Three years after their debut album, Flight return with their new release “A Leap Through Matter”, which is a step forward for the band in every part. Founding member, songwriter and bassist Jonas Bye had a chat with Grande Rock about the new album, the songwriting part and their future plans among other things. Read more below…
Flight band pic
Hi Jonas and welcome to Grande Rock. You really hit the spot with your new sophomore release, “A Leap Through Matter”. Well-done!
J: Hi. Thank you, and thanks for having us.
Well, it’s been almost 3 years since your debut album. What happened during these 3 years? Were you working on the new tracks or what?
J: Yes, pretty much. We started working on new material as soon as the debut was recorded. We don’t rehearse steadily every week, so sometimes things take time. And all of us are involved in other bands and project that also takes time. Other than that we were playing a couple of gigs here and there during that period. Live Evil, Muskelrock and Heavy Nights, to mention a few.
Which are the similarities and the differences among the new album and your previous releases?
J: Although I think we’ve evolved a lot with the new album, there are still obvious similarities to the debut. It has that “Flight” feeling to it. If you liked the first one, you’ll like the second one even more. It’s mostly mid-tempo songs, with a bit of tempo changes here and there, as well as some more mellow sections.
This time around we were a lot more thorough with the songwriting and arrangements, and we spent a lot of time going over things that might’ve been considered “done”. Just being critical and looking at it with fresh eyes (ears?) from one rehearsal to the next. Adapting a kill-your-darlings kind of attitude and not being afraid to have your riff changed with by others just because you wrote it. It’s all about having a quality song in the end, and doing what’s needed to achieve that.
What has changed in your songwriting formula or the way you approached the songs this time?
J: The formula itself hasn’t changed at all since we started pretty much. It’s either Christoffer or me (JB) who writes the main portion of a song, and then show it to the rest of the band at rehearsal. At rehearsal the song is shaped by the band in a collective effort, and the actual arrangement of the different parts often change during this effort. Also, it’s easier to find out what works and what doesn’t as a band. There might be tempo changes between riffs that don’t work well that have to be discarded or changed to make it fit. An example of this is the last fast section of the title track. In 2015 this was a part of “Traveler”. The overall flow and the mood of “Traveler” is much better without it.
Something that has changed is that we’ve worked with the songs in more of a studio manner this time. What can we do to make this as good or cool as possible. That might be adding 4 or 5 different layers of guitars to really make a section pop, which of course isn’t something we could re-create in a live setting, but that doesn’t matter. The important thing is to make great songs that will stand strong in the long run.
You signed to a new label High Roller Records. Why’s that and how crucial was it for you so as to take the next big step?
J: Working with a label that you can actually communicate with has been great. “A Leap Through Matter” would’ve seen the light of day no matter what, but we’re really happy to be a part of High Roller Records for the ride. Great people, great label, and a superb back catalogue to have our record in the mix with.
You also have a new drummer on board, Christian Holm (Audiopain, Nekromantheon). What are the new things that Kickan brought to the band?
J: When you aren’t the original member you’re forever doomed to be the “new guy”, right? He’s been in the band longer than our first drummer, actually. Mainly what he’s brought – and I guess this is experience from his earlier endeavors with other bands – is a great sense of understanding what works in an arrangement. Like how to order parts to make them flow as good as possible. He also has knowledge about the recording process and technicalities like that, which is a great asset. He recorded the Flight debut!
What does the album title “A Leap Through Matter” declare?
J: When coming up with the title of the album we looked through the different songs to see what would make the best title for an album, and “A Leap Through Matter” stood out. It’s quite descriptive, it creates mental images. What it means is totally up to the listener, but you can just read the lyrics in the booklet and it kind of falls into its place I think. The lyric for the song is inspired by Dune. So, maybe it makes more sense if you’ve read the book. Metaphysics and discovering the universal truth.
Do give us a hint for each track…
J: “Arrival”: Spider fingers…
“One with the Sun”: Big…
“The Pendulum”: B.Ö.C.
“A Leap Through Matter”: Tendonitis in the wrist.
“Ride On”: Magnesium.
“Traveler”: Floating mood.
“Reviving Waves”: Fun mid-section.
