This year saw the doom world reaching new lows with the almighty incantations of a strenghthened ASVA, originally formed in the droning wake of Burning Witch by B.R.A.D. and G. Stuart Dahlquist and now with the pair having forged allegiance with Jessika Kenney, Troy Swanson, John Schuller and Trey Spruance. After assaulting the ears of audiences across America and the UK in support of album Futurists Against The Ocean (released on Web of Mimicry earlier in the year) drummer B.R.A.D. soon found his way to Maui but on his return made the time to answer a few of our questions via the means of electronics communication.
Philip: I saw you on your recent UK tour in Brighton and the response was pretty awesome. Was this the same for the whole tour? How did you feel the music went down with the UK audiences?
B.R.A.D.: Yes, the whole tour was very well received.
Philip: The music played at the gig came on like one large piece although was actually recognisable as songs from the album, unless I am mistaken. The gig kept more one overall sound and mood throughout which differs from the more varied feel of the album though. Was it a conscious decision to use the gigs as a way to reinterpret the pieces and form a more consistent, larger piece?
B.R.A.D.: In the UK, we performed two songs from the latest album, and two new songs. So far, on our albums and in our live performances, the music comes across as one large piece even though it may consist of different movements.
Philip: The obvious difference between the album and live show is the lack of vocals in the latter. What accounts for this? Vocalist Jessika Kenney appears very prominently on the record, what is the relationship between her and the band now?
B.R.A.D.: Jessika was unable to make it on this tour. She is still involved with this project.
Philip: “Drone” seems now to have become a genre (helped by Sunn O))) and the related reclamation of Earth) and a genre with which you certainly have allegiance. Drone and doom metal can even be seen to be gaining a wider or renewed appreciation. How could you explain or what do you think about this? Or do you think that there is only the same interest that there has always been?
B.R.A.D.: I think that this genre has definitely grown in popularity. I’m very happy to have been a presence in this scene. As far as this genre gaining more interest, I believe Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley have done a lot of footwork for this scene.
Philip: What is the appeal for you to play the incredibly slow tempos of your music?
Philip: Do you feel that it’s just as hard and as technical to master the sometimes complex and always slow time-signatures involved in the music that you play compared with faster bands often actually termed “technical” for example Dillinger Escape Plan or Necrophagist?
B.R.A.D.: I’m in several different projects that deal in both extremes. Both styles require complete discipline. Check out Apes of Wrath for a speedy example.
Philip: The band was formed by yourself and G. Stuart Dahlquist after playing together in Burning Witch; what, however, led to the inception of ASVA?
Was there any particular intention? How do you feel the band has developed since its origins and since the line-up of you, Stuart and Dylan Carlson? Have all of the members affected the sound dramatically or is the band still more specifically led by the two founders?
B.R.A.D.: Stuart and I enjoy drinking together and wanted to start something new. I believe we set up a backbone to our vision and the other members contribute their own dramatic signature.
Philip: So why ASVA as a name? Does it hold any specific significance?
B.R.A.D.: ASVA stands for horse (working horse in Sanskrit).
Philip: What does the future hold? Is there a new record planned and if so will there be more additions to the line-up for it?
B.R.A.D.: We are scheduled to record a new record in March. Always expect old and new faces.
Philip: Thanks for your time:
We shall look then to the offerings of the new year…