The Sword

Interview date

07 Juillet 2010




Interview Trivett Wingo (by phoners)

You already do the promotion for "Warp Riders", which will be release at the end of August. How is going the promotion?

It's very exciting, we are very proud of the record. We are very eager to talk about it and to promote it because we can't wait for it to be release.

Four years passed between your first album and this one, which is your third one. Do you think you can do a good work in a so short time?

Do we feel like we can make can do a quality work in a short time? I wouldn't say it's a short time. We took an entire year, even more than one year to write, record and release this record. We worked very hard, every week. It took a year to write and record the album. I wouldn't say we did it very quickly. We gave our self a lot of time, we take more time than ever to record it, and now we are taking more time than ever before to promote it before we release it. This is the first time we are so invested in an album.

All of you composed this album. What is your composing process? I mean, do you together in the same room during days and days, or you work alone in your places etc.?

Most of the work is done individually. And then we get together and we work out on the details.

This album is a concept album centered around an original Science-Fiction narrative. Can you talk about this story?

Well, it's actually very complicated, very complex. But I would just say, very briefly, it's about a soul, someone who is tempting to take control of time.

"Astrae's Dream" is an instrumental song. Did the song didn't ask for lyrics, or at that point, you thought the story didn't need word to be told?

Yeah, there are some elements, which are express musically as in "Astrae's Dream".

Did the fact that this album is a concept album had an influence in the compositions?

I don't think so. We didn't relate the music to the concept so much. There is no work like doing one thing and then working backward. We all mix it together as one thing. At least, the lyrics had the words for the music just as much as the music had the words for the lyrics.

Some songs like "Nemesis" have long intros. Why do you have long intros like that?

Well, there is no logic. It is only what feels right. There is no reason, it's just if the things sound and feel simply and correct.

There is no rest time on this album for the listeners. The energy doesn't lip up once, aren't you afraid of losing listeners because they will listen to many things in a short time so they will give up the listening?

Oh man! I think they should never be any relenting on any one. We really try very hard to fix things always exciting and dynamic. That's why the record is that way. If you don't hear something on it, it's because we thought it's gonna put you off, we would take that off. We actually short the record for about ten minutes. It's ten minutes shorter than what it used to be, because we wanted it to be something that holds your attention completely from the beginning to the end. There is no down time.

With a third album, people await for new things, that the band doesn't repeat itself even if they don't want it to lose its identity. According to you, which are these new elements in "Warp Riders"?

Well, I think there is more rock n roll than it used to be. Maybe that's not new, but the rock n roll is purer and also there are some elements from western, about Texas rock. In there, there are a little bit funk elements too.

For the first time it's not J.D Cronise who produced the album but Matt Bayles. Do you think he helped you to renew your sound?

Matt did not have any effects on our sound. We worked all the songs before we met him. He helped us to put more work in our performances, and to play better. And he captured the songs in their best way, but he didn't compose material or influence what kind of songs we play.

The sound and the voice are a little bit old school. Is it done in purpose?

We do not tempted to do anything for external reasons. We don't say, this will be more metal, or this will be more rock. We just make what we want to hear. And then you listen to it and hear and say like this is more old school as you say, or more rock or whatever, but that's up to you. We don't think in these terms, we just make sounds that we like.

The end of the last song is a little bit apocalyptic...

Well, I don't know if it's really apocalyptic. It's more about a battle. But the scene of the album is not apocalyptic. It's actually more about saving world from the apocalypse. It's a kind of what's going on in the story. Some bad things had already happened and there is a character that is trying to reverse the diseases of the world. It's not really apocalyptic; it's more like a try out.

The guitars are pointed up, and there some "psychedelic" moments on this album, as in "Night City" or "The Warp Riders". What were the effects you were looking for?

Man... I personally wouldn't say either that one of the song is psychedelic. I think of those as pure rock n roll songs.

You will release three videos and it will be a trilogy. Do you already know what will be there subjects?

