This has been one of the harder intros to an interview I've had to write in a while. Which I think is a good thing, because it means that I've been so consumed with listening to Suspyre's When Time Fades that it boarders on obsession. So wrapped up in the intricacy, complexity and every delicious nuance of this album that it took awhile to come up with the right words to explain to you how absolutely stunning this album is. Its one of those rare times where mere words just don't do the band or their music true justice. So instead of my prattling on and on about my new found love for Suspyre, I think its best I let bassist Andrew Distabile tell you about Suspyre's When Time Fades.
You've been pretty busy. When Time Fades has yet to hit the shelves and you're off to Netherlands for the ProgPower Festival on October 5th. Have you played a festival like ProgPower before? Is there anyone playing that you're looking forward to seeing there?
The closest thing that we have played to a festival of this magnitude was Chicago Powerfest 2007 back in April of 2007. Playing festivals is a nice change for me, personally, because of the high level of organization and the people you get to meet and work with. Everyone we came in contact with in Chicago was awesome and getting to swap stories with other bands is always a pleasure.
I look forward to seeing Zero Hour again in Europe because we played a few shows with them back in 2007 on their East Coast tour. As always, I look forward to seeing the other bands as well because of the phenomenal talent they all bring to the table. Getting to know everyone while staying at the hotel and hanging out with all the members will be a wonderful experience as well as hopefully making new bonds or even opening new doors for Suspyre.
You've recently added April Sese to the lineup on keyboards. How has the new lineup been working out with the new addition?
There is Suspyre and then there is Suspyre with keyboards. The difference April has made in the live sound of the band has been incredible and it can only get better from here. April is just as dedicated as the rest of the band and is willing to put hours upon hours of practice and labor into learning and playing the parts while still putting her own flare in the songs. The band has put a lot of pressure on her with shows looming closer and closer but April stepped up to the challenge and we couldn’t be happier.
On Sept 20 you held a record release party for When Time Fades where you played material from all three albums. How was the new material received? How did the fans respond to such an intense performance.
The reaction of the crowd was intense. I think having Possession up on myspace so that the fans had a chance to take in the new material before the release party really helped. Everyone really seemed to appreciate the music more once they saw it played live and got a chance to see how technically involved everything is. On top of that, we try to play the material like it is on the album which makes it a little more difficult. When I go to a concert I expect the band to sound better than they do on a cd. Technical music and hard to play riffs are awesome if they can be replicated live and shown to an audience.
Musically When Time Fades has a much bigger and complex sound than your last two albums. Did you go into making this album with the thought of topping the last two in mind?
Not at all. Some of the material on ‘When Time Fades…’ was actually written before the Silvery Image. The music on the new album just all seemed to fit together and the thought of topping the previous two records never crossed anyone’s mind. In the end, of course, you look back and say “This is probably my favorite album” but not once did I think that when I recorded the first note.
when writing an album is there one person who composes the music or writes lyrics. Or do you prefer a collaborative approach to song writing?
Everyone has the option to put in their opinion on composing the music, but to be perfectly honest, Gregg does a terrific job in that department. There are times where I may suggest a minor change here and there but overall I have no reason to change anything. Gregg’s techniques in composing music are absolutely incredible so for the most part he writes all the material while Clay writes the lyrics.
You're also lined up to play the Hellstock in 2009. When playing shows do you prefer the vastness of arena and festival shows to the intimacy of smaller venues?
I think festivals attract my attention more than any other type of venue. Arenas are too large and offer a limited way to talk to fans, share stories with other bands or band members and offer no way to “hang out” after the gig. Smaller venues just do not hold enough people! Although I have no objection to playing a smaller venue I just happen to feel that festivals are the perfect size and offer the best of an audience, and being able to socialize afterwards.
Outside of the two festivals are there any plans for more extensive touring?
There are some opportunities coming up that we are currently exploring but as of now nothing happens to be set in stone. But you never know what might happen…
Is there anything else you want to add before we wrap?
As always, I want to thank the fans that make this all possible. The feedback so far from the new album has been nothing but positive and I really truly appreciate all of the comments and the devotion of a lot of people coming to our shows and supporting the cause. Of course, Ken Golden and the rest of the Sensory team has been nothing but terrific to Suspyre and we appreciate all of the effort and support we have gotten during the recording of “When Time Fades…” and all of the upcoming opportunities that appear in the future. Thank you for the opportunity to answer the questions and I look forward to do this again!