SOURCE – The new record In Sequence sounds amazing and it’s out there! How do you feel about it? What has the feedback been so far?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – Thank you! The first reviews we’ve seen have all been really good, even excellent. The fans seem to enjoy it as well, so it’s looking good so far!
SOURCE – What makes In Sequence Amoral’s best album to date?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – I don’t think it’s up to me to say if it’s our best album or not. Even if I might think so, haha. But for me, this album contains some of the best songwriting, arrangements, performance and melodies of our history.
SOURCE – What are the lyrics of the album talking about? Could get us through the lyrics of the songs?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – In Sequence is a concept album, based on something I hard about a few years ago. A young, very talented guitar player was locked in an institution here in Helsinki. I’m not sure why for, if it was mental illness, addiction or what. But I knew the janitor who worked there, and he said that every day while working he’d listen to the dude playing guitar in his room, with the music coming out of his window. According to the janitor, his playing was just beautiful. But one day, coming to work, he learned that the kid had committed suicide.
That story really stuck with me, and was in the back of my head for a very long time. Finally I just started to write about it: who was this person? Why was he locked in? Why did he end up taking his own life? Many of the songs on the album are just my different indplays on what could have been going on in his head, what he was going through. In the story, the guy lives his life as a big believer in synchronicity. But once synchronicity stops working for him, that’s when he gets really lost.
SOURCE – Songs like The Betrayal seem to like they have a flavor of middle East either on the melodies or on the overall atmosphere. Where do you receive inspiration from?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – I’m not sure where that came from. I wrote the riffs first, and somehow the vocal melodies I thought of had that middle eastern vibe to them. That’s why I wanted to ask Amine Benotmane format he Algerian band Acyl to do the intro for the song, as I thought it would fit great. And it did! But as far as inspiration goes, I’m a huge fan of the Israeli artist Idan Raichel, and I have been listening to him for years, so I’m sure some of those influences are showing on The Betrayal.
SOURCE – Did you film any videos for the album In Sequence?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – Yes, we did a performance video for Rude Awakening. We wanted to show the new six-piece band in action, now that our original singer Niko is back in the band.
SOURCE – I don’t want to get into comparisons with your other albums, but this time I think you surpassed yourselves. Which are the reasons, in your opinion that brought this result?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – We just try to outdo ourselves with every album. It really is that simple: always try to do something you have not done before, and do it better than the last time. But one reason for the band sounding better than before is that we’ve finally started to embrace our strengths in our music, instead of just playing every type of music. We really think this kind of progmetal you hear on this album and also on the previous one, Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows is really well-suited for this lineup.
SOURCE – Do you think that due to the current state of the industry (low sales of albums, etc.) it is important to add extra stuff to each release?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – I guess it could help sell a few more physical copies, yeah. But then again, making that extra stuff, wether it’s a bonus DVD, or a collectors box set etc, cost a lot of money, so you might end up losing more money than making by doing that extra stuff. Personally I do like all those extra goodies, the collectibles. But I don’t think it should be necessary. I really want to believe that the music is enough to draw attention.
SOURCE – Is this change in the music, not only in the industry, but in the way people listen to the music affecting a band like Amoral? Because, you obviously make complete albums for someone to listen, while music today is meant to be listened on Spotify etc, with standout tracks. Do you feel it affects you, on the way you write, on the way that your music is presented, on the way it’s accepted?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – No, it doesn’t affect the way we write or resent our music in any way. We like albums, a bigger piece of music that you can really sink your teeth into. Releasing one-off songs and singles is of course a good way to keep putting new stuff out in a faster pace, but I’m still a big believer in complete albums. That’s how I use Spotify too. I don’t really use their playlists, I just put on the artist I wanna listen to and choose one of their albums.
I think in rock and metal the album format is still very much alive and well. the single thing is more in rap, pop and dance music, I guess. But rock folks like to get “the bigger picture”.
SOURCE – Have you experienced any differences in how the foreign press treats you and the band compared to how native press and media treats and writes about you?
Ben Varon (Guitars) – Not really, no. Of course we’re better known here in Finland than in Brazil, for example, so we get more media coverage here. But other than that, I can’t think of any differences.
SOURCE – The final words are yours to say anything you like to your fans in Brazil.
Ben Varon (Guitars) – Thank you for all the support, and enjoy In Sequence!