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Liberteer

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Conor Fynes View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 Feb 2012 at 9:43pm
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Without a doubt, Liberteer is one of the more interesting 'grind' acts I have heard in a while. Fuelled by intense feelings of socio-political frustration, Matthew Widener's musical expression is one of both anger and sophistication, supplementing harsh metal sensibility with some softer sections and even symphonic arrangement.


Where does the name 'Liberteer' originate? What compelled you to title your band as such?

I made it up. You know, all the band names have been taken, that's the problem these days. I knew I'd have to make something up or use a phrase, and I really wanted a single word, not a phrase. I thought, what could you call someone who liberates, who actively works toward freedom, and that's what I came up with. It's not amazing, but it is unique and a little strange sounding, sort of optimistic or cheery, which I think fits the music nicely.
 

Although Liberteer is based within grind and hardcore, there is a wild variety of different styles that pop up throughout the album. How might you describe Liberteer's sound?

That's a tough one. It has a lot of hybrid genres that switch back and forth and sometimes blend together. That's why I called it anarcho-grind and called it a day. I've heard people call it symphonic grind or operatic grind, but I'm not sure that aptly describes it. I'm stumped!
 

Creating music as a one-man project is a very different experience than with a band. What challenges faced you with driving Liberteer on your own, and do you prefer the solitary approach?

I do prefer the solitary approach. I like to be in control of all the elements, I have a sound in my head that I'm after and collaboration usually doesn't serve to capture it. Collaboration is usually a crap shoot; the combination is good or it fails, but you have no one thing to blame it on. When I do things alone I have no one to blame but me, and I like that responsibility. Anyway, the main challenges with doing Liberteer was finding a compelling way to blend the instrumentation with the more traditional grind. Also, weaving the different themes throughout the album took some thought and careful planning, and I had to go back and record sections in order to make that happen, which added to the recording time.
 

The debut 'Better To Live On Your Feet Than Die On Your Knees' is recently out for public consumption. What is the goal or approach of this album; what can you say about it?

I don't have much of a goal when I set out to do music. It's nice if someone puts the album out, that's the main goal, but beyond that, everything is gravy. I hope people enjoy it of course, but I mostly record music these days for myself, I'm my main audience, that way when the bad reviews come in I don't care as much, I still love the album. That sounds silly, I know. But at its most basic, I heard these sounds in my head and felt compelled to make them real. And I mostly did so I'm pretty happy about it. The best case scenario would be for listeners to like the album and to look into the political message.
 

The lyrics of Liberteer are highly political, even radically so. Is this focus on social upheaval a response to the global socio-political unrest of the past year?

No, I've been feeling this way for a handful of years now. I'm actually enjoying a period of economic success for the first time in my life, after always having been poor, but I don't feel content because it's predicated on the suffering of so many, in my country and others. Power concentrations rob others. Imagine our living standards if the capitalist class didn't hoard their wealth and exploit the working class for their own ends. A few years ago I was living below the poverty standard and I think I'm even more aware now than I was then. I know the middle class in my country are afraid and angry right now, but they need to turn their indignation toward the system itself, against our economic model, because capitalism wasn't really meant to safeguard a middle class. Capitalism considers the middle class even more supplicant in their slavery than the poor.
 

'Better To Live On Your Feet' works more as a single piece of music, rather than the small minute-long jolts it is divided into by track. What was the reason to chop up the album as such?

I never considered releasing the album without chapter breaks, it just wouldn't be done, I can't imagine any record label doing that for a grind album. It's also very helpful for me when skipping around the album. But the album is one long song, essentially. And while I didn't want to force listeners to go through the whole album in order by not including chapter breaks, I did write the album with the hopes that people would get caught up in listening to it in order. I think we've all listened to a song off an album we love and not been able to stop until the album is over. I'm glad that people can skip tracks if they want. But it's a special thing when they end up forgetting to.
 

Throughout the album, there are several recurring themes, and each of these ideas are marked with a particular symbol. Is there a concept you are trying to get across with each of these musical themes that ties into the subject matter?

At first there was. I had plans to write the lyrics in Homeric verse, so the album was an actual opera, and the themes corresponded to the characters in the lyrics. It was too hard to pull off though, I got frustrated and abandoned it. But maybe the next album I'll do that.
 

As for the symphonic elements, Liberteer stands out for its unique use of horns and orchestration within an irregular context. What was the inspiration to experiment with this?

I kept hearing it in my head, years ago. I kept hearing a stirring military type of instrumentation. No one has ever toyed with grind in this way so I thought I'd give it a try. I studied a lot of propaganda music to figure out how to orchestrate it, and I ended up learning some interesting patterns with melody and harmony and with voice leading that propaganda music uses. After I learned the basics, the themes almost wrote themselves.
 

What advice would you give to other musicians who are trying to 'make it' in today's music world?

Don't pin your worth on some idea of making it. Success is subjective and elusive. Just love the process. If you love writing riffs, if you love getting together and jamming with your buddies, that is more enjoyment already than many full time "successful" bands have. Love the process of making music and you will be happy.
 

Any questions I may have overlooked that should be addressed?

No, thank you for the great questions!
 

Cheers!

Liberteer's MMA Profile may be found HERE.


Edited by Conor Fynes - 19 Feb 2012 at 9:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2012 at 1:48am
Can't say much for his politics but a very interesting read, thanks Conor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2012 at 5:48am
Well my red heart loves his political viewsBig smile. Great interview ConorThumbs Up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2012 at 2:00pm
...oh and Ive added the interview to the interview index: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1115&PID=21252
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 6:58am
Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

Well my red heart loves his political viewsBig smile. Great interview ConorThumbs Up.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 6:58am
Originally posted by Tupan Tupan wrote:

Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

Well my red heart loves his political viewsBig smile. Great interview ConorThumbs Up.
 
 
 
EDIT: But should asked about the Cretin status!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 8:57am
...oh yeah right that would have been interesting to know more about.
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