November 28, 2014

Interview - 'Sidious'

UK black metal group, Sidious, have just released their excellent debut album, Revealed in Profane Splendour, through the terrific French label Kaotoxin Records. This follows on from their EP, Ascension to the Throne ov Self, and both have been reviewed on these filthy pages. So, what better time to catch up with the band and fire a few questions at them? Now, of course!

All questions were fired by Trevor Proctor and answered by Baalrath, except the one question addressed to Isfeth.

LoF - Hello, first and foremost, thanks for agreeing to an interview with The Lair of Filth; it’s very much appreciated. Could you please tell us a little about Sidious?

Sidious - Greetings, thanks for the interview! Of course: Sidious is an extreme metal band from London, UK. Our music is a blend of black and death metal with added symphonic elements.

LoF - Your latest album, “Revealed in Profane Splendour” was released via Kaotoxin Records on the 3rd of November. By now I’ve given it many listens and am very impressed – how satisfied is the band with the final recording?

Sidious - Very pleased to hear you are enjoying the record. Naturally, we are extremely proud of ourselves for releasing our debut full-length. Members of Sidious have been making music together for years under various monikers, and this definitely feels like what it’s all been leading up to. We’re now all creating a style of music together that we are equally passionate about. Obviously, there’s always room for improvement but we certainly feel confident in knowing that we’ve found our sound.

LoF - I understand Russ Russell produced this album as well as your debut EP – based on his previous work I’d guess he’s a bit of a perfectionist in the studio - what was it like working with such a legend and how long was the band in the studio?

Sidious - The recording session of “Revealed…” was actually our third time working with Russ in the studio having recorded our EP (“Ascension To The Throne Ov Self”) with him, as well as a demo with a previous band, so we now have a good working relationship together. He’s every bit of a perfectionist as you’d expect a producer that takes pride in his work to be! This is rarely a bad trait for creative people to have as I know that we ourselves are guilty of having been perfectionists throughout the writing and recording process of the album. We spent a total of 12 days at The Parlour Recording Studios; 3 days recording drums, and a separate 9 days tracking vocals, bass and guitars.

LoF - The album has very high production values which I feel were necessary for the complex, symphonic arrangements within. What would you say to the purists who may be negative about applying high production values to your, or in fact any, music?

Sidious - Well, we certainly couldn’t have settled for any less! We felt that this album deserved the best quality treatment it could get, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the final product. To the ‘purists’ who swear by raw sounding production I simply say “each to their own”. There’s nothing I personally have against that particular style of producing music as it’s just another way of adding a certain vibe to the overall listening experience. We just wanted to ensure that our listeners would be able to hear every finely-detailed layer with clarity so that they can truly appreciate the entire composition.

LoF - The album boasts an extremely eye-catching cover, designed by Giannis Nakos from Remedy Arts; I’m aware he also created artwork for Eye of Solitude – is he a friend of the band and how did you come to work with him?

Sidious - As you said, Giannis Nakos has been working closely with Eye of Solitude creating artwork for the band since the early days, so naturally, with both Sidious & EoS now sharing many members, we instantly thought of him when deciding who to approach to create the album art. He’s been great to work with, and even though visual art isn’t necessarily a forte for the majority of the band, we found that we could bounce ideas off of each other with great ease. The visual representation of the album is beyond anything we could have expected.

LoF - I found your music hard to over define due to changing tempos, styles, etc. which I feel is one of many positives about your music - how would you classify the band’s sound?

Sidious - I would describe the music of Sidious as chaotic, dark, and epic.

LoF - There are many symphonic elements and other effects during the album, are these all synth generated?

Sidious - Yes, these are all synth generated parts composed in our own studio by Indomitus, Isfeth and myself. Something we consciously made a point of doing during the writing process for the album was to compliment the pre-existing guitar melodies with orchestral sounds, rather than attempting to build our songs around these symphonic elements.

LoF - You’re signed to an excellent label in Kaotoxin Records, I’m aware they also released your debut EP “Ascension to the Throne ov Self” – how did you come to be signed to Kaotoxin and can we expect future releases on the same label?

Sidious - We are extremely happy to be signed with such a great label. They did indeed release our debut EP, and have since been invaluable in making our music reach a wider audience. We were introduced to Kaotoxin via Eye of Solitude, and the rest is history!

LoF – You recently started performing vocals following the departure of Sidious’ previous vocalist; did this bring much added pressure to you during recording and how has it affected playing live?

Sidious – (Isfeth) There was certainly an element of pressure during the preproduction and recording phase, yet I believe this pushed me to reach my full potential. In terms of the live show, I have focused on being as well rehearsed as possible and adopting a no compromise approach towards my role.

LoF - I’m aware that in September Sidious played Wrongstock in London, a gig featuring eight other bands who have worked with Russ, how was the gig and have you any other plans for touring in the near future?

Sidious - Wrongstock was a fantastic event to be involved in, and it was a real treat to watch and meet some of the other bands that have worked with Russ. Unless I’m mistaken, a second edition of Wrongstock is already in the pipeline, although whether Sidious will be involved again hasn’t been mentioned. One thing’s for sure: there’s certainly no shortage of potential bands to get on the bill, and off the top of my head I can think of a couple of BIG bands that would make it a dream line-up. As for future gigs, see below…

LoF - Sidious’ band members are feature in Eye of Solitude & Colosus – can we expect to see releases from these other bands anytime soon or is the main focus on Sidious at the moment?

Sidious - I can’t speak for Khrudd on behalf of Colosus, but as a member of Eye Of Solitude I can confirm that the focus is certainly not on just one band; we will soon be releasing a brand new EP with EOS, and soon after will be re-recording the first Eye Of Solitude album whilst continuing to work on new material. We also have some great shows lined up; next will be the first edition of Kaotoxin Fest to be held in the label’s hometown in France, where both EoS and Sidious will be performing live.

LoF - If you had the chance to play on a four band line up along with any other three bands, who would you most like to share the bill with (past or present) and why?

Sidious - Luckily, we’re all really into many of the same bands as each other! So, without conferring with the others, I think the top 3 contenders to share the bill with would be Behemoth, Marduk, and Dimmu Borgir. The same reason goes for all 3, in that each of these bands has played a massive part in shaping our personal music tastes as well as moulding the sound of Sidious.

LoF - The underground metal scene is thriving at the moment, what bands do you feel are worth watching/following, both within the UK and farther afield?

Sidious - Indeed it is, couldn’t agree more. Some bands to watch out for from the UK are Ethereal (who recently just joined 1349 supporting them on their UK tour dates), The Infernal Sea (had the pleasure of playing with these guys several time with both EOS & Sidious, they have a new album in the works), Unfathomable Ruination (ridiculously brutal death metal), and Scordatura (death metal from Scotland, hopefully we can share the stage with these guys sometime soon..)

LoF - Many thanks for the interview and the time taken with the answers; The Lair of Filth wishes you every success with the album….

Sidious - You’re welcome, and thanks for your kind words!

Both Sidious' Revealed in Profane Splendour and Ascension to the Throne ov Self can be purchased direct from Kaotoxin, and are available now. For those of you in the U.S. you can order both from MVD Distribution.

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