Chronologist is an original Progressive Metal band hailing from Boston, MA working to debut itself as a musical force to be reckoned with. Though the various members hail from areas all over North America, they share a common musical thread that ties them all together. Drawing influences from a variety of musical genres as well as a spectrum of metal sub-genres, the band seeks to mix an aggressive, driving groove with beautiful and intricate melodic content. Following the true spirit of progressive metal, the band creates soundscapes that range from consonant and uplifting to crunchy, dissonant, and downright grungy.
Zach, Julian, Cameron and Nigel answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Read it below.
How did you come to do what you do?
Zach: Chronologist came together originally as a project Cameron, Julian, and I started to just get together and Jam. Eventually, Julian and Cameron wrote our tune “Cake Batter” and they both approached me about turning this project into one that they wanted to eventually be able to play shows and release music around Boston with. From there we started working on a couple tunes that Julian had already wrote from beforehand like our tunes “San Juan” and “Bazooka”. After that we added Nigel on bass and the group started to get a small following around our area near the Back Bay where we all go to school. As we finished the arrangements of the tunes we decided that we wanted to record and release them to help us find a vocalist that fit the group. As of right now we are still searching for a vocalist, but we will continue to play shows and release new music.
What is your first musical memory?
Zach: My first musical memory was taking long trips in the car listening to my Mom’s Beatles’ “White Album” and Metallica’s “Black Album” as a young kid. Those two albums still have a really strong nostalgic feeling for me, when I learned to play drums those were two of the first albums I wanted to play.
Julian: Most of my first musical memories come from listening to whatever my mom listened to on long car rides back in Massachusetts. It was a lot of Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, which probably contributed to me picking up guitar in the long run.
Cameron: My first musical memories are of my dad blasting music through the house and my brothers and I would run around, dance and generally freak out to anything from Montrose to KC and The Sunshine Band to Enya. My dad was never afraid of playing pretty much any style of music, even if it was quirky or funny. In a general sense a lot of the classic rock stuff had a huge influence on me because even as I listen to those bands today I get a very nostalgic feeling.
Nigel: Aside from hating the piano lessons I got as a little kid, my first distinct music memory came pretty late, in 7th grade. At basketball practice, our coach held a half-court shooting contest, with the prize being a couple of boxes of CDs containing radio hits from the early 2000’s. Surprisingly I was the first to sink one from that distance, won the prize, and ended up listening to probably 30-40 of the CD’s I’d won. Through that I discovered punk rock with “All the Small Things” by Blink 182 and “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” by the Offspring. This lead me to discovering metalcore with Avenged Sevenfold (when they were still metalcore), then the proggy stuff with Protest the Hero, and pretty much set off the chain of events that led me to enjoying the music I do today.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Zach: I draw inspiration from all areas of music, I am always trying to find new artists, musicians, and composers that I haven’t heard yet to try and incorporate them into my drumming and music. I think it’s really important to keep an open mind when attempting to create any type of individual voice and draw inspiration from as many things as you can.
Julian: I draw inspiration from listening to music and other people. Anything that has any sort of emotion associated with it makes it susceptible to inspiring me to write music.
Cameron: Other than the bands I listen to, I draw inspiration from my surroundings. If I’m travelling or in a new place that often serves an an impetus for inspiration in a musical sense. Depending on my mood or even the weather I can sort of shift my perspective and be creative in different areas. I think some of the more profound musical influences come from non-musical places such as nature, art, people etc.
Nigel: Slightly cliche, but for me mostly past experiences and emotions. I’m particularly drawn to memories and feelings from times when my awareness of some particular thing became increased or times of strong personal growth.
What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
Julian: The message in Cartographer portrays the excitement and anxiety associated with moving to a far and new places. Nobody in the group is from Boston, so this one had an appropriate feel for all of us.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
Julian: Sometimes I use simple arranging techniques when struggling to piece a song together, like adding an Intro/Outro or things of that nature.
What is your method of songwriting?
Julian: I just have an “anything-goes” type of mentality. I normally just tend to write riffs, and then I record them somewhere, then eventually I will write another riff that fits nicely with it. Essentially it’s just piecing riffs together, although sometimes a song takes months before I’m done with it, while others are done in a few hours.
How do you see your music evolving?
Julian: I believe that our music will become more diverse as our taste in music evolves. I also think that the obvious answer is that the more we practice the more technical our song parts will potentially be.
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Zach: Work hard on honing your craft first. If the music is made with intense yet caring attention to detail and you truly believe that it portrays what you want to express, getting people to support and stand behind the music you make will all fall into place by you simply sharing it with those around you.
What are you looking forward to?
Julian: Playing shows… and Mars one, the mars exploration project. O.O
Nigel: The new season of Metalocalypse. And a new Necrophagist album. Unfortunately at this rate I’ll see neither before I have kids.
Do you think that Progstravaganza compilation series is good way to showcase the potential of many unheard bands on the already overcrowded scene?
Zach: Yes totally! I think the track record that the progstravaganza series has speaks mostly for itself. I think it’s a great way for unsigned/unheard bands to get their music out to the masses when they are all presented in a single focused format like this, especially when it is coming from such a monster source such as Prog Sphere.