“Leave the Coast”: Syncopation and riff bonanza.
Where did the recordings take place and who is responsible for the production, the mixing and the mastering? What has changed in the way you recorded this album and what do you think of the final outcome on the whole?
J: We’re very pleased with the result. It was recorded and produced by Salvador (vocalist in Black Viper) in his studio. Jamie Elton mixed and mastered it, although Christoffer and myself were active in this process, as we had a very specific idea about how we wanted the mix to be. It took some work until it all clicked, but when it, it clicked hard, hehe.
Will there be any music or lyric video out anytime soon and if yes for which track?
J: It’s not something we’re very into, so I’d say no for that. If anybody’s interested in making lyric videos then go for it, but who watches those anyway? YouTube is great for underground music that you can’t find on the big streaming platforms, but you don’t watch those, do you? It’s more of a background thing.
Have you planned to give any live shows in 2019?
J: We’ll see!
What are your expectations from “A Leap Through Matter” and what do you wish to achieve with Flight over the next years?
J: Just to continue in that path and making songs that we feel passionate about. We’re not in a rush at the moment, so things will happen when it happens.
How would you describe your music style to someone that hasn’t heard of you before?
J: “70s proto heavy metal”, or just “heavy rock” to cover all bases.
Time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Flight initially?
J: I had 1994 Nike Flight sneakers, and while we were discussing a band name for our newly started heavy metal band, a friend of ours pointed at my shoe and said we should just call it “Flight”. We thought it was a prefect fit; it suits our lyrics and mentality as well, so it stuck immediately.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words:
J: Rockstar: Energy drink.
Sci-fi: The War of the Worlds soundtrack.
Eurovision: Modulation in the chorus (as we did with “Ride On”!).
Music Realities: What, like TV shows? Ozzy I guess. Who else had a reality show?!
Which music kind can’t you bear to listen to at all?
J: Children artists are quite painful to listen to. I’m not opposed to any specific genres really, there’s junk and gold wherever you look, but there’s some I could do just fine without. Other than that I get nothing out of modern rappers like Drake. In my ignorance it just sounds like a bunch of sexual references over whack computer drums. Or highschool punk like Blink 182. Overhearing a Blink song on the radio is fine, but being exposed to a playlist like that makes me wanna rip out my nails.
Is there a particular book you can’t recommend enough?
J: “The Harry Potter” series. And “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. Oh, and “The Kingkiller Chronicle”, really looking forward to the third and final book in the series.
Fill in the phrase… “Rock wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
J: Electricity. It’s one of those endless discussion topics. You can always go a step further back. Like, rock wouldn’t exist without the works of Franklin, Edison and the likes and their experiments with electricity.
The baby boomer generation and their rebellion towards their parents were instrumental in the development of modern rock, so you could blame WWII for creating this vacuum that they felt the need to fill.
I don’t know. Everybody has their own opinion on this, but I can say Johnny Ramone was essential for my attitude to rock.
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
J: I’m not a big fan of The Runaways, but I think Lita Ford looked cool as fuck with her studded black one-piece suite and Hamer Explorer guitar. The suit is like a mix between 1980 KK Downing and late 70s Ace Frehley. Other than that, late 70s Stevie Nicks both musically and visually.
Which do you consider to be the best female & male vocalist in rock history?
J: Ann Wilson and Rob Halford.
Which is the composer/songwriter who influenced rock music the most?
J: Though one. The common answer would probably be something like Elvis, but I’d say Lee/Liefson, Robert Fripp, Tipton/Downing, Andrew Latimer, Dee Dee Ramone, Iommi, and so on. The Beatles for teaching rockers it was possible to write originals.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
J: “Thriller”, so I wouldn’t have to worry about that 9-5 anymore. I’d be quite satisfied with an opus like “2112” as well, from a musical perspective.
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
J: I’d go back to 2009 to visit Stephen Hawking’s time travelers party, and then I’d invest in some bitcoin at the same time.
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
J: Autopsy – “Mental Funeral”.
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Say anything you feel like saying before we close. Take care dudes!
J: Thanks for an out of the ordinary interview, it was refreshing! Also, give the aliens a copy of Camel’s “Snow-Goose”.