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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Calques Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Sure. We are a raw punk black metal band from Montgomery, Alabama. We are a two piece. And we make music that sounds like garbage because we don't know what we are doing. But there are enough people that know how to play this kind of stuff correctly and i'm tired of listening to alot of it. We wanted to make something rougher and more amateurish because that is what i've been attracted to more lately. My name is Austin and i'll answer the questions and give the other dude in the band, Adam, a break.

2.How would you describe the musical sound  that is presented on the ep?

 We are trying to play black metal but can't get past our raw punk and industrial roots. No tough guy posturing or any of that crap. Just riffs and urban noisescapes between songs. No atmospheric melodic echo parts or anything to try to make you zone out. No epic note progressions to attempts at making tension swell up. I like some of that stuff in other bands but it's pretty cringe worthy when you fail at it. We probably couldn't trick you with it even if we wanted to. I hope you listen to the album and just hear the everyday grind of waking up and dealing with the bullshit of existing in a city. 

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

A character that is complaining against the set goodness of the rules of nature or the outdoors.Basically, I've not gotten to travel or get into the outdoors much since I've had a kid last year. I live downtown and I work with people that mainly work trying to help the urban poor. I think about the city way too much and I have gotten used to people being around. It makes me feel safe where as I usually wasn't. I live in a kinda small house and I'm just always around people. So I was trying to explore why I am not really bothered by being in groups of people, where as some of my friend may have social anxiety caused by large groups of people.

I thought it would be interesting to explore that in the lyrics and then blow it out of proportion. The turning it against nature thing is because I'm basically tired of so many metal and weird albums trying to condense nature into their albums. It's a cliché now. And so few of those albums actually manage to convey the immense grandeur of the sweeping mountain scape on their covers. I dig the music but very rarely do I visualize nature or outdoors on a lot of that music.

I thought I could somewhat approximate a sense of an urban claustrophobic cityscape or something like that with the lyrics and the artwork and maybe you could hear that in the music. Then I thought I would write it with sorta arrogant lyrics. Not totally transgressive like the characters in early Swans lyrics, but sorta damaged and with a flawed logic and a false certainty.

It was only my second attempt at writing lyrics for anything. They probably aren't any good and come off as amateurish. But I'd like to think that maybe they are at least a bit different than the standard black metal lyrics and I hope that it kinda comes off as a cohesive theme with the music and artwork.

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

There is no deep meaning. The definition is "an expression adopted by one language from another in a more or less literally translated form."   I liked the name. I feel like our music is not a literal translation from another language. It's probably intended to be but we didn't do a good job at it. Failed Calques would probably suit us better.

5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?

I'm hoping a few other folks that we are friends with hear the project and want to work with us at some point. But we aren't very charismatic folks and Montgomery doesn't have a ton of musicians that would want to play this kind of stuff. Metal musicians around the deep south tend to love groove and boogie rock riffs. Maybe because of that New Orleans sludge sound and Mastodon being from Atlanta nearby. I have no clue. But we don't really tend to write "fun" music. We also aren't the most outgoing people so I doubt anyone really wants to jam with us.

6.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?

There is talk. We are thinking about trying out a few things and seeing who will work with us on some stuff. I would love to be that terrible opening band that everyone walks out on to go smoke outside and talk to their friends.

7.The ep is going to be released by 'Sentient Ruin Laboratories', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?

Of course. That Mattia dude took a chance on us and seems to be very organized. He does a good job on PR.  But he seems to really have an enthusiasm for music which is more than some labels his size have. Some labels just find shit to package and sell to folks. I think he heard the EP and wanted to release it regardless of us having a fan base. That means alot to us. I think I only sent the unmastered demos to him and maybe one other label. But I really didn't expect him to be interested. I'm a big fan of what he releases. He does a good job curating his label with some dark heavy stuff that seems a bit weird. Buy a tape from the label. Help him recoup the money he spent on pressing this EP. I also love the label because he had a ton of patience with waiting on us to get the album mastered and get the artwork done. But besides us being happy with the label putting out our release, just check out that roster. A ton of solid releases with good packaging and a good constantly updated web presence so you know what is going on with the releases.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by black metal and other forms of underground music?

There have been some articles on some blogs I respect and read everyday. So that's pretty great. But otherwise, this is the first interview. So congrats. You're getting in on the ground level of telling people how uninteresting we are as people.

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

The first full album is totally structured out and most of the guitars and drums and noise parts are recorded. Some of the vocals are done. I'm really hyped about the upcoming album. We have very long harsh noise parts and clanging reverbed junk that i'm smashing together and recording. I'm expanding on some of the techniques I use in a harsh noise project i'm in called Hadals. I have audio cut ups i've run into an old sampler I have. There are some early Einsturzende Neubauten and Swans type parts. Plus there are still gonna be similar riffs to the first album with a few weirder ones thrown in. I plan on it still having a good momentum but it's gonna be covered in harsh live industrial sounds. It's really shaping up. I'm really excited about how it's gonna turn out.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I've been listening to alot of Sentient Ruin releases lately. I really like that american album he put out. I've started a band called Clawing with my buddies, Matt Finney and Jeff Mcleod, so i've been listening to some of their past releases lately. Otherwise, I follow some of the main blogs for the kind of music we play and stream alot of that stuff. I also own a bunch of vinyl, cds, and tapes so i'm usually putting in something different every day.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Probably the same stuff as most other people around. Nothing too interesting.

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

Thanks for digging the band.

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