Talkin ‘Bout Flex: Panopticon

Since Issue #75, Decibel has brought you left-of-center b-sides, rarities, live recordings and new songs from top-tier metal bands via the outstanding Flexi Series.  Want to hear the stories behind these recordings?  Read on.

It’s possible you haven’t yet realized how mind-blowing Decibel‘s Metal and Beer Fest will be, just under two weeks from now.  Perhaps you haven’t looked at the band lineup.  Maybe you haven’t checked out the brewery/beer list.  Or did you not read the most recent issue (#151, May 2017, Municipal Waste cover) that includes detailed descriptions of the attending bands and breweries (and inducts The Bleeding into our Hall of Fame)?

Undeniably, one of the weekend’s biggest draws is the Saturday performance by Panopticon.  Before that performance, though – and before Panopticon drop their much-anticipated next album – we got to hear “Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing” in the ongoing Decibel Flexi Series (shipped with Issue #149, March 2017, Immolation cover).  After dozens of listens, we wanted to get mastermind Austin Lunn’s perspective on the song and its creation.  Listen again below, and remember to pack that warm wolves’ clothing for your upcoming trip to Philly!

When were you approached to contribute to the Flexi Series?

Albert asked me about it when we were on the phone talking about the upcoming festival and it came up over conversation. He asked me to do it and I obliged without hesitation. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.

How did you choose to contribute “Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing” to the Decibel Flexi Series?

I wanted to do something off of the new album, which is a double album. Most of the songs are very long on the metal disk ( the second disk is definitely NOT metal in any way). Granted, what is going on politically  in our country was a major influence on the song, so I went and tracked the song just to blow steam.

When and where did you record the song?  How much time and work did it take?  Did it differ at all from your regular recording schedule?

I have been working on writing and recording the new album over the past year and a half (and it still isn’t anywhere near done). I generally take a long time to record, but am constantly working on something so it seams like I work quickly…I don’t.  This song was recorded the day after election day.  I was generally disgusted with the entire election cycle and used the song as an opportunity to vent my anger and frustration about the prior 15 months. Recording-wise, on my end, everything was the same as usual…me holed up in a garage that’s been walled off and converted to a studio pace… My recording gear is pretty simple. I am not particularly tech savvy. However, I had Spenser Morris re-amp, mix and master the song  for the flexi. He is continuing to do the bulk of the engineering work on the rest of the album, alongside mix reviews and final mastering by Colin Marston.

Your Flexi is blue with gold lettering.  Any thoughts about the color choice?

The flexi is blue with gold lettering because I wanted it to have some of the colors that are on the Minnesota and Kentucky flags which are blue. Since there wasn’t yellow lettering I chose gold which was close enough for me. It was just a symbolic gesture for the places I call home…my friends and family back in Kentucky  and my home here in the woods of eastern central Minnesota.

Have you listened to other songs in the Flexi Series?  What is your favorite Flexi so far?

Albert sent me a couple and I have also gotten to hear some of the songs digitally. I have to say the Crypt Sermon cover of “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” as a traditional doom song blew my mind. I thought it was so creative and well done. Those guys are heroes.

Check out all the Decibel flexis here.