Morning Metal – Interview with Greg Burgess of Allegaeon

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Debuting in 2008, Allegaeon quickly made their mark in the metal scene by being signed to Metal Blade Records and unleashing the colossal Fragments of Form and Function in 2010. The band continued their success with Formshifter in 2012, before releasing their third full-length masterpiece, Elements of the Infinite, in 2014. Touring with the likes of Job For A Cowboy, Darkest Hour, Chimaira and The Plot In You РAllegaeon have been on a continuous climb in the metal scene worldwide.

We had a chance to talk to founding member and guitarist, Greg Burgess, who is currently on tour with the rest of Allegaeon, Product of Hate and The Agonist.

How has the fan response been to the new album, Elements of the Infinite?

The response has been amazing,¬† I’d say our fan base has almost doubled from the new record.

This is for the fans who have never heard of you before or seen you live – how is Allegaeon properly pronounced? I had to hear it from someone else!

Uh-Lee-Jun is the way it’s supposed to be said but we’ll settle for Alley-Gay-On.

Allegaeon signed with Metal Blade Records very early on in your career.

What has it been like working with them?

It’s been great for the most part. I mean, brass tacks: no one would know who we are if it weren’t for the label and the prestige it brings being signed, so yeah.

Endorsed by some of metal’s best guitar makers Рhow has Legator and Jackson been treating you?

Jackson has been amazing.  The quality of the instruments has been everything I could hope for. They really make this whole ride way easier for me. I know Mike is thrilled with Legator. Legator being a new company will have a great career ahead of them,  in a few years I forsee them being a pretty big name.

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In the current state of the metal community, what do you think could be improved?

The biggest improvement that can be made is for bands, is to stop writing breakdowns.¬† It’s insulting to the listeners intelligence for one, and it damages our genre as a whole for another. Become a song writer then put breakdowns in. Use them how they were supposed to function, breaking the song down into its simplest components, it was the groove part everyone was waiting for. When it hit it hit super hard. These bands these days their whole song is made up of breakdowns, get out of here with that bullshit,¬† I hear that and I’m gone. You think I’m so stupid that your one chord is gonna entertain me? It’s the lowest common denominator for these new bands.

Allegaeon deals with a lot of scientific themes with the band’s lyrics – what is the idea behind all of it?

It really just comes down to our interests.¬† We’re all pretty interested in this science stuff for one, and two, it sets us apart from other bands, which is nice.

With all this talk of aliens and science, when will you be touring with Rings of Saturn?

Never say never.

Greg, you guys have been praised for your guitar playing – especially on the new record.

What influences did you grow up listening to, and how did they impact the songwriting on the new record?

For me, loads of thrash. Megadeth is my favorite band of all time, it’s fused in with my rhythm playing. Between Megadeth and Dream Theater, you could sum up the majority of my childhood.¬† Writing the new record, those influences are throughout from Threshold of Perception,¬† the verses couldn’t be any more thrash, and the instrumental sections of Gravimetric Time Dilation are very much in the style of Dream Theater.

Mike has a lot of Death and Cynic in his playing. He also takes influence from Allegaeon itself, ya know? Dude was a fan before he joined. We’re lucky to have him.

It might be early, but is there talks about a new record in 2015?

Yeah! Lots of talk, lots of ideas, loads of writing. We’ve been touring so much for Elements of the Infinite that¬†we’ve been writing a lot, so we won’t be rushed when it’s time. We’re on a 2 year cycle so we’ll start recording either like in Dec or early next year, for our usual summer release.

Here are some fun questions for you guys.

Favourite drink on tour?

Historically I’ve been a soda drinking fool, gonna try to curb that this round, though.

Dream tour?

Dream tour: I’d love to open for Megadeth, Lamb Of God, and like Carcass.

You can drop kick any one in the world – who would you choose?

Kanye West needs to be drop kicked at the earliest convenience for everyone, him and maybe that Aniem Choudary guy. 

Favourite venue to play?

Toss up between the Dirty Dog Bar is Austin, the Gothic Theater or Marquis Theater here in Denver, or The Pawn Shop in Edmonton, Canada.

Best/worst fan reaction?

The best is hard to pinpoint, playing at home always rules, but Edmonton Canada has been amazing. The worst was definitely Albany New York. I’d be happy never playing there again. That show was beyond horrible. The most disrespectful audience we’ve ever encountered. Anytime you have an audience that sits on the stage with there backs to you while playing and texts your whole set, knocks over your merchandise, and then punches your band mates in the head.

Yeah, I’m good with never playing in Albany again. Leave that city to the core bands.

Allegaeon and Product of Hate will be playing Ottawa at House of Targ on April 4th, 2015. Tickets are available online here, by the local bands Maou Mindu and Signs of Chaos, or downtown Ottawa at Vertigo Records.

See the event page here for more details.