Interview: Tomas Haake (MESHUGGAH)

Interview: Tomas Haake (MESHUGGAH)

Coming in fresh off a month break taken after a hectic Europe/US/UK touring run, Meshuggah are stopping by some dates starting off this weekend in support of their recent release, The Violent Sleep Of Reason. I spoke to drummer/lyricist Tomas Haake in relation to their approach to writing their 8th full-length album, it’s overly positive global reception, and why they won’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. — I don’t know how much you guys are aware, but you peaked at 9th on the Australian ARIA charts for the release week of The Violent Sleep Of Reason, which, in my mind, is insane regarding how Meshuggah’s music might not be the most accessible to many. Has the band been able to take in the success and reception among all the hectic touring you’ve been going through? Not really … I mean, it’s one of those things where you hear about it and see figures from Australia and we go ‘holy shit, that’s fucking amazing’, and the label and everyone is stoked but at the same time, those things are really hard to put your finger on. You hear about it and say ‘okay, that’s really awesome’, but at the same time, you’re focused on what you need to do (in terms of tours). Like you said, especially with this niche music that we’re still doing, it’s fantastic to have any kind of response like that, and to have an album be something that means something to people … and that’s something to us. That’s very humbling and cool. Regarding the album, how far in-between the completion of Koloss...
11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Blunt Shovel

11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Blunt Shovel

At a time where I don’t write much about music, a good friend of mine told me that I should do an article about Blunt Shovel, a death metal band from Melbourne. To be blunt (heh heh), I am a shit interviewer. And, to some of the people who read this, Blunt Shovel is a shit band. And, those two things go hand-in-hand – like beer and daddy issues – you can’t have one without the other. That being said, it’s time for another installment of 11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands, featuring Blunt Shovel’s guitarist Luke Walton. — Can you explain the correlation between listening to your music and rapidly advancing male pattern baldness? Thanks Lenny, thanks for having us. The new album comes out January 17 through Goatsound / Gamla Records, we appreciate the kind introduction. What would you say is most unique about your blend of current trends? We’d love to do that one day, but for the moment we’re concentrating on shows within Australia. We’ve got a string of shows lined up to launch the new album and we’re looking forward to hitting the road. Has anyone really been far as decided to use even go want to do look more like? For this album, we were more really been far as decided instead of trying to use the to even go want to do look more like. It made more sense at this point in time. Does the bassist pitch or catch? He has to catch. He’s too well hung to be allowed to pitch. Have you seen that thing? It’s as if god felt bad for...
Interview: Mike Zarin – GONE IS GONE

Interview: Mike Zarin – GONE IS GONE

Starting off as a side-project as movie trailer and video-game scorers, Mike Zarin and Tony Hajjar (ex-At The Drive In), Gone Is Gone have quickly built up a solid following from writing some damn good atmospheric music. Sure, you can also take into account that with Troy Van Leeuwen (QOTSA, A Perfect Circle) and Troy Sanders (Mastodon, Killer Be Killed) on board, it was already destined for something special. Riding on the success of their debut EP and with their first album just released, I was lucky enough to speak to mastermind Mike Zarin about the groups take on writing, scheduling … and how much he loves our name. — Hey Mike, how’re you doing? Firstly the name of your company is gotta be the best thing I’ve ever heard, ever. I’m ecstatic right now, you have no idea … I have a sticker on my refrigerator that says ‘Your band probably sucks’ [laughs]. That’s so good! Mike, first off, congrats on the reception of the EP. How have yourself and Tony (drummer/co-writer) taken it so far? We’re excited! We’re pretty floored by the reception of the EP … we didn’t know what to expect and the fact that we’re getting such good reviews from all across the world is humbling to say the least, I’m not gonna lie. Absolutely! Regarding the EP sessions, how long did it take to piece it all together, even in regards to getting the guys together? It definitely happened in bits and pieces … we wrote that back in 2013 (the music) and over 2014 we were mixing the music and sending it...
11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Zeolite

