Lineup News


Kazrog, Inc.
Mar 6, 2002
So it may as well be known that for the past couple of months, I've been working with original Backmask bassist Eric Eskelson. Eric is not only an amazing bassist with a great tone, but also is an awesome vocalist, so all of the vocal harmonies and backup parts will be possible live.

We're in the process of rehearsing material from "Dark Fiber" (which was written and recorded after his first run with the band) as well as writing and demoing new material for the next record. We're also going to begin auditioning drummers in the next few weeks. Once we have a drummer, we'll begin auditions for the second guitarist slot.

The musical climate has changed drastically for the better since the last time we did auditions, so with any luck we will find like-minded musicians this time around (as in guys who actually listen to and play extreme metal, which has historically been scarce in Santa Barbara.) In any case, auditions are always fun and interesting. :popcorn:
So far, no responses to our drummer ad. Quite a few views, I've got analytics on it. My guess is that our music is simply weeding out all the drummers who wouldn't be capable.

Meanwhile we're forging ahead with writing and recording, around our busy schedules. Eric's getting set up with a home recording rig so we can easily swap session files remotely too, since we live some distance away from each other (about 30 minutes drive over very steep mountain roads.)
Well another month later and still no drummers responding to our ads, despite lots of views (and song plays on our site directly from our Craigslist post link.) I'm beginning to think that there's nobody in the Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo counties who's capable of playing our songs (who's not already in a full-time band that is.) I thought the musical climate had become more metal-friendly, but perhaps not. Or perhaps they just don't like our music? Who knows...

So, fuck it. We have a record to make. What happens after that? It's not like we're looking to do a big tour or become huge rock stars, we just want to produce the best music we can, release it to the world via the Internet, and maybe play it for a few of our friends in local venues here and there. Maybe we don't need a permanent drummer, after all, the way we have to work this project in around the margins of our busy schedules would be endlessly frustrating for anyone who wants a full-time band gig.

I'm sure there's a lot of musicians out there in similar positions to us, facing similar uncertainties. Nobody's getting rich playing metal or even straight ahead rock music anymore (far from it) so something has to pay the bills. I've found a way to involve myself in music profitably on a full-time basis as a music software developer and mix engineer, but it took lowering my overhead significantly to make that possible. Eric works a full-time job, and we live 30 miles apart. We're beginning to exchange Cubase session files remotely and piece songs together that way, but he's still learning his new Cubase setup.

So that's the current state of things. What's strange is how many views this thread gets, but no replies. I wonder who's reading this and why? :lol:
After lengthy discussion, we've decided it's best for us to simply move forward with making a new record, without the distraction of gigging. If we're not going to have a permanent drummer, we may as well just make records for now and play live once there's demand.

Meanwhile, we're doing a fair amount of online promotion right now because most of the metal community has no clue who we are. If we do well enough generating demand, maybe we could even afford hire a really great drummer down the road, for actual money (not just beer.) It seems like the really cool, reliable drummers I've met over the years all have one thing in common - they like paying gigs, and they are well aware that reliable drummers are a rare commodity.
As someone who still thinks that "Pride" is one of the coolest songs he's heard, I'm excited about the line-up announcement, even if the music has taken a different direction. Though I think bringing back a little more of that sound would make it sound more original and less soilwork-ish :p
Also wanted to add that a track like Prisoner of Mind really shows an incredible range and I'd like to hear more of that explored, it feels like it really mixes all the carcass, opeth, d.townsend and everything else into something new. It kicks ass. And that kind of openness on the latter half of the track really balances out the more dense riff-tastic bits. More of that contrast within a song or three would really be captivating. Not necessarily of the bi-polar nature of Opeth (one of my favs) but just to make things more surprising here and there. Death metal with the occasional curve ball.
Really cool that you remember and like "Pride." In 2003-2004, we were being pushed by a producer to write commercial radio rock, and that song was one of the results of that. We shopped to various major labels and nothing came of it. I was severely depressed at that time, because I wasn't happy with the music or with the overall direction my life/career was taking. The Dark Fiber album represents what I consider to be the true beginning of Backmask, everything before that was essentially demos and experimentation with various directions and lineups.

On the new album I think you'll definitely see things picking up where "Prisoner of Mind" left off in terms of having roomier songs with more open structures. The Soilwork, Opeth, and Devin Townsend influences will always be there, but I think on the next album there will be a further development of a more unique Backmask sound, as opposed to the very obvious influences on Dark Fiber, which was really kind of a "comfort" album for me after trying to write radio pop rock for a couple of years.
I too enjoyed that 2005 Promo album. My favorite on that album was probably "Dying again" though. Although, I still think you should re-do "Hall of broken mirrors"! Of course, I've mentioned this to you several times! :p
We're going to release two new songs as soon as we can finish them, Eric just finished tracking his bass parts today, and I'll be tracking guitars soon. These two songs probably the most straight-ahead of the new material, actually both of them are based on riffs that have been kicking around since 2005, but for whatever reason didn't make it on Dark Fiber. They're in the vein of "New Revelation" and "Thought Experiment," up tempo, heavy, and to the point.

If we have time, we may add a third song to the web, which is an 8 minute epic with all kinds of chaos going on, but it will take a bit more time to complete so it may come later. The goal is to finish a full length record this year, but in the mean time have some new music on the web for people to check out.
Glad to hear that there's some new Backmask music on the way. I can still remember all the way back to the 00 demos. Jesus i'm getting old. Hearing some more musically diverse stuff like Prisoner of Mind would be damned killer. Just so long as it's not so diverse that you do a new version of Genie in a Bottle or something ludicrous like that. Then again that could be hilarious this time around too. Wait no it wont be cause there's just something fundamentally wrong with hearing you sing that you're a genie in a bottle and you want us to rub you the right way... :puke: Now i need to brush my teeth and get this taste out of my mouth.
LOL - yeah the whole purpose of the "Genie" cover was to do it in the style of Heartwork-era Carcass, more or less. It wasn't originally intended to be a Backmask track even, just something I did in my spare time as a joke, but the other guys liked it so we posted it on our site at the time.

As for the diversity aspect with the new stuff, it's more in the progressive sense, definitely a 70s prog rock ambiance mixed with lots of brutal, technical riffs. We're in the midst of drummer auditions right now and I've also been redoing a variety of things in my home studio, but I should be back to tracking and mixing soon... Eric's already finished all of his bass parts, so I'm the one lagging primarily. ;)