Interview with

The following is the original English version of an interview Simon did with

How did you grow up listening to music, what inspired you to take up your instruments?

Well, each of us is going to have a unique answer to this question and you can find specific details in the band member biographies on our website. Generally speaking, we all more or less would have started off listening to some form of rock/metal music before discovering progressive metal via one of the major bands such as Dream Theater, who are probably the main common influence/inspiration amongst the band members. Inspiration to pick up our instruments would have come from a general exposure to music in which the instrument featured or from the playing of a particular individual. Beyond this, I suppose that a common feature for the members in a band like us is that sooner or later they discover and are highly impressed by musicians who excel on the instrument they play. This in turn inspires them to reach higher levels of proficiency.

Why did you choose Lasse Lammert to master the album?

Our EP was mixed by Dean Wells at Shredville Studios in Melbourne. Dean works with Lasse and recommended him to us.

Tell me about your personal incentives to form a band subscribing to the classical Progressive Metal sound (contradictory, isn’t it?).

Apart from a passion for creating and playing this type of music, another motivating factor in forming the band was a desire to contribute to the under-represented progressive metal scene in our native Australia.

Obviously musical genre categorisation and terminology is not a straightforward matter. Regarding the apparent contradictory nature of the term ‘classical progressive metal’, it is important to establish that there are two senses of the term ‘progressive metal’ and that once this is done things becomes clearer. The first sense refers to progressive metal as a genre of music, in the sense that Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Symphony X are progressive metal bands. We can also appropriately term this ‘prog metal’. With the second sense, ‘progressive’ is used as an adjective to describe metal music that is progressive, because it is different or moves on from some point.

Prog metal as a genre got its name because it was progressing from something. To start off with, it combined elements of heavy metal and progressive rock music. Furthermore, it incorporated a bunch of elements that went beyond the standard metal frameworks, elements such as musical eclecticism, conceptual themes, technical proficiency, unusual time signatures and unorthodox song structures for the sake of example.

Now, this prog metal tradition/framework, in which we locate Circadian Pulse, clearly provides a lot of room to explore and create new music. But whilst by this nature a piece of music that is created within this framework is likely to be varied and somewhat distinct, being progressive in the sense of a genre does not necessarily imply being progressive in the sense of the adjective and prog metal bands can be generic. In identifying ourselves as a progressive metal band, our aim is to use the prog metal framework as our basis whilst incorporating some experimentation and not shying away from being progressive in the adjectival sense if we do come up with something that is novel and good.

That being said, sometimes there is a good reason to draw from well-worn music structures and styles. For example, our song ‘Failed by a System’ is a fairly straightforward metal song with some very minor ‘prog tinges’. But that was a deliberate song writing choice and the music fits with the theme of the song. At the end of the day music is about using sound to express things and the larger the toolkit to draw from the better.

“Failed By A System” speaks about an ailing person that is not helped by anybody. What are you up to here exactly, given that you seem to blame the “system”?

Whilst the song is based on a certain personal experience, the general point is that systems/services can be rigid and like assembly lines, where help is provided in a mechanically efficient, though impersonal manner. As a result, services provided within these systems can fail or neglect certain individual cases; people can fall through the cracks.

“Hourglass” addresses ecological problems; are you especially concerned with this as Australians?

Actually, according to our vocalist Adrian Sofia, who wrote the lyrics for this song, Hourglass is not about ecological problems. It is about general issues around us and life’s difficulties, things that one is oblivious to when they are younger but start to become aware of as they come of age.

Was “No Return” planned to be so long, and what is it that justifies this length?

At the outset with ‘No Return’ we were aiming to have a longish song in that type of progressive metal style. I certainly think that the length is justified. The song is varied all the way through and has a deliberate structure in which the music moves with and expresses/mirrors the theme explored in the lyrics. Also, some room was appropriately made for the instrumental sections.

“Sea Of Sand” obviously refers to the desert and evokes images of Egypt. Where is the connection to “Without Love”, if any?

‘Sea of Sand’ was composed by our keyboardist Dave Holley whilst ‘Without Love’ was written by our vocalist Adrian Sofia. There is no connection between the two pieces.

Which problems do you face as a band from down under?

To begin with, a meagre scene for the type of music we play, despite the fact that our native Melbourne has a population of just over four million people. The fact that overall Australia has a relatively small population and is so geographically isolated from obvious markets for our music such as North America and Europe (where we are getting the most attention) are further problems.

What are your ambitions for the close and distant future?

To start playing live more, to continue generating interest in the band and to start working on our first full album.

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