It started off as me (Jay Jancetic) writing and recording these songs on my Macbook as a means of coping with a lot of very difficult, very personal things I was dealing with at the time. By the time the project started to see the light of day, I was an active member in Harm’s Way (Metal Blade/Deathwish) and I didn’t really have a live lineup, so we released the EP as my “solo project”. Since then we’ve added Greg Bruchert, Phil Marfoglio and Eorl Scholl and we’ve been playing shows and writing music under this lineup and moving away from it just benig my “solo” stuff.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the ep?
Most of my favorite music is both heavy and melodic. I tried very hard to exemplified elements of both when I wrote these 4 songs. I’m also a huge fan of Godflesh, so I was trying to also make this a bit industrial sounding. The fact that I wrote and recorded the majority of this on my computer and programmed the drums electronically seemed like a natural means of lending to that sound as well.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
Everything from my thoughts and frustrations towards orgainized religion to some extremely personal, difficult times that I was going through during those days. I’d rather not get into the details of that too much, but they range from topics related to relationships and how that love/hatred balance can be a fine line in your life. I was in a pretty dark, depressing place at the time, filled with a lot of despair. Writing these songs was my way of getting through that. The lyrics are intentionally left very ambiguous and open for interpretation.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Atonement Theory'?
It’s more deeply explained in the “Prolouge” in the EP insert, but in summary it basically sums up my thoughts that the idea of God itself is nothing that can be proven or disproven by man, therefor the idea that man can become “one with God” and that the son of God sacrificed himself to atone for the sins of man are both nothing more than a theory. A bedtime story.
5.On the ep you recorded everything by yourself, how would you compare it to working with a full band?
That was an interesting and uniqe circumstance for me. When I first started writing and recording these songs on my Macbook, I had no real intention of releasing them or having them see the light of day. I was just writing and recording as a muse for dealing with what I was going through at the time.
When I started to think about completing the project and releasing it, it became extremely time consuming and labor intensive to polish it up, go into the studio to record vocals, have it mixed, edited, masterd and produced a little further etc. And when you’re doing all that yourself with the help of a friend in a studio, it’s just a lot to deal with. There’s no work, responsibilities or costs to spread around to other band members or even a label at that point. Hell, I didn’t even know who (if anyone) was going to want to put it out. I was flying blind. So, it was a very different experience for me. Definitely a labor of love.
6.What are some of the best shows you have played with this project so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Our most recent show here in Chicago just a couple weeks ago was great. It was a record release for Without Waves new record on Prosthetic. They are a great local band seeing some success recently, but the lineup for the show was a great mix of local Chicago bands of varous degrees of metal. I also really enjoyed another local band at that show called Outrun The Sunlight I suggest people check out. Hopefully, Atonement Theory will get to play with some of these bands again.
I’m always over critical of my live performances LOL. I can always find something to improve on, but that’s just me being a perfectionist. I’d like to think we performed very well however.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We have a show coming up here in Chicago with Samorthrace on May 21st that we are looking very forward to.
8.The ep was released on "I Defy Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Some long time friends of mine (Jim Grimes and Nikki Kuntz) had recently started a record label here in Chicago and were working on releasing a deubut 7” for my other band, Black X at the time. They were trying to get their new label off the ground, were looking for other material to release, and I had just started looking for a label that was willing to put time and effort into something that I honestly wasn’t even sure was ever even going to perform live at the time. You have to remember that at the time, it was still just me and I had no idea how or if I was ever going to perform these songs live.
If you’re a label, why would you really want to invest in something that wasn’t performing live? Although I completely understand this, it was one of those things where you need one thing to happen for the other to be set in motion, but you’re not sure which is going to come first. If the record was going to come out, it would give me incentive to move forward with a live line up. But, if no labels where interested because I wasn’t performing live, do I then need put a live lineup together and get out there in hopes of a label having something to be interested it? Both were a lot of work for me personally, so it was sort of a gamble either way.
When I approached Jim and Nikki at IDefy, it seemed like a mutually beneficial thing for both parties. They get to add another release to a label they are trying to get off the ground, and I get an incentice to put a band together to continue moving forward with this project instead of letting it die on a shelf somewhere to collect dust.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and post metal?
Pretty positive, although it’s still a bit early to tell. The record came out in summer of 2016, but we only recently began to promote it, so we’re only recently getting any kind of response or interest really. Thanks to people like yourself!
Most of the interest is coming from overseas from where we are located here in the US. It seems like that sort of sludgey, droney, dark and ominous sounding metal has a better following overseas than it does here in the US, so I think that is pretty cool. I’m hoping one day that will continued interest will bring us over there.
10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
We are currently working on writing a full length actually. We’re going to continue working on that as well as playing shows. We’ll see where things take us from there, but hopefully there’s enough continued interest that this will take us on the road somewhere!
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
That’s a tough one to quantify in a short sentence. My personal influences are all over the place, but I’d say we’re most heavily influenced by bands like Godflesh, Neurosis, Jesu, Isis, Mouth Of the Architect, Type O Negative, Triptykon/Celtic Frost with a smattering of Failure.
I grew up on a lot of old hardcore and Straight Edge bands back in the day. A lot of that still has a special place in my world, but I was eventually more drawn towards heavier and darker music. Like I said earlier, I’m heavily influenced by music that is both heavy and melodic. We’re always striving to walk that think line.
Lately I’ve been listening to the newest Mouth Of The Architect that came out in the fall, the local band I mentioned earlier called Outrun The Sunlight, and as always, a lot of Godflesh and Triptykon.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m into cars. I’ve got a couple cars that I show, one of which I used to track as well. I grew up around cars with my Dad, so I inherited that bug I guess. I also love hockey. I am originally from a small town pretty far north, just a few minutes from Canada, so I’ve been watching and following hockey since as long as I can remember. Go Blackhawks!
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for your time and interest in our band! Support artists you like, otherwise they may not be able to keep releasing music! If anyone is interested, you can check out our EP on this link: