It has been four years since your last full length album "Town Like This" which is quite some time. I would have to guess that the band went through some tough times. Could you please elaborate a little if possible? Do you think that the band would have released "In Therapy" sooner if it wasn't for those troubles?
Times have been tough and the struggle for survival has kept us strong and defiant. We have all had problems to deal with and things to tolerate but in a way it has inspired us to push for this accomplishment and achievement. Alan has been close to breakdown on a few occasions and so at times he needed time off to recompose himself and deal with his ghosts. He also gets paranoid of everything, even whilst in the studio doing his vocal performance - suspicious and panicking. THINE is his best friend and his worst enemy. It is both an institution and an also elaboration of conscience. This is why the album title is appropriate because it is a document of our ghosts up to this point in time. Our second album was originally intended to be recorded as early as summer 1999, but many things have delayed us, even though we never split up or stopped writing. Time frustrates but has not concluded as a regret. Everything happens for a reason in the eyes of an optimist. At times we even thought Alan may be dead because he seemed to erase himself from planet earth for a while. Happy times indeed.
Dan Mullins left the band this year and you picked up Rich Swift rather quickly. Was this easy to do or did you have to hold auditions?
We had three people in mind and the other two cancelled themselves out so Mr Swift was our man. He was the right man for the job though. Dedicated and quiet. He showed up to our first rehearsal and had learned all of the songs and executed them well. We didn't need to look any further. He was in another band at the time with our bass player and then they split up. Things had been quiet for a few months after Dan left and I was worried about that 'bond' with another drummer because Dan was the only drummer we had worked with. We are lucky.
Could you consider THINE an Emo Rock band because your music is so damn emotional?
I don't know....The music is emotional to an extent but it is also more cold and calculated at times. It is like a plague of the mind and a very up and down kind of album. I don't think it portrays emotion in the same way as bands that sing about love and loss type themes. It is more observational and dark and tragic because of it. The lyrics are mostly bleak but the music is uplifting which is supposed to be the contrast. It is a reflection of optimism. Our lives are dynamic - not consistent. We are kicked down - we get up again. We are content - we are stabbed in the back. Our imagery is desperate and real although sometimes exaggerated. It is like a film in that often you must exaggerate what you are portraying to help the audience to understand or comprehend where you are coming from. We are more cold-emo or something without wallowing in self-pity. Maybe that is secretly wrong because we all adore self-pity. Attention warms the soul...Labelling scares us anyway.
The U.K. has produced bands such as ANATHEMA, PARADISE LOST and you guys just to name a few. Just like ANATHEMA, you guys present a lot of emotion to your music, but that is where the similarities stop. THINE seems to add more up-tempo music with drab lyrics and Alan's vocals are moody and emotional. How important was it to make sure that you don't sound like any of the other bands in this genre or did it just come naturally?
We were aware that there would be similarities with certain bands but we never cared. Our main objective was to base the songs around the vocals and form more of a verse/chorus structure. We have had comparisons with many bands- lots being very successful and commercial ones. I listen to none of these bands so it is interesting that people can link certain sections with such a large variety of bands. The Anathema comparisons were expected because their style and background of genre is a good comparative reference point when trying to explain a band's style. We did not want to sacrifice our art for the sake of the ultimate individuality. If we had tried not to sound like a certain band, we would have sounded like a different one anyway. Running eventually becomes very tiring and you have to stop at some point.
I have heard of the band for a little while now and I finally got my first taste of you guys when you were on the Peaceville compilation released last year when I bought the last KATATONIA-CD. I was very impressed and hoped that the rest of the disc delivered and it did. Do you think that it was good promotion to release your single on the comp first before releasing the full length to get people armed up to your new CD?
We had some good feedback from that song so it had the desired effect, although we were initially worried about how the new material would be received because our style has changed considerably from the first album. To us, the style has not changed suddenly because the change has come gradually over the years between albums, but to the fans we had to re-introduce ourselves and so the compilation CD came at the right time. I do not know how many people it reached though and that version of "In Therapy" was a demo version that we recorded in Summer 2000 and was never intended to be released. From that session we also recorded a version of The Bar and a slower song called Bleak Blue Hour which was going to be on the album but was left off because by that time we had too much material.
The songs on "In Therapy" are very dark and sad. Do these songs come from everyone's experience or one person's? Perhaps you just felt like writing this just for fun?
