Based in Aarhus, Denmark, the band BOIL plays an ambitious style of music that properly balances polyrhythmic modern metal with melody-driven alternative rock. Their third release aXiom is both technically intricate and highly accessible showcasing a large step forward in an ongoing evolution of the group. Krisitian Outinen, who plays the bass in the band, has agreed to answer our questions.
As most SputnikMusic users are not familiar with Boil, could you tell us how your musical path has started and what exactly inspired you to be the member of an alternative metal band in the first place?
For me personally, I study classical guitar at the conservatory in Aarhus, Denmark. Soon after I moved to the city, I saw an ad from a local progressive metal band looking for a bass player. I listened to the songs (mainly from the second album, A New Decay) on their myspace and was blown away. I could hear tremendous potential and there was already a mature, yet original style I hadn’t heard before and immediately wanted to be a part of. I started practicing bass like crazy and successfully auditioned for the spot. I’ve been driving the entire band crazy with my love for Finnish melodic power metal and baroque classical guitar ever since and I expect them to be admitted to a mental institution within the next year (haha).
aXiom is your third full-length and it surely showcases your rapid growth as an outfit. How do you think it differs from your previous releases?
Every Boil album is the consequence of what the band members feel is necessary to progress and develop after the previous album. After evaluating the first two albums, the conclusion was to take more risks and reach into more extreme directions. Instead of staying safely in the middle, the heavy sections needed to be heavier, the softer sections more melodic and emotional and generally aim at a more adventurous, brutal and epic sound.
I can imagine that putting out a record can be a rather mundane process that requires a lot of patience. What was the most difficult aspect of working on aXiom?
The creative process (writing the songs) was actually very exciting and the recording of the album to a certain extent as well. The most difficult aspect for us, being very impatient, is always the long waiting process from recording and until release, because of the many practicalities involved. Not knowing what will happen in the future indeed requires patience and belief in your work.
Your music is based on a stark contrast between modern heaviness and soaring melodies, and I guess it’s not easy to balance these elements with all your peripheral influences. What does your songwriting process look like?
The contrast is exactly what creates an interesting sound. We find it mundane and boring – even primitive – if music only consists of one or the other, so those elements (heaviness and melody) are completely linked together and we don’t create them separately. The songwriting process usually goes: Stig (Nielsen, the guitarist) shows us a demo he’s been working on – often a complete skeleton of a song, sometimes without vocal melodies. If the rest of the band likes it, we start working further on it together. Sometimes vocal melodies will be changed, middle sections will be re-arranged, electronic layers added. Whatever the song needs to sound complete.
With as many as five members in the band, it’s obvious that you listen to a lot of different styles, but what would you consider to be your main influences when it comes to crafting your own music?
Some of the bands we can all agree on would be Katatonia, Tool, Metallica, Lamb of God and Porcupine Tree. Of course, there’s a lot of overlap in our influences, but small differences as well. We try not to think directly in genres and styles and the less we sound like a specific band while still creating a great song, the better.
aXiom is lyrically inspired by a series of interviews with people that suffer from mental illnesses, especially paranoid schizophrenia. What makes this subject so enticing for you?
Well, if you consider what exactly is true to you and then ask someone else, you’re likely to get a different answer, even though none of you suffer from mental disorders and both consider yourselves ”normal”. So what exactly defines the truth? We thought people suffering from delusions would be the perfect metaphor for the subjectiveness of truth. Us ”normal” people are convinced they’re imagining things in their minds, but to them, it’s as real as it gets. Also, many things we thought to be ”The Truth” even 10 or 20 years ago have by now often been proved wrong. So our concept of reality is constantly changing. What better way to describe this struggle than through the eyes of a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from delusions?
Your new album has been received very well by fans and critics alike. Do you actually bother to read every review you come across or is it more important for you to maintain distance and just do your job?
Of course we’re curious as to how people react to the result of many years of hard work we’ve put in. It’s very satisfying when we read a review or fan opinion that shows they understood our intention, both with the music and the concept in the lyrics so we take that all those inputs very seriously.
You’ve decided to make aXiom available on bandcamp, which makes it really easy to stream and purchase. Do you think such websites actually help artists? What exactly is the future of music distribution in your view?
Well, there’s no turning back as far as digital music formats go, so we might as well use the various services to promote our album and make ourselves as visible as possible. In the end, it all comes down to whether the listener is willing to support the artist. So yes, I think it certainly helps smaller artists who might never otherwise have reached interested listeners worldwide in the massive jungle of bands that exist today.
An obligatory question about your future plans: how are you going to promote aXiom?
Our record company ViciSolum Production is doing an amazing job promoting the album and our management and booking company Intromental are working hard to get us booked for concerts in Denmark, European festivals and hopefully a European tour in the fall. So hopefully more to come about that soon, and if you check out www.facebook.com/boilmusic you’ll get the news when it is fresh. By the way, we have been confirmed for Progpower Europe 2013 in the Netherlands 4th-6th October 2013, so swing by if you happen to be in the neighborhood there.