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Interview von: arne mit Josh, am: 18.01.2015 ]

Mit „Dormant Heart“ erscheint der zweite Longplayer von SYLOSIS in Viererbesetzung. Auf „Monolith“ hat Lead-Gitarrist Josh Middleton 2012 erstmals auch die Vocals verantwortet. Diese Rolle füllt er auf dem insgesamt vierten Album der Gruppe nun noch selbstverständlicher und souveräner aus. Die stilistische Ausrichtung der Briten zeigt sich ebenfalls gereift. Der Weg weist noch offensichtlicher in die Metal-Breite, ohne dass die Musiker aus Reading dafür ihr variables Spiel einschränken müssten. Stattdessen glänzt das Quartett mit einem variantenreichen, spannenden Songwriting und Heavy-Sound.


Musicscan: How big is the interest in Sylosis releasing a new album? Do you get lots of requests from press people? What are they asking or telling you? Are there unexpected questions?

Sylosis: The interest in Sylosis seems bigger than ever and our fanbase is always growing. We've not really been an overnight success or 'hype' band. It's a slow build for us but I think that's better as we're growing a real organic fan base. I've not heard too much back from the press yet but the few people I have done interviews with have said they think it's our best album yet and I have to agree. No unexpected questions though.

Musicscan: To not to forget about it: what has been the reason for postponing the actual release date of Dormant Heart for several months?

Sylosis: It's not a good time to release albums at the very end of the year and we always end up taking a long time on the mix so it makes more sense to release it in the new year so we have a lot of time to really build up the anticipation properly.

Musicscan: I always had the feeling that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Sylosis. True? Is this something that matters to you? How do you explain it, and do you feel “understood” from what people are telling you?

Sylosis: Yeah I think for the most part, people 'get' what we're doing. I think because we've stuck to what we do and ignored all the trends people have a respect for that. There are some people that don't understand the band. We're heavily influenced by the old bay area thrash but I love vocalists like Phil Anselmo and Chuck from Death who just scream and for some reason people think the vocals are 'metalcore' but I can't stand metalcore or any 'core' music. People also call us melodic death metal a lot which I don't really mind but we aren't influenced by any of that stuff. We play fast, thrashy metal but there's melody in there but we try and do it in our own way....I guess I've made it sound like we're not actually that well understood now haha.

Musicscan: In general: What fuels your fire and keeps you guys interested in the heavy music you create, and being around with your style for awhile now, does it bother you when you see or meet people ignoring you or having a different understanding of what metal means to you?

Sylosis: We don't really let that kind of thing bother us. We stick to what we know and just keep moving forward, ignoring whatever's trendy. It's definitely harder to stay interested in heavy music when there aren't many new bands coming out that do anything for me. The only 'new' band I like from recent years is Black Breath so it's harder to find influences. But that's what pushes us to keep writing. We want to make music that we want to hear and don't feel anyone else is providing.

Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the spirit within the band as of now with having a new drummer and having overcome this car accident in 2013. Have that spirit or the view you have on being touring musicians changed? And has your relationship to music in general maybe changed?

Sylosis: Having Ali in the band on drums is great. He's really enthusiastic and it's refreshing having him in the band. It's definitely breathed some new life into the band. We are a lot more careful when we're deciding on picking drivers or touring transportation now. We're a bit more nervous as passengers but at the end of the day, we just have to get back to doing it and not dwell on it too much.

Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the heavy scene as all as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the heroes you grew up with did before Sylosis were around? Do you think or wish the reception of Sylosis can or will change with Dormant Heart?

Sylosis: We feel good about where we are right now and it seems like things are moving forward really well for us. We keep getting offered bigger and better tours and our fan base is always expanding. I think when Dormant Heart comes out it will just keep things moving forward. Like I said, it's easily our best album to date. More people will take notice of us for sure.

Musicscan: Do you think it's more important for bands to observe the traditions of their style or to push the genre's boundaries? Is there a way to achieve a balance between progression and tradition? What's to say about what Sylosis are doing in this regard? For some parts Dormant Heart can be characterized as let’s say unexpected album…

Sylosis: We aren't a traditionalist band. We have a lot of classic, old school influences in terms of the metal side of things but we also have influences from bands like Cult of Luna and more progressive bands for the really epic, melodic stuff. We don't care about being seen as totally original, but there isn't any other band out there that I know of that mixes these kinds of influences. I wouldn't say Dormant Heart is unexpected. It's the same elements we've had on the past two albums.

Musicscan: Has it been harder or easier to come up with new songs this time? Everyone is always speaking about the so-called difficult third album of a band, but Dormant Heart is already your fourth one. So how did you experience creating it with less pressure to say so? ,-)

Sylosis: We just always keep writing. There is never a period where we stop writing. Once we'd finished the writing for Monolith, we didn't stop. We set aside the songs for that album and kept writing the music for what would be Dormant Heart. Because we're always writing, we don't really feel pressured to make an album or rush things.

Musicscan: To me it seems that Dormant Heart was built up on by far more dark vibes in the instrumental interludes and atmospheric parts. Would you agree? Was this a conscious decision or would you call this a natural development?

Sylosis: We definitely wanted this album to be the darkest album to date. It's the heaviest and darkest music we've done so far but there is that melody in there that we've always had. It was conscious but at the same time I think we've been heading towards a more darker sound for a while now. I wouldn't say there's an obvious black metal influence but in terms of that kind of dark atmosphere and vibe, that's something we like to aim for.

Musicscan: Sylosis finds separation through passion and honesty. Dormant Heart is well balanced, brutal and having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting. Is this close to what you've tried to achieve?

Sylosis: Thank you. Yes that's what we've tried to achieve. We always want to make the best possible music we can. We spend months and months on tiny details in the songs and trying to keep a good balance of heaviness, intensity, melody and good song writing.

Musicscan: Musically and lyrically Sylosis seems like a band fueled by raw emotion which is at the same time tempered by a “reflected” vibe. What are the motives behind writing in this style, what reactions are you seeking to evoke in your audience?

Sylosis: People seem to really 'feel' the emotion that goes into the music. Even when it's an instrumental part of a song. When writing it you can feel it and when people hear it, they seem to pick up on it. There is so much soulless music around these days, especially in metal. Writing this way just comes naturally to be honest.

Musicscan: Did all of you guys had an equal vision about how Dormant Heart should sound like right from the beginning of the working process? What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the band during the writing and recording of the album? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the actual result?

Sylosis: It tends to be me when it comes to that kind of stuff. I usually write at home and demo the songs and then we all mess around with different ideas in the studio which is how it's always been really.

Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with Dormant Heart?

Sylosis: There is a slight concept or at least theme running throughout the album. It's about how people go through life not really thinking for themselves or on autopilot. Not questioning anything. Just accepting whatever was taught to them at school or by their parents in terms of indoctrination or certain traditions. I just want people to think for themselves more. It's not like I'm any different or think I'm better than anyone else, I'm just as bad. There's just so much bullshit in society that doesn't need to be that way if everyone really stood back and looked at how they behaved or what they do and think about the effects it has on other people or the environment.