James is touring on bass with tech/death masters Enfold Darkness and is preparing for the release of their second album. Stevie just graduated from art school, Brian has been working on his comic book and I have been busy running my record store and playing guitar on a number of projects.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
We're a bit more polished on this record. We still incorporate the genre and style changes that we used on the previous EP, but we tried to not stray from the original song idea as much as before. If there was a certain strong melody in the beginning of the song, we would try to tie it back in to the middle or end of the track. The one exception to that is Beloved. It was written and even performed when Stevie and I were in the band Christine. It's a bit more raw and sprawling with ideas than the rest of the record
3.This is your first release in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Recording the record took about 2-3 years on and off. Then we spent close to 2 years looking for the right label to release it. In that time, James has worked with Enfold Darkness, I've toured with Rwake, The Protomen and Scott Kelly of Neurosis. Stevie was knee deep in college, and Brian's been working on his comic book.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer music?
I wrote a bit about the divorce I went thru leading up the formation of this band. Stevie wrote a lot her daughter and the relationship with her daughter's father. Stevie also has some pretty vivid dreams, so those always make their way into our jams.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Laser Flames On The Great Big News'?
It was a phrase blurted out by a mental patient that Stevie used to work for. She was cooking dinner for him at his home, and he became upset about the images on the nightly news. When Stevie asked him what was wrong, he pointed to the tv (which had a video of a local apartment complex engulfed in flames) and screamed out "There it is, laser flames on the great big news!!!"
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We've had the fortune of sharing the stage with some of our favorite bands (Torche, The Body, The Sword, Pallbearer, Kylesa, Weedeater, Zoroaster, Elder, Rwake) but Nashville is really a tough market to build a fanbase. There's so much music every night, so getting someone excited about paying $$ to come see you play is difficult. We always have a blast when we play Little Rock, Arkansas. It's like a second home to us, and the appreciation for music there is more organic and honest. Everyone is really into all types of music, as long as it's played with a bleeding heart.
Our stage show isn't anything beyond us just getting on stage and doing the best we can. Our songs and style are all over the place, so setting a mood isn't really in the cards, unless the mood is to "expect everything"
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
8.On the new album you had a few guests, can you tell us who they are and also their contributions to the recording?
On "Open, Dead and Doomed," we had Steve Austin of Today is the Day sing a line at the climax of the song. When we sent him the track, we thought we'd be getting back a high-pitched TITD-style scream/yell from him, but he sent back this very spooky/witchy spoken part. We loved it so much that we even changed a couple things to the song in order to fit what he had done.
On our first ep, we really wanted the hellmouth yell of CT from Rwake somewhere on a song, but the timing didn't work out. When we got started on this record, and "Beloved" in particular, we knew exactly where we wanted his voice to go. He, like Steve, has one of the most unique voices in all of metal, and we were happy to create a space for it on our record
9.The new album was released on 'Wood And Stone Productions', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
They are a Middle Tennessee duo who have been releasing cassettes and CD's of their own personal projects and other acts they're interested in for the past few years. They have a wide range of tastes from black metal to noise to video game soundtrack covers. Great dudes who believe in the bands they support.
10.How has the feedback been to your musical style so far by fans of harder genres?
Some heavier folks don't get it. Maybe they think the genre melding that we do is some sort of gimmick, or kitschy, but it's how we feel and it's how our musical minds and hearts work. If they don't want to let their guard down for us, then that's their prerogative.
11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
James plays guitar for Enfold Darkness, and they have a new album, Adversary Omnipotent, coming out on July 14 on The Artisan Era. I've been touring as the guitarist for The Protomen over the last 3 years, and I spent this past February/March touring with Scott Kelly of Neurosis as his lap steel/auxiliary player. I also have a couple recordings out with Seafood Hotline, a 3 piece alt-rock with whom I play bass with.
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We always want to become better songwriters, but not conventional or one-dimensional. I guess our goal would just become better versions of ourselves.
13.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?
We have a few songs that are not on this record that are very much influenced by bands like Virus, Deathspell Omega, Tenhi and such. Those are the bands, to me, that are reaching beyond the physical world that we live in and are touching the unmanifested. As for what I've personally been listening to lately, there's always a healthy mix of Neurosis, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Alabama Shakes, Virus, Zebulon Pike, Spirit Adrift, and more.
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
I like to brew beer, Stevie and Brian are both artists, and I think James is just a musical machine.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak about our art. The world is a big place, both beautiful and dark, and we hope that what we do adds to it all