Albedo Adaptation of Miosis

Nick: Hey there Mattias. How are you doing, friend?

Mattias: Hi Nick, I feel very good today thank you.

Nick: So, let’s get to the main point, your band Miosis. Would you mind telling us how the band’s story began?

Mattias: Our story is a bit complex, but I´ll give it a try. It all started with myself and Fabian Ericson, we had been close friends for some years and also made some music together. In 2002 we decided to be more serious about our songwriting and a year later we did a four song EP called “Songs of passion”. We called this project Soma Soul Transfusion. A year after that we decided to form a full band of this concept and that’s where the story of Miosis started, though we didn’t start using that name until 2005. I think we made two or three EP´s until we got the contract for a full length album with Lion Music in 2008. The most complex part of this band have been the changes in the line up. It is hard to find people who have the same passion for this kind of music and at the same time are able to play it and also to contribute with a creative spirit. Besides from that it is not easy to combine a hard working band which is not making a lot of money with a regular life that should include a day job, girlfriends, family etc. Fabian had to leave the band at a point where he couldn’t handle all this, but I guess we both knew that we could not be separated from each other, that a piece of the puzzle where missing in both our lives if we didn’t make music together… So he came back. And he chose a good time.

Nick: Since the early beginnings, with the release of the EP called “Konvolut”, you’ve gotten a lot of positive critiques and good feedback from the community. What can you tell us about this EP? Personally, I haven’t had an opportunity to listen to it, hope I can as soon as possible.

Mattias: Yes I remember all the good feedback we got for that EP, it was great. All the hard work we did with those songs, and after that people saying that they love your work, that is an undescribable feeling. Three songs later appeared on Albedo Adaptation, The Lucid, Our Floods and Flow. The fourth song is in my opinion the best one, Without the scars. Why it isn’t on the album? There was one small part of that song that we were not satisfied with. But maybe it will come in a different shape in the future. Also on vocals we had my good friend Torin Williams.

Nick: In 2009 you released your first full-length album named “Albedo Adaptation” and I have to say that this took the second place on my top 10 albums chart list of the year – an absolutely brilliant album. Tell me, how did the creation and recording process go?

Mattias: Thank you, it makes me really happy to hear that, and speechless… and shy. It´s always a thrill to hear words like that from people about our music. When we got the record deal with Lion Music we felt that we just had to collect all our songs and then decide; which songs are the best? Which ones fit best together? We recorded the album as a demo at our own little studio and then decided to work with our friend Carlos Sepulveda at his studio Belly of the Whale. Almost a year later Lion Music released the album and we received a lot of great reviews. Unfortunately we didn’t receive a lot of money. But we got our name and music out and it seems like we received a lot of fans. That is more important than money.

Nick: I can sit here guessing about the album title, but would you mind confirming my suspicions? Albedo, or reflection coefficient, is the diffuse reflectivity or reflecting power of a surface. Do you think we are albedo-adapted? I can say for myself that I’m pretty well adapted to the Albedo that Miosis has served.

Mattias: Exactly my philosophy on the title, everything have to adapt to survive. And of course my thought about this is us, humans. Life as a phenomenon and the meaning of life seems to be in a constant change and no one seems to have control over this, we just… adapt.

Nick: Although it’s really hard to single out any highlights from the album, the best songs, in my opinion are “Once Divine” and “Red”, which is interesting because these are the oldest and newest tracks respectively on “Albedo Adaptation”. This seems to imply you guys had a very static recording process. How difficult is it, in your opinion, to make the quality flow throughout the recording process?

Mattias: Thanks, Red is also my favourite song. That is probably the fastest song we´ve ever written. It´s about my father, he was dying in cancer, and I wanted to complete that fucking song fast so that he could hear it just once. But the process, it is… both. The creative process is the food for our souls, we need it, and at the same time it can be like a torture. We are picky guys when it comes to our music. Every note, every beat, every word must feel perfect. That is a burden, because it takes time for us to be satisfied. But on the other hand it feels good to listen to the songs after three years and still have that proud feeling.

