Interview mit Chris Wiseman von Shadow Of Intent

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The american Symphonic Metal/Deathcore-band SHADOW OF INTENT released their fourth record in January. We got the chance to talk with songwriter and guitarist Chris Wiseman about „Elegy“ , the connection between SHADOW OF INTENT and „Star Wars“ and the artists that influenced the writing of their newest album. Furthermore he gave us insight in their touring plans until next year.

Shadow Of Intent Yellow Logo

Hello Chris, thank you for taking your time to do this interview. How are you these days?
I am well, long time no see!

With your fourth album you have remained independent, decided not to use a label and do everything yourselves. Why is independence so important to you? With a label you would certainly be able to gain even more reach.
Record labels have made it difficult for a lot of our peers to make a decent living outside of touring, the pandemic especially highlighted how lucky we were to be independent and keep a fair share of our hard work when tours couldn’t happen. It may make sense for us at some point, but not yet.

You chose Blood Blast Distribution for digital marketing. Are digital distribution and streaming the most important channels for you when it comes to share your music?
They are very important, and yes perhaps the most important. Because of the algorithms involved, they make it very easy for new music to be discovered, versus physical distribution in an age where many people that buy physical records aren’t doing it in brick and mortar stores.

What is your opinion about CDs and LPs? Is it still an important medium for you or rather a nice addition for hardcore fans and collectors? Here in Germany „Elegy“ is unfortunately hard to get on CD.
Yes they are still important, they have essentially just become merch / collector items since people listen more and more digitally.

Shadow Of Intent Bandfoto

I think “Elegy” is a little less black-metally, but more proggy and especially more orchestral. Is this matching with your opinion on the album and was it intentional to go in that direction?
Yes, that’s a very accurate way of putting it.

Many of the symphonic parts of “Elegy” reminded me of movie soundtracks. What soundtrack composers or movie soundtracks might have inspired you and do you particularly like?
Hiroyuki Sawano was one of the main inspirations for a few of the songs. Subconsciously, perhaps some John Williams made it in there as well since I’ve listened to him since early childhood.

When talking about influences from soundtracks, especially the single “Of Fury” stands out and differs the most from everything you have done before. Was there something special that influenced this track? How were the reactions of your bandmates when they first heard it?
The track was influenced by the European power metal that I like. The band was very receptive when I sent it over.

The title track “Elegy” is the longest song you ever made (if you count all three parts together). It got some interesting fills, great solos, and a lot of different riffs. Despite all this it has the most melodic chorus of SHADOW OF INTENTs career. Could you please tell us something about the song: Was it intended to create such a monstrous track? How did it all come together?
I wrote a solid chunk of the intro (Elegy I) and Ben said that it sounded like it should be the final track. I knew for this album I wanted it to include the longest song I ever wrote and I didn’t initially intend for it to be the final track, but when Ben said that I knew it could just be an extended intro for a long epic track. It took a long time but I put together the song in one session and then divided it at two points for the final exports.

What do you think about a live realization with a big orchestra? Other big extreme metal bands like Dimmu Borgir or Septicflesh have already proven that this can work very well.
I think it’s incredible, I hope to do that one day!

Lyrically the main topic of “Elegy” seems to be the cruelty of war. Why did you (or Ben) decide to build the album around this matter and how does it connect to the instrumentals in your opinion?
The history of war is one of the topics that Ben is most interested in, at this point in his life it was what he had the most to say about.

On the album there are two guest appearances – Phil Bozeman from Whitechapel and Chuck Billy from Testament. Two bands that seem to have inspired you from the very beginning. How does it feel to have these features on your own record now?
I’m so grateful to those guys for being a part of our music. It definitely highlights to me how long we’ve been playing music and how hard we’ve worked to be here.

After the instrumental version of „Melancholy“, are you planning a similar special version for „Elegy“?
It’s a strong possibility.

Shadow Of Intent Elegy CoverartworkWhile you had to postpone your European tour for the second time now, you already played your first shows in the US back in October with Born Of Osiris. In a few weeks you go on tour with Cannibal Corpse. How does it feel to be back on the road? Does it feel different than before the pandemic?
It is great to be back, but also scary because countries are shutting down still to this day, it is very hard if that happens during a tour.

Will you have a claw machine competition with Corpsegrinder?
If we are lucky and he is willing, it will happen.

Last time we talked, you told us that the first European shows for SHADOW OF INTENT should be something unique and during the festival season. After two years of cancellations, you haven’t announced any European shows for the summer yet. Can we expect you to travel over here this year or do the fans have to wait for your headliner-tour in January 23?
There are no signs that travel conditions are improving, it is best for us to play it safe and come for January.

Let’s conclude with our traditional brainstorming. What comes to your mind first when you read the following words?
Current favorite album: Silent Planet – Iridescent
“Elegy” is the perfect soundtrack for this movie: Halo TV Series?
Best Movie-/Series-/Book-Universe: Star Wars
Something that makes every bad day better: Food
Shadow Of Intent in ten years: Finally playing with live orchestra!

Thank you once again for your time! The last words are all yours.
Thank you to everyone that has checked out Elegy, we hope to see you all soon!


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