Streaming: Nepente’s “Show Me That You Are Suffering”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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Show me that you are suffering? Game on. People are still talking about The Academy Awards. Purina faces a lawsuit alleging their pet food is filled with toxic ingredients. Your album cover is sort of creepy. And it’s Wednesday.

Streaming today: “Show Me That You Are Suffering” from the Colombian black/death metal band Nepente. The song is on their upcoming record I Will Get Your Soul, due March 31 from Cimmerian Shade. The band started way back in 2002 and has toured extensively in their home country. They’ve released several records on domestic and digital-only labels; this is their first with Cimmerian.

I Will Get Your Soul was recorded at Manizales Studio (Manizales Colombia), and mixed/mastered at Hertz Recording Studio (Bialystock, Poland) by Slawomir Wieslawski and Wojciech Wieslawski.

Get down with the suffering below and learn more about Nepente.

Get Into Harm’s Way: Exclusive Video Premiere!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured, videos On: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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The upcoming Harm’s Way record Rust — out March 10 via Deathwish Inc — is an industrial-by-way-of-metallic-hardcore-by-way-of-Triptykon multidimensional rager that is going to turn a lot of heads. This afternoon Decibel is pleased to exclusively premiere the video for “Amongst the Rust.”

For more information, check out our profile of the band in the current issue. Tour dates after the jump.

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Through a Speaker Rumbly: Spectral Voice’s “Necrotic Doom”

By: Dutch Pearce Posted in: featured, interviews, through a speaker rumbly On: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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“We are obsessed with death metal!”

For this month’s Speaker Rumbly, I tracked down one-half of Colorado’s new and incredibly putrescent death/doom outfit, Spectral Voice, for some good ol’ Q&A. Spectral Voice’s demo, Necrotic Doom, is currently available, but is likely not long for this world. I’ve been in contact with the specter herein known as E.W. since first hearing about Spectral Voice at the beginning of last summer, and although E.W. is reliable and always gets back to me eventually, getting him to actually stay put long enough to answer some questions was no easy task. Alas, such is the plight of the admiring music journalist who goes chasing after his subjects like some obsessive lepidopterist as his subjects flutter about, here and there, alighting sporadically according to seemingly nothing but their own whims.

Now that you’re initiated with the monstrous clamor of Spectral Voice, you’ll be delighted to learn that, should you happen to live on the left coast of the United States, you can witness Spectral Voice on their first major tour. Sempiternal Dusk will provide support for many of the dates to ensure that after every night’s show not a single thing is left standing. As for those of us who hail from the forsaken rest of the world, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves by repeatedly jamming the demo and staring at the extremely sick tour poster.

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Without further ado, here’s the interview. Thanks to E.W. for taking the time to answer my questions.

First of all, you play drums and guitars in Spectral Voice, right? Can you explain, then, who all is on the demo and what they’re doing?

On the demo it is just the two of us; I play drums, guitar, and do vocals. P.R. plays guitar, bass and synth.

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What other bands are you currently involved in? What about the other member(s) of SV? There’s a Blood Incantation bleed-over happening, isn’t there? How many members will the band have for the tour? Will you be pulling dudes from other bands to help you out with this?

We have a very stable live line up:  P.R. – Guitar; M.K. – Guitar;  J.B. – Bass; C.H. – Vocals; E.W. – Drums.

I also play in GRAVETORN (death metal) and ROSKOPP (grindcore), as well as a few more sporadic bands. P.R. also plays in BLOOD INCANTATION (death metal), UNMANIFEST (black metal) and numerous experimental projects. Live guitarist M.K. also plays in BLOOD INCANTATION, as well as STILLBORN FAWN (black metal). Both P.R. and I play in ABYSMAL DIMENSIONS (funeral doom) with I.F. (of Blood Incantation), so you can see the connection is very strong. There is not much of a death metal scene in our area, so we tend to stick together.

What prompted the formation of Spectral Voice? Which spirits specifically were you channeling when writing and recording this demo?

We had been jamming for a while, just the two of us. After almost two years with no stable lineup, we just decided to go forward with the project ourselves. We are obsessed with death metal! In particular, the early Finnish bands like Rippikoulu, Sentenced, Abhorrence, Thergothon, Demigod, Demilich, as well as diSEMBOWELMENT, Symphony of Grief, Mythic, Eternal Darkness, Rottrevore and tons more have influenced us in one way or another.

