The tour is now over, and after a break, we are gearing up to finish up the bonus track we promised and start work on the new album. We have some songs written, lots of ideas, and I think people will be very surprised.
We are very grateful to everyone who has reached out – be it via email, face to face conversations or reviews – and expressed such positive thoughts on Beyond The Panopticon. Your support and appreciation for the music means so much more than you imagine, and we are very grateful for your continued and increasing interest in our music.
There is, however, a consistent complaint about the album that we wish to address: it’s length. Almost everyone complains it is not long enough.
Of course, great length can have its advantages in some aspects of the human experience, no doubt about it. But not always. In fact, one could easily argue that girth is far more important.
In writing and recording a Sonus album, I have always wanted it to have girth; to be something you listen start to finish in one sitting, where you strap on headphones and the time invested on the listening experience takes you on a journey.
When CD’s came out and began to dominate the “market” (if one can still call it that these days), the length of the albums was automatically pushed to increase; there was no artistic reason for this, it was merely to fill the available storage space.
When we began work on Panopticon, we realized that the song cycle that became the album felt just right. It said what we wanted it to say, the way we wanted it to be said, and realized adding anything else to it would be counterproductive to the experience we wanted the album to provide.
Happily, that length also meant it would be ideal for the best possible vinyl format; more than 22 minutes of music per side can lead to audio quality problems.
We do listen to your comments. We read them all, and take them to heart, good and bad. But I just wanted to clarify we did not try to rip anyone off by making an EP and calling it a full length album!
To prove our point, if you look at your collections you will find all your sacred cow albums: Red, Close to the Edge, Dark Side of the Moon, Aqualung, Brain Salad Surgery, etc, etc, clock in at around 40 minutes.
I am NOT comparing Beyond the Panopticon to those timeless classics. But if you think about it, the expectation that albums need to be 65+ minutes long is part of the ongoing devaluation of music: What used to be a double LP is now often shorter than what is a single album on CD, and it is worth even less money than a single LP was when you adjust for inflation!
Far more importantly for me, however, is this: I still believe the best listening experience is one that is powerful, meaningful, coherent start to end, and preferably shorter than one hour.
The last point means I will usually be left wanting more, instead of needing a break.
I like that.
I am just one vote in a band that is busy at work on a follow-up worthy of your loyalty and support. I have no idea how long the next album will be. It will find its natural length, and whatever that may be, I promise you this: It’ll have enough girth for you and I to really feel it.
In the meantime, keep checking back – tour videos, making of videos and bonus tracks are forthcoming.