Archetype’s Chris Matyus

August 23rd, 2005
by EvilG

Archetype’s Chris Matyus
Interviewed in June 1999 by EvilG

There is hope for real metal in America. Just off the top of my head I can think of new great bands that I’ve heard lately like Imagika, Of The Fallen, True To Form and Unleashed Power. Well now there is another band to add to the list – Archetype! Thanks to intromental management I was given the opportunity to interview Chris Matyus, the mastermind and lead guitarist behind this new band.


Metal Rules!!:
Chris, first I think it might be appropriate if you could tell readers where Archetype are coming from musically.

Chris:
Archetype is definitely coming from a new musical direction! Our music is very original and diverse in it’s structure which gives every song something different to offer. I like to let each song develop to it’s fullest extent, never trying to fit it into some kind of mold. Our songs will have clean and heavy parts and others will be all heavy, times will range from 4:30 to 12:00 and some will be more technical than others. Any odd meters we use fit well and allow the songs to maintain their flow. Whatever the case, Archetype provides an undefinable style of music which can appeal to a wide variety of listeners. We definitely like to get pretty heavy at times and also mellow out when necessary, kind of a full spectrum of musical arrangements. Up until now, progressive metal was the category we were put in. I didn’t mind it until every band started calling themselves progressive. I guess eventually we will be able to classify what we do.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Your bio mentioned that you started the band after graduating from the University of Akron. What did you study? Are you also working in the field in which you studied?

Chris:
My first two years at The University of Akron I studied Civil Engineering. That didn’t pan out to what I thought it would so I decided to take up music. I had played guitar for several years so I took up Classical Guitar. At first I was in education, but decided to change to performance shortly afterwards. Well, I guess you could say I’m “working” in music, without pay for now!! I do also teach at a local store but put most of my time into Archetype.

 

Metal Rules!!:
I know this question is typical, but for a newer band I think it’s important. What bands have most influenced your sound?

Chris:
The band that got me into the more technical side of writing is Coroner. They remain my favorite band and my biggest influence. Also Dream Theater, Rush, Savatage, King Diamond, Malmsteen and various classical music has influenced me throughout the years. Everything I write I try to make as original as possible. I don’t listen to these bands exclusively, that would only cloud my mind. For several years now I have mostly listened to Death/Black metal and New Age music. Listening to these styles of music and writing another allows for more creativity and originality!

 

Metal Rules!!:
When I first put on your CD I wrongfully assumed you were a European band,  when I learned you were from Ohio I was surprised! Do you get this reaction  much?

Chris:
From the comments and reviews we have gotten, people seem to really like the CD and some probably assume we are from Europe. Our style is much more suited for Europe than the US now, so when they realize we are from Ohio, I’m sure there is some surprise. In the future I would like to see the US embrace music like ours more.

 

Metal Rules!!:
I really like your CD, my only small complaint is the abundant   acoustic/mellow intros and interludes…will that be something you will   continue with?

Chris:
If you want to hear raging metal non-stop, I can see where the slower clean parts would interfere with your listening. Remember, Archetype is a multi-dimensional band. The monotony of constant heaviness lacks (to me) in originality and diversity. We are a very melodic, musical band and without these diverse parts, would be just another ‘run of the mill’ metal band. I have always enjoyed well structured heavy and clean parts intermingled with one another. This makes things more musical, more interesting and much more listenable. Music seems to provide more emotion going from clean to heavy and vice-versa. It makes songs seem like stories rather than just songs. I feel there has to be both forms to create something musical! Don’t get me wrong, we do a lot of heavy parts, but will include a well placed, clean intro or interlude. You have to realize that I write what I feel, not to please anyone else!!

 

Metal Rules!!:
Where has most of the interest in Archetype come from so far?

Chris:
Without a doubt, from Europe! Since our style is much more accepted there, we have gotten great reviews and comments from magazines, webzines and a few labels. It will take some time to get good recognition in the US.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Do you play much live in and around your homebase? Also, has their been or will their be any touring outside of the US?

Chris:
We have played quite a few shows around northern Ohio and will be working our way to other cities and states soon. We will be coming to Europe in mid-November (probably 11/12 – 11/28) for a few weeks to do a small tour with two other Intromental Management bands, Fifth Reason and Antithesis. We will be in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark and possibly Sweden. Be sure to check out http://www.intromental.com for more information.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Has their been any major label interest in the band?

Chris:
Our management is in contact with a few well known labels that have expressed some interest in us. A lot of labels like the music but are hesitant to work with us because of our style being so different. In time I think they will realize just how far this music can go.

 

Metal Rules!!:
What are your goals for the band?

