Hi! Can you walk us through the songwriting and recording process for “Derelict,” and how has it evolved since your previous album?
Most of the time Dallas comes up with an idea, or a momentum that will perhaps evolve into a song later. I can be just a chord line, or a drumbeat that he saves “in the bank”. So does Gábor. A guitar riff, a piano lick, anything… Then, when we don´t have shows, or releasing period, our preferred method is coming alive, which is that we pack the car with instruments and recording gear and head off the woods. We take a weekend in a remote cabin and take out the ideas one by one and start forming them, till we think that there are some song structures. These can be several visits to the woods of course. Whenever we have a couple tracks that we can show to Nico, Dallas and Nico head out to the woods and start composing the vocal lines…
This hasn’t changed much since the composing of the previous album, “Colossal”. We love to be in nature, where you don’t need to check your clock…
You eat when you are hungry and you sleep, when you are tired… It’s got its magic and we are very productive on these little trips.
The album features guest vocals from Ville Tuomi. How did that collaboration come about, and how did his contribution enhance the overall sound of the album?
Villes´ friendship with Nico and Dallas goes way back. They were very good bodies since their teenage, I guess. Ville also has been a vocalist in the “root band” of Resolution 13, it was called Drive. Their careers departed after Drive broke up, but the friendship never did. I think it was already the time Max was starting to mix the first tunes of Derelict, when Ville came over to our headquarters and Dallas showed him the first results. Being very talented and creative, Ville immediately had some ideas, how certain things in some songs could be improved and I guess Nico and Dallas just gave him a microphone and said “start singing!” Haha! So there are a bunch of songs now on Derelict (and Paradise Circus), where you can hear Villes’ collaboration with R13.
He also participated in live shows with us and we truly hope that “this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship”! Haha!
The album’s sound is described as “huge” with “epic, massive sounding choruses.” Can you elaborate on the production techniques used to achieve this sound, and what was your vision for the overall sound of the album?
Well, our style of music and the image of the overall idea of R13 is metal music dipped in science fiction marinade. (Wow, what an expression… Haha!) Now from there, sound-wise you just opened up a whole new world to explore and I am not only talking about millions of synth and sound effects that are out there, but we realized, that you can go on and compose like let’s say sci-fi movie like soundtracks with huge orchestras and all the instruments you ever wanted to try and sit it right into your grooving metal. It’s pretty cool and we are just in the beginning…
We had the vision already way before, but I think it was Max (Tero Kostermaa) who really understood it and while producing the tracks, made that happen that we dreamed of. He has a huge library of sounds, effects, digital instruments, synths and he knows where to look for the right thing and how to use it.
The song “T-13” has already been released as a music video. Can you tell us about the creative process behind the video and how it visually represents the themes of the song?
Just like any other video that we released before, this was also created in DIY ways. We had no support from anywhere (except a couple of dear friends), no professional crew to film it. We tried to follow the story of the song, which is a bunch of escaped space prisoners and the “Terminator” franchise inspired killing machines are hunting each other and fight till death. Dallas prepared all the props, like toy guns, space helmets made of motorcycle helmets (I think one helmet was given to us by Ville actually), etc… We turned a part of our home studio into a self made filming studio with green screens, trollies, lights and all that and we filmed everything there. Usually I am the one filming everything and Dallas than takes the footage and does the editing, but this time we got lucky and another dear friend, Rami Raski (mostly known from the band Verepisara) did nearly all the filming and producing this video.
He is very creative and talented, as well as experienced creator. Another huge help was Mihail “Miska” Tretjakov (photographer, web designer), who lended us his camera gear. We had a breakin to our filming studio and my camera gear was stolen… It was quite a shock, but Miska was once again right there, when we needed help! Big thanks to both of them through this channel as well!
Resolution 13 plays industrial metal. Can you discuss some of the influences that have shaped your sound and how you’ve incorporated them into your music?
Usually people describe our music as a mixture of Fear Factory, Devin Townsend and maybe Rammstein.. Fear Factory definitely has inspired us the ways we are handling our rhythm section, the tight staccato like rhythm patterns that the kicks, guitar and bass plays together, as well as using some industrial-like sound effects. We are all big fans of Devin Townsend and while we are not playing progressive music, Devin definitely had his impact on Nicos singing and the way he forms his vocal lines. Nico is one of the best singers I know and his vocal capacities are from Anselmos growls to Devins amazing cleans everything and beyond. Did I already say, he loves Pantera too..? Haha! Then maybe we can say that epic keyboard work and samples and stuff that we do might remind the listener of the styles of Rammstein.
“Derelict” continues the story of your previous album “Colossal.” How important is it for you to have a cohesive narrative throughout your albums, and how does it affect the songwriting process?
After Colossal, there were still a bunch of stories left to tell, so Nico planted the continuation into his lyrics. I am not sure though, if our next record will still continue this line or not, but certainly our sci-fi metal and image won’t go anywhere.. Haha! We already have a bunch of new ideas and unreleased songs also, but we shall see how these fit together in a concept, or not concept… This doesn’t really affect the songwriting process. We just compose usually the music first, compose the vocals then and lyrics usually come last…
Can you tell us about the meaning behind the song “Messiah” and how it fits into the album’s storyline?
A rageful retaliation, protection of your people and not holding back any means necessary to wipe out any threat or attack. A kind of a Viking berserker’s “code of Honor” but in our concept it’s more like being an outcast on the run from authorities and threatened by them to kidnap your family/kin and you are planning a rescue mission with your crew onboard filled with a toxic mix of overflowing rage, grudge and misery. The phrase ” but taking the knee is not for me” is something that reflects from myself, you know like, never give up, never yield and stop only then when you are done. (Comment by Nico)
The album cover for “Derelict” features striking artwork. Can you discuss the creative process behind the cover and how it represents the themes of the album?
