What was the preparation process like for the shows? Were there rehearsals beforehand?

Oh yeah, we rehearsed for a bunch of days down in Los Angeles prior to the first show we did.

How do you think the band dynamic has developed there? Where do you think you guys are as a band?

Well, I know we’re writing material for a second album and our creative process is really cool because we really all contribute and we’re all very open to one another’s ideas. That’s entirely conducive towards more creativity, and it’s a really good situation.

Maybe not because you’re so close to it, but in listening to the album, you can hear everyone’s personality coming through, and not just in the vocals. Is that something you notice when you think of the material? Does it break down into, ‘Okay, this is Scott’s part, this is Wino’s part, this is my part?’

Not so much. I hear it as Shrinebuilder. I hear it as its own band. I don’t perceive it that way. There’s probably areas and riffs in the songs that you could probably guess which guy wrote it, but I think as it has cohesion and the way it is when the song is there, said and done, it takes on its own sound, it takes on its own character.

How do you feel that character translated live in these shows?

Really well. We were playing off one another’s parts and doing certain areas on improv, even. Starting to really communicate between the instruments, in addition to the song proper, which is on the album. Song proper, that was implemented correctly, but there were all these extra elements that came into being and I thought it was great. I felt really positive about it. A lot of new material starts to arise in that kind of situation and continues to evolve. Every show it continues to clarify itself more and more and develop. It’s a really good situation, yeah.

Is that how the writing process for new material began? Those sparks from the other songs?

It happens from many different ways, of course. Hearing a riff and bringing it into the band and presenting it, seeing where it goes from there, that’s one way it works. Definitely in other situations, the song sort of just arrives on its own through sound checks or through extensions of areas pre-existing. There’s all sorts of ways the music grows.

When you came into writing the self-titled, did you have ideas of what you wanted to contribute? Did you have riffs coming into it?

I had a couple. The very, very early stage of Shrinebuilder, Wino had ‘The Architect,’ I had the first half of ‘Solar Benediction’ and we knew we had those riffs and those structures. All four of us contributed ideas structurally to both of those and then everybody started to hear the riffs they thought complemented the others, and then, the usual writing thing where you work on it for a while, test out different structures, test out different riffs and configurations. All of it.

Now that you’ve had a little time to process the record and had the chance to get a reaction live, how do you feel about that material? Are there changes sound-wise you’d want to make going forward?

We’re already working on new songs, we all are. The unit starts to define its momentum and its own feel becomes more clarified. It starts to intensify itself. That’s happened through the shows. Of course, every band, when you get off the road, you know your record better than you did going in, even though you knew it going in completely and when you recorded it. Every band ever, after playing the album live enough times, goes, ‘Man, why couldn’t we have recorded it now? There’s this part and now we play this part this way?’ Even if you tour on songs, then go to a studio, after that studio recording and you go tour again, you still have that. It’s just that way. The songs never stop growing, ever.

I saw Shrinebuilder is going to be at Roadburn next year, and of course you were there this year with Om. Are you going to do more touring in the meantime?

Yeah. Shrinebuilder’s doing the Scion Festival and we’re doing a bunch of stuff on the West Coast sometime thereafter. Om’s really busy also. We’re going to England in a couple weeks and Europe a little bit after that. Emil and I are really busy writing for the fifth album already, so yeah. I’m looking forward to Roadburn. Walter’s a great guy, it’s a great festival. It’s a good community.

How is Om developing with the relationship between you and Emil on the drums?

Never been happier. The communication as musicians, as songwriters, as friends, it culls out music that the motive is the internal song you hear inside fueling the process externalizing it through the instruments. Communication’s so good that the finished rendered outcome in the external album accurately reflects that initial song you heard inside, inside your heart, inside your mind before the process. When that happens, you’re freed. You don’t carry that piece of music anymore. The current flows through the wire. It’s great. I’m incredibly happy about the new material and playing together. Very busy coming up. I know that God Is Good just came out a couple months ago, but the songs never stop. We’re already in the workshop.

I’ve been hearing the Sleep rumors about some American shows next year. Any truth to that?

There’s gonna be some shows in September. Yeah, we’ll be doing some dates out there [East Coast].

Shrinebuilder’s Shrinebuilder is available now on Neurot Recordings. For more info, check out myspace.com/shrinebuildergroup.

JJ Koczan knows very little about building a pyramid of the moon, but if you wanted to give him the bricks, he’d be willing to see what he could do. jj@theaquarian.com.

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  1. Franklin Brown

    THis interview reminds me I got ta get out to a good metal show soon.

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