Thanos "ProgCaliph" Patsos
Currently sitting comfortably at 3rd place in the PA collaborators’ top albums of 2014, Norwegians Seven Impale talk to ProgArchives and JustIn Case Radio about chili-mango tea, questions best left-unanswered, songs to which is hard to dance (!) and when God Left Us for a Black-Dressed Woman... here’s to bigger and better things.
Hello! What news from the City of the Sun? What are Seven Impale up to at this moment in time?
We are currently sitting on a cafe called "Bare Jazz" drinking chili-mango tea and coffee, listening to Wes Montgomery. Just came to Oslo and we are preparing for the gig tonight by trying not to get too tired. We came across a recently released album by Tigran Hamasyan called "Mockingroot" we've been waiting for it a long time, so we purchased all (three) copies they had and now we’re really happy!
How has 2014 been for you as a band? How have you developed and what have you learnt?
2014 has been a great year for Seven Impale, and we have developed a lot. We learned a lot about the work that is involved in releasing an album, both musically and everything else around it. When we look back at the process we realize that we have been really lucky to work with such great people, who have helped us make a great album and not make every beginners mistake out there as well! We’ve learned a lot and the next time we’re entering the studio, we’ll be prepared!
Most young (excuse the adjective) bands find it difficult to sign up to a label these days – how did the deal with Karisma come up?
We played at a music industry convention called "Blest" in 2012. This is where we met our contact in Karisma, Martin Kvam. He really liked what we did at the showcase and shortly after, we started negotiating a contract.
There’s only (!) six of you but you chose “Seven Impale” for your name – is there a story behind this?
It is mainly chosen from associations and symbolism in the words, as well as the religious connection to the number seven. So it's not totally random, but the meaning is rather abstract.
Is the City of the Sun a real or fictitious place? What is the story behind the album’s lyrics (if any)?
The City of the Sun is a fictional utopian city from a book by the italian philosopher Tommaso Campanella in 1602. It reflected our own idealism as well as the ideas behind the lyrics/story of our album.
When did God leave us for a black-dressed woman and why did He do it?
Officially around the birth of Isaac Newton, i think. Why, is a much greater and relative question best to leave unanswered.
What have the responses been so far for your debut album and how does this make you feel?
The feedback from the prog-community and all the people involved in the release have been incredibly good(at times unreal), and of course this is very motivating. Things have been picking up pace after the release and it seems to keep going in that direction.
What motivates and inspires you musically and non-musically?
We are mostly inspired musically, by other people's music. A lot of norwegian bands like Jaga Jazzist, Shining, Motorpsycho and otherwise a variety of different genres, classical, electronic music, jazz and metal. The motivation comes from the people around us, as well as our own expectations towards ourselves and the band. And of course the fact that we all love playing.
The musicianship of the album makes me think you have all studied this before – have you? Is it important?
Only our singer/guitarist Stian has any formal training, but we've all played and listened to music a lot, with very different backgrounds.
Are you taking you music to the masses? Which are the lucky audiences to experience you live on stage?
So far we've only played in Norway, and the plans for the rest of europe are still in the mere beginning. We definitely plan to take our music to the masses, but how much time it will take for us to reach that point we have no idea about.
What have the responses been so far on stage? Do they stare you with questioning or dance to your music?
Our songs is generally hard to dance to, so there's a lot of staring. People seems really interested in understanding the rythms and what we're doing, and there's nothing more rewarding for a band to see that kind of devotion from the audience. The comeback at our last gigs have generally been very good as well. In our home town we've gotten a good reputation as a live band and that is a nice place to start for us, as our our travel expences are quite large.
Give us a hint about your future plans.
Making more music. Evolving mentally, musically and technically. And yeah, we're planning to make another album soon.
A message from your part for the listeners of JustIn Case Prog Radio, Greece is…
Named "Hellas" in norwegian.
Anything that you might want to add as a closing note?
We're currently making a music video, planning another album and have a couple of important gigs coming up, so stay tuned in if you're interested in the future of Seven Impale. We surely are!