Saturday, April 5, 2014

Geist Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We started this band with a desire to do something technical but still heavy on the riffs and melodies. Today, there's much focus on technicality but very little thought about what actually constitutes a song. In this manner, melody is very important to us. Graham (Bassist) and I (Luke, Guitars/Vocals) have been plotting to put a band together for about a decade. However, he and I were always involved in other projects and time was not a luxury we had. We finally decided to put the thing into action. It took us about a year to find Zach (drums/percussion), and during that time we focused on songwriting and defining what we wanted the band to be about, song structure, lyrical content, etc. We had originally planned on Geist being an instrumental band. Then, once I had put lyrics to one song, I was pretty much forced into adding vocals to the rest of them.

2.How would you describe your musical sound?
Simply put, we try to make Progressive Black Metal. We take a lot from technical & progressive bands and try to arrange similarly thought out ideas and lay them over black metal melodies. So, in the end, we have music that is dark and disturbing in its reality that is not confined by time signatures, black metal that is freed from the commonalities.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I try to make the lyrics realistic. They may not all be about true stories, but they are certainly about real possibilities. Reality is far more frightening than fantasy.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Geist'?
We chose the name Geist from our fondness of the Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Geist means spirit or ghost. It is a living thing that is a part of all of us and, at the same time, extends beyond us. I like to view the idea of the Geist as something that acts as a witness. It watches us over time. It sees all of our actions, it knows our secrets. 

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
One of our most fun shows was one that we recently played at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO. We had just played with Abigail Williams a couple of weeks before and that show did not go so well. We wanted the next one to be different. So, we booked up the venue with some of the "best of the best" in the area. We played with Creaturezoid, Legend, & A Hill To Die Upon. Great lineup with great friends equals a great night. 
Another good one was at a local DIY spot. I love the atmosphere in places like that because people are truly there for the music. There's no bullshit behavior, no drunks, no frat boys looking to score with drunk girls. Just the love of music. The crowd really got into it. Probably the best reception we've yet had.

6.Do you have any plans to do a tour outside of your state in the future?
We're possibly planning on a small, month-long tour this summer with a fellow label-band, As Earth Shatters. We played with them a couple of weeks ago and they are really great guys and a great band. They asked us to join them and, if it all works out, we will.

7.The new album is coming out on Hard Wood Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
It's a great group of guys with great ideas. They are really focused on getting good bands that know their stuff. They are really moving forward with positive ideas and we're glad to be a part of it all. Travis, the label head, has a TON of great ideas for the future and the drive to make it all happen. They have been more than eager to work with us and make us feel supported.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive and extreme metal?
It's hard to say at his point. Since the release of our sing for "The Dark Core," we have been getting a lot more attention, mostly stateside but some around the globe as well. It's nice to have someone contact you from another country that digs what you do. It let's us know that we might be on the right track. We intend to make that continue even farther once the new album is out.

9.Can you tell us a little bit more about the other musical projects that some of the band members are involved with?
At the start of this band, I was in a straight-forward rock band called Triple P, but once Geist got signed, I decided to put all of my focus on this project. However, I have been working on a new project from time to time with a drummer. For this one it'll just be him and myself and I'll be playing bass. I also do a lot of solo recording. I just released an album last year and I'm working on another to be released later this year.
Graham is in another band called Don't Mind Dying. They are a blues-based rock outfit. It's blues at it's roots but it has a heaviness to it that is really fun. He was, until recently also playing with another group called The Mercury Trio, but he played his last show with them last weekend.
Zach is a busy dude. No doubt about it. He plays with us in Geist, he is in another band called Perceiving the Design (also on Hard Wood Records), and he also plays in a 3rd band called Nevalra. He also frequently plays in the local drum corps. He doesn't seem to mind being this busy though. Whatever makes him happy and keeps him outta trouble, ha! 

10.You have a new album coming out this year, what can metal fans expect from the record once it is released?
I know everyone wants to feel like they are breaking new ground. I can't say that we'll be inventing or re-imagining anything. I do however feel that we will turn some heads with the structure of the songs. Maybe not so much of the "what," but the "how" of what we're doing is different, if that makes sense. We're taking ideas from a few different levels and crossing them in ways I've not heard before. It'll be heavy, it'll be thought provoking, and I think it'll give the listener a lot to hold on to, even if we are blurring the lines between sub-genres.

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The bands that have had the biggest influence, as far as my writing for Geist is considered, are fairly standard. Opeth, God Dethroned, Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borgir, & Diabolical Masquerade, to name a few. We take some ideas those bands and toss them in with what we like about more complex acts such as Blotted Science or Animals as Leaders.
Right now, personally, I'm into a lot of black metal. There's so many great acts that are totally underground and reveling in it (as they should). Sorcier Des Glaces' new album has been in constant play in my home. I love the atmospheric, the white noise, the screams of despair that are so prevalent in black metal.It's oddly meditative. 

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I'm a student of Philosophy, History, and Religion. Not that I consider myself to be a philosopher, and I'm certainly not a religious person by definition. I mainly view it as a study of people. It's interesting to see what causes people to believe what they believe, looking at the big picture to see what gives rise to our choices.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We hope that everyone enjoys our music or, at least, can take something from it. We thank everyone for the support we have had thus far and we are looking forward to a very productive future with Geist.
Thank you!

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