Monday 22 April 2013

Interview with The Tragedy We Live In

The Tragedy We Live In cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing ace Belgian Noise-makers – The Tragedy We Live In – who I recently featured on the blog and one that made quite an impression on ourselves.

Their blend of Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal made an instant fan of their music. So much so I had to find more about this hugely talented band. And they have kindly agreed to answer some questions from myself. So lets get down to business with The Tragedy We Live In.

Q1 – Hi guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today.

Mathlovsky: Feeling proud lately, playing as many shows that we can, combined with my own project it gets quite busy but i wouldnt want it any other way.

Onbeschaafd : We are working on the new album as we speak and next month we are going on a mini-tour so everything is going great.

Q2 – For people not in the know, can you give them a brief bio on how the band came about.

Onbeschaafd : I started to make demo’s and putted them on soundcloud after I quit my job in the late 2011. In 2012 me and Mathlovsky started jamming with those demo’s ,then our bassist Sam joined the band in May 2012 and since then we are a full band. We always knew each other from other bands in our hometown. During that year until we recorded our S/T in November 2012 it were hard times for all of use emotionally so in the studio it all came together.

Now we are 2013 and the album is out since 1st of march!

Q3 – How would you describe your sound.

Mathlovsky: Experimental sounds with sludge, doom sounding riffs with some soft parts to balance the heavy stuff. Melancholic that hits you where it hurts.

Onbeschaafd : A mixture of tribal drums, heavy bass lines and noisy guitars.

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

Mathlovsky: For me personally i have many influences but i try to make my own drumming style. The people that inspire me to do my thing are Jonathan Davis, Zach Hill, Joe Duplantier and Richard James. For the drum sounds i think it would fit best if i would say Fall Of Efrafa and Kodo.

Onbeschaafd : Bands and artists like Jesse Lacey, Ekkaia, Fall Of Efrafa, Disclose, God is an astronaut, Alpinist, Neurosis. I try to keep open minded for every music. It always reflects on how you think of music,how you make music and how you make your own sound.

Q5 – Your have just released your excellent new album. Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

Mathlovsky: Recording it was really hard but very pleasing. It really was a emotion heavy year for me personally and i felt relieved of all these heavy burdens when i heard the album in full. Writing these kind of songs really helps me getting these demons out, i just love hitting my drums as hard as i can to really play this kind of music as honest as i can.

You cant fake what we are doing, when i'm throwing my drums around on stage it means it got to much in my head that night, playing shows can really fuck me up ha but i wouldn't want it any other way.

Onbeschaafd : We worked very hard to get everything in place but as all beginning bands there is not much time and money for the studio, but we did our very best and gave everything we got. We mastered,mixed en recorded everything on our own live.

Q6 – Are you happy with the final result. Would you change anything about it.

Mathlovsky: I'm never 100 percent happy with songs, there are always things you want to change when you listen to them again but i feel you've got to let go. When the song is doing, letting me feel what i am putting into, the song is done for me. The raw unpolished sound of the album really fits for us.

Onbeschaafd : It’s pure and live and that’s the way we wanted it to be.

Q7 – It is starting to receive some great press from the Sludge Metal community. Are you happy with the responses so far.

Mathlovsky: Totally ! We're really content and glad to see all these great reviews coming in, the crowd responses have been really awesome as well so we are really gratefull.

Onbeschaafd : Its always awesome to hear a great response for something you putted so much time and energy in. It gives us the courage to work on new material and bring something new en exciting for the fans.

Q8 – Where did you come up with the name from. It's a cool title and a rather tragic sounding one as well.

Onbeschaafd : I just popped into my head when watching a movie and I sounded great at the time when the demo’s where made. “The Tragedy We Live In” has always been more than a name,it’s the sound that the band make’s.

Q9 – Is there a gig scene for you guys to perform regularly in Belgium or do you have to travel further afield to perform live.

Mathlovsky: We hang with some bands and organisations, it's cool getting to know alot of people along the way. We love playing everywhere, anywhere and any time so hit us up !

Q10 – Have you toured with any famous bands or artists. If so who have been your favourite.

Mathlovsky: No tours yet but we have played with some awesome bands like Monarch!, In The Hearts Of Emperors.

