Words By: Laurent Shervington
Following on from their WAM Song of the Year win in the Experimental Category we swapped questions for answers with the amazing local band Tangled Thoughts of Leaving.
First off congratulations on the win! How did you guys celebrate?
Thanks! We celebrated over a few beers and carried the good vibes to our recording session the following day.
I find a really unique distinctive part of Tangled Thoughts of Leaving’s sound is your huge tonal range, potentially due to the wide range of effects you all use, how do you go about settling on a sound before you record?
It’s always a really fluid process. Nearly everything we release comes from improvised jams that we then refine into tracks. We kind of demand it of each other that we all keep on pushing the envelope with new tone and fx ideas. If you can have those tones and ideas ready to go and carry them into new improvised sessions, it can sound really fresh and that’s the way we’ve been working lately.
Lets talk Shaking off Futility, how was that song conceived?
We were on tour in Europe in 2013 when an interesting opportunity arose. Around half way through the tour we arrived in Holland, and we were scheduled to play that night in a town called Enschede. The night before we’d taken a ferry across from the UK and I spent 13 hours being sea sick and hating my life, but somehow the charms of Holland (and solid ground) brought me back around.
We got word that one of the support bands had to pull out of the gig and that it was too late to fill the void. We decided that Ben (drums) and I would play an improvised duo set leading into the TToL performance to fill out that empty 40 minutes. During the set, the initial form of Shaking of Futility resonated around the old warehouse we were playing in, and from that point we decided to work on it and release it. The song itself turned out a lot different compared to its original form as it initially had a more electronic vibe, but always featured a cinematic aspect to it.
The song is markedly slower than the others on Yield To Despair, incorporating elements of drone and post rock with some of the piano flourishes sounding almost Popol Vuh inspired, what influences spring to mind for you when listen back to it?
I think the song takes a solid influence from Ennio Morricone, Earth, The Necks and the work of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. During the track there’s a more elaborate section with a looping piano arpeggio and heavily syncopated rhythm section. During that movement I think we were focusing more on our mathy influences, as well as applying a sort of electronic inspired weight to the aggressiveness of the bottom end.
You guys had another song up for an award (The Albanian Sleepover – Part One) but in the Heavy/Metal section, do you usually create songs with a specific genre in mind?
We write pretty freely without worrying too much about genres. We see ourselves as a heavy experimental band and just follow the inspiration of the progressions as we explore them. Sometimes that ends up with droning and depressing vibes and sometimes it leads to hyper fast mathy stuff.
I’ve seen you guys play live a few times and it’s such an intense, unpredictable experience – do you see a connection between your studio material and your live shows?
In the past we’ve used the studio as a writing tool, released those interpretations and then toured them. I’ve always been fascinated by that growth, but once played live the songs inevitably end up becoming monsters that outgrow their recorded selves. At this point we’re trying to capture the chemistry as much as possible and tighten the link between the stage and the studio for our upcoming releases.
You guys have quite a following in Eastern Europe and did quite a solid tour over there last year – why do you think you have such a strong following over there?
I don’t think we necessarily have a strong following there as much as we just committed to a couple of crazy tours. We’d get offered a spot on a good festival and base a tour around that, playing anywhere that would have us. There are a lot of people in Europe who are really interested in seeking out new weird heavy music, and it’s amazing to meet people who know about our little scene down here just from researching online.
The further east we traveled the more appreciative people were that we would play their town. People would drive 4 or 5 hours because we traveled forever and it was just nuts to find out we had fans there.
Do you have any exciting plans for touring this year?
Yes! In August we’re doing 9 shows around Australia with our mates sleepmakeswaves and The Contortionis