Interview with Michael Harris of DARKOLOGY.
1. Hello. How are you? How are things in the DARKOLOGY camp at the moment?
Excellent. We’re just kind of chilling & promoting our record, while hoping to hop on a tour or some festivals soon. We will have a 2nd video out as well in 2016, for the title track, and maybe more.
2. Your sophomore album entitled “Fated to Burn” was released a few months ago. How do you feel about it? Which were the goals that you had set with this album and how much or many of them have you achieved so far?
We’re over the moon about the record. The response has been beyond our expectations. Song-wise, we wanted the choruses/themes to be a bit simpler & catchier than our debut and a little less indulgence in the solos. And we feel we achieved that. And our fans & critics have made us feel that it was the right move.
3. There is a big time gap between the release of your debut album and the new one. Which were the reasons for that delay and how has this affected you as a band and of course as composers?
We actually had the album written and recorded 3 years ago, and it was in our label’s hands ever since. The down time didn’t affect us negatively. We have all been involved in other bands & projects, so we each moved onto those other musical endeavors. Wow, it sure didn’t seem like 6 years.
4. It might be my feeling, but I think that in your new album there is a strong JUDAS PRIEST element, do you agree? Which do you think are the new elements that you have introduced to your sound? Also which elements of your music existing in your previous releases have you evolved here and in which way?
Agreed that there is a JUDAS PRIEST vibe on some of the songs, especially with Chris T’s mix. Some new elements on “FTB” would include “Quantum Genocide”, which has a groove unlike any other DARKOLOGY song, “Festival of Fear”, which is a very theatrical piece that offers a new side of Sundown vocally, and “The Nightmare King”, a 4 parter which has a creepy acoustic chorus that we really dig. Our lyrics also represent a change from the debut record, as most were written by our bassist, Mike Neal, and he did a stellar job touching mostly on topics we hadn’t written about before.
5. Having Chris Tsangarides mixing your new album is really impressive and I have to say an extra motivation for the heavy metal fan to check it out. How did you manage to cooperate with him and what new did he bring to the sound of the band comparing it with your previous releases? In a few words which is the difference that Chris Tsangarides made here?
Chris gave us a killer crunchy old school mix with the ambience that we like (vocal delays, etc), and which wasn’t overcompressed. Thumbs up, Chris!
6. I am always interested in the lyrics. So, who writes them and what kind of lyrics do you like to write? Perhaps something that is food for thought or something that will make the listener “escape” a bit from reality?
Mike Neal, our bassist, wrote most of the lyrics. Prior to writing, we discussed making each tune about a powerful & relevant topic, and Mike did a great job exploiting that.
7. The title of your sophomore album is “Fated to Burn”. How did you come up with this title and who or what is fated to burn?
In the words of our bassist, Mike Neal, who wrote the title phrase, «the title reflects the threads woven throughout the album suggesting that the powers in control today lie and manipulate the populous and if we don't wake up and rise against them, it will be our downfall. As for choosing it for the title, it captured the tapestry of threads throughout the album and Kelly felt the song was also the 'rock anthem' track, so it seemed the logical choice.»
8. All things have a bright and not so bright side, so what do you like in the heavy metal scene and in the process of promoting your album and what you don’t or bores you to death?
Speaking for myself, I’d prefer to have someone else promote the records, as self-promoting requires basically bragging on yourself, which is tacky. Shooting videos, doing interviews, touring etc are all cool of course.
9. I think that being creative also means being ambitious (in the good way). So, if you had the money and all the necessary things that now you don’t, what would you like to do with or for your music? Which is your biggest dream at the moment (since these things change during the passing of time)?
Landing a songwriting publishing deal and composing music for films would be rad. And of course, DARKOLOGY landing a huge tour.
10. Let me take your mind off DARKOLOGY for a bit and ask you something silly. So, how important is electricity for heavy metal music and do you think that it could survive in a world without it and how?
Well if you had enough vocalists, you could crush one dark mean ass minor key heavy metal choir-based tune in a huge ambient room with no electricity needed. In the daytime, since there would be no lighting. No wait – this metal – definitely nightime. Screw the light. ha.
11. Back to “Fated to Burn” now. How have the press and fans accepted your album so far? Which is the best and which the worst comment that they have written for this release?
The reviews have truly been stellar. 95% positive. Getting several “album of the year” comments was the super cool. On the flip, I seem to recall one review being disappointed in the musicianship. That’s missing the whole point in my opinion though, as you don’t just shred all over every song simply “because you can”. You play what serves the song.
12. A big thanks for be patient to answer all these questions. I think that all the bands are kind of heroes when they answer the same questions again and again and only the questioner changes. I wish you the best of luck and please be kind and close this interview in any way you like…
You’re welcome Nick. I enjoyed it! And thanks to all you DARKOLOGY fans who read this interview & support the band and metal in general!
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis