This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Logan Thompson, also known as Symphony of Heaven. I posted an article about him awhile ago here on Indie Vision Music about his release of “Stratagem”. Check that song out. We talk about upcoming music, gear, and lyrical backgrounds. Enjoy! Also, go check this article out on my blog, as well as other cool Christian metal and hardcore news!
How are ya man?
I’m good. How are you doing?
I’m doing well. I’ve got a few questions for you. Could you give a quick background on the project?
Sure. Symphony of Heaven is a solo project i started earlier this year. It was my desire to start something heavy, extreme, but that most importantly spread the truth of Jesus Christ. I’ve always been a fan of heavy metal, and to me its the form of music that really speaks to the struggles that a lot of people have, especially Christians. I also wanted to get the music I hear in my head out to the people.
Nice! What is your full discography? I’m only familar with “Stratagem” and “Anno Domini”
I am currently working on my 3rd release. Its title is Of Scars and Soil. I plan on going back and remastering both the earlier 2 songs and then releasing the 3rd all together for a 3 song EP soon. Lord willing within the next few weeks.
Interesting! That answers my next question. What is the title of the EP coming up?
Of Scars and Soil. I think that pretty well sums up the inspiration behind the 3 songs. They are based on the book of Job and how we all relate to his story.
That’s a awesome title! Wish I could think of sick titles like that! Anyways, is the a meaning behind “Stratagem”?
Well, the word stratagem came from me looking for synonyms for the word “plan”. The idea came from how God had a plan for Job’s life. The lyrics “a hand unseen, still veiled to me” bring that idea to the front. When hard things happen in our lives, as Christians we have to remember that God works in ways we cannot always perceive. That was true of Job’s situation, and its true of ours. And that is something we have to tell ourselves when we go through the hard times.
That’s very insightful and crazy to think of. He lets us go through trials, like Job, but nothing that we aren’t capable of handling ourselves.
And always remembering that ultimately God has everything in His control yes.
Amen. Anyways, the project is independent correct?
That is correct. 100% run by me, out of my little humble home studio. *Laughs*
So you play all the guitars, bass and drums, as well as vocals?
I lay the down all the guitar and bass and vocal tracks. The drums are currently programmed due to me lacking a physical drumset at the moment. I try and program all the drums so that when I have a physical set I could be capable of playing what I programmed, minus maybe the double bass speed sometimes.
Yeah. Hey, if you ever need a live drummer, just message me. I’m down. How would you describe your style?
Absolutely man! My style always ends up coming out as big, massive, colorful. If i had to describe the closest bands, I would say Strapping Young Lad/Devin Townsend, throw in some newer Antestor or Grave Declaration, and then some old school thrash. I grew up on Metallica and Pantera and Slayer, so eventually that all comes out. But i always loved symphonic metal. To me, that’s it. It’s huge, heavy and full of color.
When I heard it, it reminded me of Lightforce in style with Mortification vocals.
Love Mortification. Back when metal was metal, haha. Dirty, grimy, fast, and big.
Yeah! So what gear do you use? And as your own producer, what equipment do you use to record?
All my songs so far have been played on my Ibanez 7 string RG that I picked up used from Moore Music in Evansville, IN. A few parts have been played with my Epiphone Les Paul Custom. MXR analog delay, chorus, and EQ into a Blackstar HT40, which I love. That gets mic’d with a tried and true SM57 into my Presonus Audiobox interface and then into Presonus Studio One on an Apple laptop. Go direct in with the bass, which is an ibanez 5 string. And I know its kinda a No-No, but the vocals were recorded with the same SM57. I think it turned out alright.
Nice! And what drum program do you use?
Drum program is samples within Studio One itself. No 3rd party plugins at this time, but that will come eventually. Basically trying to make due best I can with somewhat limited resources at this time. It just takes a little more tweeking to get the sound you want.
Yeah I get ya. Are there any local Christian heavy bands in your area?
Unfortunately not that I’m aware of. There really isn’t a lot of bands at all to speak of around my area anymore. A few good cover bands, but nothing original. There used to be a lot more, say, 10 years ago. I was apart of a band for a short time call Neverlabeled about 12 years ago and we did some shows. I had to leave at the time because of work. But no, not a lot of activity goin on down here.
Bummer. Where I am I don’t think there are any local bands. Greencastle there are a few bands. No Christian ones though. What bands/projects influence you?
The bands that have influenced me the most, musically at least, i would have to say the European bands. I know they are the furthest thing from a christian band, but Dimmu Borgir’s style of music was always something i loved. Ensiferum is another one. I love the folk metal sound, because it has a voice, a melody and its heavy at the same time. Dream Theater is another one. Not a HUGE progressive metal fan, but they know how to write songs. Nightwish has been playing in my car a lot too. Dream theater isn’t from Europe, but oh well *Laughs*. And Dethklok.
*Laughs* yeah. Not big into Prog myself either. Now like Deliverance, their fine. And Progressive Metalcore is awesome. August Burns Red and Silent Planet have become some great bands!
I’ll have to check out Silent Planet.
Yeah they’re pretty good. Check out “Panic Room” or “Depths II”. Those are my favorites. What have you been listening to lately?
Ensiferum, Andy James, Paul Gilbert, Pantera, Metallica, Megadeth, Nightwish, Meshuggah, Cannibal Corpse, Nine Inch Nails. Oh! And Grave Declaration. Love them. Can’t forget them. And also Eagles of Death Metal for some off the wall stuff.
Awesome! That’s all the questions I’ve got! Thanks for doing this man! Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
Everybody check out and follow my Youtube and Instagram account. Try and update everyone as often as possible on there. And I want people to know that if they have any desire to start making their own music, to not put it off. There’s always gonna be excuses why we won’t have time to do these things, but my grandma always said, you find time for the things that are important to you. I appreciate you doing this for me and I can’t wait to see the article! Thanks dude!