American instrumental group THIS WILL DESTROY YOU are returning to Australia next week, after a series of sold out shows on their maiden visit in 2013. This time they’re also going to New Zealand and playing a couple of huge shows alongside our own sleepmakeswaves.
The band’s rise after their iconic release ‘Young Mountain’ was meteoric amongst ‘post-rock’ audiences and after a few years gave way to the dark, noisy and overwhelming darkness of 2011’s ‘Tunnel Blanket.’ The new record ‘Another Language’ was a powerful highlight of 2014 – if you haven’t heard it, check out the video for ‘New Topia’ here.
I shot some questions over to guitarist Christopher King ahead of the dates.
It’s been 2 years since your first Australian visit, what do you remember about last time and what are you most looking forward to?
We love Australia. Had such a fantastic time and are looking forward to coming back. People are beyond friendly and the food/coffee was amazing. The architecture of the bigger cities ( Sydney, Melbourne ) really stuck out to me. It’s cool getting to hang out with our label homies Hobbledehoy as well.
This tour also includes New Zealand for the first time, anything planned whilst you’re there?
No idea what to expect but we are all very excited to visit New Zealand. I think we have one day off there so hopefully we can be tourists in Auckland and check it out!
You’re joining sleepmakeswaves for a couple of massive shows in Melbourne & Sydney as well as New Zealand – how did this come about? Do you know each other?
I believe we briefly met at SXSW in 2012 but the shows with sleepmakeswaves were set up by Mike over at Bird’s Robe Collective I believe. Excited to play those shows!
How has the response been to ‘Another Language’ so far? Has it been what you expected?
The response has been positive for the most part and its been great to hear people’s one on one experiences with listening and experiencing the record. The most important thing always at the end of the day is that we collectively as a band are proud of the record.
The album feels like it’s a natural successor to ‘Tunnel Blanket’ and while it doesn’t make the same dark statement as its predecessor, it’s still powerful with its wall of noise blending neatly alongside emotional soundscapes. Is this a glimpse at the future of This Will Destroy You?
Yeah, the newer LP came from a lighter place for us emotionally so that came out in the writing and wasn’t as all consuming as “Tunnel Blanket.” I think traces of each record will seep into whatever we do in the future but the next record will be its own and not sound like any other record. Once we become stagnant its time to stop making music as a band.
You’ve recently played some of your biggest shows in north America and Europe – despite shifting to what many would say is a less commercial sound – what do you put this down to?
We worked extremely hard touring for so long and we try to go out every night and play as hard as we possibly can. It’s great to see such diverse crowds at our shows now. I guess the LP being commercial is completely relative to the listener because I see the new LP as a pop record and a complete 180 from “Tunnel Blanket.” We aren’t trying to make any statements with a change of sound; we just want to continue to evolve as a band and making the same record over and over again is something we are not interested in doing.
What does a day in the life of This Will Destroy You look like now?
We’ve mellowed out over the years. We used to rage pretty hard but it’s all about the balance. We love experiencing as much as we can when we are in new/unfamiliar places ( and have time ). Sharing meals with new/old friends seems to be the best way to encompass that and seems to be the ultimate way to get people to open up.
Time between previous studio album releases have seen lineup changes, collaborations or more recently, time taken to release a stunning live record. Any progress on the next record yet or are more collaborations/other projects planned?
We just released “Another Language” in September and have pretty much been on tour non-stop since then ( EU/UK tour, US tour, shows in NYC, etc… ). We are planning on doing some writing when we have some downtime this summer.
Being a prog site, we have to ask the obligatory question, how do you see the role of progressive music in This Will Destroy You’s career? Anything you listen to or are influenced by that you would consider ‘prog’? Many would say your approach to creating music has been a progression in modern music and these days ‘prog’ isn’t just about shredding or playing odd times.
Yeah, I agree that “prog” is a pretty open term nowadays. As far as the band being progressive – it really is subjective and up to the listener but we try to approach each record differently. Experimenting with new sounds, dynamics, and themes is definitely something that has been integral to the band maintaining and carrying on for the last decade. Some of my favorite prog bands are Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Klaus Schulze, Gong, Can, Kraftwerk – mostly bands that came from the golden era of music that happened in west Germany in the late 60’s. I saw that Muse is listed as a “prog” band so that shows how much the title has been tossed around.
King Crimson or Tool?
King Crimson by a landslide.
Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins?
Finally, after a career-spanning set on your last tour, what can we expect to see performed at these upcoming shows?
We will be playing some tracks from our new LP “Another Language” but try to keep the set balanced with old and new songs. As we get older and more experienced performing live the immediacy and intensity seems to increase. I always go into a tour assuming it’s the last tour I’ll ever play.
THIS WILL DESTROY YOU AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND TOUR
Sat June 6 @ King’s Arms, Auckland NZ
Sun June 7 @ San Fran, Wellington NZ
Mon June 8 @ Jive, Adelaide SA
Tue June 9 @ Amplifier, Perth WA
Wed June 10 @ The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
Thu June 11 @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Fri June 12 @ The Hi Fi, Melbourne VIC
Sat June 13 @ Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Sun June 14 @ Hermann’s Bar, Sydney NSW
Tickets on sale from www.birdsrobe.com