Letting Go of the Reins: An Introduction to InTechnicolour

Where do old mathematicians go when they die? Fucked if I know, but according to brand spanking new British band, InTechnicolour, dudes who once (and in some cases, still do) ply their wares as part of that nation’s math/tech metal scene, will at some point find themselves taking a complete 180 degree creative turn when the fancy strikes. Formed by members of bands like Delta Sleep and the Physics House Band, InTechnicolour puts down the pocket protectors, trigonometry textbooks and oddball time signatures in favour of sand, sun and a more simplistic style of stoner metal. The quintet is on the eve of the release of their debut recording, Lend Me a Crushed Ear from which the title track is featured below. As well this morning, we also give you an introductory interview with the band’s nucleus, guitarist Dave Jackson and vocalist Tobie Anderson in which they relate the unique and interesting story of how all this came to be.

Introduce yourselves and give us a brief band history rundown.

Dave:  The band is Tobie Anderson (vocals), Dave Jackson and Fergal Lyden (guitars), Vlad Matveikov (bass) and Dave Morgan (drums). Unlike other bands I’ve been in, this started as a project between myself and a close friend of mine, Ed Spear, shortly after our old band disbanded in 2007. We got together most days and wrote stupid over the top heavy, mathy, proggy songs that neither of us could pull off live and nobody would want to listen to anyway. We wrote two albums that never saw the light of day…mostly because we never showed them to anyone and then I moved to Brighton and Ed moved to Nashville so it became pretty difficult to continue. Then, a few summers back, I found myself working on a farm just outside of London. By day I’d pick courgettes – that’s not a euphemism – amongst many other vegetables and by night I’d sit on this big old run down bus that lived at the bottom of the farm and play guitar/listen to music. One night I rediscovered all these old tracks I’d written with Ed and acted upon my drunken urge to bring them back to life. So, I immediately got in touch with Tobie and sent him loads of song ideas and InTechnicolour was born.

I understand most of your previous bands aren’t actually in the sonic neighbourhood of what you’re doing now. What brought you to the style you playing with InTechnicolour and was there any challenge or hardship in navigating around a new musical language?

Dave: Tobie and I both grew up near each other in the north east England and played in metal bands together from our early teens so our roots stem from the heavier side of stuff. I spent my entire youth from about the age of 11 just playing Iron Maiden songs on bass, over and over until my fingers we’re bleeding/got hungry. I can’t speak for everyone, but our other bands outside of InTech mostly stem from prog, math backgrounds so it’s not a million miles away. Once you crank the gain up and hit the cymbals a little harder it’s a similar style of playing. 

What adjustments – whether deliberately, subconsciously or somewhere along the line as you got deeper into what this band does – did you find yourselves having to make personally?

Dave: Touring can be difficult, trying to hold down a full time job and tour for weeks/months on end doesn’t make it easy to pay rent. Either gotta get good at saving or good at teasing a higher limit out of your credit card.

Tobie: As Dave says, it’s a difficult situation to work full time and make enough space in your life for anything musical. Luckily, I work for an audio hire company who are closely involved in the music industry, so I have a very understanding boss who gives me enough time off to do what we need to do with InTechnicolour. The only other adjustments I needed to make was convincing my girlfriend to turn our spare room into a recording space for writing InTech music. 

How did the writing process for the upcoming release differ for you than what you’d experienced in other bands?

Dave: A major difference was the lack of a full band, as it was only Tobie and myself at the time. So, we effectively wrote these songs as acoustic songs without drums or bass. Honestly, we never finished writing these songs until we got into the studio where they were realised live on record, we had a rough structure but that was it. “Lend Me A Crushed Ear” is actually a reincarnation of an ancient version of a tune Ed and myself worked on in 2007…so expect the album soon!

Tobie: I think we are part of something special with InTechnicolour and the way we have written this music. We live 200 miles apart and ten years ago that would have made this band impossible, but with the advent of technology we have been able to use our internet connections and home recording set ups to demo and write our material over the web. We certainly aren’t the only band doing this nowadays, but it isn’t the traditional form of writing an album and I think having my own home comforts and being in my own house with all the time in the world available to me and not having to pay for practice spaces meant that I was free to try things vocally that I would never have been brave enough to try for the first time in front of the band. Meaning some of the vocal parts are a long way off anything I have done before on previous projects. 

Tell us about the recording of your upcoming release.

Dave: We packed our bags, loaded up the old crap wagon and drove upwards to Leeds where we settled into Greenmount studios for the weekend. We worked with Lee Smith and Jamie Lockhart, both incredible engineers who have produced some fantastic records in the past and they brought these songs to life for us. At the time of recording these songs, the band wasn’t really a band at all, there was only the two of us – Tobie and myself. We’d never met up for a band practice or anything as practical as that, at this point I’d just been sending Tobie my ideas played really badly on a direct input-ed guitar. It’s a credit to Tobie for being able to write anything to these ideas at all to be honest; there was no drums, no bass, and little ability. It wasn’t until the night before we recorded these tracks, December 22nd, 2013 that I met up with Mark Forster, who sessioned on drums for the EP, and played them through for the first time. We had a three hour practice, played the songs through a couple of times and that was it. SLICK! The following morning we set up, drank all the coffee in the world and tracked all the drums and guitars live with no clicks. It’s the only way we could make it work, if we messed up half way through we went from the start again. Not necessarily because we’re purists but mostly because we couldn’t work out where we were in the song. Although it was, to a certain extent, trial and error Lend Me A Crushed Ear sounds just as I wanted, raw and powerful. Hearing the songs come to life in the studio was extraordinary, it must have been the fourth time we’d played them from top to bottom – they still had that practice room feel about them, the feeling you get when you first play a riff before you iron out the shit bits. 

How have you found people, both newcomers and fans of your older stuff, reacting to what you’re doing in InTech?

Dave: As this is officially our first release and we’re still very new on the circuit it’s hard to gauge any sort of reaction at the moment. The only people who have heard this music so far are the guys in the studio, Dave Neale who produced our first two videos and a handful of friends who all seemed to enjoy it…so it’s either genuinely good or complete bollocks!

Is InTechnicolour the sole project/band for you now, or are you planning on trying to juggle it with other bands?

Dave: We all play in quite hectic bands in terms of touring and recording so it’ll take some time to find our balance but like with any band there has to be a good balance between the two. If we can make sure touring schedules don’t clash then there’s no reason for either band to have priority over another.