We haven't made the videos yet. I seen the script, there are three songs that are gonna be covered: "Tres Brujas", "Night City" and "Lawless Land". The three videos are kind of linked together, we gonna make them all at the same time and with the same producer. I know there will all be a little bit different, some will have more actions, but I don't know exactly what is in them. As soon as we get home from Berlin, we will be home just for a couple days, and then we'll go to LA and make the videos stuff.

Talking about your drums playing, how was the recording?

Do you mean if we used a microphone? (Laughs). I wrote basically everything before we went into the studio. We really work everything out before the recording. And there are some men in the studio, they figured out what we have to do. All of the songs have been played for few weeks. I write all the parts, and I don't have any objection about what the other bands don't play what I think sound best. But I never try to do the same; I'm always just trying to play the song the best way.

And do you inspire your playing on other drummers?

Oh, I'm always inspired by other drummers. I listen to a lot of music; I take influences from a lot of different people. But really, every song I play differently, and I only listen to the song for inspiration. I don't say as other: "I'm going to play something that sound like that one". I always say: "I'm going to play the best part for the song".

On stage, do you play some parts differently than on studio?

Always. I always play parts differently. I guess it would be bored if I always play songs the same. So even in the studio, I write everything but sometimes, at the last minutes during the recording, I just play something a little bit differently and we keep it if the others guys like it. Most of the time, I play what is on the record, but usually, I get excited and sometimes I play something wiser than I ever played before, and I never play them again. Every shows are a little bit improvised. They are always different, and I take chances and just see what happens.

"The Black Rivers" and "Maiden, Mother and Crone" featured in the game Guitar Hero Metallica for the first one and in Guitar Hero 5 for the second one. Is it something you are proud of?

Yeah, we are very proud of that. These games are kind of a big deal. A lot of people that had never heard your band, will buy these games and say "hey, what's this band? The Sword? I have never heard about this". And then they go buy your CD. So it's a very cool way to get your songs playing by people that don't even know they are buying your songs.

You are a metal band from the USA. It says that Europe is the cradle of metal. How do you see our continent in his musical approach?

I don't know if Europe is the cradle of metal. I don't know about that. You know the biggest metal bands in the world come from many different places, like Metallica with player coming from the USA, Iron Maiden whom comes from the UK, and they are so much big metal band in the world and that do different type of metal. So metal is all over the world. For the approach, I'm not very sure, because the only metal band I listen to are Iron Maiden, Slayer and Metallica and that's pretty much it. I actually don't know much about new metal bands whom coming up of Europe, because I don't listen to the music with screaming. So if the singer doesn't sing, if he is a screamer, I don't listen to it. That's almost everything now.

You were saying, that in the metal, you are only listening to Iron Maiden, Slayer and Metallica. What kind of other type of music do you listen to?

I listen to and study jazz. I play a lot of jazz, that's one of my favourite things. I listen to rock n roll, I listen to ZZ Top and a lot of old jazz records like Miles Davies and stuff like that. The fact is if you look at my Ipod, there is about seventy five percent of jazz. For me as a musician, I take some inspiration from heavy metal, but more of my drumming comes from rock n roll, I would say maybe seventy five percent of my playing is rock n roll, and then it's ten percent metal and ten percent jazz.

According to you, what will be the next step for The Sword?

Next step for The Sword is to... Oh man... I guess we just have to feel this record. We are going to go and to see what happen, and then the future will create it itself. But I do even think it's worse to lose my energy to change fate. We just going to continue what we are doing, playing live shows, trying to be the best band we can be and whatever happens, it's what happens.

Does the French audience will be lucky enough to see you in live?

Yes. In the middle of November, we are gonna play in Paris. I don't know the date, but, there will be a show so keep your eyes on the day.

Which final word can you say to end this interview?

You should do yourself a big favour and go buy the new The Swords' album when it will come out because it's our best. And I don't even say that selfishly. Even if I wasn't in The Sword I would tell you that you need this record (laughs).