Interview with Algebra (Thrash Metal)

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

This album is a story about who we are and where we are going, building upon the themes from our previous albums and the meaning of our name Algebra:

The Universe is all mathematics, therefore those who control the data and know how to use it have the power. This discovery has been in the hands of humanity for centuries and is now, more than ever, propelling our evolution, growth and inequalities. This makes us even more constrained by selfishness and anxiety, on a planet with limited space and resources. We are now worrying and ineffectively talking about sustainability, but the majority of us do not want to give up earning more, a more luxurious lifestyle and more kids. Likewise, companies, organizations and nations do not want to give up their goals of being number one, otherwise they will get crushed by the others.

Humanity has been worried about the end of the World for millennia, but soon we will not even be able to hang onto hope, since we have increasingly better data and studies to prove climatic, economic and political disasters are near. In these times, we might turn to new religions, praying for technology and artificial intelligence to solve all our problems, when in fact it centralizes power even further and, some day, could even lead to a Singularity that will replace us or maybe an even worst “sci-fi” scenario: use the data from our consciousness to resuscitate us and trap us in a simulation. However, according to simulation theory, this may already be the case and, if so, it would be a great explanation for existence, where God is a Singularity without empathy and we are just data and code.

The goal of these lyrics were to try and make some sense of the World and use these ideas to create an album which can lead to positive outcomes and satisfaction, such as connecting with others who are also feeling a bit lost.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

We always stuck to a more old school thrash metal sound, but have always tried to incorporate elements from other styles of music, especially death, prog and groove. As we went on, the songwriting and technical skills did get better.

How does your writing process normally work out?

For each album, the process was quite similar. Phil, Tony and sometimes myself would send each other some riffs or partial song ideas around, Tony would use them and arrange them into a proper instrumental version of the song, without the solos. The four of us would then give feedback, maybe tweak them in guitar pro before or after we have played them together during rehearsal. Sometimes we would also make a demo recording to get a better idea, where I could then test my lyrics, vocals and solos. Once we had about 9 songs, Tony recorded the drums, Phil and I did the rhythms, I would do the leads, Mat then did the bass and then would come the final details: my vocals and solos. Unfortunately, this time around there was a bit of stress at the end of the process and after 12 years Tony decided to leave to focus on other projects where he could work more independently. After that, Phil and Mat decided they wanted to call it a day as well since they are quite busy with other things, so I am now alone in the band.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

I have found some new members and would love for us to tour for this latest album, make new songs, new albums and see how far we can go. Music has always been one of the only things that made sense in my life, so I feel it is necessary to push this project further.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

The main influences are thrash and other styles such as death metal, prog, heavy metal, groove or even grunge. This includes bands like Slayer, Sepultura, Metallica, Kreator, Exodus, Testament, Nuclear Assault, Forbidden, Evil Dead, Exhorder, Megadeth, Pantera, Machine Head, Gojira, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Death, Decapitated, Nostromo, Vomitory, Nirvana, Nevermore, Dream Theater and many more…

What’s next for you?

I am showing the new guys the songs, promoting the new album and getting a few gigs lined up. I also just wrote the first Algebra-style song ever since the other guys left. The new guys will probably help me tweak the songs and make sure they are up to the standards we are going for. But with Phil, Mat and Tony out of the equation, the style could end up changing quite a bit. It will take some time to adapt and, although I am sad to see my three band mates go, a new phase with new people and ideas could be very exciting.