MusikReviews.de is a German metal ‘zine. Andreas Schiffmann has already reviewed the CD last month, and today my interview with them got published, they have translated it to German, but I have the original in English.
Tell me a bit about yourself: How were you socialized with music, and what do you want to achieve as a solo artist – or are you looking for a stable band?
I started playing guitar when I was 15, my interest in music started when I heard Pink Floyd for the first time, as a teenager the many great bands I have discovered along the way made me fall in love with the guitar and the sounds and music you can create with the instrument, thanks to all the technology we have today, from effects processors to amps and software. In 1996 I started jazz guitar studies and graduated in 2003, Frank Gambale was another inspiring jazz musician, not that I wanted to specify in jazz, but there were no rock guitar courses in the school I attended, so jazz for me was definitely an amazing style to complement my music as a progressive rock guitarist. At this point I can’t say if I’m looking for a stable band, but I wouldn’t mind being in one either, I’m pretty happy working as a solo artist, and my plans for the future is to play with different musicians on every album, but that does not mean that I don’t want to play with the same musicians, again at this stage it’s too early to tell.
How come high profile players like Ric or Virgil got interested in a quasi-unknown artist like you?
Ric, Virgil, Andy and Derek are all amazing musicians, I admire everything they do. When I asked Derek if he wants to play or be a guest on my album I sent him some demo tracks and after he gave them a quick listen, he gave me a call and he was more than happy to help. The same thing happened with Virgil, Ric and Andy, they were all excited. It’s really a great honor to have them all on the album.
How did the collaboration with your guests happen logistically, also since Andy, for example, wrote his own lyrics?
Coordination was one of the biggest challenges for me throughout the process. These musicians are all on busy schedules, they have tours, clinics and work in the studio. But thanks to the powers of the Internet, connecting with them was very easy, we had many sessions on Skype and then I’d send them my tracks with the demo drums or bass and every one of them adds their part in, and then sends me back their files and so on. For the lyrics on “What if We All Stop” I have sent Andy the idea and story of the song as well as some verses , then he added his parts based on the music making sure he has enough words to fill the lines and we shaped it down together to the final version that is on the CD. Andy also helped me in the song structure musically, and as a vocalist and a great producer.
What does your project’s name Semantic Saturation mean to you?
Semantic Saturation also known as “Semantic Satiation” is a psychological phenomenon where repetition causes a word or phrase to lose its meaning temporarily; words are then processed in the mind as meaningless sounds. The idea is much deeper than that, and it doesn’t just stop there. Even though unapparent, but our brains are being saturated on a daily basis, and fed by multiple sources, they may look slow but the effects are the same on the long run.
How do you come up with names for your instrumental tracks, and is writing instrumental music a necessity because you do not have a band of your own?
Track names are inspired by the music I write, and the music I write is inspired by many different sources, it can be a musician, and artist, an article … anything really. The idea is the same when you are writing a song with lyrics, how do you choose the track name of a song? Based on the lyrics and story of course. Writing instrumental music is not a necessity but more a desire, as a guitarist I felt more fulfilled having a (mostly) instrumental album, but that does not mean that future albums will all be instrumental. I love songs as much as I love instrumental music; they are all music in the end.
What do you try to achieve with this project, and where do you see yourself as an artist in the long run?
Semantic Saturation is my baby, and It means a lot to me of course. It’s the result of more than 2 years of hard work. What am I trying to achieve… I’m trying to deliver great music to the music lovers, combining the most appealing elements in rock, prog and metal and mixing them with new styles like jazz and electronica. It’s a very early stage to tell where I do see myself, but for now having a descent fan base, and fans who appreciate the music and the effort I put in creating it is just what I need. And I hope more people will discover this project and enjoy listening to the album.
And here’s a link to the review (only in German) but you can always use Google Translate.