Henning Pauly Interview

Interview by George Heron

Henning Pauly is a multi-talented musician and producer of such works as the Chain and Frameshift albums. I caught up with Henning just as he was putting the final touches to his new Frameshift album with ex-Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach, and recovering from a cold. In the longest Prog interview I’ve conducted, I found Henning as a man who is very enthusiastic about his own music but disillusioned with the Prog genre as a whole, but still able to back up his views in detail as to the whys. Both components made for a very interesting and entertaining interview. For those who have the attention spans (and being Prog fans, you damn well should) read on and hopefully you’ll agree.

GH: I’d first like to ask you about how your different projects reflect different parts of your musical personality. Starting with Chain.

HP: Chain was a band I had back home in Germany in the mid-90s. I played in a lot of bands from classic rock, country and some avant-garde stuff and Chain was the idea of a friend of mine, Stephen Kernbach, the keyboard player and he wanted to do a Prog metal band like Dream Theater. He was a big Dream Theater fan and he turned me on to that stuff. We had a drummer who was 15-16 at the time and we formed the band and we were looking for a bass player. A very good guy who was also 15 at the time. We rehearsed and wrote for more than a year, but it never went anywhere because we didn’t have a vocalist to pull off the material and the ones that understood the material were not good vocalists and the ones that could sing did not get the stuff. We split up after a year because we hadn’t come up with anything except a tape that we did in the practice room. Like with a stupid microphone in the middle that will record whatever we are playing.
About three years ago I produced a nu-metal band, like Scream-core or whatever you call that stuff and the music was not bad but the band was much unrehearsed. The bass player did not link up with the kick drum. They didn’t listen to each other. I was wondering what we were like when we were that age. So I pulled out that very old tape and listened to it and thought, “Holy Crap!” I remembered all those melodies, rhythms and everything were tightly arranged. We really liked listening to each other’s parts and discuss amongst each other what the drums should sound like, what the bass should do. It was good stuff and was almost a whole album.
So, as a Christmas present to the guys in the band I spent the weekend re-producing that album. I didn’t tell the guys about it, found Matt Cash as a vocalist and did it as a fun project. I took it home to the guys in Germany for Christmas and said, “Hey guys! By the way, here’s the CD we never made” and they said, “AAh, you put the old tape on the CD.” I said: “No, not quite.” I played them the CD and their jaws dropped and had tears in their eyes and they couldn’t believe it because all the parts from the old days were there.

Prog Rock Records

That was supposed to be it and then I found this internet radio station who said: “Send us your CDs and we might play them.” It was Progrock.com and the guy called me and said: “Oh my God! This is amazing material. Were forming a little internet label” asked me if I’d like a record contract and I said, “Sure! You can flog my CDs over the web, fine.” That was supposed to be it. Next thing he said was that they were doing a Saga tribute album and asked me if I wanted to contribute a Saga cover and he said to do “Hot or Cold”, so I did because I didn’t have anything else to do. There was a song that I didn’t put on the first Chain album called “Cities” and I started working on that for the second Chain album, yet again just for fun and a couple of sales.

Frameshift I

Then, all of a sudden he said that James LaBrie didn’t want to do a Saga tribute cover but if there was anyone with some good material that they should tell him about it and if I was interested in writing some stuff for James LaBrie. I wrote two songs as a demo and James absolutely loved them and so we had to go to do the first Frameshift album. I put the second Chain album on hold to work on that. But after coming back to it the Saga tribute had folded but I still had “Hot or cold” ready to put on a CD so I decided to put it on the Second Chain album instead. It was around this point that I felt that I had overProgged myself and decided to take a break for two weeks.

Thirteen Days

I decided to do a whole other album called “Thirteen Days”. I decided to approach this like it was the first thing that popped into my head like if I came up with a guitar riff I’ll go with it. There were no loops or keyboards whatsoever. Anything you can do with guitars – banjo, acoustic, electric, seven string etc – bass and drums. And vocals, of course. I really wanted to do it quickly. Working with a vocalist I can’t lock him in a studio for two weeks, but I have so many friends who are great vocalists so why not have everyone sing one song. We have 11 vocalists on there. We’d produce a song in four or five hours and then get the vocalist in there. Matt’s case we did a song in like five minutes and while he was writing lyrics and surfing the web. I produced the music and he came in and sang it. Yet again, just for fun and we made 1000 CDs and we’re selling them. There’s some fun stuff on there and I learned a lot about soloing. I’m very happy with the solos that I did on this project. I think there’s some good stuff there.


Then I had my head free to go back and do Chain. It also happened that the label signed Michael Sadler’s solo album, “Clear”, which is a really good album. He had heard the cover version of “Hot or cold” and he told me that Saga loved it. So I asked him if he’d sing on it for the Chain album and he was delighted to. He heard some parts of “Cities” and he said it was great stuff and that if I wanted him to sing on it he would. I thought “Way to go!” So Michael came and sang on “Cities”, which made it the song that it is with the singing back and forth with Matt – Matt being very bluesy, whilst Michael is very clear and precise. The same happened with Mike Kenneally, who is a God. This guy is so creative it’s insane.

GH: I’ve seen him at a Steve Vai concert and he was playing every instrument going.

HP: Mike Kenneally is completely insane. I listened to one of his albums and I called Shawn [from Prog Rock Records] and asked him if he could get Mike Kenneally on the Chain album and he said: “I’ll see what I can do.” Two weeks later he calls to tell me that he can come in by the end of the week. I’m like, “Oh Shit!” Because, if you write for Mike Kenneally you need something that is worthy of Mike Kenneally. You can’t have him playing on a 4/4. I also wanted him to sing because he’s a cool vocalist. But you don’t have him singing something normal. If he sings it it’s gotta be fucked up. It has to be you know. So, the last song on the Chain album was supposed to be “Last Chance to See” which is Douglas Adam’s favourite book that he ever wrote. This song means the most to me on the album as when Douglas Adam’s died I was destroyed. His writing means the world to me. A lot of people have the bible; I have the “Hitch hikers guide…” I figured that Douglas Adam’s entertaining writing would be a good background for Mike Kenneally’s comedic cartoonish style. To say the word “Zaphod” convincingly in a song, you’ve gotta be Mike Kenneally. The solo he played on the song is absolutely mind-blowing. I tried to write the most complicated part that I could imagine and he just soloed over it and said, “Oh, you want that as a triple and that as a quintuplet? OK, cool. I’ll play that.”


Then I wanted to start work on “Babysteps” – my big rock opera, which has James LaBrie on it, Michael Sadler. It’s got Jim Gilmour and Ian Crichton from Saga doing solos each. It’s got Alan Morse from Spock’s Beard playing Cello, Jodi Ashworth from Tran Siberian Orchestra in one of the lead roles. Matt Cash from Chain is singing, Al Pitrelli from Savatage is going to play some guitar parts if he hasn’t lost faith in me yet as we keep on pushing it back and back. That’s going to be a huge rock opera kind of in the Style of TSO but more complicated. Over 2 CDs.

Frameshift II

It got pushed back yet again because Shawn said: “I have an idea for an album that I would like Geoff Tate to sing and so I wrote a couple of songs.” I wasn’t really into it but I wrote a couple of songs and thought I’d give it a go and give him a demo to see where we could take it. But then we got into talking and the material got very aggressive, very hard and the subject matter was very dark. Geoff Tate is a great vocalist but he is very clean. Very operatic, very controlled, just like James LaBrie, a very clean voice. This stuff needs to be dirty, very gritty and aggressive and I could only think of two people who can be absolutely amazingly aggressive and scream yet in the same word, morph into something beautiful. That’s Sebastian Bach and Devon Townsend. There are a lot of screamers and there are a lot of good vocalists. There isn’t a lot who can bridge the gap between them. James LaBrie and I got talking and he said that he agreed that Geoff Tate would not be the right guy for this thing and he asked me if I could get anyone in the world who could I get for this, no matter if it’s feasible or not, who would it be? I said “Sebastian Bach.” James said: “Well let me give him a call.” So, I’m like “OK.” So we sent Sebastian the stuff and he loved the music and then I wrote the rest of the album with Sebastian Bach in mind and sent it to him. His first reaction was that he was pretty shocked. He felt the material needed some work because there are distorted synthesizer basses and distorted loops. The production techniques are modern, it’s not a rock band. We’re talking about stuff that Nine Inch Nails do or Marilyn Manson or Linkin Park. One of the songs is based on a hip-hop groove. For Sebastian, that was uncharted territory and he said that it rubs him the wrong way. I was destroyed. I felt that I could not rewrite this album and I thought that someone else would have to sing it as that is the way the album is. I asked him to give me another chance and listen to the stuff a bit more. He did that and could then see where I was going with it. It was just the first shock that this was not the stuff he was used to doing, but that was the whole point. The point, as in with James in the first album, was to put him in a context foreign to them. Sebastian is now convinced of the album and he absolutely loves it. But it took him getting over that hump for him to realise where I was going with it. So that’s my story.

