"Be Gone" and KIT
2008 will be the year
of Pharaoh's world domination!!
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
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
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
- 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
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
If interested, sign up at:
© Cruz Del Sur 2007