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KINGBATHMAT: "Overcoming The Monster"
KINGBATHMAT - 'Overcoming The Monster' - The 7th studio album from the U.K. Progressive Rock Band with the rather strange monicker indeed. A collection of six tracks that fuse and cross-polinate the musical genres of Progressive Rock, Grunge, Psychedelica and experimental rock. Find out more about the album, here's the singer/guitarist of the band: John Bassett...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
It's been really good, our audience has grown larger over the last year or so, and therefore there is more interest in this new release. Our last album "Truth Button" sold well and gained us a lot more exposure both online and also through some limited press coverage, so yes, there is more interest in this album than any album we have released before.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
It's a difficult question to answer, as it was recorded in a stop/start fashion over a long period. For example "Kubrick Moon" was recorded in segments, and the last segment, was changed and reworked, and inbetween that alteration, another track was written and recorded. If you include everything from conception, writing, recording, production and mastering, starting from nothing and ending with a mastered CD with six songs, I would say it took roughly 10 months. But actual recording time, would be only 3-5 weeks in total.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to recording
I like to treat each song individually, and mostly compose a style that will fit within that specific song and yet I suppose there is a general production sound that I have in mind now for KingBathmat. A contrast of heavy stoner riffs with dreamlike melodic passages. Although nothing is set in stone, and there have been many happy sonic accidents that have occured which have altered the way a song was originally meant to sound.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process
Hold on, I'll just go and ask myself. Yes, I have loads of input, I (John) produce the album, so, yes, I am in control of that area.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes, I am very happy with the overall sound of the album, I believe its the best, and most cohesive sounding album that I have produced to date.
Did the producer (or you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Not really, I don't think I have any unusual studio practices. I'm somewhat of an autodidact in relation to recording and production and have learnt and taught myself everything through books and websites, so my recording methods are quite boring, I tend to record instruments exactly as I have learnt. I like to experiment with the sounds once they have been recorded.
Please inform us about your favourite songs off the album
I like all of the songs, and yet if you forced me to choose one song above all others then it would be "Kubrick Moon". it's the longest track at nearly 12 minutes and possibly the most difficult track I have had to produce. I think melodically this song builds very well and for me, it carries a real emotional punch. When I listen to it now, in its entirety, I feel that it elicits in me an emotion which I have never experienced with any other song that I have made, and for that unusual reason alone, I would choose that song.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while
I'm attempting to extract an emotional response, firstly in myself and then to anyone who listens to the song, so musically/melodically all themes are universal. Its the potency of that emotional response that I first experience with a song that marks it out as important to me and hopefully this initial response will then translate to others, it depends on how well I can detect them. Lyrics are always added afterwards, its music first, lyrics second.
Kindly inform us how/why you decided to name your band KingBathMat?
12 years ago I used to frequent a chatroom, I would play devil's advocate within conversations and sometimes this would result in online arguments. On one occasion, a regular member of the chatroom, who was disgruntled with me, proclaimed that he would "wipe his feet on my bathmat", this unusual comment inspired me to change my chatroom profile name to "KingBathmat" in attempt to show this person his comments were insignificent. When I first started to post music online I just used that name automatically without too much thought, it is, whatever one's opinion of it, a memorable name, and overtime people who enjoyed the music came to associate that music with that name, so it stuck.
What's the story behind the title of Overcoming The Monster?
The 6 tracks on "Overcoming The Monster" deal with the themes of psychological obstacles (monsters of the mind) that are manufactured in our thoughts, both internally through our insecurities, externally by the outside influence of others and collectively through the mass media which uses fear as a tool to manipulate our perceptions. "Overcoming The Monster" addresses the need to ignore these clandestine forms of control and rise above the Illusory obstacles that are placed in our path in order to deliberately block opportunities that are accessible to everybody.
How would you describe the new CD to any potential new fan?
"Do you like rock music?" "do you find most new releases within the genre of rock, predictable, mundane and derivative?", "are you tired of the stereotypical music that is spoonfed into your everyday life by a formulaic music business", "Do you want something different?", if so, then go to youtube, type in "kingbathmat sentinel", watch the video and see what you think?.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
I think the most important attribute of any possible musical hero is authenticity. Being true to oneself, following your own personal musical path and not allowing yourself to be coerced by unnecessary material gain and trivialities. In other words, not selling yourself out to corporations to sponsor their goods and not affecting a pretence in your personality to fit into a pre-conditioned stereotype. Fundamentally just being yourself and becoming successful as yourself without compromise. There are many well known artists that could be named, but for me, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain personify those qualities in a musical hero.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Yes there is something I'd like to say. I would like to encourage people to actively support independently made music, film and art. I believe It is now, more important than ever. In a world that is becoming more and more prescriptive, where every move we make is tracked by an algorithm in order to estimate what we think, feel, want and desire. It is at a time such as this, that original & inventive art should be championed. If we continue to swallow music/art and film that is made to order, that is designed in mind to target a specific market demographic based upon details gleaned from data. Then any spark of ingenuity in the form of art in the future will be lost. The music business deliberately narrows and stifles the choice and variety of music it makes available to make it easier for them to target their audience. If the public collectively continue to comply with what the music business spoonfeeds them through the mass media within this digital age, then it will continue to restrict the variety of music until you are left with only the incredibly bland and derivitive. By actively seeking out and supporting independently made art you are helping to reverse the stifling of universal expression, which nobody wants. So, if you like it, go and buy "Overcoming The Monster" and invest in other independent artists, otherwise a formulaic future of predictability awaits you.