The Flenser- Planning for Burial Interview is up
Planning for Burial
1. The 1st question for the band is were did the sound of mixing Post Metal, Shoe gaze and Drone Doom come from. I hear a lot in common with Jesu, Deafheaven, Nadja, Rodan and Russian Circles musically . Were these influences?
There was never a clear thought or plan to make any of these sounds, I think it just comes from being a lifelong fan of music as corny as that sounds. I’ve been soaking it all in and making it my obsession since a very young age. I do like Rodan though I tend to like Jason Noble’s other project Rachel’s a lot more, Deafheaven are friends whose music I very much enjoy but I’ve been doing this project for a lot longer than they have been a band. I think out of this list Jesu might be the closet to an influence though its because I am fan, but I never set out to sound like Jesu, JKB does a lot of things differently than me, I think our common ground is we both want to have a lot of melody on top or mixed through out thicker heavier sounding things.
2. The Flenser roster is a diverse one . How do you feel you fit on this with bands across the underground musical spectrum?
I never sat and thought about where I fit within the roster, I’ve known Jonathan since around the time he started the label and I’ve always loved that he’s just putting out music that he loves. I think all of us on the label might share some “dark” themes but it’s great that it’s not a label full of clones.
3. With this style of very emotional and epic music in a very extreme over tone. How do you feel a label like Flenser should promote a band like Planning for Burial?
Again I’m not really sure about this, I’ve never been good at selling myself, I will say that I often worry its one of those instances where it’s something along the lines of “too heavy for the weird kids and too weird for the heavy kids” there is definitely a fanbase of the middle ground but I don’t know I just never really had the confidence in selling it personally.
4. The Album cover and title "Below the House" how do they play into the story of the album?
The title refers to hiding your true self/feelings away from everyone. The album was originally going to be called Dull Knife and there are lyrics in the song of the same name about fog rolling across rooftops, so I had an image in my head of rooftops, and when I saw an old friend post this photo it instantly clicked with me so I asked if I could use it. As much as it also reminds me of my old neighborhood, I also thought about it looking like it could be any small town neighborhood and there are plenty of people who are struggling with addictions, depression or whatever and it’s all hidden in seemingly normal homes and most of us would never know.
5. How do you create the album as one man project. did you have guests help? Did you record it in layers?
I almost never have anyone help with the recording/writing/mixing of the project, thought on some rare occasions I have asked some friends to lend a vocal part, notably on this record I built a “choir/chorus” out of the voices of my friends for the song “Dull Knife pt. II”. I do record as if I were recording any normal band, layers, and overdubbing and over the course of days, weeks, months, and sometimes years I will come back to a song and remove parts or add different elements until it feels right to my ears.
6. Where do you see Planning for a Burial heading musically and sonically?
It honestly depends on the day and my mood, I’ve gone one day where I want to take it in a faster nosier direction to the next day feeling like I should just record ultra minimal and lofi to a cassette 4 track, my brain is always spinning with ideas and it all depends on my mood if they stick when I am trying to recreate my thoughts.
7. If in a sentence you had to explain the bands sound to someone that never heard it . How would you do so?
I said it earlier I’m not very good at selling myself, so the few people I get asking me about it are people I don’t really want to talk to them about it (family, coworkers) i’ll usually say “I don’t it’s like noise”
8. What musical projects are currently impressing you?
I’m really into the recording artist now live act, Jay Som from Oakland CA, her album “Everybody Works” came out the same day as mine and I’ve listened to it at least once a day since it’s came out.
9. Is there a thriving local scene in PA were you are based out of?
I’m sure there is, but after being gone for so long I don’t really know many people from the area so I don’t even know where to find where things are happening, I’m slowly getting to know some people and theres a band or two that I have seen a few times that I really like, but it’s hard with my work schedule to really get out to shows much even when I know they are happening.
10. The piano/ synth work is so haunting on the album how did those very distant tones come to be?
again nothing i ever planned out, I remember while in high school I was in the chorus and on my lunches or study halls I’d go down to the band room and play the piano in our teachers office and she said to me one day “you really love playing dissonant stuff” and I think I listened to Danzing IV so much growing up and always loved his use of the piano to accent songs and never quite be the center point.
11. Do bands in 2017 need a proper label or is more about good PR and Distro of music to as many outlets as possible?
Bands can do it themselves no problem, I did it myself for years, but there comes a point where you are so overwhelmed or you just plateau so you need a good label with a good PR to do the work and focus on the art side of it. Something I tell a lot of young bands/artists when asked is to do the work yourself, show labels you don’t really need them, that you have the work ethic so when it comes the time where you feel you need to “level up” you are essentially letting the label know that if they are putting their money and time to work for you that you are dedicated because you’ve spent so much it whether money or time on your own to get where you are.
12. I did want to ask as there is a very Goth/ Dark Wave element in the music too Were I hear bands like This Empty Flow, Canaan and The God Machine. Was this done to make the music even more spacial and diverse?
Nothing is ever done for a specific reason, I’m just making music I’d like to hear, so if those elements are there its again because of liking music that hand those elements in my life.
13. What are the bands thoughts on Social Media ( Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). Is it a blessing or curse?
With the way algorithms are now it’s a bit of a curse unless you decide to pay for people to see your posts, but it’s mostly a blessing, it’s nice to get to interact with people, then maybe one day we meet at a show or something and you can talk like you’ve known each other for a long time.
14. If you could have one band rework one of your song who would you want to do it?
I really wouldn’t want anyone to do it. Covering other peoples work is something I’m not really into it, though I have done it on a few occasions but I mostly feel like I’m ruining the original song.