Thursday, September 15, 2016

Construct Of Lethe Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Tony (Guitar, Bass): The release of our EP The Grand Machination is our current focus, but behind the scenes we have a lot going on. Patrick Bonvin, our lead guitarist, is writing solos for a re-release of our debut LP Corpsegod. The album was written with solos in mind, but at the time of the recording we didn't have a lead player. Patrick joined shortly after it was released, and is helping to make it as it was originally intended. Once he's finished, Corpsegod will be remixed and re-released, we're looking for an early 2017 release.

2.You have a new ep coming out in October, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

The songs on The Grand Machination are much more straightforward and less technical than Corpsegod. It's a concept album, so it was important to tell the story not only with the lyrics, but the music as well; the changing intensities of the songs and their continuity were something we paid special attention to, as there needs to be an ebb and flow for the EP to make sense as a singular work. The biggest difference has been the addition of Patrick Bonvin and Dave Schmidt as permanent members; what they've contributed is nothing short of game-changing.

3.The lyrics on the new ep where inspired by Mark Twain's "Letters From Earth," can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting?

Dave's lyrics have always been incredible; they're visceral, vivid and thick with meaning. They're the kind of lyrics that give you an immediate reaction upon reading, and they've only gotten better and more ambitious with time. "Letters from the Earth" is an old story that I read when I was younger and has always stuck with me. The story is powerful in its own right, but I suggested he reimagine it in his own distinct style and allow the story to tell itself over the course of an album, and he did an incredible job.

4.Originally the band was known as 'Bethledeign' then 'Xaoc,' what was the cause of the name changes and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Construct of Lethe'?

Bethledeign was a band that Dave and I were in about 10 years ago, it was more of a melodic/blackened death band. When I joined, I replaced the main songwriter, and the material I wrote was blunt and punishing, much less melodic; this didn't really go over well with the rest of the band, as the drummer and bassist were more interested in playing melodic metalcore type music. They called a meeting and basically split into two; Dave chose to continue making music with me, and so we named the new project Xaoc. As Xaoc we released an EP featuring songs Dave and I had written for Bethledeign, and an unreleased LP of new material. Xaoc disbanded when Dave joined the army.

I could write a book about all the obstacles we've had to overcome to get to the point we're at today, a lot of it not worth dredging up. Suffice it to say that Lethe is the name of a river in Hades--if you wade in it you lose your memory; Construct of Lethe is an entity built on letting go of the past. 

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We've never played any shows as Construct of Lethe, and as the three of us are all thousands of miles apart from one another, we likely never will.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?


7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We have had interest expressed from a couple small labels, but we've decided to release all of our material through Edgewood Arsenal Records, a label I founded earlier this year to release not only Construct of Lethe albums, but other projects we're involved in as well. We're not opposed to label interest, but because we're so protective of our work and already have our hands in all aspects of creation and production, we don't really see the point in relinquishing control over any of it. Once Edgewood Arsenal gets its legs under it, I will also be looking to expand to working with local (Washington D.C. area) bands.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?

We're pleased to say that the response to Corpsegod was all very positive. What was surprising to me was where the attention was coming from; the majority of the interest we receive is from Europe and South America.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

About six years ago I created Trepan Studio, which has really allowed me to breathe life into the various projects I'm a part of. In addition to Construct of Lethe, I play guitar in a blackened/avant garde/death band called Grethor; I drum in a grind/death band called Pain Tank; I play drums, bass and vocals for a crossover band called Gritfactor; I play guitar and bass in an 80's metal band called Turbo Shokk; I do vocals for a deathgrind band called Dead Hooker, all of which I'm recording and mixing albums for as we speak. I've also got a number of studio-only projects: Mercenary Cop is a band that does metal covers of 80's and 90's pop songs; Defco is a pretty straightforward metal band that I initially started about 20 years ago with a friend when I bought my first guitar; there are many more, but the list would end up seeming unrealistic. I'm actually putting together a compilation of all these other bands that Edgewood Arsenal will release at some point in the future.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Construct of Lethe is in an odd position because we have 5 albums worth of material written--some of it new, some of it written in the past while we were in Bethledeign and Xaoc. Something I find great is that each one of our releases will have a different sound than the next. Corpsegod was pretty technical, The Grand Machination is intense with a focus on varied textures and structure, and of our upcoming releases, Architect of the Void is very much rooted in speedy, old school death; Iconography of Suffering will be very dark sounding with a blackened death feel, and the unnamed 5th release will be much more free-flowing, fragmented, jagged death metal. Very heavy, very unhinged...I'm excited about it.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Any band, any song can be an inspiration in that great music can make me excited to play an instrument, excited to create. Personally, it's not the type of situation where I listen to a record and think "that sounds awesome, I need to write material that sounds like that;" if that were the case, Construct of Lethe would sound like KC & The Sunshine Band, Faith No More, and Tears for Fears. I've been playing long enough that for better or worse, I have my own distinct style. I know my abilities and limitations, and do my best to work within them to write catchy, interesting, intense music.

I try to keep up with new metal as much as I can, but there's so much of it that it's tough...that's why I can't fault people for not beating down our doors to hear our material. Lately, I don't really get a chance to listen to much music that I'm not involved in; every spare moment seems to be checking mixes/masters of the projects I'm working on. The first four Danzig albums are always a safe bet for me though, Scarve and Theory in Practice are hard to beat. Just got the new Nails and Gojira records, they're pretty damn good.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Tony: I do a lot of illustration, some of my artwork will be featured in The Grand Machination. Other than that...what is there time for? I like playing around with my dog

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Tony: The Grand Machination will be available on October 7th. Preorders are live at https://constructoflethe. machination, we have three shirt designs and bundles available with each of them. Thanks for the interview.

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