» Ryan Glisan - Allegaeon
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Interview conducted July 08 2010
Interview published July 18 2010

Allegaeon is the band that seamlessly executes songs with technical complexity. Combined with some fairly odd, for a death metal band anyway, lyrics this band clearly stands out from the mundane bands populating the melodic death metal subgenre. Metal Covenant's Martin got a hold of guitarist Ryan Glisan and had a virtual chat about lyrics, songwriting processes and the metal scene in Colorado.

Martin: You're hailing from Colorado - can you tell me something about the metal scene in Colorado?

  • Ryan: The scene here is surprisingly good. Who would think that Middle America would have a metal scene? Bands keep getting younger and better here, I think partly because there are a lot of bands to look up to here it motivates the other newer bands. I would say Ft Collins is probably our most consistent town for a good turnout, as it should be since its where we originated from. Overall though, Colorado has a wealth of good signed and un-signed bands to entertain the fans.

Martin: Fragments Of Form And Function is your debut album, but you did record an EP two years ago. Did the songwriting process differ between the two records?

  • Ryan: Not a ton. The EP was a mix of old material that carried over from our original line-up and a couple newer ones that we finished up literally in the studio. I think we are still happy with it but it definitely doesn't resemble our current and future direction. It was pretty much the first halfway decent songs we wrote and decided we thought they were a good starting point for a decent first EP. As far as the process of songwriting in general, it hasn't varied too much from how we did the EP.

Martin: Can you tell me something about the recording process?

  • Ryan: We recorded with Dave Otero, who recorded our EP as well. Dave likes us to give him shout outs, so here you go Dave….DAVE OTERO IS THE MAN. The process was a pretty standard recording process really. We did a lot of our own pre-production as far as setting up tempos, time signatures, scratch tracks etc and then handed it over to Dave to pretty much do all the standard recording processes.

Martin: I really like your take on the melodic death metal - your playing skills are just awesome! Can you tell me something about your main influences?

  • Ryan: We get this question all the time it seems. Every band will say that each member has truly different influences and so do we. I think we get lumped into melodic death because there isn't really an easier way to describe it. I have seen someone literally say we are "technical progressive melodic death metal" in a review. That's just way too much to say all the time so I think we end up just getting thrown in the Melodic metal realm. If it were up to me it would be just "METAL" because that's what I think we aim for is to be a good metal band versus trying to satisfy any one genre. I can't speak for every member but if I had to take like the top couple "metal" bands of each person my guess would be this. Dream Theater, Nevermore, Symphony X, Megadeth, Pantera, Dim Mak, The Red Chord, The Faceless and Between the Buried and Me. A pretty random list from various members, although the overall list would be much, much longer.

Martin: Your lyrics are somewhat more intellectual than most death metal lyrics. Why are you writing about the stuff that you do?

  • Ryan: Well, although we don't have beakers and random chemicals in our basement to use with our home chemistry sets doesn't mean that we aren't interested in the thoughts and ideas regarding science. I just think the topical content of a lot of metal is kind of worn on us. It doesn't interest us to write lyrics about Satan or gore or whatever. Although those may be inherit in some science theories I suppose. But I wouldn't say either that we will only write about theories and science, it kind of just happened on our first LP. We definitely have over active minds so any weird or odd thing that we discuss in our everyday conversations seems to turn into song material.

Martin: Giving that your record's coming out pretty soon, what are your immediate plans?

  • Ryan: Gear up for our CD release and we have a small little tour lined up in August. Hopefully we can get with a decent booking company and start to get on some good tours to promote.

Martin: Are there any plans on coming to Europe?

  • Ryan: I can say that we all really want to go to Europe and I'm sure it will happen but as of now there aren't any set in stone dates yet. Hopefully people will stay in touch and we can inform everyone on when a tour is planned abroad.

See also: review of the album Fragments Of Form And Function

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