With the release of his first full-length album, “Atlas,” due out later this month, Jacob Lizotte the mastermind behind the band, Feign, was kind enough to take the time and answer some questions I had for him. This one-man band combines atmospheric black metal and melodic death metal to create one unique and enjoyable listening experience. You can find a link to my review of, “Atlas,” at the end of this interview.
Hi there Jacob! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Also, congratulations on your first full-length release, “Atlas.” How does it feel to have a full-length album out and available for people to check out?
Jacob: It feels mighty fine.
Now I reviewed, “Into the Void” last year and have heard some of the songs from “Lost to Eternity,” and I really enjoy those recordings, especially the songs on, “Into the Void.” What did you learn from those releases that might have helped influence you when writing and recording, “Atlas?”
Jacob: I liked the demos but I hadn’t fully captured the essence of how I wanted Feign to sound until now. The sound will continue to evolve, but now I feel as if it’s really established itself.
Production quality is extremely important and it can truly make or break an album in my opinion. How you do feel about the album’s production quality? Also, can you maybe talk about where you recorded the album and briefly go through the process?
Jacob: It gives the exact vibe that I wanted it to give. I wouldn’t change any aspect of the production, I want it to sound a bit old and weathered but while conveying a certain amount of clarity and allowing all of the layers to stay audible. I recorded it in my bedroom with an SM57.
I feel there are a lot of solid tracks on this release to where I would have a hard time picking out a favorite. Is there a song on the album you feel most proud of writing, or are there maybe a few tracks you think really standout?
Jacob: I like the title track a lot, mostly because it’s like an entire beast in its own. The title track was written last summer and it took me by far the longest it’s ever taken for me to write a single song. I’m proud of it, I think it’s sort of a good “overview” of the album and ends it on a good note. Other than that, I really like “…A Visitor” and I will definitely be exploring more emotional and melodic ideas like that in future releases.
As much as I hear atmospheric black metal in your music, I also hear a variety of other unique sounding musical elements at times. I was wondering if you could talk about some of the bands who influenced you growing up and maybe inspired you to write your own music?
Jacob: I could give you a list of super obscure black metal bands to sound musically savvy, or I could be honest and tell you what really influenced me and potentially shift the way you see or hear the music. Feign is more influenced by melodic death metal then anything. I grew up listening to a ton of In Flames, Metallica, At The Gates, Soilwork and even Killswitch Engage. You get the point, I love all forms of music and appreciate all forms of metal and music. In my mind Feign is early In Flames with blast beats, high screams and a heavier emphasis on atmosphere and progressive elements. I love Black Metal and everything but it’s not where my heart lies completely by any means.
Not only do I find the instrumental compositions to be extremely creative, but the lyrics on this album also seem to convey great imagination. I was wondering, where do you look for lyrical inspiration and maybe talk about the lyrical origins for some of these songs?
Jacob: I’m not really sure. I sort’ve just try and use imagery and metaphors to convey certain ideas about society, relationships and even my own personal thoughts. It’s not THAT well thought out, to be honest, it’s just as thought as the music itself.
Are you interested in getting other musicians to come in and play with you in Feign, or do you want to keep this a one-man band? Also, are you interested in having Feign play live shows at some point?
Jacob: I wouldn’t mind collaborating but I’m sure I’d be hard to work with at this point, after years and years of creating music on my own. Playing shows would be neat but again, I don’t know anyone that plays instruments and I don’t mind doing it solo. If you know anyone who can play drums or something have them give me a shoutout.
I know this might be a bit early since, “Atlas,” is just being released, but is there already another potential album in the works? Will there be more creative atmospheric extreme sounding music in the future listeners can except from Feign? If this is top secret classified information I understand you might not be able to give the readers the full details, but maybe subtle hints might be sufficient...
Jacob: It’s top secret. Only 3 people in the known world possess such highly volatile information, and will be shot on command if they utter any word or phrase that hints at its existence. Kidding! Yeah, I mean I’ve actually recently been working on newer stuff and it’s been super fun. I’ve enjoyed writing for Feign now more than ever, the sound is expanding and I’m drawing on new elements, as well as other cool things going on. It should be fun to see how the newer music will compare to Atlas and such. I’m thinking about bringing in some electronic elements and maybe more thrashy/death metal type stuff just lingering in there. But of course the sole sound will stay and there will be moments of “classic Feign” sprinkled all over it. It’ll be like an ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles!
Well, congratulations once again and I truly believe your hard work has paid off, because “Atlas” is definitely an album that I highly recommend people check out. Can’t wait for what Feign has to offer up next! Cheers! \m/
Jacob: Thanks mate. Hold up them devil horns for me! I appreciate the interview!
Link to Review of "Atlas":
Link to Feign Facebook Page: