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Artist spotlight: THE CONTORTIONIST

Band: The Contortionist
Link: https://www.facebook.com/thecontortionist

Please tell us who you are, your band, where you guys are from? I’m Michael Lessard and I’m a member of The Contortionist. We’re a band that is dispersed all throughout the US, but Indiana is our home base.

How do you guys write your music? How has it changed since you first started? When writing our music we try to utilize a variety of techniques. Some songs have been written in the rehearsal space and others entirely through recording. Some have been the efforts of one member, while others have been a collaborative effort among the 6 of us. We feel using different methods and tools while writing can lead to interesting and more varied results. The main thing that’s changed the way we construct our music is recording technology. We now have the ability to create and share ideas while living on opposite sides of the country.

Do you guys write and record on tour? Luckily for us the advances in audio software have made it very easy to write and record on the road. At a certain point in time we didn’t have that luxury, so we’d have to try our best to find some sort of crude way to capture the idea. These days we’re able to sit down the moment the mood strikes and get amazing tones with the touch of a button.

How did you go about writing Clairvoyant? Clairvoyant was written in a cabin in the deep woods of Maine. We took a month to sift through the different songs and pieces we’d accumulated over the course of a few years, then started putting the puzzle together. The objective was to make the most cohesive, seamless album we could, while having songs that could stand on their own.

How has Toontrack helped The Contortionist in your writing process? Toontrack has helped by allowing us access to high quality, easily affordable, incredibly convenient audio software. We’re always on the move, so carrying around thousands of dollars in outboard gear for recording isn’t an option, and that’s where Toontrack has made a massive difference. It’s allowed us to get the sounds we need the moment we feel inspired.

What are your thoughts on Superior Drummer 3? There are times when recording live drums just isn’t practical or possible. Superior Drummer 3 not only eliminates that problem, it makes it impossible to tell that what you’re hearing isn’t a live drummer. When you mix that with it’s deep and customizable sound library, that can serve any style you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong.

If there was anything you could say to the young musician looking for inspiration from The Contortionist, what would you say? Be persistent and never be afraid to try ideas that might be thought of as wrong. You never know what you’ll stumble upon. Everything has a time and a place, and many of the sounds that make bands and artists unique are the ones that were found through experimentation. Don’t be scared to push outside the box, but at the same time try and be mindful of when you should be in it.

MORE FROM THE CONTORTIONIST.

TOM QUAYLE.

What five guitarists shaped Tom Quayle as a player? That and much more right here!

WANT TO BE A BETTER GUITARIST?

Check out what our friends over at Jam Track Central – they offer online masterclasses with tabs and video from some of the most amazing players on the planet!

JOE FORD.

Meet Joe Ford, rising EDM star and Toontrack user!

LEE MAJOR.

Meet Lee Major, acclaimed hip-hop producer.

MEET NOISIA.

Meet Noisia, EDM superstars and Superior Drummer 2 users.

GET SOME RAW MIX MATERIAL.

Sometimes, mixing someone else’s material is the best way to get new ideas. Download this unmixed session by engineer Forrester Savell and the band Labelle – and start mixing!

JAM WITH ANDY.

Check out Andy’s video here, then download the backing track and solo over it yourself!

OLA ENGLUND.

Meet Ola Englund, longtime Toontrack collaborator and Metal Guitar God by trade.

JACK THAMMARAT.

We asked super-guitarist Jack Thammarat for a gear rundown – and some more!

A SUPERIOR GUITARIST.

Meet Superior Drummer 2 artist John Petrucci of Dream Theatre.

A SONG IN NO TIME.

This quick video shows how you add piano and a bass line to your already recorded guitar track using EZkeys.

SUPERIOR DRUMMER 2 GOES ELECTRONIC.

Want to learn more about using Superior Drummer 2 for producing electronic beats? Check the first episode of Seamless’ upcoming series of videos!

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