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Interviews : “Titty sprinkles.” – an interview with The Schoenberg Automaton

By on May 23, 2013

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If you’ve paid even the slightest bit of attention to this site over the past couple of years, you’ll know that Brisbane’s The Schoenberg Automaton are one of our favourite Aussie bands. 2013 kicked off with the guys releasing their debut full length Vela, and oh boy it’s a winner. With the guys currently on tour around Australia (dates are at the bottom), we asked guitarist Damien Boorman a few questions.

So how’s the tour going so far?

Well thanks! We’ve played some really great shows and it’s always cool meeting new people and bands, especially when we’re travelling interstate. We’re still getting people come up and tell us it’s the first time they’ve heard us, so that tells me it’s important we keep getting out there.

It’s not often that bands with a brand new album under their belts with decide to throw a new cover into their live sets. What made you guys cover Dillinger Escape Plan? Are you simply that fucking stoked about their new album?

We played a Brisbane show with a mate’s band [aka Slightly Damaged Block Lettering] who formed to play a small run of shows covering 2000 – 2010 metalcore bands. We were pumped about the show and thought it would have a fun vibe so we decided to get in the spirit and do a little cover of our own. We may have bitten off more than we could chew by giving ourselves about two weeks to learn it – but it went over pretty well! And yeah, loving the new album.

With a spot at Soundwave, your recent Born of Osiris support, and consistently positive reviews all around, you must be pretty happy with the way everything is heading?

We definitely are. Things are looking positive for the band and we have a few more shows to play yet in Melbourne and Adelaide before we take a bit of a break from the live shows while some of us go overseas. Then we’ll be back into it later this year.

On that note, how did the Soundwave set go? Did you learn anything from playing such a huge, professionally-planned show?

It went really well man. We weren’t as nervous as we thought we’d be, which was ace, and it was a great experience to see behind the scenes how such a huge production comes together. Everyone was really nice, professional and helpful. We thought we might get some attitude or something from overly uptight stage managers, but everyone was great. At one point Jake asked the substantial and growing crowd who was seeing us for the first time and about 70% of the people put their hands up, so it was a massive exposure opportunity! And definitely a life/career highlight for us personally in the band.

On to your debut album “Vela”, where do track titles like “Pineapple Juice and the Tough Stuffed Olive” and “Where Are We, In A Cube?” come from? They’re not what people have come to expect as far as tech-death titles go.

We take an inordinate amount of acid then get naked and speak in tongues and see what comes out. Seriously though, I have no idea where the Pineapples song title comes from, probably one of Shayne’s weird fever dreams. Where are we, in a Cube is derived from the cult film ‘Cube’ – which the lyrics are based on. I guess for a pretty brutal band we don’t take ourselves too seriously and that probably comes through in the song titles/stupid Facebook posts etc. I also like to think we’re a little bit left-field stylistically and that comes through in the song titles as well. Maybe next album we’ll call a song ‘Necrotising flesh tits’ or something to be brutal.

I know that a chunk of the material on “Vela” was relatively old, so does that mean you’re sitting on some next-album material already? If so, how’s it sounding?

Haha, good question. Yeah, we just might have some tasty new stuff up our sleeves. We’re keen to keep the ball rolling after Vela. It’s hard to describe the new stuff – it’s very ‘Schoenberg’ but it has also moved on from some of the earlier written stuff on Vela that was probably a bit more schizophrenic. To be honest I’d have to say it’s sounding maybe a little more slammy. But we still have some bullshit riffs and tech bits in there. I dunno, I guess I’d say it’s more balanced, and we’re keen to play with moods and vibes a bit more. We’re keen to capitalise on the cool/unique/best parts of our sound and push those forward as the song-writing matures. Maybe we’ll throw some fiddles and glockenspiel in there.

Do you have a personal favourite from “Vela”? Explain your choice.

Probably “Ghost of Mirach” or “Ultimatewhirringendmachine”. “Ghost of Mirach” because I just love the way it came together on the album and “Ultimatewhirringendmachine” because I like the more flowing nature of the song-writing and I think it’s generally epic with some cool melodies. I think it’s one of the most ‘mature’ songs on the album.

What are your ultimate goals with the band in the foreseable future? Do you have a particular point that you’re aiming for, or are you just taking things as they come?

At this point I think we’re taking things as they come. We’re definitely keen to push forward and make a mark and we’ve partnered with some great dudes to help us do just that. By the same token we don’t have like a five year plan or anything like that; the music industry is necessarily fickle and whimsical and you just have to be adaptable and flexible and hopefully you’re in a position to take opportunities as they come up. Hopefully real life doesn’t get in the way too much!

For those of us in other states, how is Brisbane’s metal scene going at the moment? Are there any particular killer new bands that people should check out?

All is well. It was awesome to see a huge turn-out for Born Of Osiris the other night. I’ve heard a new local grind band ‘Scum Guts’ is the tits but I haven’t seen them myself yet. So they might be shit.

What are the plans post-tour?

Well I’m personally headed overseas for a couple of months so we’ll be taking a short hiatus from live shows, then we have a few months where we can hopefully smash a few more shows out before some of the other boys go on their own overseas adventures. Then it will be 2014 and we better get cracking on this new album!

Any last words?

Titty sprinkles.

Also, fistula.

You can still catch the band on their last few dates of the Vela tour;

May 23rd @ Next, Melbourne
w/ Upon A Burning Body (USA), Kontact and Ire

May 24th @ Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne
w/ House of Thumbs, Ouroboros and Whoretopsy

May 25th @ The New Dead Metalfest, Fowlers Live, Adelaide (all ages)
w/ Psycroptic, The Amenta, Ne Obliviscaris, Frankenbok, Ouroboros, Black Like Vengeance, Infiltraitor, Closed Casket, Arcadia, In The Burial, Alkira, Hidden Intent, Asylum Butchery and Skrymgore

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.