Fresh off the release of new music, we had the chance to catch up with the good people in Crossing The Rubicon. For those who are unaware, this is a band bringing together a multitude of interesting prog sounds (sax included). It all results in quite the adventure for the ears.
You can read through our interview with the band and find the new music through the streams below:
The Circle Pit Interview
Entire Band Answering Questions
First, the burning question… Who did it better? Julius Caesar or you guys?
Alex: Well at least we didn’t start a civil war. We appreciate that you know the context of
the name. A lot of time fans get confused about The Human Abstract and our name. We
in fact did not name ourselves after their greatest hit, but we are big fans of their music.
The idea came years ago with the idea that we are risk takers. It’s been like that from the
start. There has been a lot of “rolling of the die”, and we find ourselves doing that a lot.
We just want to be ourselves and give it a shot. Sometimes we do cross the point of no
return. But that’s growth.
In all seriousness, how the hell have you been — moving into 2021 and all? Things
looking up now?
Alex: It has been a ride! Thanks for asking. We hope everyone at The Circle Pit has been
safe, healthy and headbanging every day.
Josh: We’ve been doing really well! 2020 was…. interesting to say the least. Between
Myself being overseas for a portion and trying to write the new EP, we’ve had our hands
Alex: Yea… 2021 has started off strong for us. We have our sights set on new music, new
videos. It has just been a lot and the most important thing is that we are working closer
to together again. Distancing brought a lot of change to CTR and now we’re focused on
reforming our focus. 2021 is a big year for us with releases and the return to the stage!
Now, there’s a lot to unpack here. 2020 was a strange and difficult year for everyone. In
speaking with you, I know Crossing the Rubicon had a tougher row of it than many bands
between losing a member, auditions in the age of COVID and distance itself. I heard you
even temporarily had a pianist in your ranks! Can you speak on how you folks navigated
the murky 2020 waters to reach this point?
Alex: We would have to take you back to 2019 to get a picture of that. Our summer of
2019 was incredible. We hit the stage and were part of our local scene, playing w/ touring
bands such as North Carolina’s Anamorph and our local brothers in Others By On One
who were still supporting Book I: Dr. Breacher and some new tunes. Of course we even
played at the Summer Slaughter show in Dayton, OH opening directly for Brand of
Sacrifice. The fall of 2019 was tough, we had a lot of plans, and some inner turmoil was
eroding some relationships. Overall some of us had different visions and goals. We
parted with Deven Jahnke in January of 2020 and decided this was going to be the year we pushed ourselves harder than ever to get a new LP out and truly reform our sound.
Then COVID hit. Auditions in the age of COVID were tough. First we asked ourselves a
lot of questions; Did we want a new guitarist? Did we want a Keyboardist? Should we
run backing tracks? It was a confusing 6 months leading into the summer of 2020. We
got a new drummer in March of 2020, Zack Mann who was tremendously stabilizing. He is
frankly the reason CTR stayed alive amidst all the separation whether real or by social
Zack: I think we navigated the waters extremely well given the circumstances. We spent a
lot of time testing the waters and found a lot of very talented musicians; however, finding
people with a common goal and mindset equal to ours was the hardest part. We’ve
reached this point, like most do, by trial and error.
Dave: Yes, 2020 was rough. Went through a lot of changes. But that adversity solidified
our focus and determination.
Josh: I mean, we basically tried to reinvent ourselves. We took what we loved from the
last album (‘Matter’) and tried to push our sound to the pioneering front of prog. Using
the likes of Plini, Owane, and David Maxim Micic as inspiration. We did have a temporary
pianist during the year. He helped write some ideas for the EP but ultimately wasn’t the
right fit for us
Obviously, you’ve been quite some busy beavers with several new projects under the belt
and forthcoming. First, can you talk about the unique, time traveling story of The
Alex: The Oneiroi was originally a recording done for an obscure and little-known LP
titled by the same name released in 2012. This was what could technically be called the
first CTR LP. There still exist demos and out there of it, and some fans have even
purchased it on Bandcamp. There were three songs that formed part of a 3-part suite
called “The Inner Journey”. These were, Phobetor, Phantasos and Morpheus. It was a
suite titled after the Greeks gods of sleep in Ovid’s Roman mythos “The Oneiroi”. The
ideas of the LP was a concept album about sleep paralysis and its probable connection
to abduction testimonies.
Zack: The creation of The Oneiroi was a long drawn out process and redoing and
reworking parts and structures as we developed the music.
Alex: Our goal in 2020 was to revive some of those concepts, and slam the 3-part suite
into a one epic, which we did. Zack and I probably worked day and night for 3 months to
figure out how to fashion this mammoth song and make it work.
Zack: Not only is it an epic, beautifully layered song, to me it is a huge step in the way of
defining our sound and showing that we are capable of great things. The way I see thejourney The Oneiroi takes you on, is kind of like a dream. It starts out gentle and as if one is waking in the dream world.
On quite a similar note, you’ve got the “Anthologies Vol. 1” EP on the way. What can
listeners expect from that?
Alex: When we saw the success of how we wrote “The Oneiroi”, we thought it might be a
good time to re-record, remix and improve the production on past songs which have left
a mark in our history as a band.
Josh: It’s basically our greatest hits so far. We’ve taken music that dates back to the true
start of CTR and modernized it with new melodies and added complexity. Plus it’s got a
pretty damn good sax line, haha.
Alex: “It’s Biodigital Jazz, Man”, “Bloom” and “Time Lapse” were our final choices, but
we had contenders like “Afterglows” and “The Sum of All Things” in there.
