Q2 – How was CIRCLES OF NAMIBIA born? Was your plan always making instrumental modern progressive metal from the beginning?
A2 – Oh man, this is a big question. Haha. I started writing progressive metal music when I was 15 or 16 or so and the goal was to always have a singer. I wrote music with the intention of vocals, so I always left open parts for vocals. Eventually, I found out that finding a good vocalist was next to impossible. This might surprise people because my primary project is an instrumental prog metal band, but I am a contra tenor and false chord screaming/growler. I do both well now.
But when I first started writing music, I was a horrible vocalist and switched styles to instrumental music only. Over the next 13 years I would jump around on different failed projects. I was a guitarists and screamer for progressive metalcore project. I did metalcore, deathcore and post-hardcore. I almost finished a post-hardcore album before I stopped with that project.
Then, in 2019, after failing all of projects and pretty much giving up on music entirely throughout the last 2 years of university from 2016-2018, I finally found passion in music again after finding Plini’s music. It was fresh, different and, to be perfectly honest, I had grown out of progressive metal because I felt like nobody was being original anymore. I was finding a lot of joy in metalcore/deathcore at that time. It was because of finding Plini and then finding my joy for prog metal again by going to my initial sources of inspiration that I finally started working on music again slowly in about 2018.
The first song I wrote for the album, Where It All Began, came from me going back to my roots of Dream Theater, Symphony X and Opeth and then combining it with my new love for Plini. It would take me years to finish this album though and I would eventually start finding other bands that helped influence my sound like Periphery, Between the Buried and Me and Rivers of Nihil. This random Hodge Podge of bands would eventually decide my ever-changing sound and then I settled on the band name Circles of Namibia because of the mysterious nature of the phenomenon that is the circles of Namibia grass circles in Namibia.
The grass circles of Namibia were a perfect way of describing my music. My music doesn’t really sound a lot like newer progressive metal acts and there is a lot of mysterious energy in my music and people cannot quite place my influences, even on multiple listen throughs. Because the grass circles of Namibia are a phenomenon that was shrouded in total mystery up until recently, I thought this would be a fitting name for the band. It wound up being a perfect name in hindsight.
Even though I am the primary song writer and audio engineer for this project I hired amazing musicians from Fiverr to ultimately wind up completing the full sound of the project. Once they added their parts, the project was fully completed, and then the project was born with the release of “Where It All Began” in 2021.