first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To
new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it
Kragen – Vince
Levalois (guitar/vocals) and I began playing together in 1991 in
the band Psychosis. In
1994 we changed the musical direction a bit and as well as our
name. As Prototype, we
released our first demo “Seed” in 1994.
After a couple of unofficial demos the following years, we
released the mini CD “Cloned,” which included 3 new demo
tracks and the “Seed” demo.
Kirk Scherer joined us in 1999, prior to our first official
CD, “Trinity,” which was released in the
in 2002 and in
in 2004. The new
album, “Continuum,” is a sort of continuation of the musical
direction from “Trinity,” with a little more focus, better
performances and production.
has your new album been received by the media?
Kragen – So
far, “Continuum” has been very well received by the media.
Hopefully this will help to expand our growing fan base.
know artists don¹t like to put a label on their music - but a
spaceship from outer space has just landed in your backyard, and
is demanding an answer - so how would you describe your music to
an alien from another galaxy?
Kragen – Our
music is a cross between Bay Area style Thrash Metal and
Progressive Metal/Rock. Imagine
early Metallica or Megadeth mixed with Rush or Dream Theater and
you have something close.
your music was an emotion, which one would it be?
Kragen – I
guess angry but hopeful. Something
and what inspires you when you write a song? Walk us through the
creation of a song?
Kragen – Most
of the time, a certain sound or rhythm will inspire us when
writing a song. Usually
one of us will play something that has a certain quality to it
that inspires the other guys.
We start building off of this one idea and see where it
goes. There are really
no boundaries in terms of song structure.
We just play what sounds good to us.
Sometimes we disagree on the direction to take with the
ideas, but it all works out in the end.
Which subjects do your
lyrics refer to, and who writes them?
what inspires you when you write your lyrics?
Kragen – Many
of the song lyrics are inspired by science fiction movies or
concepts and others are religion or more personal topics.
For example, the song “Transcendent Velocity” is based
on the movies 2001 and 2010. “With
Vision” is about overcoming things that stand in the way of the
creative process. Vince
writes the vast majority of the lyrics with the occasional song or
two with lyrics written by me.
has produced and mixed the album? Are you pleased with the result?
Kragen – “Continuum”
was produced by the band and mixed by Neil Kernon.
Working with Neil was a great experience.
We’re very happy with the results and feel that the album
is definitely a step above our first album, “Trinity,”
especially in terms of the performance and production.
has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have
a great cover?
Kragen – The
cover art was created by Travis Smith.
We had a loose idea of what we wanted and he’s always
been great to work with. We
think that it’s very important to have a great album cover.
For “Continuum,” we wanted something a little different
so that it would hopefully stand out a bit.
you have any touring plans?
Kragen – Right
now, we’re auditioning drummers in order to tour as much as we
can to support the new album.
Without financial support from the labels, this can be
difficult, but we’re going to do as much touring as we can.
speculate – you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your
own choice – who would be your ideal touring partners?
Kragen – Wow,
this is a tough choice. I
know that Vince would say Rush for sure, but I think that Iron
Maiden would be great to open for every night on a tour!
do you feel about the co-operation with your label?
Kragen – So
far, Metalaxe has done a good job of making the CD available in
certainly been getting a lot of press as well, so they seem to
have done well with sending out promotional copies to the
magazines and webzines as well.
internet is a very important source for many metal fans – how do
you use the internet and how important is it for you and other
Kragen – We
use the internet quite a bit with this band.
Email is one of the better communication tools for us with
each other as well as with our management and the labels.
We have always had a great presence on the internet with
our website and we now have our Myspace music page as well.
how do you feel about the metal scene in general at the moment?
Kragen – I
think the metal scene is pretty strong at the moment.
There are a lot of good bands and quite a bit of variety in
the scene right now. There
will always be the “copycat” bands that follow the trends, but
there are also some really cool, unique bands coming out.
Which song do you consider
to be the best one you have ever written?
Kragen – I would definitely say that the best song we’ve ever written will be on
the next album. Unfortunately,
there’s no title for the song yet!
an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your
life … and why?
Kragen – This
is a tough one, but I would have to say the album that had the
most influence on my life was AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”
I got this album when I was 8 years old and it inspired me
to play guitar. My
parents bought me my first guitar that same year and I’ve been
playing ever since.
music do you listen to at home?
Kragen – Well,
it seems that I rarely get to listen to music at home these days,
but I listen to a lot of music at work and in my car (we have a
lot of traffic here!). Lately,
I’ve been listening to stuff like Dimmu Borgir, Children of
Bodom, Sikth, Exodus and some old punk rock like Black Flag.
I like to throw in some Allan Holdsworth and Classical for
some variety too.
has had a small comeback lately – do you still prefer “the old
sound” or are you a CD/DVD kind of guy?
Kragen – I’m
definitely a CD/DVD guy. I
have some vinyl, but no record player anymore.
It’s hard to listen to records in the car!
question - do you have any famous last words for our readers?
Kragen – I
just want to say thanks for the interview.
Check out our new album “Continuum” and if you like it,
tell your metal friends. Spread
the word of Prototype!