We caught up with the brains behind Echopraxia, Austin Woodward, for a chat. Check it out below!
So your Pumpkin Palace EP has been out for a while now. What’s been the general reception to it so far?
It seems to have really touched the fans who have the same affinity for Halloween that I do. Many of my peers grew up watching Nightmare Before Christmas and are similarly attached to it as I am, and I think Pumpkin Palace really forcibly reaches to that nostalgic place in our minds.
Can you describe the writing and recording process for it?
Sometimes I sit down to write because I just feel like making a song, sometimes I get an idea in my head while I’m doing other things and I immediately open up a project to get the basic idea recorded. I try to write as much in one sitting as possible, I tend to favor the songs that were written with more serendipitous and continuous processes. I recorded it with Nick Sampson, he is an incredible engineer and producer known for stuff like Born of Osiris and Polyphia.
Which song on the EP are you most proud of?
Probably Grasp of Malok. It contains very spooky melodies that have the type of contour I like to hear, as well as very heavy bouncing parts which is one of my favorite things in metal. It has a lot of parts and vibes and it still keeps my attention.
Were there any tracks that were more of a challenge to complete, or did everything go to plan?
Tin Noses was barely a song, we had to fully flesh it out and record it in a single day. That was difficult. All of the other songs had full identities and were very easy to record.
Would you go back and change anything?
I can think of a million things I could change on everything I’ve ever worked on, but I don’t think I would ever take the opportunity to do that. I believe that hypothesis jeopardizes the emotional representation of where you were at when you wrote it, which is really all a song is worth at the end of the day. I’ll apply the changes I “would” make to the songs I write in the future and it will become a part of the timeline of my life as a composer.
Would you consider doing any more seasonal themed pieces or are you happy to stick with Halloween for now?
I can’t imagine doing another seasonal thing, Halloween is the only thematic season with integrity for metal. The themes of Halloween are shared by lots of metal anyway, I just decided to fully commit to the aesthetic visually and sonically because it I had so much fun writing and listening to stuff like that. Any time another band did a carnival organ break in a song or some spooky chromatic lines I would think “if only the entire song was like this” or “if only they did this on more songs”. Both Candle Cove and Pumpkin Palace are just platforms for me to do what I wish everyone else would do. The only thing that can compromise that is my skill and ability to be vulnerable with my emotions, and subsequently my musical ideas.
If you could collaborate with anyone for a future EP or album, who would you like to work with?
There’s a million artists I would love to collaborate with. The artist in my scene that has the strongest musical vision (in my opinion) is David Micic. He seems to have almost nothing in the way of him and his most raw musical ideas, you can hear it in almost every track he works on.
Looking ahead to 2018, what’s on the cards for you in the new year?
I’m going to fully immerse myself in Jazz study so I can push further with Echopraxia. It might be a while before I write another Echopraxia song but if I don’t bring something significantly new and exciting to the table with future material, Echopraxia will have lost its spirit and no longer be something I can stand by as a musician. The difference between Candle Cove and Pumpkin Palace will seem extremely small and unnoticeable compared to the difference between Pumpkin Palace and the next Echopraxia Release.