:: Interview with Odd Dimension
Interview with Odd Dimension
In the tradition of legendary prog metal acts Dream Theater
and Symphony X
, Odd Dimension has arrived with its first full-length recording, "Symmetrical." Having self-financed the "A New Dimension" EP in 2006, "Symmetrical" also marks Odd Dimension’s first recording released on a record label. The Alessandria, Italy group did not have to venture off into America, England or Germany—the major hot spots for music labels, to find a home for their creativity. Nope, last year they signed to Scarlet Records out of their native Italy.
On March 22, 2011 "Symmetrical" will provide yet another source to quench the musical needs of prog addicts everywhere. "Symmetrical" will take its listeners through a musical Odyssey filled with passionate vocals, heartfelt melody, blistering guitar notes, strange Science Fiction dimensional keyboards, complex timing and even a hint of death metal. Bass player Gigi Andreone spoke to Metal Ship about the band about the making of "Symmetrical" and the profound-yet-universal concept contained within the album.
Metalship : Odd Dimension released its debut full length "Symmetrical" through Scarlet Records. Please tell our readers about the writing and recording process.
Hello readers of Metal Ship! My name is Gigi Andreone I’m the bass player of Odd Dimension, a band based in Alessandria, Italy, and featuring Federico Pennazzato on drums (well known for his work with many other acts like Secret Sphere, Deformachine, Hell in the Club), Gianmaria Saddi on guitars, Gabriele Ciaccia on keys and Manuel Candiotto on vocals. We began collecting the material for this album in 2006 after the release of our first EP "A New Dimension," with the purpose of writing a concept about the duality of man during the long and hard travel of life, divided between good and evil, light and darkness, night and day. After a long period of rehearsals (we always work on the basic rhythm cells of each song together as guitar, bass and drums) we began arranging the orchestral parts with the help of Antonio Agate, and then defining all the vocal lines to fully represent the feelings in the lyrics.Then we went to Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, UK to mix the work with the help of Threshold’s guitarist and mastermind Karl Groom (well known for his work with bands such as Yes
). The work was finally refined by the mastering by Alberto Cutolo at Massive Arts Studios in Milan, Italy.
Metalship : How do you feel about the finished product? Did it come out exactly as you envisioned? Would you change anything?
We are satisfied about this product. We met some serious professionals that helped us to realize our ideas. Finally, the sound captures all the different moods we tried to put in our music. However, I think that it isn’t easy for a band during their first official release. It isn’t easy to envision clearly before the first half of the work the final result of the whole process. For instance, many little but important sounds were added in the last part of the mixing process…like in a good recipe you shall taste the product and eventually correct it before putting it on the dish!
Metalship : When did you obtain your own studio? Did acquiring your own studio help streamline, financially and time wise, the whole process?
Well we all were fond of recording at home from the very beginning of our musical life, so after much ‘cave’ work we collected our strengths in a little but complete studio. Working in it for the takes was a great advantage; we took our time without worrying about budgets as if we were in an external studio. I think in these hard times the technological escalation permitting to have everything to do a home work at a reasonable price can help bands to express their ideas. However, to do a good work you always need the final touch of a great professional that we found in Karl Groom.
Metalship : Gustavo Sazes (Arch Enemy, Kamelot, Angra) provided the cover art. How did arrive at this artist? What are your feelings about the cover art?
We knew him
through the artworks on many great albums, especially Secret Sphere, so I wrote him
about the concept behind the album, he accepted the work and created the cover fully understanding our musical purpose. Surely, we are fully satisfied with his fantastic work.
Metalship : Odd Dimension formed in 2001, released "A New Dimension" demo in 2005. Have you spent the time between releases perfecting the songs for Symmetrical?
Our EP “A New Dimension” was the first step in our creative process, followed by a good touring period that gave us the feedbacks from the audience; this prompted us towards new ideas and reasons to improve the process and to refine our material.
As I told you before, however, maybe our strength lies in the fact that we always work together on the riffs in the rehearsal room, thus slowing down the process but providing the work with the unity we like to replicate on stage.
Metalship : "Symmetrical" seems to be a concept album. Please tell our readers about the story.
When we seriously started recollecting all the material for this album grown during the last years we began immediately thinking of the strong parallelism between our personal life and our music during these times. The variety of our personal stories were interwoven into a common musical path, shown as an interior journey
from the darkness of our times to the light the human being always searches subconsciously for the future; all this was represented through a dialog between a father and a son experiencing the travel of life with a metaphysical navigator guiding them.
Metalship : "Symmetrical" is an interesting title for a progressive-based album, considering most progressive bands are anything but symmetrical. The band name upholds this statement. Please explain why you choose this title.
The name of the album was a direct consequence of what I told you before about the concept behind it: the strong duality between light and darkness, life and death, past and present of the father and his son trying to reach an equilibrium
between their conflicts. I think that the soul of progressive music expresses itself at its best describing the contrasts growing even between ‘symmetrical’ states of mind or things, as day takes life slowly through a light progression from the night.
Metalship : Bands such as Elvenking, White Skull and Rhapsody of Fire have given Italy a name in the power metal community. Have any of these bands influenced your song writing, musically or lyrically?
We have some friends in these bands, especially in Elvenking and White Skull
, undoubtedly strong acts we met many times in Italy, but the various influences of the members of the band (ranging from classic rock to extreme metal) makes me difficult to answer this. Surely, we have common backgrounds in the classics of the past that could influence all of us.
Metalship : "Symmetrical" features clean singing throughout the album, but on “Another Shore” it contains death metal growling and screams. Did you bring in a guest vocalist for this part and how does it enhance the storyline?
“Another Shore” is surely one of the most representative songs of this musical travel, probably the most symphonic and various song of the album, ranging from a triumphant intro representing the forces of darkness trying to overtake the two travelers, changing into a darker moment telling about the Father and his Son being hunted down by evil during their search for the future. This moment had to be underlined by a strong vocal contrast, so we decided to call our friend Damien Dell’Amico to sing on this part with the right mood.
Metalship : You mention on your Myspace page how hard it was to align musical influences in the beginning. How did you bring all of these ideas together, and how did these influences make "Symmetrical" a diverse album?
it was very hard in the beginning to ‘coagulate’ all the different musical influences of the members of the band; this took form through an intense work taking the music itself as a guideline before the genres, and using our different backgrounds to reach fully our purpose of putting our soul in our songs. Surely, the total artistic freedom of the members of the band not filtered through any ‘commercial’ purpose and the scarce use of editing (to preserve fully the original vibe of the sound) could make this a ‘different’ album.
Metalship : After the release of "A New Dimension," Odd Dimension focused heavily on concerts. Did you embark on tours throughout Europe? What were some of your more memorable performances?
We did a lot of shows in Italy. We haven’t had the pleasure of playing in Europe with this band yet. We waited to have a full show and the right material, which we have now with the new songs. However, one of the best live experiences in the past for us was opening for Soft Machine—really a legend in highly refined music.
Metalship : What can we expect next from Odd Dimension? Do you have a tour in the works?
We are planning some touring, so stay tuned for more news to come soon!
added by Darren Cowan, on March 3, 2011 for Metalship