Pathos and Logos Interview
Formed in Denver, Colorado in 2018, Kyle Neeley (guitar) and Paul Christiansen (drums), Pathos and Logos deliver a thought provoking and wholistic narrative, through progressive instrumental pieces threaded with unconventional visual lore.
P&L's new EP 'Cult', is out now.
1. By way of introduction, could you please briefly describe the definition of Pathos & Logos, and the band's 'mission statement', as it were?
Sure! While there are multiple translations for both words, most people seem to be familiar with the English uses in the Rhetorical Triangle (Emotion & Logic). This represents us quite well as 1: there are two of us and 2: The music is rather emotive but also requires fans to think beyond the typical rhythm and rhyme template since we are an instrumental act.
2. There's a level of layered focus on CULT which reminds me of some VGM (video game music) pieces. It's like it was designed to help me concentrate. Is there any inspiration coming from the video game world, or am I misreading?
Great question! This comes up a lot and people are surprised at first to find that we are pretty stupid when it comes to video games. Neither of us own a console. When we DID play video games, Paul was a big fan of Metroid and I would play a lot of Intelligent Cube and Killer Instinct. Oddly enough, I would circle back to the answer to your previous question, in that the music requires you to THINK beyond the standard musical template. This unlocks a particular part of your brain that you may or may not be used to relying on. I find it interesting that the effect you get is concentration. I personally get the same feeling:)
3. The music itself is far from various 'chugga chugga' movements - there's a remarkable amount of variety. Was there a particular focus point you have in mind when composing CULT, that helped you navigate the various environments?
We both enjoy many different musical styles and we definitely enjoy incorporating them into our music, but specific bands, artists or styles weren't the principle motivations or source material for how we wrote the record. Although we want to avoid dictating to anyone how they should or shouldn't experience the album, from our perspective CULT is intended to be a ritual from start to finish. Because of this, each note is exactly where it was designed to be. The music of CULT is based upon a book we created to codify the spiritual/religious system we created for ourselves. Called the "Sanctum Innan", the book features a series of Sigils we created and then vested with certain thoughts and intentions. We tied those Sigils to specific rhythms and used them in the songs, so with that in mind, each song (or what we sometimes refer to as a "formula") on CULT doubles as a musical composition as well as a literal spell designed to bring about certain effects. The end result has a certain amount of stylistic diversity, but was ultimately secondary to the thaumaturgic intentions of the recording.
4. I'm captivated by the delivery format of P&L - instrumental pieces, conveyed with visual lore and narrative. It's a solid and unique way to encourage participation in a wholistic art experience. How did this approach come about?
Well, our creative approach overall is holistic - the music is based off of our forays into the Occult, and visual art has always factored in heavily to our social media presence and the way we think about creativity. Somewhere between feeling that a rounded or more thorough creative offering felt natural, and realizing that we needed a modern way to share modern music, the inclusive and broader approach emerged organically.
5. Talk me through the cypher on 'Glory to The Order' - did anyone crack it?
Oh yeah. Lots of people. I believe you are referring to the message on the inside panel of Glory to The Order. The cipher for the message and our language is located under the CD, so we get mail in the language (called "Sonusian"), post cards. All kinds of cool stuff:)
6. You've picked a similar enticement on the Cult release - what's the purpose of the tarot cards?
We felt that each formula needed a medium that would effectively convey the messages for the steps of the ritual, as well as feature art that supported them - the Tarot format seemed the most logical choice. Each set of cards has the verbal narrative on the front with art that supports the essence or mood of each step, and because of the current predominance of phones and tablets as the devices used to listen to music or look at art,, QR codes are on the back that bring the listener/observer to playthroughs of each song, our merch store and a list of our tour dates.
7. Hypothetically, if you were to push this delivery format to it's logical extremes, what could we expect? Pathos & Logos, the tabletop game? Complete with accompanying soundscapes? 😊
That's a great idea! The idea is two-fold...we continue to release formulas as their own card, until the set is complete. At that point, a person can use the tarot cards and LISTEN while they work. There is also a long-form book or graphic novel in the works that lays out the origins of The Order, as well as develops characters that struggle with using these powers for either good or evil.
8. You've mentioned that the next release will also comprise 4-5 songs. Is there an advantage to this EP-length cycle over a full-length? Or is it simply more appropriate, given the Codex format?
It mostly has to do with how much time it takes to create each formula from start to finish. We are rather quick with writing and recording. However, we have learned that only having two people in the band requires a lot more from both of us when it comes to EVERYTHING else.
9. I saw an episode of 'SoundCheck with Pathos & Logos' where you discuss Sepultura. Now - I'm the moron who decided to do a documentary on Roadrunner Records (currently filming), so I have an academic interest in this question. Which is your favourite Sepultura record, and why?
Oh man, we REALLY like Sepultura. I personally love Arise, Paul's favorite is Beneath the Remains. Mainly because that was the 1st Sepultura record he was introduced to. I love Arise because it has such energy man. I feel like they were at their peak, thrash wise, and that is why they slowed down after that with Chaos A.D.
10. Kyle - I'm a massive God Forbid fan. Have you got any stories or anecdotes from working on IV - Constitution of Treason at East Trax?
Oh man, I could tell you all kinds of great stories:) The moment that sticks in my head the most (because that was quite a while ago now) was Corey explaining the 4 food groups to me...Weed, Whiskey, Coffee and Cookies. Everyday He would bring in a roll of cookie dough. Grab a paper plate and fashion the cookie dough into 1 massive cookie. Throw it in the microwave and out comes this easy-bake-oven lookin' "cookie". He'd grab the coffee, throw some whiskey in it, smoke some weed and eat that cookie. EVERY. FUCKING. DAY.
11. Paul - what's a 'Bootsmann', and how did your stint in Swashbuckle come about?
So, "Bootsmann" either is or was a German naval position. I was inspired by Bootsy Collins from Parliament and realized that I could make a thrash metal pirate name out of a legendary funk bass player's name by going with Bootsmann. The Swashbuckle guys are good friends of mine, and when their first drummer left in '09 they reached out to me to fill in on some French Canadian tour dates. I played the shows and we all had a blast, which led to me joining the band for about 10 months in 2010. I'm on their record "Crime Always Pays".
12. Have either of you ever seen a ghost?
Kyle - I don't think I would describe what happened to me as seeing a ghost, but I def had a paranormal experience when I was 6. Paul - no ghosts, but I've damn well seen some unusual stuff in the sky.
Pathos & Logos online:
Email / Booking: Pathosandlogosloveyou@gmail.com