Saturday, April 11, 2015

Third Ion Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

We are half done writing the next album, with drums and guitars already recorded. Lyrically, I have just a mess of ideas with not a lot of flow. Next step is to organize them into something that works with the music and is coherent.

2.You have an album coming out in May, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

I typically describe the band as nerdy prog. But that could be interpreted a few different ways. It's actually still quite powerful and heavy in sound, low guitar tunings and punchy drum and bass mix. The guitar sound is actually more saturated and mid-scooped than I had originally intended, but it works and I am happy with it.

3.On the album you had some samples from video games in the music, which video games did you use on the songs?

Unless I'm forgetting something, we only used stuff from Megaman 2 for NES. Anything you hear is actually just our music, in 8-bit format (like the end of Particle Displacement Mechanism). With the exception of the megaman "dying" sound at the end of the song 13/8Bit, we didn't actually "sample" the megaman songs, we constructed our own version with midi in Protools. This way we were able to easily make it the tempo we wanted, and make it in 13/8 time signature.

4.Your lyrics cover some physics and metaphysical themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

I daydream a lot. I wonder about the substance of time and space. I grew up watching Star Trek, and I listen to Neil DeGrasse Tyson's podcast every week. It just fascinates me. I am far from being a scientist myself, and I don't think I really have the brain for astrophysics but the topic is so interesting to me. I love to talk about it. I wish I had more time to learn. I also wish I could travel through space. Maybe in my lifetime? Doubtful, but you never know. Breakthroughs happen all the time. The sheer size of everything, the scope of the universe... leaves me in awe.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Third Ion'?

Aaron and I were trying to come up with something that sounded nerdy, really, and one of use just kinda of blurted it out when we were talking about something relating to 'third eye', how great that Tool song is, or something. We immediately registered the domain name and knew it was the right name for the band.

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

With the members spread across western Canada, we don't get together to play shows as often as we would like, but in the fall we did a 6 date mini tour and all six shows were really well received. The Regina show had a couple hundred people and was probably the best gig yet, with Calgary sticking out in my memory as well. That city made us feel totally at home, and the promoter kicked ass. The stage performance can go from aggressive to calm pretty quick, and there are so many nutty instrumentation things happening, people seem to just zone in on what we are doing. It's not as much of a headbanging band as every other band I've been in, but that's okay by me. We have a lot of ideas for producing a more visually enticing show in the future.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

We have two shows planned in July (cd release shows more or less), but unfortunately due to the members' locations and busy personal schedules, we won't be able to tour until October. Our availability for 2016 is looking much more promising and I'm already talking to people about bringing us further from home. So - nothing very soon, but lots in the works!

8.The new album is coming out on Glasstone Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

They were new to me when they approached us, but we liked what they proposed, and the contract as well - it is a very new-age record deal. So far I have been extremely happy with everything they've done. They are giving the album a high priority, so that is great news.

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

It's still kind of in the process of spreading out there, but for the bit of feedback we've got so far, people seem to love it. I think it's a bit of a nice change for some people, but everyone hears something different, good or bad, in music and ultimately only time will tell.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part off?

I left Into Eternity a couple years ago, but I'm going on a couple short road trips with them to do sound for them this summer, and they are putting out their sixth album, which I produced and played some guitar on. Digital Doomzday, which is a hybrid hip hop death metal band I am in with Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy, is also putting out an album this year. We are filming a video soon and playing a home town gig. Flo is an absolute treat for me to jam with. World class musician!

Tyler's full time gig is a solo singer/songwriter. He tours north america with his guitar, and has an extremely busy 2015. He'll be doing his next record this summer - he is just, in general, one of my favourite people and singers. I am very happy he is willing to put in some time in this band.

Mike and Aaron are both full time session/gigging/recording musicians with many projects on the go - to be honest I'm probably not aware of a tenth of them, and the really cool ones I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about. haha!

11.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?

Dream Theater (who I had a chance to tour with in 2007 - fan for life!), opeth, katatonia, alice in chains. I really like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, which live is one of the best shows I have ever seen. I have been checking out Between the Buried and Me "the Great Misdirect" lately, and also have been listening to Faith No More non stop. Album of the Year is one of my favourites!

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Video games, and coding. I have actually learned a bit of javascript and c# and have developed a few small games in Unity3D. Nothing that I've finished, just due to not having the time. Music takes up most of my time, but some day I will release a video game. Just for fun. I don't care to make money, it's just a hobby I enjoy.

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

Thanks for the interview, and keep us on your radar. The material for the next album is SO killer, I am already super pumped for it!

Label: Glasstone Records

Twitter: @Justin_Thidion
Instagram: @JB_Thirdion

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