Chris:
Definitely to secure a record deal and get our music out to as many people as possible. We have a lot of material and I can’t wait to start recording our first full length album. I would like to succeed in many different parts of the world rather than just one continent. I don’t think it’s too far out of reach to go places like Japan, South America and all of Europe. I have very high hopes for Archetype and seeing all the great reviews and comments that have all come so fast, this seems very possible.

 

Metal Rules!!:
As a lead guitar player what other players have you been most impressed with?

Chris:
It all started with Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest. He is the reason I started playing. They weren’t the best song writers, but every solo he ever did was original and fit the music perfectly!  Tommy T. Baron (Vetterli) of Coroner is another favorite. His style, ability and originality blew me away. Chris Oliva (RIP) from Savatage was a player you really saw mature on the instrument from Sirens till his death after Streets, great soloist and writer. A few more would be Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci of Dream Theater (obviously) and Andy LaRocque of King Diamond. In the classical realm, Augustin Barrios Mangore (my favorite composer), Louis Quintero and of course John Williams.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Are you a self taught player?

Chris:
I was self taught from the age of 16 until I took classical at the age of 20. When I first started I took two lessons, didn’t like my instructor and did it myself. I progressed slower that way, but wasn’t really serious at the time. For five years, ages 20 – 25 I studied classical guitar and played very little electric. The classical playing helped my electric so I could maintain my current level. Since I graduated, I have been very serious on the electric guitar and have played much less classical. I’m grateful for the knowledge I gained in school and realize that I wouldn’t be writing what I do now without it. I think everyone should have some instruction at one time or another, but everyone also has to find their own place.

 

Metal Rules!!:
What type of gear and setup do you use? (amps, guitars, effects pedals or racks)

Chris:
Right now I use Paul Reed Smith and Ibanez guitars. I used to have a Marshall JCM 800 Half Stack, but sold the head due to lack of a clean channel. I currently use a Marshall Valvestate, a Rocktron Intellifects unit and an Ibanez tube screamer for that more raw sound. Soon I will be getting into a full tube, rack system.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Since the recording of “Hands of Time” you’ve added a second guitar player?  How has this changed your sound both live and for writing?

Chris:
We started with two guitars originally and when we went down to one guitar, our live sound really suffered. The lack of harmonies and power became very obvious and made the music ‘hollow’. With the addition of a second guitarist, the music has once again   reached it’s fullest potential. I write everything for two guitars because of the overall musical effect that can be achieved. Rhythm under solos, chordal and lead harmonies and a more full, heavy and powerful sound.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Have you written any new songs? If so what are they sounding like?

Chris:
We currently have about 20 originals completed. Not all have lyrics yet, but the music is done. I am always writing new material. Right now I am taking apart older songs and using sections that I liked with newly written parts. My writing stays fairly consistent and I have come up with a few longer songs and a few heavier songs. It’s hard to say what they are exactly like, but as I said before, there is something new with each song. We are heading towards a more heavy sound than on the CD and I think this will better the overall effect of the music. We are doing some rough recording at practice and should have copies of our new material soon.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Tell me how you hooked up with Intromental Management (Danish metal band  agency).

Chris:
I heard of them through a singer who was with us for a few weeks back in June of 1998. He mentioned them to me and I sent them five instrumental CD’s. About one month later I received an e-mail from Claus Jensen expressing interest in working with us. We realized that staying in the US would get us nowhere so we signed with them. It’s definitely paying off for us in all the promotion and publicity we have gotten.

 

Metal Rules!!:
Do you have any hope for a resurgence of interest in metal in North America?

Chris:
I would like to see things improve in the US. It’s almost as if no one cares about good music anymore. Like our singer said, back in the 80′s, clubs were very good to bands and people came out to see all the shows. Now since there are so many below average bands playing the same garbage, no one wants to waste their time. All these bands think they are going to be the next big thing, it really makes me ill! It’s hard for good bands to get good gigs because there are no openings. If you get a gig at a good club, they will barely pay anything even when you draw a decent crowd. Most club owners and promoters only care about a few dollars and not the quality of music. If they actually spent time working with a good band, things might start to turn around, I don’t see that happening for a long time! All of this has led to the downfall of metal. That and the inability of most bands, both local and national to actually create something worthwhile. Sure, there are a few really good national bands, but it pretty much ends there, something has to be done before it’s too late!!

 

Metal Rules!!:
If there is any other news or other information on Archetype that you can  pass along then please let me know!! Thanks again, and good luck with Archetype!!

Chris:
For more band information visit www.intromental.com/archetype (management site) and www.archetype1.com (band site, under construction).

Thanks, Chris.

 

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