Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Isosceles Mountain - Doom and Bloom (Interview) - June 10 @ Magic Stick

Martin Smith thinks Isosceles Mountain may be "hard to stomach for, say, someone just showing up to a show..."

It might just be that the noise-dabbling/hard-rock trio (with Dave Graw and Eric Maluchnik), are you're typical "band's band..."

Or, perhaps "the nature of what (ISC/MTN) is doing..." Smith said, namely, "no vocals," requires a bit more effort on the audience's part... "or...you need to be stoned."

But this isn't overly wrought/hi-brow ambient stuff,

...and it's not exactly a John Cage-ish marriage of Tortoise and Mogwai (though that might give you some taste of it). It's not some overly-prog-soaked jam thing.

It's definitely, though, sonically exploratory

Let's get the story:

"It was kind of a fluke," admits Smith, who comes to this project having played in spunky-indie-punk quartet Thunderbirds Are Now. He had demos done on Garageband ominously/tellingly titled "Doom 1 / Doom 2 / Doom 3..." that aimed to channel "Jesu through an Earth filter."

One night, Child Bite's Shawn Knight needed a band to fill-out a bill and when none could commit, Smith decided to do the show "as an outlet to thrash these 'Doom' jams I had. This is when Dave (Graw) came into the picture."

Smith had known Graw for a while, but knew limited in depth-info about him, that: "He was a sweet drummer" and "had a reputation for being a bit of a shit-kicker..."

"...I'm not sure what I mean by that, but, it's a compliment." There only real connections came from having their respective band's, either TAN or, in Graw's case, Heads Will Roll, playing shows together. Smith got a hold of Graw, out of the blue, sent him some 'Doom' and "he was in."

New Grenada's John Nelson filled out the trio, initially, blending guitar / drums / synth / pedal / more guitar / ...and variously errant/teased-noise/feedback... But Nelson soon drifted away to focus on Destroy This Place. Since Eric Maluchnik recorded their EP at Tempermill, he wound up joining the band, more or less.

"We all really knew we wanted to be part of something that was like nothing either of us had done before..." Smith said. But he's definitely not implying that ISC/MTN are "inventing a genre," merely "pushing ourselves out of comfort zones" and then, finding -and galvanizing, whatever it is they find in those outer zones... The goal: "getting away from the stagnant habits of writing and playing music.

This was a band whose initial motivations "weren't really musical." The idea was to tear up any typical band blueprint.

The sound blends dreamy drifts with lumbering roars - a tough, gnarled groove and a bruising percussive stomp -blurred up by feedback on some trips but blunt and cutting with guitars on others...

Currently, "we're working on a concept for an album," namely, it's "storyline." Smith said that during this process, he's been listening to some "Phillip Glass" while the band tries "to think in terms of classical music, i.e. Movements, Suites, etc. That being said, we haven't actually written a complete song in a while, so we're looking forward to it. Hopefully it'll have a movie-soundtrack-vibe."

Writing, recording, performing, "we're all on the same wave-length, which helps in the improv-sections of live shows."

Smith self-deprecatingly shrugs that he might be the odd-man-out in this trio (which looks to add the element of the bass guitar, permanently, soon). "Although, that quirkiness that I bring to the table pretty much permeates within the styles of everyone, which definitely gives us our vibe..."

more info

June 10 @ the Magic Stick -w/ Earth.

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