I caught up with both PelleK and Will Graney via Skype for an extensive conversation about Bringer of Light and their backgrounds in the music business. You can really tell these guys are excited about Damnation Angels by the enthusiasm in their voices, and I suspect that this is just the start of something big.
I encourage you to listen to the complete interview, but those in a hurry will find a few highlights here.
The current state of the music business and its impact on Bringer of Light: I honestly don't believe that your money comes truly from your record sales. nowadays a lot of big bands make their money on tour with merchandise. I think that's how it works nowadays. The internet has completely changed it. In some ways, it's good. A lot more people can hear your music. It's easier to access it. At the same time, in that year gap between releasing it in Japan and worldwide, our album was illegally downloaded so many times, and I think that really maybe hurt the release as well a bit. [Will]
I don't feel like people buy music to hear the music anymore because it's always accessible on the internet. I feel like people buy the music to just show the support. So I think it's a lot on us to reach out to the fans and make people want to buy it to support us and to hear more music. No matter how small or big a release, you can always get the music on websites and on YouTube. [PelleK]
PelleK on his YouTube covers: It's a nice hobby. So whenever I don't have any work to do or any big recordings or touring, I just like to communicate with people that way, and I think maybe even that helps sales in the long run. And also, I think it's important to not just focus on selling but actually just being a person like everyone else. We're just people, aren't we?
The way I always work with that is I record bass and drums myself, and keyboards. I play easy bass line, so it's not so hard. I get someone to do the guitars. Someone else records guitars, and then I have the backing track for it. Then I practice a little bit, and then I turn on the camera and film it. That's pretty much it.
The big sound behind Bringer of Light: I think that's a big thing that makes us really unique is Will's ability to orchestrate the way he does. It's really man vs. equipment then. Listen to how other people can make orchestrating sound compared to Will. It's just insane, to be honest, how he makes the strings, for instance, sound. It's awesome. That's how Pride sounds so huge at times. It's a massive orchestra with so many instruments completing each other. [PelleK]
When we write songs, there's nothing in there for the sake of it. We don't force anything, we don't put orchestra in for the sake of it. There's no ego...We put everything in, we put as much work on each instrument. We concentrate just as much on the riffing as we do on the orchestra. Most power metal bands, I don't know what their influences are. For this album, we were trying to master it to Dark Horse by Nickelback. I mean, that might sound like a shock, but we were working on the sound of the drums and the guitars to Metallica and Nickelback. You listen to a lot of symphonic metal bands, and it often does sound thin. The production's thin. We wanted a big, live sound, a big drum kit. You could tell the drum was hitting it hard. You know, the riffs are big. We wanted nothing to be small. We didn't want the orchestra to power through and the guitars to be quiet. We wanted everything to be powerful and stand out at certain points. [Will]
If we could use a full orchestra, then we'd use an orchestra. We're trying to seem like we're using a full orchestra. It is tricky. A lot of the instruments on the album are done on the computer, some of them are live. But if we could have a real orchestra, that'd be amazing, but we're trying to compete with that. So we're basically trying to do the best job we can with technology. [Will]