MARCH 29th 2015

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here with guitarist/vocalist, Kai Giritli of SUBVERSION, a Melodic Tech Metal band out of the UK
1.The band first originated back in 2008, what brought you guys together to form the band ?

We basically formed off the back of a little project I used to do for fun back in 2008. I’d write some music and shove it on my Myspace music profile. Never really thought about forming a band with it… to be honest I didn’t think anyone would be in to it, ha.

This guy called Jae started harassing me to form a band with him, he was an awesome guy, mental guitar player and I have him to thank for where we are today really.

He ended up convincing me to start looking for more members, so we just asked around, advertised online and in newspapers…we back then had a female keyboardist called Chloe, she was a legend…our first drummer Anthony …he would travel all the way from Peterborough to practice with us on weekends.

Obviously a lot has changed since then, but yeah, never was meant to be a band, but here we are!
2. How did you come up with Subversion for the band name ?

One of the first songs ever written for my little project was Te Odio (“Lest We Forget”); ‘Subversion’
was the first word you hear on this song…it seemed poetic.

To pull a definition off google for a sec:

“Subversion refers to an attempt to transform the established social order and its structures of power, authority, and hierarchy.”

Basically, Jae and I liked the word; we liked what it meant…but wanted it to mean a bit more than the political reference it’s almost always associated with.

It’s used in a more broad sense with us; it is about the world/nature trying to overthrow humanity. Us being the established social order, power, authority….and nature is attempting to transform this and make us realise that this is in no way shape or form the way things are. It is an illusion of power and authority that we take for granted.

It feels fitting, however most people do not really delve in to this concept and choose to assume we are a political band….. Nopes!
3. For those not familiar with the band, how did all your members come to be in Subversion ?

This is a bit of a complicated story, all the issues we have ever had have been member related really.

Jae Ferreira obviously pestered me to start this band with him….we got Chloe in as keyboardist, Spencer Haynes became our first vocalist, Stephen Fowler was our first bassist, and we had Ant from Peterborough covering drums.

We were just a band made up of people we knew from college or school, or through friends. It was at that point in life where things tend to change a lot however.
Chloe had to leave due to moving far to go to University, so we got Chaz Barnes in as replacement on Keys.

Jae’s life got pretty hectic and he was never able to make it to practice or anything, so he chose to leave to focus on college and part time work to tide himself over.

This is where we got Sean Moxom in on guitar, one of my oldest and dearest friends from school, and top banana on guitar; he is obviously still with us today.

It was inevitable, but Ant was unable to uphold being in a band so far away from where he lives, we practiced once a week and it was difficult for him to keep up with the progress. Needless to say we ended up drummerless for a bit and started the auditioning process which led to our first long term drummer Steve Cross.

Just before our first ever show Stephen Fowler left us….to this day, not quite sure why, we didn’t ask…but straight away we pulled in another long term friend Rich Lawry-Johns.
He was the other guitarist with me back when we were both in another band together.

This was now our first ever lineup. We released “Lest We Forget” in 2010 and it all seemed to look good. However, it got a bit complicated…despite a lot of us being close friends, we didn’t gel as business heads within a band environment very well.

This led to the long hiatus we hit and the massive line-up change…starting to sound like musical chairs with all this shuffling about, right?

Basically we auditioned for a new drummer and new vocalist. We really hit our stride when we pulled in Ben Atkinson on drums. He is a big business mind so really pushed hard once he was within our ranks. We managed to get Karl Harrigan on vocals and all looked pretty sweet.

We released the ‘Transcend’ EP to show off our new stuff back in Xmas 2013, we got signed; we shot our first music video for “Revelation” from the EP too. Everything seemed great, but alas, some really difficult times hit Karl mid stride and we had to part ways at the worst possible time.

This really put a stop on the “Animi” album we were working on at the time. We had recorded most of the vocals for it by then….big problem!

We frantically started auditioning vocalist after vocalist until we were sent the awesome audition video of Jay Shields covering vocals for Revelation.

