Can you talk to us more about your new single “Opposites?”
The song concept centers around basic emotions and how they manifest. How everything is cause and effect. Yin, yang. All the songs on the debut album ‘Coalesce’ are a little cryptic, and layered, so people can draw their own overall conclusions about what it means for them. It follows the AD prog metal design of heavy riffs, with ambient sound and melody, and also has a developing chorus, starting out with a base melodic version in chorus 1 and growing into a modified bigger expanding chorus 3. I don’t know why, but I am also most proud of this song.
Did any event inspire you to write this song?
Ascending Dawn is a project born of the internet age, and this song along with the rest of ‘Coalesce’ was inspired in our individual homes. The guys sent me all the material in one go and I wrote all 8 vocal songs / lyrics /melodies and vocal arrangements within 3 weeks of receiving them. I don’t know if there was an event that inspired us, but we were driven by a love for what we do, shitty band break ups and a desire for music that we love to be created.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video for “Opposites?”
I had been ruminating on the idea of using make-up on the face as a manifestation of basic emotions for a while. It had been running around in my head, and I had no idea how that was to be portrayed. Enter videographer, Alex Agisilaou and make-up artist Elena Thomopoulou. Elena came up with some of her own creations and we added the concept of extrapolating with texture and materials from nature. With Alex we discussed how to make it ‘grow’ on the face using photos and stop time, and we built the rest of the video around why this would be happening. Combining this with various ways a person would use words, in writing or reading to ‘see’ things, we built the concept that you see. On a guerilla-style shoot and budget!!
The single comes off your new album Coalesce – what’s the story behind the title?
COALESCE means ‘come together and form one mass or whole’. Given our history of different band backgrounds that never fully came to fruition, and how we felt that we had created a complete sound rather than individual players, we felt this title was appropriate for us.
How was the recording and writing process?
Once I came on board, as the last piece of the puzzle, the writing was completed super fast. The tracking was then done at Owen’s studio in London, and then taken over to Amsterdam for Jochem to add his touch as well as mix and master. All of us wrote from our individual home cubbies and came together for the final record.
What was it like to work with Jochem Jacobs and how did that relationship develop?
Mark knew him previously to this project and loved his work. I guess we just asked him if he would be interested! He definitely took the material and added his own flair to it, helping mould what you hear. He was amazing to work with and knew instinctively where to take the sound. We were extremely happy.
How much did he influence the album?
He definitely influenced the overall sound. Very few choices from our original production were modified but he definitely added his own ‘personality’ to it.
How your previous background has influences this current project?
As a project we all have common influences such as Tool, Tesseract, Karnivool, etc. Individually we had all been in rock/hard rock projects before and brought our own flair to the overall sound. I definitely moulded my own vocal theater and pop background into this, having learned the art of studio pop backing vocals from my POPSTARS band, and the technique to sustain from theater. My rock edge also comes out in distinct moments throughout the album.
What role does London and NYC play in your writing?
Currently, I live in NYC and make my living in Voice Over, touring with all female Lez Zeppelin and theatre. All these vocal influences will surely enter my new writing. The guys have been in or around London for a very long time and see the music as an escape. There is personality in everything we do or write and as the new material has been coming in from London I am already hearing the differences in the writing from Mark and Owen.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Where else? Life. And it’s sounds. How it makes me feel. At the time many things had fallen apart, I had left my concert tour job of 4 years, just come out of a long term relationship and my UK band had broken up. Finding this project gave me new life.
Any plans to hit the road?
I hope so. At the moment, we are concentrating on getting our online presence felt.
What else is happening next in Ascending Dawn’s world?
We are writing our new EP! We have four new tracks in the making, and hope to have them out at some point late next year. A few more videos coming out too. Find out our info on www.ascendingdawnband.com