DATE OF INTERVIEW:
11th June 2012
METAL DISCOVERY: You were saying earlier about the planned full-length album and this will be an extension of the concept on ‘Fragments’?
JJ: Well, yes. ‘Welcome’ is the first song of the story and ‘Epilogue’ is the last. ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Deceitful Heart’ take place in the middle of it so it will be the complete story and you’ll understand what happens in ‘Epilogue’. By the time you get to ‘Epilogue’, you’ll actually understand what they’re talking about and the gunshot at the end of that will make sense.
(JJ on Shattered Destiny's stylistic fusion)
"...we actually combine power, thrash and prog metal into one...you’re really not gonna hear that many other places or anywhere as far as I know."
Shattered Destiny - promo shot
Interview by Mark Holmes
Photograph copyright © 2011 David Morley
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MD: So these four tracks are just like little glimpses into parts of the story…
JJ: ‘Fragments’ of the story.
MD: Of course, yeah, just like it says on the tin!
JJ: [laughs] We are going to re-record those four tracks to match the full-length because, obviously, after being in the studio we have some ideas for stuff we want to improve or change slightly. And we need them to match the full-length recordings. So, yeah, it’ll come together as one nice, solid concept on the full-length.
MD: So what you’ve just kind of alluded to, did you learn anything from the whole process of recording the EP that you think will benefit you when you record the album?
JJ: Oh yes, absolutely. Like I said, that was my first time in the studio as a singer and it gives me a lot more appreciation for every vocalist out there… [laughs] There’s a huge difference there and it also helped me learn a lot about what I can and can’t do with my voice, what’s going to work better recorded. Recording stuff at home on a demo is different and it always will be; it’s a more relaxed atmosphere and that kinda thing. Roman, as well, had ideas - after we recorded and listened to it, he’s like, “you know, we could do this a little better” and I’m like, “yeah, I agree with you so let’s work on improving that kind of thing and giving it a slightly more fluid sound.”
Also, again, that was our first recording as a band together and I guess now we have a chance to grow. And that was part of the reason for doing an EP. That way, our first full-length could be more perfect. Instead of making a mistake on a full-length album, let’s get it out there and if we want to improve, let’s make that on the full-length; let’s make everything truly perfect.
MD: Like a trial run almost for the real deal kind of thing.
JJ: Yeah, as are most first albums. You listen to a lot of bands’ first albums and their second album doesn’t even sound the same. A case in point, look at Slayer. Their first album has tracks on there they have never played anything like ever again. So, obviously, they decided those didn’t work… [laughs] But I think it’s always a growing process, especially every time you record a song, you wanna do better on the next one. So you’re constantly improving or trying to improve at least.
MD: But as it turns out, the EP sounds fantastic as it is so it can only get better and sound even more fantastic!
MD: So has pre-production started yet for the album and do you have studio time booked?
JJ: Pre-production has started. I’m working with Roman; we’re going back and forth to get the pre-production demos completely ready. I have all my demos ready so all the stuff where I record everything is done. So now we’re going back and recording with the band; the band recording their parts to make those pre-production demos and we’re auditioning who’s gonna do guest vocals. For the album, we’re gonna lay them down. We’re hoping to go into the studio near the end of the year. We wanna release it in the first quarter of 2013. So we’re purposefully not putting ourselves on a deadline because we wanna make sure when we have our pre-production demos ready…we have a producer already and we’re gonna work with them, but we wanna make sure what we send to them is our pre-production demos that we’re a hundred per cent happy with. Then, we’ll start booking studio time once we hand over to the producer.
MD: So with yourself being the band’s songwriter at the moment, now you have an established lineup, will you be looking to get other band members involved in future songwriting?
JJ: Roman will be writing or at least contributing. I’ll probably always lay down the main ideas…his style of writing is much more power metal influenced or neo-classical. So once I get the main ideas then he’s going to work with me and we’re tweaking some of the songs, and that’s where some of the ideas came to slightly change. Some stuff on the EP was some of Roman’s ideas that he wanted to make better and they sound pretty cool. So he’ll definitely be contributing. Other band members, if they have an idea, sure, you know.
MD: You mentioned earlier about doing some live shows so is that gonna be something that happens next year when the album’s out or do you want to try and do something before then?
JJ: For us, playing Europe is the only place that makes any sense. With just an EP, to me, it seems more of a waste. I think we’re better focussed on making a nice, full-length album to get that out there and, in theory, partner with a record label that’ll be able to provide us with the support we need in order to tour. Obviously, as a new band, we’re gonna be opening so it’ll be really beneficial to have someone out there pushing the band name and backing us a little bit. So our idea is to go out in 2013 in a support role and start touring in Europe. Eventually, we’ll hit other places like South America, depending on what slots open up.
MD: And the festival circuit too…
JJ: Yeah, exactly, yeah. We’ve had a couple of offers to play one-off shows but it’s kind of expensive and, without a full-length, I just don’t think it’s a good use of our band funds at the moment.
MD: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I saw the new Louis Theroux documentary last night…it was nice to see a big advert for the band in there…I presume you’ve seen the documentary yourself?
JJ: I’m half way through it right now.
MD: There’s one shot with the band logo and URL for the website so I thought – what amazing publicity!
JJ: Yeah, it’s good they put that in there. They cut out a lot of the talking. It was an hour and a half of interview we did and we did a thing on the band, like forty minutes, and I knew there was no way they’re gonna put that on that documentary! At least they kept that part! [laughs]
MD: How was it catching up with Louis after all these years because it’s something like fifteen years since the first programme wasn’t it?
JJ: Actually, I’ve seen him before. He came out and did a road tour of the States…in 2006, I think. He stayed with me during that and we’ve always maintained contact. But it was nice. The Louis Theroux character is slightly different than the person. The person I don’t think has changed much; he’s always been a really good guy. As far as his character, he’s become less snarky. Like the character seems much more sincere in his delivery nowadays than he was thirteen years ago or whatever.
MD: Yeah, I could go with that. I’ve watched his documentaries over the years and seen a change so I know what you mean. I’m guessing you played him some Shattered Destiny stuff as there’s a clip in there where he’s bobbing his head a little bit…was he into it?
JJ: Funny enough, the clip where he’s bobbing his head, he’s listening to the early demos for ‘Oblivion’ but they’re playing ‘Welcome’… [laughs] Yeah, at that point we were using my computer so we had most of the drums recorded, rough guitars and that kinda thing. I’ve sent him the CD since…Louis’ obviously not a metalhead but he told me he quite enjoyed it. He said it sounded very fresh to his ears so, you know, that’s cool. He said he enjoyed the CD and that’s all that really matters.
MD: Brilliant. The final thing then, for people who will be reading this interview, what would you like to say to encourage them to go and check out Shattered Destiny?
JJ: Well, the fact we actually combine power, thrash and prog metal into one...you’re really not gonna hear that many other places or anywhere as far as I know. I think we have a unique sound and a lot of passion and intensity in the music that we’re bringing forward.
MD: Definitely, you can hear that in the songs.
JJ: And we’re totally committed to it and I feel that comes across in the album.
MD: Definitely. I’m looking forward to hearing the full-length album too, albeit having to wait a year.
JJ: Well, maybe we’ll get done sooner but, yeah, it’ll definitely be a nice plate of music.
MD: Okay, thank you so much for your time.
JJ: Oh, fantastic.
MD: Best of luck with making the album and hope to see you on tour next year then.
JJ: Alright, have a wonderful day.