Interview With The Agonist


Photo by Faya.

A little while ago, you released your new album Five. Can you describe the writing and recording process?
Writing Five came really organically. It was a rush of creativity. I have a little home recording set up at my place now, where I was able to write and record pre-prod for the album. I would write the music to songs and send them on to Vicky. Sometimes I would have lyrics in mind, or ways I imagined vocals to be. Or often times Vicky would just listen and build on what I had sent her without knowing what I had in my head. Paco also wrote the music for 2 songs on this album and would send his tracks to Vicky like this too. It was really cool. It was a slightly different way of working than on previous The Agonist albums, but there was still a lot of back-and-forth and collaboration between us. We’d send things to each other, rerecord and restructure parts. We recorded the album with Mike Plonikoff at West Valley Studios in Los Angeles.

When it came to recording, did you do anything different this time round, compared with your last album Eye Of Providence?
Going to LA to record was a very different experience. We were fully immersed in the process, which was different as we’d recorded our previous albums in our hometown of Montreal. Working with producer Mike Plotnikoff was also a new experience. He really feels the music and helped us get the most from ourselves.

Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to get right, or did everything go to plan?
Everything went really smoothly actually! We were the most prepared we’ve ever been going into the studio. We’d recorded pre-production versions of each song before recording the album version.

Which song are you most proud of?
That’s a tough question! My favourites change all the time. But I think we’re all particularly proud of how The Raven Eyes turned out. It was a bit of a last minute addition to the album, and a different style song for us, but it’s just really dark and powerful. It speaks to me.

You’re currently on tour in support of the album – how’s it been going so far?
Great! We finished a short European run, and are currently on tour with Epica, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Arkona in North America.

What can fans expect from a show of The Agonist?
Energy. Definitely energy.

What do you like best about touring?
Meeting new people, and getting our new album out there! It’s a great feeling when someone comes up to you after a show and let’s you know how much they love what you’re doing.

Is there anything you dislike?
We couldn’t be more grateful to be able to do what we love doing. I can’t complain! Although occasionally I’ll feel homesick and wish I could just be in my own bed surrounded by my cats!

Is there anywhere in the world you’d like to play live, that you haven’t visited yet?
Definitely! We haven’t toured Australia yet, that would be amazing. Or South Africa would be very cool!

If you could tour with any artist or musician, who would you pick?
This is such a hard question! I would love to tour with Devin Townsend. He’s a huge inspiration (and fellow Canadian!)

And finally what’s in store for The Agonist for 2017?
We’re in the process of booking tour dates for 2017! Check out our Facebook and our website to keep up to date.

About Natalie Humphries 1854 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: or @acidnat on twitter.

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