Aesthetic Death Artist- ThrOes Interview is up ..
1. So it Looks like Throes as been around for awhile tell us a bit about the Post Metal Experimental sound and how it became this sound?
- I started writing the initial material in 2003. It wasn't until Jan 2012 that I started production on the debut full length; 'This Viper Womb', which has just been released by Aesthetic Death Records. The reasons for why the record was so long in the making are numerous and your next question enquires about this, so I'll address it there. As for the 'Post Experimental' sound? Well, this is just the way I write music. At least when expressing myself in a heavy metal/rock based format. I'm never really thinking of any other band at all when I write songs. I just pick up the guitar, unplugged, and sit down and let the chords come through. All my plan ever consisted of was to create atonal, hypnotic guitars with some straight driving rockier sections, really detailed, dynamic, percussive, creative drumming, really active, audibally present, groove oriented bass lines, and to peel the skin of faces with a relentless wall of dual vocals, dripping with anxiety and frustration. I wanted the guitars to hold the listener in trance for the majority of the time, whilst the drums and the bass provide lots of movement and energy, even if the song is slow, and for all the aggression to really come out of the vocals. Also to mix the vocals like most metal bands mix their guitars. It's a wall of vocals on this album, as opposed to a wall of predictable metal guitar riffs. Djent djent and all that. The listener can deal with that or they can't. The words are serious, and the vocal deliveries are supposed to test the listener.
2. "The Viper Womb " was a long time in the making looks like almost a decade why did it take so long to get debut released?
- I come from a very small town, anyone I may have been interested in making music with was already in bands of their own. I realised pretty quickly that if I wanted to make this music I would just have to do it all myself. I also realised very quickly that this suited me a lot better. I had nothing limiting my ideas except my own boundaries. But doing a project of this size alone was a tremendous undertaking. You can't just decide to do it and then just get it done. It took a long time. Studio limitations held it back for years. And those limitations kept me from feeling creative. So I worked on the material very rarely indeed. It took the decade you mention to aquire recording equipment that I felt happy with. I also produced 2 albums for another band during that time, so this was something else that kept me from working on ThrOes.
3.How did you come to work with Aesthetic Death a very well know UK underground label ( Side know my band Black Depths Grey waves released a CD on the label too)?
- Stu was one of a very limited few that received a copy of the ep I made back in 2005 when the material was still emergent, so I've known him since those days. When I started the production in 2012 I got back in contact with him to let him know that I was making a full length. I got in contact again at the beginning of this year when I was working on mastering the album. I sent him a first version promo and he was really impressed. He offered his assistance in terms of releasing it physically. It's been great working with him. He's passionate and honest, he listened to all of my requests and has done his utmost to deliver on all of them. The album certainly wouldn't have seen such a swift, and high quality press if not for the involvement of Stu. Nothing but respect for him.
4. The cover art to album is very interesting. How does it play to theme of album and who is the model on the cover? As she plays a very ying and yang role to visuals
- Thank you. I originally did a hand drawing for the cover. This went through a couple of digital revisions, but I still wasn't happy with it 100%. Very happy with it as a piece of art, but it wasn't working fully as the album cover. My wife does all my digital layout and design and if either one of us aren't happy with something we don't use it. We both knew we still hadn't quite succeeded in representing the album with one visual piece. So we set to work on producing the cover you see now. The model is a long time friend of mine who goes by the performance name of Kerryx. We share many similar interests in heavy/dark/obscure music and art. We also share a deep connection to the occult. An understanding of knowing liberation through sacred symbolism, numbers and subtle environment, and how this knowledge puts one on track to living an empowered life based off the developement of the true will. She is a recognised Australian performance artist and is well known and loved in that community. She has appeared in countless public performances of her own, as well as being part of larger artistic shows such as at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) here in Tasmania. MONA is a separate issue but I would urge anyone visiting Tasmania to go and visit it. It's truly a one of a kind place. She boasts lots of dark, occult leaning photography and she's very adept in front of the camera and able to emote rather effortlessly. I'm a photographer and have worked with models where this is not the case, so shooting someone that can take direction easily and deliver the desired result is most welcome. And it's exciting to work with too. I get a lot more enjoyment out of it than I do from the torturous introspection of music production. The results are far more instantaneous and pleasing. You can see the end result unfolding before you, much more quickly and completely. She's a real artist, so real art is what you get back when you work with someone like that. Anyway, my wife and I are fans of a lot of her photography and my wife suggested that I photograph her for the cover of the album. She described to me the idea of the shot and I wondered why I never had the idea myself. Once I had taken the photograph my wife did everything else. She already has a keen understanding of what I'm trying to convey visually so is able to get 80 to 90% of the way to the end result her self. But our process is always me sitting beside her, giving her feedback while she produces. When considering the title of the album, I think the inferred symbology of the album cover is quite self evident. But I also think it can, and should be personally interpreted by the individual who has chosen to purchase a physical copy of the album. It's a piece of art in it's own right, as is the whole album packaging and booklet inlay, and should be enjoyed as such. Go to www.kerryx.com to check out some of her other work and performance credits.
