“War’s the Noise” is the first single from INTERCONTINEN7AL’s upcoming album “Volume 3”, slated to be released in fall of 2022. The band is the only group to record music across all 7 continents (using BandLab), and this particular mid tempo rock song features collaborators from Europe, North America, and South America. Proceeds from the album will go to Ukrainian refugee relief efforts.
What began in 2020 as a sonic experiment of recording music virtually among local bandmates in Columbia, Maryland (USA) continues to evolve into a worldwide collaboration. The band INTERCONTINEN7AL consists of musicians across all 7 continents who created 14 original songs for their forthcoming release INTERCONTINEN7AL, Vol. 3 to prove that music can not only survive but thrive in these pandemic times. The album includes the track War’s the Noise, the lead single featuring collaborators from Europe, North America, and South America. Once again, the band is donating all proceeds to charity, this time supporting the Ukrainian refugee relief effort. The album will also include a song called Без названия (or Untitled), featuring musicians from both Ukraine and Russia. The goal of INTERCONTINEN7AL is to support a different cause with every album that the band creates.
Upon the release of their debut record, the band continued to expand in 2021 and 2022, adding such talented artists such as Andrasta, Bubbas Bentlass and Darren Fellows from the United Kingdom, Jukerok from Egypt, Manuelonics from Africa, Miami73 from France, Masanobu Takano and Ken Ichiro Tashiro from Japan, and Rousevision from Germany. The second record expands the scope of genres covered by the band, with songs ranging from jazz, folk, Latin, pop, rock, blues, funk, metal, and showtunes. The band is already working on ideas for INTERCONTINEN7AL Vol. 4, slated for release in the fall/winter of 2023.
- Josh Pearlson – guitar
- Jukerok – guitar, piano
- Aymar de Lichtervelde – guitar
- Stijn Thoolen – percussion (egg shaker)
- Nerse – guitar, violin
- Ruslan – trumpet, guitar (programming)
- Tnbt – drums
- Robert James Shoveller – guitar
- Andrasta – vocals/lyrics
- Bubbas Bentlass – vocals/lyrics
- Darren Fellows – piano/guitar(programming)
- Marcin Nawrocki – guitar, bass, programming (drums), mixing, mastering
- Miami73 – guitar
- Rieneke van Laarhoven – vocals/lyrics
- Rousevision – piano
- Yaroslav – guitar, drums, bass
- Alex Burke – bass, synthesizers
- Dirty D – saxophone
- Becca Drayer – vocals
- Hope Gray – vocals
- Ty’Shawn Jarell Harris – vocals
- Jamie Miller – cajon
- Matt Smith – guitar, vocals, programming (piano, drums, violin, vibraphone), mixing
- Nereo – bass
- Gustavo Prida – drum programming
In a recent interview with Mister Styx of musciarenagh ,the band shared how it was like working as the first band to be scattered across the globe among other personal interests.
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What is your stage name?
Matt: The band is called INTERCONTINEN7AL. Some members of the group perform under stage names – I go by my birthname of Matt Smith
Andrasta: I perform under the stage name ‘Andrasta’.
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Andrasta: Yeah, it initially came about because I was looking for a stage name to perform my music under – outside of music I’m an actress and writer, and for that I go by my given name Olivia Olsson. Andrasta is actually the name of the Iceni Goddess of Victory – you might recognise the Iceni tribe as being the tribe of Queen Boudicca. The Iceni came from the same part of the UK I was brought up in, and I consider myself to be a neo-pagan, so it had those two big connections for me.
Matt: The band is named INTERCONTINEN7AL to signify the representation of artists across all 7 continents – as we were able to incorporate recordings from 2 musicians in Antarctica while they were stationed there as research scientists. The “7” to replace the letter “T” in the band name was inspired by Tool’s song 7empest.
Where do you find inspiration?
Andrasta: I wouldn’t really say I find inspiration, it’s more like it finds me. I appreciate that sounds really pretentious but a lot of the themes I explore in the music I write are not necessarily things I go looking for. I’ve got several songs about the horrors of war, ‘War’s the Noise’ being one of them, and war is not something anyone should seek out. My inspiration comes from experiences or things I observe and I find a need to say something about them.
Matt: As a song writer, I am personally inspired by a variety of areas, whether it be from my own musical influences – Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers – or by song ideas presented by other bandmates in the BandLab environment. I am sometimes inspired by other mediums and art forms as well, to include cinema.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Matt: Music has always been a key element in my upbringing. I recall being a diehard Beach Boys fan by the time I turned 6 years old! Growing up, we had a diverse range of artists playing in the household between Beatles, Four Tops, Springsteen Billy Joel, etc. My mom was more of a Gloria Estefan fan during that timeframe.
Andrasta: When I was a kid it was definitely just something I enjoyed for entertainment’s sake, to sing along in the car or dance to. I think I was about 8 years old when I started to see music in a different light because I began to consciously notice how songs made me feel and how I connected to them.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Andrasta: Not in the sense of any of us playing lots of instruments or painting or anything like that. But I would definitely say we each have our own ways of being creative.
Matt: I am the only one in my immediate family that regularly plays an instrument. My mom played some piano when she was younger though 🙂
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
Andrasta: My mum. She’s always said to me that I’m capable of doing anything I want. She was the one who gave me that first push to even try writing music.
