Sylosis - Josh Middleton

Sylosis - Josh Middleton

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SYLOSIS have released the impressive "Monolith" and getting ready to tour the US supporting LAMB OF GOD and IN FLAMES. So, METAL KAOZ got in touch with the band's singer/guitarist Josh Middleton to get more info on the making of the new album and the upcoming live dates.

Hi Josh and welcome to METAL KAOZ. First of all, many congrats for the killer new album “Monolith”. Even if the album was released some days ago, what is the feedback you’re getting so far?
It's been insanely positive. The best reaction we've had to date which is awesome. We took a few risks and tried a few new things out this time around and it's so great knowing people like it. That's the best thing you can hope for. Moving forward but still pleasing your fans.

You have said that this album is the best representation of SYLOSIS. So, based on your point of view, how did you achieve this?
Just bringing in some influences that were missing, music that we love and listen to that wasn't coming through in the past. Lots of super dark, Sludgy, Doomy or Stoner stuff and really dark eeriness or atmosphere. Bands like NEUROSIS or ENSLAVED etc coupled with some more raw pinky vibes of bands like SUPERJOINT RITUAL etc.

Expanding the previous question, before starting to write the music for “Monolith” did you have any ideas about its music direction?
Yeah, pretty much. I wanted to make something really dark and that was a bit of a knee jerk reaction to all these other trends going on in heavy music right now. It's so hard to find bands nowadays playing RIFFS, you know.

“Monolith” is loosely based on Orpheus and Eurydice Greek Myth; first of all, how did you come up with the idea of basing the lyrics on such concept? And how loosely are the lyrics following the Greek Myth?
That's half true. I came up with the idea first and then realized the similarities between it and Orpheus and Eurydice Myth so just borrowed a few ideas again. It's fairly loosely for the most part and is a bit darker in general. It's not based on Orpheus and Eurydice and there are none of the same characters etc.

The album has an overall dark atmosphere, so this is because of the storyline or it just came out like this and then the lyrics followed?
Yeah the music always comes before the lyrics - as in the whole album's worth of music. I can't remember at which point I came up with the idea for the concept though. It's just a gradual thing usually.

How long did it take you to write and record “Monolith”? Did you face any difficulties while in the studio?
It still took a long time to write but the reason it came out so soon after our last album is because there was a long delay after recording “Edge Of The Earth” before it was released. So we already had about 4-5 songs before that record even came out. In terms of difficulties it was pretty standard for us, nothing too chaotic. Just heads down.

What was the writing process for “Monolith”? Did all the band’s members contribute to the making of the album?
For the most part it's just me in my room writing riffs all day. Bailey does always come up with some great stuff though like the intro to “What Dwells Within” and things always get changed here and there in the studio.

How important is the album’s production that I have to say sounds very natural and ‘live’, if I may say? What was the producer’s input in the recordings?
It's really important for the vibe and atmosphere of the album. Romesh was more focused on getting things recorded without over thinking them or being overly precise. We wanted the album to sound really honest and not 100% perfect.

Who is responsible for the album’s cover artwork and what is the connection with the story? There is no Orpheus’ lyre there, right? What was your input in the making?
As I mentioned earlier, it's not based on that story, it's completely its own thing in terms of what's depicted on the cover. It was done by our friend Dan Goldsworthy who did our previous album cover as well. He did an amazing job on it.

Are there any plans to shoot a video for a song from the new album? Are there any candidates?
We literally just shot a video for “Fear The World” yesterday but I don't think it will be seen for a few months. We filmed it with Ben at Sitcom Soldiers.

In some weeks from now, SYLOSIS will tour the US, supporting LAMB OF GOD and IN FLAMES. So, what the US fans can expect from SYLOSIS? After all, you won’t have much time for your setlist, right?
We'll be playing some new material and try to do a different set to the last US tour we did where the set length was the same. Our songs are fairly long too so we just have to pound them out without talking too much between songs!

How many songs from the new album are you planning to use on this US tour? Will you be changing songs every night?
Most likely 2-3 new songs a night. We might change the odd song here and there. Chris from LAMB OF GOD has learned one of our older songs so might come out and do that with us a few times.

Are there any plans to film parts of the US tour? Maybe make a DVD out of them?
Yeah there's someone from All Access magazine in the states who will be coming out with us on our next three tours (US, UK and Australia). I don't know if we'll be able to use the footage ourselves for a DVD or if they get it exclusively at this point.

Will the new album be available in the merch tables? Can we expect the vinyl edition there too?
It will be but unfortunately we don't have any vinyl just yet.

After the US tour, what is next in SYLOSIS’ calendar?
We have a UK headline tour in January and then we're off to Australia to do ‘Soundwave’ festival which tours over there. That's with METALLICA, SLAYER etc and it will be our first time there. Can't wait!

These were my question Josh so thank you for your time. Please send a message to the US fans who will have the chance to watch SYLOSIS opening for LAMB OF GOD and IN FLAMES.
Thanks for the support so far. Look forward to coming back to the US and hanging out with everyone!