De Profundis - Ethereal Reflections
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: You were able to keep the same lineup between releases – how beneficial was that when putting the new album together?
Subbotin: I think the fact that we had a stable line-up for a few years now really helped as we are all very comfortable with each other and know each other's playing styles. Everyone was able to contribute as much as they wanted to the writing process, and in fact there are a lot of very subtle nuances in the arrangements as a result. There is "chemistry" on this album that you can only get from a band that has been playing together for a while. We've toured fairly extensively over last few years, so know well what our respective influences and interests are. Ideas just bounce off each of us when we write - we have a real understanding now as a band. This takes time to develop, so having the same line-up for several years now has been hugely beneficial to writing and playing live.
Blistering.com: Clearly, the band has its own sound, but it’s not like you’ve settled into one particular sound/style. What’s the ingredient to keeping things fresh?
Subbotin: I think we have a pretty unique way of composing the songs - putting together the ingredients, if you will. We may take ideas from different genres but the way the music is ultimately structured follows the same philosophy and way of creating music. I would say that THIS is our sound. As our albums have progressed, we have explored different genres to varying measures. The reason for that, I guess, would be curiosity and interest for many types of music within this band. We all like different bands, so each band member brings in their own ideas into the mix. Also, I just don't see the point of releasing the same album again and again. If we do an album, then it has to mean something, and say something different. Stagnation is not an option.
Blistering.com: There’s a noticeable progressive metal influence on some of the songs…are you prog nerds by chance?
Subbotin: Yes, we are big fans of many different acts, and "progressive" bands are some of the ones that we find the most interesting. Likes of King Crimson, Rush, Pink Floyd, Queen, Cynic, Atheist and many more. Our bassist and drummer are huge 70's prog rock fans, so I'm sure there's an influence there on our sound. We don't try to recreate the 70's though... I think there are two types of influence - one is imitation - for example PLAYING something in the style of (name a band), and the other is sub-conscious / mental influence - THINKING according to the influence of an artist. Each band has a unique message, and that's what their music is about. Understanding that is engaging with the artist.... it's inevitable that some sections of our music will remind the listener of certain bands, given there's only a limited number of notes, chords and so on - but I like to think that De Profundis shows its influences in the way of thinking, and developing ideas, rather than just imitating.
Blistering.com: Also, gotta love the Death Individual Thought Patterns influence too. How has Chuck Schuldiner influenced your music?
Subbotin: I think Human was the first really heavy record that I got into. Certainly there's some influence from Chuck's riffs and the Death aesthetic - the way that Death arrangements were put together - on what we do, especially on the more "death metal" sounding sections of this new album. It's probably fair to say that because The Emptiness Within is a faster record than our previous two, we have got some riffs that sound closer to the kind of super-tight picked riffs that Chuck was famous for, however his influence has always been present on De Profundis. I'm glad you've picked up on that. I'm a big fan of Symbolic too - some really great ideas and songs on that album.
Blistering.com: The band has played some rather exotic places over the years. Any particular favorite of yours?
Subbotin: India has to be one, since we played there to 20,000 supporting Iron Maiden in 2009, and also we returned there for a headlining tour in 2010 - when we got to play to 30,000 people in a single show. The fans there have been really great to us, and we've had such a great experience there. It's very different from the UK, so it was incredible to see new cultures and meet new people. I wrote a blog about the tour - you can find it via our official website. Closer to home, we've had really good responses to our music in Netherlands and Belgium, so always keen to play some more shows there. To be honest, we love playing live and would tour the world and play as many shows as possible. Obviously we are limited by financial resources available to us, but we're always keen to do any show - anywhere.
Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2012?
Subbotin: We will be aiming to tour even more for this album and hopefully get the band's name out there. We think we have something good going and we're keen to show it to the rest of the world. Onwards and upwards.