"Be Gone" and  KIT X -

2008 will be the year of Pharaoh's world domination!!



US METAL band PHARAOH is once again in the studio, for the recordings of their third album “Be Gone”, which is going to be released shortly before their first European appearance (and first show ever!!!) at the Germany’s KEEP IT TRUE FESTIVAL taking place on April the 5th, 2008 at the Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen.


What follows is a brief studio-report with some anticipations on what to expect from “Be Gone”…



- Hello guys, what can you tell us of the state of the recordings of “Be Gone”?

Matt Johnsen (guitar): The drums, rhythm guitars, and bass are all recorded, and Tim is about halfway through the vocals.  Most of the melody guitars are done and at least half the leads are recorded, but there are still a few noodly bits to record.  When Tim is done, [producer/engineer] Matt Crooks and I need to find amp tones and re-amp all of the guitars.  This is a highly technical procedure which involves drinking a lot of beers while we play the songs back over and over.

Chris Black (drums): Recording drums was a similar process, though far less technical.

Tim Aymar (vocals): We're going to be finishing my tracks next week, and we'll be going back to the first couple tracks we did and adding a few artistic touches. These have been the most productive Pharaoh sessions to date, and the results are also the best ever. I've had a much easier time with these tunes, and even found it strange at times that there were not any major obstacles or technical problems. Oddly enough, no beers were involved in the vocal recordings. Coffee, lots of water, Matt's special throat tea, and black licorice were my choice of weapons. After a couple sessions, we did have a few beers though. This record has been the most productive yet for me with Pharaoh.

- Musically speaking, what have we to expect from “Be Gone”?  People ask for a new "By the Night Sky", will we find another epic suite like that one on the new album?

MJ:  You can expect more action from shorter songs!  In general, the arrangements and riffs themselves are more complex, but we went out of our way to craft songs that don't waste any time.

TA:  There's a lot more singing going on with this one, more musical substance without superfluous repetition. One song, which at first seems like it might qualify as epic is "Cover Your Eyes and Pray", which lands at only about four and a half minutes.

CB:  I agree.  Our arrangements are very economical this time around, and the songs are therefore generally more sophisticated and articulate.  All of our trademark strengths are still present.  You could say that they’re all the more emphasized by the way we approached the songwriting.  The album as a whole is very dense and quite challenging, but I’m not sure what particular song might qualify as epic.

MJ:  Only one song, "Buried at Sea" could qualify as epic, but it's very much a different sort of song from "By the Night Sky," even if it was mostly written by Chris Kerns.  If nothing else, it's one of the most dynamic songs on the new album.  I think it will turn a few heads.

Chris Kerns (bass):  It’s often a challenge to shorten song lengths, and limit repetitions of parts that you’re really happy with, but if done efficiently then the end result is a better listening experience.  I guess it’s a matter of trying hard to think objectively with the material, as much as possible.

- Once again French artist JP Fournier will be working on the cover and on the artwork of the album and Matt Crooks is again behind the recording and mixing console. Can we say that both JP and Matt are part of the PHARAOH mystique already?

CK:  That’s definite, I’d say we already have a signature look in terms of our artwork, thanks to JP.  And, without Matt Crooks, it’s very difficult to imagine what Pharaoh would be sounding like today.

CB:  You can be sure.  I see Pharaoh as inclusive of the talents of these folks.  I have to also mention our label, Cruz del Sur, which has always been a vital organ in the band’s anatomy.  We’d probably never have even made our first album without the encouragement and unwavering belief that Cruz del Sur has given.

- You are preparing for your first show ever, at the German KEEP IT TRUE festival in April 2008, what are your feelings about it?

MJ:  With any luck we won't embarrass ourselves!  It's going to be a special experience, to be sure.  None of us can wait to take Pharaoh to the stage, and if all goes well, KIT will not be the last time Pharaoh makes noise in public.

CB:  We’ve set aside 2008 as a year when we’ll focus only on live shows.  No new songwriting until 2009, and no new album until 2010.  As for Keep It True, we’re sorting out the setlist at the moment, so fans should get in touch with their requests.  Now is the time!


TA: It will be a first for all of us to perform together, and also to play outside of the U.S., so I look forward to it enthusiastically. Performing has always been my strongest suit, and I enjoy it more than anything. I know that Germany loves metal, so I anticipate a very exiting show. I hope it will turn out to be a rewarding and memorable experience and not just a flash in the pan event. Everyone involved will be putting forth a great deal of effort to bring Pharaoh together on stage for the sake of the fans. It means a lot of planning, sacrifice and a leap of faith from the band.  I hope the fans will appreciate all of this, because it's for them, not us. This is what they want.  


PHARAOH has a community/street team open to anyone who wants to help spreading the name of the band and its music as well as chat about the band and other issues not necessarily related to the band.

If interested, sign up at: http://pharaohstreetteam.com/


© Cruz Del Sur 2007