MUSIC INTERVIEW: Schemata Theory

Spectating the Tech-Fest weekend were music fans and musicians alike, and one such band we were introduced to were Schemata Theory. We managed to sit down with them for a few words about the band and their new EP.

For the unassuming listener, how would you describe your music?

We typically just describe ourselves as metal as it were, as a lot of people get mixed up with sub-genres and we have no idea where we fit! We’re all influenced by different things, lots of metalcore bands but also the newer progressive bands, the Periphery’s and the Architects. Our vocalists are influenced by 80s prog bands as well so it comes out as metal-y music.

In a recent interview, you guys said your music changed with some line-up changes. Was that intentional or just a result of the natural progression of things?

I think it was just the nature of what happened. One of our members left the band about two years ago now and he was our main songwriter. When we decided we needed to write some new music and see what happens, we wanted to see if we could do it on our own to be honest. Because it’s different people writing, it’s slightly different, but because I’d been working in the band for longer, it still sounds like Schemata Theory. I think a lot of that comes from the vocals because we have two vocalists, and their distinct vocal styles bring out as Schemata Theory, with Luke doing clean vocals and Myles doing heavier vocals.

What was the decision behind having two vocalists?

When we first came to be Schemata Theory, we evolved from a previous band. Just before going into the studio to record our debut album, we parted ways with the old singer, so we actually recorded the first album as an instrumental album. Not through wanting to, just through the nature of things! After that, when we started looking for a singer, Myles was playing drums at the time. Myles has always been interested in doing vocals and he loves writing. Decent drummer, better vocalist, and Luke kept winning karaoke competitions as well, so we thought we’d give it a go! But there was never a deliberate intention to have two, it just happened to turn out very well.

As well as making the record sound good, how important was Justin Hill in the process of establishing an identity to recording your album?

Massively. We had never worked with him before, though we had obviously heard of him. We just came out of this massive change, still asking if we could do this on our own, and having Justin there really helped us give confidence in what we were doing. Obviously Justin and Mikee in SikTh were some of the forerunners in bands with two vocalists, so having his influence on how the vocals were being put together was immeasurably helpful.

Regarding writing, do you prioritise elements such as melody?

I think one of the things we made the conscious decision with making this new EP is that we wanted to give Myles and Luke as much room as possible to fulfil the potential they have as vocalists. A lot of the older stuff were quite technical and they provided some difficulties to put vocals over, so we decided to ring it in a little bit to give the vocals room to breathe. But other than that, it’s the standard tale of write some riffs, see what the others think and go from there!

You guys are making a new EP with only three tracks – why only three?

Time and money, in a nutshell. When we knew that changes were happening, we knew we needed to get back into the studio straight away and give us something to focus on and keep us going. If we hadn’t had something we were in danger of losing the interest of people. There were more songs than three but eventually in terms of studio time of short notice and getting Justin, these were the best three. So we decided to move into the studio with those and make the most of it!

Who are you looking forward to seeing at Tech-Fest this year?

Protest the Hero! They are definitely one of my favourite bands, the show they put on is phenomenal too. It’s like going to a comedy metal gig, and they’re all exceptional musicians! Destiny Potato too, Myles is a big fan of them, I haven’t checked out a lot of their material personally but I’ve heard they are a must-see.

Thanks for taking the time to chat to us!

Interview by Andrew Macdonald