Exclusive: interview with The Algorithm
Remi Gallego AKA The Algorithm is a young musician who isn't afraid to combine seemingly incompatible elements of different musical styles and incorporate many various features to his sound. This non-standard musical approach has brought him a solid level of popularity among fans of progressive metal and djent. That's why, in anticipation of his debut full-length release, we contacted Remi and asked him for an exclusive interview with got-djent.com. He kindly agreed and below you can read the result.
Why did you decide to start this solo project and what were your expectations of it?
As a huge fan of The Dillinger Escape Plan, I originally started The Algorithm as a mathcore project. My old band Dying Breath split up, but I wanted to keep on making music with other musicians. I didn't find anyone, so I decided to do this on my own, just for fun. I wasn't expecting to go this far in electronic experimentations, but glitching guitars is something I've always wanted to do. I added synths and started to have fun with electronic drum kits, and then the idea of combining electronic music with metal just came naturally.
How would you describe your music to someone that's never heard it?
I honestly don't know, a crossover between IDM and metal maybe... I heard the term “cinematic metal” from someone who described it, and it might be something like that.
What are some of your favourite The Algorithm songs?
'Access Denied' and more recently 'Continuity' are the ones I prefer. I think they describe my musical personality very clearly, in the way that they both progress and combine a lot of different elements and musical genres.
How do you come up with such varied music ideas? Could you briefly describe your recording process?
I compose songs directly on the DAW (digital audio workstation), like an electronic artist, and it allows me to visualize directly what I'm writing. It's like a horizontal 2D retro game. Just imagine a character running through different universes and ambiances. In fact, this way I can actually "see" a song, it's not just random sounds. I think I'm trying to record each song just as if it were a story full of twists. That's why I love brutal changes, and abnormal progressions. I want each part to be unpredictable. Just like a great scenario!
How would you say your music has evolved from your first releases to now?
'The Doppler Effect' is more human-metal oriented, 'CRITICAL.ERROR' is between two worlds, and 'Identity' is clearly electronic-metal oriented. I think I have finally found the sound I was searching for since the beginning, and I'm very proud of it. Also, working on a DAW helped me a lot to understand what sound design is, so my recent releases are full of details and sound effects conferring a cinematic dimension to the songs, which is an approach less visible on my first releases.
It’s very interesting how the name “The Algorithm” came about, how did you come up with it?
I wanted to put the emphasis on this aspect of a mechanical way of making music. Something completely geometric, logical and harsh. Also, I love abstract art. I consider some geometric abstract works as an algorithmic vision of art because of this absence of figurative figures. I really love this mathematical aspect, and this is part of what inspires me while making music. This is why “The Algorithm” describes my music to my mind very well.
Is making music for you more like a hobby, or you consider it to be your vocation?
I would say that audio engineering in general is what I want to do in my life. I have an overflowing passion for everything that is related to audio and sound, I mean it's not just music. Music is a particular area of a gigantic universe of feelings and I want to dedicate my life to exploiting every possibility of sound perception, whether it’s music or not.
Who would you name as your main influences?
Daft Punk, Veil Of Maya, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Genghis Tron, Boards Of Canada, After The Burial, Aphex Twin, Meshuggah, 4chan.
Paradoxically, I can spend an entire day without listening to music. I just focus on the large amount of sounds life is giving us day after day, and this is what inspires me the most.
What can you tell us about your upcoming release? How will it differ from the previous ones?
'Identity' will be a concept album based on the idea of mirroring two worlds. The first part of the album will talk about the common perception of time, the middle part will be like a portal into something else, so that the last part will be centered on chaos and randomness. It will bring the best of the two demos with a lot of experimentation and, as I said, a cinematic aspect. Actually, this album is just a huge song split into several ones without cuts or blanks. I have never done this before (apart from the ‘Kernel’ trilogy), but I'm really excited about it, and it sounds really good at the moment.
