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......::::THRENODY (USA)::::......
Realized at: 12th, December 2016
 

"There is a great deal of deliberation we apply to writing/performing/recording our music, and often in the end it’s still not something we listen to personally. (...)"


1. Since your inception in 2013, What are the most memorable memories would you extract from your early days? It was so difficult at the beginning? 

It’s still difficult! When we began in high school, we lived 60 miles apart from each other, so practicing as a whole band on a regular basis was not easy. On weekends, Gabe (‘Bjorn’) and I (Ben, ‘Crooks’) would be together, during the week Gabe & Ian (‘Ingvar’) saw each other, and about twice monthly we would be able to practice as a trio. There was more than a fair share of ridiculous shit going on at practice and at shows. There was a time when there was a second guitarist who showed up to practice with just a guitar. No pick, no chord, no amp. I suppose that was a very awkward assembly. I found it frustrating when Gabe and Ian would fuck up playing our own material, so the ultimatum was for every mistake made by either one of them, an article of my clothing would be removed until there would be none left. Well, eventually there were none left. The mistakes continued. Most troubling was our “revolving door of drummers” (as Ian puts it). We originally aimed to be a 4 piece band; 2 guitarists (one also on vocals), a bassist, and a drummer. Well, adequate guitarists are scarce in midwestern Wisconsin, so we settled on a vocalist (who I became), a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer. Well drummers in mid western Wisconsin are also scarce, so we found ourselves “stuck” as a three piece, which to us, limited our capacity as a band (or so we thought). It wasn’t until we entered the studio that a good friend and fantastic engineer/producer told us he only could imagine us as a 3 piece, nothing more. Here we now are, tour bound with Ian on both vocals and bass, Gabe on guitars, and I, back to percussion. This is how we began (mostly). This is how we work best. 

2. Your music is described as atmospheric black metal. What black metal bands influenced you? Did you have any other influences, including non-musical ones?

Well, we can’t go without mentioning the classics, such as Burzum (who we’ve covered), Darkthrone, Mayhem, Venom, ect. We really love to tap the atmosphere of American black metal as well, such as Wolves in The Throne Room, Abigail Williams, Xasthur, Weakling, on and on. From our childhood we try to resonate classics we were brought up with: Rush, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, 13th Floor Elevators, Bill Withers, Nina Simone. Ultimately I think each of us can attribute more of our sound from 60’s/70’s hard/psychedelic rock, if you look at the notations in our songs, the progressions, you’ll find less of a resemblance to black metal and more so one to progressive rock.  

3. What do you attempt to capture, express or communicate through your music?

Well, a little phrase we like to live by is “we write stories, not songs”. In saying that, we mean that every note, every word, and everywhere they fall is calculated. We aim for the instrumentals and the lyrics and the sound samples to compliment each other perfectly. That’s something you’ll find an example of in the 4th movement of our 28 minute song “2001: A Space Odyssey”, where we bring about 5-6 minutes of audio from the movie and lay it over the interlude, (as opposed to using vocals). It’s un-nerving to the ear.  

4. Your full length debut record (“Bad Dreams Do Come True”) was released almost 7 months ago. Now that time has passed, are you satisfied by the outcome? Would you change anything if you had the chance to do so? 

We are blown away. When we released it, we did it with about of month of preparedness. We had been mixing and mastering for nearly a year, and we finally finished in May (we finished recording in the August previous). I was about to move around 1000 miles from Gabe and Ian, so we considered this album to likely be our last major piece we would work on as Threnody. We released it digitally on May 24th of 2016, without any merchandise/CD’s ready for purchase. Within 24 hours of releasing it digitally, we were hit up by radio stations in Europe and South America, and by an underground magazine called “The Pain Fucktory” magazine (you may have heard of them). From there, some fans put up  “Encyclopedia Metallum” pages, Youtube videos, reviews, ect., which spread our new material further still. Within 48 hours we had people worldwide asking us where they could order a hardcopy, or a tshirt, or a poster, or a whatever. We didn’t really have an answer, but within a month, we had shirts and CD’s printed, and then released “Bad Dreams Do Come True” on compact disc format on June 24th 2016. Within two months after that, we were sold out of most of our shirts and all of our CD’s. As far as the contents of the album are concerned (composition, engineering, producers, instruments, ect.), we wouldn’t do a damn thing differently. Outside of that, I suppose we wish we were better prepared for distribution/promotion.  

5. I think when a musician creates music is to, firstly, please himself, but do you think your songs are perfect for the nonconformist ears? 

We do try to please ourselves in writing our own music, but we have also come to accept it is hard to meet that goal. You see, we are perfectionists, and expect much out of ourselves and each other, because we know we are capable of it. There is a great deal of deliberation we apply to writing/performing/recording our music, and often in the end it’s still not something we listen to personally. But when it’s all finished, when we hear back from fans who like our material, that’s when we are satisfied. We do aim to be far out from the norm, and from what we’ve been hearing, we’re pretty satisfying to the non conformist’s ears.  

6. The background of your songs could be used as the soundtrack of a movie. Has there ever been such a proposition? 

I believe there is some brief audio of us in some independent film work somewhere, but nothing too major. It’s not something we expect to ever come across, but if we were to, something with Donald Sutherland would be fine by us.  

7. Writing such slow-paced parts, fulfilled with melancholic passages and managing to fuse intense feelings to the listener is so astonishing. Does it have to do with your personal state of mind? Are you eternally melancholic persons?