GH: With all your projects, do you do your best to try and make them as individual as possible, to keep them separate or do they unavoidably get intertwined.

HP: I have a completely different approach for everything I do. Chain, although I still play most of the instruments and the guys in Germany, the bass player and the keyboard player are listed on the CD. And for me they are still band members, but most of the music is played by me. I still let them have a say, which means I write the parts more like what a band would actually play. Chain, for me, has a band sound. Something you could put onstage, you might have to hire a second guitar player, but in the end, it’s a band.

Frameshift is anything goes. If I want an 80 piece orchestra, I can arrange it, I’ve got the samples. If I want distorted loops backwards, with who knows what effect, I can do it. Frameshift is not about reality. Frameshift is about a soundscape I can create. With Frameshift, I can take a guitar part and chop it into bits to make it stutter. Which you can’t do live. It’s about making the music the best can be, which sometimes with a band you can’t do. With a band you’ve got restrictions, how many parts you can play and how they can be played. With Frameshift it is about the final product and it is also about showing off a vocalist in an environment that he is not known for.

In Chain, with Matt and Michael Sadler I take more time to do instrumental stuff as in Chain it is not about the vocalist, it’s about the whole band. Just like with Sebastian Bach, I think we have two songs that there isn’t even a solo in there because we don’t always need that. It’s not about me, people will know who I am and what I do on the album simply because it’s out. But the album is there to show Sebastian Bach in a light that he hasn’t been seen before. So there is a very different approach. Even between the first and second Frameshift albums, the second one is a lot heavier and has a much darker storyline.

Babysteps will have more orchestral stuff in it, very little loops and electronic things. The keyboards will be more like Rhodes piano, B3 Organ, the more natural acoustic-sounding types of keyboards. I have a vision for what an album should sound like and set aside tools for each individual album.

GH: As you commission a range of artist for your works, do you think comparisons between yourself and Arjen Lucassen are fair?

HP: I get that an awful lot and the comparison is very true and not. Before I did anything, about seven or eight years ago someone gave me a copy of “Into the Electric Castle” and that album is purely brilliant, no question about it. Everything in this album was done right. On the first Chain album, you hear the “Earthscapes”, transitions between the songs, you can hear vocal songs of Douglas Adams reading “Hitchhiker…” and they are very much like the speech things in that Ayreon album. That album influenced me a lot and gave me a lot of ideas.

Other things I’ve heard of him, “Actual Fantasy”, I found that a little bit flat as he’s got a lot of those pulsating synthesizers going on and then he builds on top of that. I didn’t find that as convincing as “Electric Castle”. And to be brutally frank the new album (“The Human Equation”), I thought totally went down the drain. I never want to say anything without backing it up instead of saying “It’s crap I don’t like it.” What’s the point? He’s got a very distinct style, which absolutely speaks for him. You can tell it from the first note that it’s him. Things I don’t like about this album are when drums are there, which is not a lot, the kick drum follows what the guitar is doing all the time, so the drums are just mirroring the rhythm of the guitars. For me, that is a very flat and unimaginative way to arrange. I think the drummer was highly underused in this album. He goes completely overboard with the vocalists. In “Electric Castle” he used a vocalist to sing a part like a verse and then the chorus came in and another two vocalists would sing a duet or something. The vocalists were able to start a musical idea, bring it to a climax, finish it and then put a period on it to complete it. On this album, the vocalist gets one line and then at the end of the line he isn’t allowed to finish because the next vocalist is stepping on top of it. You hire a guy like James LaBrie who is a respected and amazing talent and before he even gets a chance to make a musical statement he’s over and the next guys singing right on top of him. You can do that on one song or maybe two on a double CD, but it’s happening through the whole album. It gets so tiring to listen to. I made it through the whole thing and I tried again and I made it through the first CD but I could not listen to it anymore after that. I never hear an idea finished, like an emotional arc or contour of the melody gets lost by what he did with the vocalist and he has some amazing vocalists on there. But he doesn’t give them the chance to unfold what they have. That is where this album utterly failed.

But to answer your question shortly, as I do babble on, yes, he has been an influence on me but I would say selectively of his material and not of everything he’s done.

