If you’re a fan of metal music and haven’t heard Andromida, you’re in for a treat. Expect catchy progressive riffs, perfectly executed breakdowns, and a sore neck from all the headbanging you’ll be doing. The one-man progressive metal band from Pittsburgh has recently garnered attention on Spotify and the interwebs following the release of his 10-song instrumental “The Void.”
We met up with Ramon Gutierrez, the creative brains behind Andromida, to discuss his music, the new LP, and to get his advice for musicians on DownToJam.
When did your interest in music start, and who are some of your musical influences?
My interest in music started at very very young age. I got into music at the age of 3. I was always into rock music as a kid. I grew up listening to System of a Down, old Linkin Park, Deftones, Korn, etc. My taste for music just slowly started progressing towards the heavier side, and during my early teenage years I started getting into bands like All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, etc. That eventually led to me discovering Periphery, and from there I just kept diving into the progressive side of metal. As I got older, I also began to really appreciate orchestral and hybrid music.
Currently, my musical influences are bands like Intervals, Novelists, Erra, and composers like Hans Zimmer, Blake Neely, Jack Wall, etc.
Do you have any music education or a formal music background?
Not when it comes to the guitar, but I was classically trained on the violin for 8 years.
Describe your writing process. How do you typically approach writing music? Do you write with anyone else, or strictly yourself? Do you typically start writing on a specific instrument?
My writing process is pretty weird. I never write a song from start to end. I usually start with something in the middle and write around that. I usually start writing with the guitar, but sometimes I’ll start with synths. I write strictly by myself.
Describe the studio you recorded “The Void” in. What gear did you use on the record? What is your favourite studio gear?
I recorded “The Void” in my little bedroom studio, which is made up of a MacBook, a Line 6 Pod HD, and Yamaha HS8 monitors. I run Logic as my DAW. Most of the synths and plugins I used were Logic’s stock stuff. I didn’t mix the album myself, though. Casey Leon did. I’ve got very little when it comes to gear so it’s hard to really pick favourites.
What guitars did you use on “The Void?” Do you have specific VST plugins or amps that you’d recommend to get the guitar tone that you achieved on “The Void?”
Two guitars were used on “The Void. One was a Schecter Blackjack SLS C-7. The other was an Agile Interceptor Pro 827. I know Casey used Toneforge Menace plus some post EQ to get the guitar tone.
What are some of your favourite VST plugins? Are there any that you’d recommend to the DownToJam community?
I don’t really have much. Most of what I used when recording was Logic’s stock plugins. I do like Steven Slate Drums quite a bit though.
Did you track all of the instruments yourself or are there other musicians on The Void?
It was all written and tracked by me. No other musicians are on The Void.
What do you think was the biggest challenge that you overcame to put out “The Void?”
Probably the financial side. I’m not backed by any label so all the funding came out of pocket. But it was worth it.
Will Andromida tour to support the release of The Void?
Not at the moment.
What is your plan for the future? Are you planning any other full length releases? Making any music videos? Shopping around for label support? Pushing your music yourself?
I do plan on releasing more albums. Music videos won’t happen for a while. I plan on pushing the music myself.
Are you planning to add any vocals to any of your future music that you release? Or keep it all instrumental?
I plan to keep it all instrumental.
What would you recommend our aspiring musicians on DownToJam do to master their craft?
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Do you have any recommendations for our DTJ members to get matched up with other compatible musicians? What sort of things do you look for when looking to jam with another musician?
Look for people who are obviously skilled on their instrument. Make sure they’re reliable and actually show up to jam with you.
WATCH: “Supernova,” the single from Andromida’s “The Void.”
About the Author
Neil McWilliam is the CTO & Co-Founder of DownToJam. Check out his profile at https://downtojam.com/user/nmcwilli.