Interview with The Sword: The Way The Cookie Crumbles

The SwordAustin’s The Sword have achieved the impossible in a very short span of time. With only two records to their credit [and a live EP, Freya] the quartet has been deemed the second coming of metal’s forefathers, Black Sabbath, and they’re currently on tour with metal’s long reigning kings, none other than Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, Metallica.

The Sword’s Age Of Winters and Gods Of The Earth discs on Kemado Records are epically dooming, engulfing and thoroughly scorch with the same potency as a volcanic eruption. Bassist Bryan Richie explained how he, along with singer/guitarist John D. Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt and drummer Trivett Wingo, brewed their apocalyptic elixir: “We did Age Of Winters in my fucking bedroom. It doesn’t have to be super pro for people to enjoy it! The songs just have to be good. Slick production—there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s nothing wrong with a good song and a rad chorus.”

The Sword are defining the term “new classic” and Bryan recalled how they initially came into fruition. “When I met JD, I was playing guitar in another band and he had no idea that I played bass at all. Then I saw The Sword play and JD was playing bass. He was like, ‘If you know anyone that wants to play bass in this band, come talk to me.’ I was like, ‘Dude, I’ll be your bass player.’ That was four years ago.” The man who has a love affair with the open road and began by playing double bass in orchestra further detailed his experiences after being exposed to the international spotlight.

JD did a majority of the writing for Age Of Winters, was it a different scenario for Gods Of The Earth?

Yeah, it was a little bit different. I mean, we didn’t have the years, and year that JD had to put together Age Of Winters. That being said, we had about six months to do it. We were all together, I can’t claim ownership of one particular song, but there were some key changes that I suggested and Trivett even put in his two sense on guitar parts and arrangements, so it was a little more of a group record.

I think that part of the appeal is that it feels like the soundtrack to the end of time.

I feel that way, too. I would hope that people can find a soundtrack ability to that nature in our music. I have always been a fan of more epic things like as far as music as concerned. Like if the track has a really intricate structure, or is technical in the right way, things like that appeal to me. I try to craft basslines where it’s not necessarily like part A, part B, part C. Every part ebbs and flows to where it’s bringing it up to a certain point. You have to make a killer record, the whole thing has to be killer. You want people to listen to your whole album.

We have been having these discussions lately like, ‘What is a good album length?’ When everything was limited to vinyl, records were 30 minutes, 35 minutes. Now standard is like 40-ish aside from Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson who put out like a full 80-minute long CD. So this next Sword record we were thinking about taking it down to 30 minutes and making it the most serious kick ass record. It’s going to be like an eight, nine-track rock/heavy metal record and like try not to expect your listeners to invest so much of their time. Everyone has ADD now, I am the worst, I put on a song and I listen to like two minutes of it, and it’s like, ‘Okay, cool.’