By Greg Pratt
For lots of diehard Canuckleheads, especially those of the thrash-til-death variety, a new project featuring the drummer from QUO VADIS sounds like a promising proposition, given the top-notch technical death of that Canuck outfit of years past. And while GONE IN APRIL offer technical aggression, that’s just a small part of what this surprising band offers.
The four-piece is a multi-continental affair, featuring players from Canada, USA, Germany, and Italy. Although drummer Yanic Bercier spent time bashing the skins for Quo Vadis, Gone In April is much more diverse and genre-splicing, bringing together goth, technical thrash, and even simple metallic punk. And the whole thing is a simple blend of the band’s complex parts, as Bercier explains when he breaks things down.
“Both Julie (Belanger Roy, vocals/viola/violin) and Chicco (Parisi, bass) have classical backgrounds, with master’s degrees in violin/viola and upright bass, respectively,” he says. “Also, Julie is presently doing another master’s degree, this time in classical vocal performance. Chicco has composed for and toured with classical orchestras, funk bands, fusion, flamenco, metal, rock bands… Julie has played in classical orchestras and in folk and metal bands and has composed for many styles of music.”
“Felix (Shoemaker, guitars) has played mostly metal,” he continues. “His guitars are very melodic, and therefore provide a lot of opportunities, and allow musicians to take many different directions with the music. I’ve played for metal, funk, and rock bands and I listen to many styles of music from soft rock to metal, punk, funk, and rap, and I think this comes across in my playing.”
And while the album has a lot of ideas and a lot of sounds on it, it also comes with a full, professional production that makes everything work together and sound full and natural. Really, for an indie release, this production is a thing of beauty. Which is impressive considering the sheer scale of things the band was working with.
“When we put all our instruments together for the mixing process, our track count grew tremendously,” says Bercier. “Each song had about 70-90 tracks. Every instrument needed to take up a particular amount of space and leave room for the other instruments. Also, we knew that we needed to work with many styles of metal, from slow to speed metal, complex to simple, loud and quiet, incorporate strings, etc. I wanted the mix to sound full, bold, and rich, with a sound between modern heavy and traditional metal. When I listen to the mix, I feel our goal was accomplished, so I am quite happy with it.”
The band does things just right on the album by mixing up the more ambitious, operatic, and technical material with just the right amount of simple, balls-to-the-wall thrash and even simpler, borderline stoopid, punk riffs.
“I love those parts as well! I think some simple parts are needed to balance out the intense technical sections,” agrees Bercier. “Sometimes we started with Felix’s guitar riffs and wrote what we thought sounded good and the result came out with a punk-ish feel. In other instances, new riffs were written to be placed between some of Felix’s riffs, just to change the feel of a particular section of a song, and the punk-ish style was added. We figured adding such parts would be great for live performances, to have the fans headbang and sing the lyrics.”
For more info and audio samples on Gone In April visit MySpace