Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Algebra Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Tony: We practised a lot in order to support our upcoming release live in a correct way, because it has a lot of complex technical parts.
Edy: From my side, the main update is that I am no longer part of Algebra since a few days and therefore this will be my last interview in order to close off this 7-year first chapter. It was a funny/strange day that I will remember: I arrived at the rehearsal room, went for my amp to turn it on and heard Tony say: “Not so fast, you are out of the band so you may wrap it up and take it home”. Although the way it happened on July 23rd may sound harsh, it is not as bad as it seems. Tony and I have never really gotten along and it only got worst with time. I was also thinking of quitting since over a year, but on the other hand thought: “let’s do one more album and a tour, then we shall see…” On top of that, we ended up getting signed by a great label. Although I would perhaps have waited until a few months after the release, it was good that Tony took the decision now to put an end to our awkward relationship. I still admire him and keep respect, but sometimes people cannot understand each other even after trying very hard.

2.You have a new album coming out in September, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have release din the past?
Tony: The basic musical elements remain the same: speed, aggression, versatility. Regarding the changes, we try to build our songs in an even more furnished way as far as it goes for all the different instruments: solos, clean guitar, double vocal harmonies, bass, etc…
Phil: It differs by an increase in work put into the record. At all levels, I believe that this album is more mature. A more coherent way of songwriting and a better job technically speaking. Regarding the style, I think it’s totally in the vein of what we’ve produced until now… It’s what we like, that’s all.

3.Your music is heavily rooted in the old school thrash metal style but on the more heavier side, what was the decision behind playing this style as opposed to a more modern musical style?
Tony: For me, it’s basically a sense of logic. Do you prefer playing interesting riffs, singing lyrics that you hold on to, because you believe in them and do you play music in order to express yourself, what I’d call the “Metallica Way” or do you rather want ot play crappy riffs, add some horrible drums to it and some weak lyrics, which I’d call the “Thrash Revival” movement?
Phil: It’s not really a decision we made. When we started the band we mostly wanted to play music. Because we listened a lot to thrash, we were naturally inspired by bands such as Sepultura and Forbidden in our songwriting. We ended up being more aggressive through the miracle of time. The modern styles of metal, as you call them, don’t move me and I don’t want to play music just to follow a current trend.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Tony: All of them. Human relations, internal conflicts, the current state of the world, memories, etc, etc…
Edy: To summarize, the first album “Polymorph” was mainly an observation of human survival through adaptation and simulation or, metaphorically, our capacity to “change forms” according to our environment. The new album “Feed the Ego” discusses the mechanism of ego, its fundamental role in human survival and its consequences nowadays on oneself, each other and our surroundings.
Phil: I don’t write many lyrics. But the topics I like to explore are mostly concrete themes such as inequalities and our vision of this world. I like it when the lyrics concur with what the band members think. Talking about Satan doesn’t really match with us.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Algebra'?
Tony: Really ? None. In the beginning, we said to ourselves: “Damn, we need a name that ends with an A and that’s one word, just like “Metallica”. And because we had an alcoholic math teacher in high school, we thought that Algebra would be a good pick. Furthermore, the name wasn’t taken yet..
Edy: At first it was a joke between Phil and a friend during math class when he thought how cool “Algebra” sounded as a thrash band such as Sepultura, Pantera, etcetera. They decided to use it. The crazy thing is that on the other side of town, a friend and I once looked for a band name and I came up with “Algebra” for the same reason, but we kept it as a joke. A few years later, I heard about this band in my town actually called Algebra and couldn’t believe it. A friend showed me their first instrumental demo and I thought it was brilliant. They ended up needing a singer/guitarist and somehow we got acquainted and I joined. We could argue the name then took a more “scientific” connotation with our personal observations and studies of humans and society in the lyrics. In that sense, all humans are scientists.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Tony: For me, the best experience was MetalDays in 2011 (called Metalcamp back then). I like to play festivals where conditions are extreme, where everything goes really quick and where your professionalism is noticed if you’re well prepared. For our live performances, there is only one key word: Intensity!
Edy: Looking back, my favorite shows were those in the sweatiest most confined clubs or even the ones in our own rehearsal room, especially when we started playing. I remember really having a blast with the audience made up of friends all acting carelessly retarded. That’s when I felt the most release from the audience and us.
Phil: Whatever the show may be, we always give everything we have, at least we try, haha! We’ve had the opportunity to play different kinds of stages and it’s not necessarily the biggest stages that I prefer. The proximity with the crowd is important and adds a more special energy.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?
Tony: Not yet. We have get a lot of stuff together because the band just separated ways with Edy. But don’t worry, we want to be back on stage real quick, because it’s very important for us to share the music with the fans and listeners.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of thrash metal?
Tony: Excellent ! Our first album ‘Polymorph’ was self-released. Therefore we did all of our promo ourselves (DIY). Currently, of the 1000 copies, we still have about a hundred left. I spent a lot of time promoting the album online, making fan packages and sending CD’s almost everywhere (Europe, Russia, South America, Canada, etc…), what just shows that you don’t need to lose your time and money sending your album to Nuclear Blast, the basis are the FANS!!!
Phil: Generally speaking, we have received very good reviews for our latest album. Even if our sales do not reach the number of a bigger band, we still managed to send quite a lot of copies worldwide. Mostly thanks to requests sent by e-mail, etc.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Tony: We’ve always moved forward, and it’s currently happening because of Unspeakable Axe Records who will allow us to have better exposure in the USA. Regarding myself, I have always dreamt of playing Japan and Asia.

10.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?
Tony: The classic Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Forbidden, Dark Angel are a never ending inspirational source for thrash, concerning myself, and will always be. When you look at the musical quality of an album like ‘Distortion’ or ‘Time Does Not Heal’, you say to yourself that these dudes put all of their guts into it and that they never had the praise they deserved, no problem, because for a few people they released the best albums on the planet. Currently, while answering these questions, I’m listening to “Queen Of Siam” by Holy Moses, besides that, with summer at the doorstep, my favourite album still remains ‘Sound Of White Noise’ by Anthrax. John Bush is a genius and it’s sad he’s not in the band anymore. Regarding other genres than thrash, I love death metal (God Dethroned, Nile, Suffocation, Dying Fetus), and I’ll add that my favourite band is Bon Jovi.
Phil: Like I said before, it’s mostly thrash bands and i twill remain that way. I listen a lot to Darkthrone lately but that doesn’t make me want to change our style.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Tony: Porn, food, drinking. No, seriously, is there anything else than music on Earth ? It sucks to go to a museum on a Sunday. I’d rather chop my dick off and jump from the balcony…
Phil: Difficult to answer, I like travelling and hiking. Mostly in untamed places. Putting up a tent and cook pasta with a gnarly old portable heater.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Tony: Thanxxxx A LOT for this interview. And to all the fans and readers, feel free to write to us if you have any questions or something else to talk about, we love talking to people about music.
Edy: It has been a pleasure to spend these years with Mat, Phil and Tony, making songs, albums and shows together. Time for us all to move on, so I wish them only the best and see a lot of potential in this new fresh start with a different dynamic.

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