STELLAGEN formed in Sydney, Australia in 2019 with the simple goal of making metal they wanted to listen to: heavy yet melodic, with memorable choruses and shredding guitar solos, incorporating elements from death/ black metal but with the sense of melody and catchiness of power metal in both the vocals and guitars.
STELLAGEN features Phil Brown (Vocals/ Guitars), Jimmy Lardner-Brown (Guitars) and Symon Haddad (Bass) with session drums provided by Robin Stone.
The vocals range from death/ black metal growls and screams on one end of the spectrum to melodic clean (yet still ‘raw’) vocals on the other, with a focus on ensuring each song has a memorable ‘hook’. A key feature of the band’s style is also the guitar harmonies and interplay between twin brothers Phil and Jimmy, which is backed up by the solid rhythm section of Symon and Robin. Lyrical concepts include real life experiences, literature, and sci-fi/ fantasy.
Musicwebzine – Hi there, first of all, tell us something about the band
Phil Brown – STELLAGEN is a heavy metal band from Sydney, Australia. Our sound is a mixture of a fair few different metal sub-genres, such as power metal, melodic death metal, black metal, thrash metal, progressive metal, death metal etc.
You could even say that we have invented a brand new sub-genre of metal: power/ melodic death/ black/ thrash/ progressive/ death metal!!! (I am joking of course!)
I’d like to think that some features which make our sound distinctive are the mixture of extreme and ‘clean’ vocals, the aggression mixed with melody, and shredding guitar solos including lots of guitar harmonies and interplay between myself and my twin brother Jimmy.
Musicwebzine – Which is the main theme of your album ?
Phil Brown – The lyrical themes on our debut album ‘From Dying Stars’ are quite diverse. The concept of the band is not to be locked down into any particular lyrical subject matter. So the lyrics can range from being about life, relationships, sci-fi/ fantasy themes and concepts or based on other works of fiction. I suppose if there was any sort of unifying theme of the album it would be found within the last lyric from the album, which is where the album title comes from, being:
‘Reality defined through
The mind’s limitations
Radiating from dying stars’
There is also a musical concept to the album which will be continued on our second album, which should be out later this year.
Musicwebzine – What about the cover and the title of your album ?
Phil Brown – The cover is a painting by the very talented Andrew ‘Salty’ Saltmarsh, from the Australian band Toehider. The cover ended up being quite serendipitous in terms of what would ultimately be the band name and album title.
I remember I gave Salty the draft album lyrics, which resulted in an intentionally ambiguous concept of a swirling vortex spreading from the front of the album to the back.
At the same time that the art was progressing I was trying to come up with band names. I was thinking about the band name ‘Stellar Genesis’, though I hadn’t yet written the last lyric on the album (‘quintessential ashes radiating from dying stars’).
I remember on the night I came up with the band name STELLAGEN, a portmanteau of ‘stellar genesis’, I got the first draft of the cover painting. I thought it was so cool that the vortex on the cover could be interpreted as a dying star – though can also be interpreted in various other ways depending on the perspective applied by each individual.
Musicwebzine – Which bands has influenced your sound ?
Phil Brown – Too many to mention! But to run off a few off the top of my head: Helloween, Megadeth, Blind Guardian, Savatage, Dream Theater, Opeth, Children of Bodom, Tyr, Angra, Fates Warning, Anathema, Bal-Sagoth, Ayreon, Spock’s Beard, Borknagar, Dark Tranquility, Exodus, Steve Vai, Cacophony, Gamma Ray, Gentle Giant, Katatonia, maudlin of the Well, Rage, Symphony X, Alcest
I’ve been listening to metal pretty much my whole life, so whilst I appreciate it’s almost impossible to do anything truly unique these days, my goal is to incorporate various different influences into the sort of metal songs I’d like to listen to: heavy and extreme at times, but also at times catchy and uplifting. I like if possible to ensure that each song has a good melodic ‘hook’ that keeps you coming back for another listen.
Musicwebzine – Do you think you can still live only on music?
Phil Brown – No, I think it’s pretty much impossible to live only on music. To get to that level seems to me to involve something like a one in a million chance. Any bands who have reached that level have obviously worked super hard so all power to them!
However, I see the fact that it’s impossible to live only on music as such a positive thing when it comes to creativity. It means there is absolutely no prospect, whether consciously, subconsciously or otherwise, of letting thoughts of trying to make money enter the song writing process. So in that respect it feels like the creative process is much more – for want of a better term – ‘pure’. You’re just making music solely for the fun and passion of making cool music! That’s far more satisfying than trying to make music in order to make a living from music (though if someone wants to pay me a billion dollars to write my next album I wouldn’t say no haha!)
Musicwebzine – That’s all!! greeted our readers with a message!
Phil Brown –Greetings to all readers of MUSIC ZINE ONLINE! Keep rocking, stay metal and be true to yourself!