Transcendence into the celestial. A conversation with SIDEREAN (2020)INTERVIEW

For the last decade the twisted world of underground ‘progressive’ death/thrash metal, those few who would reveal the apeiron and in turn unveil the future of this monolithic lineage, have been impatient liers in wait as the evolution of Ljubljana, Slovenia borne cosmic thrashers Teleport prepared to break free of their chrysalis. One could easily make a case for ‘The Expansion‘ (2018) being that breakthrough, a readied state where the skies were seen for their true bleakest, coldest starry infinitum and… Yes, they were “album ready” at that point. In recent months the band’s name would publicly change to Siderean and a limited demo tape (‘Sidereal Evolution’) was released. Is this a new band? Why the change? What happens next? As it turns out, these were questions worth asking in preparation for their debut full-length and in celebration of their intense path unto today. Thanks goes to the band for taking the time to illuminate their past, present and future greatness. Buy a tape, follow ’em on social media, and give ’em utmost support if you can!

Before we dig into the next chapter of the entity, can you give some general history of what put Teleport into motion? I’d always assumed it was bands like Vektor that influenced the project to form back in 2010 but of course your sound evolved quite rapidly over the next ten years.

Teleport formation back then was influenced strongly by Atheist, Coroner, Vektor and especially Voivod. At the time the general idea was to play a more progressively flavoured thrash and with that grew a collective ambition to further develop our playing skills and musical writing. This is noticeable on our second demo Stellar Damnation where Vektor’s Black Future also played an important role in its creative process.

Will any previous Teleport material be used for Siderean, or is this a fully new life?

The name change came after the Sidereal Evolution demo and the upcoming full-length – that was supposed to be the debut Teleport album – had already been written, so in that case, yes. With this line-up we wrote pretty much all fresh material, accompanied with some older riffs that Matija wrote in the Expansion era of Teleport.

Any particular comment on what caused the name change? I believe you made a statement regarding some tension with a past member, or was this just a “wake up” moment that unveiled the need for change?

We had an intense communication with our past member in past months, ending with lawyers involved, which is embarrassing, especially for a band on a scale so small. We didn’t want to take it to court, spending lots of money, time and nerves because of someone’s destructiveness and envy, and dealing with the drama instead of completing the album works. We need to point out that the guys at our label Edged Circle Productions were really supportive through this senseless drama and backed the idea of moving on. This also invoked a wake up moment that we should change the name, we are after all a new band with a fresh stream of consciousness. We also felt that new material is an upgrade on what we have left behind.

The name Siderean reads to me as someone who is “of the stars” or at least looks to them for information. Scientific use of the word might suggest using the telemetry of stars (instead of the sun) to measure the motion of the Earth (length of a year, day, etc.) so, in some ways the name speaks for itself but I’m curious about the choice. Did it just sound cool? Does it represent your sound and future approach to themes?

The search for a new name was a big dilemma, but we wanted one that suits our music and lyrics. Siderean was a perfect name. Of course it sounds cool, but the meaning “coming from the stars or with the respect of the stars” was what sealed the deal.

I know it is an odd point to pick over, it is “just a name” I suppose, but has the name change allowed more fluidity in approaching this new demo tape and work on a full-length? Are you free from what Teleport was defined as? Or was much of this process in motion under the previous band name?

As stated before, this was already in motion before the name change. Perhaps this is going to allow us more freedom with the songwriting in the long run. But for now, we continue doing what we were doing before the name change and slowly developing our own musical style. More important than the name change was the line-up change that created a very friendly but serious and hardworking environment.

“Eolith” is one of your more extended pieces, a spacious and psychedelic death metal piece that has a free-formed feeling a la something like Ulcerate obviously your own sound and style. Can we consider this an “extreme” of your sound at this point, or has the band been working on longer, more extensive pieces?

Length-wise yes. This is the longest piece we have written for now, but on the full album there’s another track of the same length, with let’s say an even more extreme approach to the songwriting. The free-formed feeling comes out of the songwriting process – we don’t stick with the ordinary approaches but collect the riffs slowly and jam them together and connect them into a narrative story.

Is there a goal or intended feeling in mind during the process of composition and demoing tracks? Any important major influences for the ‘Sidereal Evolution’ material?

When the very first riff occurs there usually isn’t a clear vision of what’s about to come, that usually comes later when approximately half of the song is already done. We start to think where this is going to take us and how to make it work in some sense. Of course this is done with a clear idea of what kind of sound we would like to find in the start. The process is very natural after all. There are many many bands that influenced us. Most obvious mentions are Ved Buens Ende/Virus, Stargazer, Morbus Chron and lots of death and black metal bands that we had listened to at the time, also funeral doom, krautrock and jazz bands and the list could go on and on.

What does the songwriting process for the band entail? Collaboration in full or is there a director? I could imagine five folks could either step on toes or work like a machine depending on the working relationship.

Collaboration in full indeed. As said before, there’s a very good working environment- everyone is free to do whatever they want to as long as this serves the song and the sound we would like to achieve. We usually try to sleep on the parts and discuss them later to see if we can make them better or even just throw them away sometimes. If someone gets a clear vision of where to take the song, it’s always welcome to follow the path after that.

Has this writing process seen much change since ‘Ascendence’, or are things yet similar to that of ‘The Expansion’?

Not really, we have been working the same way since ‘Ascendance’, we got more experienced through time and became more far-seeing with the songwriting, which makes the difference.

How goes the full-length? Are you able to make progress on the recordings or any concrete plans for the future during the global health crisis?

The full length is already recorded so it’s in the mixing process. You can expect it out pretty soon through Edged Circle Productions. Right now the release of the full album is the only concrete plan in the near future and everything connected to it. Currently, we are having here a very strict lockdown so we are separated and unable to practice together. There are some ideas popping up where to go next, but lets see!

Is ‘Sidereal Evolution’ indicative of the sound and style of the in-progress album?

Absolutely, both songs are also going to be present on the album. The tracks on the album differ from each other but were written in the same or very similar fashion. There will be also a few unexpected approaches, totally new to our sound.

I know a full-length has been a long-term goal for the project for quite some time. Are there bigger goals for the band or, is a strong underground presence and the right people the ideal?

Yes, it’s true. It’s going to be a milestone for us, sure. There are goals to write more music and more albums. If the world by any chance still exists in a few months, we are looking forward to potential touring and playing festivals. Talking about actual success is difficult to discuss right now, if ever. But we are very happy and thankful for all the fans following us.

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