5. As I listen to the album over and over the term Dissident Metal is used but I hear more Post Hardcore, Noise Rock, Industrial and Prog element with a metallic over tone. How would you explain the sound to someone about to listen to it for first time ?
- Well, this is already creating quite a stir. Good! People are either really highly impressed with this album, it's originality and singular sound, or they don't get it at all and hate it. And that's the situation I'd rather have. 9's and 10's, or 1's and 2's. Fuck being in the middle and having people say you did a decent copy of someone elses album. I want something that will divide and make a difference. I recently saw one person salute me for having a "giant set of balls" to tag my music under a solitary stylistic moniker. He also said there was nothing new in my music at all, but then in the same breath said it certainly doesn't sound like any other band in particular, and is definitely different from the norm, particularly in metal circles, and that you can't ask for more than that these days. So what am I? Nothing new? Or not the norm and not like everything else? People haven't been able to tag it for shit. Plenty of people have thrown at least 20 bands names around now in attempting to describe my music and I've never listened to almost all of them, ever. Some I've never heard of before even. And some mentioned I know very well, and in the case of a band like Killing Joke or Ministry, they are very dear to my heart. I don't care what anyone says, you'll never be able to say it just sounds like a strong, competent mix of band a, band b and at times a bit of band c. All of you keep saying and hearing completely different things, which to me says I did deliver something quite original and difficult to categorise. The term Dissident Metal was my reaction to all this genre-sub genre-sub-sub genre bullshit now. Almost 100% of it is a joke to me. I never said I created a new sound and that's where people are going very wrong here. The term Dissident Metal is a statement of intent against what I mentioned above. I won't do this genre labelling stupidity. I make my music and this is how it sounds. I don't wish to be a part of any of your subgenre, sub culture flavour of the month gangs. I am saying that I am a dissident in the scene. I'm walking my path alone. What did the forefathers of Black Metal have to say about that term? It's not so much about the sound as it is about an ideology. And so many of them got militant and political about it. Dissident Metal is an ideology. I reject belonging to all scenes and groups just like a good dissident should. Dissident Metal releases my disdain for so many things involving the current state of the arts and how people interact with them. A dissident speaks out about that which does not impress he or she, and I've done plenty of that. I feel currently, ThrOes sounds highly original. Some are bestowing the highest praise upon it, and some don't get it at all. It doesn't fit their framework, they can not engage with the music on the emotional level that is required because they can't cope with all the elements of it's sound that short circuit their ability to process it deeply and fully. Some also completely dismiss the first track with a slew of insults which only prove they've utterly missed the point and are not fit to be listening to it in the first place. Let me just say this. My album opens up with a lengthy spoken word piece from the late Terence Mckenna. I stiched 2 minutes of dialogue together from a lecture that was an hour and a half long. Terence Mckenna was one of the greatest, most free thinking minds this world has ever known, and will ever know. If you are bored by his words, words that send chills down my spine, I don't want you listening to my album. His words sum up a lot of the subject matter I'm dealing with for the rest of the album. If you can't get anything of value from Mckenna's words, especially in the world we live in now, leave! Again, it's yet another thing I've done with this album that will separate the people who get everything I've tried to do, with those that are just casual armchair listeners. Ipod playlist shufflers. This album wasn't made for them. They want immdeiate Mcdonalds feels. A full belly as quickly as possible. As far as Post Hardcore, Noise Rock, Industrial influences e.t.c. If you hear that then that's what you hear. I'm a massive Killing Joke fan and I can hear the influence of Geordie Walker's guitar playing in my own all the time. Noise rock, I wouldn't even know what that is. But I often hear some of my chord choices reminding me of some of the intervals used in a band like Shellac. I like the band The Jezus Lizard a lot. The biggest hardcore influence comes from James Ludbrook's additional vocals and I said as soon as they were laid down "there is a weird hardcore vibe to this music now that is unexpected, unplanned, powerful and realy unique sounding". He has quite fondness for good, aggressive hardcore. I think his tones can have a bit of an aggressive hardcore tinge, and probably more so, his structures, where he chose to sing the words in reaction to the feel of the drums. Speaking of the drums, there is probably some hardcore drumming influence here and there too. Talley is a huge Slayer fan. I hear Lombardo fills all over the ThrOes album, and it's well known that slayer have their love of aggressive hardcore. These aggressive post hardcore/post rock terms getting thrown around are possibly why I said from the beginning, despite never really spending much time listening to them, I get reminded of Neurosis in certain ways, certain feelings. I don't really hear any industrial but I guess I can see how there are nods to it in the first track. The last track is dark ambient-electro instrumental darkness certainly. If I had to sum it up for someone about to listen to it I would say get ready for a very violent-vocally driven album of atonal trance and overtones, really heavy extreme rock influences, percussively dynamic and very dark in vibe. Very very heavy extreme rock done in a metal context. And if you must have comparissons to others I would say Killing Joke vs Bethlehem vs Shining vs Neurosis vs Dolorian vs Ride The Lightning and Black album Metallica. But all of that won't get you very far.