The rest is history really, we really got the juices flowing once he was on-board with us and here we are today. It has never felt this good before. We are well oiled, everyone pushes in the same direction. We are all biz heads when it comes to governing anything band related. Happy times!
4. What made you decide to play Melodic Tech metal?

 Well, as a band, our tastes vary a massive amount. We are like in to everything under the sun when you combine our musical tastes. We do not really want to label our music any one style, unfortunately, that is how people associate with music so we have to.

Our last album was more melodeath, this one’s more techy due to our style of guitar playing going more percussive. However we are big fans of melody in all forms of music….I guess if we had to choose, Soilwork or Dead By April are quite close to what we like in terms of heavy vs melody in our music.

I would go in to other influences, but it’s just so vast….so I guess we didn’t really choose melodic tech metal…it is more of a best fit genre tag that is relevant now, but could be totally different next time around.

Our old vocalist Spencer coined the phrase “dynamic metal” when chatting within the band…..this was to describe the fact that we just really do not want to stick to one genre of music…like ever, because our tastes always change, so will our music.

Not sure what fans make of that, but we want to keep it interesting for US, haha
5. Have you always wanted to be in a band, was this a dream for you?

For me personally, not really, my dream is my career at work, really. That dream also includes playing music my entire life in my spare time. If it is successful, then great, but personally, I in no way shape or form believe music is a life that would secure me a decent future. If I wanted that, I wouldn’t play metal…9.99999 times out of 10, there is no real money or stability in it.

Saying that, in total fantasy land; Subby would be like Dethklok from “Metalocalypse” and life would be mental fun! ha
6. You have an album out now called "Animi", how did you come up with the name?

The “Animi” album is kind of its own lore and mythology, loosely based on the same sort of ideas you would find in various cultures; respect the world we live in, do not take things for granted, do not assume we are the most powerful creatures in existence, we will get what we deserve. The album is about human incompatibility with the earth in which it “infects,” hence the human brain just visible between the pieces of blown planet crust in our artwork and also the name of the album “Animi,” which means “minds.”
Lyrically, a story is told from start to finish, detailing the rise of the human race in to existence, its ultimate corruption and disrespect of the world it resides in, and then nature itself finally fighting back and claiming its freedom from us.

7. Did everyone create their own music for the album, guitarist wrote their riffs, drummer did his own drum blasts?

On the whole, when it came to the writing of this album, it was mainly myself recording ideas directly on to Pro Tools and these would eventually form in to whole tracks over time.

I had vocals and drums in mind the entire time too, so I would always put the basic drum rhythms in, basic vocal structuring (rhythms again etc.)…and obviously lay my own vocals down too.

Then, with the tracks everyone likes we all jump on to with ideas, structure changes etc. Ben decimates the programmed drums I send him, and proceeds to put his full on flare on to it all, still keeping to the general feel we were going for overall.

Jay came in quite late on the writing process but the outcome was mental.

Next time around I believe it will be even better, having everyone there from start to finish for an album will be a new and phenomenal feeling for us
8. Who wrote the lyrics for the songs?

Most of it was already written by me before we had a solid input from a permanent vocalist. It was a hell of a strain, but a nice outlet.

“Novation” had most of its lyrics written by Chaz…this was before he left obviously and a fair while back now.

Once Jay was on board, he jumped right in to writing some lyrics for the songs that had none at the time. “Entropy” and “Illusion Of Eternity” were both joint efforts from Jay and I, and they turned out to be the two favs of ours from the album. It just feels right.
9. Where did the inspiration for writing come from?

Gosh, this can be literally anything and everything. One minute I could be driving along and randomly have a melody in my head….next I could be practicing guitar and have a lead line come in to my mind that just has to be recorded.

Once I get one tiny idea, even if it’s an orchestral or piano line. I jot it down on Pro Tools and that is where the rest of it tends to flood in to my head. Plenty of experimentation to find the best way to make a particular idea pop…and before I know it, another track is done and I’m sat there thinking “where on earth did that come from?”