The demo was recorded in a barn in the mountains in August 2014; we did some additional tracking later at home. It was very primitive from start to finish. We sent it to Dan Lowndes to be mixed and mastered, and he did a great job. He made it sound the best that it possibly could. TOTAL SUPPORT!

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You mentioned some troubles with getting the tour together, so obviously you’re dedicated to what you’re doing. Can you talk a little about why SV and death metal in general are so important to you?

Any tour has booking issues, but in the end it will be a good tour. We’re pumped to get out there. We get to play with some great bands like Sempiternal Dusk, Ascended Dead, Cauterized, Ghoulgotha, Hell and Predatory Light. As far as why we play, death metal is very powerful music when executed properly. The energy, atmosphere, riffs and aesthetic are all intoxicating. We have all been playing in bands for years, music has always been the most important aspect in our lives. We’ve made friends all over playing this music, and being able to put something out that lasts is important to us.  For me, that’s what makes the underground so awesome; you get to tour and see your friends all across the globe. It’s an alternative to an average or mundane life.

What can the hungry and eager masses expect next from Spectral Voice?

We have a split 7-inch with BLOOD INCANTATION coming very soon. Both bands have already recorded. That will be released by Bleak Environment and Woodsmoke. A split with CHTHE’ILIST is in the works as well, but won’t be out until after their full-length is released later this year. That split will be released by Parasitic Records. Besides these, we are focusing on our full-length. Big news soon!

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What are the most proper listening conditions for jamming Necrotic Doom? Should the listener be deep in a cave with their Walkman, or sitting on their couch with a beer and a bowl?

Everyone has their own ritual for how best to enjoy music. I think the songs speak for themselves. As long as you are listening to DEATH METAL in a sincere way, that’s fine with us.

STAY DEATH.

Track Premiere: Acid King, “Red River”

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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A full decade after the release of Acid King’s aptly named third album III, the San Francisco trio is set to make a triumphant return with the excellent new full-length Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere. It’s a record that fulfills the band’s promise of a sound they describe so accurately as “like riding a motorcycle on quaaludes,” achieving a rather sublime combination of doom’s power and groove with a spaced-out, psychedelic dreaminess. Led by guitarist Lori S., whose chanted vocals will remind many new listeners of Kylesa’s Laura Pleasants and Windhand’s Dorthia Cottrell, the band creates some gloriously lugubrious jams, something that is sure to please any metal fan who likes to take things nice and slow every once in a while.

A great example is the trance-inducing “Red River”, and we’re more than happy to premiere the track here at Decibel. Dim the lights, click the little Soundcloud thingy below, and lose yourself for eight and a half minutes.

Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere will be released April 14 independently, with the vinyl release coming out on Svart Records.

BETTER THAN FULGOR B: Fulgora’s “Stratagem”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

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Grind it out, bitches! Phil Anselmo has some fresh stuff for you from Fulgora, a new band featuring his buddies in Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and Misery Index (although really, two of the dudes are in three of the bands, so that’s a bit of a cheat, but whatever). Basically, what we have here is a solid chunk of rage from guys who know a thing or two about angry music. The name is based on some Greek mythological lady, but you won’t find much estrogen here. Prepare for blastoff with their debut full-length, Strategem, streaming exclusively below.

***Stratagem comes out March 24 courtesy of Housecore.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Old Man Gloom “The Lash”

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, videos On: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

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Last we heard from Old Man Gloom, vocalist/guitarist Aaron Turner and drummer Santos Montano were telling our very own KSP about their Ape of God shenanigans. Not only has everyone except the small corner of the world called the internet forgiven and forgotten, but the quartet thankfully has managed to keep its sense of humor intact (for starters, the group’s Facebook page, which is rife with comedic gems like “A favorite special memory in Old Man Gloom is when we rehearsed for the first time after an 8 year hiatus and [bassist/vocalist] Caleb [Scofield] was playing Sleeping With Snakes wrong because he relearned it by searching ‘old man gloom guitar cover’ on youtube and played along to a video of some dude playing it wrong. Like really wrong. Caleb wrote that song by the way”).

