ILLUSION OF CONTROL

We all live by the ILLUSION OF CONTROL but this time you don’t have to think to much, just relax and enjoy the music. All answers by Csiszar Gellert (founding member, guitar). Anders Ekdahl ©2018

When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Csiszi: We were just some friends who hung out together all the time, drinking, listening and talking about music and having a good time in general. After a while we figured why not start a band, as we are willing and capable of doing it. So we also started making music together, beside all the drinking and partying. Today, 10 years later, things are a little bit different as everybody is busier and we don’t get to hang out as much as we used to, but our main purpose still is to remain friends and if we get to make some music together than all the better.

How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
Csiszi: I’m not sure that we have our own sound yet, however there are a few very clear concious influences, mainly Opeth and Nevermore. I remember writing bits inspired by Evergrey and Aerosmith among others and the vocals certainly show our love for Savatage, but also contain elements used by Kataklysm and Deicide (growl-scream together). We decided from the start that we don’t want to write formulaic songs (verse-chorus structure). There are a few returning themes but I wouldn’t call them choruses. Also there are lots of unconcious influences, when I know it sounds similar to something but I can’t figure out what, however we try to stay away from shameless rip-offs.

I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Csiszi: Until now we have recorded four songs, the last one being recorded in 2010. Our creative process was pretty simple, write a song, record it, release it. That’s what we did with each song. We didn’t even release them properly or anything, we just uploaded them on the internet wherever we could. For us the biggest issue isn’t the recording itself, rather the songwriting, as it usually takes us a very long time to finish each song. Right now we are still writing our new material and when/if we’ll be ready, we’ll search a suitable studio and record it.

Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
Csiszi: Maybe we will record at home, some instruments at least. It’s a definitely cheaper option so it’s worth considering. Regarding the digital release, we did just that recently, we released our old songs as a digital EP, “Grim New World”. As for ‘staying atop’, first you have to ‘get atop’. As I said before, we are doing this band mainly as a hobby, so we treat it as a hobby. That being said, we decided to release our next material as an album instead of dropping a song now and then, mainly because we feel like an album is a little more than just the sum of its components, it has a certain feel to it.

I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
Csiszi: I don’t know, it’s such a complex issue. On one hand the artist genuinly loses money because some of their fans choose to download their stuff for free. On the other hand however, and this is much less documented, they may gain new fans who will go to their live gigs or even buy their stuff. Maybe their music will reach areas that were unreachable in the old days. As I said it is a tough issue, but the fact that free downloading exists for almost 20 years now, proves to me that it won’t kill music. I think in the future we can expect more great music, the artists (and more importantly the record labels) will find a way to get that sweet-sweet money.

What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Csiszi: We got mostly good feedback, there were some criticism but I don’t remember if anybody straight-up hated it. I think we got the most attention thanks to our vocalist who is capable of awesome clean and harsh vocals. We aren’t doing so bad in the instrumental department either, combining soft and agressive passages, that got us some praise too.

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Csiszi: For me it was when a fan from the USA asked for a CD from us. We still haven’t gotten to a point where we have ‘fans’, our supporters being mainly personal friends, so it was nice knowing that someone from the other side of the globe digs our sound.

Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
Csiszi: Yes, it kind of does, you keep bumping in the same few people and everybody is interconnected. So it is wise to be in good relations with as many people as you can, you never know who knows who. As for the second question, playing in a band and especially playing live gigs, open so many opportunities. You travel around, meet new people, make new connections… and wether you choose to pursue those possibilities or not is up to you.

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Csiszi: For me playing live is essential, it’s the main reason for being in a band. Unfortunately we can’t play as many gigs as we’d like to because of our day jobs but we try to make the best of what we can. Usually there are a few people at each gig who haven’t heard of the band before so if we do a good job than we can increase our following.

What plans do you have for the future?
Csiszi: As I mentioned before, we are writing new stuff for our next material, hopefully to be recorded and released next year. Beside of that, we plan to make a music video in the not-so-distant future and play as many gigs as we can.

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