Please, tell us more about ARC OF ASCENT. When did you feel the need to start a new band and where is the main difference to DATURA?
I'm not sure when I started to feel like getting into a band situation again, I never ruled it out completely, even after all these years doing LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE, maybe I wanted to do the rock thing a little more than before, so I actually started looking around and asking people to play some tunes with me a few years ago, more heavy/rock songs I'd written since DATURA that didn't fit in with LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE.
ARC OF ASCENT is really, in my mind, an updated version of DATURA, there are different things in AoA that aren't in DATURA, some things in the ol' DATURA that have been left out of AoA.....I suppose the main difference might be that AoA will incorporate more eastern directions musically, but it's still me playing bass, singing and writing the music, it has been 10 years though and things have changed a little!
Where did you meet guitarist Matt Cole-Barker and drummer John Strange? Have you ever worked together with both musicians?
I've never worked with these guys before, just put a few adds up here and there looking for people, that's it.....lucky they worked out haha! We didn't even have auditions, it was just like "hey man can you play this?" cool you're in! :)
I've noticed on your myspace site that Matt Cole-Barker has been replaced by Sandy Schaare. What was the reason for that change?
Things haven't been working out with Matt musically for awhile, plus a few more problems which I won't mention, but we had to get someone else to keep going....and I've been through too much in DATURA to let more "musical problems" and crap happen again! haha!. Nothing against Matt really, great guy, cool to hang out with. Now we've got Sandy, which I've know for awhile, so we'll see how that goes. :)
The debut album 'Circle of the Sun' has been released through Astral Projection. Is this your own record label and how important is it for you to have control about your music?
Yes it's my label. Control over the music? hmmmmm.....I don't know.....maybe I just thought it would be easier to put the new ARC OF ASCENT out on Astral Projection so we didn't have to suck up to a label and sell our soul to get it released! haha! I didn't approach anyone else to put it out, maybe it wouldn't have got released? Who knows. I know some very cool people who look after the Astral Projection releases overseas, with distribution etc, so it seemed logical more than anything else.
Apart of the songs, I really dig the mind-blowing cover artwork from Greg Hodgson. Could you please introduce this man to our readers?
Hell yes! Greg is an awesome dude, very energetic in person, very artistic and thoughtful.....go and have a look for yourself at his work. :) http://www.1976.co.nz/ He's from Auckland (New Zealand), like I said great guy, funny as hell, singer in some of the coolest bands I've seen recently, big big music fan too.....so we get along amazingly well.
Once again, you've written all songs and lyrics. Furthermore you've produced the album. Was it planned right from the start and do you allow other musicians to participate in the creative process of your work?
Yes it was planned the whole time for me to do those things, produce etc. You see, when I get on a vibe for a project or song I seem to see things really clearly, y'know, have a clear view on what should be happening where, when, or what it should be.... so thankfully the other guys just let me do it! haha!
I produced DATURA's 'Visions For The Celestial'' album also, but never got the credit, they wouldn't allow it haha! Nevermind, I wrote those songs too. :) But really, in the past, even now too, it isn't required that more people are involved in the creative process on a large scale, sometimes one Captain sailing the ship is all you need!