For the uninitiated, tell us who The Surrealist are?
The Surrealist is an experimental metal band comprised of myself on guitar, John-Marc Degaard on drums, andBeauman Edwards on bass. We love exploring and pushing the boundaries of human emotion through interesting ideas. Though we like to call ourselves metal, a lot of what we do explores other territories such as minimalism, classical music, jazz and soundtrack material.
Tell us what influence do you have over your audience as a band and individuals?
I believe the listener will pick up on a lot of subtle yet prominent metal elements peppered through our more clean and ethereal music. We borrow a lot of the characteristics of metal polyrhythms, intricate guitar and drum playing, fast tempos and use them as the foundation of what we layer on top.
What drives you to compose such hypnotizing pieces? Is it all personal or do you take cues from your favorite musicians too?
A lot of it stems from our deep admiration of minimalism, surrealism and psychedelic music and art. We love building deep and intricate atmospheres and textures that build lush, ethereal soundscapes.
While composing music do you keep the live setting in mind or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?
We write solely to create the best track possible. Only when it’s complete we begin worrying about how we’re going to pull it off live. Thinking about the live setting whilst in the composition process would probably inhibit our capacity to write such surrealistic music. We wish to be as free as possible when creating new ideas. Composing and performing are also two different mindsets that we wish not to tie together.
Every video that you make is so perfectly crafted to suit the context of the song. How important do you think visual narration is to exactly articulate the meaning/emotion of a song?
It’s indispensable. Artwork and visual design have the ability to contextualize music, which creates more dimension between the listener and the music. I’ve become so enthralled by art that I’ve started exploring graphic design. So not only do I write for the band but I’ve also started creating the visuals and the motion graphics for The Surrealist. This allows us to achieve full autonomy of the artistic vision for the band since we now do all the artwork ourselves.
You guys have released your debut EP “Naked Awareness” last year. How has the journey been so far?
It’s been incredible. The response has been super inspiring and encouraging. We couldn’t be happier with the way things are unfolding. Not only have we seen great progress as a band, but we’ve also grown as musicians, and have been more driven than ever to further develop our craft.
What inspired you to make “Origami”?
Origami represents a huge development in our sound and direction as a band. Within the song, there’s an exploration of a new guitar technique I’d been working on. I think it’s called harp harmonics, where certain notes of a chord are tapped in a way that produces artificial harmonics. It’s incredibly inspiring. The name ‘Origami’ stems from the Japanese art of origami. It represents the playfulness and complexity of the song, and the rising and falling elements remind one of the folding and unfolding elements of creating a beautiful piece of Origami.
With each musical genre having such a rich history and diverse background, do you feel that music means something different to performers of different styles? How does this affect your work with different artists
One could argue that art is purely subjective and how one is brought up in different parts of the world has a significant effect on one’s experience of music. Whichever form of music moved you at the time could represent how one perceives the world as well. A jazz guitarist would definitely see the world in a different way than a Heavy-Metal shredder. As for The Surrealist, we love blending the different styles together to produce something that’s unheard.
The role of an artist is always subject to change. What is your view on the (political/social creative) tasks of the artist today, and how do you try to meet these goals?
In every period of human civilization, there’s always been political-social disquiet. Artists have always held their ground and have been the bedrock of all of our culture. Exploring art is a way of expanding our consciousness a form of discovery, both outwards and inwards.
How do you think, could non-stream forms of music reach wider audiences?
Probably the best way to reach more people is simply to build a network of musicians who are like-minded and have similar aspirations that you have. That way, you grow together and can share each other’s audience.
Do you feel marketing is important in shaping a musician, or do you think good music is all it takes to break the wall?
The most important thing is always the music. The music has to be pure, from the heart and simply stellar. That being said it’s definitely important to adopt a holistic and more entrepreneurial approach towards becoming a
professional musician. Having a content and marketing strategy is paramount to success. I like to think of it this
way if you’re music is amazing, then it’s your duty to get it out there and touch as many people’s lives as possible.
Music for music’s sake or music for life’s sake?
Is there a difference? (Laughs). Music for the Universe’s sake.
How do you want your fans to remember you and your music after having listened to you?
We hope to blow them away (Laughs). We want the listener to feel compelled, to think existentially when they listen to our material. If it moves you in some way, then we’ve done our job. Music is such a powerful unifying force.
What should we look forward to in the coming year from you?
We plan on rolling out a single every two months or so, along with a music video for each release, possibly
leading up to a major release by the end of this year!
You can find more about The Surrealist at the following links: