Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Blight Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

    Travis- Well the new album will be out in a few weeks so as of right now, Tridroid has been promoting it. We've been grateful to be getting positive responses from various online music review blogs/podcasts. Aside from that, we've played a show w/Kim Gordon's project Body/Head the occasional show in town. Planning more time to record new material.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

      Travis- We have a difficult time describing it ourselves. We've been going with the title "Space Dread". It's hypnotic/chaotic/soundscapes that are conducted in a fairly meditative state, much like Drone music. We just happen to deal with a darker subject matter w/more dramatic sound.
I feel it differs from our other recordings with how more collected we are as a improvisational group. We had our friend Jesse Peterson on guest guitar which worked out perfectly. He completely understands what we were going for and complimented our sound quite well.

Jesse - The best descriptor for our sound is space dread. We are focusing on the larger universe, outside of our planet, being inherently hostile to human beings, and emphasizing that most of the petty squabbles that characterize humanity are entirely meaningless in a larger context. We have been developing this sound over the last couple years, so we would like to think that this album represents an evolution of those ideas.

3.On the albums you use no guitars but still have a very heavy sound, can you tell us a little bit more about the decision behind going into this musical direction?

Travis- Jesse and Tim started this project a few years before I was asked to join. I know they really wanted to take a different approach to abrasive music w/unconventional methods and sounds. I was later added to help complete that idea. We still, to this day seek out more ways to move forward with this vision. This includes collaborations w/people we know and respect in town.

Jesse-We think that guitars are one of the most loaded signifiers in music. They bring an immediate context that we are generally trying to move beyond, aesthetically.   That said, our friend Jesse Matthew Peterson, who is a guitarist, joined us on this record. Our overall direction will continue to be the exploration of heavy and extreme sounds using whatever means we can, though. We very purposely draw from a variety of traditions with the drums and vocals, while using a custom 5U modular synth and various other strange electronics to push things around.

4.What are some of the themes and images you bring out with your musical style?
  Jesse - Space. Lots and lots of space. Our logo is based on theoretical dark matter clouds.
Travis - Space, humanity, our place in the universe and it's insignificance to the "bigger picture"

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Blight'?

        Jesse - In Vernor Vinge's novel "A Fire Upon The Deep", humans accidentally awaken a billions-years-old hostile super intelligence which starts devouring the galaxy immediately. We thought it a fitting tribute to encapsulate the ideas of a total 'other'.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Travis - For me it's not so much the line up or the performers we're playing with that makes the show great. It's how in tune the three of us are with our structuring of the set to come. We never rehearse so all we do is have a brief discussion before playing in regards to what method we want to start the set that night based on the feel of the place, our moods and the mood of the show.
Hmmm. Everything from lots of concentration (if we can't hear whats going on on stage) to meditative. Or, if I am feeling rather wound up, I like to get into people's personal spaces and lose my shit a little. No one gets hurt but me, mind you. And my equipment sometimes!

Jesse - The Blight is entirely improvised, we don’t have songs as much as we have tactics. The best shows are always in front of folks who can appreciate what we are doing. We did two month-long residencies last fall that were really great. We had other artists, like Rachel from False and Gnawed, collaborate with us and it really amazing to see how the performances changed with other people's energy being involved.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Travis - Our Tridroid release show on July 29th then that's it for now. We've discussed more recordings, shows, collaborations, etc.

We have discussed touring, too. It's difficult for us since there's career's, family, other music projects and such in the mix. That and it's not so easy to pick up and go on tour these day's while in our 40's vs when we were in our 20's.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and noise?
Travis - It's been pretty good. Most of the people from other countries are friends of mine I had sent links to hear. We're just now starting to receive more and more feedback. It's been good!

Jesse - For not being 100% either metal or noise, the response has been really fantastic.  People are really responding to what we are doing and it's great.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Travis - I honestly can't tell you. I hope it becomes even more difficult to describe!

Jesse - We are going to continue exploring collaborations with like-minded folks along the same themes and record as much as possible.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Travis - Influence: Portal, Throbbing Gristle, COIL, various Black Metal and War Metal

Currently I've been listening to a lot of Vermin Womb, Cognizant, Chris & Cosey

Jesse - Sonically, some of the biggest influences are Throbbing Gristle, Orthrelm, and WOLD. Our listening tastes are all over the board, but for the sake of this being a metal zine, we have been enjoying the shit out of the latest Vanum, Artificial Brain, and Cognizant records.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Travis - Social politics, food/cooking, animals, video games, local breweries

Jesse - Cooking and nature are two of the biggest things. Unplugging and reconnecting have become increasingly important in life.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

(Travis) Someone put vinyl out for us!

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