Interview with Polyptych, Progressive Blackened Death Metal Band from America
Polyptych, Progressive Blackened Death Metal Band from Chicago, America. Polyptych are Scott Skopec - Guitar/Vocals, Howard Ruan - Guitar, Frank Lato - Bass/Synths/Vocals, and Troy Hoff - Drums. Polyptych gave us some Information about Polyptych via Email. Check it out.
Tell us about Polyptych?
Polyptych was initially conceived as a studio project. We never really imagined the band becoming what it has become now, and we weren’t taking the project quite as seriously as we do now. By the time we recorded our second album, Illusorium, we became a full live act with permanent members following the release of that album. Since the band’s origins, we have also incorporated a lot more complex ideas, both in the music and lyrics. Originally we focused on just being a death metal band that was heavy, but now we now approach everything from writing to production with a much different attitude than we did back in day. At this point, we are constantly trying to do something different on each album, as we take our listeners through unpredictable twists and turns with each song we write.
What are the lyrical themes of Polyptych?
Polyptych aims to express a wide range of lyrical concepts, and our goal is to fully realize those concepts through the music and artwork. Because our music from album to album is so different, this gives us a lot of freedom in choosing our concepts. We like to choose concepts that will be both intriguing to us and the listeners but we also like to choose concepts that will challenge us and the listeners as well. For example, on Illusorium we chose to explore the idea of a human being becoming a god and the type of emotional conflict one might face in this situation- the protagonist gains unimaginable power, but at the cost of his human identity, alienation from those he loves, and the guilt of having to pass judgment on the world. On Defying the Metastasis, we looked to historical, philosophical, and fictional accounts of totalitarianism, examining how individuals within these societies cope with and struggle against the institutions that oppress them. With Polyptych, the sky is the limit in terms on conceptual choices – we never quite know ourselves what we may write about in the future and there is no single concept that Polyptych seeks to explore. The lyrical content is further developed through the artwork of Chris Kiesling and Misanthropic Art. Without his additions, these ideas we have would never be fully realized. Chris’s work is integral to our final product and in developing the messages we wish to convey.
What are your influences?
Our musical tastes range from King Diamond to Deathspell Omega to Bjork to the Mars Volta. Most of us come from different musical backgrounds and while the common ground is obviously metal, there are definitely a lot of other musical interests amongst all the members. But it is these different musical backgrounds that bring a lot of variety to the band in terms of both our songwriting approach and each person’s individual performance.
Can you tell us about Metal Scene in Your Town?
Chicago, IL, United States, has a thriving metal scene. There’s a bunch of metal bands of all different styles around here, and there are tons of up and coming bands too. Bongripper is probably one of the biggest local acts we have right now. Other significant names include Yakuza, Bloodiest, Weekend Nachos, Like Rats, Ox King, and Harm’s Way. Some big up and comers we have seen recently include Warforged, Roman Ring, Nucleus, Dethbeds, Endmember, Vukari, and Den. We’re fortunate to be in a location where metal is loved and where people like to come out to local shows. It’s a fun city to be able to play in and we enjoy playing in Chicago whenever we do play.
Who are Your Favorite American Metal Bands?
Some of our favorite American metal bands are Iced Earth, Young and in the Way, Wolves in the Throne Room, Death, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Nevermore, and Cobalt to name a few. However, most of our major influences come from foreign bands.
How were the songs written?
In the past, writing was a bit more democratic, but for Defying the Metastasis Scott and Frank did the majority of the writing along with some valuable contributions from now ex-guitarist Young Werther. Scott also handled the vocal arrangements this time around and that would explain why the vocal patterns, in our opinion, are a lot more refined than on previous records. Vocals are something that have always important to us, but they have always been very tricky to nail down in a way that sounds good to us. Being three records in, we have now learned a lot about who does what best in this band and we think letting each person work on their own craft a little more than in the past was what made all the songs better on Defying. This does not mean there is not a collaborative effort within the band. There are still majority votes on things as needed, but giving each person a bit more room to excel in their respective skill sets is what made the difference when making this record. This is also something we will continue to do going forward since it worked so smoothly this time around.
How did the recording process go?
Recording was smooth and painless. We spent about 11 days at Bricktop Recording in Chicago, IL recording with Andy Nelson. Troy knocked out his drum parts in about 3 days and we finished up everything else in the remaining 8 days. Everyone was well rehearsed so we didn’t run into any issues. We are lucky to have members that are well versed on each of their instruments so we are always confident when we enter the studio. We get a bit nervous of course, but our performances on this record were on point and we were very happy with how we performed. After recording, we hired V. Santura from Triptykon and Dark Fortress to mix and master the record. This proved to be a great choice because he really made this record shine and his mixing style compliments Andy’s recording style very well. We couldn’t be happier with how the record sounds.
What are your future plans?
Our future plans are to play more shows and continue writing. We just landed a record deal with Blood Harvest, which has been great. While they are promoting Defying we are going to try to promote the record ourselves as well by playing more often. We’ve also gathered a decent amount of new material for the follow up album to Defying and we are starting to sift through that now. Whatever we do next definitely won’t sound like the last record, so everyone can expect something fresh when we do put out the next record, as this is our goal with each record we make.
Are there any countries you’re interested in touring or performing in? Why?
Anywhere outside the US would be fun to play, but of course Europe would be great because the metal culture there is so widely accepted and respected. We think Polyptych would probably be well received there. However, it would be fun to venture over to Asia as well because that is a totally different environment from anywhere else in the world and we know there are tons metal heads in that region as well. It would also be great to play some of the major festivals such as Roadburn, Hellfest, Summer Breeze, Tuska Open Air, Party San, and more.
What bands would you like to play alongside?
We really just like to play alongside any band that we think sounds good. If a band has solid musicians, unique sounding riffs, and a stellar live show, we would be willing to play with them. As far as bigger acts go, it would be awesome to play alongside bands like Akercocke, Voices, Triptykon, Destroyer 666, Ihsahn, Gorguts, and the like.
Any last words?
We want to thank everyone who has supported the band thus far, and we want to remind everyone that Defying the Metastasis will be officially released via Blood Harvest Records on October 14th. Preorders for the physical album CD can be made on Blood Harvest’s website (http://shop.bloodharvest.se). Digital copies will be sold via their bandcamp and our bandcamp page as well (Polyptych.bandcamp.com). Also, everyone can keep up to date with the band on our Facebook and/or Instagram! Thanks again for the support!