Phillip Cope of Kylesa kindly took some time out from preparing for tour, to give Ech(((o)))es and Dust an insight into their highly anticipated new album Ultraviolet.
(((o))): Hi Phillip, thanks for taking time out for us, how are things gearing up for the release of Ultraviolet?
Phillip: Good, We are about to hit the road in a couple of weeks so it has been a lot of practicing right now.
(((o))): Kylesa have evolved from each album, was there a conscious decision to try and cover new ground on Ultraviolet?
Phillip: Exploring and trying new ideas out has been a constant for us but at the same time we don't try to force it. The writing process for this album was done off and on over the period of a couple of years, which was somewhat different for us because we usually just take time off and write the material over a handful of months.
(((o))): How has the recording been, have you used techniques or technology you haven't previously? Or different instrumentation at all?
Phillip: Yeah all of the above. The Jam Room is great about constantly upgrading and getting new gear. They had just gotten Pro Tools HDX in, so it was our first time using that, as well a bunch of assorted gear like pedals and pre's etc. This was also the first album where I played the theremin a lot as well as some other instruments like synths and weirder things like a skateboard guitar.
(((o))): As it stands, we've been lucky enough to hear one song from the album ('Unspoken'). The intro has a John Carpenter feel, and seems more textured. Is this a theme of Ultraviolet overall?
Phillip: Right on I really like John Carpenter's soundtrack work.'Unspoken' has its own vibe and I think each song has its own vibe as well, but they are put together to have a cohesive flow. When the album comes out and people can hear the songs put together it should make a little more sense, than hearing just isolated songs on their own.
(((o))): I loved the sound and tones on Spiral Shadow. Is it a case of experimenting in the studio, and is everyone always in agreement?
Phillip: Thanks, it is a case of experimenting with tone, we spend a lot of time on that both at practice and in the studio. We all keep an open mind about things, usually if both Laura and I are in agreement about a song and its tones then it will stick.
(((o))): I imagine when younger influences shape a band's sound in part. Or is it always a case of purely making the music you want?
Phillip: In most cases it is purely about making the music we want, we try not to let outside music influence us too much, but we are huge music fans and listen to a lot of bands. So sometimes even whether we realize it or not stuff may get stuck in our subconscious and come out filtered through us.
(((o))): Do you enjoy producing for other bands as much, or even more than your own work? And is a variation of styles something you seek when producing others.
Phillip: I really enjoy doing both. Variation is very important to me, I would get bored doing the same thing over and over.
(((o))): Now it’s finished, do you feel you've achieved what you set out to capture on Ultraviolet?
Phillip: I think so, we worked hard on it and did our best, of course we always wish we had more time or looking back in hindsight wish maybe that we could go back and redo something haha, but yeah we are happy with it.
(((o))): Thanks for taking time out to give us some insight into Ultraviolet. Is there anything you'd like to add?
Phillip: I think that sums it up, thanks a lot. Cheers!
will be released through Season of Mist on May 27th (UK) and 28th (US) (Pre-order through here
); Kylesa head out for a string of dates stateside (details here