Interview: The Contortionist
MEB: So tell people a bit about The Contortionist. How did you guys all meet? What is the meaning of the band name? What bands were you all in before The Contortionist?
Robby Baca: We met in high school. The band name doesn’t have much meaning, although I suppose it describes our sound pretty well. That was unintentional. The Contortionist is all of our first band.
What are your influences in your song writing? What sort of topics do they address?
For Exoplanet we had kind of a spastic writing style. There’s never really a set formula for our song structure, and we plan on continuing that style on the next record.
What guitars do you guys use? Any difference between live and studio?
We use Ibanez guitars and basses. Same guitars live as in the studio. We’ve recently added some 7 strings to our arsenal.
You guys have a very unique song writing style. What influenced you guys to combine brutal deathcore, punishing technical and mathcore elements, and build upon that with atmospheric/ambient playing?
The deathcore came from us coming from that kind of background. I think we’ve said everything we can musically about “deathcore”. We’ll be moving away from that a lot on the next record. Other than that were just trying to keep it interesting on our end. We love playing with time and key signatures in our music. Fun stuff!!!
Is there any news on a new album? Have you guys been writing new songs while doing the extensive touring you’ve been doing?
We’ve been writing as much as we can individually. Now is the time where we start to pull all our ideas together and try to build cohesive songs. We’ll be in the studio in February. Couldn’t be more stoked!
What is the overall message behind your latest album “Exoplanet?”
It’s not really a message, but a story about a few things: birth and death of our planet, humankind looking beyond our solar system for help with crossing the galaxy, deep space travel, etc..
After your Australian tour in November, what are your guys plans?
We plan on getting right back into writing mode. It will be crunch time about then.
Which comes first in the song writing process, the lyrics or the music?
The music. It will most likely always be like that for us.
What have been some of your favorite venues or cities you’ve played in so far? Any standout crazy experiences/crazy fans?
Some of my favorite venues have been: Key Club in West Hollywood, Trees in Dallas, The Gramercy Theater in NYC, La Tulipe in Montreal, and Firestone Live in Orlando. All sick shows, sick venues! NYC had an exceptional turn out. Playing a sold out show in the big apple is something.
What has been the biggest challenge for you guys so far as a band?
Writing seems to be our biggest challenge. I feel like we still haven’t really figured out our writing technique. We have great chemistry together, but getting past each others differences can be hard for us. Unless the room is filled with good vibes, the song isn’t going to get finished.
Who are some of your personal influences
I could list for days, but here are a few of the most important: Planet X, Pat Metheny, Meshuggah, Allan Holdsworth, Between the Buried and Me, Dream Theater, The Dear Hunter, Textures, Deftones, Ect…..
Which songs do you like to play the most live? Any covers at all?
I really enjoy playing the 3 Exoplanet tracks back to back to back. But I also love to head bang to Primal Directive and Oscillator. No covers yet…
Any last words for your fans and people who have yet to experience the sheer eargasm that is in store for them?
Sit back, close your eyes, and listen!