An Interview with PREGNANT WHALE PAIN

Pregnant Whale Pain

Budapest-based experimental progressive metallers Pregnant Whale Pain have returned in January with a release of an EP titled ‘Blank,’ a bridge between the band’s 2014 self-titled debut and the upcoming, sophomore full length. Singer Krisz Horváth spoke for Prog Sphere about the band’s mission, EP, technology and more.

Define the mission of Pregnant Whale Pain.

Krisz: We try to express ourselves in an honest way through music. It’s how we’ve learnt to cope with life as we grew up. It’s not even a conscious thing by now, it’s more like a reflex. Whatever it is we are going through in life we automatically start writing music about it.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your new, second album Blank and the themes it captures.

Krisz: Blank consists of songs we wrote in the past two years that we didn’t want to put on our second LP that we’ve been working on for a while now. After a while we realized that we have about 20 minutes of material that’s just as good as the record we’re working on, but somehow doesn’t have a place on that album. So we decided to release those songs in the form of an EP. It’s a win-win situation really. For us these songs are really important, so it’s great that we found a way to release them and didn’t have to drop them, and I assume our listeners are also happy that they get to listen to some new PWP until we finish the second LP.

Pregnant Whale Pain - Blank

What is the message you are trying to give with Blank?

Krisz: I don’t know if there’s a message, it’s more like a snapshot of where we were at at certain times. I’m 22 now, so I guess the paths I decide to take really affect who I’m going to be later on. That’s a really scary and confusing stage in life. Whenever you start going in a certain direction you immediately start doubting yourself, asking yourself if you should have gone the other way, and a lot of times you end up not going anywhere. That’s where the title comes from too: being so scared that the next chapter in your life isn’t going to be what you truly want, that eventually you end up with a blank page. Wanting to be so many things at the same time that you end up being nothing. I drive myself crazy sometimes with these kinds of thoughts and it really affects my relationship with the people around me. That’s what Blank as a whole tries to capture, I guess.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Krisz: We really wanted to outdo our first record production-wise. We had a somewhat bigger budget this time around, so I think we managed to achieve our goal.

How long Blank was in the making?

Krisz: About two years if we count the writing process as well. Like I said, we didn’t really plan to write an EP, it just kind of happened while we were focused on our second full length. The recording mixing and mastering itself took us about 6 months.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Krisz: There are a lot of bands that influence our sound, I could go on and on about this. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Between The Buried And Me, Alice In Chains, Down and Mr. Bungle, just to name a few. I think the bands that influenced the sound of this EP that we didn’t listen to that much while writing the first album are Meshuggah and Every Time I Die. Those are our newer influences.

I think vocally I might have been influenced by some artists from completely different genres as well. I really got into D’Angelo and the Vanguard and MF DOOM for example.

PWP live

What is your view on technology in music?

Krisz: I’m all for it. It provides more and more tools for musicians to create the sounds they want to with. Also it helps us get our music out there. As a listener, there are a lot more genres and musicians to choose from. I really think it’s great. Recording is such a pain in the ass even today, I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been before the digital age.

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

Krisz: For us our music is a tool of self-expression. It’s not just music, it’s our way of dealing with stuff and getting through things. And hopefully it can be something similar to our listeners. It always helped me to deal with certain emotions to know that I’m not the only one going through things like this, so listening to music that I could relate to emotionally always meant a lot to me. I hope our listeners can connect with PWP the way I connected with my favorite musicians.

What are your plans for the future?

Krisz: We want to finish our second LP, and we’d love to play more shows. It’s weird because the majority of our fan base lives in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia so it’s really not easy for us to play in front of them. For now we have a couple of Hungarian shows coming up this spring. After that we’d love to play outside of Hungary too, we’re working really hard on that. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll just have to ask all of our fans to move to Budapest. I’m sure they’d like it here, it’s really nice. And cheap!

Order ‘Blank’ from Bandcamp here, and follow Pregnant Whale Pain on Facebook.

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