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TMR: Interview: Fields of Elysium, 2019

TECHNICAL MUSIC REVIEW


Hey everyone! Our pals in Fields of Elysium are self releasing their second LP, In Ancient Contemplation July 1, and the bassist/ vocalist Andre Lamoreux and guitarist Quanah Lee let me pick their brains about a bunch of stuff. Check it out!

Let's get to it! Will you guys take a second to introduce yourselves?

Andre Lamoreux, bass, lead vocals, live synths
Quanah Lee, guitar and vocals
Daniel Murphy, guitar and backup vocals
Michael Petry, drums and percussion

How did Fields of Elysium come to be? And how did this current lineup manifest?
FOE has been a band since we were kids actually! Quanah and I started with the idea to be a band before we really knew how to play instruments, when we were 13 years old (2003). Thankfully I grew up in a music store, and my mom was very supportive of us in our early years, even letting me stop taking cello lessons to focus on writing original music, and allowing me to sell a cello to buy our original guitarist, Omar, a guitar.
After the last EP, Fields started working with new drummer Michael Petry, and new 2nd guitar player Daniel Murphy. This lineup change brought eclectic styles that once we learned to communicate, made this new record a special blend.

You're putting out your first release in quite a while. Can you discuss what went into writing In Ancient Contemplation?
Well, the album title seems to mock us at this point 😂 since it literally feels like contemplating ancient things, trying to remember writing all of these songs! There are bits and pieces of riffs that were born around the same time "Capax" was being recorded, and some from before our first album "Unraveling" came out even, "Frogs in the Distance After the Rain" being one that we wrote when we were 16! The major chunk of actually meshing these riffs into songs happened between 2012-2014, once Petry and Daniel joined, they brought life to the compositions, and they came to be what they are now.

Did you hit any roadblocks in the process? How did you overcome them?
There were plenty of bumps in the road, a big one was navigating the learning curve of being a DIY band. Creating new music was just part of the equation next to the gathering of funds needed to record it, gathering art, merch, live shows, touring and so on.. Learning how to communicate and democratize with the bandmates has been the best way to move forward.

Your sound has evolved a bit since your first album, Unraveling Arcane Dynamics. What did you choose to change? What did you keep the same?
Our inspirations are continually shifting, as I'm sure any musician can understand. Certainly our love for progressive music will be very apparent on this album compared to previous material. Also, our recent obsession with pedals and other tone shaping gear, built a bit of the atmosphere for this album. My desire to incorporate synths has been quite a journey, as I did not want to go about it in the same way that most bands do, writing with virtual instruments and playing them as backing tracks. Instead, I am essentially our keyboard player, and I double up a lot of my bass lines with strings, horns, sitar, sax, using a midi pickup.
Similarly to some of the older material, we definitely wanted to maintain some of our heavier roots as well as keeping some of the tastier Fields elements like complex tapping riffs, weird time signatures, and jazzy breaks. We have had the "brutal" tag on our genre for a while, and it is certainly not gone, but there is more of a juxtaposition against the newly added harmonized vocals. Hopefully it's something people can appreciate and not just tolerate.

Now that this album is complete, where are you going to go from here?
We have already been busy writing material for the next album, this next one is going to be a bit more of a concept album, with large encompassing themes that touch on some old concepts, and also dive into some things that will give our name a bit of depth.

Assuming you'll take a brief break from writing, what else are you going to occupy your time with?
As that last answer mentioned, we never really take a break from writing, Fields stays busy with the various band-system mechanisms; as well as the individual enterprises be it guitar lessons (Daniel), or building handmade guitars (Quantars) It all reinforces the foundation for Fields.

bass01

Andre's new bass, as made by Quanah! Look at that beauty!

Any possible tour plans for this year?
We kind of did the whole touring thing ass backwards, and have been playing these song on tours for the past 5 years or so. We would absolutely love to get back out and play some shows around the country, but it will be determined by the success of this album and our need as musicians to work on getting out more new material.

And lastly, why death metal? And specifically, this flavor of death metal?
In our mind, progressive/technical death metal is the final frontier of music. One needs not look far within the genre to find boundless creativity, groundbreaking musicianship, poetic and lyrical complexity that this style of music absolutely lends its self to.

Don't forget! In Ancient Contemplation drops July 1! So get them preorders in, checkout all the playthroughs, and hop board the hype train! IAC is certainly on my favourites list for 2019, and I hope you give it a chance to make it onto your list as well!



Originally published on Technical Music Review. Republished with permission.

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