The Android Meme's Stefano Talks the Old and the New

Progressive rock alternatives The Android Meme have been through a lot over the last few years. But now that some time has passed on they are ready to continue onward with new music, new shows, and a new future. Frontman vocalist and programming guy Stefano S. Amelio discusses the band's good times, bad times, and future.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Android Meme, and how long the band has been together.

Stefano: My name is Stefano S. Amelio, I am the Vocalist and all around founding member of the band. This band started around 2005 as mini solo project but later became a full band around 2008.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Stefano: After attempting to write, record, and perform everything on a few homemade songs I realized I wasn't very good but I had solid ideas and concepts for themes and style. I enlisted the help of a close friend to play guitar and help me out musically, since I really didn't have any musical talent or knowledge. I did have a great sense of performance and acting skill, this is something that always attracted me to theatrical bands and artists. Later we formed a full band and began to write songs and record an EP before we ever even played a show. After recording an EP with producer/engineer Rob Sanzo here in Toronto, we played a bunch of shows and started recording and writing new songs with producer/musician/engineer Matthew Von Wagner. Around this stage I started to replace band members because of commitment issues, starting with kicking out my other original founding member who played guitar due certain bad habits. He was replaced by Mathias Devereaux. Eventually, the whole band changed over and we became a 4 piece instead of a 5 piece band. Then we finished recording the full length album Ordo Ab Chao which got picked up and released by Magna Carta Records. Whom we have recently parted ways with.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Stefano: The band is based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. However, in all honesty I have never felt to close to this city's musical scene. Our scene is very fragmented and not overly healthy and helpful, it doesn't seem like most bands care to help each other out and its just over saturated in general. At least not for our style of music. I really consider us a more internationally based band. We are far more accepted in Europe. The only band close to us that I can recommend is A Primitive Evolution. They are a great band with a great live show and solid songs.

4. What type of band are you?

Stefano: If you read any of our reviews you will find that we are very hard to classify. However, I would say we are a hard rock/electro/prog/death pop type band. :) We use very rich and deep symbolic themes in our lyrics and try to promote an intelligent and multi-layered approach to what we do.

5. Why did you want to name the band The Android Meme? What does it symbolize and represent for the band?

Stefano: I borrowed the name from Bob Dobbs. He conceptualized the term to mean "the programmable environment". Using the term MEME, far before it was ever popular due to social media and viral memes. Basically, it can be said that it represents an AI life of technology and ideas/concepts that can be used to manipulate the masses. These concepts and ideas spread like viruses (MEMES) and multiply themselves, creating a life of their own. I wanted the name to represent the concepts and ideas we talk about to spread in the same manner and to also make aware that such viral spreading of ideas can be abused to enslave and brain wash just as it can be used to free and enlighten.

6. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Stefano: Our musical influences are way too long to list, but if I could narrow it down to a few bands or artists I would have to say; Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Muse, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Orgy, Deadsy. Our non musical influences are anything that promotes the enrichment of our existence. everything from the ancient mysticism and occult knowledge, to the many orders and secret societies like freemasonry, and the magical orders that have kept the secrets and hidden mysteries of nature and science safe from the masses. We are very much into the philosophical studies and symbolism of all ages and we do not believe in any one particular party or point on the political spectrum. We recognize that the issues and ideas go beyond partisan politics and there our society is brainwashed into a false dialectical paradigm, such as the left/right political spectrum.

7. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Stefano: Our songs tend to use deep personal or global society experiences expressed through layers of symbolism. We try to use social awareness issues expressed in conspiracy culture but also balanced enough to make people try and understand that critical thinking is very important. Using themes such as self purification through understanding your own nature and existence, to how society is manipulated and guided by the powers that be like puppets. Bands like Muse express this very well. We try to incorporate occult symbolism as a means to balance the conspiracy stuff. because often a lot of great truth has to be filtered out through different avenues. All of this comes together in our songs in one way or another.

8. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Stefano: We write our songs in different ways. some songs are jammed like in a live practice session, while others start out as ideas in the studio. Most of our album Ordo Ab Chao was written in a live band session then reworked and reshaped by myself and our Pproducer/engineer/current drummer, Matthew Von Wagner. He has a very heavy hand in our style and does most of the electronic programming. Since joining our band on drums, he also has put a lot of his style into our songs. Lyrics are generally the last aspect but I sometimes have poems or pre-written ideas that I work into the music. Other times I let the music dictate the formation of the lyrics. We try to keep things fresh and avoid having one way of doing things. Our creativity is fluid and cant always be structured and quantifiable

9. What do you guys have in the works as far as new music?

Stefano: We released a new song called "So Vile" in January and it is part of a album we want to release in 3 major stages a triptych of EPs with specific themes. We hope to release the entire thing within 2014. We are currently finishing a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Big Time", where we bring it down to a darker more electronic element. Then finally we'll finish our first part of the 3 part album and we'll have another original song called "Window" released.

10. What are your dreams and goals?

Stefano: After running into major issues with our former label, we really hope to strive on our own and make an impact wherever possible. No matter what happens and where we end up our dreams are to make the music we want and work hard to get the exposure necessary. Conquering the world was something I might have said a few years ago, but we really have grown up and become very satisfied with our lives and happy to just be, to live, and work our craft with that integrity and respect that makes for the greatest of truth for ourselves and our listeners. Fame and fortune does not a happy life make necessarily.

11. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Stefano: In all honesty, we are who we are. We do what we want and how we want and we hope that our music is enjoyed by those who are drawn to it. We respect our listeners intelligence and I can no longer expect or try to dictate why anyone should like us. We put a lot of meaning in what we do, and we hope that resonates with people. Our deep themes and great music should be enough, but we are aware of the politics of the industry. They should just know that we love what we do and there is a wealth of knowledge and meaning in every musical crevice of our songs. We hope people try and see that. Oh and we are also very awesome live and put on a great show with theatrical flare. :)

12. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Stefano: We used to have a domain/website but when we went on a hiatus for a year we lost it. A couple of us went through intense strife after the release of Ordo Ab Chao and we couldn't afford to host it. But we will have a new domain and website up very soon. However, right now we have music on SoundCloud, but I would suggest our Reverbnation page at This page has all of Ordo Ab Chao to listen to, as well as our new song So Vile for stream and free download. We will be putting up new music as we go along. You could buy our album online from most major retailers like Amazon and such, but we probably won't see a cent from those sales, so its up to you. :)

13. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Stefano: Other than the year long plan of releasing our triptych, we hope to start playing live as much as possible and garner some buzz once again, to gain interest from booking agencies and European management if possible.

14. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Stefano: That there is a lot to take in. To try and listen with an open mind and to not be afraid to ask questions and listen closely to the little things, as well as to break down the concepts and lyrics symbolically, wherever possible, but, overall do and listen however you want. You are free to decide for yourself.

15. Any final words of wisdom?

Stefano: I have learned that you can't force anything in this life. Things happen and flow in such a manner that might see us be super successful or not. At the end of the day, we must love ourselves and just enjoy the journey. You can work hard and do what you love and the universe will reward you in its own way, sometimes that is with fame and fortune and most times in far more subtle ways.

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