11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Zeolite

Zeolite are three blokes from Tasmania. Yes, Tassie. That tiny little island full of breathtaking landscapes, fine wine, and meth. They’re hitting the road next month with Melbourne lads Bury The Kings on The Only Curse Tour, so we thought we’d catch up with frontman Fraser to have a chat about chicken nuggets and half-naked children. Cheers. — Do you have riffs? If not, why do you feel it is acceptable to constantly dog the boys? Do you guys know what the definition of a riff actually is? A riff is defined as a cluster of notes in sequence in a song, the only way to not have a riff is to not have guitars, even if they are opens (TAKE THAT). We’ve been known to have guitars, thus the odd riff. We even have multiple notes. But sometimes the boys need a good doggin’, it’s good for them. Take that however you please. Why do the large majority of bands in your genre sound exactly the same as the bands in that genre ten years ago? Ever heard of progression? Or are you just happy to keep beating a dead horse before an ever dwindling audience? Progression is dead. Art is cyclical. Unless you are actually talking about beating off dead horses? Our kinda thing. Have you ever watched a movie? It’s exactly the same fucking thing. No one has original ideas, you just re hash an idea from 10, maybe 20 years ago, and everyone is all over it as creative genius/plagiarism. Which? Seems to be a flip of a coin. Can you give us a rundown...
11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Deadspace

11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Deadspace

Deadspace are from Perth, so right away we are off to a bad start. I’m not saying you should automatically assume they are shit because of that one fact, but … actually, yeah I am. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Anyway, they were dumb enough to answer our 11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands, so here’s their answers. If they don’t make any sense, don’t say we didn’t warn you that they are from Perth. Cheers. — Do you have riffs? If not, why do you feel it is acceptable to constantly dog the boys? We did have riffs but Shining stole them all. Why do the large majority of bands in your genre sound exactly the same as the bands in that genre ten years ago? Ever heard of progression? Or are you just happy to keep beating a dead horse before an ever dwindling audience? When we were kids we always wanted to be astronauts. Being in our 20s and still waiting to hit puberty, we thought we’d hang out and throw tantrums together. Maybe one day we’ll be able to get into bars without getting ID’d and take ourselves more seriously. Can you give us a rundown of your gear? How much did that cost your mums? My mum opted out of the abortion so she could buy me a microphone … much to her dismay, it didn’t work out too well for her. Do you actually think that breakdowns are a good songwriting technique or are you just pandering to the five kids in mosh shorts that stand in the middle of the room at...
11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Black Rheno

11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands: Black Rheno

Black Rheno are a huge misnomer, on account of none of them being black, or named ‘Rheno’. Personally, I would urge everyone to form a class action and sue them for false advertising, but considering they look like they would be hard pressed affording a pack of durries between them, that could prove pretty futile. To add insult to injury, they sent their drummer, Doug Martin, to answer our 11 Shit Questions For Shit Bands, so if the result is unintelligible gabble, you’ll understand why. Cheers. Do you have riffs? If not, why do you feel it is acceptable to constantly dog the boys? I don’t. I just play drums behind Nano’s riffs, but I’m sure there’s something he’s keeping from us. He is Spanish after all … Why do the large majority of bands in your genre sound exactly the same as the bands in that genre ten years ago? Ever heard of progression? Or are you just happy to keep beating a dead horse before an ever dwindling audience? 1) We have created our own post-modern style “Shoe Soul”, so that’s irrelevant, and 2) If you know us, then you would know we love to beat anything dead in front of an audience. We just keep beating and beating until it bursts! Can you give us a rundown of your gear? How much did that cost your mum? Pearl Master’s Maple kit & Hardware, Zildjian/TRX cymbals, Cympad cymbal felts, and Inferno Music Blackbolt Sticks. My mum? Nothing at all. Though the one night I had at your mumma’s certainly funded a good chunk of it. Do you...
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