Q11 – Are you guys full time musicians or do you all have regular jobs to pay the bills.

Mathlovsky: I'm focusing totally on music right now, the stress of these tiring jobs was getting to much for me. It's not the life for me, there is only one thing that can make me feel calm in my head and thats music so i'm going for that right now.

Onbeschaafd : Me and Sam have a job but we try to focus as much as possible on our music so all our free time goes to TTWLI.

Q12 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Post-Rock/Post-Metal.

Mathlovsky: My favorites switch from time to time as i'm involved in lots of music but at the moment what's been playing on my record player the most is Electric Wizard, Igorrr, Pink Floyd and Aphex Twin. Next month it can be totally different things you know.

Onbeschaafd : Favorite bands at the moment and highly recommended: The Menzingers,The Sidekicks, Modern Baseball, Martyrdod, Crystal Castles, Daylight,Midnight Souls, Off With Their Heads, Jungbluth, Curbside, Death Grips, Cloud Nothings…

Q13 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?

Mathlovsky: I dont think mainstream mags are ready for this yet haha. I love the underground community, music for those who know ! I still discover a lot of music because of these blogs, it's really a great way to get your music out because it feels more direct.

Q14 – Has BandCamp been a big help in getting your music across. Was it an easy decision to release your music for free download.

Mathlovsky: We figured, it's gonna get ripped anyway so why not just do it ourselves so it comes from us to the people. Straight from the source, we rather have as many people as possible discover us then have some hundred euros on our paypal. We sell the album also on vinyl and that has been going great on shows so it's a win win situation for us

Q15 – You have released your album on Vinyl and paid it all by yourselves. Obviously your doing everything DIY style without no label involvement. Have any labels approached you to release your music via CD or Vinyl. I hear the vinyl is almost sold out. Congrats on that one.

Mathlovsky: No labels so far, if we would ever find a label that shares the same views as us i would have no problems signing but doing it DIY has teached us alot. Always good to know more about how business sides of music works so we don’t get ripped off. The vinyl is limited to 200 transparent green ones, it has been selling great but it's not sold out yet.

Q16 – What are your views record companies shutting down blogs and websites due to illegal downloading. Some people are for it and some people are against it.

Mathlovsky: The corporate side has to find a new way to deal with these kind of things. downloading is never going to go away anymore so it's an endless effort trying to stop it. Underground bands do feel it more so i say if you really like the band you downloaded, buy a shirt, go to their shows. Money really is a two sided thing so it's a real delicate subject.

Onbeschaafd : This will always stay the same. I think it’s a good think that you can download music for free. I download album's of many for free and when I like the music I buy vinyl/merch to support them.

Q17 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band. Obviously the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect.

Mathlovsky: Most rewarding for me is seeing the whole venue banging their heads along, feeling the music. Really getting into the zone with us, that is such an awesome rush. Downside for me is breaking down my drums after playing haha, always such a hassle.

Onbeschaafd : It’s all about getting your demons out on stage,some times it get’s wild and you break some stuff,that’s a downside. I try not to think many of how much money we put into.

Q18 – Do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

Mathlovsky: Normally we are going into the studio again late this year to record our second full length. We're already writing new songs, real cool direction we're going in so we are already psyched to go. Otherwise, continue to play shows and meet as much new people as we can.

Q19 – If you could provide any advice to people wanting to start a band, what would it be.

Mathlovsky: Never give up on what you want to do. If you feel like you're disappointing people by making your choices, think about who you are really letting down if you go along by their rules and games. Life is short so enjoy it the way you want to. Music is what connects people so it's a real beautiful thing to do. You can make the most heaviest grindcore that exists or the most soulful ambient, do what you want to do and go for it one hundred percent!

Onbeschaafd : Try to be open minded for every art/style form of music. Only then you can realize how far you can go with your own sound and put everything into your music.

Q20 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Mathlovsky: Thanks for your support in any way. If it's downloading, buying a shirt or vinyl, coming to the shows, even giving a compliment it really means alot to us, we are forever grateful. Take care !

Onbeschaafd : Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades

Well guys thanks for doing this. Best of luck with your music in the future. Hope to hear many more great releases of your excellent band.

All the best. Steve.

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