Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions. How have you been?
Thank you for having us. We’ve been doing well over here. Getting all our ducks in a row and prepping for tour that rolls out on Friday. Jam packing some rehearsals in to be tip top for this run.
I want to congratulate you on the release of ‘Ruined’ – I was incredibly impressed. Never did the methodical doomy side of metal grab me before, but you guys mix in just enough Mastodon, hardcore and progressive elements to make it all sound focused. How did this sound come to be and how long have you guys been going at it?
Thank you for the kind words. Collectively we’re all pretty stoked to finally push ‘Ruined’ out into the world. We’ve been collaborating for nearly two years now, so some of the ideas on this record are of the same age at this point. It’s been very exciting to finally see them through. The idea of Lesser Glow began with a couple extremely rough demos I threw together in my apartment. I remember telling Scotty (bass player and longtime friend/collaborator) I wanted to make “something heavy with patience”. The title track was the first to rise out of that statement and quickly became the catalyst for the project. It made its way around the music community and eventually led us to our current lineup, which is where my idea ends and Lesser Glow begins. As a group we never set out to make anything too specific or mulled over direction and genre. The energy felt palpable, and I believe it became the major driving force for all of us. Good energy created trust, and trust created what you hear.
You guys are from Boston, which had quite a vibrant hardcore punk and later hardcore scene in the past. Do you feel that era of music shines through in your sound at all?
Most definitely. Speaking for myself, the raw reality of that scene had a massive influence on me in my adolescence. It made me want to make REAL music. Trim all the fat and say exactly what you want to say how you want to say it. Collectively we’ve all expressed our desire to do the same; make real music, something I think Boston has always done and continues to do.
Coming from Holland, I’ve got no clue how tough the scene is in Boston. What’s the culture like and is there a lot of competition in your genre?
Boston is quite an interesting music community. It’s home to some of the hardest working musicians I know, but it’s never felt overtly competitive to me. It’s not easy pursuing music here. It’s not as large as New York or LA, so there’s less opportunity. But I think we all find solidarity in that and turn it into a way to push/support each other instead. I’m not sure Lesser Glow would be a band if it weren’t for the community here.
I’d like to go in-depth with ‘Ruined’ for a second, if you don’t mind, starting with the title-song opener. Slow, incredibly heavy and still in-your-face are monikers I’d give it. What made you choose this song as the opener for the album? Was it the fact that it was the first song, and being the catalyst and all?
Yes, that song is really the idea that spawned the whole project… kind of a musical thesis statement if you will. It definitely sets a tone for the rest of the record, which is what we all like about it. Heavy, patient but still in-you-face as you say.
’Tel Meggido’ features some more proggy influences (and a lot of the ‘Crack The Skye’-era Mastodon I mentioned earlier). Do you go out of your way to incorporate those sounds or do they come as natural to you as the heavier riffs?
I don’t believe we go out of our way for anything we write. We’re all gigantic music fanatics, regardless of genre or style, so influences from other places naturally find their way into our sound. ‘Tel Meggido’ came from following ideas without overthinking. Sometimes you can surprise yourself when you write without restrictions. ‘Tel Meggido’ is a good example of that.
I noticed some interesting lyrics on ‘Vacant Throne’ and ‘Tel Meggido’ as well. Are there central lyrical themes to the album?
As a record, ‘Ruined’ comments on the current state of humanity. Blinded by consumerism, we’re doomed to repeat ourselves. It’s about working your life away for nothing while you live vicariously on the internet. Or building cities on top of piles of ruin and thinking things will change. And all the while people seem proud of their ignorance.
The eerie instrumental interlude in the form of ‘Fall On Mortal Decay’ is a welcome change of pace on the album… if it wasn’t for ‘Under The Polar Shade’ to completely decimate anyone who’d stopped to take a breather. What can you tell me about the writing process for this diptych?
We all love through composed records, so it was always our intent to throw an interlude in there somewhere. ‘Fall on Mortal Decay’ was a last minute idea written in the studio that actually carries more weight than expected. So much so that the last three song titles are meant to be read together. “Empty Eyes Fall on Mortal Decay Under the Polar Shade”. It was a chordal idea that developed out of a very inspiring clean tone from a vintage fender. Sometimes I feel like tone can play you if you catch my meaning.
Definitely! What else can you tell me about the gear used on the album?
Most everyone in this band is a gear-head, so we really went nuts tracking this record.
Seth played a gigantic set of Vintage Ludwigs in a 600 seat 1920s Theatre. I believe the sizes were as follows:
Snare: 8”(depth) x 14” (height)
Scotty played a 70s Guild bass through an Acoustic Model 150 into a matching 2x15 and an old Ampeg flip top.
I played a 90s Guild S100 split into a Traynor YBA Bassmaster powering a late 70s Ampeg V-2 4x12 and a Peavy Musician 400a powering 2 Peavy 2x15 cabinets from different eras. (Holy fucking shit – editor note)
Benji played a custom Dunable R2 through a VHT Pitbull into an ENGL 4x12 and a Ampeg V4b into a Peavy 2x15.
Some of the “cleaner” sounds were done with a Partscaster through a 50s Fender amp that, as I mentioned earlier, is the ultimate mood amp of all time.
The only true fault I can give ‘Ruined’ is that it’s to short – and that’s saying a lot. What are your plans for the months to come?
First and foremost getting out and supporting our record with a couple tours planned in the coming months. Outside of that, we’ve also been focusing a lot on writing and continuing to push ourselves creatively. ‘Ruined’ has given us a great starting point and left us with a large palette of sounds to explore. We’ve begun demoing songs for our next release, though there is no finite release date in mind. But for anyone able to catch us out and about we’ll certainly be playing new material spliced in with the old.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers in closing?
Just a sentiment of thanks and appreciation. Thank you for listening and showing interest in our music and ideas. Thank you for supporting small bands in niche genres. We’re excited to continue progressing and look forward to sharing more music with you.