Friday, April 29, 2016

interview: Rapheumets Well

Rapheumets Well
It has been a while now since this North Carolina, U.S. band came to the attention of this publication through Twitter. At first, the music sounded interesting: symphonic-progressive extreme metal, with both extreme and melodic vocals. After listening to the band’s 2016 album The Exile it is more than clear that there is a tremendous amount of work that has gone into it. As you will read below, getting to this point in quality and skill has taken a long and winding road and lots of time, but once you learn a bit about the band and what they are all about, you’ll appreciate their objectives of creating something great. Give this interview a read and begin the exploration. By the way, metal friends in Canada, the say that they headed your way this summer.
Congratulations on your album The Exile! It sounds like the accumulation of years of experience, knowledge and hard work. So, who is Rapheumets Well?
Hello and this is Joshua "Nassaru" Ward, Drummer and co-writer for Rapheumets Well. Rapheumets Well consist of Jonathan Finney (bass), Tripp King (harsh vocals), Daniel Presnell (guitar), Hunter Ross (guitar), Annette Greene (operatic vocals and synths), and of course me though I am elected in narration. The band has had a long history, I myself have been in the same project for about sixteen years. We have been constantly reforging our sound to equate what is before you. Our sound is a bit rare for this area, being in the South-Eastern U.S., so it has been tough getting a foot in the music scene. But we are finally getting some representation and we are absolutely happy with what has come to fruition.
Metal Archives shows Blue Man’s God as a predecessor of the current band. Was there no music released under Blue Man's God? Is Rapheumets Well a studio project or a band with plans to tour?
Well, Rapheumet was born from the remnants of Blue Mans God. Too many people thought we were trying to be "Blue Mans Group" which actually was created after we constructed the name. I was around thirteen years old when the first primordial version of Blue Man's God was derived, so there have been a lot of stages in progress from then to now. Blue Man's God did create an album, but we dare not release that, ha!
Rapheumets Well is absolute priority in regards to even our career decisions. It has been hard, though. I myself spent 8 years of college gaining a masters level education in alternative medicine and acupuncture. Other members are nurses, computer technicians, a pharmacy tech, and a business owner. We came to the realization that at the end of our lives we do not want to look back and think "Wow, I worked and now I am going to die." Test Your Metal Records has given us hope that a band from the "sticks" of North Carolina can succeed, thus giving hope to others in our area to succeed at their passion. We are going to Canada for our first tour in July and we are already eyeing Europe, Mexico, and Japan. Though we humbly will say we are still learning and working ever so hard. I personally log about 6-8 hours a day in working on music, PR, networking, researching, distribution, everything I can to help our project succeed.
I think that the album is ambitious. Today I am listening to your 2014 album Dimensions too. I have not heard your 2007 demo. Which members remain from that demo? Was there the same vision of your art back in 2007?
Unfortunately, the right members were not present to make this happen throughout the years. Drugs, alcohol, personal differences, all distracted the original mission. You have five to six personal universes and when you blend them in the band room, it can be an erratic concoction for disaster. Every band goes through it, managing the social, personal, and business issues a band can develop. Recently, we did lose two founding members. Due to personal reasons we departed. These are great people and Aaron Rogers still helps us with input (so in some ways, he is still part of the project). We gained two young members recently to help us complete "The Exile" and they have brought a magnitude of talent and revival to our music. Annette Greene is not only a vocalist and keyboardist, but an actress and she is using that talent to shape our visuals. From the 2007 demo, Jonathan Finney and I are the remaining members though we want to acknowledge the work and foundation building of the band that previous members have done.
The album sounds like an album by capable artists. What things have made it possible to "arrive" finally at this sound?
We, we are humble in saying that we are always working to get better and convey our mission. As you might have seen, we have a really elaborate story. We built a multiverse and added a plethora of properties and dramatic conflicts which give rise to our musical inspiration. We are storytellers. This has always been our mission. When I was young (as well as other members) I listened to bands like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Acid Bath, Cradle of Filth, Opeth, Iron Maiden, and so on. Truthfully, I never envisioned the lyrics in which they written as the meaning of the music. I would imagine (while hearing the layers of symphonic sounds and brutal riffs) cosmic beings warring on each other; beings with immense powers that transcended human affairs. I have seen a world of oddities, giants, both archaic and futuristic. In this, we founded the visuals and mission in which our music conveys.
You write exactly to the emotions of the present and in correlation with the ability you technical skills allow you. We were not mature enough in 2007 to write what we have produced recently. I would not go so far as to degrade it as it had meaning for that time. But we have been able to sculpt our techniques and vision a bit more since then.
How many people in total do you have doing vocals on the album? There are extreme metal vocals, operatic vocals, melodic vocals.
Tripp King is the lead vocals and he conveys the harsh sound that defines us as "extreme metal". I actually do the male clean vocals and our influences are not limited to metal but to classical music, ambience, jazz, and so forth. Annette Greene, being a renown chorus student (being featured in plays and community musical events) she came in and added our latest element of operatic vocals. To be honest, she came in (first time ever singing on a recording) and the very first track became what you hear as “Planetary Cenotaph.” So, it was exceedingly natural and was actually the easiest part of writing and recording.
Now you have the album out, what is on your list of things to do?
Tours, lots of tours. Our next mission is to convey the complexity of our mission which is our story. We spend a lot of time developing planets, species, and the story concepts. In this regard, we are musical storytellers and we invest a lot of time in this. We want to bring something more to our fans. We want to bring a complete package, and entire world for them to be able to spend ample time exploring. Eventually we want to turn it into something more rather it be a book or even a movie/video series. But one step at a time I would presume. We are already playing with ideas for the next album as we tend to be an entire album ahead of what we release. There is a ton of musical ideas floating so writing wise, we have more than enough to keep our fans engaged.
I can only imagine the late night hours of work involved in making the album. For those that understand it, what can they do to support your work in a real way?
Simply engaging with us is support being through email of publicly expressing their joy for our music. Support can be as simple as purchasing our album. This helps not only keep some food on the table, but it is a moral boaster that helps us work even harder each album.
What other news do you have?
We will be coming to Canada in July and that is exciting. We are looking at international shows as a lot of our fan base is in other countries. So we want to honor our fans by performing for them so that is our main mission currently. Grant Truesdell of Test Your Metal Records has given us a lot of support and hope as an aspiring metal act so there are no limitations to passion to make Rapheumets Well succeed. Thank you for having us and we are very appreciative!
(Official) Crucible of Titans - Rapheumets Well

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