As well all know, Nick Padovani of Equipoise DOESN’T tour……yet! The TMR crew made him answer some questions, after we found him out back in the dumpster of a Chili’s high on bath salts scavenging for food. Now if that last sentence were actually true, we wouldn’t let him live that down. But what we CAN let him live down is this spectacular interview he did with us. He’s recruited Hugo of Beyond Creation//Brought By Pain, Phil of First Fragment and a billion other projects, Steve Boiser of Ashen Horde/Inferi, Sanjay Kumar of the killer tech/brutal death metal band Wormhole, Jimmy Pitts of NYN, Chase Westmoreland……and even more musicians that had guest spots on the upcoming release “Demiurgus”. Take a gander while you’re here! Stay a while, will ya?
TMR: Your EP was very good. Explain how you and the guys (all 20 of them?) stepped up your collective games with your upcoming opus “Demiurgus”?
First off, I wanted to say thank you for the interview. It’s always an honor and pleasure to have the privilege of discussing subject matter about my band.
The only person who really had to step up their game was me, because everyone else is already incredibly adept at what they do. I just made sure to refine my compositions so that they would be next level. In a sea of homogeneous tech death bands, you have to try and stand out in some way, otherwise you get washed away- my goal was to really do something that could stand out, even if it meant incorporating flamenco or orchestral elements. These are small implementations, but I’m hoping it helps us sound unique in some fashion.
TMR: Explain to us how you recruited some of the genre’s greatest artists….comeon, you know your lineup is obnoxiously talented. That’s no secret.
Honestly, it was nothing more than a bit of communication and networking. If you want something, you have to be fearless of rejection and go for it. People will tell you that things are unachievable or unrealistic, and you have to be willing to prove them wrong, otherwise, you stand to prove them right. My goal was to create a tech death “super group” if you will, and I believe I’ve successfully done so, give the insanely talented musicians I have the honor of working with.
TMR: Out of all the bands you have been in, who has been your favorite and least favorite?
Equipoise was actually my first proper band, so I don’t really have an answer for this. I played in a local band Vitandus when I was 19/20 years old, but I only played a few shows, wrote no material, and had to play bass (which I do not play at all). That wasn’t a bad experience though, I enjoyed playing with my bandmates, they were nice people.
TMR: Explain the theme and lyrics behind Demiurgus.
The lyrics are directly inspired by the anime “Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood”. The album essentially tells the story that happens within, and the themes that are derived from it are a bit more open to interpretation, so to say. That might be a lazy answer, but it isn’t inaccurate; the themes can be interpreted in many ways, it’s ultimately up to the listener to take what they can from it.
TMR: The artwork is awfully captivating for your upcoming record. Who did it, and what inspired it? What are all the details behind it?
The artwork was done by my incredibly talented friend, Justin Abraham. He has done art for such other bands as Virulent Depravity, A Loathing Requiem, Inanimate Existence, Cryptic Hymn, and Oubliette. I love how easy he is to work with, and I love how much he enjoys doing what he does.
The artwork is actually inspired by the climax of the plot from Full Metal Alchemist. I won’t give too many details because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who may be interested in exploring it further, but it’s a very cool concept.
TMR: Explain the process of the Virulent Depravity situation being chosen to being in such ANOTHER gnarly band. Where are you guys with that record? All i see is jazz tech…which is awfully interesting to hear, in comparison to the debut album.
Colin and I are really good friends, musical companions if you will. For whatever reason, we have this insane synergy when it comes to writing, where if one of us is ever stumped or lost, the other comes in and immediately resolves it. Very rarely are we displeased with the results. Colin and I are also competitive with each other, always joking about who can write better, and I’ll say that he’s been pushing me greatly since I’ve known him, so it’s always in good fun.
Anyways, the album is going slow at the moment. It is an incredibly ambitious (thanks to Colin and his desire to make a groundbreaking album or whatever, damn him…), but yeah, he’s trying to make this seamless amalgam of jazz and tech death, and successfully so thus far, but he’s also working on getting it perfect. I unfortunately have been busy working on other projects like Kossuth and Ascent of Aphosis, so my time has been spread thin, but soon I will be able to assist him in getting some more material worked up.
