From the sub-zero temperatures of Québec hails Steven Beaumont, the head honcho behind Paracelsian Productions, Metzger Dark Ambient and Kondensator. With Metzger, Steven constructs darkened guitar drones that carry away the listener’s mind on an unruffled cloud. Regularly posting his MDA studio experiments onto Youtube showing Beaumont surrounded by a wall of amplifiers and the floor strewn with enough pedals to open his own store! Still in it’s formative stages, side project Kondensator allows Beaumont to put down the guitar for a while and stretch his synth-scape legs to take you on more of an ambient, beat-driven ride.
The debut MDA album ‘Neo Romantic Synthesised Era’ dropped last March, and I definitely recommend it if you want to wash away any negative energy clinging to your soul. Like slowly gliding through the darkest of tunnels only to emerge smoothly into the sunlight. Listen Below:
DMD: What artists/bands had a major influence on you growing up and what bands influence you today?
Steven Beaumont: The first bands I listened to were Judas Priest and Iron Maiden when I was 16. But one of my main influences since 10 years has been Meads of Asphodel, who are one of my favorite bands of all time. Nowadays, the bands influencing me on the Prog Metal side of things are: Periphery & Animals as Leaders and on the Ambient/Industrial side my influences are: Kammarheit, Raison d'Etre, Brighter Death Now & Beyond Sensory Experience.
DMD: What music/bands were you playing in before you ended up making dark ambient/drone and experimental synth-scapes?
SB: I was playing Metal before but never had a band or anything, I wanted to start my own one man prog metal band but I've decided to go 100% into ambient experimental stuff.
DMD: How long have you been playing in your projects Metzger and Kondensator?
SB: I Started Metzger Dark Ambient in 2013, but only since 2015 the music has been made using Guitar experimentation. I started Kondensator almost a month ago on the first of June 2016.
DMD: Walk us through your studio recording set up from when you started to now.
SB: When I started I only had my audio interface and at that time I was carrying my desktop computer to the rehearsal room I was sharing with another Band. Now I have my own rehearsal room for myself which I use as my recording studio. I got a new audio interface, and a laptop computer which stays there now, also now I have 2 vintage mixing consoles one from the 70's and one from the 80's. At the moment I own 9 microphones.
DMD: What was the first pedal you ever got? & What are your favourite pedals to use out of your enormous collection?
SB: Back in the day, my first pedal was the Boss Metalzone. Some pedals I had almost 10 years ago I wish I had never sold, for example the Budda Zenman (Tube Overdrive). My favorite pedal is the Superego which is the most important one of my collection. I really like my Line 6 FM4, that one was a game changer for me. But probably the pedal which really pushed my sounds to another level is my Eventide Mod Factor, there is nothing that compares to this thing.
DMD: How did you come by the names Metzger and Kondensator and what do they mean to you?
SB: For Metzger I took from a character from Fallout 2, who basically was an evil character and I had the idea for the logo with the inverted cross and everything. I also found out that “Metzger” means Butcher in german, all these reasons lead to me choosing this name. Kondensator is the name of a Soviet weapon from WW2, I thought it would sound cool, so I decided to use that as my name for this new project, I had other ideas but I will keep them for future projects.
DMD: What is the concept behind your debut album with Metzger: Neo Romantic Synthesised Era?
SB: I used this concept for a song back in early 2015 just before I made the transition to the Experimental Guitar stuff, to make music with Synthesizers and to be inspired from pictures from the Romantic Era. I took this concept back later when I was able to make the sounds I really wanted to make with the Guitar stuff, so for my first album I've gone back to this concept, actually most of my albums will be based around this concept.
DMD: Apart from music, where else do you get your inspiration?
SB: My main inspirations before were the first 3 Fallout games, I was really inspired by the whole universe of this game.
|Steven's wall of amplifiers and pedal hoard|
DMD: Are there any releases on Paracelsian Productions we should look out for in the future?
SB: Next month (in July) I should be releasing 2 split albums with Slave Existence & Agura Matra, they were on the first compilation from my Label. That should be interesting! There's compilation #2 in August featuring a lot of new people, I should be making another split album scheduled for around September or October with ZUMAIA.
DMD: Which 10 Albums would you take to a Desert island?
SB: Animals as Leaders – Animals as Leaders
If these trees could talk – Red Forest
Volumes - Via
Nili Brosh – A Matter of Perception
Modern Day Babylon - Ocean
Periphery - Periphery
Polyphia - Renaissance
CHON – Newborn Sun
The Contortionist – Language
Intervals – The Shape of Colour
DMD: What is the music scene in Quebec like? Have you played live much with your projects?
SB: The music scene is alive here, there are so many shows. The Metal scene here is probably one of the strongest, at least compared to other genres. As for the music I play, it is very small but still there was maybe between 20 and 30 people at my first show, maybe it will grow bigger in the next few years, it’s not mainstream by any means but I think more and more people are getting into it. I have only played live once with my Metzger project, and I played a set specifically thought out for that show. I want to play more shows, hopefully I will get more opportunities. I would probably also play live with my other Project Kondensator.
DMD: Tell us about all the amplifiers you use for Metzger.
SB: I use many Tube Amplifiers from many brands, Tube amps seem to provide the sounds I am looking for and also by changing the tubes I can tweak the tones to my specifications. I use hybrid Bass amps for my Sub Octave tones for Bass Guitar, I recently started using Bass Guitar through Guitar heads too. All of my speaker cabinets have been upgraded with Pro Audio speakers chosen spec wise to fit the cabs they are in, they handle lower frequencies better, for the kind of sounds I make this is very important. They also tend to sound dark which is a good thing for me obviously, sometimes the Amplifiers tend to sound very bright so I use a darker sounding cabinet.
DMD: How long has Paracelsian Productions been active and how did it get the name?
SB: Paracelsian Productions is registered in Quebec city officially since December 2015, the first physical release was in January 2016, which was my first cassette EP. The name Paracelsian comes from Paracelsus who was an Alchemist from the 1500's, I read about him and was very inspired,
I felt I could relate to his story in a way. I live by his motto “Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest” “Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself.”
DMD: Do you find it hard to juggle having 2 projects and being the head of a music label?
SB: Not really, I usually record a batch of material for Metzger and then in between these recording sessions I have enough time to work on Kondensator stuff, that was mostly why I've decided to start this project right now. As for the label, I'm the only one artist on it for now, online sales of CDs are non-existent for now and I'm planning the releases months in advance. It would be best for me to play more shows to promote stuff from the label, maybe even start booking shows, but that is a lot of work too.
DMD: What synthesizers/software do you use for Kondensator?
SB: For Kondensator I use only real instruments, for now I am using an old Synth from the 90's called the “Orbit 9090 V2 The Dance Planet” by Emu Systems a company which doesn't exist anymore. I also use the Rhythm Wolf from Akai as my Drum Machine.
DMD: Anybody you want to give a shout out to?
SB: I wanna give a shout out to Janine Fortin, it's because of her I got to play my first show, I really like her music as well, you should definitely check it out. To Studio Sonum, without them I would never have been able to make these projects come true, so check out Marc the owner’s band: La Corriveau. Finally, my 2 favorite local music stores, I have made a few friends from each store, who really helped me even though they didn't always knew how to in my quest for experimental guitar sounds, but without their advice I would probably not be where I am today. Thanks to all the people from Musique Gagne et Freres & Denis Musique.