When I first stumbled upon Tethered To A Dying Animal’s Impermanent EP I was pretty hooked. Artist of the Day, an album review, and listening to it two or three times a day means you’re hooked, right? Either way, I thought I’d reach out to the artist himself to get a line on recording, codeine-laced beer, and the importance of lyrics. Check out the full interview, exclusively here on Iron Hops.
Iron Hops: So, is TTADA a solo project? That’s pretty interesting. Can you give us some insights into the writing and recording of “Impermanent”?
TTADA: This was recorded in my bedroom, even though I usually hit up a friend’s studio for my projects. However, I like to revise the songs constantly, and especially during the recording process, and I don’t have the luxury of spending lots of time in studio to make all of those changes as they occur to me. Thus, I figured it would be best to record it at home, that way I wouldn’t have to focus on any kind of schedule. As for the guitar tone, I spent a hell of a lot of time trying to find that particular tone, just using the minimal equipment that I have. Surprisingly, a lot of that tone is due to the fact that I’m tuning a cheap six-string down to G. I love the sound of strings wobbling. I love the sound of a string struggling to hold its tuning. That’s definitely what I wanted for TTADA. And yes, it was a solo effort, though I have people to fill out the line up in case I ever get the opportunity to take TTADA live (which I would love to do).
IH: Yeah, I really dig that detuned, wobbly string sound as well. You really nailed the kind of “bomb string” sound that Floor used back in the 90′s. I’m taking it that kind of early sludge-pop was a big influence?
TTADA: Yeah, Floor and similar artists were definitely an influence, but also lots of other acts that are heavier than hell in their own way, such as Sunn0))) and Coffins.
IH: I really love a lot of the little notes like the off-center accent bits that pop up and the odd way you write melodies. They all point me to an artist that’s been involved in making music and recording as well. Have you worked in any other projects or bands outside of TTADA?
TTADA: I’ve been working in several projects, some for over a decade now. I suppose the most closely related would be my funeral doom project The Howling Void. But I was also in a project called NORMPETERSON, and TTADA is kind of the spiritual successor to that band. NORMPETERSON had a similar sound, but was more noise-oriented and I guess a lot more abstract. All in all, I’ve spent the majority of my time for the past decade locked away in my room writing music. It is kind of my way of interacting with a world that I don’t really like interacting with any other way.
IH: What’s next for the project? Working on a full-length to keep me satisfied?
TTADA: I’d like to put together a full length for sure. I’ve been writing and throwing around new ideas ever since putting out the EP, but the process has been a bit slow due to constant bouts of writer’s block and the constant, irritating demands of “real life” that keep me from doing what I love.
IH: Since we’re a site that writes about craft beer AND heavy metal (fuck yeah), I’m almost obligated to ask you if you dig craft beer. If TTADA were to have a signature beer, what would it be?
TTADA: Craft beer? Yes please. It’s hard for me to imagine what a TTADA signature beer would be like, but something tells me that, in order to give the drinker the appropriate feeling, it would have to be laced with codeine.
IH: I was reading through the lyrics in the ID3 tags and your lyrics are really minimal. For some reason, that’s surprising to me after listening to the songs as many times as I have. Do you consider the lyrics an integral part of TTADA songs or are they just lyrics?
TTADA: I do consider the lyrics to be integral. The minimalism of the lyrics is kind of a conceptual thing; that is, I often find it difficult to articulate what it is I’m trying to convey through words. So I could either write a lengthy paragraph trying to explain all of the nuances of what I’m trying to express, or I can file it all down to what I think is the essence of it all. This is conceptual in that, the terseness of the lyrics expresses my difficulty in expressing myself verbally.
This goes a lot deeper than most people care to delve, I’m sure, but the difference between music and words is huge in my mind. Words are loaded with meanings, meanings that are obtained from all kinds of different people, places, and times. When somebody reads the lyrics, there is a complicated process that goes on in their head as they decipher the words before they actually “feel” or “experience” whatever it is I’m trying to say. With music, however, the impact is direct and immediate. You don’t have to think about the music to enjoy it, you just experience it.
IH: I guess that’s what I was getting at. You really work hard to set up a scene more than conveying feeling with verbosity. It’s a very interesting way to present things, as your lyrics aren’t necessarily “abstract”, yet you don’t get the whole story through just reading the lyrics like you might with a lot of songs. They really are tied into the feeling of the music as much as they try to stand on their own.
TTADA: Absolutely. I guess a simpler way to put it is: you have to think about words before you get a feeling from them, but with music you get a direct feeling without the intermediate step of cognition.