Interview with Poul Jakobsen of Project Sapiens

Project Sapiens is a progressive metal project based out of Copenhagen formed by composer and multi-instrumentalist Poul Jakobsen and singer Mads Rahbæk. The duo released their debut EP “Here We Are” in August, and they have just launched an animated video for the title track from the EP, which looks absolutely brilliant.

Hey Poul. How are you doing?

Pretty good and excited about the new video!

You have recently launched your debut EP entitled “Here We Are.” How do you feel about the release?

I’m happy that we managed to close this first chapter of our musical journey. It’s a little intimidating knowing that anybody can listen to it and judge our work, but I’m happy that we are doing it and we keep learning along the way.

How much of a challenge was to work on the EP?

It was a long, but rewarding process. It started with a decision to tune my guitar into the open C tuning and then the writing process began. I wrote all the music and lyrics for the album, then Mads joined the project as a singer and it took us some time to coordinate the whole process. On top of that we had a lot of challenges with the technical setup – which amp and which guitars to use etc.

Project Sapiens - Here We Are

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Denmark are you friends with?

I guess I’m not the most social guy and honestly, I don’t know any original metal bands from Denmark. I know a few copy/cover bands, but that’s a different scene all together.

What is your opinion about the current metal scene?

I think that there’s a lot happening to be honest. However, I sense a strong bias towards Djent and very technical metal. But in all honesty, I’m more into the music production than consumption these days.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

I grew up listening to everything from Pink Floyd, through Korn, to Mozart. If I were to mention few bands that I personally think had an impact on my perception of sound esthetics and my writing process, I guess it would be Devin Townsend Project, Pain of Salvation, Alice in Chains, Pink Floyd, and A Perfect Circle.

What are you listening to these days?

Most recently mostly “Alien” by Strapping Young Lad, Chopin’s nocturnes and ballads, Requiem by Mozart, and “L’énfant sauvage” by Gojira. I’d throw some Steven Wilson in between – I try to catch up on his solo discography and I’m looking forward to his concert in Copenhagen in 2019!

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

A Perfect Circle – Thirteenth Step

Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction

Pink Floyd – Pulse

Pain of Salvation – Remedy Lane

Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “Here We Are”?

As mentioned earlier, it took us some time to land on the right gear for the album. Eventually, after trying few amps, I invested in Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40 that runs through Suhr Reactive Load (load box). The signal goes to my Focusrite Scarlett, then Logic Pro 9, Torpedo Wall of Sound… it really took some time to figure this all out. I recorded most of the songs on my t-style Mensinger, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2011 (which I no longer own) and some freaky Ltd flying V style guitar (I forgot the name of that model, also no longer in my possesion). As for the bass – Sandberg p-bass and TC Electronics RH450, which follow the same signal chain. And of course EZ Drummer for drum programming.

Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?

The next thing is kind of crazy… I wrote a three piece concept album about a demon, who is tired of his lonely life in hell and decides to come to earth and force humans into loving him, which is supposed to fill the void in his heart. He’s got an evil companion and a pretty messed up plan how to conquer the earth, so… yeah… I hope that we will be ready with the first out of the three albums in the first quarter of 2019. The release date is dependent on the funding as the entire album will be released in a form of a animated video episode. Three albums, three animated episodes, hopefully one each year. All depends on the time and support we get, but these upcoming three albums are so much fun that it would be a dream come true to get them released. And yes, it’s going to be heavy, epic and progressive, but not necessarily in a conventional way. We’ve got most of the instrumental parts for the first album ready and we started recording vocals. You can follow the progress on our Facebook page where we often stream from studio.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Eat vegetables, change your bed sheets once in a while, and never drink on an empty stomach! Of course it would be great if you could spend few minutes to watch the new video to “Here we are” – it’s beautifully animated and totally wild. We would appreciate if you share our music and videos with your friends, and if you think it sucks some serious balls, well… share it with your enemies. Cheers!

“Here We Are” EP is available for download / streaming on Bandcamp. Follow Project Sapiens on Facebook.