Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interview with Marc Petralito of APPEARANCE OF NOTHING !

THE STORY : Swiss band Appearance of Nothing was founded 2004 by Pat Gerber (Vocals/Guitar), Yves Lüthi (Drums), Omar Cuna (Bass) and Marc Petralito (Keys). After a short experimental period the band began to write their own songs.
In 2005 the first self-produced demo "Behind Closed Doors" was released, which gained a lot of positive reaction, so the band decided, together with their new lead guitarist Peter Berger, to take a big step forward.
In 2008 "WASTED TIME" was released and the band engaged Markus Teske as producer who worked together with famous bands such as Vanden Plas and Symphony X.
It’s 2010 and Appearance of Nothing have a new recording: "All Gods are Gone". The album has a considerably more aggressive and more modern attitude. Not only the sound but also the collaboration with vocalist  Dan Swanö (ex Edge of Sanity/Nightingale).

So, below you are going to read some really interesting things that Marc told to Heavy Paradise about the band, their influences and their up-coming new album!
-Hello MARC! I 'd like to say that's it's great to have Appearance Of Nothing in Heavy Paradise!

Hi, it's great to be here too. You have a great community going on at Heavy Paradise!

-Thank you! Firstly, can you tell me some things about the creation of the band?

Well we got together the first time in 2004. I saw a post on an online forum in Switzerland from a band that was looking for a keyboarder. They sent me a demo cd with a variety of songs, actually a pretty strange mix of different songs. But you could tell they have fun doing music. So a couple of days later we met and jammed together. That was me on keyboards, Pat on guitars, Omar on bass and Yves on drums.

We pretty soon felt convenient and just kept playing together. From this sessions we created our first demo album "behind closed doors". That was when "Appearance of Nothing" was born.

Then after a couple of shows we felt we should go a step further. So I began to write songs at my home studio and we were looking for a professional producer.

So we ended up with Markus Teske who at this time just recorded Christ0 from VandenPlas and we were really impressed by his work. During the recordings Peter joined us as a lead guitarist and also recorded some stuff. At the same time we decided it would maybe be a good idea to let both Pat and Omar share the part of a lead singer. They both have pretty unique but different voices. This album then became our very first 'professional' studio cd entitled "Wasted Time" which we released in 2008 I think.

-Your album "All Gods Are Gone" is about to be released  in January 21st! Can we have a taste of how this album will sound like?

Compared to the previous album it'll sound more aggressive and a bit tighter. I mean there's still a lot of melodies but the parts seem to fit more together.

The first song 'Mirror's Eye's' is already pretty heavy and Omar did a great job singing a bit rougher on this one. Everyone that has our first album will recognize a small part of this song.
Then '2nd God' has this kind of Pink Floyd part in it that shows up here and there but the chorus is aggressive and modern, especially with Dan Swanö screaming. The third song 'Sweet Enemy' has Devon Graves doing the lead vocals. It begins with a jazzy attitude and ends with this big instrumental and fast second half of the song.
'Destination' is almost 10 minutes long, has some orchestral elements and a really melodic chorus.

'The Call of Eve' is a bit of an experiment. It begins with this trance like riff, which I really like and has a lot off 'techno' elements.
'...I said Silence' changes from aggressive to mellow and back to aggressive. Again Dan Swanö shouting!
The last song 'The Rise and Fall of Nothing' is an instrumental with different styles of music and it closes the album.

-Is the title of the album, "All Gods Are Gone", symbolic?

'All Gods Are Gone' was once part of one song's lyrics. We then changed the lyrics but kept it as an album title, because it sounds strong. Most of the lyrics were written by Pat and are about problems everyone knows. The loss of a close friend or family member or learning to stand on his on feet. So 'All Gods Are Gone' is a bit symbolic in the sense of being alone with his problems, "have all gods left?".
-Which are your influences?

I don't think that I have direct influences, but I try to absorb as much music as possible. All kinds of bands and styles. I like a lot of stuff from Metallica to Muse, Dream Theater, Dimmu Borgir, some mathcore bands, death metal, whatever...

-I noticed that for your new album you have the helping hand of Devon Graves (Psychotic Waltz) and Dan Swanö (Nightingale). Was that contribution helpfull for you?

Dan and Devon both did a wonderful job. We knew that we'd like to have someone who could do some really cool death growls and therefore asked Dan to sing these parts. He even had a headache after the singing but the final result was really worth it, haha.

For the song 'Sweet Enemy' we thought it would be cool to have someone from the outside to give the song a different feeling. I wrote the song, Pat and Omar sung the vocal lines and we recorded a demo version of it. Then I asked Devon if he would like to sing it and gladly he was interested. So we ended up with him singing the verses, Pat and Omar doing the chorus and in the end they all sing together.

-I have to say that your front cover impressed me! Who is responsible for this?

Thanks, the front cover is from Oliver Steiner, a digital artist, who has his own company The idea for the cover was more or less created during the drumming sessions in Germany.
-How do you see the today's progressive metal scene?

Hmm... difficult question.
Most people think of a certain type of music as progressive metal. But I think it developed a lot over the last years. There are so many bands that now have prog influences, but aren't considered as 'pure' prog metal bands. Stuff like Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me, The Faceless and many more. Prog became more of an element in different styles. Sure there still are 'traditional' prog bands such as Dream Theater and so on, but today it really seems that almost every metal style has bands with some prog elements or influences. And thats pretty cool.

-I guess that you have already read that Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater! How does this affect a band to it's future carrer?

I think all of the DT guys are great musicians, so I honestly think they can continue making great music. just listen to the latest James Labrie album. It's really great.
-Is it difficult for someone to be a musician today?

I don't think it's difficult being a musician, because if you like playing music together with other people you already are a musician. It's more difficult to get the people to know your band. There are so many bands out there and a lot of them are also really good. And it's almost impossible to break trough and get trough to the people. Then you also have the TV and Radio companies that just ignore most music, which doesn't help to much either. So I think as a new band band it is really hard or almost impossible to get the attention of the people or of a bigger audience.

-Are we going to see Appearance Of Nothing perform live? What are your future 'live' plans?

We're planing to do a cd release party in february or march next year and then will definitely be playing some live shows, maybe festivals. But I can't tell much concrete dates for now. A support tour would be really great for us... but we'll see.

-Any message to your fans?

Yeah, we're excited what you think about the new album and hopefully we'll have the chance to play somewhere live for you!

-Thanx a lot for sharing these things with Heavy Paradise! I wish you guys all the best!

Thanx, you too!

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