Metal Army recently conducted an interview with vocalist Alissa White-Gluz of Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based melodic death metallers THE AGONIST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Army: How would you characterize the evolution of the band from the “Lullabies For The Dormant Mind” Album to [“Prisoners”]?
Alissa: It’s hard to say, because the album is so new. I still think “Lullabies” is the best. On “Once Only Imagined”, Danny [Marino, guitar] was the sole instrumental songwriter. On “Lullabies”, Simon [McKay, drums] wrote a little bit because he also plays guitar. On this album we also had Paco [Pascal Jobin, guitar] writing. So it was Danny, Simon and Paco; though mostly Danny. I have always written all the lyrics and vocals. I think the difference for this album from the last is that our musical influences have diverged. Rather than having a really coherent idea of what we all wanted to do, it was more of a struggle. That is why it took so long. The result is “Prisoners”.
Metal Army: What does Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY) as a co-producer bring to the band that you continue going back to him?
Alissa: Oh he’s amazing! It’s convenient since he’s in Montreal and he’s a friend of ours, really understands us and he’s very efficient. For me personally, I love recording vocals with him. I would go with someone else, and I have recorded with other people for guest vocals, this and that. He’s a really patient person. He picks up on things quickly. He’s also a really musical person, so it’s great to have that person who understands what you are trying to do and be able to guide you in the right direction. We did want to go with someone else just to get a different feel, but Christian does such a good job it was enough of a reason to go back with him.
Metal Army: What made you want to be a writer and a singer in the first place?
Alissa: I can’t actually, really cite anyone. I was just talking to my drummer about this a few minutes ago. I never really sat around as a teenager and admired bands and said I want to be like that or do that. I had friends with bands who needed a singer and I just sort of fell into it. I had done some plays and theater so I was like, “Okay, whatever. I’ll give it a shot.” After I joined my first band is when I started listening to metal. I thought, “This kind of sounds like what we are doing, so I will try to do this or that.” Writing wise I just never really studied anyone. Honestly, I just kind of do it. I’ve never planned anything out. If the result is good, that’s really lucky. I definitely didn’t train for it the way that maybe some other people have.
Read the entire interview from Metal Army.