Montreal metal act Derelict has posted the following blog online via the band’s official website regarding “technicality vs. songwriting” and the process writing the “Perpetuation” album:
“Hi guys, Max here. I would like to start this blog off by wishing all of our friends and fans a happy new year. We in the Derelict camp are anticipating a very busy 2012 and we hope you guys stick along for the ride as it should be a lot of fun. As I’m writing this our new album ‘Perpetuation’ has been mixed and mastered and we’re in the process of preparing for its release. Christian Donaldson from Garage Studios has done a fantastic job and the sound is killer. We cannot wait to launch it and we hope you guys enjoy the end result. We have worked very hard on this record and I believe this is our best work to date, which is a cliché line I know, but one I deliver with all honesty. We all have worked very hard on our respective instruments and are better musicians for it in my opinion.
“Writing music is a tricky thing. Everyone has their own process and there is no one way to write a good song. As a guitar player I like to challenge myself technically. This includes the occasional grueling practice session, going over scales and all that business. This can sometimes be a boring process but it helps me play our songs properly. Any guitarist that strives to achieve a certain degree of technical skill has to go through some solid woodshedding sessions. I like to think of it as sharpening your axe before shredding away with it. However, all the technical skill in the world can’t guarantee that you’ll play anything interesting. Music, like most art, is about making you feel something. What drove you to listen to that band or want to learn to play an instrument? I can’t answer that definitively but the odds are it’s because it made you feel something.
“I’ve been thinking very much lately about technicality versus good songwriting. As a musician, it can be easy to get carried away with technical skill while forgetting that sometimes a great riff is also a simple riff. The eternal struggle, at least to me, is to be able to balance both elements. One of my main influences is the band Death. Chuck Schuldiner really pushed death metal into a progressive and technical direction, but also managed to write some memorable songs. This was seminal to the band’s legacy in my opinion. Check out the song ‘The Philosopher’ and you’ll find a perfect example of great and memorable songwriting intertwined with complex sections.
“Within the context of Derelict our objective is to achieve a similar balance in our music. Everyone in the band likes to challenge themselves and push themselves further in their chosen instrument. Jordan often has to learn new techniques in order for some of the songs to work properly and Eric has worked very hard on his vocal technique and has widened his range in the process. In my case some of the most interesting challenges are to learn songs written by the other members, since it often forces me to widen my style. This is an opportunity I cherish. In fact, when I write music, I often have an idea, write out the tablature and then I layer the parts together. After that’s taken care of I sit down and actually learn how to play the song. This may be unconventional but I find it keeps my playing fresh and stops me from repeating patterns. The objective is always to write the best possible song I can. These songs often end up being pretty hard to play, but the song (hopefully) isn’t sacrificed in the end.
“This is part 1 of the ‘Technicality vs. Songwriting’ posts. I’ll have more for you guys soon enough. I’d love to hear some feedback on this so don’t hesitate to write to us with your thoughts on this if you want to.”