|Born from shatter, as its name states, yet Shardborn is as exceptional as its Tunes, another band bringing you distinguished music, a strange and bountiful mix of Metal and Electronica, for the pleasure of your ears.|
Gabe: Thank you, we're doing well, And we're very pleased with the response we're getting from our demo.
El Evil Emperor: I'll start by commenting on your name and a fact you mentioned about it; you said: "I think the Definition of 'Born among Fragments' makes a lot of sense", referring to the old band 'Valthum', Care to tell us about your experience with this band ?
Gabe: Valthum was our first serious band, its direction was towards Gothic Black Metal, it was compromised of just 5 mutual friends and was more for fun than a serious musical direction and effort; after a while, the schedule was just too difficult to keep up with, so we decided to disband.
El Evil Emperor: And hence came Shardborn. So tell us about your dawn? How did you form the band and how were your beginnings ?
Gabe: Well, It was started simply because Matt and I still had a drive to write metal music, when we were in the beginnings we decided that because it was only the two of us, it would be a "studio" band, we didn't have any specific direction, just to write some black metal; so a month or so later, we released our first song "The Harvest" (didn't sound quite as it did later on the demo), soon after that we began toying with the idea of being experimental and adding more eclectic influences.
El Evil Emperor: You have identified yourselves as an Experimental Black Metal Band, to what does the experimentation aspect refer? Is it the 'Experience' through the composition process or yet the Instruments and the Riffs that give your music an Experimental timber ?
Gabe: Well, I view our "Experimental" quality in two different ways: Threat Of Dawn's experimental aspect is in the song writing, reflective lyrics, unfamiliar song structures, and innovative harmonies and melodies; our first album (still yet to be named) will take our music in a very different direction, it will combine Black Metal with Electronica, New Age, and Dance.
In that prospect alone it would be considered "Experimental" but we will also be utilizing a lot of technologies foreign to metal, such as heavy use of Synthesizers, Auto-Tune, Vocoders, and maybe some Electronic drums.
El Evil Emperor: Yes, in fact various Influences may be felt and heard while listening to your music, from Electronica, to Noise, to New Age and of course Black Metal's usual guitar tremolo picking and Vocals among others; So what are your favorite bands, and what are your influences ?
Gabe: From the Black Metal spectrum I am very influenced by Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Keep of Kalessin, Bal-Sagoth and Satyricon.
Other more eclectic influences are Combichrist, VnV Nation, Julien-K, Lady GaGa (Yes, really!), Basshunter, Loreena McKennit, Angels of Venice.
I think that our combined musical tastes really add to our musical output, we're not afraid to venture into unknown territories.
El Evil Emperor: Very well; on another side, It must be easy to get along on the composition process and lyrics, since you are only two members; but what does usually cause unrest within the band, musically talking.
Gabe: That is a very good question.
We each have our own niche in the group, Matt comes up with the lyrics, song structures and overall theme, and I handle all the music. This works very well, because we're both good at what we do.
Most problems occur when we try to do the other person's job, but that's not to say we both don't contribute in all aspects. Overall, we click rather well musically though.
El Evil Emperor: Good, let's talk about your first opus: Threat of Dawn was a fairly successful release according to various critics, tell us about the recording process and the reviews you received yourselves.
Gabe: The whole demo was recorded on a simple 8 track recorder, very primitive in my opinion, we were very lucky to have James Gittins mix our demo for free, he did a great job of making us sound a hell of a lot better.
The future releases will be much better in production.
We've also received great feedback from friends, the only "non-friendly" review we've seen was on our Metal Archives page, it wasn't a great review, but I don't expect this stuff to be very palatable for die-hard black metal fans, yet the number of people ordering our demo and downloading it is very assuring,
El Evil Emperor: Yes, it was indeed a good job, yet using VSTs, though it can be helpful, adds some sort of Artificial aspect to your riffs, are you considering members recruitments, or would your solution consist of getting new Instruments ?
Gabe: The only VSTs we used are for the Synths and Drums, we do plan on getting a much superior drum machine for future releases. maybe in the future, if we get to a point where we are not using a home studio, we may look into getting a session drummer, also we are seeking an artificial aspect to the sound to a certain extent,
El Evil Emperor: I see, since you mentioned this: About the next full length, I heard that you had some nice preparations and got some new material, tell us about it as well as the recording sessions to come.
Gabe: Yes, it will be a huge improvement on the demo, both in direction and audio quality, we will delve deeply into the electronic influences and add more contemporary feeling to the music, and our whole arsenal of recording equipments is getting an overhaul. Also, we plan on getting professional mixing and mastering and proper distribution and manufacturing, we are both looking forward to starting the recording process and we already have a few song fully written.
I can't think of any comparison to describe the material so far, believe me when I say nothing like you've ever heard before.
El Evil Emperor: Perfect, looking forward. Concerning Live Performances? What do you guys take care of, and what do Live members do ?
