RYL: The new album is out! “Denizens of the Depths” was just released few days ago….how is the reaction of your fans so far?
RETCONSTRUCT: The album release response has been wonderful. Fans we made during our first electronic album “Dear Doomsday” have stayed on board with us for the symphonic metal release of “Denizens of the Depths” with the significant stylistic change it brought.
New fans made as we’ve played “Denizens of the Depths” songs live over the last year or so and previewed songs over internet radio stations have embraced us as well.
There’s something about us that fans of multiple music genres find accessible. Whether we share a stage with thrash or black metal, gothic or death rock… we seem to fit in enough to gain new fans wherever we play and stand out enough to keep those fans long after.
RYL: Is there a main message you want to communicate with its songs?
RETCONSTRUCT: All RetConStruct songs are pure fantasy… there’s no current social commentary, personal, emotional or political unified message shared between them.
However, the subject matter for most of the songs, new and old, leans toward the apocalyptic – a favorite topic of ours. Each song represents a standalone story with some sharing specific phrases in an “Easter egg” style.
For example, the album name “Denizens of the Depths” doesn’t come from a title track song but the phrase is mentioned in both the “What Lies Below” and “Moskstraumen” lyrics.
RYL: “Moskstraumen” is the song that, according to ITunes, obtained the biggest success….why in your opinion?
RETCONSTRUCT: “Moskstraumen” is a metal re-make of the song “The Maelstrom” from our first album, where it stood out as a fan favorite as well. The track translated easily from being a dance floor hit to the head banging mosh pit driver it is now. Perhaps it’s that same addictive tempo that has kept it dear in the hearts of new fans and old.
RYL: Our favorite is “The Ravage of Ages”, tell us everything about it…
RETCONSTRUCT: “The Ravage of Ages” is a volcanic tale based mainly on the ancient eruptions of Mt. Thera and Mt. Vesuvius. As a child growing up in WA state during the 1980’s I developed a long standing fascination with volcanoes from listening to my family’s firsthand accounts of the Mt. St. Helens eruption.
I used their accounts along with the historic accounts from Pompeii and Herculaneum for the imagery then turned to the Mt. Thera eruption for the structure of my fictional catastrophe. Mt. Thera was the center of an island near Greece.
Victims first suffered the initial explosion, then as the caldera collapsed, they were subject to multiple double assaults of earthquakes and tidal waves.
RYL: How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
RETCONSTRUCT: Our producer Guy Valdes will give me full or partially composed songs which I then listen to repeatedly, especially while on my 1 hour long commute. I’ll find myself first humming along, then singing nonsensically until all of the sudden a line or two of verse slips out.
Once I’ve got those down I’ll add a few more around them, following the beat of the song until a real idea forms. Then the other fun part starts – researching the subject matter through resources such as Wikipedia, documentary films, or enjoying related works of fiction.
I’m particularly fond of alliteration and sibilance, so I try to slip in some whenever I can. Once the song is fully written I’ll practice repeatedly, removing or reworking anything failing to roll of the tongue.
RYL: Lyrically, which is the main difference between your way of writing lyrics in “Dear Doomsday” and this new album?
RETCONSTRUCT: While I maintained some of the style I used during “Dear Doomsday” I also abandoned certain practices. “Dear Doomsday” was enjoyed world-wide over the internet yet we rarely performed it live.
I found the wordy way in which I wrote such songs as “Dark Days” didn’t work as well for concerts as it did in studio. I also tried to avoid monorhyme as I used in older songs such as “Invasive Species” and instead structured the “Denizens of the Depths” patterns in a more complex manner.
RYL: Which is the best verse you ever wrote? (or, at least, the closest one to you)
RETCONSTRUCT: My current favorite is from “What Lies Below” but how do we choose between children?
“Behold their souls all abandoned adorn the land like rays of sun sustained in silent sweet repose possessed of what Hell lies below”
The metaphoric imagery coupled with the alliteration and sibilance make this phrase especially enjoyable for me.
RYL: Tell us about the tour, where we will see you this summer?
RETCONSTRUCT: We have enjoyed a string of “one-off” shows this year regionally along the US West Coast, most recently a mini tour of Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. Next up at the time of this interview are two local June shows in our home town of San Jose, CA then nearby Oakland, CA. July 1st brings us to San Francisco opening for legendary My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. After that, a brief hiatus, as we confirm some more upcoming bookings for late summer / early fall.
RYL: Last Question: What inspired “Storm The Castle”?
RETCONSTRUCT: Many of my favorite things! I wanted an evil queen, a foreboding fortress, a rebellious populace and of course… dragons! I’ve been a long time fantasy fan so perhaps it is an amalgamation of elements from several stories.
I watch a current TV series called “Once Upon a Time” that spurred my imagination that direction around the same time that the song was composed and so inspired the song in part. I very much enjoyed the research portion for this song.
The Norman or “motte and bailey” castle geography is featured in the song with a bit of a Gothic cathedral twist in the architectural imagery.