Southern Lord Artist Centuries Interview Up !!!
1. For my reader tell us a bit about out Centuries came to be and your explosive crust/sludge/ noisecore sound.
Dan and I (Vincent) were in a previous band when we were very young, and later when we started Centuries, Eric was one of this first of our friends to join. We really had no clue what we were doing; we just felt things out as we went. It was something we had to do. We essentially grew up together playing in this band, and I believe that’s what got us through the tougher times. Other members came and left, but the three of us have remained constant, and for us the band became an increasingly serious commitment and mandatory aspect of our lives.
The sound gradually changed. We wanted something that was based in heavy hardcore, but remained fast and driving. Something that had emotional elements and got lost in itself, yet remained focused. We gradually developed something of our own style, and hopefully we’ll continue to accomplish something new and genuine with our writing.
2. From listening to your debut of southern lord several times in a row now. I Hear influences like His hero is gone, cavity, Oathbreaker and Integrity . Is this something the band would agree on and were did your influences come from?
To give a completely honest answer, I believe His Hero is Gone would be the only band from that list that has had any influence on us. There’s something about the eeriness and depth of HHIG songs that no band has been able to touch, so it’s flattering to hear that a band like that is reflected in our album.
Early on we were influenced by a strange array of “dark hardcore” bands, and although that broad genre was very fitting for what we loved to hear and loved to play, it took us a long while to find our footing in that style of writing. Eric is the primary songwriter, and I think that he took a great pleasure in using odd chord arrangements and minor keyed progressions at very fast punk pacing. Later on bands like Tragedy and Martyrdöd influenced us to maintain an un-breaking flow with song-to-song writing.
3. The post hardcore scene is a vibrant one right now. Do you think the times and strife of the day bring out more bands like this again?
I hope so. There’s certainly a lot to chew on politically, with society and world events playing out like something from 20th century dystopian literature, but I hope bands don’t get bogged down in purely political writing. In my opinion, bands’ lyrics and styles can get too hung up on the technical elements, and ignore the important emotional emphasis. If we’re thinking of the same thing when we say “post hardcore,” then it’s the emotional elements of such bands that make the genre important.
4. How did you come to work with Southern lord a very important label today in the extreme underground music movement.
We were on tour when we received a brief email from Greg asking to hear some of our earlier releases. It took us completely by shock, and we mailed him our previous records as soon as we got home. As time went on, we remained in touch and at his request, provided a demo of our newest songs, which later became the beginning of the Taedium Vitae release. It was all very surreal, and it still feels that way at times. We're incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be on a label we've respected for a long time.
5. If you could cover or rearrange any one song with the blessing of that band what would it be and why?
A personal fantasy of mine would be to cover anything by Tom Waits. His music continually redefines and redefines again what music is “supposed to” sound like. He’s one of the artists that the world will have to catch up to. If there was some way to creatively work one of his songs into the kind of music we’re making, I would be extremely happy. Although, whether or not he’d give his blessing is beyond me.
6. What is a live show like with centuries .How does it differ from the record?
It’s hard to describe a live dynamic; for us playing live requires a constant adjustment to the venue setup, the sound itself, the number of people, the way people react, etc. Every night it’s a different experience, and a new way of performing in a way that feels genuine for us, and sounds accurate to what we’re trying to create. We give it all we can every single night. It’s why we play short sets: we want to use all of our energy the entire time and finish completely exhausted.
We’ve been lucky to have a close understanding of style and intentions of sound with the people who have recorded our albums in the past, especially with Kris Hilbert at Legitimate Business for this newest album. Because we write and record albums with a constant flow between songs, which is the way we organize our sets, I feel like the record is very comparable to the live sound, or at least what we strive to have the live sound be like in the ideal. We do play very loud, however, so in certain places the sound may be more “overblown” than on the records.
7. Just a question why release such a short album for Southern lord ? It makes you want more yes but a few more track would have been greatly enjoyed by this music writer and fellow musican.
To be completely honest, the album is the entirety of what we had written that we were comfortable using. We had a few other ideas and fragments of writing that could easily have become songs on the record, but were dropped because they would have ended up being recorded with at least some of the intention being to fill time.
For us, twenty minutes is the ideal set length, and similarly is a suitable length for recorded content. Not so much to make the listener “want more,” but because we’d like the record to be able to be played through entirely, uninterrupted, without overstaying its welcome or warranting any skipping-through. We may come to write longer records in the future, but for now, any additions to the record would have been forced.
8. What is the one thing Centuries most wants to get across with their music?
As individuals, when we suffer emotionally from a loss, from insecurities, from doubts or personal defeat, from anger or depression, we’ve always turned to our favorite bands and our favorite records. Because of this, writing music has become the primary creative output for the three of us in order for us to create a genuine essence of what we endure in our own personal lives. In a way, this is our only outward contribution. If we can, in turn, provide an outlet or a comfort to someone else, or inspire them to continue to create themselves in their own independent light, then that’s all I could ask for in the world.
9. Whats your thoughts on the digital age for music as a newer band. Is it hurting or does it allow a whole new freedom to create art?
When we started going to shows, it was at a time when there were touring bands playing at least two times every week at our local venue. This was how we heard about new bands; they showed up from wherever it was they were from and played in front of us. The exact genre of heavy music didn’t matter as much then. Bands of extremely varying genres of heavy music would play together regularly, and everyone would go regardless of the lineup. When social media really began to gain traction, touring became less of a crucial, do-or-die trial for new bands. I think a lot of the spontaneity, excitement, and genuine effort left DIY music at this time. Our mentality has always placed touring and performing as the end result of writing and recording music. I think contemporary bands have kind of flipped the process on its head.
Also, I feel like the ease in which music can now be accessed and compared has curtailed creative diversity. Where there was once an ability to identify regional styles, you now have bands in Seattle sounding exactly like the bands in South Florida, and vice-versa. Kids in every scene dress the same, move and interact at shows in the same way, and as a subculture, genuine expression is suffering.
If we’re discussing music culture as a whole, including the mainstream, then the modern recording process has simply shot to death any idea of creative freedom. So-called artists are afforded handicaps at every turn, tones and rhythms are completely synthetic, and the details that make music relatable at the emotional level, such as a quavering of the voice, have been completely washed out with computer correction. Auto-tuned singing is creative censorship at a level indicative of Fahrenheit 451.
10. What are the members of Centuries listening to as of late any new bands you like to have our readers check out or something you have found as a treasure people missed in the past?
Our favorite newer releases have been the recent albums by Birds in Row, Celeste and Martyrdöd.
In previous years, bands that we’ve adored are Blackbirds and Swallowed Up. They’re both broken up now, but they’ve meant a lot to us as a band and have definitely influenced us. There’s a handful of oddball bands that we all collectively care for on a long-term scale, such as Brand New, or the Blood Brothers. Bands like Fear Before and others I can’t think of at the moment.
11. Where do you see your sound evolving to more extreme,melodic etc?
Ideally, we’d like to move in both directions without sacrificing the other. To in some way become both heavier and more melodic is a very conscious goal of ours. We’ve always been careful not to dull any edges while writing melodic riffs; it’s a bit of a cliché for bands to become more “creative” yet suffer in terms of excitement or heaviness as they progress. I think that part of the reason why bands like Converge and Cursed have been immortalized is because they were able to expand in all directions at once as time went on.
12. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here
Thank you for caring about our band, it means everything to us to have people listen to our songs. Thank you for taking the time to put these questions together and hopefully I’ve answered them well. We have a lot of plans regarding upcoming tours and we don’t plan on slowing down; we’re doing our best to play as often and in as many places as possible.