Alkaloid – Pushing the Boundaries of ExtremeSunday, 29th March 2015
Dead Rhetoric: There was a demo track that was released on the USB stick perk [from the Indiegogo campaign] called “House of Life,” was the reason it was left off the album due to not having enough space on the disc?
Tunker: There’s actually way more songs. At the end, we had way too much material-wise. There’s at least three more songs, plus “House of Life.” “House of Life” was one of the first demos, which in the end did not turn out the way we hoped it would. Or, at least it did not fit on the album. I think we just gave up on that one and made it a perk to give it to people and decided not to work on it. But there are a couple of songs that we tracked that we are going to do something with at some point.
Dead Rhetoric: With the length of the album, did you ever feel like it was too much or did everything just come together that way?
Tunker: It just came together that way. We had way more material so it’s not like we didn’t cut anything off the album. There was going to be two or three more songs on it, but in the end we just meshed it together to see what would flow well and that was what we came up with. The only one that came up late in the process was “C-Value Enigma.” That was originally not in the running order but we decided to put it on anyway.
Dead Rhetoric: “C-Value Enigma” was put together in Pro Tools right?
Tunker: Well, it was put together in Pro Tools. What Florian did was that he played the whole thing, but not necessarily up to that speed and not in one go. He just cut it all together in Pro Tools. He edited together certain bits to make it more extreme and faster. But it’s not like he just put a guitar profile through a guitar amp or something. Everything you hear has been really played, but maybe not in one go.
What he originally wanted to do, since most of the album has a concept of it about mixing magic and science, was to make a guitar interlude that would be like a DNA sequence but in audio form. Make it sound really weird, but totally simulate DNA as audio. It originally sounded much weirder, with different effects but he made it a little bit more musical. It came out really well.
Dead Rhetoric: There has been a number of videos that the band has posted to explain the writing and lyrical concepts for the album. Did you figure that the more the public knows about the album, the better to help drive home the concept of the album?
Tunker: That was the main idea. To have more content to get people excited about the material, but also to make it really clear what we put into it. Though we didn’t give everything away; there are still a few secrets that are hidden in the album. We just wanted to make sure, because most people don’t really take the time to dive into an album and find its secrets. Like the Pink Floyd albums, if you were to listen to them on your headphones, you’d hear all those little voices or stuff hidden in there that you have to go back to check if it was really in there. Genesis used to do it a lot too. You can listen the first ten times and not catch it, but at a certain point you’ll hear something weird and you’ll go back and say, “shit, what’s that?” We have that on this album too.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you explain the photo shoot in which all of you are covered in a clay-like substance. Is there significance to the fact that either your eyes or mouths are sealed shut?
Tunker: Not really. That was something that came along in the photo shoot. Hannes had the idea as soon as everyone was on board to work with this photographer who was very artsy. He showed us some of the projects that he had done and we thought it could be really interesting. Florian and I drove down to Munich to do the photo shoot. Initially, we just did normal pictures in his garage. Then we went up to his apartment and he had this make-up girl and a photographer, so that’s what came along. He had this idea of doing clay and paint, which we thought could be interesting so we went along with it. We knew it would look good because this guy was really good, so there was no significance behind it other than to just see what would happen.
Dead Rhetoric: Were you surprised by the level of support that you received with the Indiegogo campaign?
Tunker: Absolutely. We all kind of expected after we posted the first teaser that it could be good. But I don’t think anyone expected it to do as well as it did. It was one of those things; for the first week we were constantly messaging each other and saying how well it was doing. After two weeks we hit the goal and it dragged down a bit, but in the last week it really picked up steam again which was really surprising and really cool.
Dead Rhetoric: With all of the members involved, will Alkaloid be a touring band or is it more of a studio project?
Tunker: That’s such a difficult question! Originally, we started it as a project, because Christian and Hannes were still in Obscura and they were going to be really busy. I was way too busy with Aborted to do anything other than record, because I was looking forward to being away for a year touring, which is exactly what happened. And somewhere along the line, we started talking about maybe doing shows, and it was carefully laid out on the table. But then, before I knew it, even though I knew it was coming, Hannes and Christian stepped out of Obscura, though I didn’t expect it to happen like that. All of a sudden, it became more serious. We started talking about this as not being a project but a real band. I’m sure they had thought about it like that before, but I hadn’t really. I didn’t have time to think about it like that yet. But the more I thought about it, the more excited I got about it. At this point, I still don’t know what we will do or what will be possible, but I hope that we will play lots of shows. There’s no promises I can make, and there are no real ideas yet other than ‘let’s see how the album does.’ It’s not going to be a one-off thing because we are going to start working on new material as soon as possible. And we still have all this other material that we can work on too.
Dead Rhetoric: So what is next for the band as we move through 2015 then?
Tunker: With the album just being released, we are getting really cool reviews and now it’s just ‘let’s see what is going to be possible.’ Let’s see what offers are coming in on the table and see what is possible because all of us are really busy but we also really want to do something with this. Worst case scenario is that we will release another album really soon. Best case scenario – we’ll play lots of shows too.
Dead Rhetoric: As long as I have you here, is there anything going on with Aborted?
Tunker: We going to play some more shows this summer. We will be leaving next week to play a festival in South Africa. Two weeks after that we are going to do a tour in Japan. From what I can gather, that’s the plan at this point. After the summer, we’ll start writing seriously and we want to be in the studio around December to record a new album.
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