Intervals set to enthrall SA fans at Krank’d Up

Aaron Marshall is a household name in the instrumetal and progressive metal circles with his catchy hook orientated song writing with his band Intervals. These legends will visit South African shores for the first time in September at Krank’d Up Festival and are sure to enthrall audiences with their mesmerising tunes. Potchefstroom Herald caught up with Aaron Marshall ahead of their tour to South Africa.

1) Welcome to South Africa, I am sure the music fans here will be appreciative of your music. How would you go about describing your music to listeners who might not have heard of you before?

Thanks for having me! I’d say Intervals is best described as catchy, progressive, instrumental rock with more of a focus on memorable, hook oriented song writing and less about technical flash. Fun and easy to get in to, especially live!

2) Where does your band name Intervals, come from. Any specific meaning to it?

Intervals was a name I decided to use as a moniker for the music I make back when I started doing this whole thing in 2010 or so. By definition, an Interval represents the distance or space between two or more objects, or time itself. I decided I liked what it represents since it can allude to the mechanics of a lot of musically related concepts, but if you really sit and think about it, you can find significance in its implied meaning beyond music itself. Pretty interpretive. I enjoy literary notions like that.

3)  Intervals are renowned for their progressive and creative music, and I don’t think it would be fair to categorise yourself into a genre. What would you say influences your musical tastes and writing?

I’m always just trying to channel the things I like about music. I find a lot of what comes through is based heavily on nostalgia, so I tend to find allusions to themes that have been rolling around in my head since my childhood. I’ve always been into everything from pop punk, to metal, to electronic music, pop music, R&B, hip hop, etc… There isn’t much I don’t like. When I sit down to write, I just let whatever feels like it needs to come out just happen and run with it.

4) Previously, you included vocals in your music what was the shift to going purely instrumental on the second album?

The first two releases in my catalogue were both instrumental EP’s. Its truly where I started out and making music that revolves around the guitar has always been my honest passion. At the same time, the opportunity presented itself in 2013 to potentially try making a record with a vocal approach and I think that being progressive is about taking risks and trying things. I’m super proud of that record and that time period for Intervals, but it was a slight tangent in the bigger picture.

Instrumental music feels the most honest for me to compose and pursue. Everything that Intervals is built on and all of the wonderful things that have happened since making the switch back to the original approach is an indicator of what works best for Intervals and I’m so grateful that people connect with the music like that.

5) Would you say that you challenge yourself to improve musically on each album? What are you proud off on your second album The Shape of Colour? How does the writing process work for Intervals?

I find it can be a bit of a challenge at first when beginning to create a new body of work, but once I find where things want to go naturally, it starts to come together and find its own way. In regards to TSOC, I’m the most proud of doing just that. Being as honest as possible and letting the music show me where it wants to take itself. The writing process has always been relatively similar though. Ideas are a product of just jamming and vibing with ideas and if I feel like they’re song worthy, I record them and compose other elements around them like drums, bass, keys, etc… I finish arrangements and then re-work/improve drum ideas with whoever is tracking drums for the album and that tends to influence how the flow of a given song evolves. Everything else is just a matter of composing elements that compliment the core of the tune. That’s pretty much it!

6)   What do you expect of South Africa? What are your expectations for Krank’d Up?

I’m not really sure what to expect! A lot of my friends in Protest The Hero, Periphery, and Unearth have all played Krank’d up before and have told me its going to be an unreal experience and a super fun show. I can’t wait!

7) What are your favourite songs to play live? What can fans expect from a live Intervals show?

I’m actually on tour right now and we’ve been playing some songs from the new record (out later this year). Those are really doing it for me right now, but I always have a blast playing Sure Shot, Fable, Blackbox, Libra and Momento. Fans can expect a high energy performance, quality production, and hints of spontaneity. I find this music really comes to life in a live environment.

8) What would you say does it take to be in a successful band? Tips for new bands starting out?

I’d say the most important things, beyond honest art and understanding the strategic nature of the business, is persistence and consistency. If you make fresh, exciting music, and have the wherewithal to navigate the business, you just need maintain a steady output of quality content. Everything else falls in place when the time is right.

9) 5 interesting facts that fans might not know of the band?

– Intervals is more of a nickname then it is a band. I perform live with a handful of super talented guys, but from conception to fruition its one dude.

– I am 100% independent and I’m a major advocate for independent artists in today’s modern music industry landscape.

– I played my first show as Intervals, supporting Periphery, the Human Abstract, Textures and The Contortionist back in 2012

– A lot of people assume I’m American for some reason, but I’m born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

– I’m obsessed with drums and would most likely be drumming for a band if I didn’t pursue guitar as my focus.

10) What is next in the pipeline for Intervals. Where does your inspiration for music come from?

I’ve got a new album that’s currently being mixed which I’m aiming to have out later this year! I tend to find inspiration in everything from music, to literature, movies, scenery, etc… Anything that leaves me with a lasting vibe tends to influence something at some point, but at the same time, it’s really hard to define exactly what that stuff is. I’m just making it all up as I go.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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