Outcast – Reasons Being
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: By your estimation, what are some the noticeable differences between Self-Injected Reality and Awaken the Reason?
Soulat: I would say this warmer sound I was talking about just above but also and mainly in the songwriting. We tried to stay away from old death metal clichés and use more different modern influences you could find in djent, and progressive metal or rock in general. We surely have a death metal background but the riffing is groovier mixing solos and crazy strokes. Self-Injected Reality brought colder but still modern Death influences such as Necrophagist, and old Gojira. The production was a little less massive too.
Blistering.com: What was the songwriting process like for Awaken the Reason?
Soulat: I bring the quasi whole material with arranged ideas but as a band we work together to combine complex but yet accessible structures. The riffs and breaks are rearranged with what we think to be singular chords progressions, new dynamics and rhythmic stuffs improvised or remade in the rehearsal room. This process allows us to be able to play as quick as possible the new compositions in a live context. Every material has to be playable and if it’s not we practice our asses off to do so.
Blistering.com: There is a Meshuggah influence evident on the new album, but it’s not the dominating trait. For you, which bands influenced you when writing the album?
Soulat: We are really into Textures, Sikth and Devin Townsend. A lot of Steve Vai gimmicks are hidden into some riffs too. We really try to bind those influences and transform them into ingredients. This is where our little personalities enter the scene. Everyone has his sensibility and share different approaches of the riff, the break, the structure, the clean sounds, the vocals parts, the rhythm etc. Trying to stay away from chaos by dealing with all those dynamics materials is a real challenge on itself. I think we came up with something interesting with Awaken the Reason, something you may recognize pretty quickly. We’ll keep this recipe active for the next album but we will explore other metallic territories trying to conceal technical stuff into direct strokes. To sound aggressive and simple using complex tools that’s another exciting challenge.
Blistering.com: Jochem Jacobs from Textures and Alan Douches handled the mixing and mastering duties. How did you hook up with them?
Soulat: Jochem did the main solo on the “Allegiance” track on Self Injected Reality. We actually like Textures a lot, so after listening what he accomplished on Silhouettes, we decided to call him again and ask him to mix our next album. He is a really great and amazing guy with a lot of patience and humor. Working with him, listening to him was a wonderful experience. To see him again and share a tour with him and other Textures guy was the best that could happen to us. For the mastering we needed, as Jochem told us, a real professional who knows all the complex mastering process. For Alan Douches works with Mastodon, and The Dillinger Escape Plan we can’t lose anything asking him to master Awaken the Reason…and the result speaks for itself. Amazing work.
Blistering.com: Surely you’ve gotten this a lot, but “Outkast” (with a ‘k’) is the name of a popular rap group in America. Are you aware of them and if so, does it make you laugh you share a similar name?
Soulat: You know we chose that name “Outcast” around the year 2000. Outkast wasn’t that famous in France at this time so we have an excuse ha-ha… I personally like a lot Outkast because I think it’s smart hip-hop mixing (like us ha-ha) several influences not being afraid teasing some boundaries. Maybe one day we could do the best crossover like Anthrax and Public Enemy and their time?
Blistering.com: The band is no strangers to the road, so what are your touring plans in 2012?
Soulat: Several festival in Europe (Belgium, France) and a tour with Gorod. A lot of gigs are on the pipes and why not some venues in US… we would love that.
Blistering.com: Finally, what’s in store for the rest of the year?
Soulat: Touring, Working on the next album, composing, making videos, and keep on riffing.
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