Tell us more about your new album “ Phantom Amour”, what was the most difficult moment while preparing it?and the most rewarding one?
The album was built in pieces.
About half of it was written during our six month writing break and the other half was written in the studio.
We started the recording process with about 20 or so demo’s and took it from there. The hardest part for me as a vocalist was preparing for more of a cleaner and melodic style of singing.
I have never ventured too far into that realm, so it was a little nerve wracking.
The most rewarding was obviously seeing the hard work come to life and putting out a record I have always wanted to put out.
Are there any ‘crazy’ behind the scenes anecdotes from the album sessions that you can share with us?
Not really, most of us can be particularly hard drinkers when the occasion is called for, so I am sure there were a lot of great stories that we do not remember.
Is there a link, lyrically speaking, between all its songs?
They all have to do with my life in a sense.
It’s a very personal album for me in particular.
I do add a decent amount of artistic merit to it but adding different themes.
I talk about things I enjoy learning about like novels, archetypes, romance and politics.
What inspired the verses of “The Shadow”?
Different experiences in my life that have led me in one way or another down a dark road.
And “Let It Ride”?
The manic side of myself.
I guess you can say my “shadow” with unwarranted arrogance.
What is the best verse you ever wrote?
There are a few I am particularly proud of.
Some on this record and some on Nocturnal.
As for this record, I like the verses in “Let It Ride” because I wrote them in 10 minutes one morning when I was all hopped up on some bucks.
Jubilee, because I have been sitting on those lyrics for a while and waiting for the perfect time to use them, that is always cool to see.
Also, Facing East from a Western shore. That almost R&B-ish verse was free styled with a particular theme in mind, “finding a home out west”.
And the one of your favorite song (not written by you)?
“All Along the Watchtower” – Jimi Hendrix version and “Wooden Ships” – CSN are the first two songs that come to mind.
How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
I always write the melody and rhythm first.
Than I will take one of the countless free-writes I do and try to meld it into the equation.
I find it impossible to write the lyrics first and put those exact lyrics into a song.
I go back and forth and feel everything out, and slowly start to bring everything together.
What is the last song you wrote?
What does music mean to you?
It saved my life.
So much so that I quit a fairly successful and overly dedicated hockey career for a year to pursue music.
It destroyed everyone around me who invested so much time and effort into hockey.
I never stopped playing after that year and continued to play for fun in college, but music always came first.
What makes you happy in life?
At this point in my life, I don’t know.
I think a good balance between stability and chaos.
I like what Oscar Wilde once said “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
Are you planning to tour soon?
We are doing a week run with Meshuggah in January.
That should be a lot of fun.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Adenium”?
That was one of the songs that was written in the studio.
I do not remember the exact day, but I remember switching two or three parts around for about a week when I was trying to figure out how the chorus should go.
Photo credit: Jonathan Thorpe