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Latest Episode #45

Alan Averill

● Why no new anthems
● The recording stresses
● The real story of 'Storm Before Calm'
● "I wont play computer games with fans"

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#44 - Sigurd Wongraven - Satyricon

#43- The dark art of Chelsea Wolfe

#42 - How Ken Coleman made Morbid Angel's artwork

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Tribulation | Interview with Adam Zaars

They are the band that have leapfrogged so many of their peers – the band who’ve taken a risk not once, but twice, in albums of surpassing difference.

They’re not the norm. They’re artists, and they have a vision. So now ‘The Children Of The Night’ has sunk in a bit, we figured it was time to talk once again to Tribulation.

A Necessary Formula

Last time we talked, you opened with saying how you’d been getting some ‘expected bullshit’ over ‘Formulas’.

With that album you clearly showed that you were on a path to much more interesting things. So has the reception for ‘Children’ been a bit more considered?

People like what people like, and that’s fine. I don’t expect people who only like Death Metal to like the new album, because it’s something else.

The critics seem to really like the album, which is cool, and fans also seem to like it. It’s nice to see that you can do something different and people still follow you.

A lot of the people who hear it now haven’t even heard the early stuff so in some cases the early stuff doesn’t even matter. But it feels like Formulas was really necessary to show people what we were about, that we were able to do something weird that still had quality.

It sounds like the record you ‘ve been bursting to make all along. Artists always say ‘it wasn’t a conscious thing…’ but this style sounds like its been gagging to get out for years, and that now is the right time. Would that be about right?

Sure, in retrospect that sounds about right. ‘Formulas’ was necessary in order to get to this album, but it’s wasn’t really like we felt like we had to do Formulas in order to get some place else.

That was what we were really about back then; we didn’t create it as just a step on the ladder. So in a way it wasn’t a conscious thing at all but maybe a predictable thing.

But it’s not like we’ve found this comfortable space now where we’ll settle in and get lazy and write four albums that all sound the same. Or at least I sure hope we haven’t, hehe.

Whatever visions we have for the future now will most likely change within a year or so, but I can say that we’re already ever so slightly moving into some new place. We’ll see what happens.

There’s a Hammer Horror vibe to it, and a bit of cheeky fun in there. What were the main inspirations, aesthetically and lyrically for it? One can’t help thinking of old movies…

I have to say that we have the most serious intentions with pretty much everything we do even though it might come off as cheeky fun to some.

I understand why of course, and I can honestly say that I love old horror cartoon aesthetics, Silly Symphonies, Disney, Hammer, whatever… so yes we do incorporate that in pretty much the same way as a band like The Misfits did, but I still hope that it’s being viewed with a serious eye because we’re not merely doing this for fun.

I find this aesthetic to speak to me in different layers. The bat isn’t just a bat, it’s a key to a door in the mind, a vampire can be a gateway to steer who ever is listening into the right mind-set that we intended, or any other mind-set for that matter.

We use this as tools with which we present whatever atmosphere we had in mind when creating the music. In the mind, or in my mind at least, these images don’t stay cheeky fun, they transform into feelings and memories and create a very particular vibe that is very familiar as well as serious to me.

Sort of like a drug I guess.

The production is so, so brilliant. Full of dynamic and range. Was it a case of perfecting that and crafting it, or simply plugging in and rocking out? The drums especially are so natural.

I was pretty much only plugging in and rocking out and our producer Ola Ersfjord was turning the knobs.

Only after we explained how we wanted it to sound of course. We went to one studio to records the drums because it had a very good room for that, apparently, and then we went to another one to record the guitars and the bass and then we went to yet another one to records all the additional instruments.

So we always went to the studio that we needed in order to get the right sound. But the sound we were after was pretty much drums sounding like drums and the guitars sounding like they we played through a Marshall amp. That’s a pretty good start! We also wanted a big sound and a very “natural” and “professional” sound on this one.

No Clean Singing

Do you foresee the next album being the Clean Vocals album?

Hehe, no, I don’t. We might have some clean vocals, who knows, but we won’t change like that I think. I would be very surprised.

Would it be fair to say that Watain’s career trajectory is something of a forerunner to your own? I know the music can hardly be compared, but there does seem to be a shared acceptance of rock show fundamentals if nothing else.

Sure, we share similar views on sticking to tradition and doing something on your own at the same time it seems. We have all listened to a lot of different music alongside extreme metaland it seems like that’s starting to show.

You’re undoubtedly one of the most interesting bands in the underground to watch at the moment. Who do you think is worth keeping an eye on, or who are you impressed by?

Glad to hear that! I haven’t been paying attention to anything new in the metal underground lately, we’ve been so busy with the band and on tour it’s usually the old stuff that’s being played. I can mention Vircolac who I’m sure you’re familiar with, their demo was really good I think. Terminal is great too, probably the best metal I’ve heard in years.

Interview by Earl Grey ::: 03/08/15

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