(A Perfect Absolution, the 2012 album by Gorod, has been one of the highlights of the year for us. Our brother groverXIII (a/k/a Professor D. Grover the XIII) reviewed that album for NCS here, calling it “the best tech-death album of a year that’s been very, very good for tech-death.” Today, we’re pleased to give you groverXIII’s e-mail interview with guitarist and principal Gorod songwriter Mathieu Pascal.)
Greetings. For the record, please state your name, rank, and serial number.
Mathieu PASCAL, guitar player and composer, 100% Heavy Cotton Made in France, no drywash.
With Neurotripsicks, Leading Vision, Process Of A New Decline, Transcendence, and now A Perfect Absolution, you’ve created five of the most memorable, catchy tech-death releases that I have ever heard. How do you guys manage to craft such intricate melodies without having the songs descend into mindless chaos?
Mat : Woow, thanks !! Actually, I usually try to focus on groove and melodies, because I think those are the things everyone can understand and record. I always try to make simple music, that you can headbang to easily. Intricacy comes in a second time. The music must be clear the first time you hear it, with rhythm and harmony. Then, when you come closer, you can hear details and layers and actual intricacy. Even with odd time signatures or overstrung harmony, there’s always a way to make the song consistent, clear and logical. You can’t just pick random notes and queue them on a time grid. Maybe it will sound new and original like « no one has ever made this before », but you’d lose energy and emotions. And people are mostly sensitive to these points in a first listen.
Was it a challenge to replace two band members and still maintain that distinctive Gorod sound?
Mat: It was a challenge for Nico [Alberny] and Julien [Deyres]. Julien had to replace Guillaume [Martinot] for the tour with Cattle Decapitation like two weeks after Guillaume decided to leave. We were looking for someone who could bring something new to our sound, and something that would serve the music. We didn’t want a clone of Guillaume, maybe it was just the right time for us to evolve. Julien has a really wide range of vocals and he’s able to enhance each ambiance in the music, to illustrate more closely the lyrics, etc…