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This is 'Liberation through Amplification.'
Sunday, 16 March 2014
Interview with BEAST IN THE FIELD
- Aaron is talking to Doom/Stoner Metal Duo - Beast In The Field. The
brilliant Instrumental band who have released 5 albums to critical
acclaim. Their latest release - The Sacred Above The Sacred Below -
is an 71 minute blast of epic Doom/Stoner Metal riffs that ranks as
one of the best instrumental rock albums of 2013.
let's get down straight to business with Jamie and Jordan from Beast
In The Field.
to the Sludgelord, pleased to talk to you guys and welcome. First of
all, Congratulations! Your new record is something special. You must
reflect upon it with a sense of a pride?
We do. We believe it is our best. We are proud of everything we have
done but this is really super special to us. We have gone through
quite the process to get this out on vinyl.
Let’s kick things off, who are you, state your name (s) and
My name is Jordan Pries, and I do not have a purpose. However, I do
play guitar in Beast In The Field.
Jamie Jahr. I play drums. Load gear. Bunch of other things. Behind
the scenes stuff.
Summarise your musical journey (s) this point?
I suppose it's rather difficult to summarize one's entire musical
journey if a few sentences. I can this this, however, it is a never
ending journey. It has been, and always will be, a path to continue
with, and to learn from. It is a constant path that teaches, makes
you struggle, that takes and provides. Music has been the largest
provider of life lessons for me.
Long and hard. Like a little known Black Sabbath tune from the
Eternal Idol album, "Hard Life to Love". There are so many
good things. Even the bad things with band life can be better than
say, regular job life. Beast In The Field began on March 1st of 2007
though. Making us 7 years old recently. Recording wise we have 5
full length albums out and a soon to be released live album coming
What can fans look forward to from you in 2014? How is your schedule
Fans can look forward to new tunes, and more shows. We always have
something up our collective sleeve to keep it interesting.
Shows and more shows. Hopefully a few short tours. Tons of shows.
Writing new songs for a multitude of releases. Some of which may come
out in late 2014. New merch and a release of LECHUGUILLA on vinyl and
a special version of GOAT ISLE SEANCE on cd.
What springs to mind when you think about the completion of your
suppose I think of when we first started, and how we've always talked
about doing a record like "The Sacred Above, The Sacred Below".
But we never wanted to force anything, so we just had to let it
happen. And six years later it happened, and for me, it turned out
just how I envisioned it would.
Tons of hard work and struggle with certain aspects of it. The road
blocks that were thrown in our way have made us stronger and it took
at least the art aspect of the album back to the beginning with a
twist. I love the new album completely.
Who handles song writing duties?
I believe we feed off of one another. I can only think of one, single
riff I wrote when Jamie was not present. I feel if we are going to be
a single unit, we should write as a single unit. However, if
inspiration hits at a certain moment, I won't let it pass by.
Seems we get together, Jordan may have a riff or two and we just
start jamming. We keep working on it until we both dig it. Sometimes
we will have a theme or idea on a feeling but thats about it.
How long was the gestation of your new/current opus from conception
We started writing "The Sacred Above The Sacred Below" when
we first started in 2007. Like I said before, we never wanted to
force anything, so we let it culminate to this, what it is now. It
may not always work out this way, but it did for us, for this
particular record. I suppose it was six years in the making, but it
only took a two days to record it, haha. When we finished that last
note, I remember thinking, "That's it? I can't believe it's over
so quickly". But that is how Jamie and I like to do things in
the studio. We like live, raw, material. We perform that way, so why
not record that way?
Totally what Jordan said. We have one song, "Oncoming
Avalanche", that we have had since almost the beginning of the
band. But slowly over the summer of 2011 we started kicking out some
new songs. We recorded early in the spring of 2012 on one song, like
4 hours and the rest in I believe it was November of 2012. It came
out on cd in March of 2013 and finally out on vinyl just less than a
The artwork is really great, was it designed with a particular
physical format in mind? Who designed it?
The artwork had to go with the concept of the album, especially since
we do not vocally sing. We try to express what we are trying to say
with our instruments, the artwork must reflect that.
We tried to make the artwork fit with the idea of the album. We added
a book with a little story to make the songs work a little more. I
designed the artwork for most of our albums with the exception of the
vinyl version of WORLD ENDING. That was done by MARK RUDOLPH. We try
to make the cd version and vinyl versions different, but similar.
As a music fan yourselves and given that music seems to be so
disposal at times, how is it to a great package to your fans, and yet
not alienate them by producing something which is not affordable.
What are your thoughts on the finished physical product? What format
is/will be available?
me, art, music, writing, etc... has never been disposable. If I like,
or love something by an artist, then I will buy his, or her work. I
have artists in my family that have been doing "this" since
the 60's and 70's. I know their struggles, and the toughness that
goes with being an artist.
Never has it been disposable to me. I have huge collections of cd,
cassette tapes and have begun the process of vinyl. I rarely sell
anything back. I also have huge amounts of posters and such through
out my apartment. We would love to bring every format that is
possible to our fans. I also take great pride in thinking we are
giving the fans a ton of product for their money.
