Pyramaze – Disciples RebirthSunday, 17th May 2015
Dead Rhetoric: When it comes to your keyboard playing and orchestration, how do you balance out when to go full bore and when you think arrangements need to be a little sparse?
Weingarten: That’s a great question. I would say the way I approach my keyboard arrangements and my orchestration is I think of the chorus of the song as the peak, so that should be the most epic part. When you are going from verse to pre-chorus to chorus it should be an upward slope. Verses I tend to create more syncopated piano, harp type things that would compliment the vocals and whatever riff is going on. Then I like to build towards the chorus and have that be the biggest part of the song of course. You have three choruses in a song usually, so each chorus then builds. The second chorus should have more elements building to it so that by the time the third chorus hits, that would be the one where you would go all out as far as layering and melodies, orchestral progressions and things like that. It would be like a mountain range I guess, that’s the way I see things in my head.
Dead Rhetoric: Inner Wound Recordings is the new label for Pyramaze – it seems like for a relatively recent entry in the marketplace, they are assembling a healthy roster with a good outlook on the melodic/power/progressive metal genre – how do you feel about them in comparison to your time with Nightmare and Locomotive?
Weingarten: I think every label has its strengths and weaknesses. I will say that Inner Wound, they are doing it for the right reasons, and that’s one of the main reasons why we are so excited to be a part of their roster. The president of the label is a fan of this kind of music, he knows what’s good and he has an ear for it, plus he really gets behind these bands. We are really happy and feel it’s an honor to be a part of the Inner Wound roster.
Dead Rhetoric: Looking back at your Pyramaze discography, how would you assess each album at this point as far as what you like and if there is anything that you wish you could go back and refine or possibly make stronger?
Weingarten: Hindsight is always 20/20 of course. Each album is very good in its own way, and I’m proud of everything we’ve done. At the same time, each album is different. When you listen to Melancholy Beast and then you listen to Disciples of the Sun, we sound like a pretty different band. That kind of thing is going to happen with lineup changes over the span of a 12 year career that Pyramaze has been around. Each album has something unique to offer that the others don’t – so there really is something for everyone. While it seems like generally speaking people like all of our albums, some people tell us they don’t like one as much as the other – it doesn’t bother me, because I know there’s something within our discography that they are going to like more than something else. The diversity between our albums I think is one of our strong points because I don’t think our music is boring or repetitive. Obviously Disciples of the Sun is a step in the more mature and a bit more modern direction without sacrificing the integrity of the Pyramaze sound and everything we’ve built upon.
Dead Rhetoric: Are you hoping to be able to play out live more with this lineup, especially considering the busy schedule Jacob keeps up with when it comes to his Hansen Studios duties?
Weingarten: Yeah, we are going to do everything that we can. We have one show booked this year already – it might end up being our only one, I’m not sure yet. We’ll see how that plays out – we are playing the Kloften Festival in Haderslev, Denmark. We are mostly going to be reduced to one-off shows at this stage because everyone is so busy, I’m over in the US, our singer lives in Norway, when the stars align we will do everything that we can to make things happen. Right now we aren’t able to do big tours unless the right type of the thing was offered to us.
Dead Rhetoric: Where do you see the power/progressive metal genre at this point? Do you believe you have an extra asset being that the members are spread out internationally to incorporate a wider sonic outlook than say a band based solely in America or a particular European country?
Weingarten: As far as the genre goes, it’s a pretty big umbrella. We are considered a progressive metal band, a melodic metal band, a power metal band- we have all these different elements to our music. I would never want to lump us into one specific genre, because that limits your sound and your fan base. There are a lot of good bands out there like Pagan’s Mind and Kamelot that are at the forefront of the genre and still releasing fantastic albums- so as a whole the genre is doing well. When you have a million bands things can get watered down a little bit – especially when most of them are trying to sound like Dream Theater.
As far as us being spread out all over the world, I can see it being an advantage kind of. It makes things a bit more difficult for us to record and play shows because there’s more organization involved. Because of the internet it’s really a non-issue as far as every other aspect of it.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you handle this fast paced, instant communication technology while leading a productive, in the moment life?
Weingarten: I suppose Apple products help! (laughs). Yeah, the Internet is kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time. I don’t really have a negative outlook on that, it’s just a part of my life that I have to check my Facebook and e-mail all the time.
Dead Rhetoric: As a journalist there are so many record releases this hit my e-mail box that the impact compared to 20 years ago is not there – bands have a tough time sustaining any kind of promotional momentum beyond the first couple of weeks…
Weingarten: I think that’s more due to oversaturation of bands. It’s like people’s attention spans are more limited. That’s why we’ve been trying to put something out for the fans every 2 weeks because we are aware of that attention span issue. We want to keep people interested in what’s going on in the Pyramaze world now with our release coming out…so stay tuned!
Dead Rhetoric: What are some of your favorite hobbies/pastimes that you like to pursue when you have the free time to do so?
Weingarten: Personally I am really into working out and fitness. Being healthy and playing basketball. Of course I have to work a normal job… if you want to call it normal. I live a pretty normal life overall, it’s not like one or the other – I am well balanced.
Dead Rhetoric: Some of your favorite releases as of late include the new Amaranthe, At The Gates, and Scar Symmetry – does diversity help in terms of your outlook and playing for Pyramaze?
Weingarten: Diversity as far as what I listen to? Yeah, and the other guys in the band listen to different things than I do. We really have a huge variety of influences that all find their way into our music. Toke is more of a hard rock guy, Jacob comes from a thrash background with Invocator. I grew up on all the Swedish bands, all the melodic death metal stuff, but I also listen to a lot of film score stuff by Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman, stuff like that. The more influences, the better – that’s how I feel about it.
Dead Rhetoric: How does the rest of 2015 look for Pyramaze in terms of show/touring opportunities? Will the band get started soon the follow-up album so it will come out before the end of this decade?
Weingarten: I don’t know if I am at liberty to say, but I will tell you that it is our intention to keep it going. None of us want to have these big gaps between albums anymore. With our first three records they were coming out every 2 years, and it’s like you pick up momentum with that. Obviously with all the hardships we’ve been through in the last 7 years it took us 7 years to put out this new record. Now that we have this new solid lineup, everyone is on board and we are ready to rock ‘n’ roll, I would say that fans can look forward to more frequent releases. We have a music video coming out soon. The festival circuit is already booked up for this season, but we have our eyes out for the 2016 season, so and who knows… we may have a new release ready to go.
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