Fuzz Orchestra bandcamp
Interviews and Band Photos
VP- Ehnahre plays some deeply disturbing music. Slow and deliberate. What is the concept behind it and
is it difficult to play at slower tempos?
Ryan - The idea behind Ehnahre was to make metal that really is truly dark and disgusting. I feel like a lot of metal bands who talk about "darkness" and "evil", are quite the opposite, playing power chords, and danceable beats. Dancing is not dark. Neither is consonance. We wanted to utilize extreme dissonance, serialism, improvisation, and a liberal usage of loose meter. Playing slow is hard, particularly when the meter is so lax, and we have to do everything by eye contact and visual cues. This also creates some difficult scenarios live, trying to watch the other guys, and do vocals at the same time.
VP- Where did the name Ehnahre come from and how does it tie into the band?
Ryan - The name Ehnahre is a sort of phonetic spelling of the letters N R. When we were in high school, we had a band named Negative Reasoning, which was taken from the title of an Eyehategod song (Non Conductive Negative Reasoning, off of the album Dopesick). Everyone called us N R for short, and now we took that, and just spelled it out. So now I guess it's just our little nod to Eyehategod.
VP - Tell me about your latest release.
Ryan - "Alpha/Omega" is a sort of concept EP. It was written based on two poems by W.B. Yeats. Side A, entitled "Leda and the Swan" is based on a Greek myth, which is often interpreted as a creation myth, the beginning of the world. Side B is called "The Second Coming" which is about the end of the world. We tried to utilize some of the imagery to text paint, and create a "vision" for these tumultuous events. We are now preparing to enter the studio to do our next full length, which will be entitled "Taming the Cannibals", and we are hoping to have it out by September/October 2010.
VP - What is a typical audience reaction to one of your performances? Do you find it more thrilling if they hate it?
Ryan - Typical reactions are confusion, people walking out of the room, and every once in a while, something in the music will pique peoples curiosity and they'll enjoy it. I guess atypically, compared to a lot of experimental musicians, I am quite troubled when people hate it, particularly if it's because they just don't understand it, don't care to try to understand it, or don't understand why we would make music like that.
VP – What plans are in the future?
Ryan -We have a new record being released in October on Crucial Blast so we're trying to finish that up right now. We're also hoping to do a lot of playing out this fall. We'll also be touring for about 3 weeks in October, and 11 days of that tour will be with PussyGutt, a drone/doom band from Boise. We'll be working on our next record after that, and hopefully going back to tour Europe in spring/summer 2011.
VP: Immediately upon listening to you as a lyricist over the years, I’m reminded of the “beat” poets stream-of-consciousness writings. Does this style apply to your work, or does it all depend on the project?
TS: I was always much more attuned to the works of Breton, Artaud, Joans, Celine, and Pound, to name but five, than the writers lumped into the Beat bin. (Burroughs, however, was a profound early influence.) On occasion, a complete lyric will come to me in a dream. ("This Home and Fear," for example.) Other times, a title or fragment appears. But "stream-of-consciousness"? Never. Writing is for me a process steeped in rigor.
VP: That would explain your particular style of writing and word choices. In an age where the Dr Seuss school of rhyme dominates, your lyrics really stand out and challenge. Do you feel as a vocalist/writer that some times people aren't really trying?
TS: These days, I endeavor to resist the urge to critique others' efforts, at least in public forum. (I'm not always successful.) Am I rarely impressed? A fair question. (The answer, sadly, is yes.)
VP: Your no novice by any means, and have such a huge catalog of releases with many different artists. What keeps you interested in music?
TS: What keeps anyone interested in something (or someone) they love? Pleasure, intellectual curiosity, mystery, beauty, annoyance, pain, the acknowledgment of the absurdity of it all... If we're lucky, our passions engage and invigorate, in infinite degrees of ardor, until we die. I love having been born into this conundrum, and I've always felt extraordinarily lucky to have been blessed with the curse.
VP: What projects are you currently working on that you’d like to share with our readers?
I vacillate between wanting the world to hang on my every movement, and preventing anyone save for a super-dedicated few to know anything whatsoever of my efforts. The former urge is of course not just rooted in egomania, and the latter is more a bulwark than neurotic dogma.
I'd rather not mention Karl Schmidt Verlag, except to say that if people want to know more, they are invited to discover it for themselves.
As for the larger label releases and tours, there are two To Live and Shave in L.A. box sets forthcoming (this is the twentieth anniversary and final year of the group; one of the boxes is a five-disc retrospective, and the other is a three-disc remix compilation), two TLASILA live albums recorded during the 2008 European tour, a new duo album with Kevin Drumm, new recordings from Rope Cosmetology, another book, more collaborations, a trio tour, a live aktion in May from Three Resurrected Drunkards, a solo vocal tour of Europe in the autumn, etc. Always busy.
VP: The demise of TLASILA is on the horizon and another collaboration album with Sightings is forth coming as well talk of a “solo vocal” tour in Europe. It seams like a new era for ex-patriot Tom Smith. Do you plan to retire gracefully someday or will there be someone to sample and process your dying breath?
TS: TLASILA has to die so that everyone can catch up with it. (My central assertion shall thus be irrevocably proven.)
The logical successor and thematic extension of TLASILA is Rope Cosmetology. Ohne was the poison that felled the Pope, the clarion that roused me from the corporeal to the trans-temporal.
Sightings and I are very excited about recording a second collaborative album. The lads have very sharp knives up their corrugated sleeves. And I love singing stacked harmonies with the guys. (Richard and Jon also sing well.)
What is a solo vocal tour? No accouterments. No microphones. No amplification. At least half the dates will be performed in this manner.
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