Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, August 18, 2014

Interview with Trey Dalton from Inter Arma!

One of the first interviews I did at This Is Hardcore in late July was with Trey Dalton, the guitarist of Inter Arma. This was a particularly fun one because I didn't even know until the day of the show that Inter Arma were doing a showcase. In our fun ten minute chat, Trey and I covered a lot of cool bases as far as life, music, and tattoos are concerned. If you love doom and don't know about Inter Arma, then you certainly are in for a treat!

Find them on Facebook!

How have you been since France?
Pretty good, can't really complain, staying busy as much as I can.

Where have you been on tour since April?
We did a little run with Ulcerate through the Northeast and Midwest and that's really about it. Our other band Bastard Sapling went out and did some stuff recently but that's about all Inter Arma's done.

That's a cool tattoo, tell me about it.
This is actually a Tears for Fears tattoo, as crazy as that may sound. A friend of mine from New York was visiting and staying at the house that I lived in at the time and he was doing tattoos in our living room. He offered to do one for me, I didn't have any ideas, but I didn't want to pass up the offer so I kind of looked through my records and said "Oh that's cool" and he just did it in my living room. It's pretty awesome considering he did it in my living room.

What have you got lined up for Inter Arma, tour-wise?
Tour wise not a whole lot. We may try and do Europe again at the end of the year. That's still in the very early stages of being figured out. Otherwise there's not a whole lot, maybe a couple of things here and there. Really we're just trying to gear up stuff to get the EP out which will hopefully be out in mid-October.

Are you talking about the really long song TJ mentioned?

What was your part in creating that?
When I first joined the band in May of 2009, that was the first thing we started creating as a whole. It was basically written over the summer of 2009. We didn't play it a whole lot because it's super long and you generally don't have that long to play. We were able to tweak it and Relapse gave us the opportunity to record it and put it out. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

You've got Dorothea from Windhand on it right?
Yes, she has a guest appearance.

Anyone else of note guesting?
Meg from US Christmas does a lot on it. Our buddy John plays keys and theremin, he's in a ton of Milwaukee bands. Whenever we go to play in that area he comes out and plays with us. He played our London show too. He happened to be over in Europe so he just popped in and played which was sweet. That's about it. The guy who recorded it Mikey did some organ and other stuff too.

You've got more traditional songs in the works though to right?
We've started writing newer stuff and have a few songs close to finished. We have a whole slew of ideas that we need to iron out. I'm pretty pleased with how everything is coming out right now.

Something I asked TJ and I'm curious for your opinion on the family of Richmond bands. Do you feel a sense of camaraderie with your doom brethren? 
With a lot of them yeah. We hang out a lot. We're all pretty good friends with the Windhand dudes. We all hang out when we can. We'll probably hang out this weekend barbecuing. I lived with Dave Witte for a long time, he's in Municipal Waste. We're all pretty close, it's not a big city, so if you play a similar style of music you're going to end up crossing paths.

No one would really expect the dude from Inter Arma to live with the dude from Municipal Waste, do you think this impacts your music?
Indirectly probably. Just because you hang out with dudes, you listen to music with dues, and you get dudes opinions on music and you see people play. Whether you actively try to emulate certain things people do or not, it will bleed over to some degree. I don't know if we would sound like a totally different band if we were from a different city, but being around those guys will affect a little bit of how you play.

You guys have been touring heavily for four or five years. As you come closer together as a cohesive unit do you feel like you're getting a more clear idea of your own sound?
I think so. We definitely come to understand each other as musicians much better. With that understanding the music you create as a group will become tighter and more cohesive just because you know how the other dudes sort of think and approach the music.

Does that allow for a more improvised aspect?
To an extent. TJ definitely improvises a lot, I think he gets bored if he plays the same thing all the time. I don't play the songs on Sky Burial exactly the way I did on the record now. After you play it enough you find different ways to play certain things that you might like more. Everythign sort of shifts, there's always going to be a little bit of improvisation.

There's a sort of doom bubble right now. Do you think that's the reflection of a collective subconscious or just how it happened?
I think it's more of just a thing that happened. Everything goes in cycles anyway I think, for a little bit doom will be the big guy on campus as far as underground metal is concerned and then black metal creeps up, and then neo-thrash will return, and then something else will come back. It will always go in cycles. I don't think anythings causing that, I just think people constantly want something a little bit different. Bands of all types will always find a way to be known as long as they're good at what they do.

What are your favorite doom bands right now?
I just recently saw Northless at Gilead Fest and they were awesome. That band was sooo heavy, in a cool Crowbar way, rather than the Electric Wizard worship that's going on right now. It was very distinct and different from a lot of the other stuff you hear constantly. I'm not even totally familiar with the doom bands going on right now.

I want you to finish this sentence for me, "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but..."
I tend to tell every story that I know. I don't think I could top TJ's gangbang story. (Laughter)

What do you love so much about music?
What don't I? It's a wonderful way to express what you are in ways that are more abstract than a lot of other art forms. I've been surrounded by it since I was a kid. I like all kinds of it.

Any final words of wisdom, last comments?
People are wise enough or not wise enough. I'm not wise enough to give any particular wisdom.

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