Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Shadowpath Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

- We’re a metal band from Switzerland that plays a mixture of different styles, mainly using symphonic, melodic death and progressive elements (see also question 2.). Our line-up underwent a few changes over the past years, mainly due to the circumstances many younger adults experience in this phase of life – jobs change, families grow, plans change. So back from the original founding days, there are today still Samuel Baumann (drums), Amos Zürcher (bass guitar) and me (keyboards, growl and backing vocals) remaining; the guitars are played by Stefano Riario and Gisselle Rousseau is the lead singer. We all come from different musical backgrounds and none of us does Shadowpath fulltime; but we put all our passion, our energy and a lot of time in it!

2. Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

- It seems to be difficult (for me too, to be honest) to put our music into a specific genre, that’s why in reviews the album has been labeled all from “Symphonic Rock” to “Death Metal” by the different writers.  J  And honestly: we don’t think too much about the genre, since the songs I write come right from the heart and reflect themselves all the various musical styles that I love. In the recording and producing process we aimed to achieve a tight, very atmospheric and multiverse sound, balancing the dichotomy of bright light and darkness, always staying interesting throughout the whole record, never repeating itself. We also wanted to use a lot of keyboard elements while still giving the heavy guitars all the room they deserve. To our belief, “Rumours of a Coming Dawn” is an album, that reveals its full strength only when listened to it several times, unmasking more and more details in its structure with every repetition.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

- “Rumours of a Coming Dawn” is basically a story consisting of 8 chapters; I wouldn’t go as far as to name it a very consistent concept album, but the songs follow a string of events. Some of the tracks have an autobiographic aspect (e.g. Deny me, or Beta), but most of them tell metaphors about life in general. We’d like to leave it to the imagination of the listeners to explore, what images develop in their minds while listening to the songs. But in all the sometimes melancholic and gloomy lyrics, there is always a decisive element of hope, the spark in the night, the sunbeam brightening the cemetary on the albums cover, this “heavenly promise, that survives in our hands” as named in the final verse of Beta.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Shadowpath'?

- We chose a band name, that we felt transferred a strong emotional and instantly accessible image. Also we wanted to symbolize in it the different aspects of our musical style, from the lyrical and fragile parts all to the heavy death metal moments: a journey through a miraculous landscape, a wandering through the mists, a path through the shadows itself being a symbol of life, that connects places, moments in life, or people.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

- Literally every concert we played so far is valuable and a dear memory to us; every gig was different in a way and so was the audience. But if I had to choose a few, there is one show we did in a very small club in Zürich about two years ago (Neugasshof) – the crowd was amazing, the atmosphere perfect and even though the acoustic conditions were far from perfect, this was probably the most intense and rewarding concert we did so far.

If I had to describe our stage performance in general, I’d say very focused on the music, letting the songs develop their intensity, but still connecting with the listeners and always aiming to improve.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

- Yes, after a break of one year due to family time-outs we play live again starting february 10, 2017 with a show in Thun, a city close to our hometown Bern. After that we play the famous Met-Bar in Lenzburg (together with Deep Sun and Elyria), one show in Zürich and then different gigs in other parts of Switzerland.

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

- There are some labels, that have approached us over the last year and offered us contracts to conditions, we unfortunately had to respectfully decline. I guess, experiences like this are part of the usual process, a band like us goes through. Of course we’re very much interested in a cooperation and would love to work with a fitting label.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic, progressive and extreme metal?

- Extremely positive! To be honest, we were just blown away by the dominating majority of the reviews, the comparisons some writers made and the grades they gave us. There were only very few feedbacks that criticized the album, mainly pointing out the sound of Gisselles voice, the missing clear genre-identity (one analyst calling us a “typical weird Swiss goth act” J) and the length of The Impossible Chain. We are really grateful for all feedbacks and we do appreciate so much all the time and expertise people choose to put into the serious analysis of our work! And of course we can’t wait to play the new material live on stage to the crowd!

9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

- Although you never know, where the journey will take you on a longer term, I have very clear ideas and am currently working on the songs for the next Shadowpath album. The writing and arrangement process will probably take until end of spring 2018, then we plan to head to the studio again later that year. Without telling too much, I can already say: it’s going to be a really special release, continuing right where “Rumours of a Coming Dawn” ends…– but different!

10. 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?

- Oh, there are so many important ones… I think the most important influences for our music come from bands like Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, Dream Theater, Katatonia, Blackfield, or Nightwish. But there are countless more, that have inspired us in one way or the other – Rage is one, Lamb of God, Dire Straits, Grave Digger, but also non-metal acts like Faithless or even classical composers like the greatest of all time, Johann S. Bach.

11. What are some of your non musical interests?

- We’re all friends but very different personalities in the band and our non-musical interests vary widely. Sam (explosives expert) loves the wilderness and runs a small whiskey club. Stefano (engineer) is a huge science fiction-fan and gaming freak. Amos (web designer) does nature photography and hikes a lot in the alps, while Gisselle (linguist) promotes Chilean culture and loves to travel. Me (M.D.), I spend most of my free time with my wife and kids, do close-up magic whenever I can and cook vegetarian food for my friends.

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

- Thankyou so much for the opportunity to speak about the band and your interest in Shadowpath. Hope to see you at a show one day! Stay metal!!

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