Date : 22nd August, 2016 // In the INTERVIEWS section of MetalRulz, today we are showcasing TESSITURA – a progressive death metal band from the frozen soils of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
MetalRulz in conversation with Gord Alexander (Drummer) of Tessitura :
MetalRulz – Tessitura combines the speed of thrash metal, the intensity of death metal, the melody of power metal, and the attitude of metalcore; all while offering the mind-expanding experience of progressive music. Can you tell us what exactly defines the sound of Tessitura.
Tessitura – We are basically four metalheads, all with different favorite styles of metal. When we get into a room together and write, what comes out is an eclectic mix of all of our influences. We love all styles of metal, and we are influenced by all styles, so we never wanted to limit ourselves by labels. We just do what comes naturally to us, and we think its pretty cool.
MetalRulz – Gord, you are the drummer of the band. As a child what kind of music did you grow up listening to and your childhood idols?
Tessitura – When I was very young I was all about KISS, Alice Cooper, Maiden, Sabbath & Priest, and my first idol of drums was Peter Criss. As I grew into a teenager I discovered Metallica and started worshiping Lars and my tastes got progressively heavier from there. I would have to say that my current style of playing is mostly influenced by Chris Adler, Mike Portnoy, Danny Carey & modern thrash drumming.
MetalRulz – How and when was this band formed? Introduce us to your current band members and their weapon of choice …
Tessitura – The band was formed in 2008 by Stephan, Leillyn & myself. We went to the same high school and were all struggling to find some talented metalheads to form a band with. We all heard about each other through the grapevine and decided to get together and it just clicked. 8 years later we’re still hammering down!
The current lineup is :
Stephan Ceña – Lead Vocals, Guitar (Jackson Guitars, Peavey Amps)
Chris Devries – Guitar, Vocals (Jackson Guitars, Engl / Vader Amps)
Leillyn McColman – Bass, Vocals (Schecter Guitars, Mesa / Peavey Amps)
Gord Alexander – Drums (Tama Drums & Hardware, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Heads, Zildjian Drumsticks)
MetalRulz – Tessitura released ‘Battle to Eternity’, their debut album in June 2010. Please take us through the making of the album …
Tessitura – ‘Battle to Eternity‘ was our first experience making a record, and we had no clue what we were doing haha. The band was finding its sound during the writing stage, and I think that evolution can be heard on the album. We made a lot of mistakes during the production of the album, but overall its a good collection of tunes, and there’s a few favorites that are still in the setlist.
MetalRulz – Tessitura’s second album ‘Savage Embrace‘ was released in 2013. The album was well received and even landed radio play on various online stations. How did the sound of the band mature during this period?
Tessitura – By the time ‘Battle to Eternity‘ was complete we had a good grasp on who we were as a band, in terms of sound. The writing stages of ‘Savage Embrace‘ came very naturally and effortlessly and we entered the studio remembering the mistakes we had made on the first record, so the overall product is a massive improvement from the first record.
MetalRulz – Which record label signed Tessitura on these two albums?
Tessitura – We are an independent band. Both of our albums have been funded, released and promoted by us personally.
MetalRulz – Shortly after the release of ‘Savage Embrace‘, one of the band members Shayne Yap (Guitars) made the decision to leave Tessitura. Did this event caused the band to halt its momentum or was this the beginning of next era of Tessitura.
Tessitura – It absolutely caused us to halt for a period of time. We kept things moving but we definitely slowed down. But when we brought Chris Devries in, it definitely marked the new era of Tessitura. Chris has been with us almost 3 years now, and we love having him, he’s a great player, great writer and a good guy to have around. His style brings a brutal heaviness to our sound that we’re having a great time exploring.
MetalRulz – Videos of live recordings including ‘Victory On The Nightside’, ‘Scorpion Woman’ and ‘Bereft Of A Genesis‘ have been getting good views on YouTube. How has been the crowd reaction to your songs live?
Tessitura – We tailor our live set to be heavy and hard-hitting, and people generally respond very well. ‘Victory on the Nightside‘ & ‘Scorpion Woman‘ are 2 of the fan favorites that we have been playing for years. ‘Bereft of a Genesis‘ is a new song and people are loving the new material.
MetalRulz – The band recently performed at a gig – ‘Metal Goes Pop’ at the Rendezvous Pub, where you did cover songs of pop artists – Ricky Martin (Livin La Vida Loca), George Michael (Careless Whisper) and Ylvis (The Fox). This is very unbecoming of a metal band … your views !!
Tessitura – Haha, yes! Very unbecoming indeed! One of our favorite local promoters (Dustin Ekman @ Crown of Viserys) approached us with this idea and we were immediately on board. We “metalized” the songs and made them like they’ve never been before haha. Our local buds “The Spruce Moose” & “Waking Mayhem” put their spin on some pop classics too. It was a great time, man. Good times and laughs had by all!
MetalRulz – How is the ‘Underground Metal’ scene at your part of the world?
Tessitura – The metal scene in Edmonton is thriving, but the live music scene is not, unfortunately. Every year we seem to lose another club to the point where there is only a small handful of places to play now. But the metal community here is amazing. There are countless great bands and we all go to as many shows as possible and support each other. We’re very fortunate to have people like Tyson Travnik (Farmageddon & Shredmonton Festivals), Rod Gillis (DV8), Calvin & all the staff at the Rendezvous Pub, and many, many others who work their asses off to keep the scene alive. If it wasn’t for these guys, the underground metal fans, and our fellow local bands, we wouldn’t be able to do this, and we are eternally grateful.
MetalRulz – What is the road ahead for Tessitura and and any plans to come up with a new album in near future?
Tessitura – Absolutely! We’re currently playing piles of shows and working hard writing kickass new material. Our tentative plan is to hit the studio in the new year for album #3, but we’ll see how the creative juices flow haha.
MetalRulz – Our bloggers on MetalRulz would like to follow your band on social websites. Let us know the social websites where the band is active and as well as Tessitura’s official website.
Tessitura – We appreciate that very much!
Official website : www.tessiturametal.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TessituraMetal/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/TessituraMetal
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/user/TessituraMetal
Band Camp : https://tessiturametal.bandcamp.com/
SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/tessitura-metal
MetalRulz – Thanks and wish Tessitura all the best in the years ahead.