Joe Baptista is the maestro of the band City Of The king and his project is the culmination of close to a year of work. He have written many songs and collaborated on many other projects over the last 35 years but Uprising is his first full length solo album project. Many bands of the 60’s and 70’s would build their albums around a central theme and the first album from City Of The King is based on a theme as well.
The central theme of Uprising is one of rebellion, politically charged division and the ramifications of what would happen if a group of people challenged government. Today we see many examples whether it is the protests in Hong Kong, the political division throughout the world and the fundamental quest for freedom by the citizens of the world.
The song Believe is about Artificial Intelligence and the power that it could have over all of us. The song is this higher being re-assuring us that everything is okay…but it’s not…
Baptista states, «Growing up in the 70’s there was so much great music. Making music over so many decades has given me such a wide range of inspirations. My favorite artists include Pink Floyd, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, U2, Daniel Lanois, Yes, Supertramp, Deep Purple, Styx, Journey, Rush and more. There is also quite a bit of modern music that I really enjoy. When people listen to the music I think they may recognize some of those influences but each song is very unique. Lyrically it tells the story of a future rebellion, it mirrors some of the things going on right now and some of the signs we are seeing where things could easily escalate. While some of the subject matter is a bit heavy I tried really hard to keep the theme together». The track Without You,
«There are many ways to make music and electronic music making has evolved so much over the last 30 years. When you listen to this album you will recognize this as clearly being a rock album from a rock band so what makes it electronic music? While every single note on the album has been played in real time, the main difference for City of The King is that the band itself is made up of all virtual instruments. I started making music at a very young age and in the 80’s I started collecting synthesizers and used them to create music. There were many instruments that were elusive to an electronic musician to faithfully reproduce. Back then, it was drums and certainly guitar. Today, that has changed and the power to recreate any instrument exists. I have a large home studio facility that I have used to create this album and the high horsepower computers to bring my virtual band to life».
«One of the things that I wanted to do was maintain a consistent sound across the album. When a band goes into the studio they would consistently lay down the tracks using the same instruments. So when setting up the sound palette I wanted to pick instruments and stay with them consistently throughout. This included the drums which use a new instrument from IK Multimedia called MODO DRUMS which are a virtual drum instrument. This is the first time that drums have been software simulated vs sampled and the resulting sound is amazingly realistic and musical. The main drum kit is a Pearl Studio kit and just like in a regular studio we have interchanged a few different snares including a Pearl Studio Snare, Ludwig Vintage Snare and a TAMA Star Classic. Throughout the whole album all of the songs were tracked in the same room space».
«I have owned almost every major synthesizer that has come out with the exception of some of the super synths that only a handful of people had access to. My first synth was a Roland Juno 106 and from there whenever something new would come out I would do what I could to get one. Right now my synth arsenal includes all of the latest hardware synths from Roland, Korg and Yamaha. I’ve also owned a vintage Hammond organ. For this project, and in keeping with the spirit of the project we used all virtual synths. A company called Arturia has a very cool collection of Vintage synths and they featured on the album».