I hope that the lyrics are written in a way that helps others to relate the analysis to their own experiences. Generally, the lyrics are from a personal perspective. Alan's lyrics are almost a cry for help and are quite isolating - fighting himself and the world by himself. My lyrics can be related to certain things that I have witnessed closely. It is my observation and they deal with mainly a specific person....or maybe two. It is how my comprehension affects me. I know how insignificant things are and how petty people are but still I retain spirit in this failing race. The lyrical content does not spill over into anger because they are too carved and too calculated and too suppressed. They are the demons that I want to toy with and access and to let them hold me back. I create more upbeat music to help ease this great bleakness, otherwise we would not be dynamic. We are reflecting the fact that life is depressing but you do not have to worry or let your troubles overcome you. People say that the album is more a work of negative emotion yet I feel it is more a work of balance and realistic state of mind. This is not for fun - it is Therapy. It is sad because life is a rejection and a very lonely place. I have tried to live as an optimist but people make it difficult and usually it is people who really should not be doing so. Maybe I am too serious...HA.
"Homewrecker Extraordinaire" is really intense because it talks about a man choking his wife after cheating on him. Where did this idea come from? It's truly intense!
I think you know too much.... Originally the lyrics were from the perspective of a man choking his wife but then I changed this so that there are neutral gender roles. It is the conflict of relationships which can of course be witnessed from two perspectives (or maybe more, depending on circumstance). Obviously my viewpoint when writing was from the intense state-of-mind of the male figure but to me it is a love song. It is only a person's image of what they would like to do to their partner, not the real action. I think the idea came from the line "Look outside cos there it goes ... Stomping through the rain". I was imagining myself looking through the window and thinking of what I could do to this person who I love and trust. There are elements of reality in the song but the futility is that you usually end up hurting the one you love the most and that is my confusion. You can imagine killing the people who you hold closest and in some cases this rage holds tragic results. It is a song of suppression for a questionable duration... You have scared me with your psychic knowledge of the theme in a rawer form.
THINE seems to be sort of mysterious. You don't see a lot of press written about you except for here (hahaahaa). The releases are far and few in between and you don't seem to tour a lot. Are you trying to present a mystique to the band or are you just waiting for the right moment to do a tour?
It is not intentional, believe me. It would have been easier if we played a more stylised or typical form of Metal but that would have been against our interests. It annoys me that certain bands get lots of attention and are not too special, yet the wave of hype carries them through and I can think of a few bands at the moment that are like this. However, this is how the music business works and so it is the survival of the fittest and most seemingly essential and appropriate at the time. Credit to all of these bands. There are certain factors which keep us in the shadows but in doing so we become a source of intrigue for those who want to seek out fresh albums. Our exposure has not been maximised yet our reviews have been mostly excellent. We are like an enigma, if an under-exposed enigma. I don't know if people like bands that do not fit the puzzle anymore. People like to know what they are getting nowadays. Every purchase is a gamble.
Your two track release "Journeys" in Œ97 was rated highly by every mag and "The Blue Tape" made its way through bootlegging. I know that you are probably always asked this question, but will you ever consider releasing those songs somehow again or just let them be?
Well, the Blue tape songs appeared on the first album anyway (Feathers & Roses and Re-animate the Masque (re-recorded obviously)) so there is no real need to release these. The demo tapes can rest in their coffins and never haunt us again...Just kidding... They were very good for the time and quite advanced for our stage of development but I don't think people would be bothered about those songs anyway. I didn't even know that anybody possessed the Blue Tape outside of the band. 10. How much of a difference is there if any from "In Therapy" compared to "A Town Like This"? A big, big difference. "A Town Like This" was very progressive and experimental. We were being compared to bands like GENESIS, GONG and KING CRIMSON which was interesting. We incorporated many different styles and atmospheres and as a result the album sounded quite schizophrenic as it kept changing direction and tempo. It was an accomplished album and original. I believe it was the first Metal Noir album. It was hard for people to get into though because it was a big pot of ideas. It was very dark and philosophical, with the lyrics being very imagery based and symbolic. It was an album of chaos in a twisted, crippled world. "In Therapy" is more simplistic and dynamic and consistent and mature, although still dark without being too dependent on atmospherics. We used no keyboards on this album, except on Bleaker Audio, but instead used many layers and dual melodies and made the vocals the focal point. It is more disciplined and ordered yet still free. It is a parallel to our lives. We began as individuals trying to discover meanings and muse (not the band). Our chaos as represented on the first album was about how we perceived the world and its opportunities. "In Therapy" is a band battered by experience and perception and so it is the soundtrack to our (and hopefully your) existence so far.
2002: In Therapy (CD, Peaceville)
|© 2000-2013 The Metal Observer. All rights reserved. Disclaimer|