interview with Gladius Sky

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes. Taylor Pottle from Axis Disrupt, Marlow Deiter from XUL, Paul Drummond from Harvest the Infection/Cadaveric Lividity, and I played in a band called Black Throne Kingdom years ago.

How is it that you started playing music? I started playing keyboards when I was 4-5 years old, mostly noodling around and copying TV show and video game music by ear. Then got my first guitar when I was 6. I always loved the sound of Classical and folk/medieval melodies, and darker heavier sounding music. I used the keyboard to translate riffs to the guitar. I found that to be a very easy way of learning.

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Tanner Revak (28) lead guitar, Taylor Pottle (31) vocals and rhythm guitar, Marlow Deiter (28) fretless bass, Paul Drummond (34) drums

Have you had other previous members? Yes, in both stages of the project and band’s evolution. Finding people to record the album with, and then finding members to perform the music live took some time. I went through a few try outs with people from all over. Also, my first vocalist did not work out, and did not get to record on the album.

Did you make music even when you were young? From the age of 4 I have tried to create music, but definitely more noodling and cover songs, up until I was about 13. Then I started playing originals and incorporating more improvisation into my playing. I was even refusing to play covers for many years. At age 15 I was given Guitar Pro, and that was a huge game changer. From then things really sped up in the composition department, as well as practice.

Where are you from? Vernon, British Columbia, Canada (also known as the sunny Okanagan). This is where the band is based. Though Taylor lives in Kamloops, and Paul lives in Vancouver so it makes it difficult to practice all the time

What year did the band form? The band formed quite recently in the last couple years (I don’t know the exact date), Though the project was created and produced before the our live members came together

What's your style of genre? I suppose I would call it extreme symphonic metal, Though there are influences of black and death metal

What inspires you? Virtuoso players, like watching people poor their emotions into their instrument and doing it well. Classical, and flamenco music are huge for me. Books are another. Above all; the pursuit of knowledge - The teachers of the old world

How often and where do you reherse? Hahaha well we might get to rehearse a few times a year. You see, our band member all live in different cities, so we make the best of our time when we do get together. We meet half way in the city of Kamloops BC

How have you developed since you started with the music? Into a cold lifeless soul ;) jk. Music is life for me, I feel I have come a long way. Being able to finally just play what comes into my head on the spot is what I always wanted to achieve. There came a time when I was about 15-16 that all the sudden one night I could hear multiple instruments, even symphonies for hours on end. This experience was unforgettable and life changing. Now it’s just a matter of practicing speed, smoothness, technique, exploring lots of new chords and rhythms, you see the list never ends when it comes to music :)

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I sure do! I work with other bands and people’s projects. I really enjoy writing orchestral music, teaching music, and producing. Aside from music, I am really interested in philosophy and history and other works of arts and sciences. 

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? I don’t know where we are at with that yet. We try and cut out the middle man as much as possible, but we are not opposed to the idea. 

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are not actively seeking a label. I try to take care of as much business as possible. We have enough resources at our disposal that we can get the meat of things accomplished. Though, we cannot deny the benefit of being on a known label as they provide huge promotion in the popular media that we do not always have access to. So we are not opposed, but would rather them come to us with an agreement that works for us.

What made you decide to make this music? Got the fire in my belly! I suppose it is inspiration from music and good reads that made me want to say something in the best art I could create. It comes from a place that I cannot describe. This album has many secrets and hidden meanings tied into the imagery, lyrics, and music.

What are your songs about? Cosmos, Sound, Symbols, Hermeticism, Psyche, Fiction, Death, Mythology, knowledge, Creation

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I (Tanner Revak) wrote and composed everything on the debut album. But now Taylor and I are collaborating for our 2nd release.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Usually the music comes first and then I find words that fall into the music. Though, sometimes I will write lyrics first and figure out melodies that compliment them. Sometimes they come at the same time.

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? I don’t have anything fancy. I could be anywhere when I am composing. But, mostly takes place at my computer desk at home with my guitar.

Have you done any covers live? We have not. Yet…

What language do you sing in? All the songs are in english, but I would love to try and do one in a Scandinavian/Germanic language to pay homage to my European influences

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Well we have only played 2 local festivals so far haha, but I would say between 150-400

What ages are most of your concert attendants? We see young, middle age, and old people which is really cool.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? It will sometimes vary, It is nice to play the album song order because it flows, but we like to change it up

Do you have a regular place you play live often? No, we play such few shows.

