Structures

author BL date 02/12/12

It was a busy evening in London. A whole slew of planned underground train maintenance meant I had to get a bus to the venue through the busy streets which was slow and frustrating. Thankfully the contact was similarly stuck in traffic as well, and by the time we both got to the venue the band had finished soundchecking for what will be a huge show in front of a sellout crowd. Parkway Drive were the headliners and I could see a queue stretching around the road, braving the cold British weather. I managed to grab frontman and vocalist Nick Xourafas for a quite chat on the balcony.

RF.net: So lets get this started, just introduce yourself!
Nick: Hey I'm Nick, I'm in a band called Structures and I'm the vocalist. I scream things and I yell at people.

RF.net: So this is the final day of the UK leg of the tour, how has it been going?
Nick: The best, The best time ever! The last time we were in the UK was for The Veil Of Maya tour, where the UK treated us exceptionally well and is still the case today and still the case the other days. We're on tour with Parkway Drive so that helps as well. London is sold out too tonight so that's awesome.

RF.net: So compared to the last time you were here, bigger and better now then?
Nick: I guess how we blend our heavy and our chaotic parts, with our more "streamlined" parts I would say. We like the heavy, we like the G chord, and we like being upfront and aggressive. From our liveshow we're very energetic!

RF.net: You guys have a pretty heavy sound that also mixes a lot of interesting elements together. A lot of layers etc..

Nick: Our drummer listens to a lot of other different kinds of music so that incorporates it.

RF.net: It's been more than a year since your debut album "Divided By" came out and so you guys have had a lot of time to tour on that album, reflecting back, how do you feel about it now?
Nick: It had to happen, we had to put out the record and we're very happy with it. We've definitely grown again since then ofcourse through a full year of touring. It's the same with our EP, we were touring off that before we went to the studio which kind of shaped "Divided By". With each album you'll see a different sound from us - well, maybe not different sound, but a different "take" on the sound.

RF.net:: Okay, so taking this further, what were the big differences between when you went to record the EP and recording this album?

Nick: The EP was all self-produced, everything was by the band. There was no direction, we were just young kids and wanted to make technical heavy music. Through touring you realise what you really want to do, what you want to play, see the excitement from the fans and everyone jumping up and down. We want more of that and to keep going.

RF.net: There were a lot of simiarities soundwise between your EP and your album, but also noticeable stylistic differences...

Nick: It's hard to describe right? Thinking back, I haven't listened to our EP in a long time - but it was a lot faster, a lot more chaos. I guess with "Divided By" we focused a little more on melody in some parts and structure. It's a little different for us since we don't write songs like cookie-cutter bands. We don't just sit in a studio and write a riff and put another one that goes to it, we write songs.

RF.net: So in terms of songwriting, where do you guys get your inspiration from then?

Nick: We listen to so many bands, and not even just bands but artists. This sounds really weird but ... nature? We're from Canada, like we go and take a walk in the morning, and you get some inspiration out of that.

RF.net: That's interesting given how sometimes your sound can be quite ... abrasive?

Nick: Nature's there, it's the biggest thing.

RF.net: As an individual, or even as band, do you have any favourites you like to listen to?
Nick: We listen to a lot of hip-hop, I like a lot of drum & bass. I'm into hardcore, and deathcore. I love bands like Ion Dissonance, Despised Icon, I love Emmure, and we've listened to Parkway Drive since we were young, and Architects - bands we've managed to go on tour with, basically and bands that we look up to. Our first tour ever was with Periphery and that's a band we've looked up to throughout our musical career. We got to tour with Misery Signals directly right after that, and that's another band that we love and have been listening to forever. Just going to keep the ball rolling and try to tour with our favourite bands.

RF.net: What do you see as your ultimate ambitions?

Nick: I want to see all of the world. I've seen a lot of the world but I want to see Japan, Malaysia and places like that in Asia. I'd also love to do the Vans Warped Tour at least once. Those are my main goals I guess right now. But we have a lot of current goals I guess like, right now, put out an EP, get signed, write a full length, tour with our favourite bands, we did all of that. So we're going to keep pushing ourselves and it puts us in the right direction.

RF.net: These days, kids don't really buy CDs much anymore, people are downloading stuff. You guys are signed to Sumerian Records, it's a pretty well known label. Has this affected you?
Nick: Oh yeah, but it's almost impossible not to be affected by it. Myself? I feel like if everyone bought everything they listened to, the artist and the labels will have more money. But there are so many songs in the world, it's so far gone now that I don't see it ever going back to a position where record sales will be the norm anymore. Now it's more about Itunes, digital stuff like that, and labels are getting creative and doing other things to make that money back like DVDs.

RF.net: So you see it as an inevitable change?

Nick: It's an inevitable thing, and it's the reason why our underground scene stretches so far though. Without filesharing and streaming I don't think half the bands that are out there right now would be known because there's just so many.

RF.net: And a lot of them...

Nick: ...sound the same, look the same!

RF.net: Is that what motivates you to try and separate yourselves?

Nick: We don't want to be another cookie-cutter band, like a template band - chorus, verse, chorus and...

RF.net: ...a million breakdowns?

Nick: Yeah a million breakdowns too. We want some originality with it, but it's not to say those things aren't important. You go to a live show and you see everyone's reaction, that's what you want to see - kids just having fun jumping up and down. I mean you don't want them to stand there and stare at you and don't know what the hell you're playing.

RF.net: Tell us more about home, how does it differ to playing here?
Nick: Well in Canada itself, it's not as different as you would think. Canada has a very good metal scene, though there's not many places in Canada to play. But the main markets are pretty good and they've treated us very well throughout the years. It's our home - the night life in Toronto is awesome. Everyone is friends or is friendly.

RF.net: So is this what, the second time you've been to the UK?

Nick: Yeah second time in the last six months I think.

RF.net: Do you prefer home or here?

Nick: That's hard, I couldn't handle the weather here. It's cold, it rains, and no sun. BUT, I love playing the UK more than anywhere else in Europe.

RF.net: Can you let us know about what the band is planning to do in the future?
Nick: Well right now we just recorded and I've just put down vocals on our new single - it's in pre-production right now. We're also in the middle of writing our new record right now as we speak, and after we finish this tour we're going to write a little bit more and then head into the studio.

RF.net:Any hints you could give on what the new stuff will sound like?

Nick: It sounds like Structures but just, evolved if you will. And I know everyone says that with their new music - like it's expanding, but it really is different. We're putting our hearts and souls into this record, we want this one to "make it" and to get us there.

RF.net: Sounds good, well good luck with the rest of the tour. The last word is with you.
Nick: I want to thank all our European and UK fans for sticking with us and having a good time. We'll be back soon, love you all.

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