Nick: The overall mood of “Albedo Adaptation” is somehow dark and depressive. This is reached both through the music and lyrics that are about creating images of emotional reflection. Am I on the right track? You are the main lyricist and I would love to hear your take on this.

Mattias: I remember when I met a journalist at a Swedish metal magazine for an interview last year and he told me he wasn’t sure if he would meet a guy in a cowl with a full size cross on his back or an ordinary guy.

Yes the lyrics are kind of dark, in one way. But in another way, dark with glimpses of light. Even if I am digging really deep when I´m writing I always tries to turn the lens in a different direction, to enter the feeling of hope or maybe to just share the feeling of getting a perspective on things. No I lied, I´m not always trying to do that, sometimes.

Nick: Speaking of the music, your tendency to create emotional, but still complex music is often very difficult for many musicians. Would you describe it as a complex emotionality or emotional complexity, perhaps?

Mattias: Hehe good question! I guess a good criteria to fit as a member in Miosis is a complex personality.

Nick: You serve a well balanced brand of dark progressive rock/metal, which is not shown through virtuosic musicianship in as much as the structure of the songs themselves. How did you go about creating this balance?

Mattias: I think that this balance at times almost is a statement from us. None of us are into Dream Theater or bands like that. I liked their first album though, when they in my opinion were more relaxed and had the songs in focus, not their skills. We are playing a lot in odd signatures and complex rythms, but that is because often when someone comes up with a new riff it is almost never in 4/4. But we always wants it to sound more straight and easy than it is. We are not asking anyone to dance to our music, but we don’t want any listener to have a heart attack either.

Nick: Which bands or artists have influenced the core of Miosis? One can certainly hear bits of Isis and Tool. Also, what about your personal tastes? Name some of your favorite progressive albums.

Mattias: You are right about Tool and Isis, I love those bands. But I think some big influences of us as a band are not metal and not progressive, as Massive attack, Dead can dance and Radiohead. But for me, my favourite progressive albums would be Genesis Foxtrot, Marillions Clutching at straws and Tools Lateralus.

Nick: I remember the first time I listened to “Albedo Adaptation”, I thought it was some kind of extended version of Mastodon’s “Crack the Skye”, which appeared in 2009 too. These two records are kinda similar, especially when it comes to vocals, as the vocals of Erik Skoglund (Miosis) sound pretty close to Brent Hinds’ vocals. Have you heard this from anyone else?

Matias: I don’t think I´ve heard this comparison before. But I will call Erik and tell him this, he will be a happy man.

Nick: You guys come from Gothenburg, which is well known for the so-called Gothenburg school of death metal. Have you guys been affected by the scene?

Mattias: No not at all. Some of the guys from In Flames watched one of our shows a couple of years ago. Hopefully we affected them.

Nick: What is the latest news from Miosis? On the official band’s Facebook page its stated that you guys are looking for a new singer and guitarist. Also, in the few emails we’ve exchanged, you told me that you are working on the new album which will probably be released later this year. Tell me more about it – what can we expect?

Mattias: The latest news is that we are at this moment trying out a new singer, and he is great. It´s to early to say yet this one is the best we have tried since Erik left the band. We are still looking for a second guitar player, but we are having a discussion with an old Miosis member who maybe wants to come back. That would be great. For the new album we are working on 12 songs, which is of course to many for a Miosis album. We´ll see what we will do of the possible extra material. I guess the sound is kind of the same, but I think that the emotional aspect has a bigger part than on Albedo.

Nick: How do you stand when it comes to concerts? Have you played a lot since you’ve formed? Are there any plans to tour Europe any time soon?

Mattias: We played some shows in Germany in 2010 and we felt that we are kind of finished with Sweden. We have more fans outside Sweden so we will definitely tour Europe when the new album is finished. The question is, where in Europe? Germany have a good music scene, in Poland the interest for progressive music is growing. But we are still a small band, it is also a question of money. We will need a good booking company for the next tour.

Nick: Is there anything you would like to add, as I’m out of questions?

No. I am thankful for the attention, for your time and interesting questions.

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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