Portland-based instrumetal metalurgists in Increate will release their debut album titled “Void” on February 3rd. The quartet sat down for an interview with Progarchy and we discussed what it looks like to create music in the band. Make sure to pre-order “Void” from Bandcamp.
What made you go for the name Increate?
Johannes: I got the idea from the book series: “Urth Of The New Sun” by Gene Wolfe. When I found that the definition is “existing without having been created”, it was all over.
How do you usually describe your music?
Zev: Shreddy, psychedelic, heavy.
Dustin: Instrumental progressive metal to someone who isn’t familiar with all the subgenres. In actuality I think it’s instrumental technical death metal merged with progressive metal and jazz fusion. In other words, combine our main influences: Soreption, Meshuggah, Fallujah, Animals as Leaders, and Cynic and you’re getting close. We also take heavy influence from HP Lovecraft and many of the song titles are references to his stories.
What is your writing process like?
Dustin: Usually it begins with a riff idea from Sean. Joh and Sean will jam on it and Joh will offer new ideas/tweak the riff. Meanwhile Zev will be writing his bass line and I will improvise over it until I come up with a melody or solo that sounds cool. Then we put it all together and link it up with other parts that we’ve done that same process with.
Sean: On a random lucky day after smoking enough weed, a riff will appear from a thin veil connecting us to a different dimension. After enough of these random encounters, we look to Dustin’s answer.
Who or what is your inspiration, if you have any?
Dustin: We take inspiration from the amazing natural regions in the Pacific Northwest as well as HP Lovecraft. In terms of guitar, there are tons of incredible guitarists that have influenced me: Shawn Lane, Derek Taylor, Scott and Brett Stine, Scott Mishoe, Rob Johnson, Gianluca Ferro, Julian Cifuentes, Akihiko Onji, Rune Berre, Fredrik Thordendal, Stephan Forte, Joe Chawki, Charlie Carpentier, Leon Macey, Scott Carstairs, Tosin Abasi, and many more. I also love fusion and jazz guitar; Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson are major influences as well.
Sean: Some of my main inspiration comes from bands like Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah, and Between the Buried and Me. I’m also really inspired by space related things and H.P. Lovecraft stories.
What is your favourite piece on the “Increate” album?
Zev: My favorite piece to listen to right now is Remembering the Future. It’s one of the weirdest and most technical. My favorite to play is probably Blind Idiot God because it’s so heavy and relentless.
Dustin: The Audient Void is my favorite as I’m most proud of my playing on that track. Plus we close our live shows with that one. It’s also got a killer groove combined with some relentlessly punishing riffs. This is followed closely by Depths of R’lyeh as it’s got so many intricate textures and the ending always blows me away. Thanks to Julian Cifuentes for his amazing guest solo!
Sean: I’ve been finding myself listening to Depths of R’lyeh first when I put the album on but I can’t figure out why.
What makes “Increate” different?
Dustin: Our music is a unique combination of elements that blurs the line between progressive metal, death metal, and jazz fusion. We’re heavier and faster than most progressive/instrumental bands while being more strangely melodic, odd and rhythmic than many metal bands. A listener who is interested in something more than the usual prog or metal band would enjoy our sound.
What should music lovers expect from “Increate”?
Zev: Music lovers should sit down with their favorite weed, amongst their favorite soundsystem and suspend expectations.
Dustin: Expect the unexpected; a journey to a new realm of space and time… sonically.
Sean: They should expect what they’ve always wished metal would sound like.
What kind of emotions would you like your audience to feel when they listen to your music?
Zev: One thing I like about being instrumental is that we don’t tell people what to feel with the music. To me the main themes of the album are struggle, fear, technology.
Dustin: I agree with Zev about being instrumental. If your mind isn’t locked into the subject matter of the lyrics, it is free to wander where the music takes it. The audience should feel that they’re on a journey and possibly experience subtle yet complex new emotions in response to what is happening sonically. Feelings of surprise, fear, awe, and other more complex emotions that cannot be put into words. Along with the Lovecraftian influence; fear of the unknown, interdimensional space, and technology are other themes of the album.
Sean: Honestly I’m unable to put my own emotions into words when I play our music. So I can’t expect to understand what anybody else feels, I can just hope that it’s something that keeps them coming back to listen to our music again.
Which do you like most, life in the studio or on tour?
Zev: We haven’t toured yet but I way prefer playing live to the studio. I love the reaction we get.
Dustin: The studio is fun because you can work until everything sounds perfect to your ear, while at the same time nothing can ever match the energy of a crowd cheering for your band live.
Johannes: What’s better, not making any money or spending all of your money? Both are fun as hell though, hahaha!
Sean: Hopefully I can give you a real answer after going on a tour. Playing live is definitely more fun than recording though (which I really enjoy as well).
Pick your three favourite albums that you would take on a desert island with you.
Zev: These days it would be Otis Redding – Live at Whiskey a Go-Go, Tool – Ænema, David Bowie – Blackstar. I think that covers all of the emotions I’d need.
Johannes: Meshuggah – Nothing, Between The Buried & Me – Colors, Refused – The Shape of Punk To Come.
Dustin: Hellborg/Lane/Sipe – Temporal Analogues of Paradise, Morbid Angel – Gateways to Annihilation, Cynic – Focus.
Sean: Animals as Leaders – The Madness of Many, Meshuggah – Catch 33, Between the Buried and Me – The Great Misdirect.