Hails Pantheon! Your new release, an EP titled ‘Intervention’ is now upon us! Tell us about this aggressive collection of songs!
The new ‘Intervention EP’ for us is a culmination of a complete re-development of PANTHEON. We’ve taken our sound and, without changing it, have honed our abilities as musicians and songwriters, refining it into something much more solid, hard hitting and ‘straight to the point’.
The four songs on the EP are the best representation of this and show what PANTHEON is capable of!
Is there a central theme to ‘Intervention’? Is it a concept album, in any way? Tell us what inspired the message of this EP?
The initial motivation for the EP was simply to create an honest set of metal songs both lyrically and musically. We wanted to purvey a sound and attitude that we believe in, which we can relate to directly.
The theme to ‘Intervention’ questions mankind’s responsibilities in areas like war and the constant battle for crude oil. These are things that we as a band have witnessed in our lifetime through the media and lyrically we reflect that. So it could suggest that this release is, in a way, the band ‘Intervening’ and giving our own take on the situation.
Personally I see the release as the band ‘Intervening’ and taking our first major steps towards becoming a professional metal band. That said we’d like to think people can take their own messages from the release.
The recording process for ‘Intervention’ was very much in a professional environment. We managed to work with producer Zak Bajjon (known for Lionsheart, Venom, Cradle of Filth and Bal Sagoth) who was able to get the best out of us as musicians, capturing a heavy, British yet modern sound while maintaining the feel of a live performance.What was the recording process like for Pantheon on ‘Intervention’? Was it a pleasant experience that you look forward to doing again soon? Why or why not?
Overall we produced a recording that we’re proud of and as an experience we would definitely look forward to repeating it in the future, perhaps at an album level.
Tell me about the songwriting process for Pantheon! How do songs come to be with the band? Do you write individually or as a whole? Why?
In PANTHEON everyone has their own ability as songwriters/arrangers and songs are usually derived from one initial riff or chord pattern idea. We work on one piece at a time and build from the foundations up. Matt Dawson and Danny Richardson (Guitarists) are usually the ones to bring a riff to the table and Simon Dawson (Lead Vocals and Bass) and Andy Hayes (Drums) tend to focus on the arranging side.
When we know we have a structure that works, we build in harmonies, lead parts and solos to give the sound an extra edge. Lyrics are usually written alongside the verse and chorus ideas or can be the last thing to be considered, it depends entirely on the song.
Building from the bottom up is definitely a formula that works for us.
What things were done differently on ‘Intervention’ as opposed to previous releases? Did Pantheon explore new ideas with this release? Why or why not?
With ‘Intervention’ came an entirely new attitude. We wanted to re-invent the band, making better use of our better-developed musicianship and vocal lineup. We wanted to create the best product we could to showcase what we are capable of, and I feel we have done that.
Our previous releases were mainly intended as promos as the band developed from the ground up, but ‘Intervention’ is a much more serious proposition.
It has been a few years since your last release, what has been happening in between albums?
In the year following our previous release we managed to book and perform around 50 self-promoted shows, more than we ever had. This definitely helped our reputation as a live act and I feel we ended that phase of the band on a high note.
Shortly after we decided to take a step back and reassess every aspect of PANTHEON with a view to improve, rewrite and reinvent anything that could be better. We’ve re-branded and scrapped our back catalogue of songs and written a whole new live set from scratch to suit our much improved sound. I like to think of us as a new band now!
The whole process has taken over a year, but I think it’s perhaps the best decision we’ve ever made so far.
What is the history of the band, for our readers who may be unacquainted with your sound and discography?
PANTHEON is a British metal band from York, UK. Originally a five piece we all met locally through a similar drive to write and perform honest heavy metal. Over a few years the band developed as writers and musicians performing nationally with well over 100 live appearances.
After a major lineup change, resulting in a four piece lineup with a new drummer, PANTHEON have returned as a new band, which is so far working in our favour.
Have there been line up changes in the band that have affected your sound or direction? Why or why not?
As PANTHEON was originally a five piece, when we dropped a member Simon Dawson (then Bass player) took on the extra role of Lead Vocals. The slicker lineup and the added melodic vocal ability has really enabled us to hone the sound that we want, with strong riff driven songs, dueling twin guitar work and powerful vocal lines.
I noticed that ‘Intervention’ seems to be self-released, is this so? Is it a demo, of sorts, being solicited to labels for possible collaboration? Why or why not?
‘Intervention’ for us is a self-released demo and captures the band’s attitude, work ethic and musical ability as it is here and now. The main purpose of the EP is to boost the band’s profile and attract attention of metal heads around the world. We feel that with the right amount of work, this release is good enough to gain some label interest and we will be seeking collaboration for an album deal in the future.
Tell me about the artwork on ‘Intervention’ and how it relates to your music…
The artwork portrays the image of ‘The Thinker’ gazing over a modern, smog-ridden city with a more demolished, apocalyptic scene in his wake. The figure is intended to provoke thought and represents mankind’s inability to learn from the past, though it is open to interpretation.
Just as ‘The Thinker’ looks over a modern scene, in a similar way, we’re trying to provoke thought lyrically in our music, giving our own take on issues that anger us today as individuals, such as war and nuclear weapons.
What does the immediate future hold for Pantheon? Upcoming shows, recording, releases? What about the distant future?
For the rest of 2013 the band will continue writing new material and focusing on promotion with a view to build our profile and to attract interest later in the year.
Of course PANTHEON are very much a live band, so more live show bookings are on the horizon. We’re also looking into supporting bigger live acts!
The last words are yours!
Keep supporting metal and please visit our official website www.pantheonofficial.com for regular updates and to hear the new ‘Intervention EP’ in full!