Alternative 4 - Lavmælt og progressivtIntervju - 14.09.2014 -
Duncan Patterson er en kar som har gjort mange musikalske sprang de siste tjue årene, fra Anathema og Antimatter som de mere kommersielle, til hans hjertebarn Ion og her nå Alternative 4.
Hans nye album heter "The Obscurants" og er hans andre under Alternative 4 navnet. Vi tok en liten prat i den forbindelse.
- Where does Alternative 4 differ from your earlier bands ?
DP: I think its a lot more mature, musically and lyrically. Even though the music is very much 'back to basics' in general, I've gained a lot of experience from playing with other people and trying different instrumentation over the years and I think that shines through. Lyrically its a lot more thought-provoking and political, well at least thats the intention, as opposed to what I was writing as a disappointed young man in the 1990s.
- "The Obscurants" have a more relaxed feeling about it than your debut, as well as the Pink Floyd-influences seems to shine through a whole lot more. Did you feel the musical evolution come naturally when writing this new album ?
DP: Its always a natural process. Some themes from The Brink are 20 years old and I worked them into a tense record as thats how I was feeling at the time. I was very ill when writing The Brink and needed a distraction to stop myself flipping out. It was truly terrifying at times and I really was just hanging in there. The new album was written under different circumstances and is all fresh material, with the exception of the Fugazi cover. I wanted to continue in the vein of songs like Still Waters with the piano, tremolo guitar, and a prominent bass line. When I started writing it came together really quickly and the arrangements just kind of fell into place.
- How does the band function, is the song writing a continuous process by the whole band ?
DP: I've written everything so far, but I leave space where I can. Mauros added percussion parts here and there that I would never have thought of, that worked perfectly. I'm always open to improvement, and that goes for the actual songwriting too. But nobody else has contributed to that so far.
- A new album, a new vocalist. Do you feel the band needed that development ?
DP: When I was writing the vocal parts I figured that it needed two vocalists, so I brought another guy (Simon Flatley) into the studio for that. With the two of them alternating on some verses and obviously both voices for the harmonies and octave parts. But Mark wasn't comfortable with sharing the mic with someone. I think he felt his role in the band had been lessened and that made the session very uncomfortable. Eventually events led to Mark leaving the band, which was probably the right thing. So Simon ended up replacing Mark's vocal parts with Gina Rios doing the higher register harmonies.
- The album has been ready for a while now, are you content with the final result, or do you now feel that if you could, you'd gone back and change something ?
DP: There are a lot of things that I would change but I'm content, on the whole. It was a very long drawn-out process and I had to work through my fathers death and a nervous breakdown, pretty much on my own. So in the end it was a massive relief to get it finished. If I'd have had the right personnel we could have nailed the album in two weeks.
- The band name itself, Alternative 4, is of course the name of the Anathema album you wrote a lot of. Do you like to take references from your earlier bands with you to your next projects ? Is that a conscious move ?
DP: Yeah I always do stuff like that. I like the idea of some kind of continuation of my own work, regardless of what 'brand name' is goes under.
- You have gone from fairly reknowned bands as Anathema and Antimatter, to start from scratch with Alternative 4. How is it to rebuild a band from the beginning in the modern music industry ?
DP: These are strange times for independent music. If you're not with a big management or an old established name then theres a lot of work to do. Since I quit Anathema though I have chosen to stay out of the 'industry' as such, and just work with labels who believe in the music. So it can get difficult at times, but it was a conscious choice and I'm proud of what I have done.
- You also have your other band, Ion, which is a lot more experimental. Is that something you plan on resurrecting at some point ?
DP: Yes I have ideas for a third album but it could be a while off. At the moment I'm working on string arrangements for a trilogy of cinematic orchestral albums containing themes from my entire discography. That is going to keep me busy for the foreseeable future.
- What's the best track that you've ever written ?
DP: Its a toss-up between Eternity part III and Fe Esperanza Amor. Tomorrow I'd probably choose something different. Expire is boss as well.
- Do you take inspiration from others when writing music ?
DP: Roger Waters is, and always has been a huge inspiration. But I think everything that has had a strong effect on me is inspiring in some way. Going back to the magic of Christmas carols in winter to when I first heard Slayer as a young teenager.
- Where do you see Alternative 4 go from here ?
DP: I already have ideas for the 3rd album. The date of it really depends on how I get on with the string scoring for the orchestral trilogy. If I need a break from that it could happen sooner than I imagine right now. You never know these days.
"The Obscurants" er i butikkene nå, og for mere om Alternative 4 så kan du klikke inn her:
Evt hans andre prosjekt Ion som kan besøkes her: