TesseracT

Undoubtedly, TesseracT is a band that gathers the music fans’ eyes every time they strike back with a new album. This time, it was the singer change that made the band’s fans anticipate the new album. TesseracT is not your ordinary band and knows how to “honor” the term progressive. We had a chat with the bassist Amos Williams, about the new singer, the new CD, the band’s music orientation and many more… For more, check out below…
TesseracT band pic

Hi Amos… Second release for the band and you really took it one step further… Way to go dude!
 
A: Thanks man. Although not in any way difficult, quite the opposite in fact, it certainly was one of the most stressful records we’ve ever made. Simply because we felt like we had to live up to the expectations we created with our first record. And well both in public and behind the scenes it’s been a tough couple of years, so we’re really happy to have this bad boy out there working for us now!
 
 
Let’s take things from the start… how did the addition of the singer Ashe O’Hara help the whole band?
 
A: It’s amazing how much one person can change a band. Ashe is full of life and wit. It’s brilliant to have such a guy around. You know, we’re still TesseracT, but with a slightly more energetic and vibrant colour about us now. On stage too, we seem to all being having so much more fun than we did before, so that’s a really good sign for the future as I’m certain we’ll be spending a lot of time on stage together over the next few years.
 
 
Was it hard to find a guy like Ashe that would so ideally fit the band? Chemistry does matter in such cases, huh?
 
A: Oddly enough as with Elliot, we found Ashe very quickly, and we all could tell that he was the guy for TesseracT. But, for some reason we chose to really take our time and keep the search open, just to make 110% sure that when in comparison to others that he definitely was the guy for us. Ashe showed a lot of maturity and patience not to tell us to fuck off by keeping him hanging on, haha. (i.n.: hehe, I think he chose wisely…)
 
 
Please tell us which is that “Altered State”? What’s hidden behind the album’s title?
 
A: The concept is simple. It’s all about change, people’s inadequacy with coping with change, but also the types of change that exist in our world. From the very small everyday things, to the very large eternal things. But, the title helps show our public that although TesseracT has gone a slight alteration, we are still firmly and forever the TesseracT that we always have been. It’s kind of a reaction and answer to our critics and fans who felt that after Dan chose to leave that we’d never be able to continue as TesseracT, which of course is complete bullshit. Even Dan would tell you that we were TesseracT way before he came along, so his departure just meant we needed a different vocalist. That’s not to belittle what Dan meant to us as people and as a band member, he’s a brother forever, but not the be all and end all. I think if Acle chose to leave then that would be the be all and end all, as he is our chief songwriter and the reason the band exists in the first place.
 
 
Why did you divide the album in four parts, “Of Matter”, ‘Of Mind”, “Of Reality” & “Of Energy”? What does each part display?
 
A: Of Matter is kind of an introduction the new TesseracT and looks at the physical changes in life. Of Mind is about the schism that is created by people’s opinions and prejudice when confronted with change. Of Reality looks at the ultimate truth that you just have to put up and get on with life. And Of Energy is a muse on the eternal infinite timescale from the big band (singularity) through to the inevitable slow burn of the end of time (Embers).
 
 
What are the new elements that “Altered State” has in comparison to your debut?
 
A: With “One”, we felt we had to adhere to certain stylistic expectations of the genre, namely screamed vocals and complex riffing. This time around we feel we’ve established enough (and perhaps are too old to give a fuck anymore) that we can just let each track go where it needs to go. So, there’s far more experimentation on this album, and it is all melodic vocals. Hopefully this works as it’s been on the cards for us for a very long time and is something that we wish to continue exploring.
 
 
I do think that the sax addition was a brilliant idea. Chris Barretto nailed it with his performances. Is this part of the band’s experimental spirit? What else does the future hold?
 
A: Who knows man! That’s the beauty of music, it can and should be able to meander down whichever path it chooses. Obviously with that spirit you have to accept that at some point in your life you may have to stand alone, but it’s better than standing in a cage of stereotypes and stylistic repetition. We actually had a sax track as a demo way back in like 2005 before the band had taken to a live setting, so for us at least it’s a really old idea that takes heavy influence from Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. There was no room for it on “One”, but “Aletered State” felt like the right time and place to let it loose.
 
 
TesseracT music has the “math” side of your name, the groovy parts, the bass rhythmic ones, the progressive attitude… and so on. I do not like the term “djent” for your music. How would you describe it to someone that has never heard of you before?
 
A: I’d hope people would just like to call it music. Nothing more nothing less. But, to help pigeon hole it as people like to do I would have to call it progressive rock/metal. We’re not really all that metal however, but we’re certainly heavier than most rock. (i.n.: And there goes the “djent” bullshit…)
 
 
Do you think that this groovy prog rock/metal music can preferably stand without the growls of the harsh vocals? It is a different perspective of course… but some fans were asking for something like that. I didn’t on the other hand… J
 
A: I would hope that there is always room in every person’s perspective to accept each track on its own merit, be it with or without harsh vocals. You never know maybe album number three from TesseracT will be all screams… maybe. What I’m getting at is that music is not ‘gay’ or ‘shit’ as some dickheads on the internet may say if it doesn’t have screams. But nor is music that does have them. It’s an artistic choice that TesseracT made a long time ago before the release of “One” even. We feel we’ve created something cool in our new album without a scream in earshot. So yeah, it can even still be metal without screams. (i.n.: Thx for making it so clear dude…)
 
 
The album was engineered, mixed, produced and mastered by the guitarist Acle Kahney and you. Did you achieve the sound you had in your mind from the beginning and what new techniques did you use during the recordings and the mastering?
 
