What was the writing process like for new album ‘Vessels’?
Much like on the last record, Transmissions, I started with the general concept in mind. Then I decided upon the sonic goals—since the “movie” was changing, the sound would need to change somewhat too. From there I set to writing music utilizing these sonic tools that had been defined. I often do this part with other musician friends, as I find it typically fosters a synergy, which leads to more interesting and inspiring music. Once I had music and chord structure that I liked and felt inspired by, I typically scatted vocal melodies next. The last step in the writing process is putting lyrics to the melodies. This process can take many hours and often involves multiple long walks or drives alone. I think I wrote over forty songs for this record, all taken to various forms of completion, depending upon how much I ended up liking them.
Can you talk us through a few of your favourite tracks from the album and what they’re about?
This is somewhat hard because I don’t put songs on Starset records that I don’t like and my favorites often change, but I can speak about a couple.
Ricochet. I’m very happy with the melodic build and lyrics in this. I wanted a back and forth dynamic between organic and electronic feels, and a push-pull between heavy and soft and I think it came out successful. The bridge was interesting because we dried up the vocal and put it right in your face before bringing the power. It increased the effectiveness of an already emotive part.
Everglow. We wanted to integrate electronic elements at a much more deeply integrated level, and this song is a good example of that. We don’t want to sound like a rock band that added electronics as an afterthought—the electronics should be much closer to the DNA. I’m also happy with the vocal delivery and lyrics on this one. And the bridge was an attempt an explosion of raw, tense, climactic emotion right before the end of the record that sort of comes out of nowhere.
How was ‘Monster’ picked as the lead single?
Monster was more than just picked as lead single: it was cultivated as one. As a new band, it is very useful for us to have a song on the radio to get our music out. Unfortunately rock radio is quite pidgin-holed in the United States, rarely stepping outside of a few familiar boundaries. For that reason, once I know I have a song that could fit right at the edge of what is acceptable, I work to keep it there, while not sacrificing or compromising what about it makes it STARSET. Monster was that track from the onset. It had the melody, lyrical hook, and aggressive chorus that is necessary for radio, but with atypical, EDM inspired arrangement and bridge that made it still very much STARSET.
How was the video decided on and what does it mean?
The video isn’t released yet, but it is a look at technology and how we are increasingly tethered to it, and how the virtual world will continue to distort our experience of the real world.
Where did the band name Starset come from?
The planet PROX is involved in much of our narrative. The planet does not rotate, and is thus in eternal sunset, or starsetaround its star.
What outside influences do the band have?
We are influenced by many styles of music. Some groups of note would be Sigur Ros, Hans Zimmer, NIN, Deftones, Breaking Benjamin, and Owl City. This record also drew largely from EDM, chillstep, and djent.
Whats on the horizon for the band?
We hope to grow our popularity and use it to grow our show, providing people with an ever-increasingly immersive experience at our shows. We’ve toured extensively in the United States but have only played a few shows in the UK so far. We’re looking forward to spending more time there in 2017. Besides that, there is a Marvel graphic novel in the works that will expand further into the scope of The Starset Society.