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Interview Neurosis at Temples Festival

18 June 2014 No Comment

Scott Kelly & Steve Von Till Interview
05-03-2014 @ Temples Festival
Bristol, United Kingdom
Interview & Photos: Jeff Longo

Stubble sat down with Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly of sludge metal titans Neurosis at the the inaugural Temples Festival in Bristol, England. We discussed their latest release Honor Found in Decay ( 2012 Neurot Recordings), profitability, the visual and sound elements to the live show, hints at a new album, and the Temples Festival.

Photo Slideshow – Neurosis performing at Temples Festival Day 1.– click here

More Temples Festival – tons more photos & interviews from Temples Festival – click here

Stubble: You know they put a warning out for tonight right?
What for your ears? The sound guy is really mean, really mean guy?

Stubble: What decibel level, are we talking Motörhead levels?
It’s hard to tell but it’s not…what he does volume but it’s not piercing and horrible, because nobody wants to deal with piercing and horrible. It’s loud but it’s warm. And when needs to hurt, it will hurt. But when it needs just be loud and heavy it’s just loud heavy and warm
Scott: He’s not a complete sadist but he does have a mean streak…and that room is just kinda perfect. It’s nice compact. Lots of speakers.

Stubble: This is your first time playing in Bristol and the first Temples Festival. How difficult is it to book Neurosis for a summer festival?
It comes down what makes sense for us personally with our time, families, and jobs; we definitely prefer to play our own gigs you know where we want when we want. This festival is different I mean this isn’t some huge, this is a small…it’s playing with our peers and you know that kind of thing as opposed to a giant pop festival that has a side tent for heavy music or something. It really just has to make sense when we wanna go play and where the offers are.

Stubble: Is it becoming profitable for you guys?
Yeah, basically at this point it can be, as long as we don’t have any major fuck ups. But you know we lost money for ever and ever and ever, so this band being profitable? I mean if you were to look at over the twenty-eight years we’ve been together. Yeah we can do ok. We can help subsidize our incomes off of it, you know I’m sure if we toured all the time we could do pretty good but at the same time that would be sacrificing a lot of things we’re not willing to sacrifice.
Steve: And we’ve seen that change too, because there was times when we thought we could and then all of sudden Germany doesn’t like guitar music anymore for five years. And then you’ve been around the US too many times and your starting to recognize that gas station in the middle of Indiana and you know exactly where the yahoo is.
Scott: People don’t want to come out too…what we do and the way we do it to people…people can only take so much of it you know?

Stubble: I finally was able to catch you guys live back in December for a hometown show in San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom. I was a little disappointed at first because of the lack of visuals, which are legendary, but I have to tell you that the stripped down set with just the music blew my head off. How are the fans reacting to the change in style?
Like you just said, it was one of those things we were hesitant to let it go for a minute because we were hooked on it that is what we do. Go back to 1992 when we first started using visual elements there wasn’t video projectors in places, there wasn’t the internet like there is, there wasn’t any of this massive screen culture we live now and we took it from, as far as the mechanics of it I think we borrowed the idea from an almost art scene, industrial warehouse kind of art damage perspective but we used a lot of the equipment from the sixties guys who were hot-rodding slide projects and making color wheels and it was in 2000 after we had enough of that with that person that was doing that we brought Josh in for a decade of getting us really polished in the video world because that seemed more cutting edge and at a certain point it felt a part of what main stream culture is. Everybody is always staring at screens it wasn’t some political decision or something like that it just felt like actually now the music is more powerful because back then the whole idea was to psychologically break somebody’s mind open with hypnotic, strobing visuals so the music would penetrate deeper.
Scott: Now they’re all broken. They come to the show broken already because they’ve been hypnotizing themselves all day long so the best thing we could do would be to give them some stark, with no escape whatsoever and its actually way more impressive without the visuals because we don’t offer them an alternative. They can’t just zone out and self-soothe themselves on the pretty pictures anymore. Now they have to look at our ugly asses and deal with the volume and the weight of the emotion of the music.

Neurosis  @ Temples Festival 05-03-2014

Stubble: Incredible. No Honor in Decay – the tracks are built around a simple riff,
It’s pretty simple.
Stubble: But What I found is that it rewards the listener with each new listen. For as simple as it is it’s very complex and dense. Was that by design?
Intuition more than design. That’s just the type of music we were just put here to create. The magic of what we all bring to the table…with all our individual strengths it just brings all these different layers of depth and things that you can key into at different moments and different things that move you but it’s not an intellectual design, it’s a gut level expression for sure.

Stubble: My favorite track “My Heart For Deliverance” the sample towards the end did you write that?
The spoken sample? You’d have to ask Noah, but I don’t think so. I think that he got that from somewhere else but I don’t know that to be a fact. We had a friend of ours read it that is her voice that you are hearing.
Steve: Over the cell phone at that moment when idea came.
Scott: It was actually over Skype

Stubble: I have to say it chokes me up when I hear it.
Yeah it gets me to every night when we play it that is a really intense moment for me, I really feel it coming and then the part that comes after really cuts it loose.

Stubble: You find that throughout the album, I would be driving the lower parts I would crank it up a little bit and then BAM! it would just come back in.
And then your speakers are all fucked up. I’ve had a bad experience, not with my own shit, but Sleep has done that to me before.

Stubble: Any side projects you guys are working on? Any Shrinebulder coming out?
Well Shrinebulder’s done.
Stubble: So we can say Shrinebuilder is officially dead?
Scott: Yeah it’s over…at least in it’s original incarnation. I have a new band called Corrections House we put out a record last year and we just started recording a second record. I got solo shit with road home band.

Stubble: Well I missed your solo acoustic show you did…
A lot of people did (chuckling)
Stubble: For whatever reason, I wasn’t in town at the time.

Stubble: What do you think about King Buzzo from the Melvins taking the lead and doing the same thing? I mean he’s really just doing acoustic versions of Melvin’s songs and it reminded me of exactly what you did.
Yeah, nothing wrong with picking up an acoustic guitar and jamming.

Stubble: You guys working on any new material?
We don’t have a timeline but it’s starting to boil up a little bit.
Scott: We definitely starting to make room so that we can make time together to start really focusing because like he said it’s starting to boil up inside.

For tons more photos & interviews from Temples Festival – click here

Neurosis  @ Temples Festival 05-03-2014
Neurosis  @ Temples Festival 05-03-2014
Neurosis  @ Temples Festival 05-03-2014

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