Generally we try to give you a quick little intro for each interview we do. Something flowery and poetic that expresses our love and prepares you for what you are about to hear/read. Not this time. You’re on your own. You’ll thank us later. Bassist Dono Jones lights the fuse for us.
TDOA: For people that haven’t heard the new record, how would you describe Tunnel Blanket as part of the evolution of the band?
DJ: Tunnel blanket is a departure from the writing style of past TWDY albums. All the sounds blend into a cohesive fog. It is the darkest and heaviest material TWDY has written. We wanted to explore our boundaries with this albums. We played with new writing styles, song structures, instrumentation… there are maybe 30-40 different instruments on this record. We wanted to make music that we truly enjoy. Fans of Explosions, God is an astronaut, etc. may not like this record. People that love to drone out to sunn o))), boris, stars of the lid and neo-classical shit will hopefully enjoy this just as much as we do. This record is not easy to swallow. at least it was not for myself.
TDOA: We talk to bands about the songwriting process for 3 to 5 minute songs and it seems far simpler than the epics that you guys record. Tell us about the process of writing a TWDY song? Do you start with one basic “riff” and then build upon it?
DJ: “Riff” is a terrible word hahaha. It is degrading to a piece of music. These songs were built around loops or we had ideas for new ways to build a song and we’d try them out… then interpret them again…. then re-interpret them. We spent a good deal of time feeling out new directions and new playing styles. Until recently, we were spread out between Dallas, Austin and San Marcos. Royal (guitarist) would send an idea my way and I’d put some layers on the pyramid and send it back. Royal and Jeremy (guitarist) would meet up in San Marcos and flesh it out even more, then everyone would head up to Waxahachie for a week with these ideas and we’d hammer them out with Alex (drummer), exploring our ideas until we were happy enough to track them. We’re all creative and we’re all non-stop with it. We don’t even really think about the process of it anymore. We hear it in our heads then we play it.
TDOA: Please tell us about the recording process for Tunnel Blanket. Who produced the record and how much of it was written in the studio?
DJ: We spent two months tracking the record at Alex’s studio prior to recording with John Congleton. Basically we recorded the album twice. We ended up cutting some songs from the album, but adding another at the last minute (black dunes). To answer your question, almost all of the songs were written in Alex’s studio. In between tours Chris, Jeremy and myself built up ideas then fully hashed them out at Alex’s. Granted, there was a whole new world of sounds added to these songs when we got into Congleton’s studio, but for the most part the basic ideas already existed.
TDOA: Can you talk about the departure of Andrew Miller and who’s drumming with the band now?
DJ: We love Andy. We were beginning to work on these ideas while Andrew was still around. The basic building blocks we were bringing were not typical TWDY material. Old TWDY lends itself to powerful rock drums. It sounds like some bastard child of rock music. Not a bad thing at all. With the direction we wanted to go, we were all exploring new territory. This direction was different from the direction that Andy wanted. With Andy’s departure we picked up Alex Bhore. He is a monster. He can play just about anything we ask him to, and he did on the new record. We couldn’t be happier with him. we’re all pretty dark individuals, but lil Alex is a ray of sunshine hahaha.
TDOA: How did you become involved with the “Peace” compilation? Bands don’t generally give away new songs like you did, so we assume you have strong feelings about Amnesty International. True?
DJ: We have a posse now. Our posse informed us of Amnesty requesting asong from us. We all respect what they do and have no problem contributing to their cause. Our music gets used for so many videos on youtube or umm…. music television series about teenage pregnancy and insane football players. We were overjoyed to contribute to an organization that we actually believe in. true.
TDOA: Do you get tired of genre-classification? Has there ever been a lazier tag than, “post-rock”?
DJ: People want to make sense of what they’re hearing, so they put a description on it. A box around it using words. It’s confining and we aren’t gonna be pigeon-holed like that. people are constantly evolving and yes, so is music. That being said, fuck post-rock. Namely because there is one or two bands at the head of this classification and all other bands that are embracing that terminology sound very similar to these two bands. Your asking the wrong guy what he thinks about post-rock. What makes a band post rock? no vocals?
Well, we have vocals. What differentiates an instrumental group from a string quartet? The instrumentation? No man. We are making new music. All of yall are about to get bopped on the head. For future reference, we enjoy the term doomgaze. At least on this album.
TDOA: You’ve had your music featured in films and commercials. At one time this would have been considered a “sell-out”. Now it’s the most logical way for bands to exist given the state of the music industry. Nonetheless, did you have any trepidation about letting your music be used and losing artistic “control” of those songs.
DJ: Man, most of us are broke as hell. I know yall think we’re ballin or something cause you heard us on mtv or some movie with Denzel, but we don’t get paid much. at least not us newbies (me and Alex). I still work part time at the same place I worked before I joined up with these dudes. We all hustle to eat. Makes us feel just a little more legit if people wanna pay us to use our music. Obviously scoring music for a documentary is gonna be a little closer to our hearts than just letting someone use an existing song for some commercial or some re-make of a b-movie. but yes. pay us please?
TDOA: Do you have any plans to make a video for the new record? You seem to take some care on album art, so it wouldn’t shock me to find you interested in pursuing videos as an outlet of artistic expression. ….or you may be thoroughly bored with the concept!