Seriously though, OMG was one of the first bands our beloved EIC introduced us to back in the beginning days of the magazine, so we’re especially thrilled to premiere the video for “The Lash”. We have no idea what’s going on in the video–a Jawa origin story?–but it’s still pretty freakin’ great. The band will be hitting the road for a brief West Coast tour starting Thursday, so if you’re lucky enough to be anywhere close by, don’t miss out.

*Pick up copies of the new OMG records here

**Upcoming OMG tour dates:

02/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Electric Owl
02/27 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
02/28 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
03/02 – Chico, CA @ Café Coda
03/03 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill
03/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
05/15 – 17 – Santa Ana, CA @ Psycho California

Metal Without Hats: When Voivod Did The Safety Dance

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: exclusive, featured, interviews On: Monday, February 23rd, 2015

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Men Without Hats were one of the biggest pop bands of the early to mid-80s. And “The Safety Dance” was one of the biggest songs of the decade, and continues to resonate. People never stopped doing “The Safety Dance.” Remixes show up every week, including a metal version (more about that below). The Saturday night featured program on the SiriusXM new wave channel is called? You got it: The Safety Dance.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Men Without Hats are from Montreal, home to a very close-knit musical community. One of the most intriguing partnerships to emerge in the early 90s was the musical bond between Voivod founder/drummer Michel “Away” Langevin and Men Without Hats founder and songwriter Ivan Doroschuk.

The partnership goes both ways; Langevin appeared on the little heard Hats album Sideways and joined the band on tour and Doroschuk contributed to the wildly inventive Voivod albums Angel Rat and Phobos. We tracked down Doroschuk and talked about the shared ties between a legendary metal band and a global hitmaker.

How did you and Michel meet?

John Kastner (from a Canadian punk band called Doughboys) introduced us. We just started jamming together. After the bars would close in Montreal at 3 or 4 a.m. we’d go to the Voivod jam space for a few hours. I was writing the last Men Without Hats record of the 20th century Sideways. It was a departure – a guitar album. I basically put the Sideways album together jamming with Michel and Kastner and another guitar player. We recorded Sideways in upstate New York and Michel was there with me. And he came on a cross-Canada tour.

The album, well, people just didn’t know what to think of it. A guitar record from Men Without Hats? It was only released in Canada and has become a curious record for our fan club. I’d just moved back from New York. I had one record left on my contract and had an obligation. We just started jamming and Michel – he’s the most musical drummer I’ve ever worked with. He would follow every move. So he inspired me and I started writing all of these songs. I never really thought it would be a Men Without Hats record but I had enough songs. Nirvana hadn’t happened yet so they (the label) were like, o.k., we’ll do it for half the budget. I remember every record I’ve made and my state of mind and that was just fun with no pressure. We knew the fans and the record company wouldn’t understand it.

Michel and I have been in touch ever since. Michel was recording Angel Rat at the time of Sideways so I played keyboards and programmed a few songs. As far as the lyrics go all I did was proofread. There was no collaboration. I just read his lyrics to make sure there were no mistakes. Michel and I are both into comics and drawings and into flying saucers. I’m actually doing the same thing with him now; he is working on an online comic book on UFOs and I proofread it.

What did you think of the Angel Rat material? That’s almost like your Sideways record in that people don’t know what to do with it.

I’m not sure if it was Blacky’s last record with the band for a while. It led to Snake leaving the band, too. It was a weird time for Voivod.

On its face a collaboration between Men Without Hats and Voivod doesn’t seem like a fit but if I look back at your music Rhythm Of Youth had protest songs wrapped in pop music.

That was the idea. I always considered us a punk band with a hit single. I thought of Men Without Hats as a hardcore pop band.

Do you have any memories of your time in the studio for Angel Rat?

We did it in Toronto. For me, it was just part of hanging out with them. I also got along with Piggy, too. Michel and I are really very close. And I was really close with Piggy.

Was it tough to work on heavy metal music or did you always have a diverse approach?

I was always into it. Piggy and I were the closest in age and we both grew up on progressive rock. So I always liked heavier stuff. And times were changing. The musical landscape in the 1990s was different. It was almost as interesting as the new wave thing. There really haven’t been many big musical movements since then.

Did you ever talk to Voivod about your success in the 80s or were you happy to just work on something else?

I tell you, there was just a lot of laughing going on. It was a big laugh-a-thon. At one point later Michel and I worked together on a video game soundtrack. Michel had a cousin who worked at a big digital company in Montreal. These guys had startup money and they hired Michel, Piggy and me to do a theme for their demo. I had a mobile studio and we moved it into the place. It was one of the last things I worked on with Piggy. I don’t think the game came out.

