Sludge Metal band Fissure of Riddles recently released their album Nemea. Colin had a chat with guitarist and vocalist Matt about the process of putting it together and being in a band.
Hello Matt, how’s it going?
Yeah man going good thanks, we’re just going through the post-release stage of our new album Nemea (which came out the other month). Doing a fair few shows off the back of it currently, tour to be announced for later in the year. We’re also getting some cracking responses & reviews coming in regarding the release too, so been enjoying listening to & reading what others have to say about it.
I’m interested by the name Fissure of Riddles, how did that come about?
We wanted a slightly more unconventional name as opposed to the heavy metal cliché ones that you normally see get thrown about, something with a certain level of uncertainty to it……which this one definitely has as it tends to provoke a bewildered look from people whenever they ask ‘what’s your band called?’.
I kind of like the psychedelic connotations that it suggests…….almost like Pink Floyd’s ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets’.
If you were to describe your music to someone who hasn’t previously heard it what would you say?
Sufficiently heavy riffs pummeling their way through an eerie wall of noise.
What or who are your key musical influences as a band?
As time has moved on with F.o.R. we’ve collectively developed a firm fondness for bands of the Sludge Metal scene including Cult Of Luna, Celtic Frost & Yob. Upon the bands early days we had an approach of wanting to do something along the lines of Isis (the band, just to clarify) who we’ve always heavily admired in their craft. I myself personally take tidal waves of influence & inspiration from Agalloch & the work of John Haughm, the frontman. All are conjurers of vast soundscapes in which they’ve crafted their back catalogues.
How does your songwriting take shape, is there a single writer or is it a collective effort?
We always endeavor to make it a collective effort, but there a few tracks that one member might’ve been the main culprit for, sometimes either myself or Mark (the other guitarist).
Across your songs there are a number of mythological references could you say a bit about how such themes influence your songwriting and sound?
Some songs have serious strong social commentary revolving around the lyrics, others are just unrelenting nonsense like our track Scrumps for example, which is about giant angry drunken gods who have arose from the earth beneath us in search of the world’s most delicious & thickest cider, which must be offered to them on a ceremonial pedestal or they will rampage the land laying waste to all trace of humanity.
What is your favourite aspect of being in a band and why?
The idea of creating something empowering that can thrill someone with a building passage of music & then when the song fully strikes it can knock them off of their seat. If the song has had that effect on some then brilliant…….if not then we need to keep trying harder. For me personally I’ve always wanted to create something that’s both brutal but beautiful……..kind of like the film The Revenant, I guess.
Also touring is fun for us too, lots of stories from our travels to tell……..but most probably wouldn’t be suitable to be published for your readers
You’ve released two EPs and an album now, how does the recording process compare to playing out live?
It depends on the songs really, the longer tracks (a 12 minute one for example, Flensing The Dragon) have an interesting transference when it comes to recording. There’s a lot of room to build on the initial idea of the song and add things given it’s duration, ideas which were never originally considered when rehearsing them for the stage. We also find with tracks we recorded a few years back we’ve now given a new spin on some parts for them in the live setting just to mix it up a bit, something a bit new and refreshing for us and for those who’ve seen and heard us play those songs multiple times before.
What is the best gig you have played to date?
A hard one to pinpoint but I think a personal contender for me would be our album release show which we did the other month, or at least I can’t recall a show like that before which I’ve actually walked off stage after & thought I was genuinely happy with how the whole performance went. Normally I’m overly critical & pinpointing little things that went wrong, which were probably not even that big a deal at the time, just me being over-analytical………..but yeah that night in particular just felt like it was something extra special for us and I genuinely loved every moment of it
What are your plans and aspirations for 2018?
Tour (UK & gonna get some dates in Europe), music video, hit up the drawing board for more ideas for more elaborate/ludicrous forms of merch (no fridge magnets, got to draw the line somewhere), and carry on writing the next release which has already braved some brave new ground for us.
Finally is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
‘Nemea’ is out now & available on all the wizzillion different streaming platforms out there in the stratosphere including Spotify, iTunes etc. along with our first 2 EP’s. It’s also available to buy (yes that’s right ‘buy’, you can still purchase music even in this day & age would you believe it?) and order in solid form from our Bandcamp, Big Cartel and even our FB page. We hope you like what you hear & if you don’t……..well then maybe you will like our next release, as we’re gonna try something different with each new one. Thank you kind sir for the questions & taking an interest, it’s been a pleasure.
You can read our thoughts on Nemea here. As mentioned above you can keep up with Fissure of Riddles and buy a copy of Nemea and earlier EPs through the following links: