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TesseracT: dis-concealing the concealed

TesseracT: dis-concealing the concealed
BANDS : TesseracT


Metalfan: Hello, Jay and welcome to Please give me more details about your beginnings as a musician. Why did you found/join TesseracT? Was it difficult to imagine your band will one day be successful in the underground metal scene?

Jay: I first heard TesseracT back in 2004 when the guitarist from my band at the time sent me a link to some tracks online. He asked me what I thought of the drummer – I was blown away to find out it was one guy, a guitar and a computer so I got n touch. Three years and a chance meeting later, I joined TesseracT.
I like to think I’m not a deluded person. I’ve always seen my future as a musician so when I heard TesseracT’s music, I was confident this was the band I wanted to be a part of and take as far as I could. The same goes for every member of TesseracT. We all have the same vision, which in this day and age and in the shitty music industry, is a very rare thing. I’d say that contributes to the bands success somewhat – five guys all looking in exactly the same direction.

Metalfan: Some people label you as a progressive metal band but, at the same time TesseracT is often credited as one of the founding bands of djent metal. It’s not exactly a very popular style of metal, what exactly is the story here; can you enlighten us a bit?
Jay: The first TesseracT demos were shared on forums such as and the Toontrack message boards. This is where the roots lie for the new wave of bands people are terming ‘Djent’. Acle, Misha (Periphery) and Paul (Chimp Spanner) were all active members of this community, posting new clips of their latest masterpieces.
It’s all evolved from there. As for whether we’re progressive metal / djent / reggae, none of us take any of that seriously. Djent is the new thing to be a part of, much like Nu-metal once was, and like nu-metal, I’m sure it will pass in a couple of years time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s humbling to be considered to be at the forefront of a genre but that’s really not what we spend our time concerned with.

Metalfan: What are your favorite metal bands? What bands inspired you during your career?
Jay: I started out way back listening to Incubus and honestly, whatever was popular at the time. I have no shame – I was a late musical bloomer haha. I heard Sikth and wasn’t sure I liked it. Then I heard them again and again and fell in love. I then heard Meshuggah and was blown away yet again. Listening to such accomplished bands and wanting to achieve their level of musicianship really inspired me.
These days I don’t listen to much metal. Unless it’s something genuinely stunning, I don’t really pay much attention or get excited. The genre is saturated with mediocre bands in my opinion. That being said, there have been some stunning releases by bands such as Textures, Chimp Spanner and even though I’ve only heard a few songs, the Algorithm. These guys all know how to write good songs, not just faddy beatdown crap.
Way back though, I listened to bands like Steely Dan and Pink Floyd. That’s what I grew up listening to and without those early introductions to great music, I wouldn’t be a musician now.

Metalfan: How are TesseracT songs composed? Who is the main composer, who writes the lyrics, and how is a usual rehearsal day for TesseracT?
Jay: Acle writes the music. He has a home studio where he spends most of his life in the dark working on his perma-studio-tan (super super white!). Once he has a new idea written, we each receive it and listen to it to learn our parts. I put the track on my iPod and listen to it in my car on repeat. I even usually have it on as I’m falling to sleep (and wake up with it still playing). Only when I completely understand the song do I take it to the next level – practice.
I find this is the only method to really learn the detail in a song. I don’t want to find myself having to actually count shit in my head, especially live. That would be a nightmare. It all has to feel completely natural.
Once we each have our individual parts down, we come together for a rehearsal and jam the song through, figure out what works and what doesn’t in a live environment.
It’s a long process from start to finish but it works.

Metalfan: The demo CD you released in 2006 has de benefit of a great sound quality, but only four years later you succeeded in getting signed by Century Media. What took you so long and how did you finally secured a contract with one of the most important labels in the underground scene?
Jay: The short version of the answer is, we’re not 18 – we each had / have jobs and responsibilities so as lame as it sounds, we couldn’t have done it any quicker. We would time short UK / EU tours around public holidays to make sure we made the most of our time off work and we’d rehearse every two weeks or so because we all lived in different parts of the UK.
The thing is, it actually takes that long for you to work your way up too and build a presence. You can have the best sounding CD in the world and be the best musicians in the world but without spending the time working on the business behind the band, you won’t achieve success.
We finally signed with Century Media in August 2010. That was a great day for us all and really put us up to another level almost overnight. They’re a great team.

Metalfan: The “Concealing Fate” EP is your first official release. How was it received by the public?
Jay: We had mixed reactions from our fans, torn between the people who just wanted to hear Concealing Fate and the people annoyed it was taking a large chunk from ‘One’. But we needed a release to coincide with our first US tour – with The Devin Townsend Project – and Century Media suggested we put out a very limited edition Concealing Fate EP just for that tour. Obviously it reached a lot farther than North America.
It was a very successful release for us though and was very well received musically.