GH: What stage is Frameshift II at?

HP: It would have been mixed by now if I hadn’t been lying sick on the couch all week.

GH: How are you feeling now?

HP: A little bit better. I hope that by Monday I should be able to start mixing it. It shouldn’t take any longer than a week. I’ve just talked to distribution in Germany and they are of the opinion that we should push the release date back a little bit further to get some reviews and articles out in time, which I think is a good idea. In terms of the mixing, it’s merely a case of making sure the vocals have the right reverb and volume – little things like that. Everything is in place.

GH: From what I’ve read on the Frameshift II site, the album has a very dark tone. Do you think that the combination of dark music and lyrics will be too depressing for your fans and make them want to slit their wrists?

HP: (laughs) I’m expecting this question in every interview I’ll be giving. We made sure that the album will not be misunderstood and it is a big danger as the album is about human violence. If we just make the statement that we are all assholes and we are all capable of doing horrible things then you’re right, why go on living?

But the point of the album is we are all capable of doing horrible things, the question is how much of that do we control and let out. It’s the story of a guy who in the beginning is just interested in violence. He reads the news papers, sees the news and he becomes obsessed about what makes people do these horrible things. He doesn’t want to read about it any more, he’s read all he can read. He wants to know what it is like to commit these horrible acts. How can someone do such things? Then he starts a very long vivid dream where he jumps from one person into the other and experiences pain himself, killing himself, looking at his daughter in a mental institution who was raped. He is in the rapist who is trying to control his urge but doesn’t know if he can and how much longer. He’s in a tank, hiding with his conscience contemplating if it’s a good idea to follow the order and shoot or if he should desert and face the consequences. I didn’t want to do an album where people say “this album just tells people that violence is good.” And “you’ve done a metal album so it’s gotta be about killing right?” There’s a lot more to it.

GH: You are tackling some grisly themes like serial killers and rapists. Have you gone with these themes using descriptive, potentially offensive language or tried your best to stay away from that?

HP: I am of the opinion that the word “Fuck” is just as applicable as any other word, just like “Hello”. But if you use the word like “The fucking fucking fuckers” the word loses anything. There was a very good South Park episode with the word “Shit” or “Fuck” where the knights of standards and practices are sent to protect the word. The South Park guys made the point of the overuse of foul language. The word shit has its place if you are trying to convey something strongly and in a certain context it can be appropriate. We have two fucks and one shit, I didn’t want to overdo. Also considering we’ve got Sebastian Bach, who is not shy about that it was appropriate and we’re not selling this to 12-year-olds.

GH: It’s not like a Cannibal Corpse album, then with graphic depictions of violence.

HP: No, if you’re getting into that style we’d have to have flesh parts hanging off the cover and that would be so tame. I would like to think that the album is an intelligent way of tackling the subject of violence, not promoting violence. On the cover it says: “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” Isaac Asimov. If you read that cover and you still think it’s about promoting violence then you’re a dumbass. I can’t make it any clearer than that.

GH: Is the new album influenced by Quantum Leap at all through the jumping from one person to the other?

HP: The funny thing is that after we wrote it but I thought about it for a second and thought that this is kinda what we are doing. And while we were tracking it with Sebastian I had to sleep at the studio as there was a flood where I lived and I couldn’t go home. My girlfriend and I were sleeping on a mattress in the studio and we had bought the 2nd season of Quantum Leap and was watching it. That’s a totally unrelated but funny coincidence.

GH: I’ve been on your forum and it was very amusing the way you got the members to guess what the singer would be on the new Frameshift album.

HP: Well everyone was guessing in terms of Progressive rock but I thought if someone can sing, they can sing anything. If you’re a good vocalist, it doesn’t matter what style you’ve got. If you look at the people I listen to you would be shocked. I don’t like most Progressive rock to be quite honest. I like Rush, Kansas, Yes. I seem to like later Yes more than earlier yes. “Union” was the first Yes album I got and “Talk” is another great Yes album. I like Dream Theater, Savatage but a lot of the newer stuff just doesn’t do it for me.

Marillion are a classic rock band for me – “Misplaced Childhood” is a masterpiece. Marillion after Fish left doesn’t do anything for me. I find it completely and utterly boring. I bought two of their recent albums including “Anoraknophobia”, I don’t see what this has to do with Prog or Marillion for me. In the last few years, I was at Berklee and was away from Prog studying music. I got into Jazz and studied arranging. Then I got back into Prog and I bought a Transatlantic album and it blew me away. Killer material.

