Monday, March 10, 2014

Epistasis Interview

1.     Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

The band is currently in the best line up yet, and we’ve all really solidified as a unit. We’re all very excited with the new material, and have around 4 new songs in the works right now. Looking forward to releasing our new record in April!

2.     You have a new album coming out in April, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your first album?

The new recordings are pretty much a completely different band if you compare them directly with the first record. With the first record we were still finding out what worked and what didn’t. One huge difference is the line-up change and the addition of myself on vocals (in addition to trumpet). The direction we wanted with the new recording (compared with the old one) is a sound based much more in black metal. We wanted to write a record that had more riffs to grab onto, something that was more accessible while still retaining some experimental and surreal elements. Of course there are still elements of noise rock, classical and some prog but it’s much more subtle and there is a very unified sound and concept.

3.     Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?

Theo is our lyricist and I think his writing is really striking. A lot of it is inspired by the surrealism produced in Europe between the First and Second World Wars.

4.     What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Epistasis'?

When naming the band I was trying to find a name that wasn’t a typical heavy/dark/harsh music name. I can’t remember where I ran into the word epistasis originally. It’s a biological term defined as: “Epistasis is when the effect of one gene depends on the presence of one or more 'modifier genes'”. I thought that was an interesting definition and when transferred to music really fit the initial sound concepts I had for the band.

5.     What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I would say our two best shows recently have been the show we played with Car Bomb and Imperial Triumphant at the Acheron a few months back and our most recent show at Trans Pecos with New Firmament and Oneirogen (if you haven’t heard these two, you need to) and we have a really killer release show lined up on April 6th with Kayo Dot, Pyrrhon and White Suns.

Our stage performance is primarily straight forward. We don’t wear any elaborate costumes or clothing, but I would say we have a unified “vibe”. We’ve recently incorporated live video projections by Jessica Lynch, and will continue to do that from now on. The content of the video projection is inspired by the lyrical content of the songs.

6.     Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

We definitely do. I’m currently working on booking us a series of mini tours through the northeast (NY, MA, CT, MD etc) and that should be unfolding soon.  I would eventually love to expand and do a tour to the west coast or the southern states as well. We want to try and play a lot more going forward

7.     The new album is coming out on Crucial Blast, how would you compare working with this label to The Path Less traveled which released your previous album?

Path Less Traveled was a nice place to start Sean is a really good guy.  With that first record we had raised the funds to press it ourselves via Kickstarter so working with Path Less Traveled was more of a partnership rather than a “we’re signed with you” relationship. With Crucial Blast things have been wonderful. Adam has been very enthusiastic about the music and we’ve got really nice packaging in the works for the record.

8.     On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

So far all the responses I’ve heard from people outside the US have been very positive. I haven’t heard much from the new material yet, but I have received a few enthusiastic emails from some people in Sweden and South America that are into the music. I think once LTDG is released it will be received well worldwide.  

9.     What is going on with the other musical projects these days that of the other band members are involved with these days?

Quite a bit actually, Pyrrhon recently signed with Relapse Records, so they are going to be going on tour this month with my good friends Psalm Zero. They’ll be playing SXSW and a lot of other great shows.  My other band Couch Slut (which Kevin and I both play in along with our lyricist Theo) is playing more shows and we’re currently finishing up recordings for our first album, which should hopefully be done very soon! 

10.Where do you see this band heading into musically during the future?

I think our current sound is a pretty good indicator of where things are going to be for a while.

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

This could end up being a gigantic list, but I’ll keep it brief. I’d say the core stylistic influences would be late 20th century classical music, black metal, prog (on the heavier side) and a little bit of noise rock. Some bands that I would say directly influenced the music would be Virus, Ved Buens Ende, Peste Noire, Shudder to Think, Island and of course a lot of my good friends bands in the NY scene (Castevet, Kayo Dot, Krallice etc.).

Lately I’ve been listening to a very wide variety of stuff. What’s currently on my ipod now: Island, Pat Metheny, Popol Vuh, Emperor, Shudder to Think, Virus, Woven Hand, Castevet, Broadcast, and Peste Noire. I tend to rotate through varying artists month to month.

11.What are some of your non-musical interests?

Photography and photo based art take up the majority of my non-musical time. I studied photography for my undergraduate degree, so photography is extremely important to me. I also spend a lot of time doing design work for my own projects and freelance based stuff.  When I’m not thinking about art or music I love spending time with my cats, my girlfriend and am a lover of good films/movies.

12.Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?

Nothing crosses my mind. Thanks!

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