Matt: I have always been inspired by groups like Pearl Jam, who not only generated fantastic music but were also philanthropic in nature. INTERCONTINEN7AL seeks to accomplish something similar with our Volume releases.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Andrasta: I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember, but I only started applying that skill to music in the last few years. I learnt by trial and error, networking and asking more experienced writers for their advice, and being honest with myself about what I want to say as a writer. As for the singing, I’ve always sung but I really started taking it seriously about 5 years ago and undertook Estill voice training and Music Theory with a fantastic tutor/Broadway performer/all-round awesome human being, Kevin David Thomas.
Matt: I took guitar lessons when I was in high school for about a year, then began “homeschooling” myself with tablature, and trying to play along to my favorite songs by watching performance videos, etc. Wish I knew more music theory!
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Andrasta: I was 9 years old and my mum took my brother and I to see Destiny’s Child on their final tour at the London Excel arena. It was a lifechanging experience that I will never forget as long as I live.
Matt: My first concert was Metallica at the Meadowlands in New Jersey when I was 15 years old. A year later, the first riff I ever learned was their song “One”, and it’s as if being able to play a small portion of this song had unlocked some magical portal to another dimension! I couldn’t fathom that I was able to replicate the same notes that these guys were performing (albeit poorly)
How would you describe your music?
Matt: The songs that I write tend to be influenced or inspired by the hard rock / classic rock that I grew up listening to, however with this band we have greatly expanded our range to include a myriad of genres, to include pop, jazz, blues, funk, metal, folk, Latin, classical, and even showtunes!
Andrasta: The bastard lovechild of Jim Steinman and Yung Blud.
Describe your creative process.
Matt: For INTERCONTINEN7AL, our process is unique in that we often trade ideas within the BandLab atmosphere. For example, War’s the Noise started with an acapella vocal melody and lyrics that Andrasta had written, and I was able to put some chord progressions underneath it that tried to counterbalance the heavy weight of the lyrical content.
Andrasta: Start cooking dinner or be in the middle of doing something really important and then get interrupted by my brain going ‘I’ve got an amazing idea, do it right now or you’ll forget it in 3, 2…’
What is your main inspiration?
Matt: Always inspired by my aforementioned musical heroes.
What musician do you admire most and why?
Andrasta: It’s a tie between Prince and Meat Loaf. I was brought up on their music and I have always loved their artistry, being unapologetically themselves and leaving everything out on the stage.
Matt: Refer to my earlier responses regarding Pearl Jam.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Andrasta: I’m still very much at the beginning of my career so I’d have to say my style is still in its infancy.
Matt: Yes, as I mentioned with the start of this band, I have found myself participating and collaborating on songs that are a bit outside my comfort zone. I particularly appreciate being challenged musically, and trying not to reinvent the wheel.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
Andrasta: Myself. If I focused too much on what other people were doing I’d never get anything done. A bit of healthy competition is good but really, all I’m ever aiming to do is be better than I was five minutes ago.
Matt: Only friendly competition here! Sometimes if I hear a fantastic new track by a fellow bandmate, I’m motivated to try to come up with an equally moving song idea.
What are your interests outside of music?
Andrasta: At the moment I’m really trying to rekindle my love of reading. I’m also really into latin dancing.
Matt: I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling, sports, watching movies, craft beer, and hiking
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Matt: I would be a food critic, traveling the world and partaking in the local culinary delights
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Andrasta: The business side of things. Especially when you’re just starting out, it does feel like it’s shrouded in mystery.
Matt: See my response below.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Andrasta: Pay for play.
Matt: I would recommend adjusting the payouts and compensation for streaming for artists. INTERCONTINEN7AL is currently trying to raise money for charity through streaming earnings, but Spotify pays artists a fraction of a penny per play. As a result, it takes thousands of streams to earn just a few dollars.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
Andrasta: If you think of sound within the context of war, silence is typically what occupies the brief moments of peace or respite between attacks, the anticipation of the next attack. In that sense, noise as the antithesis of that is the indication of attack, and it is horrific and dreadful and deafening. That’s where the title ‘War’s the Noise’ comes from.
What are your plans for the coming months?
Andrasta: I’m working on my first independent single, a pop punk record called ‘Loved Out Loud’ which is all about loving without constraint or shame. I’m hoping to get that finished soon and aim to release it sometime in the new year.
Matt: Our lead producer and engineer Marcin Nawrocki is currently finalizing mixing and mastering Volume 3, which we aim to have released by the end of 2022. After that, its on to working on tunes for our fourth album!
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
Matt: Absolutely! We are always seeking to collaborate with new BandLab users to broaden our horizons.
Andrasta: Not at the moment, but I do have a few friends who are independent artists too and we have had conversations about maybe collaborating on something in the future.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Matt: Please consider supporting the band by purchasing or streaming our song/album, as all proceeds will go to the International Rescue Committee to aid in Ukrainian refugee relief.
Andrasta: It’s very flattering to think I have fans at this stage, but to them and to any future fans who come along for the ride I would say:
You are capable of more than you think. You are deserving of love just as you are. And thank you for all your love & support – without an audience I’m just a person who likes to sing, you make me a singer.