Static Impulse

All posts tagged Static Impulse

By Carl Begai

Bad news for Dream Theater fans that were put off by frontman James LaBrie’s 2010 solo album, Static Impulse:

Yep, he did it again. With the same cast of characters backing him up.

Labrie 3

You have to have a certain amount of sympathy for the folks that ran for cover when Static Impulse was released, however. It was the highly anticipated follow-up to LaBrie’s critically acclaimed Elements Of Persuasion album from 2005, which finally put his solo career on track in the wake of two somewhat confusing Mullmuzzler records. And yet he’d seemingly chucked the possibility of any future accolades in favour of Swedish death metal-inspired aggression, courtesy of drummer Peter Wildoer (Darkane) coughing up blastbeats and growls as required. It was an experiment of sorts concocted by LaBrie, long time collaborator/keyboardist Matt Guillory and producer Jens Bogren that took them as far away from Dream Theater’s prog metal shadow as possible, and for all the bitching and moaning from some scandalized fans Static Impulse was a success.

The new album, Impermanent Resonance, picks up where Static Impulse left off. The tear-your-head-off aggression of some of the songs has been toned down while the melodic aspects of the music have been turned up, but it’s definitely the same creative team behind the metal. And metal it is, with nary a prog-ism to be heard. Just like last time out, the only similarity between this new album and Dream Theater is the guy standing behind the microphone.

BW&BK: Was it clear from the beginning that Impermanent Resonance was going to follow in Static Impulse’s footsteps rather than experimenting with a new musical direction, like you did from going from Elements Of Persuasion to Static Impulse? There are similarities between those records, sure, but Static Impulse ripped the doors off the car you guys built with Elements….

Matt: “I think Elements Of Persuasion was the turning point, or at least a new chapter for us. We’d established ourselves as having a metal foundation within our music so we didn’t want to abandon that at all, especially coming off Static Impulse. We defintely wanted to keep that foundation for Impermanent Resonance but take it a step further, especially with the melodies and the hooks in the music. Also, the atmospheric perspective wasn’t emphasized on Static Impulse, so we wanted to bring that out on the new record.”

BW&BK: Static Impulse is a more aggressive record in comparison to Impermanent Resonance. In fact, if you were to dump the guitars and change the production on Impermanent Resonance you’d have some great pop songs.

James: “Absolutely, no doubt about it. They’re pretty damn pop-ish even as they stand now (laughs) but I get what you’re saying. You could come at some of these songs as a piano/vocal rendition, and ‘Say You’re Still Mine’ is pretty much in that vein as it is. I think Matt put some amazing songs together, like ‘Back On The Ground’ and ‘Holding On’. A song like ‘Back On The Ground’ definitely deserves to be in amongst the songs being played on radio these days, and it stands up against any one of them. For me a song is either song or it’s not good, and what’s important is what it conveys to me regardless of whether it’s a metal song or a pop song or a jazz piece. There are songs on Impermanent Resonance that definitely have that pop sensibility to them.” Continue Reading

Welcome, Canuckleheads! Time for an update…

Folks may remember Dream Theater frontman James LaBrie decapitating diehard prog-metal fans in 2010 with his fourth solo album, Static Impulse. It was anything but a continuation of his better-than-DT Elements Of Persuasion record, smacking people upside the head instead with the most aggressive music of his career, complete with death metal vocals (supplied by Darkane drummer Peter Wildoer). Attention Deficit Delirium’s Bryan Reesman recently caught up with LaBrie, who offered some insight on his next solo album, which is currently in the works:

“Right now, Matt (Guillory / keyboards), I and the other guys are writing. We’re about halfway through. I would say our main focus is that we want to raise the bar as far as the actual song compositions, so with the arrangements we want to see if we can better ourselves first and foremost. As far as the elements that we want to include or implement into the music, a lot of those elements will be familiar because we want to keep it consistent. It has to make sense and have a sense of continuity from where we left off, but there are some things that we’re talking about we want to bring in that will bring in some intriguing kind of sonics to give it its own identity.”

The complete interview can be found here.

Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

For some diehard Dream Theater fans, vocalist James LaBrie’s new solo album, Static Impulse, is the equivalent of a kick in the teeth. At the very least it trashes the belief that LaBrie is “just” the singer, his creativity limited to composing vocal melodies and delivering them on stage. The new record proves this is anything but the case, with LaBrie and longtime collaborator Matt Guillory (keyboards) taking what became LaBrie’s signature sound on Elements Of Persuasion from 2005 and twisting it into something much more volatile. The most provocative element in this metamorphosis – no pun intended – is the involvement of Darkane drummer Peter Wildoer. Not only does he serve up trademark Swedish thrash from behind the kit as required, LaBrie and Guillory had the audacity to invite Wildoer to lay down full-on death metal vocals. Also as required, and much to the chagrin of Dream Theater purists.

“Well, like so many times before this was pure luck,” Wildoer says of being asked to sing, aware that some people are cursing that luck. “Matt and James knew they wanted Jens Bogren to mix the album here in Sweden, and Jens told Matt that he knew a great studio called Studiomega where he wanted the band to record the songs. Matt called a mutual friend of ours – Teddy Möller from F.K.Ü. – and asked him if he knew any Swedish drummers that he could recommend, and he recommended me. Very nice of him; thanks Teddy! Matt called me one night, introduced himself, and asked me if I wanted to play drums on James LaBrie’s new album. Of course I wanted to!” Continue Reading