Musicscan: People who get introduced to your band can be impressed by your
“different” approach to extreme and nihilistic music I guess. What do
you think about this thought, and what is your approach towards music
and being Inter Arma?
Inter Arma: I don't know if we try to go for a different approach, really. We just
write songs that come from a lot of different musical places. I guess
we just try not to bog ourselves down with too many restrictions, if
you know what I mean.
Musicscan: What influences you to make especially this kind of
Inter Arma: As you can probably imagine, we have a wide range of influences both
individually and as a group. One band doesn't pop out as our number
one influence or anything like that, though. Bands like Morbid Angel,
Neurosis, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Sabbath, to even stuff like Willie
Nelson and Waylon Jennings and a million different things in between.
Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you
do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Especially
in the context of your band of course. One thing is for sure: you are
not that “typical” kind of a heavy band. People have to be
concentrated and to take time to get to what Inter Arma is all about…
Inter Arma: I don't think we draw a line, necessarily. There was a pretty cool
Rush documentary called "Beyond the Lighted Stage" made a few years
ago where Geddy Lee said something that particularly resonated with
me. I'm paraphrasing, but he basically said they never looked at a
style of music and thought Rush couldn't do it. I think that's
probably true of us a little bit as well, though maybe not in as
literal of a sense. With that being said don't expect for us to come
out on some future record with a polka or a reggae song. We like heavy
music, and we like playing it.
Musicscan: Who is listening to Inter Arma? What kind of people you see and meet
at your shows?
Inter Arma: I don't know, really. There isn't one kind of person who tends to be
into our band. We've had super young kids be into it and old heads.
Crust punk folks and more clean cut types. You could say we don't have
a very specialized demographic.
Musicscan: Sky Burial is a pretty challenging and self confident record. It is
intensive and stands somehow outside competition due to the fact you
are not following trends. What is your view on the album?
Inter Arma: Well, firstly, thanks for the compliment. We're pretty proud of what
we did. I don't know if we set out with the intent to make something
challenging and new or anything like that, but we did want to write
and record something that was representative of us, and I think we
accomplished that. I hope that people dig it, but it's going to come
at people from a place that I don't think a lot of records do. We'll
see if/how that molds the opinion surrounding the record.
Musicscan: A strong part of the sound of your band is about feeling and gut
instinct I would say. Would you agree? Of all the songs you’ve chosen
to be on the Relapse debut what song do you feel is the most
representative of all the facets of the band and of what you want
Inter Arma to be known for?
Inter Arma: I think that's a fair assessment. In regards to the songs, it would be
hard for me to choose one as they have so many different elements.
However, I'd probably say the title track. I think its ebb and flow is
indicative of our typical approach, and it might be my favorite song
on the record. Still undecided on that, though.
Musicscan: Does most of the influence come from personal experiences and moods,
or from listening to similar bands?
Inter Arma: I'd say the former over the latter. We all share some commonality in
our taste in music, but not a ton. I think if we went in to writing
just trying to make music like other bands then it would come out like
an unlistenable mish-mash. We just take progressions and riffs and
play them until they sound the way they should sound. That's really
Musicscan: Do you think it is necessary to create a certain distance between you
and the music in order to get a better understanding of its inherent
quality – how do you handle such questions within the songwriting
Inter Arma: That's actually a really interesting question, and I was talking about
this with a friend of mine last week. I think it's hard to have an
objective opinion of something that you've created from scratch. It's
similar to parents only seeing one side of their child. They have a
hard time understanding that their kid can be bad, or good, depending
on their own opinion and experience with that child. Same thing with
the songs we, and others for that matter, write. We hear the songs the
way we want to hear them rather than the way someone who's not been
involved hears them. You can try and not listen to it or play it for a
while, and that does give you some different perspective, but not in
the same way that someone hears it who's just listened to the
completed product for the first time. You just have to write the songs
and make them as good as you think they can be and let the cards fall
as they may.
Musicscan: What are you looking for in your songs in general, and how important
are the elements/aspects of volume and profoundness to Inter Arma?
Inter Arma: I think we just try to play up the strengths of the progressions and
riffs of each song. Some of the stuff is more moody. Some songs
require a lot of space to breathe while others require a certain
tightness that can't fit into the same cavern that another song might.
With that being said, we are a pretty loud band. Not Sunn 0))) loud,
mind you, but I think having amps cranked and drums smashed adds a lot
of intensity and profundity to the show or recording.
Musicscan: Are there specific aspects on Sky Burial that stand out in your mind,
or aspects that have an inner meaning to you you would like to share
Inter Arma: It's definitely a different kind of record, that's for sure. I don't
know if musically I could pinpoint any specific thing and say that
it'll open your third eye or anything like that. I do think the lyrics
have a lot of depth and layers to them, and I hope Mike gets some
serious credit for that. He really has some interesting commentary on
Musicscan: What are the feelings you get out of what you are doing with Inter
Arma, and is there something you want the people / listeners to leave
Inter Arma: I'm happy that I get to play in a band with a bunch of like-minded
guys whom I respect and like immensely. And I'll let people form their
own opinions or hypotheses as they listen to or contemplate the
record. I don't think they should be led in one particular way
musically, philosophically or otherwise.
Musicscan: Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar
agenda to what you have? Relapse says: recommended if you like
Neurosis, Melvins, Darkthrone, Tombs, Electric Wizard, Kylesa, Rwake…
Inter Arma: Maybe? It's hard to say. It's not like there's some giant band
convention where they put similar bands in a room and make us talk
about our reasons for making music like one giant therapy session.
However, I do think that we're influenced by most of those bands to an
extent, but we're influenced by everything we do, not just what we
listen to. I think the bands that come closest to our frame of mind
are the bands that just write music without trying to make it fit
something. We just like to write and play songs that we think are
Musicscan: Do you care about fitting into a certain scene or genre? I would not think so…
Inter Arma: You're correct. If we worried about trying to fit tidily into some
scene then we probably wouldn't be talking to each other right now.
Sometimes we don't fit a show we play perfectly. So be it.
Musicscan: With the direction of Inter Arma heading a certain way and listeners /
fans growing with you over years and releases, do you feel the fans
can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you
are trying to tell them with your music?
Inter Arma: I have literally no idea. I don't even know if there's a specific
meaning or concept that we hope to get across from this record. Maybe
in hindsight we'll see some greater idea hovering over our music, but
as of right now it's just simply a bunch of songs we've made. I hope
that people can connect with it or that they can glean some intangible
meaning from it, but I don't think we've made the music with that
particular intention. You know?
Musicscan: Last words?
Inter Arma: I hope you dudes dig "Sky Burial", as we worked hard on it. And
hopefully we'll see all of you soon, right?