Gabe: The Live Members are:
Matt Bond - Vocals
Gabe Lanciano - Guitar
Tim Krikorian – Keys / Synths
Dan Muller - Bass
Sean St.Germain - Drums
And as our music progresses into the unknown, we will probably need another guitarist, and maybe another full time keyboardist; we have already done 2 live shows, the videos of the first one can be found on YouTube.com, just search "Shardborn".
El Evil Emperor: Was it difficult to find permanent Live members? And Do you have some problems concerning practicing your compositions and riffs ?
Gabe: *Laughing* Actually it was no trouble at all, we knew Dan and Sean from another local metal band "In Delirium" and they were all for helping us out, Tim has been a good friend to both of us for a long time and was in Valthum with us, I often feel out of my league at practices because the three live members are infinitely better at their instruments than I could dream to be, *Laughing* But I guess that's a good thing.
El Evil Emperor: You have declared in prior Interviews that you consider yourselves a "non-signable" band, does this come from a personal conviction, an anti-label idea maybe, especially with you giving free download access and free copies of your release, or yet due to the genre you are composing within ?
Gabe: That in reference to the fact that we are at heart a studio band, and also that we are doing something that no one has done before, and labels sign bands that will give them more of a return that their initial investment, we'll see if that might be the case after our first full album. *Laughing* But I am in no way against labels as long as they nurture a band's creativity instead of stifling it (which seems to be the trend among mainstream and major labels).
El Evil Emperor: Suppose that you'll sign with a label, you are still studying, right? Would the idea of devoted musicians tempt you or not ?
Gabe: It depends, right now I'm not in a position to give up my education for a chance to make something of a band, that's not to say it couldn't happen, it would be an absolute dream to be in a touring band.
El Evil Emperor: About Tours, Any place where you'd like to perform? Or any band that you want to feature ?
Gabe: I'd be happy with any band that will bring the right people to the show. Open minded people, fans of music, and not just one type, I'd just like to see the world. Doesn't matter too much to me
El Evil Emperor: I see, let's talk a bit about the Bands then, The US is / was mainly known for its USBM Bands such as the famous Xasthur, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Leviathan; and its Death Metal Bands: Deicide, Cannibal Corpse… Besides of course the old Heavy / Thrash, but how would you describe it yourselves, the local one in Massachusetts, and also the National Scene ?
Gabe: Can't really indentify a scene in Massachusetts, if there is one, I haven't found it, although there is plenty of Hardcore, Pop-Punk and Screamo bands but that doesn't mean squat to me. In the Nation, I'd say that most metalheads are more akin to "mainstream" Metal such as Lamb of God and Disturbed; don't get me wrong, there still are havens for real Metal like specialized record stores, but haven't seen much of a national identity in Metal; Norway has black metal, Finland has Folk Metal, Germany has Power Metal, the US has Groove metal I suppose.
El Evil Emperor: I see, though Lamb of God, and Disturbed could be hardly described as Metal, and others argue that the German Folk Scene is perhaps the one with the most variety ever, also to add something about France, known for its Black Metal Scene, as well as its old 'Les Légions Noires', the noteworthy underground circle, which brings us to our next question: What could you tell about the Underground Scene in the USA, are you familiar with any circles ?
Gabe: Not I. Matt would be much better suited with this question perhaps, maybe I've been living under a rock, but I can't pinpoint any (Metal) circles.
El Evil Emperor: I see, well what do you think of so-called TRVE and KVLT Black Metal bands ?
Gabe: *Laughing* Well, they have their own niche in the international scene, only a few TRVE or KVLT bands I could say I'm a fan of, but overall I see them as a group that simply tries to keep Black Metal history.
In a way we're, like many bands (Shardborn included), venturing forth into new territories, TRVE and KVLT bands reminds us of how it began.
I find myself listening to some Darkthrone when I get too far from Black Metal in my musical writings, needless to say, these bands and their ultra conservative nature are the reason why I would say that Shardborn probably won't fair well in the TRVE and KVLT fan base.
El Evil Emperor: Very well, and on the other side, What do you think of bands who tag themselves as Black Metal Bands, searching for a KVLT reputation ?
Gabe: I'm sure I understand the question…
Do you mean bands that simply want to be KVLT for the sake of being KVLT?
El Evil Emperor: Perhaps being 'Black Metal', in order to gain a KVLT Halo, might be an appropriate description.
Gabe: I think that doing something to simply gain a label or reputation is somewhat silly. In the case of TRVE and KVLT, it is a self defeating idea, if it becomes "the cool thing" then KVLT and TRVE has lost its meaning.
TRVE and KVLT were ideas made to separate themselves from the conservative and widely accepted musical norms of the time.
El Evil Emperor: Very well, let's finish the Interview with this question: What are your future plans for your future? And what are your fears and expectations ?
Gabe: We plan on releasing the first full album sometime next year, as well as a New Age/Folk (non-metal) EP, hopefully play some more shows here and there.
Fears: The full album's release costs to be too much and having to settle for a smaller release, expect to have a blast doing it all.
El Evil Emperor: Thank you, it's been a pleasure; and happy birthday in advance Gabe.
Any last words ?
Gabe: Thank you, and anyone reading this should go download our demo for FREE, the link is on our MySpace: www.myspace.com/shardbornmetal.