- only tape is real -

Interview: Sacha – Intronaut

Interview done in 2006.

They are Los Angeles’ worst kept secret, as they put it themselves. Intronaut just released their debut-cd Void which is in very high rotation in my cd-player at the moment. Curious about the band i found guitarist/vocalist Sacha kind enough to answer some questions.

As you are not very familiar in Holland yet, can you briefly introduce your band?

We are Intronaut. We are from Los Angeles. We have an EP and a full-length out on Goodfellow Records (Lifeforce in Europe).

You must have had this question about a million times by now, but what does the band name stand for?

You know how an Astronaut explores outer space? An Intronaut explores inner space. I swear that sounds dumber each time I explain it.

You just released your new album, Void, I’ve read a few very good responses to it (Blabbermouth for instance gave you a 10), but how are the other responses, from the press and/or fans etc?

Overall pretty positive. It’s almost overwhelming! The occasional person will say they liked the EP better, but that’s cool because I can see where they’re coming from. Each has distinctive elements and some people’s tastes inclines them to like one more than the other.

In what way do you think the album is different from your EP?

I think we really came together as a collaborative unit and made something unique on the album. Not to say that wasn’t the case on the EP, but those were the first songs we ever wrote as a band, and the process was a little more all over the place for that one. On the new record we just progressed on what we were doing before a little more.

When you are listening to the album now, are you happy with it, or are there things you would have done differently?

I try not to think like that because I would just go crazy and not ever be able to listen to it again. That being said, I don’t really listen to it that often because the recording process burnt me out so badly on those songs. I am definitely happy with the way it came out because it is what it is.

Is their a main concept behind the album and/or lyrics?

No, nothing like that. The whole “concept album” thing is so overdone and pretentious nowadays, I would never go anywhere near something like that.

After first reading about Intronaut I first expected something more in the vein of Exhumed, Impaled, Uphill Battle etc. But it’s obviously really quite different from those bands. Was this something you’ve planned all along or did it just come naturally?

Yeah, it’s what Danny and I planned on when talking about forming this band. Once we had our “ground rules” set, it was easy to build on that with Leon and Joe.

Is Intronaut the main priority for everyone in the band now?

Yes. Danny and Leon also play in Phobia, but their touring schedule is not as crazy as ours. This is really what we’re doing right now. Jobs and careers are sort of on hold in favor of this band, as silly as that may be.

Another cliché question, but what are your major influences, musically, or maybe even art or movie or life wise?

I’m really into exploring the grand songwriting scope that 70’s prog bands like Yes were in touch with, and obviously injecting that into the context of a metal band. Also, I try to listen to as little new “metal” as possible, especially bands we or the music community would consider to be our peers. I mean I’ll watch them at a show and stuff, it’s not like I think they’re not worth listening to, but I like keeping my mind sort of clear of what’s going on around us. As a progressive band, being original is really important to me and I think the only way to avoid influence by something is to not listen to it.

I read your tour blog on MySpace, it sounded like a real adventure. How did it go in general? Are you happy with the tour, the turnout and the response of the audience? And what was the highlight of the tour?

Doing a 5 week DIY tour was pretty stressful. Especially on the level we’re at, there’s a lot that can go wrong. With that being said, it turned out amazing! We had a few problems with our van, that’s to be expected, but there were very few shows that sucked, no cancellations (at least on the shows we booked ourselves), and we didn’t miss any shows due to breaking down or anything. We also were lucky enough to hook up with bands like Mouth Of The Architect, Genghis Tron, Fuck The Facts, and Black Cobra for extended runs, leaving us with only a couple shows (out of 32!) as the only touring band. That helped a lot with the draw most nights. The kids who came out to see us were stoked, and in turn so were we.

Any weirdnesses that you have as a band while on tour? Like last night I was at a friend’s place, and I found out that whenever he and his band are out on tour or doing a gig they tend to be mooning the camera at every opportunity possible. Do the Intronaut members have some sort of tradition like that?

Haha, I don’t think there was one moment without weirdness. One thing that comes to mind was the ongoing fart olympics between us and Mouth Of The Architect. Other than that, nothing in particular. I will just say that when you’re in a van for weeks at a time, not being at a job or normal life for a while, it really brings out the most immature side of you. It’s amazing.

In your tour blog you mention a lot of different bands you’ve played with, what’s your favourite band you played with so far? And which bands would you like to tour with?

Well we got along with the Mouth Of The Architect dudes really well. My favorite band, musically, that we played with the whole tour was probably Day Without Dawn, who were formerly called The Postman Syndrome, if you ever heard of them. They were on tour with Rosetta and we crossed paths at a show in Louisiana. Definitely check them out.

My personal dream tour for this band would be something like us, Mouth Of The Architect, Burst, Mastodon, and Enslaved. How amazing would that be? I hope a booking agent is reading this…

What kind of music are you listening to on tour? And who controls the cd-player?

All kinds of stuff. Very little heavy music to be honest. We all have ipods that we hook up to the tape deck (it’s an old van), so whoever is driving is in charge of that. Things commonly played on the last tour include The Flaming Lips, Jaga Jazzist, Megadeth, Ministry, Herbie Hancock, and that one Biz Mark E song.

Any plans on coming to Europe, and Holland in particular, in the near future?

Void is coming out on Lifeforce in November, so it is very possible that we will make it over there! There is already talk of something happening, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed!

To me it seems that people are more open minded towards ‘different’ metal, bands like Cult of Luna, Burst, Neurosis but also Dillinger Escape Plan and Ion Dissonance are rather popular these days. Do you notice that as well, as you aren’t your ‘typical’ metal band either?

Yeah definitely. The metal audience’s ears and tastes are changing. Magazines will cover more underground bands, but not like they do with the Ozzfest/MTV level bands. Though now with bands like Mastodon, Isis, and Converge getting fairly popular, that is changing a little bit.

What are your plans for the near future?

We are doing a US tour in November with Misery Index and Swarm Of The Lotus. After that, we’ll take the winter off I’m sure, maybe some writing, followed by more touring. Like I said, hopefully Europe soon!

And now a completely random question: What’s your favourite dessert?

Anything that doesn’t have dairy. I’m lactose intolerant.


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