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Interview: Scale the Summit

mit Chris Letchford vom 12. Mai 2013 via Mail
Wie fühlt man sich eigentlich als Musiker, wenn man sein fertig produziertes Album in den Händen halten darf? Ist man dann mit dem Ergebnis sofort und in jedem denkbaren Fall zufrieden, oder denkt man sich schon bald, dass man so viel hätte anders oder besser machen können? Das erlebt ja jeder von uns ab und zu mal, dass die besten Ideen erst nach der Fertigstellung eines Projektes durch die Synapsen wandern ...
Aus welchen Gründen sollte man denn überhaupt ein Album abliefern, mit dem man als Künstler eventuell unzufrieden wäre? Vielleicht durch vom Label gesetzte Abgabefristen? Oder eventuell auch einfach dadurch, dass jedes Bandmitglied etwas zum fertigen Werk beiträgt und dadurch auch Elemente einfließen, die zwar die Band ganz gut repräsentieren, aber die Einzelperson eher weniger? Wie wichtig ist es überhaupt, dass am Ende jedes Bandmitglied völlig zufrieden mit der vollbrachten Arbeit ist?
Wie man sieht, ist das alles eine ziemlich komplexe Situation, mit der man sich im Zuge der Fertigstellung seines eigenen Werkes auseinandersetzen muss. Die Jungs von Scale the Summit haben, wie uns Frontmann Chris Letchford berichtet, gerade das erste Album produziert, mit dem er wirklich vollständig zufrieden ist. „The Migration“ heißt der Silberling und er soll ab Anfang Juni in den heimischen Ladenregalen auffindbar sein.
Was man vom nunmehr vierten Album der Band erwarten darf, wie die Produktion überhaupt aussah und was sie uns mit ihrer Musik denn nun sagen wollen, erfahrt ihr im unten stehenden Interview.
Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

The Interview:

Alex Kipke: Hi Chris! How are you doing?
Chris Letchford: Doing great, thanks!
Alex: Your latest album „The Migration“ will be released on June 11th. What can you tell us about it?
Chris Letchford: Its our very first album that I'm actually 100% happy with, from the song writing, to the production and the artwork. All the pieces finally came together.
Alex: How did you guys do the songwriting? Did you come with finish songs or was it more like having rough ideas and working them out in a jamming session?
Chris Letchford: I handle most of the initial song writing. I write all the guitars and organize the overall composition. Then once I finish with the guitars, I send the music over to our bassist and drummer so they can write their parts. Everyone now and then, a few riffs or so each song I’ll write the drum or bass part, but thats only if I come up with something on the spot. I like them putting in their own ideas. This way works out really good. We are now on our 4th album, so we’re all really on the same page when it comes to writing this way. It goes really smooth.
Alex: What is the most difficult part of the songwriting process?
Chris Letchford: There really isn't anything difficult for us.
Alex: Can you tell us something about the production of the LP? Do you use a studio or do you work it out at home?
Chris Letchford: We recorded at Basement Studios in North Carolina with Jamie King. He captured the album exactly the way I think we all pictured it. I see us doing many records with him.
Alex: How do you know when you are finished? Today, you have so many possibilities to put more and more into a song and rework it over and over again until it's literally “produced to death”. Is there a point where you lose objectivity?
Chris Letchford: We go into the studio with everything already written out, so we just have to hit record and start. When it comes to mixing, yes, you can continue to tweak the mix and edit things forever, you have to just get it to the point where you are happy enough and call it a day. That can definitely be hard at times.
Alex: What’s the intention behind your music? Do you want to transport a certain message – or different ones in different songs? Or is it more like pure entertainment?
Chris Letchford: Its a mixture of both for us, we want it to be entertaining from the technical side, but also have the songs be songs and really project an image. And since we’re instrumental our music gives the option for people to really see what they want to see while listening, since we dont have lyrics that force your brain on what to think about.
Alex: Which track from the album do you like most and why?
Chris Letchford: I flip flop a lot depending on my mood, but „Odyssey“ would probably be one of my favorites, I think it has a lot of different options and emotion in it, plus ist super aggressive.
Alex: What do you think about vinyl and it's current comeback?
Chris Letchford: I think its amazing. We sold out of our first pre-order package of vinyl in two hours once it was launched. With vinyl you have the option to get more creative with the packaging so for fans purchasing it, they are getting something more collectable.
Alex: What can you tell us about the artwork of your latest album?
Chris Letchford: Ducan Storr created the image with water color. Its more of a surreal style painting sort of in the style of all the past YES records, which I have always loved and was sort of going for with this album. Duncan wrote us during our last album, „The Collective“ and said he loved the band, thats what introduced me to his artwork.
Alex: Are there any tour activities planned after the release of it?
Chris Letchford: We leave for tour with Intronaut for the first tour in support of „The Migration“. We’ll be out for about seven weeks for US and Canada. Hoping to make it over to Europe before the year ends.
Alex: How do you deal with the fact that you are often far away from your friends and family?
Chris Letchford: At first it was hard, but we have been in this band for almost eight years, we’re all pretty used to it now and my and our other guitarist have been with the same girls since the band started. They have accepted what we do as well and are very supportive.
Alex: How is your experience in concerts? Is it only a small elite of fans coming, or are the people quite open to your musical approach when you’re playing like at a festival?
Chris Letchford: People definitely seem to open when we play. We usually stand out as the „different“ band, especially in festival settings. So it's refreshing to see people so open.
Alex: Has there ever been a moment in your musical career where you felt like having lost the energy to go with the touring? What did you do?
Chris Letchford: No, when you come and go from tour and being at home for lengthful times you begin to miss both, so it's refreshing to be home but Im already itching to get back out on the road. Just have to find a good balance of both.
Alex: What's the reason you started with music and what makes it so special for you?
Chris Letchford: I grew up around music and instruments. I have been playing a musical instrument since age five, so ist always been a part of my life. It's a way of expressing myself without words, it's awesome.
Alex: How much of a deal is music in your very own live? Is it just a job?
Chris Letchford: Lucky for me it is my job, but its still art first. So its a big deal!
Alex: What do you think, how has the music changed over the last 40 years and especially in the last years?
Chris Letchford: There are always new sub genre’s that come out, but I think its more based around what people are into these days that I find weird. To each his own though!
Alex: Do you think that music will, in the future, become more significant for our everyday lives again? Like in the 70s, where it literally changed people’s lives?
Chris Letchford: I still think it does, there will always be people that cruise through life without experiencing music, but it's always been like that.
Alex: What do you think: What’s the problem with the music today? It seems to become more and more superficial and random.
Chris Letchford: Well you can dig deep into any industry, I really dont think „music“ is in the shitter. There will always be bands that everyone dislikes or likes, until the end of time.
Alex: Are there any remarkable, special or funny moments with the band you'll remind for a long time? Maybe on stage or beside the stage?
Chris Letchford: For me was getting to tour with Dream Theater.
Alex: What can the fans expect from you in the future?
Chris Letchford: More and more music!
Alex: What do you expect from your fans?
Chris Letchford: Hopefully to keep sticking with us.
Alex: That's it, thanks for your time! Now it's up to you to leave some final greetings for the people.
Chris Letchford: Hope everyone looks into our band and checks out our new album „The Migration“ when it comes out June 11th.
Moderation: Alexander Kipke

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