“TOMBS” INTERVIEW by David Maloney
We’re gearing up for a busy year. When the record comes out, we’ll be on the road quite a bit.
You have 3 studio albums and 3 EPs released since your inception in 2007. Your 4th studio album, The Grand Annihilation, is set to drop in June 2017. What can fans expect to find on this album? Do you consider this a concept album? You yourself have said that this is a “very dark and introspective record that digs deep into the common ideas of mortality, infinity and the cosmic mysteries”. Could you tell us more about the idea(s) behind this statement?
It’s not really a concept album in the sense that a Pink Floyd record is considered a concept album. All of the Tombs records have a specific theme to the time frame that the record was written. That’s just the flow of things. A lot of the record deals with the primal side of being human, using metaphors to express our wild nature. I’ve also done a lot of writing about the rise and fall, the cyclical nature or reality, the universe, modern civilizations. Stuff like that.
It’s also stated that you are not interested in appeasing your audience or modifying the music you make in hope of creating a larger audience, is that accurate? That’s an interesting stance considering the buying public is the bread and butter of most bands, isn’t that fair to say? Would you like to add or further explain these statements?
I’m not entirely sure I said that, so don’t try to put words in my mouth about this kind of thing. I make music that I want to hear, not music that I think will appease any sort of audience that might be out there. I think that if you’ve been following the band these past few years, this is nothing new. Making with the intent of commerce over creativity is a failure. Sure, you can be Kanye West and create these wildly successful, weak and uncreative statements to commercial success, but I’d rather be satisfied on a deeper level with my creative output. I appreciate anyone that is into the band. I like that more people seem to be paying attention to what we’re doing, but that doesn’t influence anything that I do. I keep my feet planted on the ground.
I usually stay away from generic genre mongering questions but in this case I’m compelled to ask what genre or mix of genres do you consider Tomb to be? I’ve read people label (I hate labels) Black Metal, Sludge/Doom to being called Post Metal.
If you stay away from questions like that, then why ask me? I think we’re a metal band with a lot of different influences. Back in the old days, bands made music with a variety of different flavors to their music and people just got into it and enjoyed it. Take Led Zeppelin for example. They have a heavy blues thing going on, but their sound changed from Zeppelin I to “In Through the out Door.” Did anyone ask them is they consider themselves a Post Blue Rock band?
What else inspires you to write? What bands have given you inspiration over the years? Can you tell our readers what bands you currently listen to in your down time and what is your thoughts on the future of Metal and all its subgenres?
I read a lot; Graham Hancock, books about mythology and the occult. I’m currently reading “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman, I know I’m kind of late to the dance on that one, but I was a fan of Sandman. I haven’t checked out the American Gods TV show, but it looks cool. I just finished up a book on the story of Isis and Osiris in Egyptian mythology. I love horror movies as well and I think that they inform some of the writing and atmosphere of the band. I really like films like “The Black Coat’s Daughter,” a slow moving, moody film about demonic possession.
As far as music, I’m all over the map. Lately, I’ve been into Atriarch a band that people should check out if they haven’t already. We don’t sound alike, but there is a threat of common interest between us and Atriarch. Fotocrime’s new single “Always Hell” has been on my turntable quite a bit.
The usual stuff such as Godflesh, Swans, various black metal like Dissection and Watain are also getting regular play. I still listen to “The Satanist” by Behemoth though it came out awhile ago. I also like Nergal’s newer project Me and That Man. “Ceremonies” and “Zoon” by Fields of the Nephilim get a lot of play time around here as well.
You can feel the passion and diversity in your music from one album to the next. Do you feel you have grown as a band and as artist and as individuals?
Improvement is probably the driving force behind Tombs. I always want to keep moving forward creatively and I think that I’ve been successful to a certain degree. I take changes and that’s the nature of improvement. If you stay in the same, comfortable space you never grow.
What are your thoughts on the political and religious landscape and the effects on the current world we live in? Does it as well affect your songwriting process? Digressing from music for second what are your personal thoughts on religion, politics in general?
I don’t have any religious affiliations even though I find it very interesting in an academic sense. Religion is a way for people to try to explain their world; it gives comfort for people to believe that there is a higher power guiding their path. I think that the universe is mostly chaos and that our primate propensity to pattern recognition is what deludes us into thinking that there is any sense of order.
It’s interesting that you lumped politics into this because back in the ancient times, they were closely related. Religion, at least the Judeo-Christian / Muslim style of religion was a way to control people, make them afraid so that they can be manipulated. To a certain extent that mechanism still exists; look at the way politicians try to appeal to certain factions of the Christian faith to get more voters.
So what do you have in store for the second half of 2017 heading into 2018? Where can your fans find you this summer?
We’ll be out on tour for the rest of the year after the release of the new album.
In closing I would like to thank you again for taking the time to speak with us and I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.
David Maloney/MHF Magazine