The music and the sound is most important…
With their new album Earth Ground recently released, Thaw’s bassist/vocalist M. took time out to speak to MR’s Jason Guest about the writing, the recording, and the ideas behind the album, the evolution of the band, and their upcoming European tour with Behemoth and Bolzer…
Thanks for taking time out for this interview and congratulations on Earth Ground. Your first full-length (reviewed here) was one of my top 5 of 2013 and this album is up there for the best of 2014.
Thank You! We’re glad you like it so much.
Earth Ground is Thaw’s second full-length. What did you want to achieve with it? Were there any specific goals that you set yourselves?
We just wanted it to be better than our previous release. We’ve been trying to analyse every aspect of this record and I think we achieve what we’d like. You can hear the evolution of the band. We’re still Black metal but there are much more influences.
Did you have an idea of how you wanted the album to sound or did each of the tracks and the whole thing take shape as it was being developed?
We like how the band sounds live and we wanted to have that present on our record. But we also wanted it to be a record, not live-studio-album so we’ve added some stuff during recording and post production. We’ve also experimented with some other gear, not only our guitars and amps.
How did you approach composition for the album? Is there a process that Thaw follows, such as lyrics first, then guitars, etc…?
Usually it starts with a riff or basic arrangement. Usually A is the guy who’s writing main riffs. Then we’re doing most of arrangements during rehearsals. So we have most of the music ready before studio. All lyrics and vocal lines were created in the studio. I needed to experiment with my voice (this is my first record as a vocalist).
Is there a theme, a concept, or a philosophy that underpins the album?
It’s not a concept album if you ask about that. But we wanted to achieve consistency. Basically everything is based on same type of emotions. We don’t want it to be obvious. We enjoy if anyone can discover his/her way of listening and reading our music.
What are the lyrical themes? And where does inspiration come from?
This was the first time I was writing lyrics. A lot of them are some kind of stream of consciousness. Some of them are based on certain image or emotion I feel at the moment. I’m not able to work on the lyrics for months or even days. Most of them have been created in 10-60 minutes. I’ve been listening to music, waiting for inspiration to come (haha).
Can you tell us about the album title, its meaning and its relationship to the music?
It’s related to the sound. You know the phrase that you can see on guitar amps “this unit must be earth grounded”? That was inspiration and I think it fits the music really well.
Musically speaking, does Earth Ground mark a progression from your 2013 album?
We hope so! I think Earth Ground is much better album. Arrangements are good, we’re really happy with the sound and it sounds as one massive unit, not songs compilation.
The artwork for the album is very striking. Can you tell us about the design and what it represents?
The idea behind artwork is style of old jazz records. What’s the graphic? We won’t tell because we get different interpretation and we enjoy to read them.
Who’s the artist? And why did you choose to work with him/her?
Main graphic is a photo made especially for this release by A and Dominika Gardocka. All the rest is made by Marcin Lojek. He also made artwork for our self-titled album. It’s a great pleasure to work with him.
Which is more important to Thaw, the music, the lyrics, or the atmospherics?
The music and the sound is most important. It creates atmosphere that are then completed by vocals and lyrics.
Each of you has been or is in other bands. What does Thaw offer that those bands perhaps didn’t or don’t?
I don’t know. We know each other from different bands but for me, Thaw is the band where everything works as good as it can. I think we just found our way of expression with this band. We’re all different people but Thaw is one thing that we’re all have in common.
How did you come to work with Witching Hour Productions? And do you plan to stay with them for future releases?
It’s really simple. We’ve been looking for a label that will accept our terms of working and Witching Hour turned out to share our ideas. We’re really happy to work with them and it’s highly possible that we will work together in future.
Decay / Advance, a compilation of your early demos, has recently been released. Why choose to reissue these demos?
Actually it was WH’s idea but we wanted to do something like that because these are good musical materials and they deserve proper release.
What does the future hold for Thaw? Early days I know as the album has just been released but is there more music in the pipeline?
We already think about next releases. We have some experimental stuff that we hope to release in 2015. And we will start working on new songs for next regular record really soon. We’re in creative mood right now. You won’t wait 3 years for another album.
In April 2015 you’ll be touring with Behemoth. How did you get involved in that tour? And what are your expectations of it?
Last year, we’ve been touring with Behemoth in Poland. They are really big right now and it’s great thing to play gigs like that. Our label helped us with this tour and we’re so excited to play our first Euro tour with Behemoth and Bolzer. We hope more people will hear us and that we will be able to tour more in Europe after that.
Any other gigs or tours planned? And will we be seeing you in England any time soon?
Yep. We’re playing in London 07.03.2015 and we should play some more gigs before or after that gig in Germany and Belgium. We’re open for other offers so if you’d like to book us, just drop us an e-mail.
Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Hope to see you at our gigs ASAP.