It is always good to listen to a vast array of music too. I do not really listen to much metal in my spare time. I obviously have my favorite metal artists, but I’m well in to my more popular music and orchestral scores.

For example, most people get a bit shocked when they find out I’m a fan of artists such as Paramore, Muse, Nickelback, Ed Sheeran,….but then when they listen back to our music, they tend to think “ya know what, I get it”.

I probably just lost a lot of street cred right there, but fuck it, I don’t mind.
10. What studio did you do all the mixing and production in ?  Why that one over others ?

Haha, well, my bedroom for the lot actually - recording, mixing and mastering.

Why? Because it is cheap and I am willing to put in the mental hours to try make it sound the best I can. We don’t exactly have stupid money to splash out on things we kind of don’t need. You can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.

People say stuff like, “nah mastering should be someone else”, “nah you shouldn’t mix on headphones” blah, blah. In my opinion, if you really sit down and listen to something you want it to sound like, you can replicate it.

Or you can spend hundreds to thousands on studio time/engineers. Trust me; the sense of achievement is poor in comparison to doing it yourself.

The fact that people have even said the album sounds too perfect and over produced just makes me smile so hard that my face hurts….because in my mind, which sounds to me like I nailed it with the production. It is the sound we have always wanted.
11. Do you yourself have a favourite song out of the 10 tracks ?

It keeps changing, haha. When you spend a year or so hearing the same tracks, mixing them, mastering them…you find it hard to have a favourite. That being said, I love “Entropy” for its diversity on the record.

When it comes to live; “Born of the Sun” or “Illusion of Eternity”. Which ever gets the crowd going hardest at the time will determine which I prefer ha
12. Who was the artist who created the artwork for the cover ?

 Snovonne Drake. She is PHENOMENAL and seriously talented. Check out her band “Snovonne” and all the videos on youtube too. She recorded and edited the lot and needs more recognition for her many talents for sure.

All we had to do was give her our ideas and the concept for “Animi”, and she seemed to pluck the images out of our heads and recreate them on paper for us to see. Oh and just to be clear, all that artwork you see on the front cover and in the booklet? It is all hand drawn. MENTAL!

13. What does the cover represent, it is really detailed .
The front cover is basically a symbolic representation of the concept within the Animi album.

Human kind is an infection of nature, this planet. Our corrupt minds at the core of all things flawed with our species. So the image on the front cover shows how badly infected the Earth has become. Beneath its crust, is a human mind destroying it from the inside. The skull melding to the face of the planet again shows how heavily entwined our infection of Earth has become.
14. Did you give the artist some ideas, or was she the one who created the image?

 We did give her some ideas of course…we explained how it would be nice to have a brain in a planet…and gave her all the subject matter for the album concept. She was able to pull all that together perfectly for us and totally launch it beyond all our expectations when she added her interpretation to what we asked. SICK
15. At this point, what is the best thing for you about being in Subversion?

Right now….GIGS! We have been dormant for too long and all this hard work has made us very itchy to get out there and let loose with all the pent up energy we have held back for so long.
16. Where do you see the band in 5 years ?

Hopefully another album out there, a 4th on the way, and a fair few tours around the world. We are here to stay and will continue to do what we do no matter what. We are heading in the right direction right now and everything is just perfectly balanced with work, band and personal lives.
17. Is there anything that you would like to add that I might have missed asking, but you would like people to know ?

Well, we have our UK tour coming up in April with our brothers in No Sin Evades His Gaze. Those guys are seriously ones to watch and have shot up mentally quickly. It is going to be a hell of a ride.

The dates we have are sick too, we are starting off in Bristol on the 6th April with our mates in Xerath, and we also join Destiny Potato on their tour on the 8th in London.

We do have MammothFest confirmed for this year too, and should be announcing a lot more later on in the year. Including another tour later on in 2015
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us here at MetalTitans, and we wish you much success with your new album "Animi".

Thank YOU!