ARCADEA: Tales of Intrigue, Shifting Alliances and Alien Races


Not long ago it was announced that Arcadea, a trio from Atlanta featuring Mastodon‘s drummer Brann Dailor, guitarist/keyboardist Core Atoms (Zruda, Gaylord) and keyboardist/guitarist Raheem Amlani (Withered, Scarab), will release their self-titled debut album on June 16th via Relapse Records. The recorded is heralded as “otherworldly psyche-electric, synth-driven, metallic madness led by Dailor.”

We talked with Core Atoms about the upcoming record. Read the interview after the break.

Your self-titled debut album will be released on June 16th via Relapse Records. Tell me about the creative process that informed Arcadea and the themes it captures.

Core Atoms: Since we all have our own bands with more traditional instrumentation, we wanted to do something different but still rooted in our love of prog. We all share a love of 60′s-70′s psychedelia and that era where technology was bit by bit merging with punk, soul, rock and funk.

What is the message you are trying to give with Arcadea? Is there a concept story that feeds the music?

The world of this album is a post-human one, set at a time when our sun starts its burnout and Andromeda collides with the Milky Way. While life as we know it is long gone, the heavenly bodies have inherited consciousness, similar to the ones the ancient Greeks attributed to their gods. The album’s eleven tracks tell the tale of intrigue, shifting alliances and alien races, at a time of a great cosmic change.

Based on two tracks you released so far it seems like “Arcadea” is pretty dynamic release. Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

While a riff or two came out of jamming, all the songs were constructed beginning to end with sonic and thematic ideas in mind.

Arcadea album art

Describe the approach to recording the album. How long the album was in the making?

The album took a while on and off to record as the three of us stayed fairly busy over the past few years. 2 weeks stretched over two years. We would lay down all the music for a track, send them to Brann and when he was back in town he’d throw down his part, usually in a take or two. I remember Brann recorded one of my favorite drum tracks on Christmas Eve last year, during a crazy thunderstorm.

All three of you are listed as vocalists too. What was it like to distribute the vocal parts of the songs for the album?

Certain passages call for certain voices and between the 3 of us I think we were able to find the right voices while having a lot of fun recording them.

I am sure that many people would love to know specifics of the synths you used on the record. What can you tell me about it?

I have used the same battered Korg synth for years, despite some dodgy keys. I also used a 1987 Yamaha Pss-570 on a song or two. Raheem would bring different boards to the studio for us to experiment with all the time though. I also use my guitar pedals and did a lot of experimenting and sound manipulating.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release? I could definitely hear a lot of different influences threaded through your music, but I’m in particularly interested to hear which artists from the Prog Electronic spectre influenced the album.

I have always loved various genres of music. Brann and I share a deep, deep love of 70′s Genesis and 70′s Stevie Wonder. Stevie basically invented new sounds in the early 70′s that have fueled modern day hip hop, R&B and electronica ever since. He was using synths and vocoders when Kanye West was still pooping in a diaper. He’s not thought of as prog but listen to 1976′s, “Contusion” for just a taste. Genesis before Gabriel left is still near and dear to me. Brann and I have always tripped out on Wonder and Genesis and it HAS to have an influence.

What is your view on technology in music?

Since the advent of the computer, music has become more and more processed while the artist, less organic. It seems to me there’s a tight rope between talent and over-reliance on technology. Arcadea embraces a certain level of technology while retaining the human beat. I still cringe whenever I see a band with a computer on stage. To me, a computer is not an instrument.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

It would be nice to think like the Wyld Stallyns; our music will bring about world peace but… Original music for art’s sake is good enough for me. Maybe I will get the chance to shed some light on great music of the past. If anything, I think most people, even self professed music fans lack an understanding of music history. We all stand on the shoulders of past giants.

Do you have plans to tour in support of the album?

As of yet we have no tour dates but we do plan on playing, sometime in the next 5 billion years.

Arcadea is out on June 16th via Relapse Records; pre-order the album here. Follow Arcadea on Facebook.

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