Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new album “Moments”. But could you please start off by introducing the readers to Stealing Axion?
We're a progressive metal band from Tacoma, Washington. We have a strong emphasis on heavy riffing as well as melodic atmospheres. We try to bring a lot of different elements to the table musically, from deep groovy rhythms to layered classic prog-ish vocal lines.
And now onto “Moments”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do you want to express with this song etc.
01. Mirage Of Hope
Mirage of Hope was the first song we demoed out when forming the band. When we first all got together we had more of an intention on having a "project" instead of a band, but we quickly realized when finishing this song it was going to be more than that. This songs lyrics are also kind of the foundation for the rest of the album.
Solar drew inspiration from a lot of our influences, from Mike Patton to Dream Theater to Meshuggah. It has a good ebb and flow from heavy to softer sections, and is pretty bass-heavy. It also has quite a few different styles of vocals which is something that we enjoy doing quite a bit.
03. Everything Or Nothing
Everything or Nothing was a song that I wrote that came very quickly and naturally. I had the main verse riff/rhythm in my head all day while at work and continually hummed it to myself until I was able to get home and get it recorded! The entire song starting at the first verse was written in one demo session, and the intro was written later (Which ended up being my favorite part). This is one of the more heavy and aggressive tracks on the album, however it does have a couple "breather" moments.
04. 47 Days Later
47 Days Later was another track that was pretty much written in one demo session. The song is centered around one main rhythm which has slight variations. The intention of this song was to be very chaotic and aggressive. The song continually builds up to a big ending where themes are layered over one another to create a pretty epic finale.
05. The Unwanted Gift
The Unwanted Gift is one of the more "different" tracks on the album. It is very structured and has almost a poppy feel to it at times. This is also one of the songs that changed the most during the recording process, as a lot of different layers/leads/and vocal lines were added in and it sounded quite different from where it started. The chorus of the song has a cool vocal call and response between myself and Josh that was subconsciously inspired by Ayreon now that I sit back and think about it.
Eventide is a song Phil wrote, and I thought it was pretty much perfect right from the demo. It has a really good blend of heavy and soft, and is one of the more "proggy" tunes. The vocals have a cool Devin Townsend/Textures vibe to them and really bring the song together. The instrumental passage at the end is also one of my favorite parts on the album, lots of layers and groove.
Collapse, as the name might suggest, starts out structured and gradually gets more chaotic as it goes on. This is probably the most stylistically diverse track and we throw in a lot of our more weird influences in there. It has heavy riffing, longer chaotic instrumental passages, guitar/key unisons, some auxiliary percussion, and even some choir-style ultra layered vocals. Inspiration includes Gentle Giant, Lamb of God, Frank Zappa and Meshuggah.
08. It's Too Late Now
It's Too Late Now is a ballad-style track. What I like about this song is that although it has a ballady feel, it still has heavy moments and even has some complex rhythmic moments. There's a build up in the middle section of the song that switches from pentuplet feel to triplet feel to standard which I think is really cool. The lyrics are also very dark which contrasts the uplifting manner they are delivered in as well as the mood of the song.
Sleepless is another one of the more structured songs on the album. It has very groovy and mellow verses to contract the driving heavy intro and choruses. The bass is very important to this song as it holds the heavy ostinato-y groove in the verses over the mellow guitars and vocals. There is also a cool tradeoff guitar solo section between Josh and I leading into the climax of the song which is a modulated version of the chorus.
10. Moments Part 1
11. Moments Part 2
I'll talk about Moments as one piece. The idea behind Moments lyrically is the slow destruction of Earth. To compliment the lyrics, the music continually evolves and rarely goes back to any one idea. It pretty much is a journey from beginning to end exploring tons of different sounds. This track also contains probably both the heaviest and the softest parts of the album.
Debut album out fairly soon tell us what kind of feelings does that bring up in you?
A lot of excitement mainly! We've been dying to get Moments out there to new ears and for the people who have been waiting so long for it. Just the other day we receieved the first print of the album and it's hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment that brings to see all the hard work culminating in a finished product. We're also looking forward to touring in support of the record.
Tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?
The artwork was done by a good friend of ours Andy Burdin, and we're very happy with it. When I was growing up I always loved it when a cd/tape had great artwork to accompany the music, it just helped give the album an image I guess. I think Andy captured the feel of the album quite well.
Three singers in one band that’s uncommon. Why this decision? And who of you is doing clean and growling parts?
All three of us love to sing and are big fans of bands who utilize multiple singers. We also used different voices to showcase multiple personalities in the songs which can be a cool way to bring the lyrics to life. Again, Gentle Giant is a big inspiration on some of the overlapping vocal sections we wrote. We all share clean singing/growling duties, although I'd say Josh does most of the clean singing with Phil and I here and there, whereas I do most of the growls.
Who and what has inspired you musically on this album?
All 3 of us have pretty different influences. Musically we drew inspiration from bands like Yes, Meshuggah, Faith No More, Opeth, Devin Townsend and many more. I also think the differences in influences between us helped us influence each other to push ourselves and try new things.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?
I'd just like to thank all the readers for checking us out and be sure to pre-order Moments and catch us on the road in the near future! Find us all over the internet... Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc!
Tommy Skøtt, August 2012