Linear Sphere - Casual listeners may need oxygen!
After receiving a promo for Linear Sphere's debut album Reality Dysfunction, I got an offer to interview them as well. Since I quite enjoyed their progressive metal album I decided to do so. I sent my questions over, and some time later they got answered by guitarist Martin Goulding. Here's there result:
So, how you’re doing?
So, how you’re doing?
We don’t play a particular style, more a style of our own that is the combination of diverse influences within the band. Our debut album “Reality Dysfunction” streams progressive rock, jazz-fusion and death metal elements into a single form which is fairly natural and normal for us! The album features odd rhythms and unconventional harmony and is dark and atmospheric which compliments the lyrical content. There is contrast and dynamic in the compositions that will appeal to the demanding listener that likes to hear something new on each listen. Casual listeners may need oxygen!
Can you describe the process of songwriting within Linear Sphere?
For “Reality Dysfunction,” Charlie (Griffiths-co-guitar player) and i would come up with some riffs or a progression, a theme or rhythmic concept at the same time programming the bass, drums and keys as we went along, trying to establish some kind of direction and identity and gradually building it up layering and adjusting, tweaking and letting rest! After we got something sketched out we would present it to Jos who would then write and records the lyrics. Once the fully completed preproduction draft was settled, we got Nick and Dave to re-layer the drums and bass with their own interpretation. Nick and Dave were new to Linear Sphere at that stage and really wrote their own parts as we recorded them based on the rough guideline of the demo. Now a couple of years down the line we have broadened our writing capability as Nick is an innovative and unique writer who has contributed considerably to our next release and along with our new bass/Chapman Stick player Steve, we will more than likely write as a complete band soon which will be interesting.
Don’t you ever get tired of mainly playing complex compositions? Is there another style of music you’d like to make?
The music gives the illusion there’s more going on than there really is. We just write what we write. We don’t think about making it simple or complex, just what the song requires. Everyone has their own sense of musical texture and flow. This is what ours collectively sounds like. On an individual level, we all have the freedom to explore other projects and styles. Charlie, Nick and I grew up playing together since we were 12 years old and have played professionally everything from jazz-funk to death metal, between us we have played outrageously complex and very simple music and understand that there is good music to be made at every rung of the ladder. In Linear Sphere we have approached music with no boundaries rather than the authenticity required in conventional style.
Tell me how cool that Simpsons guitar is! That shit rules!
Cool! Glad you like it, it was an Ibanez RG550LTD that originally came in black with a mirror scratchplate, but after stripping it down and getting a friend to paint a collage of all but a few of the characters from the Simpsons on it, it was transformed! Along with EMG pick-ups it does the job, although in Linear Sphere Charlie and I use 7 strings. I recorded all the solos on Reality Dysfunction with it so if you want to hear it!
We are very keen to play in Europe, and are in rehearsal at the moment which is going well so hopefully early summer onwards. America would come if a fan base develops, we are still in early days. To see the world with the music would be an amazing thing.
How did you get to such unorthodox vocal lines?
The style of the vocal delivery is very much twined with the lyrical concept which looks at secret societies and their influence on the world and our manipulated sense of reality leading us down the road like lambs to the slaughter! Jos will characterise what it is that he is singing about using every nuance that he has, sometimes clean, high, low, with certain resonances that are needed to convey serious evil! At other times reflective, Jos likes to throw his voice around to create something different, something with the appropriate feel and meaning to the particular word. A lot of people comment on the unique vocal style, warming to it on repeated listens. It is an unorthodox vocal for unorthodox music. The nature of the music being so odd rhythmically and harmonically gives Jos a different type of challenge and one that suggests a fresh new approach.
How the hell did you manage to progress in progressive metal?
I think the key in progressive music is to do what the name suggests and progress, it’s almost ironic that progressive metal can stagnate into a fixed definition with its own set of preconceptions, it would seem more unlikely that two bands could sound similar than not considering the amount of possible influence around us. For us we are not going out of our way to be innovative, it is a natural expression of the multi style influence within the band. For anyone trying to find their own sound there is so much un-tapped it’s unreal, where can you start? Just blend what’s already out there in unusual ratios!
How are the reactions in general about the album (and shows perhaps…)?
The reviews and feedback has been amazing and we’re thankful to all the websites and magazines that have taken the time to review our work which I know can take stamina!! It’s been truly inspirational to be so well received on our debut album and we will look forward to playing the material and presenting a new album in the not too distant future.
Thanks for the interview. If you are interested in hearing some free downloads of “Reality Dysfunction” then visit www.linearsphere.com . Thanks for checking us out.