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Interview with The Body

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Last Updated on 07:35 PM by Lilliana Tseka

Temple proves once again to be the ultimate venue for demanding supporters of hard experimental sound for another noisy Saturday, with the invasion of the two American duos, The Body (Thrill Jockey Records) & Uniform (Sacred Bones Records). On the occasion of their visit to Athens, we didnt’ miss the opportunity to talk with The Body about their new album, their base in Portland, Oregon and their sound, among others. Read below and do not miss them.

Hello people and welcome to Metal Invader. This is going to be your first time in Greece as a band. How do you feel about performing here?

I (Lee) don’t fly so I actually won’t be going there but Chip is very very excited. And our friend Zac who plays drums on the overseas shows was very excited too. It sucks not being able to fly but I’m used to most of the stuff but when things come up like this I get extra bummed I can’t go.

Your new album “I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer.” sure has one of the most powerful titles I’ve ever seen. Can you shed some light at what’s behind it?

It’s a line from Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter to her sister. The letters to her and her husband are extremely beautiful and also crushing which is the reason I like that line so much. It conveys feeling appreciative of the people in your life but also knowing there’s a bigger issue at play, which I think is a common feeling in mental illness.

The three singles that spawned so far showed that you stretched the lines of your experimentation even more. Does the rest of the album move accordingly?

It’s definitely a weird one. I think it’s our most adventurous, but also kinda the most accessible.

I’m amazed by the way you can move between abrasive wall of sound andExperimental Sludge,Doom Metal,Noise,Industrial,Extreme Metal, The Body, U.S.A., News, 2018, Interviews, screaming to more “down-to-earth” yet still crushingly emotional soundscapes like “The Fall and the Guilt”. Can you describe you songwriting process in a few words?

We listen to so many different genres of music so we draw from a varied list. I kinda got sick of records that are all kinda the same so we very consciously try to put a lot of different elements on there, whether it is instruments or people’s voices or the way the song is arranged.

I noticed that you changed some slightly metallic (if I can say so) perspective you had in your sound to a more experimental, noisy type of songwriting. More synths, more modulation, more atmosphere. I mean the secret recipe is always there, but the evolution is amazing. Did you change your ways consciously or it came naturally?

I think a little bit of both. We’re always trying to figure out different ways to kinda say the same thing musically so there’s a lot of experimentation to successfully achieve that.  We also don’t want to be labeled “this” kind of band or “that” kind of band. We draw from a lot of influences so we want our music to reflect that.

You’re big fans of collaborations and definitely of interesting ones. You paired with extreme sounding bands like Krieg, Thou and Full of Hell, maintaining a great friendship with the last. How’s the process different when recording with so different artists and of course different personalities that all need to be synced?

When it’s just us it’s more aesthetically focused because it’s just the 2 of us saying whatever we want to say. The collabs are fun because that kind of pressure is lessened and the emphasis is more on just making things sound good while we’re having fun. Our own records are a lot more stressful because everything falls on us.

Thrill Jokey seems like the perfect place for a band like you, always up for releasing the heaviest, contemporary, experimental music. How’s your cooperation so far and how do you feel about releasing with them again?

It’s great. Bettina, who started and runs the label, is the best. We have a lot of the same interest and she’s obsessed with music and the stories behind the people who make it which I have always had an interest in. We’ve always had really good luck with every label we’ve worked with but hearing other bands horror stories of their labels makes me very grateful.

Portland is home for many amazing new artists. Where you influenced by its vibe of upcoming artistry or by any local bands and artists in general? How do you see the local scene and is the perception of Portland as an art capital true?

Not really. The music scene here isn’t really for me in a lot of ways. There’s some great stuff for sure but I always grew up in smaller towns so there was no division with genres or cliques which I think Portland is very guilty of. I don’t like having a set metal scene where it’s mainly made up of metal people and a separate punk scene and a separate experimental scene. We don’t fit into any one scene and I love when we play shows and there’s a diverse group of people. I think towns where that happens end up making more interesting music because your view is widened.

Experimental Sludge,Doom Metal,Noise,Industrial,Extreme Metal, The Body, U.S.A., News, 2018, Interviews,
The Body by Adam Degross 2

You’ve talked many times about depression and mental issues. Is music a way to battle hard times and obstacles?

Oh yeah. I think anything creative is a way to battle hard times. I’ve always been a collector of books and music and the main reason is because I can always look at the physical copies of things as a reminder that no matter what happens these things exist. That no matter what I’m feeling I live in a world where these people have made these important testaments to living and persevering.

By watching many of your gigs online, I noticed that you constantly change your set-up and that each gig’s never the same from many angles. What should we expect from your gig in Athens?

It’ll be drums and guitar and a little bit of noise stuff. I think it’s a pretty diverse set list. Playing some new stuff we’ve never played and some stuff we haven’t played in years off the first record.

Thank you very much for your time. You can close this interview as you please.

Thank you for the interest!

Thanos Mitras
Thanos Mitras
It's got to be emotional,extremely fast or incredibly slow.

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