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Ghosts Of Atlantis' Colin Parks: "The chains were taken off, I no longer had to write to a style, or exclude certain elements from other genres…"

Interview with Colin Parks from Ghosts Of Atlantis
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 04 February 2021, 2:27 AM

Truth be told, the existence of Atlantis is one of the strongest myths known to man, a civilization that its foundation is based on stories, its ancient legacy is unknown, but apparently many tales were written about it. Its base of location is also a mystery; it could have been right under our noses but we probably wouldn't have noticed it. That is quite something, isn't it? Emerging with his new band, Ghosts Of Atlantis, Colin Parks, also the guitarist of Devilment, made an impact on the Heavy Metal heritage with the debut “3.6.2.4”, showing that there is no limit to the wonderful genre of music. Steinmetal had the privilege of speaking to Mr. Parks about the new band, plethora of styles and of course the masterpiece of an album.  

Greetings Colin, it is a massive pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

I am very good and is a pleasure to meet your acquaintance

Only by watching the news breaks in regards to the situation in the UK, I can only assume that it has been that easy on you with this pandemic taking its toll on the the folk, the fatality numbers are crazy, unreal. How have you been coping with the situation?

I work as a front line career, so for me personally it's been very busy and a time that is very anxious for our team, For the music side of things it has been relentless launching an album on top of 60 hour weeks caring for other people has been a massive challenge.

Do you see any bright future ahead in relation to dealing with this pandemic? In your view, do you believe that the UK folk have the ability to take extreme measures to extinguish this spread of the pandemic?

I think the whole world is not used to dealing with anything like this on a global scale, Mistakes have been made here in the UK, yet I am not one to cast stones. I believe that anybody trying to deal with this would be under significant pressure, and an amount of decisions that none of us can really fathom. So far in the UK at the end of January we have vaccinated nearly 8 million people, (including myself) so that is a step in the right direction.

Onwards to happier trails, and we have your new band, Ghosts Of Atlantis, which I have to admit came new to me through your new label’s press releases, noticing the debut album. What can you tell about your inspiration to create this band, which I can assume was due to Devilment being on ice?

Pretty much spot on, Dani is very busy with Cradle Of Filth for the foreseeable future, I was presented with lots of down time musically. I spent what time I had getting Devilhead Studios ready, and leaping in to the world of recording and production. This allowed me to place my future in to my own hands, rather than waiting for scraps to fall from the table.

I reached out to my amazing friends and family from TCW (The band I was in pre- Devilment) and told them to get ready, as I would be locking myself away to create something special.

What can you tell about the band’s image, do you see it as a longstanding theme that would continue to carry the band onwards?

We love the dark vibe, we wanted something a bit unique and sinister but not cliché, yes I can see the image changing and evolving as the band grows, but these elements will remain.

I got interested in the chosen title for the album, “3.6.2.4”, with the first thought running through my mind that it is a set of coordinates for the supposed location of Atlantis, as it is regarded as a myth. However, I could also be way off. Please shed some light about this title’s meaning and the source of how it came to be your first choice for an album title.

That is a secret………(p.s. you are so unbelievably close)

Generally, at least from my end, you created a sort of a cinematic styled universe, bearing a cohesion of ancient history, which some of it is also based on mythology, and Fantasy elements. What can you tell in overall about the story? How were you able to write upon this mixture you made between historical events and imaginative aspects?

We have taken elements of historic writings and have merged them with our own Lore and fantasy. I do not want to give away too much about the image and how it becomes entwined with the music, however, that being said, the Ghosts of Atlantis themselves are echoes through time, not of this mortal plain. There are Sci-Fi elements to the lore which will be explored in album 2. For the debut we wanted to create a solid foundation to expand upon in every sense.

At least from what I could capture from the lyrics on some of the songs, there is a general blame upon mankind’s being referred to as a sort of destroyer, a responsible being for the destruction of a society. I actually found it as an analogy to a lot that have been claiming that man is its own curse, destroying itself from within, the crumble of human society. Is there a relation to that? Are you trying to pass on a message so others would heed your call?

Yes, mankind is greedy, driven by power, money and territory, it is documented that the Atlantian people lived in a land that is rich with minerals and were subject to higher learning. Alas, they grew inward and became driven by greed and the lust of power would anger the gods and other civilizations.

Is there a sole protagonist in this story or there are various out there facing challenges against uneven odds?

Not a sole protagonist as such, we explore the different civilizations and the type of people they were, the Gods are also heavily featured, with some twists along the way to the stories that you will know.

Do you believe that this pandemic that we have been facing is one of those cataclysmic events that you are showcasing on “3.6.2.4”, a destruction of an entire culture due to outside forces’ involvement? Is there a connection?

Not really, our Lore is purely fantasy based, however we certainly do touch upon many things that are very prevalent today, things that would harm us as a species.

