INCREATE: Beyond Boundaries


Increate is an instrumental prog metal quartet from Portland, whose debut full-length album Void is scheduled to be launched on February 3. Prog Sphere talked with the full band about the creative process that informed Void, but they also told us about the influences, technology, and future.

Define the mission of Increate.

Johannes: Increate’s mission is pretty simple: Write the best music that we can & play it to the best of our abilities. Hopefully people think it’s heavy as fuck and we can tour Europe someday.

Zev: To explore space together through psychedelic shredding.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming debut album Void.

Sean: A lot of weed gets smoked…and on a good day some riffs will appear out of nowhere. Eventually enough weed gets smoked that we move on to Joh’s answer.

Johannes: Sean generated most of the riffs that compile the rhythm parts of the songs on Void. I like to tweak a lot of Sean’s ideas as I compose my drum parts; I help arrange the songs and compose transitions. Some of the songs on Void were written while we working with a vocalist, so when we decided to go instrumental it changed the way we thought of the songs and we had Dustin throw in more cool leads and solos.

Zev: I joined the band after the songs had their structure so I was able to listen to the songs at practice and write bass parts based on what I thought would help fill out the sound. In a lot of instances I would learn the guitar part then try to write a bass part that bridged the riff with some of the many sick drum rhythms Joh was playing.

Dustin: I tried to have a balance in the solos between cold and calculated and a more natural improvisational style. One moment it sounds very robotic and cold, while another moment it’s very flowing, organic and warm. Some parts were improvised while others were more rehearsed to get this feel. Some of the faster lead parts remind me of falling up or down stairs.

Increate - Void

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Johannes: It’s mostly memory, but we eventually tab stuff out into TuxGuitar. This helps make sure we’re all on the same page with the specifics of the riffs/song.

Zev: Tuxguitar and music notebooks.

Sean: Lots of memorization.

Dustin: Sonar X3 for recording the solos and synths.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Johannes: I would say no, not carefully. We definitely think about it while we’re writing, but we just piece together ideas until it feels like a song. Sometimes there’s a lot of dynamic transitions and sometimes it might be heavy all the way though. We like to play with the dynamic flow of our live show a lot though too.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Johannes: We wanted to have real drums on the record, so we went down to Salem, Oregon to work with Jason Carter at Wavelength Studios and it turned out great. The guitars and bass we recorded ourselves, then we sent all the tracks off to Jocke Skog in Sweden for re-amping, editing, mixing, and mastering.

How long was Void in the making?

Johannes: The album took us a long time! Some of the songs were written back in 2014 or so. We spent months getting the click maps perfected. From the day we recorded the drums to the album being completed it took us about 5 months.

Dustin: There were a lot of logistics involved in making Void, between recording live drums, re-amping guitars and bass in Sweden, and working with the guest soloists in Italy and New Jersey. There were also mechanical failures that increased the complications and led to some minor production delays. Overall I think things went pretty smoothly though, considering the entire process.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Johannes: For me personally, definitely Meshuggah and Animals As Leaders, but also Soreption, Gojira and probably some BTBAM too.

Sean: I’ve listened to a lot of Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah, and Between the Buried and Me over the last few years.

Dustin: For my lead playing I have many influences, but Shawn Lane is number one. For Void, I feel we were influenced by Meshuggah, Animals as Leaders, Fallujah, Cynic, and Soreption among others.


What is your view on technology in music?

Zev: Metal is so gear oriented, it seems to be evolving just as fast as the tools are being developed. I think technology is great when used to enhance existing ideas but personally my favorite music can only be recreatable live with musicians and instruments. I think the super produced, robotic style of metal is going to sound as dated as hair metal before long.

Johannes: I like a lot of things that help make the lives of musicians easier.

Sean: I personally love how easy it is to make an amazing guitar tone and take it from home recording directly onto a computer straight to the stage.

Dustin: On one hand it allows great musicians an amazing ease and convenience of recording and enhances the production in many ways. On the other hand, it can also be used for fakeness in the form of autotune which is more a skill at using the computer than playing an instrument. I’m happy that Void sounds very human and there was minimal editing.

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

Johannes: I think that listening to progressive metal is a good brain work out. There’s so much going on for you to focus on and comprehend, it’s impossible to do it in one pass. Deciphering the complex grooves, polyrhythms, while analyzing the harmonic structure as well takes time and work. All that listening is making you smarter (and a superior human being)!

Sean: Basically Joh is saying that if you can understand our music you’ll transcend and evolve beyond the natural state of being.

What are your plans for the future?

Zev: Play more shows, go on tour, get better.

Johannes: Play shows, make people happy, continue to write new music, and smoke weed.

Sean: Keep trying to write better music.

Dustin: Shred. Work on our next album, play shows, tour. More shred.

Increate’s Void is out on February 3rd and it can be pre-ordered from Bandcamp. Follow Increate on Facebook for more.

Increate is:

Sean Chiodo – guitar
Dustin Behm – guitar
Zev Levine – bass
Johannes Jans – drums

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

%d bloggers like this: