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Christian Collabelli & Joel Monet (Circuitry)

Interview with Christian Collabelli & Joel Monet from Circuitry
by Eli Hohozia at 03 January 2015, 6:14 AM

New Jerseyian proggers CIRCUITRY have released their debut ambitious album on November 4th, after working on it for a whole year. Eli Hohozia sat down on Skype with guitarist Christian Collabelli and Joel Monet, to go into a light-hearted-but-poignant chat about music scenes on the other side of the world, the benefits of a DYI attitude and going ahead without a label.

Hey guys, how are you? I heard you're releasing your debut album on November 4th. Is that right? How was the process and how do you feel about the final product?

Joel: We're alright, and yes. Seems about right. I think we're pretty happy with it. It was a long painstaking process, but I think it came through and together in the end. Christian: It took about a year and we almost killed each other during the process, but honestly, I don't think any of us could be any happier.  For the resources we had this is a really good product we're confident in. Joel: A good portion of it was recorded in this very room we're sitting in right now!

So it was homemade. You guys are independent, so you don't have much support from labels and companies.

Christian: Not yet. That's kind of an interesting debate right now. I don't think that even if we signed to a label we'd  get the support that we need. Joel: These days I think you're better off with just a PR agent and a booking agent and some kind of manager. Distribution is taken care of these days. But a label does all these things for you and expects you to pay them back. Why not go to debt and do to it yourself? Christian: I think that everyone across the globe who's doing music that isn't into Taylor Swift or Nicki Minaj, anything that isn't in the mainstream is basically taking the plunge and hoping for the best, so you have to be a smart businessman.

I personally think that in Metal the audience is much more loyal, would you agree with the statement?

Christian: Hopefully as soon as you break in, once they like you, they really like you. We really love our fans.

I have a question about the first track ("The One Who Knocks") , is that a reference to Walter White?

Joel: (laughs), The title is, the lyrics are not. I wrote the lyrics and Matt, our drummer, named the track. We've been asked this question a lot, so from now on we're just gonna say yes. You've heard it here first!

How did Circuitry come about?

Christian: That's a long story. (laughs). Matt and  I were playing in another band that was signed to Nightmare Records, It was Symphony-X-esque type band, but into extreme metal. The band basically disintegrated because the lead guitarist wanted to do a straight death-metal project. But that kinda left everyone else in limbo and we were really starting to really play some awesome shows and we opened up for Nile. Matt and I got together and jammed a lot, and I had so many ideas for songs and an album. It was a cathartic experience to let that all out and then I  played some of the stuff for Joel, which I played with in another band (I still do), called Reach, and he heard the stuff and was really intrigued. Joel started doing vocals to it so we realized we have something special here. So we went balls-out and decided to really concentrate all our attention and creative prowess. Joel: I actually have my balls out now! (laughs)

I really think that this is how the best bands come together, it starts as a fun exercise and then everyone puts their best efforts to it.

Joel: If you're not having fun than what's the point? Christian: Yeah, I think that we weren't having fun in that other band, we at first were just hired guns until we became really part of the band. It was cool but I can honestly say that this music is what we really want to be playing. Joel: This is definitely where our hearts are at. Christian: We have a blast every practice, I wish you were in the room so you could see it. Joel: Some of the testosterone that's coming out. How do you think the metal scene in Israel is by the way?

It's a bit complicated, because while it's mainstream as it is in Finland, we do have a big and loyal metal community. There's a lot of solidarity between metalheads and we have many production agencies that bring metal bands to Israel.

Joel: I listen to one band from Israel called Ferium, if you've ever heard of them and they're pretty sick.

Actually I do know them, their guitarist is my neighbor and he teaches one of my friends how to play the bass. They're a bunch of great guys.

Joel: No way, that's awesome. Tell them we love their stuff.

I'll definitely do that. How's the metal scene in Long Branch, NJ?

Joel: Eh… it's here and there, you'll have to travel around to get it, but there are small pockets of really intense metal scenes that have a lot of solidarity. Christian: In our immediate area, Long Branch, there's a lot of differences in the type of metal. A lot of people play 80's metal, lot's of cock-rock. Joel: Lot's of eyeliner! Nothing wrong with that though. Christian: No it's fine, but we don't really fit in with that, which is weird, because if we play with these bands, their fans would look at us like we have 12 heads. But there are bands here that are great but you've gotta find them. Joel: But it's getting bigger though, there are some bands in our area that are getting heavier and getting it, but they're taking a minute to catch it. Since this area is where a lot of the Americana music came from, so it got a stronghold here. Christian: Yeah, Bruce Springsteen goes to my gym here. I see him working out. Joel: And John Bon Jovi's got a restaurant down the road, so we live in that area.

The metal scene in Israel is actually quite the opposite, it's mostly extreme metal or hardcore, not much melodic metal. How would you define Circuitry?

Joel: We listen to everything, dude. We listen to Jazz stuff, I've been listening to the Beach Boys lately, I love pop punk, I've listened to black metal when I was younger. Christian: Yeah, I don't think that any of us really hates on some other genre, we just love good music and we incorporate it in our work.

Have you been touring lately or are you planning on in the future?

Joel: We haven't played a single show, man. We're playing our first on November 1st, with a Metalcore band signed to Bulletproof records. Christian: They've just done a tour with Killswitch Engage, so we're opening up for them. Basically, Circuitry has rose from the ashes of a broken band, so when we took the last year to get this album done, we usually would play shows before the whole thing is done, but this time we wanted things to be 100% before we really go to play it to people. Joel: I think we're finally there. We're really militant, we want things to be 100%. Christian: And we're all assholes. (laughs)

It's been great talking to you guys, I really enjoyed your stuff and really hope to see you live some day.


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Edited 07 December 2022

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