“Resurgence” is a debut EP by Australian Prog-Power Metal project Burnt City, a brainchild of guitarist Aydin Zahedi, who worked with singer Gus Monsanto, keyboardist Bob Katsionis, bassist Mike Lepond of Symphony X fame, and drummer extraordinaire George Kollias. With such line-up on board you can definitely expect some high-class musicianship and performance.
Hey Aydin. How are you doing?
Hi, thanks for asking, I am good, thank you for having me.
You released “Resurgence” on the January 1st. How do you feel about the release?
I am very happy and excited, I had a really good feedbacks which makes me wanna continue, because it took a lot of effort for me to finish it and I gave up once, when it came out I said to myself; “yes, I finally did it” so I feel extremely good.
How much of a challenge was to work on the EP?
It was one of the biggest challenges in my life, I have tried to record the EP 4 times with different people, I had many issues down the road, such as loosing all files 2 times (long story), once the singer said he won’t sing anymore in the middle of work etc… so it was a big challenge. that was one of the reasons I decided to work with actual professional musicians, and with the current line up it was very very smooth, but the only challenge was making changes, because we weren’t in the studio together so making changes was hard and time consuming, so we tried to avoid that, not that there was much to changes since all the lines were incredibly amazing, but you know, if you all in the studio you can come up with ideas on the spot and make small changes and add some details which wasn’t possible.
What was it like working with Gus, Mike, George and Bob on “Resurgence”?
It was amazing! One of the best things that happened in my life for sure was working with these guys. I have learned a lot from them, they are much more experienced than me, they are professional musicians, they are incredibly fast, talented and creative. it was also an honour for me.
What is your opinion about the current progressive metal scene?
There are many great progressive bands out there, By just having a brows on Youtube you come across these not well known prog bands who are phenomenal, and every player has mastered their instrument. Prog rock bands are growing and some of them are selling really well which is great.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
It keeps changing, but when I was a child Pink Floyd, Queen and Eagles had the most impact on me, they were the reason why I decided to play Guitar. for this EP I should say Megadeth, Annihilator, Satyricon, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Firewind, Ark were my influences. for instance fuel for hatred by Satyricon inspired me to come up with Metamorphosis, and Annihilator’s clown parade inspired me to write Resurgence main riff.
What are you listening to these days?
At this stage I am mainly listening to western concert music, film and game music. I also listen to a lot of Symphony X recently since I saw them live in Sydney, I always loved them, but man the performance was second to none.
Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
Underworld by Symphony X (hands down I cannot stop listening to it, it’s perfect), Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory by Dream Theatre, The Wall by Pink Floyd, Rust in peace by Megadeth and Judas Priest’s Pain Killer.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “Resurgence”?
As for guitars, I used my lovely ESP M-II Standard which I have since 2006, ESP Horizon FR 2010, Ibanez Prestige RG652FX, I have changed the pickups on my ESP Guitars I have Dimarzio DP227/DP228 on my M-II, and DP159/DP252 on my Horizon. I recorded everything with Fractal Audio Axe FX-II, we re-amped the Guitars with Mesa Boogie Rectifier and EVH 5150 III except the Pre solo in Wild Hunter, Dunlop 535Q was pedal. if anyone is interested in the amp settings they can find the photos on www.burntcityband.com in gallery.
Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?
Absolutely, I am trying to find permanent members here in Sydney to play the music live and hopefully record the upcoming album with local musicians, I am working on the album right now and I am hoping to finish it as soon as possible.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Many thanks to anyone who purchased or streamed the album on any platform, that means a lot, I highly appreciate your support, I hope you enjoy the EP.