Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Interview with Eagle Twin

So I recently had the incredible honor of sitting down with Eagle Twin for an interview. Gentry and Tyler proved themselves to be friendly and very intelligent dudes as we explored their music. Suffice to say, some interesting points came up and proved to me once again that Eagle Twin really know what they're on about. If you like doom with meaning behind it, this is the sort of band you're going to want to check out!

Find them on Facebook:

So how has the tour been going so far?
Tyler (T): It's great. All of the shows have been killer!
Gentry (G) : It's mostly been festivals and in between we've had some real good stuff as well. Most of them have been pretty packed or sold out. that makes it awesome!

Any special tour moments?
G: It was crazy hanging out in Christiania in Denmark. It's all blocked off and drugs are legal. You're not supposed to drive in their. They don't let cameras in. It's this crazy legalized drug zone within the city btu it seems to work well for them. There isn't violence or sketchiness everywhere.

T: It seemed pretty cool. We did this interview in a little park area, it was pretty rad.
 Listened to some German techno last night, partied hard and lost my phone in Germany somewhere.

G: Germans like to party"

T: I make bad choices. (Laughter)

It's been about two years since your last record came out...
G: We're going to record this summer when we get back from tour. It's in the works and on the horizon. We've got studio time booked and everything.

T: Everything is kind of mapped out. So we're going to go to the mamallian side of things with the heavy hoofs and the horns. We're leaving the snake.

What prompted this shift?
T: Just a natural progression. The crow is still around, it's still a part of all the Eagle Twin stuff that we do.

G: The snake is evil, it's dark. It was pretty representative of some hardships we were going through in our lives. We were a little lost and going through huge transitions.

T: Now we can go to a warm and fuzzy place.

G: That's the next Eagle Twin record, warm and fuzzy (Laughter)

This affinity for animals, what birthed that?
T: It's always been in my kind of approach to music. There's always been mythologies wrapped around with things. My old band, Ice Burn was more into Greek myths. You see unities in all the different myths of the world. Seeing that we wanted to explore that and where we're from the Native American myths rely mostly on animals. You have your spirit animal. Some people are said to have two hearts and one of their hearts is an animal heart and they can even change. It's kind of about transformation. We're kind of able to either work through our own stuff or document our own kind of transformations using these animal representations. You kind of look to them as power animals. The music is all about power. Maybe it's more of a mythological type of animal too.

G: I think things have evolved with us too. Starting with the crow, that kind of leads you to different things. As far as the records go, the crow and then the snake, and then it turns into its own kind of world.

T: The snake kind of grew antlers at the end of the last record. If you follow it it becomes sort of a perpetual fractal snake with horns. We're kind of taking off from the horn vibe for sure. There might even be a little bit about angels and devils since the horn and the halo are a part of that world too.

Do you see these pagan myths being tied to protestant and catholic mysticism?
T: Those are kind of foreign worlds to us.

G: We have Mormon mysticism we dive into a little bit.

 T: Yeah, that's closer to our home. There are also the freemasons, there's some ties to all of those things within that. I think its more about making your own mythologies too. There's going to be uniting factors in all the world. Showing that commonality and the commonality of riff based music.

So is finding that commonality the purpose behind what Eagle Twin is about?
G: Or just letting those things flow through you and out of you. Being a vessel. You can shape it, but only to a degree. Otherwise when you're trying to take too much control you can kill things. I think we've found that out. It's a whole life philosophy.

Essentially its meant to document a personal journey?
G: Yes

T: With music especially, but anything that you're building or creating, I think you owe it to that to give a part of yourself to it.

G: You documenting your own journey is the foundation for a lot of art in the world. Everybody else will be able to identify it or feel it?

What makes you choose to do it through doom metal then?
T: Probably just our upbringing. It's our language. I come from a blues and jazz background as well, but I started playing Black Sabbath. That's the root of all things, Black Sabbath. I can see how what I loved in Black Sabbath kind of translates to what you hear in Coltrane or Memphis blues and in hardcore too. It's this perpetual continuum, it's the snake as well. The snake is not all bad I guess, but we rode it into some dark territory.

I'm assuming the snake is the cosmic snake to some degree, so does it represent chaos for you?
T: I don't know if it was so much chaos. It seemed there was just a weird correlation between the two. The whole process of that record seemed a little darker than other things I've been a part of. Also the correlation between our personal lives transforming.

G: It's more about shedding your skin. But there's so many different snakes in myth out there.

T: I guess we made our own.

G: Playing live we can revisit that stuff or maybe even change the ending. We're not tied to playing everything exactly the same way every night. There's a healthy degree of changing stuff up to make it exciting for us. To make sure that we're more engaged in the music. If it's interesting for us then its more interesting for the audience. You have to be there and be present and all that.

Do you take that desire to build off ideas and let it impact the songs you do in the studio?
G: We usually leave some things open. Things are always in flux until we make them solid in the studio. Even then there's choices to be made. Usually there's a core of the song that revolves around the words. Sometimes the words even come first and they suggest the riffs and the form. We can kind of go off different places if we need to.

Are you going to be playing new stuff tonight?
G: Maybe (Laughs)

T: Sometimes it's new to us, we play stuff we haven't really rehearsed or thought out. Working with Gentry is great because he thinks a lot and has a lot of great ideas. Whereas I'm kind of the opposite of that. In the US we call it a 'meat and potatoes' type thing. For me, things don't need to be as deep all the time. I just want to play, I love playing my drums. With Gentry, I think he has definitely taught me a lot about how deep things can go. It makes things more challenging.

G: We just like to play sometimes too. If you're tapped into that you kind of follow it and let it do what it needs to do.

T: You have to enjoy what you're playing or whatever it is otherwise it becomes forced. When things become forced in the creative world it kind of gets fucked up. If it's forced it's definitely not as pure. Once it's not as pure and honest it gets compromised.

G: That's why we kept it simple, as a duo. Not to have too many other ideas in the pot.

(This question came from my friend Pam) You keep on referring to the snake and the crow, so why is your name Eagle Twin?
G: There's this quote from William Blake about how the eagle never learned so much then when he submitted to learn from the crow. That was part of it. It kind of came out chance, of pure chaos. We initially called it Evil Twin for one show and somebody heard it wrong and referred to us as "Eagle Twin" and I was like, well, I like that better! I had also read about the Navajo belief of the two hearts and one being the animal heart. There was all that and then there are even crazier correlations you can get into. Reptiles were feathered and dinosaurs if you take it that far. Tyler had two kids, Rowan and Adler, twin boys and their names are kind of symbolic as well.

T: With the rowan tree and Adler is German for eagle. Their is a correlation between the rowan tree and the eagle. We didn't know Adler meant eagle at the time. That played into the whole Eagle Twin mythology I guess. I don't know if that's the right word for it. That's a pretty rad correlation too. Things just kind of find themselves. If you're open and just let it happen. Things if you let them just kind of take you to wherever you need to go.

Any last words of wisdom?
G: They were all words of wisdom (Laughter)

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