ONE STEP BEYOND (for Terroraiser 60/2014)

terroraiser 4 2014Из далекой Австралии доносятся звуки довольно своеобразного death metal, которые издает команда ONE STEP BEYOND. Свой третий альбом "The Music of Chance" австралийцы выпустили на украинском лэйбле Metal Scrap Records, став, таким образом, ближе к отечественному слушателю. С лидером группы Мэттом мы поговорили и о новом альбоме, и вообще о жизни на таком далеком от нас континенте...

Interview was prepared by Thrasnmentor (for Terroraiser 60/2014)


What can fans expect from the third ONE STEP BEYOND album? How would you describe the “The Music Of Chance”? What you consider to be the most important musical developments on “The Music Of Chance” compared to previous releases?
Greetings. The Music of Chance, to my ears, is extreme and eclectic. People could expect an album of 12 unique songs, not 12 versions of the same song. It has many tones, tempos, emotions, genres, concepts and grooves. More than are commonly found on one album. The axis of it all is a blend of death, thrash, black, doom and grind, but if we feel that a song needs an element from any other genre of music then we will incorporate it.
Regarding developments since previous material, this is our first album with a live drummer. We worked with Conny Pettersson from ANATA on replicating the beats I had scripted. He did a brilliant job, showing flair and restraint in equal measures.
Also this album is a little more driven by the guitars. Most of our previous material was written bass first. Most of The Music of Chance was guitar first.
Aside from all that, I feel it respectfully acknowledges our previous material, while incorporating many new things. We are always seeking to expand our musical palette, but not at the cost of our identity.

“The Music Of Chance” was recorded and mixed between 2008-2012. Why this process took so much time?
We had begun to record the album with another drummer and guitarist. After some time it became apparent we would need to source replacements. For the drums we turned to Conny and after some time I decided to do the guitars myself. I had some history on the instrument, but as a finger and thumb style bassist the transition to a pick and a guitar was a time consuming process. It’s not an especially easy album to play, so it took me many months to reach an appropriate standard. When that was recorded I had to re-adjust to bass, building stamina and precision over time. With the drums, the communication process between Conny in Sweden and myself in Australia was just not as efficient as a one on one in the studio situation. Sometimes minor changes could take a couple of days to address. On top of this all I was learning how to record and mix the material as we went along. There was a lot of reading, a lot of trial and error, mixing and remixing. Finally with regards to mastering, we used Colin Marston of Gorguts and Krallice. Colin live in New York. He had a waiting list. This was around the time Gorguts were mixing Coloured Sands. We patiently waited a few more months.

Album was recorded and mixed by Matt Spencer. Why don't you use an outside help when it comes to the production? Are you comfortable doing the production yourself?
There are several reasons I recorded it. For one it’s just something I would like to have a better understanding of, for the purpose of improving song writing and album construction. Secondly, financially I’d prefer to spend a few thousand dollars on some recording gear and produce multiple albums on it, than spend several thousands of dollars on engineer and studio hire every time we want to record an album. Thirdly, I felt that over time if I could become proficient enough at recording and mixing, it would be a much more successful way of making our albums sound the way I want them to. I don’t want our albums to belong to a specific era sonically. It’s important to me that in 20 years someone with an educated ear could hear an album of ours and not immediately guess its time of recording. This is not a quality that’s easy to communicate with an engineer. The downside of this all is that between balancing music, family, work and other demands, it becomes very physically and mentally taxing to write, perform , record and mix the material.

How would you define ONE STEP BEYOND’s sound? In what category would you put ONE STEP BEYOND?
I have no established category to align us with.”Extreme, eclectic metal” might be appropriate.OSB

In your music you mix death, grind, thrash, black metal and many other styles. Tell us more about the vibrations that lead you to write this various stuff? Where do you draw your inspiration for the music? What inspires you most?
I am inspired by so many things, from music to cinema to literature. During this albums composition I found great resonance in the more metaphysical works of Haruki murakami, Paul Auster, Richard Linklater, Ingmar bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky. They all reach points in their work where reality becomes an ambiguous concept. The real becomes unreal and important things happen. They make the implausible become plausible. I am so envious of anyone with that power.
Musically there are hundreds, maybe thousands of bands that inspired me to write the riffs, vocals, beats, lyrics and more for this album. I had a period of abundant creativity after the now extinct website Metal reviews published a great eclectic list of their staffs 100 favourite albums of the 2000’s. I found maybe 30 bands in the list that I had never heard. The list was a great blend of the popular and the obscure. Some bands on it had a big influence over The Music of Chance.

Are there bands that you appreciate a lot or that have brought you a lot of inspiration?
So many yes. I am a music junky and am inspired by the techno of Detroit and much as the death metal of Gothenburg. Some of the acts that I have drawn a lot of inspiration from are Napalm death, Agalloch, Lykathea aflame, Frank Zappa, Vernon Reid, Bill Laswell, Vader, Die apokalyptischen reiter, Fishbone, Suffocation, Underground resistance, Plastikman, Macabre, Autopsy, Public enemy, Sigh, Drudkh, Dismember and many more.

Is it difficult for you to play metal-music in Australia? Did you play abroad with ONE STEP BEYOND?
Yes and no. Instruments and amplification are taxed heavily here, but people are generally well paid and it’s easy enough to strike a balance between a day job and making music. There are plenty of metal heads here, but perhaps not with such open minds as else-where in the world.
Touring nationally is expensive. It’s a long distance between most cities, with mostly uninhabited land in between. International shows are seriously expensive to arrange. The average return flight to Europe or America is $2000 US per person. That can mean around $10000 US just to fly a band there and back.

How are the relations between the bands in the Australia? What’s your opinion about the Australian Metal scene? What bands / styles do you like especially, which absolutely not?
I am not qualified to answer this. I am currently very detached from the scene here. I just make my music and spend time with my people. Some are involved with the scene, but we don’t discuss it much.
There have been plenty of Australian bands I have enjoyed. Most recently I was loaned the Elysian blaze album. I dig it. My all time favourite Australian metal release is Blooddusters “Fisting the dead”. So many great riffs and beats. I love the drum fills on it. The vocals are absolutely terrifying, but there’s a great humour to it.
Regarding bands I absolutely don’t like, there are plenty of them, but it would contribute nothing positive for me to speak negatively of them, so I wont.

How did you manage to get a deal with Metal Scrap? What are you waiting for from this co-operation?
It was as simple as emailing a promo package. They responded with an offer. We accepted. We expect his connections will give us the opportunity to put our music in front of more people than we are currently able to do ourselves.

What can we expect from ONE STEP BEYOND in the near future?
More albums. Our next one is all recorded. When that is mixed I will write another. Albums are our absolute priority.


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