Hey kids! Here’s another interview that I literally have no recollection of happening! In my defence, I can see why I forgot it: This was very clearly an email interview, as the way it’s structured and phrased is not reflective of a proper interview at all. Credit where it’s due, I have to thank Kevin for actually taking the time to carefully reply to my dumb questions and not give me the usual one-sentence garbage I’ve had to deal with in the past. This goes way deeper than I thought it would, considering it was an email interview and it was only for an EP (a fucking great EP, mind you).
I have a lot of time for In Trenches, they only play once every blue moon but they’re always amazing to revisit. I think I’ll throw them one once I’m done uploading this.
Melbourne hardcore kids IN TRENCHES have been relatively quiet in recent years, but that is all about to change with the release of their exhilarating and exciting new EP, Sol Obscura. DAVID JAMES YOUNG caught up with vocalist KEVIN CAMERON to get the story so far, and find out what the band have planned as they blaze the comeback trail.
AHM: Hey, Kevin! How has 2012 been treating you so far?
Kevin Cameron: The world’s still here, so we all dodged that ridiculous bullet so far…right?
It’s been quite some time between Relive and Regret and now. Why do you feel it’s taken so long to get In Trenches focused on new material?
I guess this band’s a hobby. I feel like when we actually get together to create something, we can produce something pretty unique; but at the end of the day, it’s a very relaxed group. Also, we took a long time finding a suitable drummer, since the previous guy left the group, so that really slowed us down. Eventually, we re-grouped and slowly started throwing ideas about. Members in the group have higher priority real life-duties, so we haven’t been in any great rush to put out a follow up. That said, the bulk of this material was written early last year, so the time between writing, tracking in mid-year and the thing coming out now has been pretty mammoth.
How do you feel Sol Obscura differs – and, even, betters – your previous material?
I’m going try my best to avoid all the clichés which usually follow that question. Every band will tell you “it’s our most melodic, yet heaviest, yet original, yet…. blah blah” when posed with this question. I’ll just say we honed in, making sure it was structurally better planned than the last record. We’ve found our feet more, and amplified what stood out in the older songs and “trimmed the fat,” I guess. It isn’t as rushed and isn’t as frantic; so, in turn, the songs aren’t as up and down. We just went for a pretty continuous barrage. The intricacies are in the overall sound, making sure everything complements each other to become that wall of sound. It’s still “our” sound, just not limited by both rushed writing and also the without the fear of being too experimental, and not really caring if we’re considered a “hardcore” band.
There has been a shift in the In Trenches line-up between releases. How do you feel the new recruits have worked into the fold of the band? Do you feel the line-up is currently at its best?
It’s worked great. The first record I wrote and structured it all on my own and played all the parts, so this time the jam-room whole band writing process was way better than getting stuck on an idea in my head and just going “that’ll do!” Our new drummer is probably the easiest drummer I’ve ever worked with, in that I can ramble an idea and he’ll immediately decipher it and make it better than I could have explained. Rob’s (guitar) involvement was equally as valuable in making this record a lot stronger. He’s a very talented musician, and contributed really well in terms of writing/ structuring. In all, this was more of a “band” effort, and I think it shows on the finished product. Everyone’s very strong players, and we are very aware of how one another plays, too, which is important in locking everything in. This is the strongest line-up – especially on the live front.
For you, personally, how does the dynamics of In Trenches as a band differ from your previous bands? Do you feel the songwriting is more democratic?
Initially, it was the opposite. On this release, we have become more of an open forum, so even if the skeleton of a song was there, everyone else pitches in to make it into a whole. Dynamically, we’re all very different people and don’t really operate smoothly, to be honest. It’s a weird dysfunctional type of thing. I think that might be why the recording sounds so pissed off. [laughs]
What was your favourite song to record on Sol Obscura and why?
Beneath was the first song written and the first song tracked, so that one got me pretty stoked to finally see it with a full stop at the end of it. It came out pretty much exactly how I wanted it to, but I hadn’t ever felt like it was going to “get there.” The surprise one was probably An Impending Collapse, which went from feeling pretty weak into morphing into the angriest, most abrasive track on the record. I got chills when I finally heard it with Ben and Rob’s vocals completed.
Is Sol Obscura a sign of things to come? Will another LP be in the works?
Hopefully. This was always meant to be a low-key segue release to tie us over ’til the next album. It’s just that the full thing turned out pretty overwhelmingly better than I pictured these songs to end up. Topping it is going to be a bit of a task, but from the looks of how we are veering, I’d hope the next one can be just as strong – if not stronger. It may end up that we just throw some more newer material online when it comes to fruition before concentrating on the next long haul, or there might be a flood of inspiration out of nowhere and the next thing you hear from us is some big opus.
What are the major plans for the rest of 2012?
Aside from continuing to avoid asteroids and bibles, nothing major. We have no agenda. Every other group in the before and after pages of this magazine probably sat around a whiteboard with a great strategy of how to “make it” and that’s just not us. If we can play a bunch of shows without damaging ourselves and our gear too much, and along the way a few people get a grasp on what we’re trying to do and enjoy it, then great!