With the release of CALLENISH CIRCLE's new album "[Pitch.Black.Effects]" not too long ahead anymore, I had the chance to ask the band a number of questions. As two years ago already, the band's guitar player Ronny Tyssen took some time to answer them. |
Hello CALLENISH CIRCLE.
More than two years have passed since the last studio album "My Passion // Your Pain". Could you give our readers a short idea of what happened in this time?
Ron: After releasing MP//YP we did quite a lot of club shows, played some festivals, did the ‘Bonded By Metal’ tour (together with Exodus, Nuclear Assault, God Dethroned a.o.). After this we had kind of a sabbatical, mainly because of the lack of time of our drummer due to the fact he was building a house. But this was no problem as we got the time to sit back, think over what we wanted with the new album and get some fresh ideas.
Another thing is that we need a little pressure to become productive. With every album we decide to start early with composing new material. But when the studio isn’t booked, the writing process is going pretty slowly.
Also we spent a lot of time writing the material. We tried some different stuff. Some of it we used, some of it ended in the garbage, so that costs time.
Beside this we experimented with digital sounds. This input is provided by Gail Liebling (our sound engineer, front man of Gail of God and PBE’s producer). Also seeking the proper way to integrate this new input into our music took a little time.
Furthermore we keep changing arrangements, even when we’re in the studio. The end result is what counts, so if it takes a little more time and effort, so be it.
Personally, I really liked "MP // YP" a lot. What reactions towards the album did you experience from the fans?
Ron: the reactions we got on the album were really positive from all over the world. We gained a lot of fans with F_P_D, our first album on Metal Blade and I think MP//YP was music wise in the same vein as F_P_D, only a step forward regarding every aspect of it, production, song-writing, riffing etc, so I think the fans we won with F_P_D also liked MP//YP very much.
Let's talk about your new album "[Pitch.Black.Effects]" and let's start with this title right away. What is it supposed to express, especially because of the unusual way it's written?
Ron: Our drummer Gavin came up with the idea for the title so I will have him speak a few words on this matter.
Gavin: A few years ago I was in Berlin visiting the Jewish museum. Besides the whole Jewish history the most impressive part was (regrettably) everything concerning the holocaust. One room in the museum was created to give the visitor an impression of how it would feel to be locked in one of the camps. You must imagine to be in a concrete building ; pitch black, cold, humid, alone, feeling really tiny, desperate and the only light was too far way and unreachable. For some reason this made a huge impression on me and when I read a poem a few months ago it immediately reminded me of my visit at the museum. The poem told a story of someone in a hopeless situation, who got their energy from really simple things, like this beam of light coming into the room every morning. The poem described this experience as coming from a completely dark environment (pitch black) into a light environment. What you get is this overexposed effect. Besides the title ´[PITCH.BLACK.EFFECTS]´, the song ‘Schwarzes Licht’ describes this whole story and the overexposed effect also comes back into the artwork.
I have not yet had much time to listen to the album, but my first impression is that it's even a little more diverse than its predecessor was. I even believe having heard some electronic influence. Am I fooled by my ears there or were you really in a rather experimental mood to a certain extent?
Ron: Yep, you heard that correct... On our former album ‘My Passion//Your Pain’ we already experimented a bit with digital sounds, but they were more used as intro's between the songs. This time we cooperated very closely with Gail Liebling (our sound engineer, front man of Gail of God and PBE’s producer) which resulted in the electronic samples being more integrated in the music itself. The electronic sounds are now part of the songs instead of just being the intro / outro between songs.
We simply didn't want to record the same album twice, that's the main reason why we explored new fields and used more digital stuff on the new album.
Like many others I read your studio report and especially the recording sessions seems to have been very exhausting, definitely more than some others I heard or read about. Did I misunderstand that?
Ron: we made some pretty long days, which were exhausting indeed, but the reason for that was nothing else than motivation and dedication. We simply wanted to get the best out of ourselves. Gail was also an inspiring producer on this matter, he really knows what a hard day work means. He’s a real soundaholic and also gave a 100% to get the best result.
How do you feel about the album, now that quite some time has passed since the recordings? Are you 100% satisfied?
Ron: I know it sounds corny to say that your last album is the best one, but it simply is. Everything we did worked out great. Right now I don’t know what I’ll do different on the next album. I also have a hard time picking my favourite tunes. Everyone seems to have different faves on this album and I think that’s a good sign.
We also used some different, for us new kinds of riffs and drum patterns in order to get another dimension, more variation, groove and catchiness in our sound. I think this way we definitely succeeded in creating a new sound without loosing the typical CC sound we found in our last albums. So, yes, I’m still 100% satisfied about everything this time.
'Schwarzes Licht' is one of those songs I thought about when I spoke of "being experimental" earlier in this interview. The chorus is sung by Gail Liebling aka Gail of God. How did that cooperation come together, what is the song about and why does it have a German chorus?
Ron: With “Schwarzes Licht” we wanted to create the atmosphere of the meaning of the album title, because this song is in fact what the album title is about.
When writing this song we were discussing about what we could add to reach this atmosphere. We came up with the female German voice. In fact Gail’s wife Kaleen (also bass player of Gail of God), is responsible for both the lyrics and the voice and is exactly what the song needs.
You have been and will be touring these days. How many of the new songs did you play live already and how did the audience react towards these songs?
Ron: Up till now we played 5 songs of the new album live. Especially Ignorant was quite a surprise for the audience as they weren’t expecting these kind of digital effects. But it seems everybody likes it!
Your fronter Patrick quit his job as a promoter at Karmaggeddon Media, if I'm not completely wrong. Do you expect the major breakthrough after this album or was that step necessary to be able to tour extensively to support the album?
Ron: Right again, Pat does not work for KM anymore. I don’t expect anything, that’s a thing we learned of all the shit we’ve been through with previous labels. So, we’ll see what will happen. Of course we want to tour again, and hopefully we can visit the USA and Japan this time, as this is the third album being released over there. But in the first place we’re making this music for ourselves, so even if we’ll not make the breakthrough, we’ll keep on polluting the music industry with our cd’s.
Do you plan to let another 2 years pass until the next album or do you already have new song ideas somewhere in your tour baggage?
Ron: it’s not our intention to wait again for 2 years, but you never know what’s going to happen, right? We’ll take as much time as necessary to write another killer album and if that needs 2 years again, so be it…
I always try to gather ideas for new songs, but for now main priority is promoting [P.B.E] as good as possible.
Well, lots of questions already therefore I'll just stop here. Thank you very much for your time and for answering my questions. I wish you much success for this album and the gigs you're playing.
Ron: Allright! Thanx to you for your interest in CC and the intie! We appreciate it.
For the readers: check out our new album if you’re into some heavy and modern xtreme metal and let us know what you think!!
Hope to see y’all on the road sometime. Cheerz… Ron.