TWISTED TOWER DIRE - True Heavy Metal From The US
True Heavy Metal From The US
- Tekst av Even Knudsen, 21. juni 2006 -
TWISTED TOWER DIRE was founded back in 1995, and has since then released two records with support from the Miskatonic Foundation label. 'The Curse Of Twisted Tower' was released in 1999 and 'The Isle Of Hydra' came two years later. Fans of true heavy metal should definitely check out both. The band are currently working on their third cd, 'The Crest Of Martyrs', Which is due for a June 2003 release. A new record deal has just been signed with German label Remedy Records, so I guess it's safe to say that things starts move in the right direction. I had a nice chat with guitarist Scott Waldrop, and here is what he had to say
Tell me a little about your previous releases, 'The curse of twisted tower' and 'The isle of hydra'. Are you pleased with these recordings, or are there things you would have done different? How has the media responded to these releases?
Scott: I think both recordings are good representations of where we were as a band when we recorded them. The evolution between both CD's is very apparent. Of course there are many things I would have done differently production and playingwise but this is simply how you grow and learn. I'm not too embarrassed about anything we've done. We're not perfect and we wouldn't try to pretend otherwise. The media response was VERY good for both albums but label response was pretty much the opposite with exception of The Miskatomnic Foundation who supported us through thick and thin unconditionally. The response to "The Isle of Hydra" was particularly positive. I think most critics saw the band come into our own on this one. It will be interesting to see what people think of the difference between Hydra and our next album "The Crest of the Martyrs". I think it will be quite a drastic improvement as far as song-writing and production is concerned. We're going to be obsessive about having everything be as good as it can be.
You have recently signed with Remedy Records in Germany, how did you get in touch with these guys? And what expectations do you have to Remedy? Scott: Remedy approached us one hung over morning after the Headbanger's Open Air Festival in Germany. We were all still drunk and the label and us laughed later about how each other must have thought the other were idiots because we felt like such shit we could barely talk, ha ha ha. Anyway, they were fans of the album "Isle of Hydra" and they thought we would fit in well with their roster of bands. They also were impressed with our live show which they feel is integral to a great metal band. I think we'll stick with Remedy for quite a while. They're a young label with plenty of room to grow such as TTD is as a band. They've also got great connections and put out a truly great product. I hope the relationship between TTD and Remedy is one that will grow together over the next few years.
Has any other labels shown their interest for Twisted Tower Dire? Scott: Yes we were actually talking to Lars from Metalium about possibly producing our next album and he said Massacre may be interested if his name was on it. As cool as it would be to work with someone like this and get on a great label like Massacre, it concerned us that they weren't really into us and only wanted to sign us because someone else's hands are on it. It seemed like a situation where we could get dropped like a bad habit. So we decided not even to pursue this and went with Remedy
Your third album, 'The crest of the martyrs', is scheduled for a june 2003 release. How far have you come in the process of making it, and how do you plan to progress? Scott: Well we've got all the songs written and right now we're giving them some "mileage" by playing dates around the Mid Atlantic Region. These are songs that we've put a lot of thought into and have spent a long time getting just right. This album will be less of a riff-orientated affair (by TTD standards that is) and more of a song-writers sort of album. The songsare anthems and less wandering. Just straight forward metal sing-a-longs! That's what we're going for on "Crest". In January and February we'll be in the studio recording "Crest" and we probably won't be doing very many shows at this time unless something really special comes along. Then in March we'll be taking the Pro Tools files to Germany to do the vocals and have it mixed. We're gonna get some bigger named people to help us get a better production but we haven't got word from Remedy yet on exactly who it will be.
Will there be any changes in style or can we expect more or less what we got on 'The isle of hydra'? Scott: Hydra was a step in the direction that Crest is going. On our first album the listener was trapped in a labyrinth of riffs and psychedelic noises. On Hydra the riffs were less and the music was more straight forward metal, but the songs still had tedious arrangements. This time, for "Crest of the Martyrs" we've put a lot of thought into stripping down our songs into their most raw form arrangement-wise. It's been a challenge for us because we've really had to sit down and analyze exactly what we feel makes a truly remarkable metal song. We're trying to write the songs that we would listen to and buy.
Who is the creative mastermind(s) of TTD? Tell me a little about your writing process? Scott: Lately it's been like this: Tony and I are the ones that usually come up with entire song ideas. Dave comes up with lots of riffs and we all help arrange his ideas into full songs. Marc and Jim are the guys that help polish everything over. They're both very good analyzing repetitions and nuances that we could as or take away to enhance the tune.
Over the years there has been several changes in the line up, what is the reason for this? Do you feel that your current line up is stable, and will last? Scott: You're only as strong as your weakest link. I personally have always tried to align myself with musicians who are worth my time as I've got an obsessive work ethic for TTD. If someone's not 110% dedicated they're out. But there's one more thing. They've got to be able to hang out and party. When there's one guy who doesn't feel the same way about the metal lifestyle then the band is no longer a band but just a group of guys playing music. For TTD the band has to be a GANG. That is a group of guys who are always looking out for each other and working for one common goal. We've always been searching for this perfect chemistry and I think we've finally found. TTD has never been fully prepared to conquer the world until this very moment. This line-up is extremely stable. We're all very good friends and enjoy the band immensely. Not to mention, all five of us pretty much just signed a contract with Remedy for 5 albums. That's the next 5 years at least. We'll be geezers with liver transplants by then.
How is the situation in the US today in respect to heavy metal? In Europe we can see that heavy metal is being more accepted, nothing like in the eighties, but still there is improvement. Bands like Hammerfall for instance are doing quite well. Do you feel that the situation is the same in the states? Scott: It's not quite the same because traditional metal bands simplyaren't allowed any commercial success, the media makes sure of this! The sub-culture is MUCH stronger over there but it's definitely not too bad over here. People come to the shows and there are some great bands. The problem is that the country is physically to big. It's hard to unite everyone because traveling is very expensive and time-consuming.
I've noticed that you have done some touring in Europe earlier. Tell me about that experienced? Was that financed by the band itself? How was the response from the fans? Scott: Touring Europe was one of the best times of my life. The fans are so enthusiastic and happy to see a real underground band fighting their way overseas. Every night I saw people singing a long to our songs as we played. That's a great feeling. Nothing beats it! Oh yes, AND THE BEER!!! The finance costs were shared by the band and Miskatonic.
You will also be playing next years Wacken festival. Will there be any other European shows? Any plans for a support tour or something like that? Scott: Remedy is working on getting us a support slot for a European tour next summer but if they cannot make it work within the time frame we have they'll put a Remedy tour together with bands like Stormwarrior, Paragon, Solemnity, etc
Where will Twisted Tower Dire be in five years from now? Scott: I hope we're all still good friends and that we'll have polished oursong-writing skills to as close to perfection as we can get. Of course I want more people to know the name "TTD" and for our sales to go up, but what's really important is that we contribute to the genre and write great music that people appreciate. Some people say that artists are inherently selfish because they sit around all day trying to create thing that please THEM. I don't see it this way. I'm an artist (and musician) not only because I like to please myself but also because I like to put something out in the world that can bring entertainment to other people. Afterall, every living creature must work, but laughter and ART make us human.
Well, I guess that would be it for now. Thanx again! Scott: Thanks so much for the interview!!!! Stay MetAAAAAAAAAAAAL! Please visit our website at www.twisted-tower-dire.com
That's all we got from Scott for now, but we will definitely keep an eye on this great band in the future as well