ONCE HUMAN have just released their sophomore album Evolution and are a band that are going from strength to strength, poised to conquer the world. We caught up with the founding member and notorious riff machine Logan Mader to get his thoughts on how the album has been received and what they have in store for the future.
For the benefit of our readers who may not know you, who are ONCE HUMAN?
Logan: We are myself, Logan Mader, guitar player. Lauren Hart is our singer, Max Karon and Skyler Howren are our other guitar players, we have three! Damien Renaud is our bass player and Dylan Trollope is our drummer. All you need to know is we are awesome [laughs]. Check us out on YouTube and hopefully come to our shows when we come through your town as that would be awesome. We have an album, Evolution that just came out last week which I’m very proud of. You can pick it up on iTunes or CD if anywhere even sells CD’s anymore!
You have just released your new album Evolution, how do you feel this has been received so far?
Logan:It has been received really well as far as I can gather, we have received some really good reviews from the press and we’ve had some great feedback from the fans. We had a decent number of sales in the US on the first week of release, it debuted on iTunes at #4 and we received a lot of pre-orders through our merch store. I can see from the reaction on social media and YouTube that people are liking the band.
How do you feel the band has progressed since your debut album The Life I Remember?
Logan: We have progressed a lot in terms of the music, song writing, riff writing. Lauren in particular, her vocals, lyrics and overall performance. She has a deeper growling tone and she has developed that over the course of the touring for that album cycle. She has put a lot of effort into writing meaningful and thought provoking lyrics which the songs deserve and she kicked ass. We added our third guitarist Max who is amazing, he’s a really good riff writer and he helped write the music with Lauren and I. The production is better this time round, our debut was the Lauren‘s first time making a record and it was my first time picking up guitar as a passion for many years as I’ve just been into studio producing. At this point we have really discovered our own identity and its very clear when you hear the new album.
How did you approach the recording process for Evolution?
Logan: It’s kind of the same process I always use, we just get in the studio and write and build songs as we go. Rearranging and deconstructing them, putting them back together and spending a lot of time on every song, crafting it until it feels perfect. The creative process really happens all the way through. We actually record drums last as everything is recorded to a click track, so we work a little bit backwards in that respect but I think it allows us to be a bit more creative all the way up to the finish line and make sure the songs are as good as they need to be during the production process.
What messages are you trying to convey in Evolution? Does the concept stem from how you are evolving as a band or is there a deeper sentiment?
Logan: The message is in the title really, we have evolved as a band as it seemed appropriate and the word play between ONCE HUMAN and Evolution flows nicely. There is no real deeper sentiment, its just fucking good metal and we put a lot of energy into this. I know that people can feel it and you can feel it when you see us.
What are your aspirations for ONCE HUMAN?
Logan: Currently I want to be on tour as much as possible so we can build a fan base and build a personal connection with our fans that’s real life, in person and face to face which is really the best way to build a solid foundation. I know our social media is doing really well and our YouTube numbers are really good but playing in front of people live makes a really good impression. We also like to hang out, talk to our fans, sign CD’s etc after the shows and I think the fans appreciate that and we love doing it. That’s the main goal, touring as much as possible and continuing to make records.
Who are your biggest influences?
Logan: For me, dating back to when I was a kid it was the Bay Area thrash metal like EXODUS, SLAYER, VIOLENCE, TESTAMENT and METALLICA, that whole late 80’s/90’s thrash metal scene. I lived in it and it made a big impact on me, its the reason I wanted to play guitar and I feel nostalgic when I listen to some of those old records. That’s probably where my biggest influences come from. Max is a bit younger than me, his favourite band is MESHUGGAH.
You have just released the track Dark Matter, how difficult is it to choose which songs to release when you have such a strong offering of tracks at your disposal?
Logan: Thank you! It’s a good problem to have [laughs]. We have thought about it a lot and we nearly released Paragon, which is my favourite track on the album. We shot a video for it and we were going to release that second but I wasn’t receiving enough good feedback on that song from people in my circle, no one was saying it was their favourite song so we released Gravity which I feel pretty good about. It’s a pretty unique song, it has a little bit of everything like the progressive elements, its brutal, its dynamic. It was a good choice. Dark Matter is just full on adrenaline, really fast paced, syncopated, double bass. Its doing really well on YouTube. It’s a bit difficult to choose.. I think Eye Of Chaos was a good choice, it has 2.7 million views on YouTube and has received a lot of fan engagement and that just blows my mind! I didn’t expect or even hope for that kind response so I think its a good indicator. We will probably release Paragon, we have another video coming up for that in a few months. Now that the record is out I’m seeing a lot of the fans appreciate that song as much as I do, I would like to do a video for every song!
Do you have any words of wisdom to up and coming bands hoping to put their stamp on the metal world?
Logan: Never give up! [laughs]. Just do what feels good, play from your heart, be persistent. Practice, practice practice and put yourself in the right place at the right time. That requires a bit of luck but if you really want it you’ve got to be in the middle, in the epicentre where its all happening and be in everyone’s faces as there is so much competition out there these days. Its really hard to stand out, use your tools and kick some ass!
Now that Evolution is released I can imagine the focus is now on touring, what touring plans do you have in the works for 2017?
Logan: We have one tour finally, we have been working on tours for several months now. Its really difficult, we have had one or two ‘almost’ tours that fell through at the last minute was which quite a let down. I’m not giving up! I’ve been knocking on every door that I can. We have got one in May in North America. We will be announcing that next week on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. More tour announcements are to follow but that’s our biggest goal, so we’ll see you there!
To close we will offer you the floor, do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Distorted Sound?
Logan: I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported ONCE HUMAN and me in my career and we are very grateful to be making records and getting on tour. We look forward to touring in your country and you can find us on Facebook and hopefully people will buy our album on iTunes. When people do that it really helps us grow and its all relative, you don’t really make money from selling CD’s but it gives you an evaluatable status. It helps the band gain opportunities for touring that we want to be a part of, so its in the hands of the fans at this point!
Evolution is out now via earMUSIC.
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