What was your first gig like? Our first gig was Metallion Festvial here in British Columbia and we had an excellent response. Though my amp didn’t work when I got on stage, and I had to borrow someone’s not so great amp lol.

What was your latest gig? We just played the Armstrong Metal Fest here in British Columbia (our 2nd show). It is an awesome experience with so many good local bands. Highly recommend it to anyone in the area! https://armstrongmetalfest.ca

Have you had to cancel a gig? Not so far fortunately.

Where have you played live this year? Just the Armstrong Metal Fest.

Where do you plan to gig the comming year? We have a show in Vancouver with Frosttide from Finland in August, and will be returning to Metallion Festival to co-headline.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Our digipaks went on sale last year, and we just got T-shirts made with the logo and album cover (men’s and women’s) a couple weeks ago!

Where can people buy your merchandise? Please contact me at: tannerrevak@hotmail.com, it can be viewed on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GladiusSky/

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? To each their own. I don’t have any issues with it. I still see dedicated show goers supporting bands at shows by buying their albums. We just have to find other ways to make our coin instead of relying on album sales. Nothing I can change so just have to make the best of it.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Well the music industry is so different now than it ever used to be. All studios, engineers, and producers know that there is very little work to be had compared to the old days, because so many people cannot afford it, or want to do it themselves in their home studios. So I know there is work for those that are established, but it is getting real tough for the people looking to enter the field and make it big, you have to be something real special to break the scene.

What do you think of my work? I think what you do is an excellent passion! It is awesome to see we have people that are dedicated to this type of work, and give us a chance to discuss our band with such an in depth interview. So thank you! 

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Well this is the first interview I have ever done, and I am sure it will contribute to our musical endeavour. Anything like this gets added to the roster of accomplishments.

Do you have any role models or idols? Yes. J.S. Bach is my hero for music. When it comes to philosophy Manly P. Hall is one of my favourite. But there are so many ancient and modern people I look up to. I would love to be able to shred as good as Jeff Loomis too haha.

Why do you think that they exist? To guide the reflection of mind to it’s greatest potential

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Most of my inspiration comes from Classical composers, but I also hear so many things I love in modern bands. There has been an endless supply of inspiration coming year after year. I kind of have grown tired of all the rock classics I used to listen to when I was really young.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Doing everything on your own has been tricky, and a huge learning experience. Saving money to fund the whole thing was a bit tough. But, the hardest thing was finding musicians to play it. This took quite some time and I went through many auditions with people from all over the world. Though having Hannes Grossmann’s drums on the album did really help, because cmon who wouldn’t want to play on an album with Hannes!

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Do as much as you can yourself. Relying on other people and business is not always easy and economic, and it is much more rewarding when you see the fruits of your own labour. Many musicians don’t understand that we have the same power to hire all the production a label does. You kind of have to be a jack of all trades - like being savvy at negotiating business, because everything you do is a transaction. From buying merchandise, hiring musicians, studios, promoters, web designers etc… The more you do, the more money you save, the more you can get done while doing it the way you want to do it. Instead of having your name on other people’s contracts, get them to sign yours!

How do you get psyched for a gig? The stoke comes automatically, but I might have a couple beers to calm the nerves haha.

Do you have any new material? We are currently writing for a new album, but nothing is released yet. We are planning on doing a large scale production that will be featuring some top notch guest musicians from around the world. Planning on releasing something next year.

What are your web sites?

https://www.facebook.com/GladiusSky/

https://gladiussky.bandcamp.com

https://play.spotify.com/artist/0x0GoX6R0PrTxweyAaiJye

https://twitter.com/gladiussky

How can people reach you? Tanner Revak on Facebook, or email tannerrevak@hotmail.com

What are your plans for the future? Writing and releasing our 2nd album. 

Do you have something to add?

Perhaps just to clear up the project credits:

Hannes Grossmann recorded drums on the album

Nikko Whitworth recorded fretless bass on the album

Taylor pottle recorded vocals on the album

Taylor now plays rhythm guitar and vocals live

Marlow Deiter plays fretless bass live

Paul Drummond play drums live

And the interesting note that when I hired Hannes, he got me in touch with his sound engineer for Obscura: V. Santura. I flew to Germany to record and produce the album with him a year later. We finished it in 12 days.

 

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