Interview: The Algorithm

The brainchild of French songwriter Remi Gallego, The Algorithm combines progressive metal with electronics, samples and keyboards to create a unique and highly entertaining hybrid of styles. Though his music is chiefly a solo, multi-instrumental effort, Gallego has developed The Algorithm’s live show into a deeper experience, adding a live drummer to his shows and using multiple instruments on stage to recreate his bespoke sounds.

Gallego has released two albums to date as a one-man band, the most recent being ‘Octopus4’ in 2014, but his upcoming album is the start of a new journey with an enhanced focus on live instrumentation. Gallego allowed Already Heard a preview of two demo tracks from the work-in-progress new album and it’s sounding superb; the instrumentation is heavily guitar based but still supported by the electronic effects that make The Algorithm such an interesting proposition.

The Algorithm’s unique style recently wowed the ArcTanGent crowds, but Gallego has bigger plans afoot for live shows in the future. From using multiple live instruments to attaching drum triggers to lighting displays, the future of The Algorithm project certainly looks exciting.

AH: As a musician, you’re known for combining several styles together; as a listener, what inspires your creations?

Remi: Obviously progressive metal styles, but I’m also into IDM and technical electronic music. Also a little bit of jazz. Many things; It’s very hard to pinpoint one thing that inspires me. The basis – the root though – is metal.

AH: Is that how your music starts, with a metal foundation and then you build from there?
Remi: Not necessarily, but I always try to have a very solid, consistent frame of bass drum and snare.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwG97ah0mEU&w=100&h=420]

AH: How do you approach playing your music live, with so many electronic elements to control and live instruments to contend with?

Remi: Right now I’m actually changing how I perform the live set. I’m playing more and more guitar and keyboards and using less controllerism. I used to do a lot of modulating and MIDI control but as time goes by I’m more into adding live performance elements through guitar, keyboard and having a drummer. It’s more like an actual live act. Rather than just a drummer and some DJ, I’m actually playing stuff.

AH: What’s been the catalyst for making that change?

Remi: I think it’s just more fun! It’s more fun for me and for the audience as well. It was more interesting for me to go down this route and challenge myself to write actual guitar riffs rather than just focus on the computer. I’m trying to expand my range. As of right now I’m in the process of writing a new album which is going to come out March 2016 and it’s definitely going to be a live oriented album. It’s very heavy in metal, but still with the glitch and IDM aspects obviously.

AH: Does that mean that thinking about the live show has changed your approach to song-writing for the next studio album?

Remi: Yeah exactly. It’s going to have better guitar sounds, actual guitar riffs and keyboards. More musician oriented but with the electronic aspects that I use as well. Drums are still programmed for this one but for live shows there will always be a drummer.

AH: I bet your drummer has had fun learning that!

Remi: He has, he actually has!

AH: Will you be inviting other musicians to collaborate on this album with you?

Remi: Yes there will be, but nothing has been confirmed yet. It will be more on the electronic side, which is going to make the album a real cross over between metal and electronic.

AH: What stage of the process are you at now with the new album?
Remi: I’ve been writing the tracks, laying out the structures, all that stuff. I think in terms of writing it’s about 50% or something. I wake up, I do that all day, I go back to sleep! It’s nice being here to have a little break.

AH: Are you doing any more shows after this or will you be going back into your writing routine?
Remi: I’m heading back to writing for a month then we’re going to the Netherlands to do Baroeg festival, which is more electronic oriented. It’s going to be fun. In October we’re doing Euroblast Festival, then the day after we take the plane to America to do a North American tour with Angel Vivardi, who’s a virtuoso guitarist. We do that for about a month in America then I’ll come back and carry on writing the album till it’s done. I think there will be a few shows after that, but nothing like these tours until the album is then released.

‘Octopus4’ by The Algorithm is out now on Basick Records.

The Algorithm links: Facebook|Twitter|Soundcloud|Bandcamp

Words by Mark Johnson (@testwood)

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