"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where a recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
GREYLEVEL: "Hypostatic Union"
Melancholia and Radiohead??? Well, Greylevel sort of play a progressive rock version of the above mentioned act also reminiscent to Porcupine Tree, Muse, and just a hint of Pink Floyd. The lyrics are thoughtworthy and the emotional pattern of synthesizers and keyboards are definitely all gloom and doom. It's heavy and dark (in the sense of being melancholic and sorrowful) and it's definitely time to find out more about their album. here's DEREK BARBER...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
So far the overwhelming response has been very positive. We really didn’t know what to expect when we released the album, but we’ve been blown away with the very kind reviews and support that we’ve received. It certainly is very encouraging and makes us want to start working on our next album!
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
The album actually took a while as we did the whole thing in two stages. The first stage was when we did the actual songwriting which ended up producing a demo recording of the full album. The band members then used this demo to master all their parts and to practice for the final recording. Once we were totally prepared, we then went into a professional studio to record the final version of the album.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We use a lot of layers in our music and so our main concern with the sound was ensuring that each of the layers would be heard in the mix. We also wanted to ensure the music was dynamic and that the “heavier” sections really stood out. Basically we just wanted to make sure we captured the sound as best we could and that it sounded great.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Since the whole album was completed in demo form before we went into the
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes, we are very pleased with the end result. We did the album on a very
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Yes, our producer (who also was the primary audio engineer) would always be trying out different miking and recording techniques to get original
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
We weren’t really too concerned about capturing our live sound, but instead we utilized the studio environment to create the most interesting sound we could. We view our live performance as something separate from what we do in the studio. In addition, we are primarily a studio band and don’t play live that often and so really the studio work is our main focus most of the time.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
That’s a tough one! I think probably my favourite song is “Pale Blue Dot” because I really think all the elements came together on that track. I really like the dynamics that we captured there and I think the music really fits well with the lyrics. One lyrical highlight that stands out is the last line of “Already, Not Yet” which says “and all rememberance of sorrow will cease.” I think that line really captures the essence of the album which is to look beyond our very short existence for something greater.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
We definitely tried to capture a mood of introspection and even melancholy. I think with the layers of synths there is sort of epic brooding that flows through the whole album. That was definitely on purpose and from various reviews I’ve read, other people have gotten a similar vibe from the album.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
Yes, I think it does. As I get older I think I get more careful and detail-oriented in how I go about writing songs. When I first started composing, I would just throw songs together and that was “good enough.” These days I definitely take my time with the song writing process and also really try to just enjoy it. A big part of the joy of music for me is the actual process of creating, not necessarily the end result.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
No, ProgRock records gives us complete and total creative freedom. I'm sure if we came up some horrible songs they might reject them, but so far they have been fantastic to work with and they let us simply make music.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
I wish I could share some crazy stories, however all of us are pretty normal guys that love music and technology. One really nice thing about this band is that we all really get along, and it’s just a fun time when we get together and make music. It gives us an opportunity to just hang out, drink good coffee or beer (depending on the time of day) and focus on the music.
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
I always find it hard to describe the sound of the band, but I’ll give it try. I would say that overall we have a fairly expansive sound that can get epic at times, overall we do have a fairly melancholy vibe which some might find a little dark. If you like other bands like Pinapple Thief, Porcupine Tree, Anathema or Pink Floyd – you might want to check out our album and give it a listen. If you do, you can get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think!
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
I'd say some of my primary musical heros are Peter Gabriel, Mark Hollis, Keith Jarrett, Glenn Gould and Miles Davis. As far as influences go, I would say that several bands come to mind such as IQ, Anathema, Porcupine Tree, Marillion, Genesis, and Pink Floyd.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
n closing I would just like to thank you for this interview, it’s been a
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,