THEORY: "We aim to make music for both, musicians and people who love the metal genre"
Let's travel Northwards again, as I'd like to introduce a quintet from Denmark here, that had a huge impact on me since I discovered them for my listening pleasure a few years ago. Just in case you're not yet familiar with them: THEORY is a band you should have on your proggy radar, if you like your metal technically sophisticated, expressive, but yet melodic.
I had the opportunity for an interview, welcome to read and check them out:
Hey, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, thanks for having us. THEORY is a Danish progressive metal act with influences from bands like Dream Theater, Nevermore and Symphony X. The music features lots of shredding, a high level of technical stuff, and strong, (mostly) clean vocals.
Let’s start with a little time trip: When and how did you guys get together? And have there been changes in the line-up since then?
The band was formed in 2011 by guitarist Odin L. Madsen and drummer Martin Kilic. Despite frequent replacements in the line-up, the songs for the debut quickly took shape, and by 2015 the two had created what would become the acclaimed album "The Art of Evil". Around that time, Kim Mikkelsen became our permanent bass player. In 2016 Nicklas Sonne joined forces with the band, initially as a session vocalist, but somehow he has been sticking around ever since, and that is something we are all very happy about. The most recent change has been in welcoming guitarist Daniel Rasmussen to the ranks.
How did you come up with your name, and what is the meaning behind it?
Theory of….? Theory of….?? Theory of….??? How about just THEORY? Yeah, that’s it!
Haha, I see! You released your first album “The Art of Evil” in February 2017. The detailed cover caught my attention back then, the graphic is an impressive piece of art. Can you tell us a bit about its origins and the concept behind the album, please?
Thank you so much. Well, let’s start with the concept: Lyrically the album deals a lot with the classic “good versus evil” conflict in the world around us, but it also touches inner demons and even unearthly encounters, which you can hear on a track like “Strangers Descent”.
There is a strong connection between the songs, the lyrics, and the artwork - even directly: If you listen closely to the intro called ‘Awakening’, that track is actually a manifestation / snapshot of the exact moment portrayed on the album artwork. So, imagine you're inside the little guy’s head on the cover, moving closer to a flaming gate, and you're filled with fear. You have one mission - you have been chosen to open the gate, and on top of that you’re in a plain out of this world. You open the gates and hell breaks loose … the awakening of the evil beyond. That’s where the next track “The Art of Evil” begins:
Let’s talk about the music: With your debut, you conquered my proggy heart by storm. One can hear the influence of Symphony X and Dream Theater, but you manage to create your own, unique sound. What makes your music special? And how does your writing process work normally?
We love writing progressive music, but the technical aspect can easily get out of hand, so we try our best to keep it melodic and catchy at the same time. We aim to make music for both, musicians and people who just love the metal genre. And of course for our own pleasure.
The process of writing varies from Odin sending a riff, Martin humming or drumming an idea, or jamming and coming up with something new that way. Everyone is contributing with ideas and details throughout the entire process.
You shared hints about a second album being in progress, and the snippets that could be heard so far sound very promising. What can you reveal about your new effort at the moment?
The next album will definitely be a step up, both technically and composition wise compared to the first release. A lot of effort has been put into writing the songs and creating a more complete sounding album.
At the moment, the sound is being defined at Sonne Studios by Nicklas Sonne, and he is ready to hit the vocal booth any time now. The most recent work has been coming up with ideas for synth and sound effects for the album.
On top of that, we are discussing the album title and possible guest appearances.
It's highly anticipated :-) Let’s take a look at THEORY live: What was the most memorable concert experience for you as a band?
There will be absolutely no contest here: The concert we played in summer 2019 with Dream Theater, along with Animals as Leaders and Jason Richardson in Musikhuset Århus, will always stay with us as an unforgettable moment. Especially because Dream Theater is such a huge influence for us. Every DT-member proved to be real friendly and down to earth. The other bands included.
Fantastic line-up, indeed! How about the Danish rock / metal scene? Is there something special about it, and did you notice changes over the past years? Do you see differences to other countries?
First off, the Danish metal scene is very small and conservative, and death metal definitely stands out as the dominant genre here at the moment. It can be a little frustrating as it doesn’t leave much room for alternative genres like prog to blossom, even though there are some great acts out there. It would be nice to see the Danish music industry be more open to implement alternative genres as we see it in a country like Sweden.
However, recently a handful of newer Danish metal bands like Møl, Iotunn, Baest and Livløs have been signed by major labels, so something is definitely happening. We really want to congratulate them all!
How did you make it through the pandemic so far? And what impact had the restrictions on you as band?
The restrictions have provided a great opportunity for us to focus on writing more music and work on unfinished projects. The downside has been of course not being able to perform or attend live shows, nor practicing together as much as we would like.
What can you tell us about your future plans?
We are really looking forward to finally release the next album to our patient fans.
Any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
We would like to thank you and everyone else reading this for the interest in our band.
You’re very welcome, thanks again for your time. All the best for you guys and your musical plans \m/