In anticipation of Textures new album “Phenotype” being released this Friday, February 5, I had a chance to ask newish guitarist Joe Tal some questions about their creative process, their inspirations, and what to expect from the band in the coming year.
“Phenotype” is your second album since signing with Nuclear Blast. How did that relationship come about?
Around the end of 2010 our (former) management was trying to get us signed to a bigger label, we were signed to Listenable Records at the time. So, our management contacted the Big 4 labels of metal: Roadrunner, Century Media, Metal Blade and Nuclear Blast.
Nuclear Blast just had the best offer. This story isn’t very romantic, I know, just facts.
“Phenotype” is your first new album since “Dualism” was released in 2011. What were some of your inspirations for writing this record?
Our musical inspiration are bands such as Tool, Gojira, Karnivool, At the Gates, early Sepultura, Deftones….film music and minimal music as well.
Conceptually and lyrically we were watching a lot of “The New Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Do the same people generally contribute to the writing of the music, or is it more of a group effort?
“PHENOTYPE” was definitely a group effort, it was the first time in the band’s history that we had 100% democracy. Honestly, it slowed down the writing process a bit, but the good thing is that we got closer to each other, and that’s really nice. When listening to album you’ll be able to hear the group effort, you can hear when someone is pushing toward a certain direction, and another pushes back towards a different direction.
Do you have a certain approach to crafting the lyrics and music?
Well, kind of…. What we did this time around was working in small teams.
For example: Team 1 would work out an idea from the huge Textures riffs/demos inventory.
Team 1 to Team 2: “Team 2, we need a new riff around 02:08, maybe a solo later and a synth pad for the intro?”
Team 3 to Team 1 “we got some new vocal lines and some rough lyrics, sending it your way, see what you can do”….
You get the point, a military operation basically.
How do “Phenotype” and the follow up album, “Genotype,” connect musically?
There are recurring themes on both albums, we’ll bring back some melodies which appeared on “PHENOTYPE” in “GENOTYPE” but the`ll be arranged in a very different way. “GENOTYPE” is way more eclectic than “PHENOTYPE.”
This also your first album with Textures. What do you bring to the table musically or otherwise, besides your instrumental talent?
Lots of humor. I’m a funny guy! I’m also a walking music library.
Do you have a favorite track or tracks on “Phenotype?”
I can’t dude, they’re all our children.
I’ve been listening to you guys for quite some time. I mentioned in my review of “Phenotype” that for me you hit somewhere between TesseracT and Xerath sound wise. Do you consciously try to stay in between certain musical extremes, or do you just write what you feel fits at the time?
We just write whatever feels good and fits at the time. Our next project after “GENOTYPE” could be an acoustic album or a thrash metal EP…depends on how later feels.
So far, all of the tour dates you have announced are in Europe. Do you plan to tour in America and other countries in support of “Phenotype?”
Yes! There’s definitely a plan. It’s all about the right time and the right offer with right tour package. We promise we’ll come back!
Speaking of touring, the music you play obviously takes a lot of skill and focus. Is there anything you guys do to maintain that focus on the road, or do you just go out there and let it fly?
We try to rehearse as much as possible before tours/shows, and of course, just like in every band, there’s a lot of sitting at home with your instrument running the set.
Bonus question: If you could play in another band or some kind of supergroup, what band or who would you love to play with?
Alright, well…..early 90`s MEGADETH, but in the early 90`s. So, if you would put that line up back together now I wouldn’t wanna be a part of that, but 26 years ago? Sure!
Daniel de Jongh | vocals
Joe Tal | guitars
Bart Hennephof | guitars
Remko Tielemans | bass
Stef Broks | drums
TEXTURES – “Phenotype” OUT: February, 5th 2016