6.Throes is very much a solo project correct? If you could collaborate with some artists who would that be and why?
- Yes, it is very definitely a solo affair. And I collaborate with people on certain elements that I think can carry out my ideas better than myself, and bring another feel to my ideas. But always under heavy direction from me. It worked great on this album. The next album is already half written and I already have established connections to collaborate with a number of new people. Don't expect a repeat of album one. I want to try and do something different each time a release a new body of work. I don't really think like that. If I really like an artist I will usually just outright approach them with my intent to work with them and explain what it is I think they could offer. And then I usually end up working with them. This next album is shaping up to be no differernt in that respect. However, just for the fun of it, I love Jaz Coleman's approach to play keyboards and would know exactly how to use that in the music of ThrOes, so that could be cool. But I'm much more concerned with chasing and executing my immediate ideas and acheiving my goals.
7. What's you thoughts on Musical Social media like Bandcamp, Reverbnation, Soundcloud does it help underground artist or are there far to many bedroom bands out there and what works is good PR and Distribution outlets ?
- I hate it pretty much. And I always have. It's such an impersonal way of interacting with music. And I find to enage with the music in this way leads to numerous distractions from the work, it degrades and devalues it, and is somewhat insulting to an artist who takes the whole thing very seriously. Everybody is a band now, everyone is a recording engineer/mixing engineer, every body masters their shit tracks online with shit online mastering programs like LANDR because they are infact not engineers of anything and are not equipped to handle the task themselves. Everyone is a photographer, everyone is a tattoo artist and on and on. These social network music sharing platforms were supposed to deliver the promise of dispersing music far and wide and within minutes, putting the power back in the hands of the artists. The reality I've discovered is quite the opposite. It's extremely underwhelming. Fuck all happens. Even if you have a full album premiere stream on one of the biggest and most trafficked metal music sites on the internet. At the end of the day it still adds up to very little. So imagine what you're getting without that larger reach. Absolute Zero!! Nobody cares about anything in internet land. Intrernet land has devalued everything artistic to the point of life support. Don't get me started with having your album leaked and put on dozens of download sites, being downloaded a couple of thousand times on sites leaking the new Snoop Dog and Blink 182 albums. There are so many artists that think this is somehow a good thing! I put it to them that it's easy to feel indifferent when the sheer work, intensity of effort and will, time, money and sacrifice spent by them on their own work is really rather small when compared to someone who has truly taken the high road when making an album. Someone who has truly pushed themself as far as possible, and their ideas. It's also easy to have that view in the case where others have assumed the larger part of the burden in producing the artist's work. If you think that's the only way you will get listens, get your work known, you never really believed in your product. My estimation of all these social networks is it's a hell of a lot of work for jack shit. If you make a real album, under real long term stress, and real monetary investment, using real recording techniques with real recording equipment you learn very quickly that it's torturous, hard, draining and you have to be made of certain stuff to have the patience and execution of will to do all that oneself. Most don't. They just want to be somebody right now, and would rather someone else deal with all the headaches involved. There's nothing wrong with wanting that at all. That used to be the job of a recording/mix engineer. People still want that service, they just don't want to pay for it anymore. And they don't want to pay to own a copy of the art produced. If you have done everything I mention yourself I can't imagine you being happy for people stealing your album 2000 plus times in a day and a half before one physical copy has even been mailed out. P.R, distribution, press all helps. But you have to be willful, self confident, ready to work and believe unwaveringly in what you have done and what you have to say about it. You have to have the ability to make other people take notice of you. Your work needs to be strong, original, and you need to have a strong personality and be honest with what you speak. So many artists just speak utter crap in press, it's all imagistic and when push comes to shove they actually don't walk the walk of all the shit they talk. I detest this trait.