You are also credited as a guest on Phobos, which featured Jason Newsted and Karyn Crisis.

I had some vintage synths from the early Hats days. We made some sounds and Michel sampled them and used them as percussion and rhythm stuff as part of his drum kit. I think that was Phobos.

Both Men With Hats and Voivod have tremendous longevity with some hiccups. Your most recent record was well received and Voivod is on a huge tour package now. Do you share something in terms of your journey?

Montreal is a cool place to come from. It’s like a little slice of Europe in North America and we still communicate in French. And I think music is all Michel and I know how to do (laughs).

Have you seen the metal version of “The Safety Dance”?

It’s awesome. I thought it was great. That guy is so talented.

How many remixes have there been of “The Safety Dance” over three plus decades?

There seems to be a new one every couple of weeks. That’s one of the reasons we can keep on the road; people still listen to the songs. And people still listen to Voivod. Michel did a logo for Men Without Hats for the last European tour. People totally knew who did it – a lot of our fans are big Voivod fans and a lot of people want the tee shirt.

There’s another metal connection; Dave Ogilvie, who produced “Love In The Age Of War,” also produced Marilyn Manson and Skinny Puppy.

We sort of led parallel lives. He’s from around where we grew up in Montreal. On the record (released in 2012) he basically made it sound like it was recorded in the 80s but it has a bite. It has a vintage sound that is somehow up to date. He made everything rock. It was one of the last records made at Mushroom Studios and we brought all the vintage synths we could find.

What’s it like to write a song I think you can safely say has been heard by a billion people?

(laughs) I feel lucky and blessed. Listen, if I didn’t think every song I wrote was going to be a hit I wouldn’t be in this business. It wasn’t our first release and we didn’t think it was the hottest song. I just think people never tire of hearing the message. It’s empowering.

Christopher Amott (Armageddon) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, February 23rd, 2015

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** Most thought Christopher Amott crazy for leaving Arch Enemy a second time. He was in an internationally recognized metal band. They sold records. They toured the world. He played with his brother, Michael. It was a dream scenario. Well, the younger Amott wasn’t having any of it. He left Arch Enemy, relocated to the US, and reactivated (in a way) his own band Armageddon with a new lineup and, to a degree, a new sound. Actually, Armageddon stretches back to 1997 when the group then comprised of Amott, vocalist Jonas Nyrén (In Thy Dreams), drummer Peter Wildoer (Darkane), and bassist Martin Bengtsson (Arch Enemy). They recorded and released debut album, Crossing the Rubicon, at the height of the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal. Over the next few years, Armageddon morphed band members and sound on albums Embrace the Mystery and Three. Amott, busy with Arch Enemy, put Armageddon on ice. But this too would only last so long. With Armageddon active again, Amott wrote, recorded, and released Captivity & Devourment with his new band. Lead single “Fugitive Dust” is reason alone to consider Amott (sans Amott) as one of extreme metal’s brightest hopefuls. Read on!

Who are the new players in Armageddon and where did you find them?
Christopher Amott: Well, Sara I’ve known for years, she is a guitar player originally but offered to play bass in Armageddon. She writes the majority of the lyrics in Armageddon, and also contributes to the music. We wrote the album together. I met our guitar player Joey through giving guitar lessons, he was a student of mine for a short period. Like me, he is a blues-based player and can improvise freely and that’s the most important thing for me in a another guitarist. We speak the same language musically. He brought our singer Matt into the project, they are from the same area in Connecticut and have played shows locally together with their old bands. The hardest part was finding a drummer, we tried out three different players who didn’t fit before deciding to have a guy by the name of Nick Bunczk do the album as a session player. Finally I met Márton in NYC, he is from Hungary and used to play in classic Hungarian band Pokolgep.

Armageddon didn’t stick to a single style across its discography. Where does Captivity & Devourment fit with the band’s trajectory?
Christopher Amott: I would say that this album has the best elements of all three previous albums combined.

Is there a song on Captivity & Devourment that holds a special place in your heart?
Christopher Amott: I think the song “Fugitive Dust” turned out very well arrangement and lyric-wise. We have shot a music video for that one which will be released in early January.

