THE TOONTRACK WORLD BAND – FEAT. SCAR SYMMETRY/NOCTURNAL RITES, TWELVE FOOT NINJA, THE AGONIST AND MORE!
What happens when you have six incredibly talented musicians from around the globe collaborate on a song by each writing one part? We asked ourselves the very same question, which is why we’ve teamed up with Gear Gods and are beyond excited to bring you the Toontrack Metal Month 2018 World Band!
Featuring the talents of Stevic Mackay from Twelve Foot Ninja, Vicky Psarakis from The Agonist, Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija from Demonic Resurrection, Per Nilsson from Scar Symmetry/Meshuggah/Nocturnal Rites, Gus G of Firewind and ex-Ozzy Osbourne, and Russell Wells of Riffs And Chugs TV, the song includes artists from Australia, North America, India, Sweden, Greece, and South Africa! Here’s how they did it:
First, we set a tempo for the song and created a drum track intro using Superior Drummer 3 from Toontrack. The tempo and drums were sent to Stevic from Twelve Foot Ninja in Australia, who promptly ignored it and wrote his own way sicker intro at the same tempo. Good on ya, mate! We then sent Stevic’s completed intro and the drums for the verse to Sahil from Demonic Resurrection in India, who came up with the mean-as-hell verse riff section. The intro, verse, and drums for the chorus were then sent to Per of Scar Symmetry/Meshuggah/Nocturnal Rites in Sweden, who wrote the incredibly catchy chorus and insane chorus riff that follows. We’re still scratching our heads at how he did it.
After Per, we copied and pasted what we had so far a second time to keep the structure of a more typical song, at which point everything was sent down to South Africa where Russell of Riffs And Chugs TV threw down the heavy metalcore-esque bridge section after the second chorus. Once the breakdown was added, we sent the whole enchilada to Gus G from Firewind in Greece, with instructions and drums for a guitar solo section (for which he needed to write both rhythm and lead guitar parts). Needless to say, he absolutely knocked the solo out of the park, and ingeniously worked it back into the final chorus without a hitch.
Finally, after dropping in Stevic’s intro riff at the end to bookend the whole thing as an outro, the instrumental track was sent off to Vicky from The Agonist in North America to write vocals over the entire song. At this point, we had no idea what Vicky was going to end up doing on the song, but holy hell, she blew our socks off. Between the catchy, soaring melodies, clever lyrical content, and monstrous screams, she put the perfect bow on an already stellar present, and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
The song was then mixed using two Metal Month 2018 products: the Drums of Destruction EZX and the Modern Metal Guitars EZmix Pack. These are two brand-spankin’-new products this year from Toontrack, and you can hear in the track just how massive they made it sound (you can learn more about them on the Toontrack website).
Now, obviously the musicians featured in this song are incredibly talented in various respects, but there are some challenges to be expected when it comes to forming a cohesive song in the end with this type of collaborative effort. One person can have a certain vision, and that vision gets changed by the next person, and changed by the next person, so on and so forth. Luckily for us, everyone involved knew their specific goals and crushed them, all without stepping on anyone else’s toes (which, if you’ve ever been in a band, you know exactly what we’re talking about). Logistically, the other challenges we faced were mostly time-based, as the different time zones of each country made the overall planning a bit tricky. 30 days of Metal Month might sound like a lot of time, but you’d be surprised at how difficult it is coordinating six full-time musicians across the globe!
Even though it was a challenge, we live in a time where it’s easier than ever to accomplish something like this — a feat that would not have been possible even 20 years ago. Music is something that brings people together, and in our day and age, it truly is possible to unite people from all parts of the planet with the wonderful world of metal. We hope you’ve enjoyed Metal Month 2018 as much as we have, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store for next year. Stay metal!