When the progressive metal band atlasaria called it quits in 2018, frontman Lucas Bennett faced down a new path he had been contemplating for a while.
“I still wanted to pursue and create music, but I wanted to try something different than what I was doing before,” Bennett said. “Aside from metal I was also really into alternative / indie rock and pop and wanted to have a project along those lines.”
The North Aurora musician was studying music at North Central College when he started envisioning what that would look like. With a handful of songs and random lyrics, he launched his new musical experiment, Of Thought and Feeling.
The six-song EP, “Melancholy,” was the product of his toying with sounds and experimenting with styles. The sole official member of the band, Bennett spent a year working with friends and session musicians locking in what Of Thought and Feeling was all about for last fall’s release.
This weekend, he dropped the band’s first video, an atmospheric visualization of the song “Against the Tide.”
Bennett answered a few questions for us about the song and Of Thought and Feeling:
Your background in progressive metal shines through in the single and new video “Against the Tide,” a track that, despite being a melodic treat, also carries a lot of weight. What mindset or experiences inspired that song?
It’s funny that you say that, because I wanted to use some of the lyrics in “Against the Tide” with atlasaria, but that song we were working on was never finished. What I was trying to capture and express in this song is that state of mind when someone is overthinking; it’s overwhelming, neurotic, stressful. I used to struggle with that a lot in my teens, having these intense emotions and being unsure how to deal with them. So in short, the song is a visceral battle of sometimes not wanting to deal with overwhelming feelings/situations, but realizing that the only way to feel better is to confront them.
How did you overcome the pandemic challenges working with so many different contributors?
Luckily, half of the EP was already recorded before the pandemic occurred, so there were only 3 songs left to record. We pretty much did one song a month over the summer, spaced out, making sure no one was sick or in contact with anyone who had been sick, etc. It honestly could have been a lot worse but it wasn’t too bad. All the string parts, for example, were recorded remotely so that helped with the overall process.
Collaborating with a lot of different musicians on this project, I imagine you get a lot of input from all different directions. What is some of the best advice you’ve heard about songwriting?
Honestly I think some of the best advice I’ve gotten about writing music is from one of my professors, Dr. Jonathon Kirk. He said something along the lines of: “Don’t worry about making your music good, worry about making your music interesting.” Because good music is so subjective and you can’t possibly please everyone. But if it is interesting then you’ll catch people’s attention.
What else is in the works for Of Thought and Feeling?
OTAF has a couple new tunes in our back pocket that should be coming out in the near future!
Shoutout to the whole team involved: Peter Szpytek on bass and harmonies, Joey Resko on guitar, Umi Ogimi on drums, Sam Bottner for mixing and mastering, Vince Ippolito for letting us use his studio, and Kyle “Tom” Yaam for shooting the music video.