American metal band, Affiance, just released an entirely independent and crowdfunded EP called Gaia on March 11, premiering with their music video for “Reboot”. We got to speak with lead guitarist, Dominique Dickinson, where he shares the production process of Gaia and much more.
CC: First off, Gaia is an amazing album – I could not stop listening to it and fathom the feeling of it clenching my soul trying to ooze out hope for humanity. Gaia is the Greek goddess of the Earth – tell us the story behind naming the album and self-titled song Gaia.
Thanks – we’ve witnessed within ourselves and the rest of the world a growing urgency to correct where mankind has gone astray. The song “Gaia” discusses our abuse of the earth, while other songs approach topics about how we treat other people and ourselves. Gaia is very personal to us.
CC: You guys have undeniably joined forces with numerous advocates who are trying to sustain awareness of global kindness. How do you wish people will receive and use your music as a tool to aid humanity on Earth?
We hope that we can be a part of the awakening for people. Hopefully when people listen, they will look inside of themselves and start there.
CC: This being an entirely crowdfunded EP, it’s apparent how much hard work you all had to put into it – how long did the process take to bring Gaia to life?
Writing and producing is always a long process for us because as soon as we release an album we begin working on new material. Although it’s an EP, we had written about 14-15 songs over the period of a year and cut it down to the 7 that we wanted to put out. Recording took most of 2015’s summer and early fall. Since we were close to home, we would only go into the studio a couple days a week to track. Our previous records would only take 3-4 weeks because we would set up shop and record every day.
CC: What would you say was the best and hardest part about producing a crowdfunded album?
The best part would definitely be seeing the amount of support and interest we received with the album. Our fans really pulled through for this one. Most of us did not expect the campaign to go that well. The hardest part, without question, would be doing mostly all of this on our own. We essentially had to become our own label. There was more work than any of us anticipated, and getting it done while also being on tour has been a difficult task to say the least.
CC: What advice would you give other bands who are trying to create a crowdfunded album?
Don’t overdue the perks. You most certainly want to think outside the box and be creative with them, but make sure they are all realistic to deliver on.
CC: In terms of significance, how is this album different from Affiance’s past albums?
I think Gaia was the biggest risk we’ve taken out of all of our albums. The fact that we chose to do more screaming and all around be heavier was a risk with a lot of our die hard fans. We have been known for being pretty much all singing, so when we put out “PRSVR” (which starts with a scream), I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. Also, this is the first album as an established band that was not on a label, which has been significantly different than the previous process of having a third-party bearing some of the work load.
CC: You guys just ended a tour in March, how was it? What other tour plans do you guys have for the near future?
The tour was great fun. It was exciting to play so much fresh music. With the exception of the Ice Nine Kills tour we had done earlier this year, we hadn’t toured in almost a year. So it was great to get out and be around our fans again. Plus, the bands we brought out were all fantastic people and have become new friends. As far as future tours, we can’t tell you… but we are pushing for some big things to come through.
CC: If you guys had the choice to tour with any band in the world, who would it be and why?
Everyone in the band would have a different answer, but for me I would choose either Killswitch Engage (again), August Burns Red, or Underoath. Killswitch and ABR fits us well musically and they’re all really cool dudes, so I know my bandmates would agree with me on those. We don’t necessarily fit Underoath musically, but they are one of my favorite bands and I’m loving the comeback.
CC: Tell us about “Reboot”– what was the outset of creating this song?
We entered the song with a few musical parts written, so it took shape fast. The song moves from the technical riffing of the first verse to the open simplicity of the second verse. I think the dichotomy of these parts and the catchy chorus are what makes the song such a hit with our fans. Lyrically, Dennis pumped this song out fast. It was the first song to be finished on the EP and didn’t change much in pre-production. Sometimes you just have a hit!
CC: We see Dennis Tvrdik (vocalist) get beat up and brainwashed in the “Reboot” music video; we also see clips of Donald Trump: if Trump does become president this year and you had the chance to rant to him about anything, what would you say?
To us, Trump symbolizes a lot of what’s wrong with our society today. It seems like people would rather vote for someone who is entertaining than someone who genuinely knows what they are talking about. He knows that though. If I’d rant about anything, it would be that he is pandering to people. I’m not big on political correctness either, but there is a difference between being productive and playing on people’s fears and prejudices.
All answers by Dominic Dickinson
Interview and post by Leanna Ahmed
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