The band’s recent album, The Hunter, has been out for a few weeks now and it has been getting great reviews thus far! The Quietus are currently running an interview with Troy and Brann – the guys met up with The Quietus to discuss The Hunter and the process of how it came about – check out an extract from that interview below:
I understand that a lot of the record was written on the road this time?
BD: Yeah, during the Alice In Chains tour. We cancelled a European tour due to Bill getting sick and we came home from that not feeling that great about our situation as a band – we knew we needed a break and we knew that it was for the best that that happened, but we kind of came home to like [sighs heavily], y’know what I mean? Like, fuck man! We’re not machines, we’re not robots, as it turns out we can’t just go and go and go. But then we did the Alice In Chains and Deftones tour and those two bands are two of the most inspirational bands you could go out with just because of what they have been faced with and the obstacles they have had to overcome as bands – Chi’s situation with the Deftones and Alice In Chains’ lead singer is dead… I mean, he died – that’s crazy! So the fact that they’re up there doing it and sounding great – it was just a great tour to be on, it was the perfect tour for us to be on to close that chapter of Crack The Skye.
So, yeah, during that tour we had amps set up backstage and the guys would be back there messing around, just playing guitar and coming up with stuff and a lot of riffs on the new album came out of that.
Looking back on it, just how refreshing was it that you were creating without even really thinking about it?
BD: Oh, totally! It was just dudes back stage messing around with guitars; I’d hear Brent playing something and be like, ‘That’s awesome, I got to go get my phone!’ So I’d get my phone and I’d record it, then a month later I’d be at home listening through all the riffs I’d collected and there was just a bunch of really killer stuff; I was just like, ‘Man, I swear to God there’s the skeleton of a kick ass album just sitting in my phone’ and Troy was like, ‘Dude, you better back that shit up man!’
TS: Yeah, I was like, ‘Pleeeeease plug your phone into your computer because if you lose your phone we’re going to lose a whole album!’ So, in early 2011, when we did reconvene in our rehearsal space, the first four, five, six days of that were basically Brann pouring out the ideas he’d collected on his phone, and sifting through these riffs that…
BD: [Interrupting] ‘You guys remember this?’ ‘No!’
TS: …And so the first week was having Brann’s phone re-teach us cool riffs that we had come up a couple of months ago – it was kind of different!
BD: And then things kind of grew out of that on the spot. He [points at Troy] pulled out a riff that turned into a song called ‘Dry Bone Valley’ that he found on some little dictaphone…
TS: …from the Tool tour in 2006!
BD: He was like, ‘Man, I’ve always really liked this riff.’ [imitates riff] So yeah, we were like, ‘Cool, there’s another song,’ or, ‘That’s a good starting point for that song.’ Early on we had a good skeleton for an entire record but then some things happened, life got kind of life-y and started dealing some cards that we weren’t expecting, so we were just left waiting, but also just enjoying our time at home. I wasn’t in any big rush to get back on tour. I wanted to take the time to let things happen, go to some hockey games, cook my own food and hang out with my wife and be a normal person for a while, whilst also going down to the practice space whenever anyone could get together to try to work on stuff. We always knew we had something cool that we should work on, but we could see this tour…
TS: The summer tour was due to start June 1, and this is around the beginning of April when these ideas were bouncing around. So we knew in less than two months we were going to Europe for a seven week festival run.
BD: We really needed to figure out what the hell we were going to do, for real. Like, are we going into the studio, are we not going into the studio? We’re actively working on some songs and if we get to the point where we dig ‘em, but we don’t have enough for a record then what’s going to happen to these songs if we go away for like two months? They might not have the staying power, y’know?