Then I got into Spock’s Beard – Holy crap that’s good shit. Talk about songwriting of the highest level with amazing musicians. Everything is catchy. I don’t care if it’s fast or complex if you can’t put a melody in it. Spock’s beard could do both. When Neal left neither of the entities were at the level of when they were together.

GH: So you don’t think much of either post-Neal Beard or Neal’s solo work?

HP: Neal’s solo work is disappointing. “Testimony” was a killer album musically but I felt it was stretched out a little too long and had a lot of instrumental passages that could have been wrapped up earlier. I have a tough time listening to it because it is the opposite of what I believe in.

I listen to music completely detached from who makes it. If the guy is a crack addict who rapes nuns, that’s his problem but if his music is good, I can still enjoy the music. You know what I mean. If Metallica release a country album, I wouldn’t listen to it in terms of what they’ve done before, I would listen to it as what it is – a country album. If you listen to that country song from “Load” as purely a country song from band X you realise it’s a good song. Compared to the black album… well who gives a shit? I can do that with anyone except with Neal Morse singing about Jesus, I’m a radical atheist. I’ve got problems with that.

GH: Is that because he’s one of your favourite artists?

HP: Yes, I worship the guy. Spock’s beard is one of my favourite bands of all time. The new album (“ONE”) is musically as good as the other stuff but is the same thing again. You can tell where the instrumentation is going. You know there is going to be song with a big a capella thing, you just know these things. He doesn’t experiment. The lyrics are so blatantly Christian. Matt Cash and Adam Evers, who helped write this album are both Christians, don’t sleep before I get married ones. I don’t have a problem with that. They’ve listened to the lyrics of “one” and have said: “OOH, these are blatantly bad Christian lyrics.” That’s my problem with Neal Morse’s new stuff although I still worship him as a songwriter.

Spock’s Beard without him, it’s not bad. The new album – love the cover, love the title – but the last two albums are better produced and performed than before but not on the same level.

I like artists who experiment and don’t get stuck in what they’ve done. I can name several like Joe Satriani – no album sounds the same. You can tell it’s him but from “Flying in a blue dream” which was very spacey to “The extremist” the biggest live sound ever then he did “crystal planet” and “Engines of Creation” that was techno stuff with him on top of it, showing that he’s not afraid to try something different. Same with Steve Vai, he was doing “Sex and Religion” with Devin Townsend and then went back to a three-piece with “Alien Love Secrets. You never know what those two are going to do next.

So many Progressive rock bands nowadays disappoint me. Either the writings not there or the production and writing is killer but they sound exactly like another band. There’s one band on the label, I shall not say what the name is, but it’s Kansas. It has great vocals and production and everything but if it sounds 100% like Kansas, why do it? Why do an album if it’s not my own identity and sounds like someone else did it before me.

Look at all these Yngwie Malmsteen clones out there. We have Yngwie, why do we need all these people trying to sound like him. Most Prog metal goes into the classical realm, bands like Kamelot and Symphony X remind me too much of Malmsteen. If you want to listen to neo-classical metal there is only one guy and he may be in an idiot and an arrogant bastard but Yngwie is the one who does it right. His problem is he sounds like he did 20 years ago. I have 10 of his albums and if I bought another 10 of his I would have the same again.

It’s a shame that there isn’t a lot of Progressiveness in Progressive rock nowadays. If you want to do Progressive music with both complex melody and lyrics why not take some aspects of bands like Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails or Rob Zombie? The music doesn’t have to be of their type, but their modern production techniques and use of synthesizers has influenced me into making album of what Progressive metal could be.

GH: Do you think that your pet project “Babysteps” could possibly end up as your equivalent of Brian Wilson’s “Smile”?

HP: I wouldn’t put me at the level of Brian Wilson. It was supposed to be done last summer. But I could not turn down the chance to work with Sebastian Bach. I will not let anything happen this time. I am absolutely convinced we are gonna do this. We already have a lot of it tracked and recorded. I get offered a lot of projects to do but “Babysteps” is very close to my heart and I feel has a lot of financial potential. It’s a story about patients in a rehab centre, for people who have to recover from slipped discs or tumour surgery and they are handicapped. Their families can’t deal with it and don’t visit them. So these patients grow together and become friends and kick each other’s asses to get out of there. They motivate each other to get back on their feet. It’s a true story, they are friends of mine. I worked in the hospital and I saw it happen and I know that when I wrote it for them it meant the world. The musical inspired them to work for themselves because they saw someone from outside caring. All the people involved really believe in this project. Right now I’m doing Matt Cash’s country solo album, I’m really looking forward to it and we’ve done some basic tracks already. That’s only going to be a couple of weeks, then I should have my head free to go into “Babysteps” and I’ve told my boss that I’m not gonna work towards a deadline and I’ll work on it as long as I need to get it done and then I’ll do the next thing.