I don’t think we are necessarily “melancholic”, but just human. The song “Bad Dreams Do Come True” (lyrically speaking), is a summary of a time in my life where I had a drug problem, home and emotional problems, (we all had home and emotional problems). That summary came to me in a series of reoccurring dreams, where I kept finding myself in foggy places, train tracks with no end, large warehouse structures, tunnel digging under the pressure of stampeding pigs (yeah, what the hell), large cascading waves against a hallway of familiar but unidentifiable voices, onward and onward. They were fucking terrifying, man. There was meaning in them, and there is meaning in that song. All in all though, we’ve lived, seen some things, done some things, wish we hadn’t done some things, but we’ve lived and that’s where it all centers to, I suppose.  

8. Let’s talk about those "spoken word samples" used as interludes in between the tracks, From where did you take them and what was the idea for using? 

In the song “2001: A Space Odyssey”, we used audio from the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick (as inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, “2001: A Space Odyssey”) to help compliment the instrumentals, and tell the story more thoroughly as opposed to only using the lyrics we wrote. Hence writing [telling] stories, not songs. The audio just before the second track, “Bad Dreams Do Come True” is also from a Stanley Kubrick film. “The Shining” intro (as inspired by the Stephen King novel, “The Shining”) is there simply because Jack Nicholson mentions his own horrible dreams, but the theme of the movie and the theme of the song have nothing to do with each other beyond that.  

9. Now, I’d like to ask you on the process of composing your tunes. Describe us, if possible, your typical procedure when writing songs: What comes first?

We really don’t have a system for that. What happens most often is one of us with come up with something, with no one objective in mind, and share it with the other two via soundbite. It snowballs from there. When we talk about composing a theme/vibe for our music overall, we discuss books we’ve recently read, movies we’ve recently watched, bouts in our life that are occurring at that time, ect. ect. We just let whatever our minds and bodies come to flow from our brains through our arms, legs, and lips into our instruments, and onto manuscript paper. If we were to claim a technique, it would probably be just letting things happen.  

10. Because the field of black metal is very wide, there is a lot of differences in the styles, sound, approach, etc… So which band(s)do you personally consider to be the treasure of the black metal genre and on the other hand in which ones do you see as the future of black metal?

Oo.. nice one. Hmm.. well, the future of black metal is pretty uncertain, which is in large part what makes black metal so unique. It can be about anything, filtered through anything, as long as the finished product is dark. Of course, there is the eternal war between the “trve” o.g black metal scene in Scandinavia, and those separate, such as those in southern Europe, and especially those in the United States (fair enough, we can be a culturally damaging country). The future of black metal, if we were to guess (I reiterate, black metal is especially unpredictable) is probably going to continue to push for atmosphere as opposed to speed and brutality. That trend began around the same time that we entered the new millennium. That is certainly a wave we are riding, and certainly a wave we are enjoying. 
 

11. How do you feel the current state of the atmospheric/depressive black metal scene? Truly, it is facing a saturation point, don’t you agree?

Well, hmm, ah, hmm... Of course we have an opinion of the general direction of black metal and music overall, but in the end it is our opinion, we wish to push no buttons, but absorb what everyone else is doing and give it a fair hearing. We try to keep it as raw as possible. What is becoming common in the black metal scene, in order to achieve the vibe of a dark/emotional atmosphere, is the instruments and vocals are often drowned in synthesizers/plug ins/pedals/filters. Gabe and Ian each used 1 pedal on our album. We stuck with vintage microphone consoles, and limited our digital plug in’s to a bare minimum to succeed with the atmosphere that we did. Our utilization of almost exclusively vintage gear was in a conscious attempt to preserve the sound that is actually coming from our instruments.  

12. Also, how are your personal feeling towards religion? What are your personal spiritual beliefs?

That’s a topic that we actually try to avoid commenting on so often. Sure, we have strong criticisms for religion, but we don’t let it impede on our creativity. We could spit a typical metal sermon, or we could be creative, and treat religion as it should be treated, by ignoring it. It’s fiction and we choose not to read it. 

13. OK man, what are your short-term goals and plans for Threnody  in terms of hopeful exposure and touring?

Finally, an easy question! Well we do have some big news on the way… we will have specific details by early/mid December, but it will have something to do with 1 1/2 - 2 months of touring in the late summer/early autumn season’s of 2017, with occasional shows between then and now. We will probably spend most or all of this summer/autumn tour in the United States, but we are trying to make our way up to Canada by the end of the year next, and maybe somewhere to the far east, just to be weird. We dream big.  

14. Thanks for taking the time out for this and all the best for the future! Last Words?

Thanks for having us man! We wanna of course say thank you to TPF Radio/Webzine/Magazine for sniffing us out and contacting us. It’s underground magazine’s like you guys that not only bring some of the biggest ripples to a band’s career but the most enjoyable ripples to the listeners ear. We want to thank our fans from all over the world for your continuing interest and support. The extent of this album’s success is entirely do to you guys; we haven’t had an opportunity to tour (yet), haven’t been working with any labels or distribution/promotion companies. It’s all derived from your sharing music with each other, and we are honored to be such an apparent part of that giving. We would also like to thank our closest family and friends who have supported us from the very beginning, and continue to. We couldn’t have done it without any one of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Or in the words of Alex Lifeson, “Blah blah, bluh blah blah, blah blah. Blah blah.” See you on the road! 

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