Hailing from… Antarctica? Well, perhaps! Anyhoo, today we’re communing with the Great Old Ones while:
Introduce yourselves; what do each of you bring to the band?
Chris: I’m Chris and I bring a British accent and a few sweet riffs.
Jake: I write and play guitar.
Nate: I write, play guitar, and engineer.
Ben: I play keys, compose/orchestrate, and help with the storytelling and writing.
Reed: I’m Reed, and I write, sing, play guitar, program, arrange, all the good stuff.
When did you last speak to your families?
Chris: This morning!
Jake: I am pretty much constantly talking with my family through one of the 2,000 family group chats we have for some reason.
Nate: At least once a week we have a chat regardless of how long or brief.
Ben: Last Monday.
Reed: This morning.
What are your instrument makes/models of choice and why? Which effects could you not live without?
Chris: My main instrument these days is a laptop that makes heavy use of, among other things, Spitfire’s LABS instruments. For free software, they’re astoundingly good. And reverb. Lots of reverb.
Jake: I’m a massive fan of ESP LTDs and Ibanez guitars! For Cthulhu Dreamt I used an Ibanez Iron Label RG7 that I love.
Nate: I use an Ibanez RGIM7MH – multi scale 7, and a 91 Jackson Soloist – 6 string FR. These instruments have fast necks, low action, and suite my playing style perfectly – especially as a player with smaller hands. For effects: Distortion, Delay, Reverb, Chorus in that order.
Ben: I use a lot of digital tools, like Omnisphere, Walker 1955 Grand, Spitfire’s BBC Orchestra, and Output’s Analog Strings and Analog Brass. I daydream about picking up a Nord Stage 3 someday as well as a Spacestation amp.
Reed: My go-to guitar is a Strandberg Boden 8-string. It just feels so good in my hands, and sounds terrific when using my Neural DSP plug-ins, of which I love them all. For programming and production work, I use Logic and a whole mess of plug-ins and effects too numerous to name here, though one sound that ends up in almost every song is an “Easter Island” drum hit from Spitfire Audio’s Albion 1.
What are the defining characteristics of Cthulhu Dreamt?
Chris: A very personal, very human story told using a very inhuman metaphor. I think the sound of the tracks combines both of those things.
Nate: We have a variety of genres going on in our songs at any one time that we proudly wear our influences on our sleeves. Whereas a band like Twelve Foot Ninja might have had a mix of heavy metal/rock, flamenco, bossa nova, and djent….. Cthulhu dreamt has an eclectic mix of 2000s alternative rock, djent, death metal, trap, edm, etc…
Ben: I think the two most critical defining characteristics are the story that the music tells and the eclectic (at times chaotic) blend of styles and genres, even within metal itself.
Reed: The all-encompassing story as told through the different mediums of music, story, and soon, a tabletop role-playing game. Also, the fact that the music doesn’t really ‘fit’ any single genre. It’s more a soundtrack for the world than it is a metal project.
If you could have a DC or Marvel superhero as a member of your band, who would it be and what role would they have? Which band member would they have to fight to get the position and who would win?
Chris: Squirrel Girl could destroy any of us, obviously. I think she’d be great on, like, triangle or something.
Jake: I feel like Batman would make for a good bandmate. Instead of cruising to shows in a van we’d be showing up in the Batbus. I’d probably nominate Nate as our band champion to fight Batman. It’d be close though, I don’t know who’d win that one.
Nate: While I’d love to give an obvious answer like batman or joker (due to my love of DC), I’m going with Taskmaster (Marvel) as he can learn anything to perfection immediately just by watching a person’s movements. Imagine having a bandmate who could watch Danny Carey (Tool)… or watch Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) and become the most proficient drummer / guitarist in the world in a matter of seconds — Wylde.
Ben: Rocket Raccoon to assemble and maintain the loudest, most epic live tour rig of all time, and I don’t think they would have to fight anyone to get the job, haha.
Reed: Drax would be in the band, but no one would know because he’d be so still making himself invisible. Actually, you know what… he might already be in the band *looks around nervously*
What are you working on at the moment?
Chris: I’m working on a Cthulhu Dreamt novel, which’ll be part of the whole project that includes the band’s albums as well as an original tabletop RPG with an original soundtrack. Very cool.
Jake: Just slowly trying to get back into the writing groove! Hopefully will have some song ideas fleshed out for future Cthulhu Dreamt albums soon.
Nate: We have an EP being released shortly and a few of our members have some solo work planned for future releases.
Ben: I’ve been helping develop a side mission for the tabletop RPG as well as composing some music for the RPG’s companion soundtrack.
Reed: The OST for the TTRPG we’re creating in partnership with Action Fiction. Recently finished our Precursor EP which will be released in the run-up to the funding for the Cthulhu Dreamt game, so we’ll have singles coming out this fall in preparation.
Who are your favourite bands/artists/songwriters/musicians?
Chris: Rammstein, Meshuggah, Mars Volta, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm
Jake: Right now Boards of Canada, Type O Negative, Everything Everything, and Agalloch have been hitting the spot.
Nate: I have a strong affinity for metal and right now, I’ve been super excited by bands such as ‘fit for an autopsy’, ‘make them suffer’ & ‘fit for a king’. However; Guys like Post Malone and Machine Gun Kelly are pushing well established mediums into new directions that are both exciting and authentic.
Ben: Rival Sons, Royal Blood, Sleigh Bells, and Larkin Poe.
Reed: Gojira, Hans Zimmer, John Powell, Igorrr, Mastodon, Opeth.
Who is your favourite author, which is their best book and why?
Chris: J.R.R. Tolkien, and it feels sort of like cheating to say The Silmarillion because he never actually published it himself, but still. Silmarillion notwithstanding, Lord of the Rings is technically a single novel so let’s say that!
Jake: I don’t know if he’s my favourite author, but I’m reading through Frank Herbert’s Dune series and I’m loving it. Deep cut, I know.
Nate: By far Pierce Brown and the Red Rising Series. Favorite book – ‘Dark Age’ – This book was meant to be a capstone to an entire self contained world centering around rebellion and freedom of repressed people amongst the stars in a war torn future and it exceeded every single expectation I had ever had. It is exhilarating from start to finish.
Ben: H.G. Wells, and I have no idea what his best book was, but The Island of Dr. Moreau is my favorite. It’s so insanely creepy and haunting…
Reed: There are so many great authors. There are a couple books I read on repeat: Forever War (Joe Haldeman) and Old Man’s War (John Scalzi).
When is your next single/album likely to be released? What is it called and where can we get it in our ears? Why should we buy it?
Chris: I’ll let Reed answer for Cthulhu Dreamt, but I’m also gonna plug our side project Cedarstone, which is a sort of ambient neoclassical thingy. Single number three… soon, probably? If you like lush, dreamy stuff to make your mind feel all cuddled, check it out.
Nate: Soon, and because if you don’t, the Eldritch gods will haunt your dreams.
Ben: Reed knows the release schedule for sure, but I’ll also plug a side project: Reed and I will be coming out with some classical chill music soon under our regular names. Reed: We’ve got a single out in October, and a remix in December, with the EP releasing within the first couple months of ’23. It’ll be streaming everywhere, and you should listen if it makes you feel anything… especially if you like sprawling worlds told through multimedia.
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