Interview with Ophidian about new album
We caught up with Ophidian to talk about his album ‘Call Of The Void‘, which will be released April 9th on Thunderdome Music. Read the full interview right here as he explains the inspiration behind the album, the production process, his most recent release “End the Earth III” and more.
Hey Ophidian, how are you doing these days?
Hey, I’m doing well. I’m having a few days of relative rest after the insanity of completing the production phase of my album.
How does it feel to have finished the production part of the album?
It feels really good to finally have it all done. It’s been a lot of fun coming up with the concepts and writing the songs, but at the same time keeping an eye on all the details and to-do-lists while going through multiple versions of every track and mix and test version of the CD gets super exhausting, so I’m glad that that part is finally behind me now.
What were the things you enjoyed most during the album’s production process?
For this album I wanted to let go of the idea that every song must be playable live and at least be somewhat DJ-friendly. While I’ve never tried to follow what is fashionable and make my songs fit in with what is hyped at that moment, you always get this feeling that you don’t want to go too abstract and throw people off.
Ironically enough, making music at a time when there is no opportunity to play it out made it easier to do an album that is first and foremost good to just listen to as opposed to mainly working well played out loud at events. This gave me a lot more freedom to explore alternative concepts and arrangements and I really enjoyed going on adventures with some of the songs just to see where they would go.
And what were the biggest challenges you faced?
Getting a song done in every style that I wanted to include on the album, without losing sight of what the project needed to be as a whole. Obviously in the end the songs had to fit together and work as an album as well. I didn’t go super long with some of the arrangements like I’ve done sometimes in the past on non-album projects, even though some of the songs still approach 7 minutes, which I know is really long nowadays. Some of the tracks are also so different to others style-wise that it was hard to compile them in a way that made sense, but I tried to keep a certain flow in the track list.
Another thing was the idea that this was my first big project since signing to Thunderdome Music, meaning that potentially a lot of new listeners were going to check out my work. I wanted to introduce my style to them without changing the tone of my songs, but also without scaring them off.
Can you share more about the storyline behind the album and its inspiration?
After talking with the label, the idea right from the start was to do a traditional artist album in the sense that it’s one CD, all tracks are new, there are no remixes and no collabs. It’s not a compilation of everything I’ve done recently and everybody I’ve worked with, but a stand-alone concept with fresh material.
The album started out somewhat differently to others I’ve done in the past, because often, even before I’d made a single song, I’d already have a pretty much finalized idea of the title and concept of the album. This time I just started on the songs and looked to see where they went. It was pretty clear though that a main theme was going to be personality and different aspects of the mind. Obviously you don’t need to know anything about the concept while listening to the tracks, but for the people who are interested in a deeper take there is a theme to be found. Then again, there’s also the track Subwoofer which doesn’t belong to any theme whatsoever.
What can listeners expect sound-wise from ‘Call of the Void’?
The tracks vary from 150 to 200 BPM, with the most being in the middle of that range. Not a single song has the same BPM as another. Most songs have an Industrial twist to them, but there are also Millennium influences and even a bit of what is now called Early Rave. About half of the tracks are melodic. As mentioned before, some will break away somewhat from the usual way of arranging and building up.
Which track took the longest to produce and why?
It’s hard to tell because I was still working on almost every one of them in some capacity until the day I had to hand them in. If I have to name a few I’d say “Music (The Cosmonaut)” because it was one of the first to be done, but I just kept tweaking the intro and break, and also the mix and master right up to the very end. Also “The Sky on Fire” took a while to get right. It was generally the tracks I wanted to pour the most into that were the hardest to get done.
And can you share something about your most recent release “End the Earth III”?
“End the Earth” is a series I started in 2010 and continued with Part II on my previous album in 2013, and now with the recently released part III. The songs are always about a different aspect of an apocalyptic end to our world, and I’ve tried to make them so that it feels like listening to a horror movie, but as a Hardcore track.
The idea behind this new Part III was experiencing a sort of tear in our reality, and gradually falling more and more into corruption and insanity. It’s actually built out of two songs: I made a song with the unofficial title “Pain” which is what you hear being played “live” in the intro and outro, and a second song which is the psychotic “snap out of reality” that you hear in the middle.
It was important for me to release this song together with its video, because I could use that to help create the atmosphere and further illustrate what was going on at different stages of the song. I’ve heard from people who didn’t “get it” at first listen, but then later while watching the video caught on to the story.
Will we also see some behind the scenes studio session material about the album?
Yes, I’m planning to do one or two videos showing what went into some select songs and explaining some details about the concept, writing and technical side of the production and mix.
Any last words for our readers?
I’m really looking forward to sharing my album with you! It’s been a long while since I’ve done a big project like this in which I can show different sides of my sound and I’m excited to show you what I’ve come up with.
Thanks Ophidian for the catch-up!
No problem, it’s been a pleasure.
Ophidian’s upcoming album ‘Call Of The Void’ will be released on Thunderdome Music on April 9th. Don’t forget to pre-order your signed hardcopy CD or pre-save the digital version.