Interview: Author & Punisher
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:40:36
Author & Punisher Videos
One-man heavy industrial army on the machines that make Melk En Honing sing, working with legendary Pantera singer Philip H. Anselmo, and so much more.
Author & Punisher represents the next level of heavy in industrial music. The latest album from mastermind Tristan Shone, Melk En Honing [Housecore Records], is a sprawling, stunning, and soaring mechanized epic. If you don't know the whole story just yet, we'll enlighten you about Mr. Shone. He started out as a mechanical engineer, achieved an MFA, worked the machine ships at UCSD, and started building the machines that now serve as his musical engine. He transplanted to San Diego from Boston, but he cut the new album with Pantera singer Philip H. Anselmo behind the board in New Orleans. Now, we've got his first epic for Housecore Records. It's a fascinating backdrop for this darkened, chugging yet catchy opus. He fills us in on the rest in this exclusive interview, talking about working Philip, the stories behind the songs, the next machines, and so much more.
You really open up your sonic world on Melk En Honing. It can be grinding, harrowing, and heavy, but also welcoming.
I listen to a lot of slow and electronic music, but I like the blend of heavy music. Early on, I was so interested in making new instruments because I was preoccupied with fabricating new sounds. I found that two years isn't enough time to learn a new instrument though. Working with someone like Philip is great; he isn't wowed with machines—but more sounds. There are some new machines that I have been working on called Drone Machines that were my thesis project in art school, but they were way too big to use. I had to invent something that was smaller to be able to tour with. That's when I brought in the keyboard and synthesizer as my main instrument.
What did Philip bring to the process in the studio?
Many people will say that the vocals are a lot more prominent here than on previous efforts. I don't even usually put the lyrics in the liner notes. It was a big deal to sit down and go through the lyrics. Before Drone Machines, there were several albums called The Painted Army and Warcry, which were both more guitar-driven and heavier. The vocals were prominent on those as well. Philip and I went in to make this after the Housecore Festival. I had toured around a lot on my own and got into some debt. I couldn't afford to build new machines, because they were going to cost 15- or 20-grand. So, I went down to "The Lair" and worked with Philip on Melk En Honing. I was there for three weeks, and we recorded the album over that time.
Was the atmosphere at his place inspiring? Did being in the woods influence you?
Well, I wrote everything in San Diego, which isn't exactly urban sprawl, but it is where I'm from and where the writing happens. When I went out to Philip's, it was pretty cold. His house is not typical by any stretch of the imagination. It's full of horror films, and the Crime Channel is on all the time. You would wake up, and there would be screaming from the TV and chainsaws revving up. The guy is 100 percent on with what he likes and his metal. In talking about lyrics, I'm an abstract writer. I write in an ambiguous manner. He picked up on my ideas and what I write though. His intellect is really up there, and he liked a lot of it. We wanted the album to be 100 percent heavy. He actually did call me out on a few songs, and he knew it right away. I then wrote two songs while I was at his house, "The Barge" and then "Shame." I had a little bit written, but they came together better.
Watch "Shame" from Author & Punisher: