Back in the middle of February, Chicago-based doom band Flesh of the Stars put out their third LP, Anhilla. It’s a phenomenal record that fuses elements of classic progressive rock, doom metal, and a lot of movie score influences into a very moody, atmospheric sound. Since I live in Chicago, we got in…
A few months ago, I received an email about a post-rock compilation. Naturally intrigued, I started to dig deeper. Apparently this compilation was focused on the idea of “global” music, featuring bands from all across the world. As I kept digging, I soon came across A Thousand Arms, the label behind the compilation but also a repository for merch and other album releases from some of my favorite bands including We Lost the Sea among others. Naturally, I was intrigued and I started speaking with C.J who manages the label alongside another partner. What exactly was the motivation for this compilation? What is A Thousand Arms exactly, if not a label in the traditional sense?
These questions led me to finally sending C.J. a few questions over email as an interview, to try and get some answers. His answers are posted below, unedited, and represent an interesting look into a part of the music industry fans might not always get a glimpse of. Read on for musings on post rock, post metal, global communities, live music and much, much more!
Sometimes, I get to do really cool things as a music journalist. Sometimes, I get to do amazing things and this is one of them. Arjen Lucassen, AKA Ayreon, has been a musical hero of mine every since the first notes of The Human Equation played in my ears, right after I had purchased the album in Paris (I was there seeing Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. Good trip). It was a split earphone cable arrangement and I was listening to it with one of my best friends, who had insisted I get it. Sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed; vocal lines by some of the my favorite singers (James LaBrie, Devin Townsend, Mikael Akerfeldt, Devon Graves, to mention just a few) echoed in my ears, set to amazing, progressive instrumentation. An obsession was born; over the next few years, I bought every single Ayreon album I could get hold of and start following him fervently.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of catching up with Cade Gentry (bass), Alex Linden (vocals/guitars) and Zach Johnson (vocals/guitars) of doomsters Bereft (who just released a great new record titled Lands). Like any legitimate conversation that takes place in Wisconsin, we met for a couple of beers at a local tavern and discussed important things like which chain makes the “best” shitty pizza, how Def Leppard may or may not suck, and the merits of quality TV like Forensic Files and Designing Women. Most of our time was spent talking about how these regular dudes came together to put out one helluva heavy-ass record (seriously, check it out).
If you’ve followed Heavy Blog over the bast few years, you’ve likely noticed our affinity for Australian post-rock quartet sleepmakeswaves. We highlighted them in our Taxonomy on modern visionaries in their genre; listed their latest album Love of Cartography as our sixth favorite album of 2014; and even wrote them a Love Letter. With their latest album Made of Breath Only on the horizon, William France – one of our very own Aussies – spoke with bassist and keyboardist Alex Wilson about the upcoming record, the band’s politics and crowdfunding.
There are some punk bands that still manage to subvert the grand cliches, both musical and stylistic, that overtook punk. One of those bands is Canadian hardcore/punk/experimental heroes Fucked Up, a band who has never shied away from pushing punk to its very furthest limits, effectively achieving the goals punk initially set out to accomplish. Recently I was lucky enough to talk to their drummer Jonah Falco about exactly what inspires Fucked Up to constantly push the boundaries of punk music, as well as their most recent release, Year of the Snake.
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving is one of the most interesting post metal bands out there. From the far reaches of Perth in Australia’s wild west, their heavily improvised and experimental sound draws from sounds as diverse as jazz, drone, prog and much more. A very difficult band to categorise, their…
In 2015 we told you that Chaos Divine had the goods, and today we’re lucky enough to speak with them. Starting off as something of a melodic death metal band, Chaos Divine have gradually evolved into the progressive/alternative rock sound which Australia has become famed for. We speak with them about their fantastic 2015 release Colliding Skies, their experiences with crowd funding, the Australian scene, what it’s like being a band from the isolated west coast of the country and, of course, eggs.
Today we’re joined by none other than the mercurial Gods of Eden from Sydney, Australia. These progressive metallers earned a rave review with 2015’s exceptional debut LP From The End of Heaven, a release which found itself right up there on our 2015 end of year list and helped inspire our Beyond the Veil column. Grandiose compositions, enchantingly technical guitar playing, cinematic soundscapes and diverse vocals are the name of the game here, and we’re predicting big things to come from these guys. Without further ado, let’s get into it and see what they have to say about the concept behind their debut, what their new album will sound like, the Australian scene and more!
Known internationally for his work with Shearwater, Smog/Bill Callahan, the Angels of Light, Swans, and Devendra Banhart, Thor Harris is also a legendary craftsman whose woodworking skills are apparent in the handcrafted percussive instruments he employs – Monofonus Press. Our latest piece in this series on protest music and art is an interview with Thor Harris, he of the crushing soothing percussive sounds behind Blog faves, Swans, and lately more notorious for having been banned from Twitter for either a video on how to punch a Nazi (don’t do it unless you have to) or for images used on his profile. YMMV.