PerfectProg review of The Culmination!

Hi — Brandon here! We’ve got a new interview here between and Mark. It seems like I never get to do interviews! Why! Oh well, I hope you enjoy this one. Thanks for this interview for PerfectProg.Com —-Mark Baston (interviewer) Posted on October 18, 2010

When did Subject To Thoughts come to be?

Well, it’s funny how this project came alive. Back in 1999, when I got my first keyboard, it really started out as a joke. I thought, I’ll write a couple of songs and that’ll be the end of that, but then things started to take a turn. I first started calling the project Symphony of Thoughts, but I decided to change it to Subject to Thoughts. The first songs I wrote were utter crap, but I was starting to develop a style. It was not until I did “The Thought Process” cassette demo (back in 2003) when I realized that this was starting to get more serious. Eventually, it has.

It was not until late 2006 or early 2007 (2 cassette demos & 2 CD’s already completed) that I realized that I needed to add a vocalist because I was getting no where with my singing, so I added Brandon Strader to the mix. How me and Brandon started working together is funny. I sent my CD “From Emptiness to Beyond” for a review at Ultimate Metal, fortunately, Brandon was the reviewer. I guess he liked the music that much thus gave it a favorable review. We’ve been friends ever since.

The style seems quite moody, Who are your influences musically?

My influences are Dream Theater, My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Anekdoten & Enchant. Two other bands that have been a big influence are Type O Negative. R.I.P. Pete Steele & Vanden Plas. Even though we sound nothing like these bands, I guess that’s where the mix of moody & Progressive sound comes from.

What do you think of today’s mainstream music?

Crap. Don’t listen too it & don’t care for it.

What sort of audience are you trying to connect with, be it Prog, Ambient, Doom or other?

Well, I really don’t have a specific fan base I’m trying to reach, but I guess since our music is in the Progressive genre, that’s probably the people who will probably take more of an interest in our stuff. However, I’m content with any listener who wishes to listen and appreciate what we’re trying to accomplish. Of course, our music is not for everybody.

You have 2 projects, the other being “Transcend with Time” Is it hard to do both of them simultaneously?

Well, for me not really. I guess that’s where my passion for music takes over. Of course, sometimes it can get a little hectic writing music for 2 different genres, but that’s why I pace myself and I usually work on finishing one album then start working on the next. Since I tend to release an album every year for Transcend with Time which is my New Age/Ambient project, I usually start by first getting into my “New Age” mode. Then I start writing the music around Spring & into Fall. But I always go in knowing the direction I want the album to take, so that makes my work much easier.

For Subject to Thoughts which is my/our Progressive Rock/Metal project, it’s a little different because I have to write both the music & lyrics; however, that’ll probably change for future releases. Well, musically only. I guess getting into my “Prog/Doom” mode is much easier because that’s the type of music I listen to everyday; however, before anything I go in with a plan as to which direction I want the lyrics to go in & music. Since we don’t release an album every year that makes my job easier; however, when this project was still a solo one, I used to release an album every year. Brandon however told me to slow down, so I’ll try. Usually how like doing this is I first write the lyrics then the music. For me, writing lyrics is the easy part. I guess because I’ve been writing lyrics since I was about 12.

So, it sounds like a lot of going back and forth with both projects. Sometimes it is, but that’s the price of being a musician with multiple projects. In the end, I’m content because both projects give me the different levels of gratification.

The Culmination was just released on May 5, 2010, what’s the album about?

Well, “The Culmination” is the final part to the 4 part conceptual vision I started with “From Emptiness to Beyond” back in 2005. “The Culmination” is about finding closure to life. Lyrically, this album dealt with a lot of personal stuff, but all the albums I’ve written, are about real-life. Musically, it’s Dark, Progressive & Melodic.

What would you like Subject to Thoughts to be remembered as?

Well, even though it’s already been 11 years since I started this project, I hardly think we’ll be remembered. Geez, most people don’t even know we exist. But that’s okay, all that matters to me anyway is that I have (in some way) fulfilled my dream of becoming a musician and along the way made some good music. But to answer your question, I would like Subject to Thoughts to be remembered as a Progressive Rock/Metal band that always strived to play original, thought-provoking music and thus creating our own unique sound. But we are not going anywhere just yet, we’re going to continue to make the music we love for as long as we can. I can honestly say that probably the best is yet to come (hopefully).

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