An Interview With Native Construct
Coming out of seemingly nowhere and bringing us one of the best, most complex releases of 2015, Native Construct is well, a unique construct. Taking time away from their hectic schedule, Max Harchik sat down with us on the Toilet to answer a few questions about their future plans, the history of the band, chowder, and the making of Quiet World.
Welcome to The Toilet! For those who aren’t familiar with Native Constuct, tell us a little bit about the history of the band.
Max: The band was formed way back in 2011, with a bunch of kids at Berklee College of Music just jamming with each other in our dorm rooms. Eventually we decided that we wanted to do more than just jam and we set out to actually write our own album. We worked on it on and off while we were at school until 2013. Once it was done we eventually signed with Metal Blade Records. We released our debut album Quiet World this past April.
What are some of your influences, as far as genres, bands and life in general?
Broadly speaking, the primary musical influences on Native Construct are musical theatre, metal, prog rock, classical, and jazz. Some of the big ones include Between the Buried and Me, The Beatles, Danny Elfman, and Maurice Ravel.
I read that all of you attend the Berklee School Of Music over in Boston. What are your musical backgrounds, and what are you guys studying nowadays?
We’ve all been studying music from grade school all the way up through going to Berklee. I’m currently still studying there, while Myles and Rob have graduated.
Does this figure into the music, or are there other less music theory-oriented (improv and freeform for example) things that figure into the music?
All of our music was meticulously composed using a lot of the theory and compositional knowledge that we gained at Berklee. Native Construct was actually a great way for us to practice these techniques as we learned them and apply them to more practical real world situations.
Our Venezuelen friend, Link Leonhart, wanted to know: “I want to know about how was the recording process, because the music seems to be layered. So ask them about it, pleeease”.
The recording processes was long and tedious. We were still in school while we were recording so we were only able to actually sit down and record the few times during the year that we actually have free time. We did manage to make it out to North Carolina to record the vocals with Jamie King but the rest of the instruments had to be recorded in our own home studio.
Love the storyline, BTW!!! Explain it a bit, for those not familiar with the band or the album.
The story is about a guy who loves a girl, but she does not return the feelings. This guy is an eccentric and a mute, and this rejection causes him decide to create his own world where no one is an outcast like he was, where everyone is sectioned off into their own groups of similar people, a much quieter world. The rest of the album covers the people of this world and their struggles against powers that keep them.
How did that come about?
The whole story sort of came into focus over the course of the initial writing of the music. Then when we had the basic idea down, we were able to flesh it out more and tailor the music to it.
I was left wondering if the guy is a mute because of simply not being able to talk (or deaf), shy and nervous, or perhaps had a traumatic experience a la Touch (the television show).
Any of those scenarios could be possible 😉
Did the story come about little by little, or was the whole thing written beforehand?
It came out little by little.
Some bands, especially in prog, tend to write the music around the concept. Was that the case with Quiet World?
For the most part, yes.
Congrats on getting released in Japan (cue: Alphaville’s ‘Big In Japan’ for you)! How’s the response been there so far?
Thanks! We’ve actually had quite a few people from Japan reach out to us about the album. It was a huge honor for us to be able to get a full release there, especially because this is only our first album.
Any plans for touring here, there or anywhere at the moment?
Yes, we will be hitting the road at the end of this summer.
I noticed a bit of Mike Patton in the vocals here and there. Coincidence or was he an influence?
Haha, we actually started listening to his stuff after the album was all written. I can definitely hear how someone could make that connection, though. We must have gotten some second hand influence from him through bands like Between the Buried and Me.
What are some of your plans for the future of the band?
Our biggest goal right now is to just get out on the road and see what we can accomplish with this album. It has already been received far better than we thought it ever could and we’re really excited to be able to share it with as many people as possible.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A winter squash can be a thing of great beauty.
One last thing, I haven’t known many Bostonians (they don’t tend to come through Chicago very often for some reason), but is it “chowder” or “chowda!”. And if you have any good chowder recipes, or good recipes in general, feel free to share!
I’m not a huge chowder person but I’d say it probably depends on who you ask.
Thanks for your time and the magnificent music!
Thanks for having us!
Native Construct is hitting the road in August. Find more details on their Facebook page!