Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Late Night Music with Frank- Kris Norris Projekt

Metal for your Late Night. Kris Norris was the lead guitarist for one my favorite bands Darkest Hour. He has now set out on his own, with devil horns and snow. The one thing I will always appreciate is intense guitar licks with dynamics and a heavy sound while still being musical. It is a craft that Norris has mastered and his solo release is proof of that.

More from Kris Norris Projekt and Magna Carta:

“Everything you hear on this record has been written by me,” says Norris. “The new and the older riffs and musical concepts sit side by side to create a full picture of my development.”

Taking a cue from the improvisational methodology of Magna Carta’s own prog-metal supergroup, Liquid Tension Experiment, Norris let his passion (and fingers) fly when it came to recording these tracks, a process that took just two weeks to complete.

“I’ve always loved Liquid Tension Experiment and I said if I had the opportunity to ever record an album in a similar vein I would take it,” says Norris. “In my own way, I accomplished this by, basically, creating these songs out of thin air. When we went into the studio I let the drummer [Dave Gibson] hear a little bit of a song. We’d hit record and just play. We continued like that for the entire session. Then when we did the bass tracks with Dave [Fugman] we did the same thing. I loved working this way and, I think, the record has an immediacy, a real fire, because of it.”

Aside from Liquid Tension, Norris draws on a variety of musical influences, everything from the death metal of Children of Bodom to opera. These elements are evident in the song foundations and Norris’ bold and accessible solos.

“I remember listening to opera when I was in music school and I was thinking that the music being played under the voices was beautiful and truly amazing,” says Norris, who studied classical music before ever picking up the guitar. “I had the idea to approach this record as if it were an opera record without the voices. Really, my guitar is ‘the voice.’”

And as with any good composer, his multi-layered material reveals its treasures – its truths -- upon repeat listens.

“In one song I have something like twenty-five different voices moving in counterpoint,” says Norris. “You might not catch all of them -- or the ambient lead line floating in the background – when you hear it for the first time. That was the point, really. I wanted to layer the record so that you keep returning to the CD to find new elements with each listen.”


I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.

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