Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sullen Interview


1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Marcelo: We’re a progressive/ambient metal group from Portugal that lives without any musical boundaries, aiming to always bring the best of ourselves on everything we compose.

2.You have your first album coming out in February, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
M.: Very dynamic, to say the least. Sometimes it’s dark, bright, heavy, aggressive or even slow-paced and contemplative – it always depends on the moods we’re exploring.

César: I think we achieved a sense of journey which is simultaneously oppressing and relieving. Sound wise we cover a very large spectrum which goes from very heavy to minimalistic ambient. We also make an effort to be out of the box in terms of harmonic and melodic solutions, with a lot of dissonances, which may sound a bit strange for the first time or unprepared listener. We’re not the catchiest of bands and it may require some time to grow on you.

3.4/5 of the band was in Oblique Rain, What was the decision behind disbanding that group and forming a new one?
M.: Oblique Rain had to come to an end because we were on different creative frequencies – the main goal was to explore a huge variety of new musical possibilities and approaches, and Flávio wasn’t up for it.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics that the band explores with the music?
M.: They’re mostly based on the process of self-awareness and need of change of the human being, exploring it’s darker and lighter sides.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sullen'?
João Pereira.: There's a lot in the definition of the word “Sullen” that comes close to identifying our sound, like “gloomy” “somber tone” “slow as a stream” “darkened by clouds”, so on. If you look it up in a dictionary, the adjectives all seem to make sense. Who came up with the word, I honestly don't remember. Guys?
C: It was me who came up with the idea. We were looking for some term which had something in common with the music. I believe the word Sullen suits perfectly to the dark ambience that we create in our music and all the guys liked it.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
JP.: No shows yet!

C: We haven’t played any shows yet, but you can expect a very focused and low profile performance as I think our music demands. That doesn’t mean we will be apathetic, if you know what I mean.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
M.: Yes, of course – we’re already on the go with rehearsals of the new material at our home studio, hoping to start the debut shows in the next few months.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
M.: If we happen to find one that shares our artistic vision and professional needs, then we’ll think about it – for now we’ll be working on a DIY basis.

JP.: We're actually proud of the fact that we have been doing everything on our own, composition, recording, mixing, mastering, website, online sales, social networking, merchandise, design, etc. But we may come to a time when a label might prove to be of value helping us to reach a wider audience.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of both progressive and extreme metal?
M.: It has been very positive on both ends – it’s mainly focused on the two tracks we’ve launched in advance, so we’re very curious on how it will be on the whole product.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
M.: Only time will tell – we tend to work without any creative boundaries, so it’s a bit difficult to predict the direction we’ll take. I think this project’s main goal is to always innovate, be ambitious and stay fresh, so if it keeps up to that it’s good by me!

JP.: It is funny that when we are together we already talk about the next album – there are already some ideas saved for it, so it’s clear that there's this huge hunger for creating new stuff. One of the things that we think will happen is the distinction and uniqueness of our music that in each album will grow apart from any influence that might be so easily heard in “post human”.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
M.: As a musician I listen to a ton of stuff, especially the most complex - rhythmically, melodically and harmonically. Lately I’ve been onto Exivious, Snarky Puppy, The Contortionist and Avishai Cohen.

JP.: The Contortionist and Gojira are both playing in my car at the moment, but then there's also Steven Wilson, Nine Inch Nails, Aphex Twin and Archive.
If I REALLY must point influences I’ll do it for the keyboards, so I will go with Opeth for traditional/classic keyboard sounds, Hammond/Mellotron/Pianos and Porcupine Tree and NIN for Synth sounds. It's a somewhat diminishing list but it gives you the picture!

C: I am influenced mainly by dark and contemplative music whether it is heavy or mellow. The bands which influenced me the most in the last decades were definitely Opeth, Devin Townsend and Tool. Right now I am listening to the newest album from Soen and Devin Townsend and revisiting some Meshuggah.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
M.: Arts in general, science, technology, gaming and cooking.

JP.: Space Science, computers, programming, web design, photography and video -the full nerd package!

C: Cosmology and other scientific stuff, watching documentaries and movies, gaming, riding my motorcycle, good food, etc.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
M.: I would like to thank you for the opportunity to spread the word – it’s really amazing to finally be able to present you with the music we spent so much time working on!

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