Monday 16 April 2012

Mental Architects- Interview

Hi easter is over and normal service has resumed, during the break i caught up with Bulgaria's Mental Architects who's excellent new album i reviewed Here . Check out what they had to say and if you havent already go listen to thier music.

 PJ-First off let me say thanks for taking time to join us today and welcome.


Nope, thank YOU for having us on Sludgelord.

 Pj-So Aaron Harris produced your new album celebrations and Chris Common produced your last Ep. How did the hook up with two legends happen. And what was it like Working with them.

 MA- Well it all happened through the web. We sought out Chris through the page of the studio he holds with Matt Bayles in Seattle, dropped him a line and we did it . Even though it took some time to work out the scheduling the mix and master of the EP happened in two days. Chris is very professional and very quick, we gave him total freedom when it came down to the mixes and he didn’t let us down. He is the reason the EP sounds the way it does which really challenged us when we were thinking about the next release because it truly was the best recording of us that we had heard up to that point.

 The hook up with Aaron happened while we were browsing the web and stumbled upon an announcement he had made through his web page - He said he was free at the moment and if someone was interested in working with him should send some demos. We were thinking about another EP at the time but when he heard the demos, he encouraged us to do a whole record, so that was that. If we should put our experience in working with Aaron in one word, that word should be “awesome” but put on a galactic scale. Thanks to him we were able to record 2/3 of the album by ourselves, he provided great insight on structuring the songs, he helped us find a sound that related to all of us, he got Bryant from Red Sparowes on the record not mentioning that he did a kick ass job on the mixes and got James Plotkin to master the record. As we said – “awesome on a galactic scale”!

 Pj-Like myself you’re fans of ASIWYFA, and being Irish myself was delighted to hear you also like Kasper Rosa, Bats Adebsi Shank . Has the irish scene had an effect on Bulgarian bands in general or just yourselves.

Well, you could never tell, there are so many bands, so many people but we have quite a few musician friends who are definitely ASIWYFA fanatics. For us the whole Irish attitude towards creating music was really appealing because it’s very immediate, it’s dynamic and it’s emotional. It relates to our cultural background. You guys get straight to the point with the first hit, chord or word. And all of the bands you mentioned are like that. That’s something that should be pointed as reference when considering ASIWYFA’s popularity. People were sick and bored of This Will Destroy You clones and that’s what got us into Irish bands - they are (pardon the cliche) “real” with all of their flaws and everything. Don’t get us wrong we love Lite, Russian Circles and a lot of different bands the obsess over musicianship and composition but when it comes down to well structured composition bursting with emotion, for us Irish bands really stand out! It’s worth mentioning that Belfast is the only city (in recent years) that successfully in our opinion defined a sound which hadn’t happened for a long time and we gather that all comes from the strong connection between musicians in the area. So, we salute you for that!

 Pj- What's the scene in Sofia like is it easy to get gigs and have you a good following there.

 MA- Sofia has a population of about 2 million people and rock music (let alone instrumental rock) doesn’t have the legacy opposed that most Western countries have but we our friends support us and anyone who comes to our shows and doesn’t know us personally, we consider  a great bonus and it time he tends to become our friend.

When it comes down to getting gigs – it’s fairly easy. We talked with Steve from Khuda when we played together here and he said that Leeds (for example) has 40 shows on a Saturday and here (Sofia in particular) you have a choice of about 5 to 10. The trend is that the number of shows/venues/promoters are constantly growing. Definitely we still lack the diversity of shows a city like Dublin can offer.

 Pj- Personally I feel globally there's a real surge in talent both in Instrumental bands and other genres, do you feel the internet has helped expose bands and made it easier to be heard?

Most definitely! We are a perfect example of that. The thing is that the talent has always been there and the Internet has helped expose all of it - some better than other.Heavily touring bands kind of look down on others who don’t because in their eye they – “don’t pay their dues”. But all of us have families and immediate real-life responsibilities which can’t be ignored. If it wasn’t for the Internet we would definitely not be where we are now in terms of popularity or otherwise.

 PJ- There is a great sense of energy present on the album, do you try to put this across when playing live?

 MA- Well, the songs were written to be played live, so I guess what we wanted to do with the record was to try and capture the feeling we had while we were writing the songs. At that time we were definitely exhilarated, so thank you for pointing that out.

 Pj - So have you touring plans lined up or any festival appearances, personally I'd love to see Mental Architects playing in the Uk sometime.

 MA- Well, we wouldn’t want to jinx it but we have around 10 dates planned in Romania, Greece & Bulgaria before the summer season and a possible Irish tour with Kasper Rosa in autumn but let’s wait and see.

 Pj- Thanks for joining us at Sludgelord today, have you a message for anyone reading that hasn't heard your music you would like to pass on.

 We’re available for children’s parties.