Brisbane prog-rockers Opus Of A Machine unleashed a volley of new music earlier this year with their sophomore album, 'Stray Fire'.
Opus Of A Machine burst forth in 2014 with their debut album 'Simulacra', which pushed the creative boundaries of prog-rock by combining the experimental nature of the genre's foundation with an electro, pop edge.
On 'Stray Fire', Opus Of A Machine continue their sonic foray into new and unknown frontiers, redefining the limits of alternative progressive rock music.
Ahead of a home-town show in early December, we have a chat with the band's guitarist Zac Greensill.
How did you approach the writing and recording of your new album 'Stray Fire'?
Outside of the few ideas that already existed when we started laying the ground work for 'Stray Fire', our main approach was to write a cohesive album that was at its core, concise and very personal.
Where I think all of us were at that time was a fairly deep, existential place and we were trying to tap into our central identity as a band. There is a heavy idea of 'home' in this album.
The largest theme for most of the tracks was really an ode to where Mitch (Legg, singer/ guitarist) and I grew up, which was fairly rural and in complete contrast to where we're based now (Brisbane).
Released in August, have you and the band been happy with the response so far?
The response has been phenomenal.
I was a little nervous with how people were going to receive this album as it was a big change in direction to our previous album. Considering our place in the progressive rock scene, I think I expected people to find it a little too accessible! But people have responded amazingly to it, which has been a really humbling experience.
'Stray Fire' is the first album since your 2014 debut 'Simulacra'; how has the sound and style of your music evolved since then?
I think we've grown a lot. Where our tastes and musical interests lie probably aren't with modern progressive rock anymore, and we wanted to write an album that reflected that change in interest.
How does 'Stray Fire' compare/ contrast to 'Simulacra'?
'Simulacra' was, from my perspective, my way of finding my feet musically.
There is a lot of experimentation on that album, simply by virtue of the fact that it was written over about a five-year period. There was a lot of different ideas, and I think where it differs mainly is that 'Stray Fire' has a deep focus on sticking with a sound and working from start to finish as one body of work.
What's it like to be back on guitar duties?
Haha, I never left! The band went on hiatus after my role in Caligula's Horse became more and more demanding.
After a while, Opus Of A Machine kept calling me back and I was writing music that didn't quite fit with C-Horse. It was really a case of do or die for me. I knew that if I kept Opus Of A Machine on the back-burner long enough, then I would lose that steam it took me to jump back into it.
The band took some time off after the debut; what did you get up to in that time?
Caligula's Horse was ramping up touring and releasing albums. Around that time they signed a record deal with Inside Out and it really became a fairly big commitment.
If I wanted to do right by Opus Of A Machine, I knew I had to put it on hiatus rather than bite off more than I could chew. However, we wrote some material in a sort of fragmented way that ended up making its way onto 'Stray Fire'. So it wasn't all lost time.
How are you feeling about playing the new album live and in full at a home-town show?
I can't wait. There are a few tracks on the album that are a little more experimental that we haven't had a chance to perform live yet, so we'll be working hard to bring them to life on the stage.
On top of that, the album really is something that works from start to finish so it's been on my bucket list for a while to perform the entire thing live. I wanted to play this entire album live since I finished writing it, so to say I'm excited is an understatement.
Will the live show be as epic as the album sounds?
I hope so! We put a lot of layering and production into our recordings, but we have a few tricks up our sleeve, so this will be a show unlike anything we've ever played before, so get ready.
Where else can we catch the band live?
We're hoping to get on the road again early next year and after that we plan on going back into the studio and writing more. We've got so many ideas in vault that we're slowing sifting through.
What are your plans for Christmas and summer?
During that time, we'll probably take a little break to unwind and spend with family. But we're hoping to jump back into touring and writing immediately after that.
What's coming next from Opus Of A Machine?
More shows, more songs, bigger shows, better songs. That's the plan anyway.