Absolutely No Limits On Our Songwriting – Sindulgence Interview

Sindulgence is a rising star in the local metal scene, which probably has to do with the fact that they are one of the hardest working bands around. They play a unique style of metal that encompasses progressive elements as well as death metal and even some ‘core thrown in. In light of their debut Metal4Africa performance at Winterfest in July and their upcoming album launch this weekend, Stentorian got a hold of the sinners and fired off some questions.

M4A: It’s good to see metal a band do something else for a change, and put so much work into their music as much as you do. Where did you record the album and what was the process like?
Thank you. We have put in over eight months of work into getting everything for the album, DVD and launch party exactly how we want it. We recorded with Dean Hammond at his home studio in Durbanville in January 2012. The process was very smooth and Dean is an amazing person to work with – he’s very chilled and has an excellent ear for music and the type of sound we were going for. He really helped us dial in the perfect balance of aggression and beauty while also making room for some dynamics in the music (even though metal is typically not very dynamic these days.)
Recording took roughly ten days and then an additional few sessions to touch up some parts, add tweaks and extra awesomeness to the tracks. The album was then mixed and mastered gradually by Dean over the period of the following few months with many back and forth, trial and error, pull-your-hair-out moments that we conquered eventually. We tried to capture a very natural and live kind of sound for this one so that when people see us on stage it’s identical to what they’ve been hearing on the record, and we think Dean has done an excellent job in that regard.

There’s also a DVD available that documents the album’s creation – what madcap tomfoolery will be on this DVD?
The DVD was an absolute nightmare to make! It was recorded over a period of four months (toward the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012) and includes some of our finest moments on stage, raucous backstage hokey pokey antics, exclusive interviews, insight into the local scene and a whole lot of comedy. It’s a very accurate reflection of what goes on behind the scenes within the band and how everything coexists to make the Sindulgence machine tick.
The DVD was filmed by the band members and friends and was later edited, authored and mastered entirely by Ryan Eberlin, our lead guitarist, who pretty much owned that thing! We’re very proud of the end product and we believe that a lot of people will get to know us better and appreciate the work that goes into being a productive metal band after watching it.

M4A: So, the obligatory influences question – you guys have quite a diverse sound; what influences your decisions in songwriting?
The essence of our songs comes from a massive library of influences that we’ve gotten into over the years. We basically put absolutely no limits whatsoever on our songwriting. If we want to throw in some country and jazz on a riff or two, there are no objections to making it work for the signature Sindulgence sound.
While each member brings a very vast array of different influences, there are a few bands that we have in common as inspiration. Some of these names include System of a Down, Lamb of God, Tool and Iron Maiden (among many others). Of course it has become impossible to compare us to any one band since we try to make music that is different from what people are used to hearing.

M4A: What’s your favourite song on the album?
We don’t really have a favourite, but “Keith” and “Pale Gardens” are among the more intense and emotional songs where we really pushed ourselves and reached new ground on our songwriting.

M4A: It seems quite a bit of planning has gone into the album launch, and it’s set to be quite a big event with a number of bands playing. What is on the cards for the night?
Most definitely! We planned the album and launch in 2011 already. After teaming up with Event Horizons, we decided to finalize a spectacular line up, book one of Cape Town’s most popular venues for metal, and cater for all of our fans by making special arrangements with the club for entry for all ages.
The event is in the same vein as a mini-festival, there will be a merch store, prize give-aways, merch give-aways and amazing bands. We will be headlining the show and closing off the night with a double set (about an hour and a half of stage time.) We’ve got plenty of wily antics and cool surprises to dazzle our adoring audience and feed their hungry desires for good entertainment.

M4A: This will be your first Metal4Africa event at Winterfest ’12 – on a scale of 1 to brain explosion how excited are you and what can we expect from your performance?
Brain explosion pretty much sums it up! It’s been a while, and we finally feel that we are now ready to grace the stage that so many talented acts have jammed before us. We’re planning an extra special show just for Metal4Africa with some really interesting ideas to give our audience something to remember. We really can’t wait to be part of something that has been so dear in the hearts of our local metal scene for these many years.

Catch Sindulgence, Forgive Us Not, Suiderbees, With Dawn, The Thunder Gods (Amon Amarth tribute band), Infanteria and Strident this Saturday the 23rd of June at ROAR. See the Facebook event for more details.