by Marc Urban | September 2017 |
Can you tell something about the bandname 11 Grams – could be a symbiosis of K11 and Retrogramme…?
Simeon – Yes, 11 Grams is the symbiosis of K11 and Retrogramme, it seemed quite appropriate and we both liked the sound of it… When people hear it they think it’s drug related somehow,
Rob – The drug reference was intentional. We envisioned it to come across as 11 Grams of some type of life extension drug, which is the general theme of the band and our debut album.
How and when did 11 grams develop? When did you know that your musical visions could/ would fit together?
Rob – I was interested in branching out musically from my main band, Retrogramme, to create music I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. I posted a status on facebook and Simeon responded with an interest to join. His Project K11 stuff is musically diverse, and I really like his basslines and programming skill and thought, let’s give it a try! We worked well together on the first couple of tracks and decided to continue and make a full album!
The album is called “Panacea”. Would you call (your) music a panacea? Or what shall this title suggest?
Simeon – I was writing lyrics for the album at the time… I have a dictionary at hand which I opened to a random page and there it was, “Panacea” the universal remedy, totally suiting this Transhuman/A.I./futurism inspired album.
One can see on the cover the number 2045. I think, it means the year 2045?! What are your visions of the world in 28 years? More positive or rather dystopian?
Simeon – 2045 is relating to the year, Ray Kurzweil’s predicted date of machine self awareness.
Rob – Yes, Ray Kurzweil, inventor and futurist predicted year 2045 as the year of the technological singularity when Artificial Intelligence will surpass human intelligence. With technological advance comes good and bad. I just hope the good prevails.
What do you think is the best or the most accurate science fiction novel (and why)?
Rob – I don’t read many novels but I do enjoy movies, as I am an audio/visual person. I recently saw a move called Ex Machina that I really enjoyed. I don’t know about accuracy but I can certainly imagine technology reaching and surpassing what is demonstrated in the movie!
The artwork generally looks quite fantastic. What was it inspired by and how does it get along with the album?
Rob – Most of the songs are inspired by transhumanism, enhancing the human body to be more powerful, smarter, and to live longer and eventually achieve immortality, either physically or by uploading the mind into a computer. We hired Vlad McNeally of Kallistidesign.net to do the artwork. He is well known for his industrial and goth album artwork and he happens to be a personal friend of mine. We think he did a great job!
I can imagine that is it quite hard to work together with one of you being in the US and the other one in Australia. But it must especially be quite impossible to play a common concert or even a tour…!
Simeon – Working together through the internet has been an interesting experience for both of us. At first it was difficult to try and explain certain adjustments to structures of the music but after the first track we worked out a simple system that worked well. 1 of us would start a basic structure… Drums, bassline, arpeggio, then send the files to the other, adding their parts, melody additional soundscape etc, then we’d both listen to the song over and over reevaluating any changes it needed till it was good enough for the mastering process. This album has taken 2 years to write 10 tracks, there where probably 15 songs in total but some didn’t suit and were dropped from the album, but will be released as extra tracks along with singles and remixes.
Rob – With my other band, Retrogramme, we use the same software so we can exchange full projects. That gives the greatest flexibility. For 11Grams, Simeon and I used different software so we export tracks as .wav and send them back and forth via the internet and chop, process, sample, or just leave as is, and then add to it until we feel it is finished. It works well for us.