A: Acle chose to record, mix, and master all at the same time, as he felt under pressure to finish the album in a short period of time. So, whilst it meant that the sound of the album was there from day one, it also meant that we had to get it right from day one! So, let’s just say it was an experiment in sticking to your guns. Hopefully the rest of the world likes it as much as we do.
 
TesseracT band pic

Can you take us through a writing/recording session? How do you usually create a song?
 
A: Some songs take one session to complete. Some take years. Seriously. We still have demos of tracks that we started back in 2005 that we’re still considering for album three. But normally Acle comes up with a riff, and makes a demo. We then come along and fuck it all up, haha. No, we then learn to play and see how it sounds in the rehearsal room and tweak accordingly, or add our own little inflexions, mannerisms, and suggestions. We’ll then hopefully put it into a final production session and mix. These tracks are constantly changing and evolving however. When you see us on stage you’ll hear 90% of what the album is, but then there will be 10% development. Even on the tracks from the new album. We’re always improving things.
 
 
Shall we wait for any video anytime soon?
 
A: Yeah, we’ve just wrapped up a ball out nuts video for a radio edit of the track “Singularity”. It’s of such a stupidly high quality than it’s like nothing else out there for a promo. It’s kind of a short film. It was produced by Horsie In The Hedge media, filmed by Emmy award winning Mark Wolf, and feature practical Fx by the same team that worked on “Skyfall” and “Prometheus”. I can assure you, it is entirely not what you would expect from us. (i.n.: “Singularity” hadn’t been released at the time we did the interview…)
 
 
Recently you streamed your whole album on YouTube. Do you think that this is the proper way to “use” the new web technologies for your own shake? Aren’t you afraid that such a thing can cut off sales?
 
A: Judging by the spike in pre-sales as a result of the stream, I guess we couldn’t argue against putting the stream up. The label have had to double production to keep up, it’s been nuts. We always had the plan for the stream to go up during release week, but some arsehole leaked the album, so we decided to plug the leak by putting up our own leak and at least advertise the album and get some viewing stats at the same time. If only every person who viewed and liked the album purchased it, then I could make enough to put food on my baby’s table each day. (i.n.: I wish it could be that way…)
 
 
What’s missing from the progressive (with the actual meaning of the term) music in our time? Is progressive music kinda limited due to the musicians/bands that serve it? It may sound like a paradox but can you see it the way I do?
 
A: I’m not sure there is anything missing. I guess artists who consider themselves progressive might be limiting their music by having a certain goal in mind. But, perhaps that’s just semantics. I do wish that like say Devin Townsend we all could just be who the fuck we want to be and make the music we feel we NEED to make. (i.n.: Yeap, that’s probably the secret…)
 
 
Time for our weird questions! If you hadn’t been a musician what else you would have been and why?
 
A: I probably should have continued acting. I did a nice long stint in the west end in London as a kid. I’ve also done some recent voice-over work for a few things, so if music fails I’ll try and do that.
 
 
What are those bands that marked the progressive rock/metal movement?
 
A: Pink Floyd, Tool, Devin Townsend.
 
 
If you could put together the best prog rock band in the world who would participate and why?
 
A: It would sound fucking horrible I’m sure but I’d love to have Stef Broks from Textures on drums, Jaco Pastorius on bass, Victor Wooten also on bass, Marcus Miller on bass and Saxophone, Quincy Jones producing, Jeff Buckley singing, Guthrie Govan and Steve Vai on guitars, and me on the tambourine. (i.n.: Pure “anomaly”! hehe)
 
 
What are your 3 beloved songs of all time regardless of any music genre?
 
A: Andrea Bocelli – “Time to Say Goodbye”
Traci Chapman – “Fast Car”
Jeff Buckley – “Dream Brother”

 
Why is rock (any kind) music better than sex… if it is… cheeky
 
A: You can share a song with a million people. If you have sex with that many people you are bound to get herpes. (i.n.: haha… what’s wrong with the VDs?! hahaha…)
 
 
You have the opportunity to have sex with the porn-star/movie celebrity of your choice. Who would it be & why?
 
A: I am under strict orders to say that I would kindly decline, explaining that I am a gentlemen who is in a long and loving relationship with my fiancée… (i.n.: I understand…)
 
 
Imagine that your girlfriend/life partner is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react? J
 
A: I’d say good luck to her. My record collection has got so much shit in it that she’d be lucky to get a Haribo sweet ring for it. (i.n.: hehehe…)
 
 
That’s all for now Amos. Close this interview in your own words.... Thx for the music! Take care dude!
 
A: Thank you to everyone for their opinions on our music be them good or bad, it’s just so cool that you care enough to even give a shit!

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