Certainly within this Cinematic styled atmosphere that has been running throughout “3.6.2.4”, which has quite an influence on the album’s impact, I enjoyed the fusion of Groove Metal along with Symphonic and Gothic Metal features, enticing the theatrical and dramatic turn of events. It could be made easily as a soundtrack of a movie, no doubt there. In comparison to your previous works with Devilment, how do you believe that you developed yourself as a songwriter while working on “3.6.2.4”?

The chains were taken off, I no longer had to write to a style, or exclude certain elements from other genres, for the fear of encroaching on other bands' sounds and standing in the industry. Devilment and Cradle are very different bands, and despite the fact they share members, the sounds would have always had to be different, which is fair enough really.

I always took notice of the way Dani wrote his vocal patterns, and the way that they sat within the music and added another layer of mystery. I grew as a composer because my heart was in Devilment so much, as a child I had always loved storytelling and poetry, that never changed, however with GOA I had a very strong vision as to what elements I wanted to set in stone to become the hallmark of our sound.

One of the aspects that I noticed is that there are barely lead guitar solos on the album, as if the clean vocals took the role. Were there any considerations to add solos to begin with or all the instruments were so called servants, or contributors, to the course of the storytelling?

There are two songs with guitar solos on, this was the first album that I had ever orchestrated, recorded and produced so I wanted everything to be massive and solid, I am a guitarist that will place solos in to a song when they are required to add another dimension to the piece of music. Everyone else is playing solos, I wanted to instead use other instrumentation to carry the melodic passages to make it more cinematic and then when a solo is encompassed within the song it means something.

Talking about the clean vocals, I was amazed, along with the musical prospect, were you able to reach emotive moments that are second to none, sending a surge of inspiration to one’s mind to continue listening. What can you tell about the vocal production on this release?

I spent time getting used to the equipment I had at my studio, I am a singer first and foremost, and a guitarist second strangely enough, it was great to be able to sing again in a band environment. I worked with Pip on getting solid guides to him and passages and phrases and he did a phenomenal job. I really pushed him hard in the vocal tracking, it was a learning curve at first but after a while we found our dynamic as vocalists for GOA. We have both been vocalists in TCW for around 7 years previously, so we know our chemistry is on point.

It is not all about the equipment, the mic we recorded on was £120 and the interface £130, the bond of friendship and brotherhood we both have stems from years of working together, what was interesting was the new dynamic of vocalist to producer. I am very proud of Pip on this album, he is a credit to the band, and a great human being, they all are, seriously, they are incredible people, I am so lucky to call them my family and friends.

To complete such a production of an album of this magnitude wasn’t that easy I am sure; what form of challenges did you face while making this album?

It was tough! I had to learn every single element of making the album, luckily James Stephenson over at Stymphalian Productions mixed and mastered the album, and he did an insane job as you can hear! The main challenge was writing all the orchestras and music, then getting all the imagery and assets to be as strong as the music!!!

I reached out to my very close friend Drake Mefessta who handles all of our visual assets and also composed the piano intro and outro on "The Lost Compass" and played some piano over the middle eight orchestra also!

You scored it big time with the opening track, “The Third Pillar”, making it as if it was an opening verse of an entire opera, its aggression leading to such a touchy chorus won me over faster than the speed of light. What is your appreciation of this track?

It's just solid and impactive, aggressive yet melodic, somber yet uplifting, it depicts the story of the Atlantian people on a great pilgrimage, and the time travel of the Ghosts Of Atlantis. Its super interesting, and paves the way well for what's to come!

When it comes to a full blown epic, “When The Tridents Fail” came as the strongest contender, emerging a strong produced Melodic Death Metal outcome with an amazing performance of undeniable peak moments that are bound to become classic. What can you tell about the creation of this track?

This song is a song we have had as a band for 9 years, it has undergone massive, massive changes however and now really stands as an epic tale of the battle between humanity and god. The music had to be that big to get the message across, I think it will be a fan favorite!

Due to the inability to perform live nowadays, a headache for bands I am sure, there have been a lot out there doing live stream shows, not only to show signs of life, but to also promote their new material. What is your take on that? Do you believe that this measure is effective?

We are not interested in live streaming, the budget required to make this show would be colossal and we are a new band finding our feet in the world.

What does the future hold for Ghosts Of Atlantis? Is there a plan for at least another creative video out of this record?

Yes there is another two videos! One lyric video is due very late Feb and one more full video after the album launches, this will likely be around June release

Colin, many thanks for your time and effort for this interview. You created something that is almost uncanny, amazingly executed and far beyond, cheers sir.  

My pleasure, and we all thank you for doing what you do.

"Tides will wash your sins" 3 6 2 4


 



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Edited 04 August 2021
 

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