What do you say to people expecting you to make an Arch Enemy record? Some might not know Armageddon’s origins.
Christopher Amott: To Arch Enemy fans I want to say that this album contains in my opinion some of my best guitar work to date, and I hope they will check it out.

Musically, how would you describe Captivity & Devourment?
Christopher Amott: I guess it’s a bit of everything stylistically, death, thrash, power, black… but I don’t think in terms of genres like that when I write, no musician does. This is just metal the way I want to hear it and write it.

Tell us about the cover art to Captivity & Devourment.
Christopher Amott: That is the creation of italian oil painter Paolo Girardi. We gave him the lyrics and asked him to paint what he would envision Armageddon to be like. And then he just presented the finished work to us, that was it! We trusted him and knew he would produce something great.

It’s almost the same color scheme as the ‘70s Armageddon. Was that intentional?
Christopher Amott: [Laughs] No, absolutely not.

Armageddon was never known to be a touring band or active band. Will that change now that you’re based in the US?
Christopher Amott: This is definitely a full-time thing for me now. We’ll be touring extensively next year, starting in the US in February and then coming to Europe. I’m hoping to grow Armageddon into whatever it can be. We are already writing the second album, we’ll be recording it next year along with touring as much as we can. My goal is as always to reach as many people as possible with our music.

What’s it like living in the US. You picked a place with a pretty high cost of living.
Christopher Amott: New York City is a special place for sure, and it’s a little different from the rest of the US I think. It’s dirty, loud and expensive but you get a lot of culture, music, art and general experiences, sometimes just walking down the street or taking the subway. It’s a pretty happening place and at this point in my life I’m enjoying it.

What’s next for Armageddon? Any plans to tour with your brother?
Christopher Amott: Like I said, we want to tour as much as we can in 2015. Opening up for Arch Enemy might be a possibility, yes. My brother and I have already discussed it.

** Armageddon’s new album, Captivity & Devourment, is out NOW on Listenable Records. Bundles can be found HERE. Sick riffs and solos abound!

VIDEO PREMIERE: Father Sky “Silver Spoon”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen, videos On: Friday, February 20th, 2015

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There’s something to be said for a band to willfully pose in front of an old boogie vans and not be the least ashamed. For Texas’ Father Sky, such objects are the focus of their non-musical affection. They scream back to a time when the sun felt warmer, the riffs fuzzier, the hems wider, and the sex freer. As for Father Sky’s music, well, think of Black Sabbath, Steamhammer, and ZZ Top in a blender on the “cool as fuck” setting. That’s right. A little heavy, a little bluesy, a little flat-out rock ‘n’ roll.

Enjoy the premiere of Father Sky’s Paul Ruttledge-animated video for “Silver Spoon”.

** Father Sky’s new album, Tower Heist, is available March 23rd on CD and LP in a few variations. Pre-orders are HERE if heavy, heady ’70s-inspired rock is your bag.

Pyramids Premiere New Song, Interview

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, February 20th, 2015

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If you haven’t heard a good oddball metal record recently… well, then your head’s been under a soundproofed rock and you haven’t been reading enough Decibel reviews.  Get out there and listen, man!

And be sure to check out the new Pyramids record when Profound Lore releases it in the middle of next month.  It’s dark, it’s melodic, it’s full of cockeyed chords and chilly percussion.  It’s pretty great.  We will always salute metal that is bloodthirsty, artless and Sataneriffic, but extreme music can also do this.

We asked ringleader R. Loren to help us make sense of the first Pyramids full-length in seven years, and… well, he tried.  We also got hold of a new song for you to listen to while you cram your brain full of just a fraction of the art/artists that have become part of the Pyramids story in some way.

You seemed to be pretty prolific in the time shortly after the first Pyramids record, but it’s been a while since your last full-length release.  What were you involved in during that break?

Shortly after the first Pyramids record, having collaborated with a variety of artists on the bonus disc for that release (remixes from Jesu, lovesliescrushing, Blut Aus Nord, Birchville Cat Motel, James Plotkin, and more), I got swept away in an obsessive need to collaborate. That started with the Pyramids with Nadja release, which took a much more abstract direction than our first proper full length, in part due to the incredible chance to work with Faith Coloccia – a relationship that continued over the next few releases – and collaborating with Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins, Chris of Mineral, Albin of Der Blutharsch. That release just fed the fire that would knock down further dominoes: Pyramids/Horseback, Pyramids with Wraiths, a remix 12″ by Ulver and Lustmord, a 5x cassette box entitled “Wvndrkmmer” which included over 50 artists manipulating the same set of files from us to produce something new (Across Tundras, Amber Asylum, This Will Destroy You, Burial Hex, etc, etc, etc), and the Mamiffer/Pyramids split.

