The Contortionist are releasing their new album Clairvoyant on September 15, the fourth album for the young progressive metal band.
Young bands are known to mature as they develop and guitarist Robby Baca says songwriting is a focus for the band to improve on.
“Our early sound was chaotic and all over the place, as we’ve gotten older we’ve come to appreciate good songwriting and arrangements,” Robby says.
Jamie King was the producer for the album, the band elected to work with him again after finding their collaboration on Language a success.
“Working with Jamie King is awesome, he’s almost a seventh member of the band, he never tries to overstep in any way,” Robby says.
“If you ask him for his input he’ll give you some constructive criticism and he can come up with great ideas on the fly.”
“It’s always just like hanging out with him, his studio is in his house, so it’s basically just like hanging out with him.”
The Indianapolis group is rounded out by Cameron Maynard (guitar), Michael Lessard (vocals), Jordan Eberhardt (bass), Eric Guenther (keyboards) and his brother Joey (drums).
Robby had previously covered bass duties on Language, as well as being solely responsible for keyboards after the band’s conception.
“I wrote most of the music between the two of us, he [Cameron] was focused on lead guitar so his contribution ended up being complex guitar lines,” Robby says.
“I was more focused on songwriting and arrangements, it’s not normally how we work, but that’s how it went down this time.”
Because of his diverse skill-set, Robby often found himself focused less on guitar and more on other elements in the mix.
“I wrote a lot of keyboard, bass and even some drum parts on this record, the drums are a collaboration with my brother,” Robby says.
“A lot of times when I start writing, it will start on a keyboard and the guitar parts will get added later; a lot of what holds the instruments together are the keyboards.”
Brothers on guitar and drums isn’t unique: Van Halen, Sepultura and Pantera are a few of the infamous examples of brotherly love extending to music.
Both brothers picked up guitar when they were 11, so it’s no surprise they developed chemistry musically.
“Joey and I probably work the best together, we just have a certain work flow that I don’t experience with the other guys,” Robby says.
“I must have gotten in good form though, because he switched over to drums when we were around fourteen.”
Plans haven’t been announced yet, but Robby says they wouldn’t miss out Australia as they’ve been here for every other record.
Potentially next year we are looking being out there with somebody, I don’t remember who it was and I probably wouldn’t be able to say haha,” Robby says.
You can pre-order Clairvoyant here, which will be released on September 15.