Project Longsword - Unison

Wiza Kaluba is the creative force behind the Project Longsword, and he has jut put out a debut EP titled “Unison” which is available from Bandcamp. In the interview below, Wiza talks about his mission with this project, the EP, and more.

Define the mission of Project Longsword.

Project Longsword’s only real objective is to be itself, without worrying too much about theory or genre. It was the place where all the ideas fo that don’t really fit in anywhere else, all the unconventional things that I want to try but wouldn’t fly in a band.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recently released EP “Unison.

The creative process was laborious, I ended up committing ideas to it over the process of a year, each song being a interpretation of the thoughts and emotions I was feeling at the time, as well as my own evolving music tastes.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Unison”?

The message I was hoping to give was one of creative freedom, the album can be interpreted anyway the listener wants, the freedom I used to write it extends to the people listening to it, and I think it would be restrictive to impose a message when it could be more beneficial if people brought their own, so to speak.

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

I documented the music in recordings while I was writing it, it was easier and faster than anything on paper or tab, I’d have the files on my computer and I could just transcribe it back from those when I was recording the finished songs. It also meant I could experiment with production on the fly.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

There is a definite flow to the tracks, I tried to create a dynamic range and there is a deliberate pacing to it that I definitely thought about when recording it. Moreover the songs were actually arranged so that the flow naturally resolves in Aldo Phonedog.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

My recording approach was pretty straightforward, there was a good blend of real and software amps depending on what tone worked best for the song. It was all done over multiple takes, as is the way when you’re doing this all by yourself but it definitely became more efficient towards the end.

How long “Unison” was in the making?

Recording Unison only took a few weeks even if writing took just under a year, but I think it was actually much longer in the making as it’s reflective of who I am as a person, and that’s something that’s changing all of the time, it wouldn’t be what it is without that aspect and I think that’s not something we should ignore.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

My biggest influences musically would be bands like Tool or Monuments, they have this really nice detail in the rhythm writing that I think tells a story much better than a melody could, and they write with a much greater scope than artists I’d listened to previously, but from a melodic point of view I took influence from pretty much everyone I’ve ever listened to, from Paul Gilbert to Django Reinhardt as well as people I’ve played with locally, I’m always trying to learn from musicians of all genres, even small-time guys playing basement clubs.

What is your view on technology in music?

When I was younger I was quite technophobic with regards to music, but I’ve come to realise that provided technology is aiding the process and not just existing for its own sake then there’s no good reason to prevent it taking a bigger role in music, if somebody wants to quantize their riffs I don’t really take issue provided I’m headbanging by the end of it. In fact I’ve got a few of my own music tech designs that I’d like to flesh out and it’d be interesting to see what people make of them.

Do you see the project’s music as serving a purpose beyond music?

It might sound non-committal but the role of the album is whatever role it’s put to use as, I struggle to imagine it being used as a film score or anything beyond itself but in fairness I didn’t imagine it being as well received as it has been either so only time will tell really.

What are your plans for the future?

In the future, I’m just going to keep writing, it’s what I do now, and there’ll definitely be more releases from me in 2016 so look forward to that. I’m also working on some collaborations with people so creatively I might be going in some new directions but again, we’ll see in time.


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