Do you have any plans on collaborating with any other musicians? Maybe you have other interesting musical plans for the future that you can share?
I'll still do everything, but some friends are going to sing on some of the songs. However, it won't be generic singing at all. The same as I'm doing for guitar parts, vocal samples will be full of effects and experimental stuff. I'm trying to do something really unique that no one has done before.
It's pretty impressive that you make all your music on your own. Did your friends give you any support with the project?
One of my best friends (Florent) did vocals on my first demo; he'll surely appear again for ‘Identity’ with better lyrics and sound. He helped me a lot to find my own sound and was the first one to hear my early works. All of my friends in music are supporting me the best they can, I owe them a fuckin’ lot.
Your releases are available for free, as far as I know, but have you ever thought about earning some money from them?
Actually, 'Identity' will be available both as a CD version and for free download. So if people like it, they can buy it. The money I earn from this will entirely be put into live hardware purchases, but I do not want people to feel forced to spend money to hear it. This is art, so I don't care to become rich or whatever with it; I largely prefer nice words and support!
You are successfully combining elements of different kinds of music (dubstep and metal in particular). Which of these styles are closer to you personally? Do you consider yourself part of the growing djent scene?
Metal is like my first love, and still the music genre I prefer because it conveys the violence and the intensity of feelings very well. Dubstep is like an electronic version of metal, this is why combining the two of them can bring of the best of two worlds. I'm not completely a djent musician. Well, of course, I love the tone, polyrhythms and its general complexity, which are the elements I use to compose my music, among various others, but I don't want to be classified as a representative of a particular kind of music.
Do you have any plans to go live and start playing concerts?
Ya ya ya! I'll start performing shows this summer. I want them to be really original, like the music I make, so there will be guitar parts as well as DJ parts. Also, guitar playing will be centered on the idea of a “numeric guitarist” with a lot of effects and glitches, completely managed by the computer. I think this is something no one has done before, it’s an interesting concept! (Also, I want girls showing their boobs to the audience. In fact this is my priority ).
Rumour has it that you will be performing on the next edition of Euroblast festival. What can you say on this matter?
I am fucking scared But this is also why it's exciting. I'm putting in a lot of effort to perform the best show I can and also to surprise everyone. I just don't want to do a generic live performance, I want this one to be really unique so that everyone will enjoy it a fuckin’ lot.
You recently joined the band Floating Wood. What made you make this choice? How does it feel to be in a band after having a solo project? Doesn’t it intervene with your solo work?
These guys are the best musicians I know and are also awesome friends. They have a lot of potential; also, we share the same idea of "fusing" music genres. We combine elements of djent with post-core, post-rock and various other things, and it results in something entirely new and really interesting. It doesn't intervene with my project, because it forces me to work on my guitar, which is something really important. I don't want to be a geek all my life
What is your parents’/friends’ attitude to the fact that you are a musician? Did it cause any family issues or other inconveniences for you?
As I said, my friends are supporting me. They believe in what I do, and I don't have to ask them to spread the word because they do it every day. For my parents, it's more complicated, they aren't into this kind of experimental music at all, so they think I might be crazy or something. However, they were supporting me since the beginning even though they don't really get it. (Haha, I love you guys!!!)
How do you manage to combine your studying and musical career?
This is extremely difficult, and this is why I want to focus my studies on sound, in a general aspect. I just can't see myself doing anything else, and what I'm doing at the moment (computer science) is a bit too distant from my expectations and my tastes, so I'm going to radically stop it and start something new in the field I'm dedicated to follow. I'm way too involved in it and I just can't have another life aside.
Have you ever been sick of making music and had a desire to quit?
It happens that I'm just tired of being in front of a computer, doing music or whatever, but it's something that actually happens to everyone, and this is unrelated to music.
I think that's it, thank you for the interview. Maybe you have something more to add?
TITS OR GTFO!
Thanks to Remi for patiently answering all our questions.
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