ONE STEP BEYOND (for Necromance Web Magazine #6, 2015)

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Tras la reciente salida de su trabajo “The music of chance”, nos pusimos en contacto con esta formación
australiana para que nos contarán más cosas acerca del mismo.

Interview was prepared by David Déniz Plaza (Necromance)necromance magazine 6
Answering Matt Spencer (bass, guitars, vocals)

one step beyond band 11. For the people that don't know about your band, could you tell us a brief history of ONE STEP BEYOND and the current lineup of the band?
Hey mate. Sure. We are from Adelaide in South Australia. We formed in late 1997. We’re now promoting our third full length release named THE MUSIC OF CHANCE. Our current line-up is myself on bass, guitars and vocals, Justin Wood on Vocals, and a rotating cast of drummers. For THE MUSIC OF CHANCE the drummer was Connie from ANATA, whose playing we admire very much.

2. If you had to describe your band in a few words....
Extreme metal crossover, perhaps?

3. With "The music of chance" being your third album, were there some mistakes you learned from in making your two previous albums?
Absolutely! Although as you suggest I prefer to think of them as lessons, more so than mistakes. There are so many minute details I’ve learned from, but one major one I took on board for THE MUSIC OF CHANCE is to record what I feel is the best thing for the recording. By this I mean previously we would leave some layers out of a recording if we couldn’t replicate them live with our line-ups at the time. For example if we only had one guitarist in the band, then the song would only have the one part simultaneously. Of course this part would be layered, but there would be no additional harmonies or rhythms added. For this album it was the song, rather than the stage, that was the priority.

4. What do you feel has changed and what has stayed the same between "The music of chance" and your previous one "Beyond good and evil"?
THE MUSIC OF CHANCE is probably a more guitar driven album. The previous material was commonly written bass first. There’s probably more frequent use of melody on the new one. The others were more concerned with rhythm. Still, I think all our material is a natural progression from that which preceded it. I have no interest in making the same album over and over, although some of my favourite bands do exactly that.

5. How did you approach the writing and recording process?
For writing, mostly guitars first for this one. Riffs first. It’s our first album that I played guitar on. Previously it was just bass. I’m a fingers and thumbs style bassist so it was a time consuming transition to playing guitar with a plectrum.
Some other details... I’d initially programmed all of the drums. We recorded the album to the programmed beats, and then shipped the songs off to Connie. He learnt the beats with meticulous detail. He recorded his drumming at home in Sweden then sent the recordings back. We replaced the drum machine beats with his playing and then I mixed the album at home on a PC.

6. Tell us something more about this latest album please.one step beyond band 2
Musically it’s structured to work best when it’s listened to as an album, rather than just a bunch of songs thrown together in convenient order. Each songs tempo and mood are influenced by what has preceded it. I love albums as an art form and think maybe they’re becoming increasingly under-valued in the current market.
Lyrically it follows a theme of chance and coincidence. Particularly in relation to addiction. All the songs have their own story to tell, but chance is generally the subtext.

7. What are some of the influences in the band?
There are so many of them and it’s a constantly evolving list. Musically some of the most frequent inspirations have been NAPALM DEATH, MACABRE, FRANK ZAPPA, SUFFOCATION, FISHBONE, BILL LASWELL, PARADISE LOST, SLEEP, UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE, GOD SPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR, SIGH, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, PUBLIC ENEMY, VADER, EDGE OF SANITY, LYKATHEA AFLAME, AGALLOCH, PARLIAMENT, LEE SCRATCH PERRY, VERNON REID, HUMAN REMAINS and more. Lyrically the influences range from several of the aforementioned bands, to the works of filmmakers like Bergman, Kurosawa, Linklater, Herzog, Eastwood etc, to authors such as Paul Auster, Haruki Murakami and David Foster Wallace.

8. Which song on the album are you most proud of?
Hard to pick one, but maybe GOOD WORLD GONE BAD or PLANETS LIKE CHESS PIECES. Both have some strong moments that still resonate emotionally with me. Good world gone bad in particular sounds like a very unique musical and vocal arrangement to my ears. I’m very proud of both of their lyrics also.

9. If you could go back and change anything about your previous albums, would you?
I’m happy to have them be exactly as they are. That said, I do intend to re-record LIFE IMITATES ART at some point, with all the additional layers of guitar I’d originally intended for the songs to have.

10. How was the fan and press reaction to this third album?
Mostly very positive. Of course when you make music that draws from differing genres you’re going to upset some people. And there’ve been some reviews that didn’t appreciate our diversity. Mostly very kind things have been written though.

one step beyond band 311. You guys are signed with Metal Scrap Records, how did you guys get hooked up with them?
We shipped a preview of the album to a bunch of labels that appeared to have their shit together, professionally speaking. Then we took the offer that we felt most comfortable committing to. Which was Metal Scrap.

12. What music are you listening to right now? Anybody in particular?
At this very moment, Uncle meat by Frank Zappa. Amazing stuff. So far removed from what most people would consider an album to be capable of. It’s relentlessly innovative and surprising. Other albums getting regular rotation this week include the new Napalm death, OBSEQUIAE, Sigh, BELL WITCH, MORBUS CHRON, MODEL 500, MIDNIGHT, Structures from silence by STEVE ROACH, MICK HARRIS albums as LULL, DEEP CHORD, anything on Firecracker records, A stairway to the stars by THE CARETAKER which is an excellent dark ambient album inspired by the Shining, J-LIVE, THE MARTIANs classic red planet album and Suffocations Breeding the spawn.

13. Any last words to conclude the interview?
Thank you kindly for the questions!


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