Melbournian alternative prog newcomers Sentia have recently earned their time in the spotlight with the release of their debut EP Origins, which was just launched at The Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne to great acclaim. Chatting with band members Jason King and Chris Bodin, they spoke on behalf of the rest of Sentia about the process of recording Origins and the new experiences they had while preparing the record.
“We’re so happy with the sound we got. We put a lot of time and effort into it, and it took us probably longer than your average EP when we recorded it. But the amount of love and effort that went into it from our part as well as the guys from Hot House studios and Jack, the Bear, it’s just amazing.
“We’re really impressed with the artwork as well, and it felt great to have the final package in your hands. All the stuff we’ve done before this was done by us, produced and recorded. But, this was the first time where we really put some money and effort into getting the real experts to create an album for us.”
While Origins has just been completed and released to their growing fanbase, Sentia is not taking any breaks. In fact, they are already hard at work creating brand new material for their next release, and they are excited about the results they have attained so far.
“We wanna do something bigger next time. We need to keep outdoing ourselves. So, with the next one, we’re thinking of either close to an album or a full album. With the way things work these days it’s easier to release smaller amounts more often than to sort of build up every couple of years to something bigger.”
For this EP, Sentia used the highly accomplished sound production talents of the crew at Hot House studios in St Kilda to get the most out of creating Origins, and the band have nothing but praise for the staff there.
“Absolute legends over there. They get the best out of you without putting the pressure on. They’re basically there to facilitate the session. But, those little comments they might make just in passing about something like ‘Oh shit, bring that up. That sounds way better like that’ or something that ends up making that section of the song and they help you create what you hear in your head for the final product. And the perspective is priceless.
“We’ve done a lot of stuff ourselves, but, working with other people and collaborating is such a powerful tool. It’s something you can be proud of what I’ve heard. So, their input was priceless.”
As far as the actual writing of the record is concerned, Sentia like many other prog bands, found the entire methodology for recording Origins to be nothing more than a steady, natural route for them to take. And the new members brought their ideas and fresh perspectives on the songs and the sound of the record.
“There was a lineup change about two years ago, basically with myself (Chris) and Pete, our guitarist, we’ve sort of, recently come on board. These four songs have emerged from that newfound creativity and that new bond between the four of us. We’re all feeling excited with this new beginning at the same time, and that creativity period was just really magical.
“Those four songs all emerged from that period in one way or another. They all come out naturally. The best kind of prog is stuff that is not contrived. It’s not like putting a guitar solo in to show how good I am at guitar. It’s stuff that’s natural, but not necessarily following the common formula. And that’s something we definitely, consciously aim for.”
With Origins coming in at four tracks long, Sentia also provided a few leitmotifs that tied the songs together. These concepts were brought to the record by vocalist Amos Phillips, who conceived them while away from home.
“There’s a few connecting themes, especially in the lyrics. A lot of this material was written by our singer Amos while he was overseas. He seems to get a lot of inspiration outside of home. So, I think that’s definitely created a link between the songs, thematically. A lot of the music is written with a similar approach, the way we write music. So, you end up with a lot of similarities and connections.”
So, with Origins out and their launch shows completed, Sentia has their hopes high for the future, with a music video that will be created and released towards the end of 2016. But even more exciting is the fact that Sentia has all the motivation they need to create their next release that may become their first full-length.
“We’ve got a video in the works towards the end of the year. We’ll do a few shows with that video, but we’re all really excited to start writing again. We’ve had a couple of sessions in between rehearsing for gigs where a few ideas we’ve had left over from the EP have begun to sort of pop up again.”