automationIf you just think about auto racing when someone mentions Indianapolis, you’re obviously not a fan of progressive metal. It seems like there are nearly 500 prog metal bands speeding out of greater Indy all the time. Our exclusive stream of the new record from “The Crossroads of the Nation”‘s Mapmaker after the jump.

Prog metal fans, go ahead and fire up the new record from Mapmaker while we learn more about the band and the ideas behind their brand new record Automation

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Mapmaker started a couple of years back when bassist Adam Skinner and Guitarist/Vocalist Brandon Lanning met in high school and discovered common interests.

“I talked to him one day in the band room and found out that we both liked odd time signatures, melodic metal, and owned 7 string guitars,” Adam remembers “I eventually joined his band at the time. It was pretty much just shreddy, Iron Maiden wanna-be pirate metal. It was rad. We lost that guitar player and began a crazy cycle of going through what seemed like a guitar player per week. (Lead vocalist) Garrett (Williams) soon came into the picture. I was introduced to him by Brandon. He said he knew a guy who actually had a rig, a 7 string, and could play our stuff. That guy was (guitarist) Dakota Johnson. He ended up working out better than we could have ever imagined.”

Drummer Spencer Mills rounds out the line-up. A listen to Automation reveals this is definitely a band with a vision.

“I guess I see the vision for the group is to throw everything we thought we knew about music out the window so we can keep improving as individuals and as a dynamic group,” Dakota says. “New ideas and sounds can spark momentum for a song, so if we keep finding those new sounds/ideas, I guess the vision is being achieved.”

Brandon agrees.

“Personally, I didn’t want to think in terms of a genre while we were writing, as the general idea was to eliminate as many limitations as we could while still having songs that we liked and enjoyed playing.”

With that approach, Adam says it’s hard to know what direction Mapmaker will take next.

“I have no clue what our next album is going to sound like. Personally I’d like to see us just widen our horizons. I want our heavy parts to get much heavier. I want our melodic ideas to be more melodic with more layers and more thought behind them. I also want to get more and more experimental. I think no matter what it will sound like mapmaker, but the goal is to sound much more mature on this album.”

As far as the writing process, Adam remembers passing files among band members so often, he found one song on version 40+.

“When we began writing Automation, all of the songs were based off of either basic renditions of one of the riffs, or in a few occasions, guitar parts without any drums or bass parts to really lock in the “feel” of the ideas,” Brandon says. “We would each come up with some riffs periodically, tab them out, and send them to each other. We grew more and more impressed with how each person could add a new direction to the tune, and once everyone had done their share of adding onto an idea, we would have the framework for a song. The entire album was tabbed out, but we experimented more with a few minor parts during the recording process, and ended up with the final product which we are all happy with!”

All of the band members agree the title track on Automation best embodies the band’s overall sound.

“Lyrically, the album has an over all sci-fi feeling towards it,” Garrett explains. “It’s about humans who are trying to perfect endless life by the incorporation of technology into the human mind. The first section is the timeline of the humans as they are creating mechanically aware/mechanical humanoids. The second section is the moment the mechanical humanoids become aware and are born into existence and obtain consciousness. The third and final timeline is following human-kind as they create a device that infuses the machines into their mind and allows the sentient machines to direct their imminent existence and sub-sequent multiverses and control all possible outcome of human life.

Automation is barely out and writing is already underway for the next record.

“We couldn’t be more excited and have a few big things changing up soon that are definitely for the better,” Dakota says. We are gonna focus on improving song structure, album thematics, and overall execution of what we hear in our heads. We’re also going to try to start doing at least small tours by summer 2015. We just plan on writing more stuff that we like to hear and play!

“Hopefully we can get someone into a genre as immersive and ethereal as progressive metal, or even convince them to play it. We’re all about writing what we believe to be good music and having a kickass time doing it, so I’d say accomplishing the goal is already in motion! Now we just have to keep moving forward.”

So check out the new record and if you like it, make sure to keep this band on the maps that you are making.

–BS

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