THE GOD PARTICLE: "I think it’s cool when people attach their own meaning to a piece of art"
Not sure what's in the water up there, but Canada is remarkably strong regarding extreme metal solo projects at the moment. Having crossed my path recently thanks to the one and only KManriffs, the sound of THE GOD PARTICLE's debut album "Postcards from a Fallen Empire" quickly woke my interest with its mix of progressive melodeath, metalcore, and cinematic orchestration.
Happy about the opportunity to visit the mastermind behind this new project for a chat, welcome to learn more about it here:
Hey Jeff, thanks for making time to answer my questions. How are you today?
Hey Katha, I’m doing great. Thanks so much for having me on your awesome blog, and for taking the time to talk to me!
You're most welcome :-) Could you please introduce yourself and The God Particle to our readers?
Hey everyone, my name is Jeff Sanna, and I’m a Canadian guitar player / composer. The God Particle is my solo project, which focuses primarily on metalcore with a cinematic, orchestral influence.
You just released your powerful debut album “Postcards from a Fallen Empire”. How do you feel about it, and how was the reception so far?
Thanks so much for the kind words. I feel happy it’s finally out - It was a long process, and sometimes a struggle to balance it with work and family life, so it feels awesome to have it done. The reception so far has been really great, and it’s been awesome hearing everyone’s responses and feelings about the album!
The God Particle is your solo project, but you also have some great musicians on board. Could you quickly introduce your partners in crime, please?
Absolutely. On this album I worked alongside my good friend Chris Clancy, who did all the vocals on the record and also mixed and mastered it. He and I have worked together since 2016, and we’ve always had a great musical chemistry.
The record also features guest appearance from my friend Alex Baillie (Cognizance), Dan Sugarman (Ice Nine Kills), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), Claudio Pietronik (Ancient Bands), Dan Bage (Mutiny Within), and fellow Canadian Fred Riverin (I Legion). These guys are all from my favourite bands and projects, so I feel blessed to have had them take part in the album.
Awesome! Let’s take a look at the stunning cover artwork: What can you tell us about its origins, and how does it reflect the album thematically?
The artwork was done by my friend, the very talented Ben Mota at Axis Design. Throughout this project Ben has created a sort of visual identity for the band, which I think helps tie the music together and creates a kind of a visual story. I absolutely adore this piece, and it hints at various concepts and themes that the album explores.
Could you dive a bit into the record’s topics with us, please?
While the album does have an underlying concept/story, I’m always hesitant to give too much away, as I think it’s cool when people attach their own meaning to a piece of art. I think hearing different people’s interpretations of what it could mean is one of my favourite parts of the process, and the best part is everyone has their own version for the story. On a very general level, it deals with humanity’s own brutal history, and the cyclical nature of how great empires eventually collapse.
Curious to see what our readers might hear :-) Music-wise, “Postcards from a Fallen Empire” is a mind blowing, yet diverse album, and considering that it’s a debut (full length) makes things even more impressive. What is your musical background, and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Thank you so much Katha. I’ve been playing guitar for about 20 years, and have taken some formal education in music theory. With the advent of home recording, I also began to get heavily into composing and scoring orchestral pieces.
I draw a lot of inspiration from early 2000s metalcore bands like Trivium, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage, and also really enjoy film and video game soundtracks.
That's an interesting mix. Could you briefly describe your writing & recording process, please?
Usually I start with a guitar riff, then add drums and bass to build the song from there. I’m someone who historically takes a really long time to write a song, as I’m always changing it or adding layers in it to flesh the idea out the best I can.
I record all the parts (excluding the vocals and guest spots) in my home studio.
How did you come up with your project’s name, and is there a deeper meaning behind “The God Particle”?
Mostly I’m just a nerd haha. I was watching an interesting documentary about the discovery of the god particle in 2012, and am always fascinated by the various pieces and building blocks that stitch together the universe. When I was thinking of a name for this project, the documentary I had watched was one of the first things that came to mind, and it just stuck.
Do you have any plans to bring your music on stage, or is it a pure studio project?
I’d love to play on stage at some point, but with how busy my life is and how hard it would be to get everyone together, it’ll probably stay a studio project for now.
Totally get that. As we’re travelling around the world music-wise: How would you describe your local rock/metal scene, and is there anything special about it? Did you notice changes over the past years?
I come from a small town, so there isn’t too much of a metal scene here. What’s great is that the internet has allowed musicians to connect with other like-minded individuals and collaborate in ways that would otherwise be impossible not too long ago. I’ve been fortunate enough to build relationships with a few amazing musicians from all over the world thanks to technology changing the musical landscape.
It does absolutely, with all its chances and challenges. What can you tell us about your future plans?
For the time being I’m going to keep focus on promoting the album, then take a nice long break afterwards. Eventually I may work on some follow-up tracks or share a few unreleased songs I have sealed away.
Sounds promising :-) Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
Just want to say thank you to everyone who has checked out “Postcards from a Fallen Empire” so far, and want to say a huge thank you to you Katha for letting me be included in your musical journey! Take care everyone!
Was my great pleasure :-) Thanks again for your time, and all the best for you and your musical plans \m/