I N T E R V I E W S
New interview with Santiago Kodela of Svet Kant by Greg Watson
Hi Greg, and thanks to you as well. Svet Kant began as a side project while I was part of another trash metal band back in Argentina, however I wanted to explore new sides of music, by combining different styles (both more extreme but also more melodic). After a split with the band I got in 100% into Svet Kant.
The idea was to record all tracks with a guy that was going to play drums in the project, but one week after starting the sessions he walked away leaving me completely alone. Instead of calling off the project I decided to take it on my own, so I went out and hired a recording studio, a session drummer and looked for a guy that could play the bass (initially I was to record it but a friend gave me a hand with that). After a year of recording, mixing, mastering, etc...the CD was ready.
A possibility arose and I moved to Ireland, where I produced the CDs. Once the CD was ready I started looking for talented musicians that would be interested in this particular and unique style of music. After some crappy guys, some irresponsible musicians and others who I rather not recall, I found 3 great musicians and people as well. So basically the project that began in Argentina now is becoming a reality/band here in Ireland. We are starting to oil the machine and tune it up to start touring, there is A LOT to do, but we are happy and we have high hopes and we are driven. We are pushing and promoting our music via diverse media channels to try and show our art to the world as well as contacting radios, PR agencies, etc. This is just the beginning, but we are certain that we will get far.
MM: Is there a meaning or significance in the band name? If so, what are the origins and the meaning of the name?
Originally the band was to be called "Antrophobia" (mainly because of the insane atrocities and malice that the human race has portrayed, and keeps doing so, along our history). However that name was already taken so, since I have Slovenian ascension, I decided to look for a cool name in Slovenian since the chance that name was taken were less than in English. So I always had a particular point of view on the concetp of "failure". I believe there is no such thing as failure, maybe there is when it comes to particular results sought, but I believe that one learns from all the experiences and then gets the best of them to try and improve then is not a failure but a lesson. Therefore, the name Svet Kant (even though is not 100% accurate as per Slovenian language) means "Holy failure". Is a concept where, if we learn from the experience and grow from each "failure" then we will grow as human beings and be better next time, hence the word "holy". Hope its clear enough.
MM: Let's talk about the new album "Loneliness" for a bit. This album is quite impressive. It has a bit of everything musically in it. Tell me about the recording process and what your hope was for this album.
All the album was been composed by me. I just didn't close the doors to any possibilities, I didn't say "okay, I want this; I don't want this", I just let the sections and songs flow one into the other. The recording process was LOOOOOONG, as the tracks are. Some of the drums are completely insane, as well as guitar parts. There is a lot of odd time signature, syncopations, things that don't seem to be in the correct place (EVEN IF THEY ARE) and lots of changes that aren't just a plain half-tempo rock balad song (no offense to be taken please); and all of this delay or require more time when at the studio.
I've always been fan of technical music, but didn't want to go over the top, so I merged what I think is a good quote of technicality with some really cool riffs and memorable melodic sections.
The recording took about a year (since I was on my own, and also had to work, and the studio didn't have complete availability, and other factors) but it was a great year of learning and hopes. The hope for this album was to give birth the project with something tangible and precise. I believe it is much easier to get like-minded musicians with something to show rather than saying "I have these ideas, some tracks, look at this riff"; and also because it was my own baby which I wanted to give birth on my own.
MM: Musically I think the album has a sound similar to older Opeth with some Emperor and thrash thrown in. Are these bands and genres that influenced you all?
I wouldn't say that Emperor is a big influence on us, but OPETH, hell yeah! It really has some (as I say) "Opetish" sections but with personal style. My musical concept when I started composing this record was creating music that was Opeth-like but with more blast beats and technical stuff. I've always loved Akerfeldt's growls and compositions, but also love a good blast-beat and some meteoric drumming, which I believe Opeth has, but not that much.
MM: The guitar work on the album is incredible. The melodic almost jazzy sections are beautiful. Did you have any guitar lessons? What would you say your style of guitar playing is rooted in?
THANKS! I'm 29 now (yeap, OLD! haha) and started playing when I was 17. I started with the classics like AC/DC and stuff until one day I came across with an excellent video of a band that would get me into metal (Slipknot's "Left behind") for good. Then, as years went on, I just got into heavier and heavier (and technical) stuff. So I've had individual lessons like for about 4 or 5 years, but also wanted to explore how the music works and the world of classical guitar. That being said so I got into the "Manuel de Falla" conservatoire in Argentina. This was great because I've started learning the mechanics and the background structures of music, and how every voice behaves and so, which was fantastic.
