that it is finished, but the process of getting there is still a total secret to me. It just falls into place automatically.
You’ve already released the songs, ‘Carbon Phrases’ and ‘C-Value Enigma,’ as well as a couple of other teasers, what should we expect from the rest of the album?
A lot more! Every song differs from another. There are long epic songs, ballads, but also real death metal songs. There are so many colours and sounds on the album, it is impossible to describe it. You need to hear the entire thing yourself, and not just once! Then it is possible to get an idea of what is going on. Believe me, I’m one of the main composers in this band and the variety even sometimes overwhelms me.
Are you still planning on having V Santura mix and master the album?
Yes, of course. We have a great working relation, and he’s one of the best metal producers these days. Working with somebody else wouldn’t make sense for us.
Many of your members are still in other bands, how do you plan on working around this?
We will see that once we get there. I’m just thinking about the release of the album. Once this is done we will focus on live shows. Everyone in the band is so motivated to make this happen, I don’t think it will cause any problems with their other bands, especially because the guys of those other bands are totally into what we’re doing.
What are your plans for 2015? Will you be hitting the road?
Yes, we try to play as many shows as we can get. I don’t know what will be possible for us, but let’s just see where the album takes us.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Alkaloid and spreading the word. It would be simply amazing if some of you got interested and supported our campaign on Indiegogo: http://igg.me/at/alkaloid-crowdfunding
Thank you very much!
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