MESHUGGAH To Return To 'More Traditional' Songwriting Approach On Next Album

May 19, 2005 recently conducted an in-depth interview with MESHUGGAH drummer Tomas Haake. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

On the criticism that the new group's new album, "Catch Thirty Three", is yet another confusing slab of extreme music:

"Confusing? That's great! (Laughs) I don't know quite what to say to that, but I love it when you say things like that. We definitely think it's another MESHUGGAH album. It's like the odd album, I guess. It was never really recorded with intention of being played live, and I think that kind of comes across. It's one of those albums that we've wanted to do for a number of years, but never really got around to. We just felt really good about it this time around. I guess with the recording of the 'I' EP, which is also one single song, it just felt like the right thing to do. And that's the way we see this album too. There are thirteen so-called titles on it, but basically they're more like chapters, like you would have chapters in a book. It's definitely one continuous piece of music. That's the way we see it."

On the controversy surrounding the use of Haake's Drumkit From Hell program on the group's new album rather than Haake himself performing behind the kit:

"Yes, the drums are all programmed on this album. It's a MESHUGGAH first. We started writing this album using live drums, but then we kind of lost track of what we wanted to do. So we stopped, and recorded the 'I' EP. So we had actually started wring 'Catch Thirty Three' before we recorded the 'I' EP. So we did 'I', and when we got back to writing for 'Catch Thirty Three', we finally found the right vibe that we wanted to keep for the album. At the same time, we really found that the programmed drums and the sound we were using were almost emotionless and an extremely super steady sounding, and didn't do anything but support the guitar riffs throughout. That really helped enhance the vibe of the album. Also the way that we wrote the album, it's almost impossible to use live drums. It's not like we wrote a whole song, learned it, and then once we were all familiar with it, started recording it. Everything was done on the spur of the moment, and everything has been changed numerous times. Every riff has gone back and forth and changed several times. It would have been almost impossible to record live drums and make it sound like this. Had we done live drums, it would have sounded completely different to this, and we would have finally finished it sometime next year. There are actually a lot of different reasons why we decided using the programmed drums. But the main reason why we decided to use them was because we thought that it really supported the vibe of the album, and they really sounded good. Within metal, maybe more so for a band like us, it's considered taboo to do something like that. We're all for breaking taboos all the time. We thought it was a good move."

On being free agents after fulfilling their contractual obligations to Nuclear Blast Records:

"This is our final album for Nuclear Blast Records. We have a few offers now, but we're also discussing things with Nuclear Blast Records as well. They have given us a very decent proposal for another couple of albums. So we don't know right now where we're going to end up. We're definitely not going to sign up with like major label to make money or that sort of thing, and there's no possibility of signing a contract with Fractured Transmitter Record Co. (The label owned and run by ex-MUSHROOMHEAD vocalist Jason Mann (a.k.a. Jason Popson),who released the 'I' EP). We're definitely thinking twice about where we're going after 'Catch Thirty Three'. We definitely want to end up with somebody that knows the metal scene, and someone who understands a band like us. I can't really say more than that right now, and that's purely because we don't know what's happening yet. But what I can tell you is that for the next studio album, we'll be definitely going to step back a bit from the last two efforts. We’re going to go in somewhat of a more traditional way of writing and song structures.”

Read Tomas Haake's entire interview with at this location.

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