Speaking off, getting a record out there are you a) Indiegogo
(crowdfunding) or b) career no no
rely on our label, Saw Her Ghost Records, touring, and Facebook. As
of yet, we have not gone through a source like Indiegogo, or
I can see it for certain things. If I like a band and would like to
see them continue or fold...I would contribute what I could. Bands
are just like anything...good times, bad times, rough times.
Sometimes they might need just a little push over the hill they are
facing. We have had one contribution, with which we are extremely
grateful. Although we did not ask for it. We love our passionate
friends and fans.
The best and worst things about being in a band?
Music is always something I've had a passion for. I then realized it
was something I wanted to do forever when I was 13. Playing music,
and creating something from nothing, was, and is, something that
astounds me. Even though I am not the best at it, it's still "mine",
something I've created. And sharing that, creating with someone else,
is the most satisfying to me.
"worst" thing about being in a band, if you can call it
that, I suppose is the sacrifice. We have to give up a lot things to
do what we do. Like we miss spending time with family, friends, and
other events that are happening that we might not be able able to
see, or go to, because of practice or a gig. But we do this because
we love it. If we weren't enjoying it, we wouldn't do it.
The best is being on stage for me. Connecting on many levels with
people, on stage, behind the merch booth, after the show, before the
show. Great times. The time we get to hang out with all our friends
throughout the country. The bad for me is missing my cat.
Influences and heroes, what are turn offs and turn on’s?
I have a love/hate for this kind of question. I always have the
mindset of "Rob" from "High Fidelity", "Favorite
music in a club, in a car, on a sunny day, when, and where are you
talking about it"? I'll narrow it down as best and as easy as I
can. My dad is my biggest influence, because he played in bands in
the 60's-80's. I always loved what he did, and was able to see him
perform a number of times. He even cut some 45's in the 60's, and
they are wonderful. I love listening to them. The person who made me
want to play guitar was Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine.
The guitar player who told me to "never stop working hard",
was Buckethead. The guy who made me want to have great tone was
Stevie Ray Vaughan. Those were my beginnings, the guys who showed me
the ropes. Since then I've gone down the rabbit hole and never
returned. I find influence in musical engineering, amplifiers, tubes,
recording techniques, microphones, guitar pickups. Each component has
its own factor that makes me react in a certain, yet different way.
Like if I were using a Jazzmaster through a Primier 112, I wouldn't
play the same thing as if I were playing a 60's Les Paul through a
60's Marshall. Those factors make you think differently about what
you are playing, and I love that about gear.
To me it started in the bedroom with the Bay City Rollers. Just
pretending to be them all. Playing all the instruments. It moved on
to my neighbor and BLACK SABBATH and VAN HALEN. All the late 70's
stuff. It spread to hair metal, thrash metal, death metal,
everything. I love music. Working with my Dad when I was young I
would be listening to country, I know all the words to many ALABAMA
songs. Almost all music is a turn on. All art. All life is. The first
original band that made me want to pursue original music was BLIND
ADDICTION. Saw them one night and the just killed it. From then on I
searched out other like minded souls and am still on this journey.
Any record from the past or present that springs to mind?
Right off the bat I would say Vinnie Bell's first "solo"
LP. He was a studio cat from the 50's-70's. It's a tough record to
find, but if you see it, buy it! It's all instrumental cuts of pop
hits. His guitar playing is out of this world, and every song sounds
different. He must have been using multiple guitars and amps on each
song. The record is all around gold for me, nobody plays guitar like
that anymore. The only person that resembles him, to me anyway, is
Dick Chicklet of The Concussions, and FUZZrites.
All Black Sabbath and Van Halen with David Lee Roth are huge
influences. I can not pick just one.
The last album that kicked your arse?
The last album that is still kicking my arse is "Fantasy Love
Affair" by Peter Brown. I think it's the perfect Disco/Funk
record. And it actually makes me cry because it's so good. The track
"Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me" is a perfect song. It's so
well-written, so catchy, and so dancy, you can't not love it. I wish
I could write songs like him. It's one of my favorite LPs.
Soooo many. The last one that I think I kept playing over and over
was, "GUESSING GAME" by CATHEDRAL. I love a ton of new ones
though. Wow, truly tough question.
What was your first instrument or musical experience and what do you
My first musical experience that I can remember, was a kid's drum set
that I received as a present when I was 4 or 5 years old. I believe I
also was given a guitar, but can't truly remember. I didn't play them
as much as I did trash them. I mainly play guitar today, it's what I
feel most comfortable on. To be exact, I love electric guitar. I love
being able to plug into multiple guitars, and amps, hear different
tones, and feel the electricity, so to speak.
Drums. I only know drums. First kit was when I was like 5. Destroyed
it. When I was about 12 I used to drum to everything, Van Halen,
Scorpions, you name it on a homemade, out of small containers that my
Dad would bring home from work. I used a chair with loose screws that
sounded like a hi hat. I used the mattress of my bed as the rack
toms. Destroyed it. Sorry Mom.
