Interview with MERKABA


Merkaba is a new instrumental ambidjent project that emerged in 2016. Led by Louis Goodwin, this one-man band produced the self-titled debut EP which includes nine tracks. We asked Louis some questions about the record, and here is what he had to say.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life’s good! Writing plenty of riffs, practising a lot, learning a lot. Things are chill!

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Merkaba”?

A strange mix of really heavy stuff and really light stuff. I can’t seem to decide what part of the “Djent” subgenre I’m most going for with Merkaba, whether it’s the really heavy Meshuggah, Glass Cloud or Monuments kinda thing, the more metalcorey Born of Osiris and Veil of Maya stuff, the jazzy Animals as Leaders, Plini and later Intervals influences, or super ambient stuff like Tesseract, Skyharbour or David Maxim Micic. One moment it could be a super heavy riff like the breakdown in “Sonder”, the next it could be the jazz/proggy, clean chords in Interludes I and II.

What was it like working on the EP?

Really fun! Initially, the EP wasn’t really supposed to be a public release, more a personal project, so I took a really laid-back, hobby-like approach to writing, recording and producing. It was only really in the last few weeks of the production process I decided to release it on BandCamp, not really expecting the good response I got! This made working on the EP a fun experience but, of course, had it’s down sides. If I had originally planned to release this album publicly, I probably would have gone to a professional producer for mixing and mastering. My skills as a producer are probably not as advanced as I wish.

Are there any touring plans in support to the EP? Maybe transforming in a full live band?

Unfortunately, I’m currently in full time education, so a tour is unrealistic for the moment, although I’ve got a few gigs lined up that you can check out on the Facebook page! The idea is eventually forming a full live band, kinda Misha Mansoor/Periphery style, and I have talked with a few other young musicians in the area.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

It sounds rather odd, but I’d love to tour the middle east. I’m fascinated by ancient history in the area, with the Sumerians and Babylonians, and the birth of civilisation. I’m really interested in their culture and music, especially the Punjabi music and Ragas of Pakistan/Northern India. Apart from that, I’d love to tour everywhere, the US would be really exciting, a European tour too.

Who and what inspires you the most?

It depends on what I’m writing, for Heavy stuff, I’m mostly inspired by Meshuggah and the heavier Reflections stuff. For really atmospheric/ambient stuff, I’m mostly inspired by really aesthetic pictures of those huge Scandinavian forests and those really natural looking Skervesen guitars made out of some sacred magic wood. Musically, I’m generally inspired by bands such as Periphery, Monuments and Tesseract mostly, but my greatest inspirations usually come from guitarists such as Misha Mansoor, Tosin Abasi, “Nolly” Getgood, and John Browne.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I do rather like a few jazz bits and pieces, such as Dave Brubeck, Stanley Jordan is a Jazz guitarist who has inspired my playing somewhat, but his playing is not something I think I could ever match! Though similar to Djent, I love a lot of prog rock stuff, such as Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, and later Opeth, who’ve all inspired a few riffs. I love a lot of Metal as well, Megadeth and Pantera are quite an inspiration, with Dimebag being a huge influence on my playing.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Thanks for the opportunity! And if there’s anything to say, it’d be stay tuned, there’s so much more on the way! There’s new material in the works, videos being made, ideas being developed! This is only the beginning, there’s so much more to come.

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