TMR: When do you plan on having a single from Virulent Depravity 2?
There’s no definitive date by any means. It would either be whenever our 3 month album cycle comes around, or there’s always the possibility of a one-off single. That’s tough to say.
TMR: I know there’s a ton of members from a bunch of different locations around the world….it would be tough to tour…..one off thing? I know it’d be quite a logistical challenge.
It will happen. I have a lot of things in the works that will financially pad me so that I can make this a reality (legal of course lol). I don’t know when it will happen, but I will certainly make it happen. If not for our first album, it will after our second album. I would like to ensure that we even have the fanbase for such a demand, otherwise I feel it would be foolish for us to rush into such a thing.
TMR: Any cool bands you’ve been listening to you want to share?
Sure! I don’t listen to a lot these days because I usually get super hooked onto albums at a time, but I’ve been loving Alain Caron, Chick Corea, Adam Nitti, Frank Gambale, and various other jazz fusion artists. As far as more modern metal releases, I’ve been loving the most recent Obscura album, Beyond Creation, Gorod, and Inferi, those were my favorites from 2018. Of course, I’m also very fond of all the other bands on The Artisan Era, there isn’t one I don’t like truthfully. I would also like to make a special mention for two bands that were quite influential during the end process of my album refinement; Sutrah and Dark Matter Secret. I implore you and anyone reading to jam both of those bands immediately.
TMR: How did you get your start in music? Who, what influenced you and why? Did you have a specific moment?
Well, I started screwing around with guitar when I was 11 years old, I was playing mindless pop punk then, but it was a lot of fun. I’ll spare you the long winded story and fast forward to right before I started Equipoise. I discovered Inferi’s The Path of Apotheosis back in 2014 when it came out, and it was very inspiring to me, and it really pushed me to want to get into playing around with tech death again. I’m honored to be a part of a label that is run by the men who are a direct inspiration to my writing in the first place.
TMR: What track is the one you are most proud of from the upcoming record? And the song you are most proud of you wrote or were a part of (doesn’t have to be equipoise or virulent depravity)?
I haven’t honestly written songs outside of Equipoise too much, but I think the song i’m most proud of is the first one I wrote, ironically enough. That song is called Dualis Flamel, which is the 8th track on our album. I think it’s funny that the first stab I took at a song ended up being my favorite, but oh well, what are you gonna do.
TMR: How did the thought to form Equipoise come about? And why did you specifically choose your band members? What qualities attracted you musically?
Honestly, I just started writing the songs myself, and I was fine with finding a local lineup , but unfortunately tech death musicians aren’t very abundant in Pittsburgh (aside from our original guitarist, Zach Hohn). I wasn’t ready to give up, so I said to myself, “Screw it, I’m going to just find someone from one of my favorite bands and ask them if they wanna play”. So I asked Hugo, and when he agreed, that was the start of it all. After I got Stevie, I had the burning desire to create what I could call a “tech death super group”, as I feel like there aren’t too many around. I’ve always loved the concept of bringing together titans of a genre, and I wanted nothing more than to create a band where I as a listener and fan could be excited. I only did this because I felt confidently enough about my music that it wouldn’t be an insult to do this. As it stands, I still feel okay about my decision!
TMR: How much gel do you use to keep that man bun of yours so slick and shiny?
None at all! That’s nothing more than my natural dego grease.
TMR: You’re in charge of putting together your dream tour featuring your band(s). Who else do you book (5 total including your two!) for a nationwide tour? No financial restrictions, for the sake of fun.
Hmm, I’ll try to keep it practical and realistic- Beyond Creation, First Fragment, Inferi, Equipoise, Virulent Depravity. Since i don’t know the likelihood of Virulent Depravity touring, I would swap it out for Singularity, I think.
TMR: Who are your favorite jazz and fusion guitarists of all time, and of recent memory? I love me some Gilad Hekselman and Al Di Meola.
Holdsworth, Di Meola, Howe, Henderson, and Gambale are all of my favorites, I would say.
TMR: It’s your last supper. What meal do you choose before your death?
That’s tough. I would probably say some good ass barbeque ribs would make me happy.