Alex: The official track listing is
1. “Bloom (Renaissance)”
2. “It’s Biodigital Jazz, Man (Remanufactured)”
3. “Time Lapse (Recast)”
Dave: Recording it was cathartic. It made us have conversations about craft and tone and
genre. It’s a great ep.
Zack: Definitely! Anthologies Vol. 1 is going to be the bar setting release for us. This is
the opportunity for new members to put their interpretation of some of the more popular
songs CTR has released and to give you the listeners a preview into the sound of
Can you tell us about “Knowledge”?
Alex: “Knowledge” is officially our forthcoming second LP. As a sophomore effort we
are trying to truly make the mark we have always been meant to leave in our genre. A lot
of fans ask, ‘Will the heaviness go away?’ The clear answer is no. We still fuse djent
with a metalcore-ish base but I think we’re refining our sound. If it was ‘featuring’
saxophone in the past, the next release is sure to focus on saxophone as a vocal
element. I think The Circle Pit fans who sometimes wonder about our place here should
know that we’re getting more extreme. Where there is space for heavier and more
technical prog, I think we’ll be leaning in that direction also. We’re all excited about the
new approach because it is a thorough process and we’re writing from a place of passion
now more than ever. We’ll be releasing an LP with over 60 minutes of music.
Rumor has it you’ve got a new website on the way to support all of this. Can you speak on that?
Alex: Yes, fans can expect our website to go live around the time of our next EP. You’ll
be able to centrally see all our previous music, releases and videos. If you remember the
old KoЯn DVD “Deuce”, which featured an Asylum vault full of Easter Eggs; think that a
In the meantime, where’s the best place to reach Crossing The Rubicon?
Alex: Fans can find us almost everywhere Crossing the Rubicon (songwhip.com)
Now that we’ve got the heavy lifting done, let’s go completely off topic! You’re basically
time traveling with some of your recent releases… However, if you could actually time
travel and see ANY event in history, what would you choose?
Alex: Discovery of the Americas. It’s a tad controversial but I would have wanted to be
on Columbus or Erikson’s ships and see foreign land for the first time, just imagine…
Josh: I personally would love to go back to the times of the original composers. Bach,
Mozart, Handel, Beethoven.
Zack: Time traveling to see any historical event is hard for me to choose. If it were up to
me I would love to travel and see a time lapse with context from the beginning of
civilization and every major event in history.
Dave: I’d like to see Cro-Magnons humans. See and hear early music.
If CTR was a sports team, what would your mascot be and what would your team colors
Zack: I think our mascot would be a lion. Because we’re tenacious, prideful, loyal,
hardworking, and leaders. I think our colors would be red and gold. To me those colors
symbolize strength, elegance, and pride.
Alex: I’m gonna go with a Peacock on acid, wearing a homburg hat, smoking a stogie
Dave: How about a lizard with hair. Like a Komodo Dragon trying to be a bear. It’s
mythical and odd…like our sound
Josh: Well when we bought our van we found an old bra stuffed in the glove box so I’m
all in favour of thatAlex: No…No, we found that bra under the van at one of our gigs in Columbus, Ohio!
Dave: We called that gig ‘the large bra gig’
Alex: I’m still sad we got rid of it, but it was covered in oil stains from where we ran over
it, who know what the [email protected]$% else was on that bra. It was beige, so maybe our team
colors are beige. Our van is Red and white though, so there’s always those colors.
Any favorite music recommendations of late? We could even take this into other realms –
movies, books, shows, podcasts – any recommendations?
Alex: I’ve been watching the Sasquatch documentary on Netflix. It’s super dope, it’s
semi-illustrated so it has an artistic appeal. I also spent a lot of 2021 listening to Down
the Hill: The Delphi Murders. That was brutal. Totally swept me in. I just got into
T-Square recently and discovered them because Josh bought an EWI, if you’re into 80’s
video games and hard-fusion give that a spin after a swig of Gin and Tonic. You’ll regret
you weren’t born in the 80’s.
Josh: Owanes album “Yeah whatever” has been what I’ve been really digging, but I’ve
also been listening to a lot of Stormzy. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown has also just released a
new jazz Quartet sessions album and it’s absolutely insane!
Dave: Podcasts; The Broken Record podcast with Rick Rubin has great discussions
Zack: Favorite music recommendations from me would be anything Owane, Plini, The
Contortionist, Snarky Puppy and Angel Vivaldi. If you love intricate music with taste and
memorable music these are the top artists for me.
Last question… If your entire catalog of music was wiped from the face of the Earth and
you could only leave three songs for people to enjoy… What would they be? I suppose
The Oneiroi could be a cheat code here, but I’ll accept it!
Alex: Anthroposcene, Afterglows, Bloom, Divide the Sky (Live), Time Lapse… I can’t just
Zack: Time Lapse, Bloom (Renaissance) and The Oneiroi
Dave: Bloom, Time Lapse, Divide the sky
Josh: Vesuvius, Die is Cast and Bloom
That’s all we have for you today. Any last words to say to the people out there?
Alex: Check out our new EP “Anthologies Vol I.”, coming to all streaming sites May 14th.
Josh: Please for the love of god wear masks and stay safe. It’s been a long track so far
but we still need to continue working hard and staying safe until this bloody virus is over
and done with.
Zack: Final words for the people. Stay up to date on what’s happening with CTR. We are
working hard to give you all incredible music and experiences. You will not be
disappointed. We love you all and appreciate the support you have given us!
Thanks for coming through!
Alex: Thanks for having us! We can’t wait for your reactions to our upcoming EP
Purchase / Stream: https://songwhip.com/crossingtherubicon