We were lucky to catch up with the superbly talented band Intercontinen7al following the brilliant release, ‘War’s The Noise’. Read the full interview now!
Hi Intercontinen7al, tell us about yourself?
Matt: INTERCONTINEN7AL is a virtual band that was founded in 2020 during the onset of the pandemic and includes musicians from all seven continents – yes, even Antarctica!
We have been able to create three albums during our tenure and aim to explore a vast array of musical genres. Originally focused on folk, alternative rock, and blues with our first album, ‘Volume 1’, we have diversified our musical portfolio with compositions that reflect Latin, jazz, classical, metal, pop and even show tunes influences. With each release, INTERCONTINEN7AL donates album proceeds to a charitable cause identified by the band.
What is your songwriting process?
Matt: The songwriting process is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my past musical projects, for we are creating all of our material remotely using the app BandLab (and not collaborating in a room in person).
A song can originate from a band member’s upload of a MIDI keyboard melody, a vocal snippet, a drum beat, a guitar progression….basically anything! It’s always enjoyable to watch these musical ideas germinate and start to develop into an actual structured song, with INTERCONTINEN7AL members jumping into the track to add their talents to the effort.
Andrasta: Usually, it goes one of two ways. Either I’ll get struck with an idea whilst I’m right in the middle of something & I have to pull out the voice notes app and quickly sing it in that then work on it later, or someone I’m working with has come up with an instrumental and I’ll listen to it & craft the lyrics and vocal melody around what they’ve created. ‘War’s the Noise’ came about the first way, ‘Reykjavik (Scared Alive)’, which is an album track on ‘Volume 3’, came about the second way.
Tell us about your latest release, ‘War’s The Noise’?
Andrasta: I’d written ‘War’s the Noise’ about a year before I shared it with the rest of Intercontinen7al, and it was actually a track that I’d basically put on the back burner in favour of working on other songs. When Matthew put a call out to the group about wanting to make a song specifically in aid of Ukrainian Refugees, I had WTN already there, and the lyrics felt more topical and poignant than they had when I’d originally written them.
So I shared the lyrics and vocal melody on Bandlab with the rest of the group, and they really put their magic on it & brought it to life. It was Matthew’s idea to have juxtaposition the seriousness of the lyrics with the lighter instrumental, which I think has really added a powerful dynamic to the song that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
Matt: This track was unique in that it started from a lyrical/vocal perspective, with UK’s Andrasta providing a draft acapella vocal idea for the song. She uploaded the track in BandLab, and upon hearing it, I was immediately inspired to try to write a chord progression that would suit the track.
I provided the backing progressions, and then other bandmates such as Miami73, Hope Gray, Dale Pearson, Gus Prida, and Marcin Nawrocki were able to provide wonderful additions and flavours to the song.
This superb single is taken from the forthcoming album ‘Volume 3’. Can you tell us any more about the full release?
Matt: Absolutely! The third record will be released in December 2022 and will include 14 total tracks (including the aforementioned ‘War’s the Noise’). Along with our lead single, we will also be including a remix of our Volume 1 track ‘Manor Hill’, which was the first song that included instrumentation recorded from all seven continents – including ‘Antarctica’!
In addition, there will be a song called ‘Без названия’ or ‘Untitled’, which is an original composition featuring both Ukrainian and Russian musicians! Our album proceeds will go to benefit Ukrainian refugee relief efforts, so we hope that in our own small way, we can help contribute to a good cause.
We adore the artwork for the releases; who did you work with for the graphics?
Matt: The fantastic and mega-talented Gustavo Fedrizzi completed the artwork for this album. He also did the artwork for our prior album ‘Volume 2’, and we plan on utilizing him for future releases as well. You can visit his Instagram here to view some of his other works: https://ww…fedrizzi_/
What draws you to the alt-rock genre?
Matt: There is a certain level of sincerity and ethos that exists with the more revered alt-rock bands’ lyrics and music, which has greatly appealed to me.
Andrasta: I’ve always had eclectic tastes, and I think that’s best reflected in our last album – the three songs I contributed to were all different genres. But there is something about Rock in general that feels more like home to me. Maybe it’s because it’s more of what I was brought up with, but I do feel it’s what my voice suits best, and it lends itself to the type of lyrics I write.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Matt: While the tools necessary to reach potential listeners have never been more abundant due to the rise of social media, at the same time, it can still be difficult to establish and build a fanbase with the sheer volume of quality musicians seeking to get their songs heard.
In addition, the streaming payouts for artists are extremely low, so it’s almost impossible for a musician to make a living performing their craft without supplementing with other sources of income.
Andrasta: Knowledge, money and fear.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
Andrasta: Understanding, I hope. That someone can listen to the music, I’m involved in and relate to because they’ve experienced those thoughts and feelings too.
Matt: Our songs are intended to demonstrate that music is a universal language that unites people from all over the world – and in our case, from every continent 🙂 We also aim to show that you can use your creative outlets to help perform acts of kindness, such as raising money for charitable causes.
Who are your musical influences?
Andrasta: I say this all the time, but Prince, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman are the big ones for me. I love artists like Hozier, Alanis Morisette, Janelle Monae, Silk Sonic. I find my influences come from artists whose hearts bleed into their music. I’m also influenced by other indie artists like my friends Luna Blue, a band based in Brighton, UK, who are just smashing it in terms of doing their own thing.
Matt: I consider myself a fan of most musical genres, but my favourite bands and artists would be from the grunge or 90s era, such as Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. I am also an avid fan of classic rock artists (Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones, CCR, Allman Brothers).
Who are your non-musical influences?
Matt: My main non-musical influences would be filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, who are incredibly motivated and take risks with their projects. I certainly gather inspiration from witnessing how others approach their creative endeavours, even if it’s outside the world of music.
Andrasta: Guillermo Del Toro is my all-time hero. I find his creativity and vision awe-inspiring. I don’t think there are many people I’d be starstruck by because I try to take people as I find them, we’re all human at the end of the day, but with Guillermo? I would be a mess, haha!
What scares you most when releasing music?
Andrasta: That people will be indifferent to it.
Matt: I probably speak for a fair amount of musicians when I say that there is the fear of releasing new music that then doesn’t end up reaching the level of audience interaction that you were anticipating or expecting.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Matt: I would suggest trying to collaborate with as many artists as possible, for it significantly broadens your creative language and musical scope.
Andrasta: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Perfectionism is a gateway to self-sabotage. Just start, and learn as you grow.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
Matt: My goal is to continue to create relevant and dynamic music with this band and to maintain the tempo of releasing at least one new album a year, with proceeds going to a different charity of interest.
Andrasta: I’ll be finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Performing Arts at the end of spring 2023, so I’m looking forward to using that as an opportunity to put all my focus into my music and acting as a full-time career. I’d love to get an EP out there in the next year & start gigging, cut my teeth for a bit, and then take it from there.
FVMusicBlog September 2022
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