When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Will: The band was formed in 2007 when Alex Repetti met Alex Raykin in college.
Alex: We quickly realized we had great musical chemistry, and a love for progressive metal concept albums. From there, we decided to make a project that was dedicated to making long-form concept albums that tell in-depth stories. We teamed up with vocalist/co-writer Will Severin in 2012 for Infinite Spectrum’s “Misguided” and he brought an even more cinematic element to the band.
Will: Greg Schwab (drums) and multi-talented keyboardist/harpist Katie Pachnos came on board for Infinite Spectrum’s critically acclaimed Sensory Records release “Haunter of the Dark.” All the members bring additional unique layers to the band’s sound.
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?
Alex: For us it’s the variety of musical influences in our collective backgrounds that make up our sound. In one song we may start with a metal riff, before evolving into a more progressive keyboard break which might blend with more cinematic orchestration elements.
Will: The prog metal influences are strong in this band, but the members of the band veer into other idioms, whether it’s jazz, classical, etc.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Alex: It’s an interesting process. As our albums are concept-based, the thing that comes first is a semblance of a story to hang the project on. Once that is fleshed out we start the music composition end of things, roughing out the general structure of the songs.
Will: The vocal melodies and lyrics are then added and we reshape the song structure as needed. After things are locked in, we begin to work out specific arrangements with regard to the instrumentation and orchestration.
Alex: We all have our own studios, so other than tracking drums in a larger facility most parts are mainly recorded in-house.
Will: We’ve worked with engineer Chris Theis since the start and he gets our work flow and does a killer job with the mixes.
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?
Alex: We’ve done a few one off singles (“The Killing Time”, “Under One God”) that haven’t been album cuts and experimented with that, but we are all about the concept-based project.
Will: For us the full album is the best medium to tell a real in-depth story. We explored an epic dark fantasy storyline with our debut “Misguided” and our Sensory records release “Haunter of the Dark” is based on a story by master of horror H.P. Lovecraft.
Alex: The audience response has been great with the full length projects and I think you get more bang out of a full release than with a single release as there is more to market and ride for a while.
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?
Will: There is a lot of truth to that. It’s a little bit of a disconnect in that some music fans don’t understand that in order for their favorite artists to continue making records, the audience needs to support the artists.
Alex: I think that for artists to survive in this current climate, they need to rely on ticket sales and merchandise to make things work.
Will: Probably not relative to our style of music, but licensing for film, tv, etc. is another avenue to revenue that has actually provided a platform to previously unknown bands.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Will: Well, the latest release (“Haunter of the Dark”) has gotten some great notices from the critics and music fans. Outburn magazine gave us a 9/10 and outlets like PROG! have followed us, so that’s pretty validating.
Alex: The response to our live show has been very rewarding and it has been a thrill to share the stage with some of our heroes like Carl Palmer, Haken, etc. We’re excited to head out on the road with prog-metal legends Fates Warning on their U.S. tour this summer.
Will: We can’t wait to bring our show to new audiences and make new fans.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Alex: Well, for us it’s that we hear directly from the fans and we can respond immediately in a one-to-one way.
Will: We’ve gotten a lot of props from people on the new album, live performances, etc. It’s nice to know that people appreciate what you’re doing and that they want to stay in touch.
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?
Alex: Being involved in this band has allowed us to work together to bring a music-based concept to life and we do feel that we’re part of a bigger community.
Will: The prog rock community is a really supportive one, so we feel fortunate to have met new friends and developed relationships with other bands and fans, too.
Alex: Playing live is really important to making that happen.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Alex: For us the live scene is all about building relationships with bands, clubs, and audiences. You work your way up.
Will: The more shows you play, the more audiences you reach, so live shows are huge in creating a bigger following.
What plans do you have for the future?
Will: We’re psyched about touring as support with Fates Warning (June 11 – July 1) and we’re also headlining Progpocalypse Now, a special progressive rock event at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on July 15th. We’ll be playing with prog-rockers The Tea Club (theteaclub.net) and jazz fusion group Crazy Swedes (crazy-swedes.com).
Alex: That will be a great night for sure. We’ve also been writing material for the next CD and that has been a lot of fun. We’re looking to start tracking later this year and we’ll keep you in the loop with updates on the next release. You can stay up to date with us at infinitespectrum.net.