Interview with Mike Hill of Tombs

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First off, I love the “All Empires Fall” EP. What made you guys decide on doing an EP versus a full length.

At the time we had just finished up our contractual responsibilities with Relapse, so in a sense, we were free agents.  I wanted to have some material that was completely controlled by the band and we could do what we wanted with.  We’ve always had a great relationship with Relapse, so I wanted to experiment with the idea of licensing.  It’s like what Danzig does with his records.  I wanted to try it out with an EP before going full on with an LP.  We had a nice set of material together at the time, we figured out our budget and went for it.

This is the first music with Charlie and Fade. How have they impacted the sound? Fade really seems to add a lot of depth.

I’ve admired Fade for a really long time.  I’m a fan of pretty much all of his bands and projects. Fade and I, along with Charlie were working on a side project with some friends. This was right around the time that Andrew was getting ready to leave the band so Charlie stepped in for the tour we did with Pallbearer. While we were out on the road, we talked about asking fade to join the band. I’ve tried to add electronics on my own, but I’m not what you would call an expert at that sort of thing.

Whenever you change drummers, there is a profound change in the way the band sounds. The songwriting has always been me and the drummer working on stuff in the practice space so naturally Charlie has had a deep influence on the vibe of the songs.

Fade added a whole new layer of possibilities. There is his mastery of electronics and also his great voice that is now a factor in the band’s aural profile.

 

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Photo credit: Jaclyn Sheer

Stylistically, “All Empires Fall” feels more experimental, at least the odd number tracks. Was that by design?

We had a very specific idea about the direction of the new material so I don’t know how much experimenting that actually went on.  We talked about the aspects of the band that we wanted to preserve from the past records and the directions that we wanted to expand into. I think each Tombs record has a very specific sound so this one is just another chapter in the saga.

Each album has really felt like a period of growth for Tombs. How do you manage to keep it fresh without losing the core sound that makes up Tombs?

I suppose my desire to stay out of my comfort zone is how I manage to keep things fresh. This time around, I think that I pushed myself in the area of vocals. I don’t really consider maintaining a core sound. I trust that if I’m writing the songs, it will sound like Mike Hill writing Tombs songs. I think that if I was trying to sound a certain way is when I would get lost.

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Do you have a favorite track on the EP and why? 

V is my favorite track. I think that the vocals came out pretty much the way I heard them in my head.  The whole production and the way that guys in the band sound really moves me.

Are you planning to play all or most of it live? “V” seems like an excellent choice and “The World is Made of Fire” feels like a natural opener.

Our set includes all of the songs on the EP. Our set on the tour we just wrapped up with 1349 back in January had “The World is Made of Fire” as the opener directly into “Thanatos”. It feels really powerful to play those songs together.

Speaking of live, what are your touring plans?

We wrapped up a tour in January with 1349 and Full of Hell. We got to play with Venom Inc on one date of that tour which was pretty cool.  We do a short run of dates with Hivelords, Evan’s other band.  There will be another full US tour in the Fall that is being worked on.

When can get more Tombs since I really wish this had been a full album?!?

The rough plan is to record at the end of the year for a 2017 release.  We have a lot of the material in the works. I’m hoping to have most of it in the demo phase over the summer.

For more information, visit: tombsbklyn.bandcamp.com

To read my review of “All Empires Fall,” click here!

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
This entry was posted in avant garde, black metal, death metal, extreme metal, progressive metal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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