First, we would like to thank you for the great review you have done for us. The response has been positive to date. With regard to the finished product, we knew it was different, but never thought of it as special. I think the level of creativity is very high, but that is how I wanted to present things, something new and provoking. Being creative is kinda coded in my DNA I think. Runs in the family.
2. You list garage rock as one of your influences. What bands do you consider to be garage rock and can we still hear it played today?
I think I didn’t write our introduction very well on our website. I was in a rush to get it online before we started posting a lot of stuff and getting feedback. I just haven’t had a chance to write a decent intro. What I meant by Garage Rock was that our musical backgrounds were from playing in garages (literally writing and recording in a garage just because we were broke as kids and teenagers). I don’t have any specific affinity towards a garage rock style or sound. If the music is good, it will sound good done professionally or garagesque.
3. What are your backgrounds in music?
Max is all over the place. He has a lot of experience playing and teaching Jazz, Progressive Rock and Metal percussion. Mine are simplier. I started playing as the writer/guitarist for Nepenthe and Ligeia (black and death metal respectively) in the early 90s. After the release of the Ligeia demo ‘In Death Overshadow Thee’ in 96’, I dropped out of the music scene entirely. Trillion Red is the first thing I have done musically since 96’. It stems from my love for all music that is dark, be it Opera, Jazz, Blues, Americana, Indie, Rock, or Metal.
4. What are the influences you rely on when writing? Is there one key band that got you into metal?
I would say there are bands when I was 11 or 12 that got me into Metal, but they don’t have any influence on me now. Order From Chaos’ ‘Crushed Infamy’ Demo sold me on Metal when I was 14 though, and they still inspire me in certain aspects. Various bands that actually influenced this EP would be Shiner, The Life and Times, Beherit, Calexico, Steve Wilson, Burzum, Grave, Triptykon/Celtic Frost, Grails, and Minority of One.
5. In press material the band talks about not wanting to be redundant. Do you think it’s just black metal that is redundant at the moment or something all genres are struggling with?
I think all things pertaining to humans in the 21st century endemically lack creativity and ingenuity. Entertainment and music just happen to be decent examples of this devolution. When speaking on a more micro level, yeah the Metal community suffers dearly from this. You wisely mention Black Metal as an exemplar of over-regurgitation. It is a genre I still love, but the dregs of its beauty started disgusting me around 96’/97’. Too many clowns jumped in the mix, and then too many clowns started cloning a cloning of a cloning. It amazes me bands still are mimicking the Norwegian Black Metal sound (one style of Black Metal, not the only). That isn’t creation; it is properly digesting, then intentionally vomiting, and eating the vomit again and again and again. Some would call it insanity. I call it mental laziness. That goes for War Metal too. Blasphemy and Beherit did it perfectly. Do we really need a bunch of other bands doing exactly more of that? I don’t think so. Another example that hints the bankruptcy of the Metal scene would be the impulse to create new genre names when it isn’t necessarily needed. I noticed (since I started paying attention again) that the blogosphere and online zines alike over-abuse prefixes like ‘pre’ ‘post’, or ‘Neo’. Post Black Metal? Seriously? A last note of this rant, the Metalcore sound doesn’t justify a zillion bands in that style. It just isn’t that cool. Ah…I feel better now.
More after the warp:
6. Along those same lines I talk in the review about TRILLION RED not being the normal wailing/moaning ambient black metal we hear all the time. Are you guys just in a happier place or more confident in your music than most of your peers when writing?
I hope you don’t think we sound like Black Metal (I am guessing that is not what you meant), but yeah, we are generally happy and confident guys. I can say I enjoy my life and am happy. I am very confident about my writing now, and that is because I write in a selfish vacuum. Artists need to constantly remind themselves to stay in that dark hole of a vacuum or else run the risk selling themselves short by considering what others think. When I was 15 years old writing material for Nepenthe and Ligeia, I was very uncertain of my capabilities; so much that, it was very difficult for me to finish writing a song. I was too concerned of others opinions, i.e., would they think it was heavy enough, boring or had been done already? A lot of this is all about age, but also having a vision.
7. Is there any thought to touring? There are only two of you.
Indeed! Just two fellers… There are thoughts of touring, but not ‘yearning’ thoughts. I think Max wants to tour pretty bad, but for me, the idea of traveling for long stretches and playing the same stuff every night doesn’t wet my thong underwear. It honestly sounds terrible to me. If the stars aligned and in some way Trillion Red became an actual equitable moneymaking machine, then I would add mates to the equation and play live. Don’t see that happening though.
8. What’s next for TRILLION RED?
An 8 (possibly 9) song debut album coming out in very early 2012. We are getting ready to record this month. We just signed our EP and our full length to a record label. The album will carry the intensity and adventurous side of the EP, but be more concentric in approach. Like the EP, it is less hook oriented, and more focused on taking a cerebral trip with a beginning, middle and end. These songs will take even taller, heavier, longer and deeper hellish roller coaster rides, yet still emitting shades of light and lulling clam states. That sounds crazy, but that is really what I believe and intend it to do.
9. With the amount of ambient metal flooding the market right now, if not you, do you see someone pulling away from the pack?
I like to think of TR as Dark Indie rather than Ambient Metal (there I go, making up a genre name, shame on me). When we posted the website and wrote a promo earlier in the year, I was in a rush, and just threw the word ‘ambient’ in there because I didn’t know what else to label TR as at the time.
History aside, I didn’t know there was a lot of ambient metal bands coming to the fore these days. I hope we weren’t unintentionally jumping on some bandwagon. That would personally be a cruel ironic joke that I could laugh about till the end of days. What bands do you speak of? I am not disputing you, but just asking in curiosity. Maybe I might like it!
10. When it’s all said and done, what do you want people to say about TRILLION RED?
“Provoking”, “mind bending”, “timeless”, “inspirational”, “original”, “new”, “brilliant”, “never gets old”. Down ego, down! I think I am going to be sick…
11. ANTHRAX or TESTAMENT: why?
Testament – because they not goofy.
GWAR or SLIPKNOT: why?
Slikpnot – because I never gave GWAR a listening chance.
RAP or Country: why?
Country – because I like Junior Brown a lot.
Katy Perry or Lady Gaga: why?
Whichever one is hotter and has bigger tits. I am guessing Katy Perry….Yep, after doing a Google image search just now, I would say Katy is it.
Thank you Trillion Red,
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