Even that wasn’t enough, so I took to side projects to feed that obsessive need to collaborate even more – Sailors With Wax Wings (featuring contributions from members of Unwound, Slowdive, Swans, Prurient, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, and a slew of others), White Moth (featuring contributions from Alec Empire, Lydia Lunch, Christoph Heemann, Dalek, Shelby Cinca and more) – and when the constant emotional demand of recording had taken its toll, I channeled my energy towards building the Handmade Birds record label to continue providing myself that outlet to collaborate with and/or aid those whose work inspires me.

A Northern Meadow had been a working title for our second full length since we completed the first record. Nearly seven years had passed since its release, so the thought of putting out yet another split or collaborative release felt like it would be one too many. The time had come for the second proper full length, and as you can see, there is still a thread of collaborators present.

Does Pyramids’s music rise from very specific choices and ideas you want to tackle with the music, or is a more free-flowing series of ideas?

There is a definite, overarching vision, but there is an equally definite respect given to the process.  The vision is largely tied to a textural, sonic aesthetic. There is a blend of styles and influences that I am explicit about synthesizing. But over many years in many projects, one of the most important lessons I have internalized is the need for the artist to respect the process and acknowledge when someone else in the process is better at something than I am.  I wasn’t going to be the guy standing over the engineer’s shoulder at the board telling him how to mix. Too many bands do that, and by doing that they are dismissing the value of an unbiased third party who is listening objectively and thinking long-term.

How picky are you about tone and recording technique for the various parts of the music?

This goes back to trusting the process. Am I picky? Yes. But because I work with the right people that I trust implicitly for their professionalism, judgement, and musical ability, once the process starts, being picky is rarely necessary. So my picky-ness comes at the front end when I am deciding who to approach about working on the recording. Once the people are in place, it is time to let go and respect the process.

Are there specific artists who have influenced the Pyramids vocal style?

Yes, but listing them would just leave people puzzled. “Inspire” would be more the word because we certainly don’t sound like Cocteau Twins, but that would be one sort of inspiration. Tim Buckley as well.

Does the band feel like four people who happened to collaborate with a few talented non-members, or do you feel like those collaborators became part of the band for this album?  How close was the collaboration?

Anyone we collaborate with is going to be someone that we feel a natural kinship with. So there is no feeling of us and them. The collaboration, again, was about respecting the process (this record, cheesy as it sounds, is bigger than us), so once I communicated the loose parameters of the overarching vision, from there it was a matter of those whose professionalism and musicianship I trust to take over. The drum programming on this one was born from a dialogue that began back in 2010, took about two years to finalize, and then I sat on them for about two years for a variety of reasons like balancing life and launching Handmade Birds, being in the right head-space to continue the recording process, etc.

What kinds of art – musical or otherwise – is exciting you right now?  Is there anything you can pinpoint as having an effect on your output right now?

I have been really into Cory Strand’s reworking of soundtracks into ambient and noise compositions, specifically his work with Fargo (the series), Mulholland Drive, and Rebecca. Marissa Nadler’s “July” record from last year continues to inspire me day after day. Josh from Vaura convinced me to give Gene Loves Jezebel another try, whom I had dismissed for years, but to my credit had never heard their first album, and it has instantly become an all time favorite.  I am excited about what is happening in electronic music right now, and have been listening to a lot of Actress.  Lycia has a new album on the horizon, Weeping Rat from Australia have really taken space in my head, and I keep finding myself meditating to a variety of HNW releases, specifically Willowbrook’s “The Orphan and the Headmistress”. Holodeck Records is killing it out of Austin, as is Black Horizons in San Francisco, who is releasing the cassette version of “A Northern Meadow”. The poetry of Anne Sexton, the films of John Cassavetes, the visual and musical works of Scout Pare Phillips (who took the cover photo for “A Northern Meadow”), and documentaries on Netflix. And, of course, I am getting really excited about a new project I am working on that, you guessed it, involves collaborators, and I think may really throw people for a loop.