One item, gear or otherwise that characterises your band and one item
from your set up you cannot live without?
I cannot live without my 50's Crown HiFi tube field recorders. They
are the best piece of gear that I have come across. And without the
help of my good friend, Johnny Hi-Watt, they might all be laying in a
landfill somewhere. They have a class A sag, and a HiFi sound unlike
anything I've ever heard. It was the height of HiFi in the USA, and
Crown spared no expense in making these. I could go into more detail,
but I can't let the cat fully out of the bag.
We both dig older sounding equipment. They made things better back
then. I use Jordans 1966 Ludwig or my 1980's Pearl World Series kit.
Pro-tools versus old school?
We're old-school dudes. We record live to tape, because it's as close
to a live concert as we can get. Pro-tools makes editing easier, but
I can't ever see myself using computer based programs to record.
There is so much energy, and life lost I feel when using computers. I
like my stuff to be inscribed into something, not relayed to a
All the bands I have been in have recorded to tape. I think that is
pretty rad. I don't think I really wanted it that way but that is how
it has turned out. BEAST IN THE FIELD is a rehearse, play the songs
live and go into the studio and record it type of band. That's the
way we like it.
Has their been much opportunity for your band to do live shows and is
playing live still as important today given the influences of the web
and social media ?
There is still nothing like a live show, especially if you really
enjoy the band you are going to see. People tell us that they like to
"experience" us live, which keeps us going, and wanting to
do more, and more shows. Sometimes we do not translate the same way
on record as we do live I think that is because each time we play, or
anyone plays, the setting, atmosphere is different than the last.
There is never one element that is the same. Things keep moving
forward, whether you want them to, or not. You just have to keep up.
Our genre really dictates that we play live. Plus we love it. Like
Jordan said people come for the "experience" of a BEAST
show. Hopefully you leave hurting....in a good way.
Who are some your favourite bands you have toured with and what have
been your band highlight (s) thus far
My favorite band to tour with is (was, because they are now broken
up) The Nain Rouge from Detroit. They were/are good friends of mine,
and it was like being at a summer camp everyday with them. They are
all so fun, and funny, and their live shows were so good, there
weren't any bad times to be had!
highlight for me was touring with The Black Dahlia Murder. It was the
first "real" tour we've been on, with stage plots, riders,
catering, etc... The thing I couldn't get over were the sound guys,
how they had to comply with our setup. They were all so nice, always
asking what I wanted mic'd up. It really made me laugh, and smile a
lot. The BDM guys were all super nice, and so fun to be around. We
instantly became good friends with them. We can't thank them enough
for such a memorable lifetime experience.
Oh man. Loaded question again. This is tough. I love so many bands.
The Nain Rouge, just for being there from the beginning. We cried
when we played their last show. I dug the shows with KEELHAUL and
YAKUZA. THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER tour was the most fun we have had.
Great guys and crew. All the bands we met with them. I love to tour
with bands and get to know them and hang before and enjoy their music
everynight. Antique Scream, The Octopus, Ozenza, Apostles, Old
Vikings, Whaler.......man, so many. I'm forgetting so many rad bands
What are your survival tips for the road ?
I always have to know where the vegan restaurants are, haha! Besides
playing shows, eating at vegan restaurants around the country is the
next best thing.
Sense of humor. Dry clothes. Love for the road. Be prepared to be the
first in and the last out.
Vinyl Junkie or Ipod flunky? Discuss
Erph, vinyl. I have an iPOD, but have never opened it. There is so
much music to discover on vinyl, that there just aren't enough
lifetimes. I could find 1,000 LPs per day, for the rest of my life,
and still want to hear a million more. The amount of things released
on vinyl is astounding, from Private Press, to European, Turkish,
Iranian, South American, the search is endless. I don't understand
how finding a whacked-out Iranian disco LP has the same effect as
downloading a track from the new Yeah Yeah Yeah's. Also, listening to
an iPOD really hurts my ears. They really seem to fatigue one's
listening capabilities quickly. Vinyl has never done that to my ears.
And if you listen to, say, "Passport" by SKYY on vinyl,
then on CD or mp3, you would find yourself saying, "Where did
all the low-end go? Where did that guitar go in the mix, why is it so
harsh sounding?" Vinyl, baby!
I am a fan of the physical format. Any format. I dig vinyl the most,
but due to listening to music at home the least, I love cds and
cassettes. The van still only has a cassette player, which is broken
at the moment. It would be awesome to have a brand new van with an
iPOD with tons of songs, just for the convenience and space.
Finally, do you have any final comments/word of wisdom you’d like
to bestow upon us?
I realize many people say this, but do want you want, and do what
makes you happy. If you put all of your effort(s) into something that
is satisfying you, you cannot fail. Bill Cosby said, "I don't
know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is to try and
The devil said it best "DO WHAT THOU WILT". Thanks for
having us. We appreciate all that dig what we love to do. See you in
2014 and beyond.