Exclusive Interview: Sertraline talk “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines”!

Having had the pleasure of “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines” by Progressive Metalcore quintet Sertraline, we were lucky enough to be granted an audience with them to talk about how the EP came together, the importance of the mix and to have a laugh at some of their working track titles. All being well, they’ll be taking to the stage at the rescheduled Radar Festival across the weekend of 16th & 17th October, which has a pretty impressive line up going for it…

How does it feel to finally have the new music out there? Are you looking forward to reading comments about it or are you ones to shy away from that side of things? It’s so exciting! We do look forward to reading what people think, obviously there’s some nerves there too but we’re fairly confident that it’s our best work to date!

How did you find the reaction to the pair of pre-release singles? You must be over the moon at the reaction to “Inside Out” clocking up nearly 40k of Spotify streams before the EP release? The reaction to the two singles has been beyond what we expected! Especially the Spotify streams – we’ve always found it hard to do well on that platform but its really picked up recently! We’ve had nothing but positive comments so we’re really pleased.

One thing that struck us when listening to the EP is that the title is very much something that encompasses the lyrical feel and emotional aspect of the vocals with the possibility that “2205” could have been called “Clouded Minds“. Has there ever been any heated debates about any of the song titles or does the lyric writer have the final say? Are you a band who use working titles for tracks before finally settling on a name for each song? Interesting observations! Generally Lizzie comes up with the song titles after the lyrics are finished, but there are sometimes group discussions if she’s not sure on what to call them! There’s ALWAYS working titles, here’s a few examples: ‘Monolith’,  ‘Spookem_ElevenFour’, ‘FSWD’, ‘Bill and Ed’s Excellent Adventure’.

When it comes to the vocals there is a fine balance between the beauty and the beast aspects of it. How did you find striking that balance when it came to the right sound for the right lyrical aspect? Did you have the change the approach to suit the music? It’s always music dependant, it comes naturally when you listen to the instrumentation as to which parts are more suited to screams and which bits are suited to cleans. Choruses tend to be big and melodic though with lots of layers – it keeps the catchiness and makes it accessible to more people 🙂 Lyrically, it’s a constant work in progress to match the words to the style of vocal – it’s a challenge Lizzie enjoys!

We have described your guitar sound as part Metalcore, part DJent and part Tech-Metal when it comes to the riffs on the EP. What would you say are your main influences when it comes to that aspect? During the writing did you have to up or down the technically aspect to make for a better overall song? Guitar wise, the main influences include Monuments, Polaris and Architects. We like to experiment with lots of different variations on the main riffs we write, to see if we can make it more interesting both with notes and rhythms. Sometimes we decide though that simple is the most effective, you’ve got to think about the overall sound and keeping it tight! 

How import was it to get the right mix when it came to “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines”, particularly with the complexities in the bands sound? Where there any disagreements about how anything should have sounded and did anything you didn’t expect pop out during the mix? HA! We are soooooo OCD when it comes to mixing. Not sure how many versions we went through…maybe 5? It’s so so important – we need to make sure every instrument sounds its best and that the overall impact is how we envisioned it. There were a few minor disagreements but generally we’re all on the same page. The hardest thing is trying to explain your thoughts to someone who is not in the band, and just praying they ‘get it’. Luckily they did!

How did you find out that “Guilty” was included in Heidi Shepard’s (Butcher Babies) “Sisters That Slay” playlist on Spotify? You must be happy to get that recognition from across the pond? Yeah that was really cool – we were aware of the playlist for a while as we’d seen a few of our friends bands being added to it. Then one day she tagged us in an instagram post full of new additions for the playlist – we were very excited! We actually supported them in 2016 at The Live Rooms in Chester, so perhaps she had vaguely remembered us!


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