8. Does ThrOes want to perform live or is it truly a studio creation?
- It's truly my studio creation where I explore my ideas without limits. There is very little incentive at all for me to play live which is why it's very very low down on my list of goals. I care much more about having a body of recorded work I can be satisfied I executed fully, and I can look back on and be proud of. Something I can leave to my son. It's not 100% out of the question, but don't expect that notice anytime soon.
9. What Music is impressing you Trent at this time?
I don't have time to listen to music hardly ever. Mainly in the car, or flicking through snapshots of things while I tend to tasks like this. I've heard some great things recently. Flowers For Bodysnatchers amazing dark ambient epic 'Aokigahara' is just sublime. A perfect album. There are a number of albums sporting that particular title. The geographic location inspires artists of dark persuasions the world over quite clearly. Mr Ritchie's offering is the clear winner for me. I'm impressed with the whole Cryo Chamber label actually. My good pal Juergen from the one and only Bethlehem has just finished their new album and I believe it's out in October which I look foward to very much. He recently sent me their 2014 album; '
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia' which is one of the most satifying albums I've heard in years. This album is a true masterpiece. That's getting the most spins in my house right now. I love Bethlehem. They can't be beaten for originality, and seamless structure of multiple styles. It never sounds forced. It only ever sounds totally like Bethlehem. They always do whatever the fuck they want, they don't care if they are hated, and they often are because so many people are weaklings. Hail Bethlehem or die! I've only heard snippets of other things like new Mourning Beloveth, Oranssi Pazuzu, both sound very promising and are doing well in the press. I recently discovered Mgla who are a really solid black metal band. I like everything they do a lot, my only problem is each song sounds rather the same as the last, following the same formula, but what they have at their core is strong, and elicits the type of feelings I enjoy listening to so they still get my vote. Batushka sound pretty good. Stu has released some great stuff recently on Aesthetic Death. I really look forward to hearing the new Haiku Funeral. That's a dissident band there! The ThrOes album still impresses me. I still enjoy listening to it everytime which is so surprising after how much pain and disillusion was involved in making it, and how many times I've heard it. I feel very thankful for that. That's not a usual situation. It tells me I completely succeeded in what I set out to do. I imagine if I can get away from it completely for a year or so when I come back to it I'm really going to be able to experience it in a powerful way
10. If you could make a proper video for the album what track would you choose and why?
- I've thought about this before and I really don't know. A film clip was made for the opening track 'Permanent' because the themes, the lyrics lent themselves to some strong visual ideas. This was self made rather quickly to promote the impending release of the album. If I could make something big budget and work with an artist who's discipline is film/video e.t.c, I'm not sure. Maybe 'Dead Lights' or 'This Viper Womb'.
11. Let's say 'This Viper Womb' sells well and gets a buzz going in major markets would you sign with a larger label or do you know an indie like Aesthetic Death is the proper home for a occult/fringe band like ThrOes?
- I couldn't see any major, or semi major really being able to offer me anything of value in this climate. I hear the stories from many people I know in bands on such labels. They don't get much of anything. Stu has really gone to great lengths to deliver on my requests. My relationship with him is exactly what I would want. I'm an Aesthetic Death artist and don't have any intentions of that changing as of now.
12. I see there are a few other bands called Throes one in UK and Idaho has there been any issue now you have a label backing the release for you?
- Yes there a few sporting the Throes name. Me, one in UK, one in Idaho, one in Austria and one in Spain. They're all good at their chosen styles of metal/extreme music. And they all seem to understand what having that as a name means. I can tell they have that name for the same reason I chose it. No issue. I've had the name since 2003.
13. Now that your Debut album is out where will future music of ThrOes head and what can we expect?
- Expect it to continue to be singular in sound, and forge it's own path. Don't expect album one to be repeated. Album two has already commenced. I'm excited about it and hope to have it released in 2018. Plans for it's execution are already underway. In the meantime, enjoy the first album.
14. What is the musical landscape of where you are in Tasmania ?? I know Australia and New Zealand have some thriving underground music scenes?
- Quite a strong music scene in Tasmania at the moment. I'm not too familair with it because I'm a recluse doing my own thing, and have a very busy life. There a lots of metal bands here at the moment. A lot doing well for themselves. Most notably Psycroptic, Ruins and Departe. Mekigah, also an Aesthetic Death artist lives literally 2 minutes from my house which is cool. Check out his album Litost.
15. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here
- Good on you Clint. Thanks for your support and I'm glad you like the album. Closing thoughts? I will continue to hunt the prize and leave the carrion to the opportunists.
Trent Griggs "ThrOes"