GH: Have you heard Pain of Salvation’s latest album “BE”?

HP: No, but I have heard their “Perfect Element” album several times.

GH: One of the criticisms of that album is that there are a lot of spoken pieces that break up the pacing of the music. Do you think the same thing could be said about the “Earthscapes” in Chain’s “Reconstruct” album?

HP: There were people who loved the “Earthscapes” and people who thought they weren’t cool. There’s a really simple reason why I put the Earthscapes in there. First of all, I never thought about selling the thing. Secondly, since the songs were 90% as they were when wrote them back in the days, I couldn’t really show off as a producer. I couldn’t use loops or cool arranging techniques as the songs were already arranged as they were. I did those “Earthscapes” to have some fun, do some processing and see what I could do. There was some synthesizer things I wanted to do. On “EXE” there was no space for anything like that as there was only 3 seconds left on the disc after all the songs. Some people didn’t like the Saga cover “Hot to Cold” but I figure that why shouldn’t it be released for fans who will appreciate it? Sometimes things spoken between songs is cool but you can overdo it.

Pain of Salvation is kind of weird for me. I hear “The Perfect Element” and I can’t put my finger on what I don’t like about the band. That bugs me because I’m an analyst, I know what I like and what I don’t like music and I can tell you why. The guy can sing he’s got good range, emotional range too. But his voice doesn’t speak to me and I don’t know why. Muscially, they can all play. They have their own sound, they don’t sound like anyone else and the first song, “Used” is amazing. They get into this amazing melodic chorus and then go somewhere else. I want to hear that more. Yeah, it’s so heavy and then so beautiful but the beautiful part is only there twice and it is so short. Dude, listen to pop music, bring the chorus back.

Roxette’s best of album was called something like “Don’t mess around, get to the friggin’ chorus and I know I shouldn’t say that about Progressive music but you have to give people something that is a hook. It doesn’t matter what music you do. Stravinsky wouldn’t have been successful if he hadn’t made melodies that people can remember. John Willliams makes cajillion dollars because he knows how to write a melody. That’s what any kind of music that speaks to me should have.

GH: Where do you get your patches from? There are so many different sounds on your albums, I’m curious about what software and hardware you use to bring them about.

HP: On the new album, it was almost all virtual instruments (VSTs). Steinberg endorse us so I use their VSTs but I also use Native Instruments – the B4 organ. Absynth has some neat freaky sounds. Steinberg has a thing called XStrings that can create moving pads. I could create a synth patch from scratch but I think why do that if I can find a good preset? I also have a 2GB sound library in Gigastudio. I wouldn’t use it for synthesizers as sampled synths don’t really work because a synth has a lot of character to the sound, moving elements and frequency oscillators and filters so if you sample that it’s gonna be the same every single time. But any acoustic instrument, I can use Gigastudio. I’ve also got about 20-25 modules for keyboards.

GH: What instruments would you like to learn to play in the future?

HP: I would like to learn to play the cello as I saw Al Morse (from Spock’s Beard) playing it for my “Babysteps” album and I feel it is an instrument that can add a lot of emotion to a piece. Another instrument that I would like to learn for the same reason is the French Horn. Both instruments have the range to play both high and low and cover a broad spectrum of the octaves, more so than most other instruments in their respective categories.

GH: On listening to the song “She looks like you” from “Chain.exe”, I noticed that Matt Cash sounds an awfully lot like Trey Parker, creator of South Park. Would you say this is an accurate observation?

HP: (Laughs) I haven’t heard that one before. I guess it could be true as Matt is not really a metal singer, he just tries to have a metal-sounding voice for my music. The same as Trey puts on a rock-sounding voice in certain songs. But then there’s the part in “cities” in the chorus.

GH: The “Give me the Journey” (sung badly) part?

HP: Yeah and on that he doesn’t sound anything like Trey. But Trey is one of my favourite composers. He really knows how to get a hook in there and come up with some funny tunes. I’ll have to tell Matt that one.