It’s been just over a year since post-metal titans Telepathy released their second album Tempest, a gargantuan instrumental concept piece depicting the harrowing journey of a person beset with grief and faced with total isolation after awaking from a great flood. Building on the chaotic attack of debut 12 Areas, the album drew from a rich palette, painting an emotional weight in lush soundscapes and passages of warming brutality. As the band prepare for another European trek featuring both headline shows and some high-profile festival slots, MonkHammer sat down with guitarist Rich Powley to discuss the journey so far:
So, how’s the reaction to Tempest been?
To be honest, it’s been incredible so far. For the album to be met with such acclaim from all corners of the world was heartwarming, and as we got into the touring cycle seeing the great festivals and tours we have been able to do on the back of it is amazing.
12 Areas was somewhat frenzied if you don’t mind us saying, playing well into your love of giving it everything on stage, but Tempest comes across as more cohesive, introspective and dare we say it, intelligent. How has that affected your approach to playing these songs live? Does giving the album a narrative make it harder to choose a set list that mixes past and present?
Thats definitely a fair comment and was our intention with 12 Areas. Our approach to playing shows never changes though, its always 110%, pedal to the floor every night. Live we’ve played with a few variations of setlists and we do shuffle the order of some songs and insert the odd 12 Areas track to give a better live experience and keep the intensity up.
Being invited to play Roadburn last year seemed like a very natural fit for you guys. How was that as an experience?
Roadburn was a huge milestone for us, its a festival every band in our niche of music dreams of playing and it lived up to expectations in every regard – a packed room even though we clashed with Baroness and Zeal & Ardor and the crowd just went off from the beginning til the end.
That’s awesome, and an impressive couple of acts to hold your own against!
Which shows on the horizon are you most looking forward to?
We’re especially looking forward to Desertfest [London, UK], Post Valley Festival [Giessen, Germany] and of course Dunk! Festival [Zottegem, Belgium], which people seem really excited about our show at. We’re super excited to be doing full sets in the UK, finally getting to play Scotland and hitting Poland for the first time on this Tempest touring run.
And as fans, who are you looking forward to seeing?
I’m super excited to see Rosetta again after playing with them in London, and to be seeing our label mates in Radare at Dunk! Festival. We’re hoping to catch a bit of High on Fire and catch up with loads of mates at Desertfest too.
Your albums pull influence from so many genres (doom, sludge, post-metal, crust etc). Are there any particular crowds that accept you, or make you feel more comfortable, than others? How do the audiences differ from town-to-town, country-to-country?
We’re kind of lucky in the regard that we can share bills with many different types of bands and still do our thing with no compromises made. Certainly the further east in Europe you go, the crazier the crowds are, but maybe this is due to the fact that not many international bands go there too often. All in all our crowds tend to always be awesome, respectful and really invest themselves in the band and music wherever we go, something we are incredibly thankful for.
You’ve toured with Conjurer in the past, and will be back together at ArcTanGent. How does it feel to see your friends blowing up like they are at the moment? What’s your opinion on the UK scene at the moment?
It feels fucking great to see so many rad bands from the UK getting the props they deserve. Its great to see your friends doing well and to see each other at various shows and fests on the road.
Anyone else we should be looking out for at the moment?
So many, but definitely check Old Man Lizard opening Desertfest, and our friends in Jotnarr and our Swiss pals Coilguns who just released one of the albums of the year.
Touring is the lifeblood for many bands, but how do you feel about reports that Apple will close the iTunes download store next year to focus on streaming? Is this yet another kick in the plums for young bands, or simply a sign of the changing way in which people consume music? Where do you stand on the streaming vs physical/download argument?
We’re lucky to play a type of music that has fans that really care about physical records and high quality products so I hope that trend continues. At this stage in the game everyone knows that streaming royalties are a complete farce and that the major streaming services are rigged in favour of the major labels who invest in them. We’re a band that likes to make albums and has a huge amount of respect for the art form so streaming is not something that has really concerned us. It would be great to see more underground bands included in the sponsored playlists and such, but it isn’t something I see happening any time soon.
And finally, what’s next for Telepathy?
New music! After this tour we’re going to continue getting ideas for the next record. Honestly, everything has been going so well that we’ve been very focused on spending as much time on the road as possible and loving every minute of it, but now the ideas are coming and we’re stoked to get back into the studio to write and record.
So there you have it, thanks Rich! The colossus that is Tempest is out now, and more than worthy of your time. You can check out the track Celebration of Decay below, and if you’re down with it (and seriously, why wouldn’t you be?), the whole album is available direct from the band via Bandcamp
The band’s European tour will start in Glasgow on 1st May.
01.05 Glasgow, Nice & Sleazy^
02.05 Manchester, Star & Garter^
03.05 Birmingham, The Flapper^
05.05 London, Desertfest
09.05 Nijmegen, Doornroosje*
10.05 Giessen, Post Valley Festival*
11.05 Dunk! Festival
12.05 Berlin, Jagerklaus
13.05 Dresden, Chemiefabrik
15.06 Jena, Cafe Wagner
17.05 Warsaw, Hydrozogadka
18.05 Gdansk, Protokultura
19.05 Wroclaw, TBC
20.05 Cologne, TBC
^ co-headline with Dopelord
* with The Ocean and Rosetta
Categories: Features, Interviews