DJ: I’m not telling you anything about the videos. I will say that you probably wouldnt want to let your parents see them, or your girlfriend. We got some things coming down the pipe and at this point we don’t care what people think about what we’re doing. We feel it. We know it goes hard. If we feel that, we know some other people gonna feel it. it just might not be you. No worries.
TDOA: The popularity of the band has steadily grown over the years to the point where you’ve got quite an international fan base. Was there ever a point where you thought that a band that eschewed 3-minute
pop/structure could amass so many fans?
DJ: Umm yes? Only because we been grinding overseas so much the past two years. 5 times baby. We’ve been busy as hell. The majority of people may not get into this music because there’s no hook or auto tune nonsense, but if we keep grinding this into people’s bones, they’ll eventually start feeling it. I hope. Not that I want to be playing shows with Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers. Though I’m sure we’d all love being terrible influences on them and offending their parents.
TDOA: What are your plans for the remainder of 2010?
DJ: We’re starting a US/Canada tour in a week or so, then we’re doing a west coast tour. Then we’re going to Europe all of September. We all live in Dallas or are about to be living in Dallas. We’re about to run this town. Jeremy is going to be doing some crazy video collage and side project stuff with yours truly. Royal is busy being mister boss man of his record label Light Lodge. I’ve got a lot of projects myself fuzzy mystic, black taffy. screw shit. If you’re from Texas then you know. Alex is always recording people and cheating on us with his other band The Rocket Boys. They’re doing really well. Coming up quick. We are a little jealous that we cant have him all to ourselves, but the rocket boys did have first dibs. he just love us more. just sayin. As long as USA doesn’t start WW3, we’ll be steady grindin. You be too.
Check out This Will Destroy You on May 22nd at the Homegrown Music and Art Festival
May 26 2010 The Boiler Room w/ The Life And Times Denton | TX, US
May 27 2010 The Mohawk w/ The Life and Times Austin | TX, US
May 28 2010 Silver Lake Ballroom w/ The Life and Times Shreveport | LA, US
May 29 2010 Bottletree w/ The Life and Times Birmingham | AL, US
May 30 2010 New World Brewery w/ The Life and Times Tampa | FL, US
May 31 2010 Wills Pub w/ The Life and Times Orlando | FL, US
Jun 1 2010 Jackrabbits w/ The Life and Times Jacksonville | FL, US
Jun 2 2010 Drunken Unicorn w/ The Life and Times Atlanta | GA, US
Jun 3 2010 Southgate House w/ The Life and Times Newport | KY, US
Jun 4 2010 Lincoln Hall w/ The Life and Times & Light Pollution Chicago | IL, US
Jun 5 2010 Rivoli Cabaret w/ Light Pollution & Slow Six Toronto | ON, CA
Jun 6 2010 Petit Campus w/ Light Pollution and Slow Six Montreal | QC, CA
Jun 7 2010 Great Scott w/ Light Pollution & Slow Six Allston | MA, US
Jun 8 2010 Knitting Factory w/ Light Pollution & Slow Six Brooklyn | NY, US
Jun 9 2010 Mercury Lounge New York | NY, US
Jun 10 2010 DC9 w/ Light Pollution & Slow Six Washington DC, US
Jun 11 2010 Kung Fu Necktie w/ Light Pollution & Slow Six Philadelphia | PA, US
Jun 12 2010 Random Row Books w/ Chiaroscuro Charlottesville | VA, US
Jun 13 2010 Local 506 w/ Chiaroscuro Chapel Hill | NC, US
Jun 15 2010 The Oasis w/ Chiaroscuro Charleston | SC, US
Jun 16 2010 Pilot Light w/ Chiaroscuro Knoxville | TN, US
Jun 17 2010 The End w/ Chiaroscuro Nashville | TN, US
Jun 18 2010 Saturn Bar w/ Chiaroscuro New Orleans | LA, US
Jun 19 2010 Mango’s w/ Chiaroscuro Houston | TX, US
Jun 20 2010 Sam’s Burger Joint w/ Chiaroscuro San Antonio, TX
Sep 3 2010 Kukturkeller Fulda, GERMANY
Sep 4 2010 Werkstatt Köln, GERMANY
Sep 5 2010 Schlachthof Wiesbaden, GERMANY
Sep 6 2010 Beatpol Dresden, GERMANY
Sep 7 2010 Feierwerk München, GERMANY
Sep 8 2010 B72 Vienna, AUSTRIA
Sep 9 2010 PMK Innsbruck, AUSTRIA
Sep 10 2010 Fri-Son Fribourg, SWITZERLAND
Sep 11 2010 Grabenhalle St. Gallen, SWITZERLAND
Sep 14 2010 Arts Centre Norwich, UNITED KINGDOM
Sep 15 2010 Stereo Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM
Sep 16 2010 Moho Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM
Sep 17 2010 Garage London, UNITED KINGDOM
Sep 18 2010 Incubate Festival Tillburg, NETHERLANDS
Sep 19 2010 Atak Enschede, NETHERLANDS
Sep 21 2010 BHF-Langendreer Bochum, GERMANY
Sep 22 2010 Magnet Berlin, GERMANY
Sep 23 2010 Gleis 22 Münster, GERMANY
Sep 24 2010 Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, GERMANY
Sep 25 2010 Juha West Stuttgart, GERMANY