GONE ARE THE DAYS: Solid Consistency

Gone are the Days

Gone are the Days is a Saint Petersburg, Russia based metal quintet formed in 2017. After series of singles released between 2017 and 2018, the group launched their debut album ‘There‘ in October last year, which was followed by another and newest video single “Show Your Temper” last month.

Prog Sphere caught up with the band to talk about their full-length debut, changes their music can initiate, technology in music, and more.

How did you come to do what you do?

Well, initially we joined together with the common aim – to create metal music which would combine the simplicity of catchy melodies and fierce old school riffs. We didn’t position ourselves as those who stick to metalcore, groove metal or other particular genres. It was really hard to label what we were making. Naturally, that caused problems since people find it easier to get bearings in the world of music looking at the labels. So we took a better look on our music and decided to call it post groove metal as or it involves old-school fierce riffs in manner of Machine Head or Pantera, metalcore elements and catchy melodies with melancholic post-metal mood. Besides, speaking of our new material, it has a lot of clean vocals so some would say it’s alternative metal. Usually we tag our music metalcore, groove metal and alternative metal.

You released a debut album entitled There in 2019. How did the creative process for the album go?

The aim of the debut album was to compose fairly diverse songs which would not only present different moods and styles but also reflect the attempt to bridge classical metal spirit with modern features. At the same time we were aware that we want to observe moderate simplicity so as to achieve memorability and straightforwardness more easily. In other words, we laid a special stress on songwriting.

However, the process was not a hard one. Some of the riffs were taken from the material written by Vladimir Poruntsov during previous years. Surprisingly, the main riff from the song “Breakthrough” was written in 2001. All in all, within period of 2017-2018 old material was successfully rearranged and new songs were ready to be recorded.

Vladimir Poruntsov, guitarist: ”It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that almost all the melodies came to me like a ‘revelation’. That is, they could be conceived in my head anywhere. I heard them in my dreams or during sleepless nights. The melody could come to my mind while I was doing shopping or taking a shower. Then I just took my phone and recorded a tune so that I wouldn’t forget it the following day.

With all the melodies arranged and rearranged we found an idea suitable for the music. So, in most cases the music comes first.

Where was the album recorded and how long did it take you to complete the work on it?

The album was recorded in a studio in Saint Petersburg throughout July-December 2018.

To someone who hasn’t heard the album, what can he or she expect from There?

There is quite a heavy, fast and melodic album. The songs differ from each other but through this variety you grasp it as a solid consistency. Also we can point out that this work stands out due to a certain level of rawness that you don’t normally get with this amount of variety.

Gone are the Days - There

What were the biggest challenges you faced when working on the album?

We can’t say that we had huge difficulty in working on the album but, speaking frankly, once we had a real fight over which way of singing to choose in a particular song. In other respects, it was a bit hard to find appropriate sound for our songs. Now we can say that in general at the point of releasing There we are satisfied with the results. You know, “it always could have been better.” At present we are looking for another sound for our following releases.

Have you managed to make any new discoveries as the time passed during the creative process? Do you think that at some point of that process your writing approach changed drastically?

To some extent, yes. The strategy of songwriting didn’t change much. However, the bonus track “Pocket Honey,” which was written last for the album, shows that at the end of the process we started paying even more attention to melodic side of songs, track length (now on average our songs don’t exceed 4 minutes) and hit-oriented approach.

Tell me about the complexities of creating this album.

We can point out the task of ‘brushing’ the tracks. That is, we had to leave off all secondary parts that could spoil the feeling of the song wholeness. As a result, most of the songs reflect transparent classical structure. Though, it doesn’t mean that we won’t use progressive elements in the future. Anyway, at the point of creating our first album we felt the tracks should be as memorable as possible but within frames of genuine metal spirit.

What types of change do you feel this music can initiate?

There’s one idea that runs through the album – the problem of choice between staying where you are or moving forward with a small chance for things to get better. This idea has something in common with the name of our band, “gone are the days”: which days are gone – good ones or bad ones, it’s up to a listener to decide. And that is the point – we want a listener to not only enjoy the music, but also think about the lyrics of the songs and about his/her life at the moment. “Should I stay here, or go there?“, as we put it in the intro track for the album, that is the question.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

We can’t name them ‘patterns’, maybe it is related to atmosphere or mood. While composing riffs or melodies we don’t keep in mind this or that artist or certain principles due to our broad tastes in music. At the same time we can’t deny certain influences on our musical identity and subconscious preferences in.

What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?

The major thread of our lyrics is some kind of a story, not abstract sketches reflecting general feelings (fear, anger, despair, determination etc). Mainly, stories are inspired by both social and psychological issues.

What kind of gear do you use for recording your music?

Nothing out of the way – guitars, drumkit, a mic. Joking apart, we use guitars LTD Deluxe EC-1000, Edwards EHR-115D and bass CORT B4-Plus-AS-LH Artisan Series. Guitars were recorded at home with sound card Steinberg UR12 and processor Line6 POD HD500, vocals and drums were recorded at the studio. 

Gone are the Days

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology in music is a controversial issue. On the one hand, it gives everybody access to the world music net. No matter how badly you play, sing or compose music. With the help of technology you can hit the market. Also your location is not the problem anymore. Living in a small village, one has opportunity to say a word to the world. No restrictions, that’s great. On the other hand, this universal accessibility turns out to be an absolute nightmare for a professional musician. The net is just overloaded with music stuff. No one cares you compose really cool music. Without pushing you way through tons of slapdash works, you somehow need to catch the listeners’ ears and eyes. And the problem is that you may work really hard but without much result. It’s a matter of luck. Anyway, we are players in any sense of the word.

What advice or philosophy might you impart to other musicians, be it in forms of creativity, technical stuff, the business side of it, or anything else?

For the beginners I could give the advice not to consider expensive and high-quality equipment as a panacea or some kind of easy way to success. First you should improve your music taste, your technique, your composing and songwriting skills, and then high-quality gear will help you to bring to life what sounds in your head in the most precise way.

If a musician decides to take it seriously and wants to be heard not only by his/her relatives and friends, then one runs into the most complicated obstacle – the promotion. We are still learning this science and many answers are still to be found, but even now we can say that beyond any doubt only hard work could bring any results. And I hope we are on the right way.

Gone are the Days’ There and “Show Your Temper” are out now; grab them from Bandcamp. Follow the band on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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