After what feels like an interminable wait. The unique musical entity that is Project 34 is going to be available for all to hear. The emotion of performance over perfection is the collective of various multitalented musicians and the driving force that is Chris and Renee Lahoud. Project 34 is an entity that needs to be experienced for itself. It is a heavy soulful and expressive passage of music and life.
Chris ‘’It’s been a journey! The album has been complete in its entirety for over a year,
however, during such time, we began composing an EP and decided to delay the
release to coincide with that shortly after.
''The album will be released independently, and the first single will premiere on
Andrew Haug radio, September 26th, followed by the lyric video premiere by Very
Metal Art through HEAVY mag on 1st October.
''Prayer will be released on 1st November, and the album in its entirety on 1 st
Does it feel like it’s been forever?
‘’Ha-ha yeh I guess it does. Heritage was written in December 2018! That’s almost 4
years ago, and the album has been complete in its entirety for about 2 years. So, it
really does feel like forever ha-ha.
‘’But we’re here now and we have amassed a significant amount of materiel to
release in the coming months. So, from a prolonged dormancy, Project 34 life will
spawn in 2022 and beyond.
What does heritage mean to you?
‘’It’s actually about our ‘Heritage’, i.e., the idea that it is the journey of life through
many generations which have built the person we are today. It is our bloodline, and
experiences, that have filtered through via this cultural lineage to be allowing us to
be a vessel of creativity today. For me, the song represents my personal journey in
understanding that heritage, and the tribulations and regrets that come from that
‘’Heritage is a very personal one for me. Probably the most on the album. I recall
being very particular about the performances on this track ha-ha I may have rustled
some feathers! (Oops!!) – but the track outcome, for me, is exactly as envisioned
from its inception.
''I composed it in the vein of my previous band ‘Sanctium’ – sort of like a Sanctium 2.0
– or what I would have likened the next chapter of the band’s sound to evolve to.
The song actually incorporates Anthony, Dave and Matt from Sanctium so the tone
tends to lend itself towards that melodic metal expression.
‘’So, there are some personal expressions throughout the track that I was attempting
to convey. Simon Grant (Bass) Jiro Yoshioka (Cello) and Will Allen Jr. (Horns) added
a great progressive element to the track, and I feel Francesco Petrelli did a great job
with the mix on this one. There is a lot of feel/emotion, for me, and I went for a really
natural and organic performance all-round in attempt to really capture the vibe I was
‘’There will also be an ‘alternate’ version of the track to be released, featuring ‘Dan
Presland’ (Black Lava and Vipassi) in an attempt to give a different interpretation of
The video that represents it.
The theme for the Heritage lyric video was quite simple – From our ash’s spawns
new life. It is our ancestry and lineage (i.e., heritage) which spawns the next
generation. This is our cycle of life.
Project 34 overall artistic direction has been developed by Matthew Lahoud, who has
kept the theme of the landscapes prevalent throughout our releases; however, the
tone of the imagery has moulded to represent each release.
Matthew has attempted to augment sight and sound through the visuals, and I feel
they embrace each other so very well.
Andy Pilkington from Very Metal Art incorporated the idea of these desert
landscapes and sand for the video.
This theme is also present in the video for Prayer.
How will you promote the album? Is a live experience a remote possibility? Or
a multimedia events.
‘’A Live experience would be absolutely amazing haha. but in all honesty very
unlikely in the near future. It may happen, and it is something I have been
deliberating – i.e a one-off show/performance incorporating a large portion of the
I think this is a much higher likelihood for the EP materiel, given the number of
What have you been up to whilst waiting for its release?
‘’We were able to introduce a lot of the personnel via video play throughs, or sneak
previews, of their performances on Facebook and youtube. This was great to begin
the networking, and really show the plethora of individuals involved in the creation of
the album. It also emphasised the varying personalities, musical influences and
geography of most involved.
‘’We’ve also written an EP which features new addition of clean female vocals, ‘Diletta
Pilezza’ from Italy, and Aaron Sterling (drums) – we’re working with Forrester Savell
to refine the new sound/direction, and we are very excited to reveal it soon…
We’ll have a special feature also; with Lucious Borich (Cog) also performing on one
of the tracks.
Will the brilliant Purify be on there?
Purify will be released separately and be a part of an EP currently in the works.
The temptation to tinker with the album in the interim?
‘’There was really not much pressure to tinker with the music itself, as most of it had
been set in stone for a long period of time.
It’s almost a moment in time for us. So, although I may listen back and think, I could
have done this, could have done that, I feel like art should be viewed within the
context of its time and place. There was a bit of tinkering with the mixes, however.
My emotive state and thought processes have changed since this album, and its
filtered through the new music we are writing. So, although this album will be fresh to
our audience, it’s quite a memorable one and a reflection of that emotion in time for
me. Some tracks can actually be difficult to listen to, as they can bring out some
unwanted emotions from the past. Nonetheless, I embrace them as part of us
process and journey.
Any new material in the works?
Yes, an EP currently in the works; we have been collaborating with the acclaimed
Aria nominated, Forrester Savell who is producing the EP, and also performing on it.
The EP personnel is pretty tight nit; having over 30 for the self-titled album, we’ve
reduced it back to around 10 – homing in on a specific style moving forward.
Additional musicians include, ‘Diletta Pileza’ (clean vocals), Nadi Nourizian (piano)
Karl Ebing (bass), and drums will be completed by Aaron Sterling and Lucius Borich
(COG, Floating Me) to tie out the EP.
The second single?
‘’Prayer – This song was written by Matthew Walker, Renee, and me in 2019.
This track is again very personal, but musically quite unique for us and it has been
likened to a sort of ‘Nick Cave meets Black metal vibe’. If that’s such a thing haha I
really do find this track to be quite different and invoke an emotional response unlike
anything else on the album. This song was written by Matthew Walker, Renee and
myself in 2019.
‘’The vocals are emotive, and the music is haunting. It is very strings orientated but
also leans itself to a trip hop RnB feel. The bass playing and main riff incorporate a
genre bending or mould from the likes of reggae which I think gives the track its
‘’An official music video will be released (by Jess Tobin and Intitular Creative) on 1 st
‘’The video has a strong anti-suicide message, and will be confronting to many of the
audience. However, we feel it has the ability to save a life… we also feel very
strongly about the topic having lost many close family and friends due to suicide.
‘’After the EP release, we may take some down time to reconfigure our direction
‘’Given the EP will be such a significant change in musicality and tone, this may be
followed up with a ‘halfway house’ between the self-titled album and EP to come ��
We’ll see how things play out – however 2 songs from the EP are basically complete,
with 2 other demos in the works with vocals being recorded in October and
November – we’d anticipate a release early to mid-next 2023
Top 6 things that inspired the album.