Saturday, May 4, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

TPOTR: You've just released your album "Man's Last Portrait" which is one of the finest debuts I have heard in a long time and comes hot on the tail of two E.p.s. At this early stage in the bands existence you are already quit prolific. How long did it take to write and gather all of the material for the album because the songs themselves are well constructed and throughout pieces.

Yuriy: Thanks for such positive feedback on the album! Some of the music on this album was written as far back as four or five years ago. I write down a lot of ideas, and this was my chance to incorporate the ones I've been really wanting to put to use. Other parts were written just months before the recording. It all ended up coming together very quickly - this was during a period when I had the time to really sit down and immerse myself in the songwriting process.

TPOTR: Tell us some more about the writing process, do you write separately or as a whole unite?

Yuriy: I write much of the music on my own, or at least the majority of the guitar and keyboard parts. I find it easier to be creative when I can sit down on my own and collect my thoughts. Once I've got some things written, I would show them to Dave and Ivan and get their input and their ideas. Sometimes Ivan and I would get together and jam on some ideas. That's how the piano section for "As Hope Fades" came to be.

TPOTR: Lyrics seem to play a great part in the music with both complimenting each other for example the music conveys the emotion within the lyrics to devastating effect.

Yuriy: The lyrics are a very important part of the album. We wanted to make sure the right message as well as the right imagery gets conveyed so that it all comes together and creates the right experience for the listener. These were also a very collaborative process, probably more so than the music. Everyone worked together on these.

Dave: The lyrics came last in the process, though, and were written after the writing and arranging of the music was complete. That allowed us to really think about how each song either made us feel or what it reminded us of,\ while working within the boundaries of the concepts and ideas behind the songs and the album, and the lyric-writing process went from there. For example,"What lies beyond" made me think of an episode of the TV show The Universe that I had seen about the end of the universe, and the lyrics
for for that song were thus inspired by it.

 TPOTR: The title of the album ''Man's Last Portrait" is very evocative and open to interpretation. How does it tie in with the whole lyrical concept of the album?

Yuriy: The album deals largely with themes of personal loss, as well as the degradation of our world as a whole, and we felt that the encompasses these topics well. It's also the title of the eighth track on the album, which I think is a good representation of the lyrical themes and the album as a whole.

 TPOTR: Back to the beginning of the band, how did you come together?

Yuriy: We were in uni at the time. Two former members of the band and I were walking back from some show - in New York, I think - and we were talking about starting a band. We were all friends already - most of the metal kids at the school knew each other. And we all played a variety of instruments(except me - I only played guitar, so of course I ended up becoming one of the guitarists). So we started to jam, and actually wrote some pretty cool black/folk metal sounding stuff that never got recorded. Anyway, that's how it all began.

Dave: Two of the original four of us lived in the same house during our 3rd year of university, so all the magic happened there.After about a year of jamming together and writing at least once a week, the ''Being Toward Death'' was born.The rest, as they say, is history.

TPOTR: The bands style is hard to pin down ranging from melodic death metal with elements of black metal, post rock, jazz and even flourishes of classical music which is apparent in the piano playing on the album but yet you show no allegiance to any one style. How would you describe the band's music?

Yuriy: At this point, I'd say a blend of black and doom metal is an accurate description. Most of the sites that reviewed our album used those labels. But genres are useful only for giving people an idea of what something sounds like until they get to hear it. What matters is whether you like what you hear or not. I certainly hope people like what they hear.

Dave: I often describe our sound to people as ''Blackened Doom'' metal as well. but at the same time it feels like a limiting definition.I really hope we're able to continue expanding our musical boundaries on our future releases while still hitting you with the proverbial sonic brick in the face!

TPOTR: What inspires you to create the music you do and who were your influences starting out?

Yuriy: Life, I suppose. I feel the drive to write music, so I do. As far as bands go, there's Woods of Ypres, Ulver, Tenhi, Swallow the Sun, Agalloch...I listen to a bunch of different classical/new age piano stuff as well.

Dave: I was largely inspired by the likes of Iron Maiden (my all-time favourite metal act) and the modern Extreme Metal/melo-death movement and was going through a folk/power metal phase when we started the band. It's funny because I had very little exposure to the styles of metal that really influenced Yuriy's writing before I was in FP, so just being in the band has been a very mind-opening experience musically.

The bands debut album can be downloaded for free from their bandcamp page.


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