ALCHEMIST – Love them or hate them
Love them or hate them. The Australian band Alchemist is ready to conquer the world with a lethal combination of aggression and psychedelic fury. To learn more about their new album "tripsis", I contacted vocalist and guitarist Adam Agius.
Congratulations on another great album. Tell us about the writing and recording of Tripsis?
Thanks for the comment, Tripsis took three years to write, and one year to record at my home studio, we mixed it in 11 days at Back Beach Studios in Rye Victoria Australia.
Four years have passed since "Austral Alien", was Tripsis a difficult album to write?
It was really hard to write because Rod, our drummer moved 2000 kilometres away in 2004. We had to reinvent the way we wrote songs, a lot of new technology had to be learned. We are well schooled now though!!!
What are you hoping to accomplish with "Tripsis", and do you believe there is a chance for a breakthrough here in Europe and in America?
I don't know if there will be a breakthrough, but I do believe that it will add to and affect our career in a positive manner. We just wanted to write an aggressive Alchemist album that was trippy, but at the same time headbanger friendly.
Now that you are on a label like Relapse, you might finally get the breakthrough that you have deserved. Relapse is after all known for releasing forward- thinking music, and probably knows how to promote a band like yours. What are your thoughts on this?
They have been great so far, no complaints from Alchemist that's for sure, they have increased the international awareness about the band a lot. I hope this album does really well for both Alchemist and Relapse .Relapse have a great attitude towards forward thinking music but I think Alchemist is difficult to market,.
Is Alchemist a big band in Australia? Do you enjoy any form of commercial success in your homeland?
We are a good size alternative act; we can fill rooms and headline festivals. We sell a good amount of records and usually chart top ten for a month or so on the indie charts. We are not massive but we have been able to maintain a solid following, and there are new faces at the shows, so it's still growing. We have sort of a Legend cult status.
Alchemist has released six albums so far, how would you describe the development that your music has gone through from "Jar of Kingdom" to "Tripsis"?
Oh my God, its a pretty different thing these days than it was back on "Jar". On "Jar of Kingdom" we were trying to be as crazy, spastic and extreme as we could be, and it is a fucking mental record. Today we are about flow, dynamics and catchiness!!!
Alchemist is a unique band; there are definitely no bands that sound like you. What inspired you write music in the first place, and what has inspired you to write music that is so different from what other bands are doing?
We always wanted to have our own identity outside of any scene, we always liked all sorts of music and we were determined to create our own sound. We were all inspired to create and perform music because as teenager in the eighties, we were very influenced by metal and thrash. We loved music so much that we wanted to make it.
Progressive rock and psychedelic rock has obviously inspired you, but I also sense that you are quite interested in electronic music, right?
It depends; I like Skinny Puppy and Laibach. Rod and John are big Rammstein fans. I like some other modern electronic stuff, but the electronic stuff I really like are freaky 60s and 70s analogue synths, fucking wailing with distortion.
Since you yourself play challenging and progressive music, are you frustrated with all the copycats and imitators in the music scene today?
I pay very little attention to bands I don't like, But I don't agree that a band has to be original to be great, there are a lot of copycat bands that are actually brilliant to see live they can still be great bands.
Now that you've made a name for yourself, there will probably be quite a few people looking for you're first three albums. Is there a chance these albums will be released in America and Europe?
No, that's why we released the Embryonics double disc, maybe a small chance for limited edition vinyl's..
Thanks for the interview, keep up the good work. Good luck with the new album.
Thanks mate. Hope you enjoy Tripsis, thanks for the interview.