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Chip, Rich & Matt (Lapse Of Irony)

Interview with Chip, Rich & Matt from Lapse Of Irony
by Michael Dalakos at 18 November 2005, 11:28 PM

Lapse Of Irony managed to impress me with their latest EP. So I decided to speak with this new act from the US. Chip Franz (guitars), Rich Van Leeuwen (bass) and Matt Turkington (drums) were there to answer my questions.

Welcome to our online magazine. I have to say I really liked your work. Please let’s start with a short biography of the band.

Thanks so much for the opportunity for being interviewed on such a well-known and well-respected website!

Chip: Lapse of Irony is Bethany Franz (vocals), Matt Turkington (drums), Chip Franz (guitar), Angelino Wood (guitar), Rich Van Leeuwen (bass) and Winter Wood (keyboards). In the fall of 2002 Justin Gersey and I decided to form a female-fronted atmospheric Rock band. Bethany responded to a local Internet want ad in December and tried out, immediately impressing us. After an extensive search for a drummer, Matt was discovered in spring of 2003 and we began to write music as a four-piece.

Justin recorded and produced our debut three-song Demo in the fall of 2003. All of this was done without a bassist so another exhausting member search took place. Bob Bryant (ex-Summer Dying) answered the call and we were finally a fully functioning five-piece. We began playing local shows and gaining a reputation as something unique and exciting. In the winter of 2003-04 all five of us wrote for the Between Dreams And Dread EP. Spring of 2004, we recorded the 5-song EP.

Summer of 2004, Justin decided to step down as guitarist. Once again, another long search ensued and Angelino (ex-Estun-Bah) joined the group. We progressed a lot as a band with Angelino, writing new material and playing local shows. Bob stepped down as bassist in winter of 2004-05 and Rich (ex-Imperiled Earth) picked up where he left off. We decided to pursue a full-time keyboard player and Winter, who was our first option, joined in Spring of 2005.

If you had to describe with words the music you are playing you would say…

Rich: Dark, Atmospheric and Epic Female / end ash fronted melodic Metal. With a touch of Goth, Doom and Prog for good measure.

What are the biggest influences of the band?

Rich: I think everyone in this band brings something to the table and it creates our own sound. Our overall sound from the EP is comparable to The Gathering, latter day Katatonia and Paradise Lost. Bands like Opeth, The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, Dredg and Codeseven were heavy influences in the beginning. Lately, our sound has added heavier elements to it from bands like Dimmu Borgir, Meshuggah, Dark Tranquility and Moonspell.

What can you tell us about the recording process of Between Dreams…?

Chip: We recorded 5 instruments and vocals in under 24 hours at my house (guest bedroom). We picked a local indie / hardcore producer, Cory Spotts. He brought all his equipment upstairs and setup shop. He did an outstanding job of capturing our sound and atmosphere in such a short time span. He did all the recording, production and mastering. He has since purchased a studio and many of his bands are signing record contracts.

How exactly does Lapse Of Irony compose music? Is it a team effort?

Rich: It varies on the song but usually someone comes up with a great rhythm or melody and we build all the parts around it. It’s always pieced together through what is created or on rare occasions brought to practices so I’d definitely call it a team effort. Once we finish the song, Bethany gets a recorded copy and wears out the rewind / replay button writing lyrics and melody to it.

Does the band have live experience?

Rich: We play shows on occasion. We used to play a lot more than we do now but we’re trying to make sure there is a benefit for the band to do so. Exposure and new fans to play for are huge influences on this, or playing with bands we’ve had successful relationships with in the past.

Your country is more known for extreme Metal bands. How difficult is it for you to find an audience? Generally what is your opinion about your country’s scene?

Rich: It is difficult to gain a fan base here on a local level. The only major female fronted band everyone here knows is Evanescence, which we have virtually no similarities to. Lacuna Coil getting the recognition they have should help bands like us. Likewise with Opeth gaining the recognition they have, I am hopeful it will cause melodic, dynamic and female-fronted music to be more widely received.

There are bands here that I think are great but I’m finding myself listening to the European scene much more than our homegrown stuff. The U.S. is very trend orientated musically and I personally don’t find myself liking these trends usually.

Since this interview is for an online magazine, what is your opinion about the internet? Do you think it has made things easier or worse for the bands?


Rich: Both, I think it has made it more difficult to keep the attention of the fan but it gives you the chance to reach so many more people than was ever imaginable. It has made promotion a lot easier and cheaper than it was in the past. No postage or printing needed. We’ve developed a following, globally, especially in both Mexico and England, which is directly related to the internet.

Are you currently searching for a record label?

Rich: We’d love to be signed BUT it would need to be the right contract and we must keep full artistic freedom and be confident the label would fully back us. Too many musicians / bands are financially ruined by bad contracts. We don’t want to go into eternal debt so they can release an album but not support us afterwards.

Many Metal fans accuse female fronted bands for exploitation. Your opinion on this matter is?

Rich: The thought of us thinking it’ll bring more men to a show is laughable. It’s a joke. For us, female vocals are what the music calls for. We do play to mostly male dominated clubs just like any other Metal band. Perhaps these guys are able to bring their girlfriends / spouses where as they usually couldn’t, If so that’s cool. Metal has always been an overly elitist genre and someone will always find something to criticize, be it keyboards, wardrobe, female vocals, tempos, melodies… whatever. You either like it or you don’t, plain and simple.

Do you think that a bold production and impressive artwork must be top priorities for a band?


Matt: Bold production and impressive artwork can definitely be considered one of the top priorities. Presentation is very important, especially for a band that isn’t widely known. Let’s face it, before you put a CD in your stereo, you look at the packaging or the CD artwork’s no way around it, or if you’re downloading a sound clip or song from a band’s website, they normally have some sort of theme / artwork that portrays the persona of the band. In order to lure potential listeners, a band must have a good front, meaning artwork / presentation, to deliver the goods, that being your music.

Unfortunately, because of certain variables, some bands can’t afford or do not have the resources to create and deliver a higher quality presentation. Despite this, it’s safe to say that the music should definitely be top priority! After all, that is what you’re trying to advertise!

What are the immediate plans of the band?

Matt: Currently, preparation is underway to enter the studio in the end of November. There is a lot of new material that we will be recording and we are looking forward to finally recording with the new lineup. Thereafter, we will be booking shows in Arizona and possibly some out of state shows as well. We are eager to share our further developed sound with our fans!

Close this interview with a message to all our readers…

Rich: Thanks for taking the time to read up on us. Take a moment to check out our music and feel free to contact us through myspace.com/dreamsanddread.



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