Greetings Dominic, and welcome to Sentinel Daily! thanks for being the first cab off the rank in our new series of Q & A sessions… We’ll start off with a simple one – What was the best new album you heard in 2016? “Gojira‘s Magma”.

Short question, short answer! And what about old stuff – did any reissues grab your attention this year? “I have been revisiting some older albums that I didn’t pay enough attention to back in the day. I especially enjoyed some old Sepultura records, and more recently got into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I’ve also just been doing a ton of music history and research on composers from the times of Bach, Haydn, Mozart et cetera. It’s super interesting to learn how they all lived back in that time. It was pretty brutal”.

I like the theory that says most of those guys would have been metal musicians if they lived today! What was your non-musical highlight of the last twelve months? “Definitely the healing of a pain in my throat that was bugging me for a year. Yes, that was good (laughs)”.

And what have you found particularly disappointing about the wider world in 2016? “I don’t really pay attention to much. However, the last few years overall have been super insulting to artists in particular. I may not be an expert, but I am surrounded by artists, and the music business side as well. I know for a fact that shady practices where musicians get ass raped constantly by the business, as well as from streaming or other free music services. Everywhere you turn, everyone is making a ton of money, and the artists don’t see a goddamned respectable share of it. I call absolute bullshit! It truly pisses me off”.

You and a veritable army of others! As a function of how you read that particular situation, do you think the music scene – and our sort of music in particular – is in good shape at the minute “Absolutely. Metal shows, festivals et cetera are in full effect. I’ve never been worried about its health. Maybe it’s a little tough to break out locally for one reason or another. But the quality of musicianship has definitely grown, and the diversity of bands and style blending is fun to listen to. I see a good demand for bands from hardcore fans all over the world. And turn outs at major festivals are still huge”.

Did anything disappoint you musically in 2016? “I was hoping System Of a Down would finally release a new record”.

Which practitioners of your own musical role impressed you most this year? “Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders hands down. Not just his current playing ability but also his constant and consistent work ethic, not to mention his mental ingenuity”.

From the individual to the collective: Best live act you’ve seen this year? “There’s a band called Crosstitution here in Montreal. I like catching those guys when I can. The frontman is mental. I wanna do a record with him one day”.

We’ll look out for them! What does the next twelve months hold in prospect for you? “I will be working on the new Chronicles of Israfel material through the winter and will be demoing a ton of new stuff. At the same time, my other band Curious Case will be recording a new record. We do everything live, so we should have something out by Spring. I’ve also got some songwriting collaborations and music catalogue stuff to work on, along with my own little project Writing On Water. It’s an instrumental, folkish, mainly mandolin based project I really love and hope to release for Christmas. I also want to put out a Chronicles youtube special, with more live ccoustic renditions of some songs, and which will include some behind the scenes footage et cetera”.

Busy, busy, busy! Which band, if any, do you think is primed to break out into the wider consciousness in 2017? “I just discovered Leprous, and although they’ve been around for a while, and already have great stuff going on, I think they will build a substantial following and will be more widely respected in the coming months”.

We’re fast approaching the festive season – best night for a party – Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? “I hate New Year’s Eve parties or anything that has to do with too many people being around.
I love the vibe of being home with family and hanging with my favourite cousins and just chilling out at Christmas”.

I heartily concur with your thoughts on New Year’s Eve! Now, We’re not going to ask for a New Year’s Resolution – but what musical feat do you hope to attain next year? “I hope to bring Chronicles to a wider audience, but my modest goals are to grow a bigger local and regional following. This project is a ton of work, so I plan to do things slowly and in a way that won’t drive me into a mental institution”.

Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Sentinel Daily? “Check out Chronicles, and if you like what you hear, please share and spread the music so we can grow this thing. Thanks!”

Thanks for taking part!

Chronicles of Israfel release A Trillion Lights, Tome II through BOH Records on October 15