Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ascendancy Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We are a progressive/power metal band from the Czech Republic, established in 2009. So far we released one EP and two full-length CDs. For the most part, Ascendancy is the brainchild of our guitarist Libor, who not only wrote all our songs, but also recorded and produced them. So, kind of one head with four handsJ

2.So far you have released an ep and 2 full lengths, how would you describe the musical sound presented on these recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

Our music is based on melodic compositions and hard riffs. Our each album builds on the previous one. CD. On the EP “Primacy of Reason” we were searching for our style and playing with our capabilities, in essence to find what works for us and what does not. So by the time we started working on our debut full-length “Out of Knowhere”, we knew how to approach it and figured out a clear concept which underscores the whole album, that is, as we based our music largely on progressive elements, we came up with a sci-fi tale that goes hand in hand with the music and is told from one song to the next, making the whole thing basically a conceptual album. With our current full-length “The Amazing Ascendancy versus Count Illuminatus”, we kept this approach, with a different theme this time, but there is once again a story the album is telling. The main difference is that while on the previous CD the story was told in clearly separated songs, in this case, the narrative unfolds in one continuous, 21 minutes long, track, formally divided into eight chapters. And I hope the fans of melodic progressive metal will find that to their liking.  

3.The lyrics on the new album talk about the Illuminati, Secret Societies and Conspiracy Theories, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Yes, secret societies and all sorts of conspiracies are indeed a grateful topic to work with, though we personally do not believe in any conspiracy theories. We treat the story of the new album more like a modern fairy tale, based on the age old “good vs. evil” motif, which is blown out of proportion a bit, as we drew inspiration from the world of superheroes and supervillains. We are after all fans of the DC or Marvel comics, of Batman, Superman or Spiderman. We did not however go with the contemporary high-tech superhero imagery, but rather kept it more retro, which translated especially to the album art, which was made to reminisce the aesthetics of the 1970s and 1980s sci-fi movie posters.    

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ascendancy'?

Nothing really special. We were looking for an apt name with a good meaning, and “Ascendancy” sounds both sophisticated and cool. And one can also work with it nicely in terms of design.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

In my book, our best show was last winter, when we supported the Czech metal legend Arakain on its 30th anniversary show. There were like 5 000 people in there and a really great vibe. It was simply a blast and the best on-stage experience for me ever. With the release of our current album, we made changes to our stage performance. Simply put, as we tell the story live on stage, we stylize ourselves as the story’s heroes, the Amazing Ascendancy. For that, we have brand new uniforms, which add to our visual show and stage presentation.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Not in the immediate future. Our attention was focused on recording the album, plus we did not have a full-time drummer, but now we are ready to roll out. Currently, we are exploring possibilities of playing outside the Czech Republic. Of course, a big tour around Europe would be for now, too costly and with too uncertain an outcome to pull off, so at the moment we are looking into possibilities of going as a support of some big band.  

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of power and progressive metal?

Feedback is very good, but we have to get our music to more fans…build a worldwide reach step by step and offer our music to as much people as possible.

8.What is going on these days with some of the other bands or musical projects that some of the band members are involved with?

Our drummer is involved in two more bands and they are currently touring the Czech Republic. Me and the others also have some other bands because we love music and it’s a kind of relax for us. So nothing fancy, just some small gigs near to our home, for fun and good feeling.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Well, doing what we do now, that is, keeping the progressive direction of our music, while adding to it the melodic and compositional richness.  Very soon we shall also release our first videoclip, which looks pretty good and will be an unusual one, and hopefully it will generate more interest in Ascendancy between fans and promoters alike.

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?

There certainly are plenty. I would say Helloween, Nevermore and Symphony X are the really big influences for our music, but it does not end there. Libor, our guitarist and songwriter, has a truly wide range in terms of music taste, from metal over rock and pop to the classical music, which he then channels into Ascendancy. As for me, I listen to pop music nowadays.  

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I like sports, especially football and hockey, and I love the movies. Apart from that, me and Libor are currently involved in building a new professional music studio in our hometown, as we like to be involved in music also in other ways than just as performers.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for the interview. Check out our music and stay tuned for the new video.

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