Discolor Blind’s recently released debut EP ‘Long Vivid Dream’ is Montreal’s newest addition to their passionate music scene. After giving it a spin, I found myself quickly immersed in the deep melancholic shadows as they were softly lit by the sweet angelic voice of Alexis Nadeau. This multi-layered dreamscape is swift in carrying you away to foreign places much like John Fryer’s Black Needle Noise, Portishead and Blonde Redhead.
In order to fully realize his desire to become a musician, Askhan Malayeri left his native Tehran to go in the direction of Cambridge and London and then across the Atlantic to Canada. This is where he met vocalist Alexis Nadeau, established his own studio and began pulling together all of the ideas that would come together as his first meaningful release.
‘Long Vivid Dream’ was recorded in Montreal between April 2013 and October 2015 and involves Grammy and Oscar-winning music producer Jeff Bass who is best known for his long-term work with Eminem and collaboration with George Clinton.
TM is pleased to have had the opportunity to ask Askhan Malayeri a few questions about Discolor Blind’s latest release, working with Grammy and Oscar-winning music producer Jeff Bass and a few things that he’s had to endure in order to become a musician which includes leaving his homeland of Tehran…plus more..
TM – Your sound is more complex than your average pop tune. What are a few things that you employ to achieve your unique sound?
A – Well, in addition to all the typical rock instruments- drums, bass and guitar vocal – we’ve got live cello and trumpet on the record as well. in addition to all of that there are a lot of layers of synthesizer, drum machines and virtual orchestral instrument that are programmed by me.
TM – Who or what are some of your creative influences?
A – I like Hans Zimmer quite a lot… a lot of orchestral stuff like Jerry Goldsmith, Edvard Grieg. Nightwish were a big influence…
TM – What was it like working with Grammy and Oscar-winning music producer Jeff Bass (Eminem, George Clinton) on ‘Long Vivid Dream’?
A – It was really cool. He was quite hard to reach but when he eventually heard the song he said he’d perform on it. I sent him the Protools session and he worked on it. It was a cool learning experience too because he works on Pro Tools and I work on Logic so I had to learn Pro Tools a little. He’s one of my favourite musicians.
TM – Building up the songs involved a long and dedicated process for which you describe as “rebuilding a large cathedral brick by brick”. Can you briefly describe this process?
A – Well there are a lot of layers in the songs so writing it is a lot of work, the writing was done in about one and a half years but then afterwards I had to go through all of these layers and decide which one I wanna record live, replace, etc.
TM – Do you feel that your upbringing in Tehran plays a role in your creative outlook today?
A – It probably did. I don’t take what most people take for granted for granted.
TM – What are some of the things that you had to go through to become a musician in today’s world?
A – A lot of things… many things… especially borders. Really annoying thing to get through. As an Iranian you have to be thankful they don’t put a lens or microscope up your ass every time you pass a border at an airport let alone being treated with respect.
TM – What is the concept behind your first single ‘Black and Grey’?
A – Not much of a concept. It was written during a time I had to write a song but it felt quite difficult to do so but I did… that’s pretty cool and also it’s supposed to be the simplest song on the record.
TM – I understand you plan to begin working on your second release with Producer John Fryer. Can you tell us about this?
A – Yeah, if I make something, John Fryer will be one of the people who’ll mix it. He’s great. I was listening to HIM and thinking ‘who mixed this?’ and then realised it was John Fryer. I had thought of contacting him a year before too but didn’t find his contact info… I knew about him through Depeche Mode already of course. Yeah the next record will be even more ambitious but also simpler. I don’t know how to explain it but I want to simplify certain things while focusing more on other things. It’ll be quite different. I might not even have a girl sing on it… I don’t know… I’ll see what happens.