As well as studying classical guitar, I also started growing interest in new genres, which were Jazz and flamenco. I did lessons with Master Walter Malosetti for about a year, and also with flamenco master Manolo Yglesias. Basically I have a wide range of influences as you can see, and I try to incorporate them to the music I create.
Now in Ireland I'm still studying with at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, so as you can see, the learning process is infinite, which is at both times exciting and overwhelming.
MM: Another impressive thing on the album is the length of songs. Most clock in over five minutes. Was this something you intended?
Absolutely not. As told before, I just let the sections flow into the other and didn't see any particular reasons to say "okay, this song is too long, let's chop it". In order to keep them attractive they have contrasting sections and few are them are repeated. I guess that's a Dream Theater/Opeth influence as well right? =D
MM: The vocals on the album are quite awesome. The clean vocals are melodic and haunting and the growls and screams are well done. What sort of routine do you follow to keep your voice in good shape?
For the clean vocals I've taken CLASSICAL singing lessons with one of my conservatoire professor (Marina Aranda) and all the voices were meticulously worked on, as well as the harmonies (AND THEIR INTENDED DISSONANCES). For the growls, to be honest, I just "sang" from the heart and trying to have something guttural but piercing as well.
Luckily for me, in the conservatoire you have singing lectures as well as chorale, which always helps to keep the voice oiled and in-tune.
MM: Did you have to take lessons for the development of your vocals?
Answered above, heh.
MM: Is there a concept or underlying theme to "Loneliness"?
Yes it is. The "Loneliness" title goes in-hand with the former band's name "Antrophobia". So basically it's related to looking for a place (within oneself or in this world) untouched or polluted by human's mischief. It also involves the duality that, within loneliness you'll find peace and won't be target of the malice of this race, but will also find yourself completely alone, lacking a lot of emotions that can be found in our daily interactions and interpersonal relations.
MM: Who would you say your biggest influences are as a vocalist and guitarist?
Vocals: Warrel Dane, James Labrie, Mike Akerfledt, Anselmo, Dickinson, Russell Allen, Layne Stayley, Corey Taylor, Joe Duplantier
Guitars (all genres): LOOMIS, Michael Romeo, Thordendal/Hagstrom, Gilbert, Hanneman/King, Vai, Vicente Amigo, Tomatito, Paco de Lucia, Vogg (Decapitated) and many more.
MM: Before we move on, where can our readers go to hear and purchase the new album?
The album can be found (physically) at our website www.svetkant.com
it can also be purchased (digitally) from Itunes and Google play.
MM: What kind of reception have you all received for the album?
We have had some really good feedback and some really bad feedback, which I think is kind of cool.
We are certain of something, WE DON'T WANNA BE JUST ANOTHER BAND...and we want to be different. Therefore we aim to stand-out by one way or another. Many people don't like this, many people like the ordinary, the regular, the predictable and I guess they are the ones that spit their poison to us but hey, perks of the business. However we know how to read between the lines and try to see what could be improved in the next album, no matter how "constructive" the criticism is.
We've had some really great feedback from people who is and knows a lot of music, and a lot of negative feedback from people (I believe, not 100% certain) aren't well acquainted with how to write/compose/create music.
MM: Do you all have any touring plans that are upcoming?
The plans for touring and gigging are always present, however is difficult to organize big tours when being independent and have no backup. Nevertheless, that doesn't hold us back and we'll find the way to have interesting tours. But for now we are ending the oiling process of the machine to be as tight as possible when gigging.
MM: Ok we'll finish things up with a lightning round. If you could be in any other band, who would the band be and what would you play?
The cliche I have to say would be: I don't wanna be in any other band.
But to answer your question I would love to be part of the following bands (as a guitarist):
Tesseract (these guys have really cool guitar-work)
Nevermore...before they disbanded =(
MM: What was the first album you bought with your own money?
Mmmmm that's a hard one...but my first metal albums (not sure which one was first) were:
Slipknot - Iowa
Slayer - god hates us all
Dream theater - Images and words
MM: In the next year, what are your hopes for Svet Kant?
Just keep on making music that we love; unrestricted, unstrung and with no limits; pleasing our audiences and fan and trying to open other peoples minds. We also would like to encourage the readers to follow us on our social media channels:
And thank you once again for taking the time to analyze our music as it deserves to, and for helping in the endeavor of spreading our art.
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