ANTIQUUS - An Exotic Realm Of Rarified Power Page 3
by Martin Popoff

There's agreement from Scott on high points... "I Am Alive is the most emotional song for me. Every time I play this live, it puts me in a trance. It was written so beautifully." Jesse conversely gives the nod to O Captain My Captain... "When Scott came up with the grinding rhythmic pattern that opens the song, he stated to me that the sounds were supposed to conjure up the image of oars, driving a ship into the unknown... or perhaps they were the sounds of engines, rumbling within the hull of a different kind of ship."

Leaves of Grass contains another cool feature, sez Trevor: "Aside from being one of these big, epic pieces we like to do, it was the first song that we all had vocal performances in. We all had characters to play, and we didn't really know if it was going to work until the moment we actually recorded it."

Shifting to specific challenges putting together such a labyrinthine yet cannily accessible record, Trevor opines that, "I think the fact that we tracked such a complicated album as this in just six days is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks I've ever had to take on throughout my career." Scott in fact tracked all his parts in one day, as did Jesse. Adds Andrew, "Ask any band what they need more of in the studio, and the answer will always be the same - time, and money. We tracked the album in six days, and mixed it in two. On the first two days, when I cut my drum tracks, I was very ill. I was lucky to have completed my stuff in time. Next time around, we are going to try to be a little more relaxed about it, and try to pace ourselves a little better."

"Clarity is what I wanted, first and foremost," says Bak, about the album's crunching, immediate, but still "airy" production. "While Ramayana has that warm, fuzzy kind of '80s analog feel to it, the fact is, it is often a muddy recording. Not to say that is bad, because I like that kind of feel - it often reminds me of Iron Maiden's Powerslave or Helloween's Keeper Of The Seven Keys. But this time around, we needed to have a very solid and punchy recording. We didn't do a lot of the sound effects or other production things that we did last time because we wanted to concentrate more on the story. Also, our label really wanted to make sure that we did as dynamic a recording as possible, and we tried our best to not to compress it to death. A lot of records, especially lately, are over compressed, and while they are loud, there is no depth to them."

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