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HTH: You guys recently released your new album Perpetuation interdependently. How has the reception been so far?
Eric: The reception has been great! We’ve received something like 30 reviews, most very positive, and have been charting on Canadian college radio for a few months. A lot of the reviews spoke precisely about what we intended to do with the album, which was harness our best elements in a more streamlined format, and write shorter but harder-hitting songs. We’re very happy!

I love the art throughout the album. Who came up with the concept and what is the concept exactly?
Eric: Thanks man! I (Eric) came up with the concept, and the same as on our Unspoken Words album form 2009, Cate Francis fleshed out my ideas visually. The cover art shows the end result of a competitive capitalist system, which is all power and money consolidated in the hands of just one person, at the expense of everyone and everything else. And what happens once you win, once you’re that person with all the power? Eat your money, I guess.

The name Perpetuation, what made you decide to name the album this?
Eric: Thematically, it’s about perpetuating either the current destructive system, or the human race. Those are the choices we face as I see it. We can’t continue destroying the planet as we have been and killing each other constantly and expect to keep evolving. We’re going to flicker out. On the other hand, there are so many great ideas for positive change, and if more people woke up to them we could really turn things around. The whole album is about that choice, those two options, be it on a macro societal scale or a micro personal scale.

Perpetuation has an added meaning, that being the perpetuation of our band. We almost called it quits after some major lineup changes in 2010, and this album is a statement to the fact that we’re still here, and stronger for what we went through.

I remember you said you had Sebastien Pittet from I think Switzerland, play the bass on the album. How did you get hooked up with him and how was working with him?
Eric: We met Sebastien through the Montreal metal scene while he was living here for a year with his girlfriend. He became a good friend and attended a lot of our shows. He’s also a fantastic bass player and did some touring with Augury. When we were recording Perpetuation, Max and I were going to be doing the bass since we had no permanent bass player at the time. We were game, but we’re guitar players, not bass players, so our parts would have been pretty standard-fare. A friend suggested we ask Seb, and as it turned out, he was fully equipped to record his parts from Europe. Thanks to his dedication and skill, and the great gift of Internet technology, he’s on the record. Sounds amazing too.

Did he write his own parts or did you already have bass written?
Eric: When any of us write music for Derelict, we tend to lay out a framework for the other instruments, but it always falls to the player of whatever given instrument to finalize those parts. Some of the bass suggestions on Perpetuation were pretty complex, like on Max’s song “Yours To Surpass”, and others were very simple like on my track “Ergogenic”. Seb used some of our stuff, but in the end added A LOT to the album with his fretless playing. I don’t really think our guide parts made much of a difference to him… in the end he’s going off sometimes into realms we really never imagined. The end of “Digital Birthright” is a great example of how he added a whole new dimension that only a fretless jazz bassist would have thought of.

So how did you guys go about writing Perpetuation?
Eric: As collaboratively as possible. In the past, songs were written more by one person or another, and used without alteration. In this case, we have more collaborations as you can see in the liner notes. Even the songs that were written by only one person were always work shopped by everyone else and approved as a band.

We use Guitar Pro a lot to work out parts at home and make sure everything works well together. That also allows everyone to come in with the songs learned, and not spend endless hours explaining riffs to each other. Jordan also used MIDI keyboards and Reason to compose “Olympic”.

When I saw you last, you had two new members, Xavier Sperdouklis (bass), Simon Cléroux (guitar), and they were both amazing. What made you decide on these two musicians and did they have a lot of competition for these positions?
Eric: First off, yes, our new boys are amazing. But, aside from being the best players we’ve had in those positions, they’re also just really chill and dedicated guys. Most of our lineup problems in the past have had to do with mismatched personalities. It takes a while to find a unit that works on the road and in business discussions. Running a band is a big project, and Xav and Simon are on the same page as us for everything so far. We’re looking forward to writing new music with them, and hopefully releasing our next album as this 5-piece lineup.

So for this album you guys decide to distribute it yourselves instead of through a label like with Unspoken Words (Year Of The Sun Records). What made you guys decide to do this?
Eric: The music business is a continually changing landscape. Every few months the promotional strategies people are using change, and there’s always something new you need to adapt to. Our current view of it is that very small labels run by only a few people who also work full-time day jobs are not necessarily better-suited than the bands themselves to follow these changes and run things. In some cases, they absolutely are. For us, we have several well-organized heads in the band, and we figured that if we’re going to give away any cut of our sales to someone else, they need to be providing us with a service that we absolutely cannot do ourselves.

Can you tell us the pros and cons with the two scenarios of being on a label and being independent?
Eric: It really depends on the label. If you’re with a larger label that can provide a recording budget, a direct line to booking agents, and tour support, it’s complete game changer. If you’re with a very small local label, it might mean absolutely nothing at all. It really depends on the team. When you’re independent, absolutely nothing happens unless you do it yourself. That’s okay, we’re game!

What can we expect from Derelict in 2012?
Eric: As I write this we’re heading towards the first date of the Eastern Emergence Tour in the Canadian Maritimes, so if you’re out there, come catch a gig. We also want to focus on playing some larger gigs around Quebec and Ontario, including a few festivals. We’re also constantly working on new material, so hopefully there will be new music before you guys get tired of Perpetuation!

Thanks for your support! See you out there.

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