The artwork of Derelict was the baby of the collaboration of Dallas and Mikke Strandberg (photographer, designer). I think the main inspiration for the artwork was our song “T-13”.
How do you see Resolution 13’s sound evolving in the future, and what new elements would you like to incorporate into your music?
We think this the same way, like our mixing engineer Euge Valovirta said: Resolution 13 found its sound. I don´t think and I don’t feel like it needs to evolve really anywhere. We play harder when we feel like and play more epic when the tune needs that, but there is a good balance already of everything. Adding sometimes new instruments, or collaborating with other musicians is always fun, but the overall picture will most likely stay the same. I am a trombone player too by education and my wish is that one day we try out some brass blast in a song, or two.. Haha! Let’s see.
Can you discuss the role of each band member in the songwriting and recording process, and how you work together to create the final product?
Often Dallas, sometimes I have the first idea of a song. Like I wrote before, it can be just a chordline, a drumbeat, a riff, or even a piano lick.. We collect these during the months and then when we are in the composing period, Dallas alone, other times Dallas and I take a few trips in the woods and start working on these little fragments and shape them into something. When we have something, a base of a couple of songs, Nico takes a ride… Haha! Usually after the guitar tracks are composed, I.T. also records his first versions of the bass lines and then we have the demos. When we have enough songs, we go through them and select the ones that are fitting the most together, throw out bad ideas, kinda filter the material and see if we need to compose more, or not. When that’s done, it´s producing and mixing time.
The opener “Out and Alone” sets the stage for the album’s storyline. Can you discuss the decision to begin the album with that song and how it sets the tone for the rest of the album?
Story wise that song sets the opening scene of the album… One escapee in a hopeless situation, in which he takes his chances, leaves the prison planet and all goes south… He wants back to his loved ones, but his safety (lifeline) has snapped and now he is just drifting away from anything to grab on, into space, into certain death.
The music is also an easy start for the record, I´d say. We didn´t compose a separate intro, as we thought the songs own intro will do just fine and so the song starts kinda sudden, yet nothing too indigestible.
It’s an easy landing, with enough aggression, yet plenty of catchiness that sets the ride for the listener. It’s a great live song too and nowadays we have started our sets with it for the same reasons.
Can you tell us about the meaning behind the song “Evil Twin” and how it relates to the album’s overall themes?
Umm, the idea for this story kind of starts from a point where one realizes that there was always another persona/ person present. Whether within the one or standing by him. In our case that means that the main character would’ve not got this far without this wild, bold, jester-like and cheeky person at his side and he is grateful about this brotherhood that has developed on the side of his journey. (Comment by Nico)
What do you hope listeners take away from “Derelict,” both in terms of the music and the album’s storyline?
Feels like there is just a huge competition out there, especially in the metalcore/djent scene. Lots and lots of players try to prove every day their badass, super complicated, precise, sometimes really jaw dropping skills on their social media channels, I guess most of them not gaining nearly as much attention as they´d deserve. However, we never wanted to stand out individually from R13, as our goal was always to sound great with simplicity and together. Hence no guitar solos, etc.. if anything, our listeners might realise while listening Derelict, that modern metal doesn´t have to be always progressive, very aggressive, like most new bands try to prove… It can be simple, yet well composed and catchy without stuffing everything you got into every song. I think this has to do something with the difference in how we compose vs lots of other bands. I realize they often collect riffs and then when they have a bunch, they start to puzzle them together, hoping they fit one way or another. This often leaves them feeling that these songs are not complete, something is missing… I guess that’s where people start to add more runs, more notes here and there in some sort of desperation to achieve something interesting. What we do is, one idea equals one song. We take that idea and see what we feel like playing after it…
One riff sets the “soul” of the next one. If we get stuck, we put it aside. If it doesn´t work, we forget about it. But we don´t release mass products. We only release stuff that really floats and is complete.
Surely all the songs have their messages for the listeners to take away, but overall the thing we really hope people take away from it is an hour fun. Let themselves get sucked into the music and the journey that was created in our heads and just forget about everything that troubles them for a moment. It’s kinda like a videogame, you know… but this world is created by us and brought to you by music, through the channels of your ears, insead of through your gaming monitor.
Can you discuss any challenges you faced during the creation of “Derelict,” and how you overcame them?
Oh, quite a bunch. Lots of things have delayed the progress of the album, regarding work, families and newborns, technical issues, but the biggest challenge was the health issues of our dear friend and former mixing engineer. Unfortunately he had to deal with some serious health conditions and we weren’t able to continue the work, as we were waiting to receive our files back for many months. Once he was better, he delivered the tracks and then Euge Valovirta took over the mixing work.
How has the current state of the world influenced your music and the themes explored on “Derelict?” Thank you!
Derelict was composed ready already before shit has hit the fan in our neighbours. We never thought things could go this way, but coincidentally the meaningless killing is present both on our record and in Europe. I am afraid the latter one is way worse than in R13s´ imagination of a dystopian world.
Another coincidence is that since we started working on Derelict a few years ago, AI has come a long way in the real world and now in forms, available to the public to use as well. AI is something that is present in our themes all the way and kills without mercy anything on its way. I guess we can only pray that none of the superpowers will try to set up a T-13 army! Haha!
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