Metalfan: A year later comes the “One” album, which includes, among other things, all songs from aforementioned EP. Although I like more the new version of these songs, I want to ask you why you chose to re-record them. What was wrong with the original versions?
Jay: We didn’t re-record them – the version of Concealing Fate we released as an EP is the same as that found on ‘One’. We did however record all six parts of Concealing Fate for a live DVD we released with the album. We felt that after the Devin Townsend Project tour, we could each perform the tracks to a much higher standard. We’d always wanted to record a live video performance of the songs in their purest form so this was the perfect way for us to showcase the band at our rawest, without any studio trickery or bullshit – plain and simple TesseracT live.

Metalfan: The sound quality of the album is, again, flawless. Please tell us a bit about the recording process, the studio, the sound engineer you’ve worked with to obtain such and impeccable result.
Jay: We record everything ourselves. We’re very lucky to have two very talented engineers / producers in the band – Acle and Amos. We’re also incredibly lucky to have access to arguably two of the most amazing recording studios in the world – Sphere Studios and Metropolis, both in London UK.
We tracked the drums at Metropolis over a few different weekends. Not the way you’d normally record drums, but it worked for us because of our life schedule. Acle then recorded the guitars at his home studio, Mos too. We went back to Metropolis to record vocals once the tracks were all done.
We then recorded the live DVD at Sphere Studios in London UK. This was more of a production as we were not only involved in the performance but also needed some control of the recorded sound. We were working with the owner of the Studio and friend, Franc – so we knew we were going to have a fantastic recording. Both Franc and Mos then worked on mixing the 5.1 and stereo versions of the audio for the DVD. It’s the best project I’ve ever been involved in.

Metalfan: Why did Daniel Tompkins choose to leave, in a moment when the band was enjoying the recognition and success you’ve worked to achieve?
Jay: Life commitments. We’re all in a position to give TesseracT the time needed. It quickly reached a point where Dan could no longer do that.

Metalfan: The introduction of Elliot Coleman as new vocalist was generated a split of opinion amongst your fanbase? Was it difficult to cope with the negative reactions? Is the fan’s reaction a matter of concern to you?
Jay: What people maybe don’t realise is that we see lot of the things people say about us online. I receive a daily alert from Google with any new reference to ‘Tesseract’ - luckily it doesn’t pick up YouTube comments as some of the things people come out with on there are so fucking immature.
We chose Elliot because he had the most original, soulful voice we’d ever heard and on top of that, is a very genuine guy. He’d not heard our music before we approached him to audition so what we had in response was a completely unbiased and original audition, in which we saw great potential.
I’d ask the fans to wait until we’ve released some material with Elliot’s original vocals on before judging his performance. I’d also ask the YouTube troll-boys to play with matches more often – but that’s not very nice.

Metalfan: What changes you think Elliot will bring to the band’s music? Was he difficult to find, did you have other guys in mind before you invited him to join?
Jay: Elliot was our only real choice to be honest. We’d had a few other guys presented to us but they were fairly mediocre metal vocalists. Screaming their guts up and singing out of tune. We wanted someone new, inspiring and as different as we feel our music is. Elliot fits this perfectly.

Metalfan: An instrumental version of your debut album has been released shortly after the replacement of Daniel Tompkins. How did you come up with this idea and what reactions did the new release get?
Jay: We’d always spoke about putting the album out instrumentally. It’s something the fans had asked for and as we already had the music complete, it made perfect sense to do so. It had nothing to do with Dan leaving – it’s something we’d planned to do for a while.

Metalfan: Your announcement about a supposedly new album “Neophobia” was revealed to be a joke. All joking aside, have you already begun the preparations for the next record? How is it shaping up to be, compared to One?
Jay: Haha, neophobia – brilliant.
We’re currently working hard on album two yes. In fact I have the demos so far on repeat in my car. It’s definitely evolved from ‘One’ in every sense – the writing and song structure, the tone and clarity of the music, the production and musicianship. We’re aiming to have it finished and released this year, but we’re working to a very tight deadline so we’ll see. At the very least, I’d expect a new track or two to be posted online a little later this year.

Metalfan: You’ve recently toured North America together with Between the Buried & Me and Animals as Leaders. What kind of an experience was it for the band? How did you get along with the guys in the other bands?
Jay: They’re both great bands and we all got along well from day one. Everyone on that tour was a ridiculous musician so we really felt we had to step up our game. It was great playing some huge stages too – easily the biggest we’ve played yet.
It was the first comfortable tour we’ve done too. I say that as we were traveling around in a big RV instead of hiring an uncomfortable van and sleeping in motels every night. The RV ruled!

Metalfan: I want to thank you for your time, and I wish you good luck. In the end, do you have a message for your Romanian fans?
Jay: Thanks for supporting TesseracT! We can’t wait to get out to Romania for some shows – 2012 all being well!
Autor: Klawz, Fantotzii
Vezi galeriile trupelor: TesseracT

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