In one month, Chicago prog metal unit Dissona will self-release their second full-length scorcher to the general public. Called Paleopneumatic, the album wormhole-hops through myriad styles and instrument combinatorial choices. The overall effect is a twisted journey through a musical landscape molded by dudes who really know their shit. Promotional blurbs state that Dissona have played shows with Sigh, Cynic, Leprous and Unexpect (as well as others), and students of those bands will find a lot to enjoy about Dissona.
Today we bring you the lead-off track from Paleopneumatic called “Another Sky” and a short interview with the band about how the new record came together. Dig it? You can get down with more Dissona at their Bandcamp page or keep up with current news at Facebook. Of course, everybody also needs Twitter, Instagram and official band site presence to really feel like whole people, so yeah, get on that, too.
It’s fucking Monday… Let Dissona take you somewhere else and help you avoid your dismal reality.
Who makes up Dissona? What kind of backgrounds (musical and non-musical) do the members have?
David Dubenic on vocals, Matt Motto on guitars, Drew Goddard on drums and Craig Hamburger on bass.
We all come from middle-class, suburban families, not necessarily ones filled with artists or creative types. We all found that our passion for music exceeded our passions for anything else. Heavy metal happens to be the shared love of us all, but the musical taste of the band spreads far beyond just that. We don’t have any established family or friends in the scene. We simply know what we love and wish to play music that expresses us to the utmost.
How did you get together and start playing this style of music?
David, Matt, and Craig have been playing together since 2006. Our style has continually evolved since then, especially since the addition of Drew in 2010. The intent was never to be pinned down to any certain style of music outside of the fact that we were obviously heavy metal. We simply wanted to play the kind of music we wanted to hear, and our various influences coming together drove us down our current path.
What kinds of emotions or philosophies or musical ideas drove the creative process behind the new songs on Paleopneumatic? How connected are the lyrics to the musical thought process?
We wanted to express a very large variety of emotions for this album. Before the music writing process began, David had created and presented a semi-organized collection of very metaphorical notes, short stories, and visual art that symbolize the emotions we wished to convey in musical form. For a specific example, the album artwork that represents “Outside the Skin” and “Breach” was created to symbolize both an overwhelming emotional connection to something and the chaotic plummet from having that connection severed. Essentially, ideas like this are what inspired and assisted the writing process and overall flow of Paleopneumatic. As the ideas and imagery became more solidified, so did the music and lyrics. With that said, the lyrical content, as well as the album art, is very much connected with the musical thought process.
How was the work you did on Paleopneumatic different from the way the last album came together?
The writing of Dissona was basically us realizing that we had enough material to compile into an album, so let’s do that. We were exploring all sorts of musical ideas and pathways for a few years and eventually had enough to form what we believe to be a cohesive work. Paleopneumatic from the start was an entirely different affair. The album was strictly planned out as far as feeling, intensity, stylistic choice, and song placement within the greater whole. Some of the material had already been written prior to us conceiving the overarching structure, but still was able to be fit into the “narrative”.
Do you tend to work through compositions in a linear way or do you have different musical ideas that are put together later?
Our writing process is never completely consistent. MOST of the time we write linearly, but there have been plenty of instances where that has not been the case. We keep every bit of material we believe to be worth saving on our computers for reference later, and sometimes we will have seeds of songs that will be greatly added to down the line. Sometimes it takes time to reflect on an idea and realize what value, or lack thereof, it has in relation to itself or its possible expansion.
How much have you been playing live shows over the last year? What touring goals do you have when the new album comes out?
We took over about a year off from playing shows for the recording and producing process of Paleopneumatic, but during the writing of the album we were playing out about once every 1-2 months. As far as touring, we are open to offers! Any kind of tour is an exciting prospect.
What music have you been listening to recently? How much of an impact do you feel it has on your own work?
David: Nero – Between II Worlds; Drew: Between the Buried and Me – Alaska; Matt: Enshine – Origin; Craig: CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
It doesn’t have an impact on any CURRENT work. We’re done writing for quite some time. Surely, however, any of these artists will have a future influence on writing. Our writing is continually influenced by anything we get attached to.