UTG INTERVIEW: Trioscapes

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Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Rush, Scale The Summit, King Crimson, and Animals As Leaders collaborated on an album together? Well Trioscapes may have the cure for your curiosity and your wildest dreams…

They are a talented (understatement) instrumental trio that delivers a new, refreshing and organic sound that spawned from plans to play a simple one-off show which quickly turned into somewhat of an epiphany. They decided to turn that one-time-only into a full on project and we as music listeners should be very thankful.

UTG had the opportunity to speak with bassist Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me) about their forthcoming debut, touring plans and how he isn’t affected by the haters. Read through to get the scoop on what will surely be one of the higher caliber contenders in the progressive scene and make sure to pick up their debut album Separate Realities when it drops next week via Metal Blade.

What are you hoping listeners will gain from Separate Realities?
Well, I think the record will help people on both sides of the fusion/metal spectrum to experience new sounds. People in the jazz/fusion world might not be used to hearing saxophone in such a sometimes aggressive setting, and fans of BTBAM or other progessive metal bands might not be used to hearing saxophone at all, let alone high energy spastic music written without guitars. I hope it’d turn some people on to Mahavishnu Orchestra who’ve maybe never heard of them either. A song like that is my kind of jazz standard; it spoke to me more than the charts we’d read in my jazz ensemble classes in high school and college, so I’d hope maybe this album will help people get into that wild, weird world.

How has the response been at your shows so far?
It’s been great! Performing this music is so demanding but so much fun, and we’ve been able to play with super avant garde, noise groups, hardcore bands, indie rock bands, punk rock bands, and other instrumental bands as well. I like that we’re able to fit in with so many different bands. Somehow it always works.

What are your touring plans looking like this year?
We’re planning to be out late in June and into July, in September, and hopefully again in November/December. We’re trying to fill up as much of our year as we can, playing for as many new people as possible!

Are there plans to continue the project beyond Separate Realities?
Yep! Every time we get together we inevitably start jamming on something new… there’s a few things brewing already.

What influences go into the Trioscapes writing process?
It’s different for every song. Some songs we brought in fully written, some started with a saxophone melody or two that Matt and I were able to turn inside out and bring to life and write off of, and some things came from just jamming together. I like that there’s no real strategy to doing it. It’s purely based off of playing together and trying new things.

What made you decide to incorporate sax/flute rather than guitars?
I only thought to do something because the idea of playing with Walter had been in my head for a little bit, but I just didn’t know in what capacity. It was just perfect timing for both of us and it really turned into something that we couldn’t have imagined.

How will Trioscapes be affected by the member’s other bands?
Oh, I don’t think it will be. Everyone in our other bands are really supportive of what we’re doing. It’s important to constantly be evolving and pushing our playing to new levels, and it will always help the other musical outlets we have.

How does Trioscapes differ from the other bands you guys are involved with?
I like that I don’t have the feeling of rushing through parts to get to somewhere else. The songs have a real natural flow to them and everything that happens is a direct reaction to something that has already happened in the song, instead of working with collections of riffs that a bunch of people have written and trying to figure out what is the core of the song. We’re all very much on the same page when we’re writing, it makes the whole thing a lot of fun.

From forums and comments on reviews and such, I’ve been reading a lot of posts from people that seem to believe this project and your upcoming album will be highly overrated. What are your thoughts on this?
I don’t get sad if people don’t like the music I’m a part of. Some reviewers threw a fit years ago when they heard a bluegrass part on a BTBAM album, but those people just missed the whole thing that was going on. They hated all the things that made the album what it was and made it stand out. I write music for me. If you have a narrow view of what a metal band should be, or what jazz is, this might not be for you! I’d hope people that like energetic forward thinking music would be down to check it out.

What’s the next big mission for Trioscapes?
To hit everywhere in the States and then the rest of the world! We’re all really excited about this band and so glad that the record is finally out and people can check out the music.

Written and conducted by: Brian Leak

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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