After thoroughly entertaining a sold out crown at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus, TesseracT‘s drummer Jay Postones talked with us about the reception of their latest release on Century Media, Altered State. We also hit on tentacle porn and vomit-flavored Jelly Belly beans. It was interesting. Tesseract just finished a tour of the Us and are now touring Mexico. ¡Ir a velos!
Click here for the full interview.
So tonight’s sold out show concludes two consecutive tours around the states. What’s next on the radar for you guys?
We’re flying to Mexico tomorrow for a tour and then back to the UK for a tour with Karnivool. We’re all looking forward to that because we love them. After that, we’ve got December off to relax and have some family time. Then, we go out on tour for about six weeks around Europe with Protest the Hero , after which we fly out to Australia to play Soundwave Festival. Fingers crossed, we’ll be back in the US soon after that. There’s tour options on the table.
Altered State has been out for the better part of the year now. What has been the most flattering aspect of the reaction?
The most amazing thing has been the reaction to Ashe. We’ve had a bit of a ‘Spinal Tap drummer’ situation with our singers which could have killed a lot of bands but we’ve persisted and fortunately we’ve had a phenomenal reaction this time. People are already singing his songs. It’s amazing. That’s probably the best thing we’ve taken from it. You never quite know when it’s time to headline the US, especially if you’re not from here, it seems like a really big deal to go out and headline. So it’s insane to come out here on our first headline and sell out bunch of the shows. I’ll put that all to the new album.
What was missing before Ashe joined?
He just sings his heart out every night. He has a voice and the whole atmosphere completely changed. The whole atmosphere has completely changed. Before Ashe, we had more metal aspects to the music, more aggression, if you like, and there was an element of cheerleading in there, which was fine at the time. Now we try and just focus more on creating the right mood so there’s minimal talking between songs – let the quiet bits be quiet.
This is considerably a more vocal album indeed.
Totally. We gave Ashe the songs and in less than a month, he’d written what we released. I don’t think many people can do that. I don’t think many people can take that raw material and genuinely put out a bunch of singles, as far as I’m concerned. I honestly feel most of the songs on Altered State could be released as singles. We talk between ourselves as to what’s going to work as a single because we want to put our best work out there and work on the best possible video. I can kind of sing along to any of them in my head. The hooks are all there.
Singularity was nuts.
Yep, the video to Singularity was weird! It kind of got out of control – We had a lot of really high-end people involved in that one. We had the special effects guys from Prometheus and the last James Bond movie, a director of photography who’s worked on BBC documentaries and a whole load more talented people. All these people collaborated and made this video what it is. Unfortunately, this meant that we lost the creative control. We had an idea which was to create something visually stunning and shocking so that people watch it and react to it. In a way, that worked. People seemed confused though as it’s not like something we’d normally do. I don’t know if I ‘got it’, personally. [laughs]
You certainly felt the impact of it.
For sure. People reacted to it online and in that way, it was a success. Whether it was what we would have personally chosen for that song is another question. It’s not about real-life multi-tentacle raping.
I see your tour updates on Facebook and one caught my eye:
Lawrence, KS! You guys win the award for the most unexpected fun show of the tour. Thank you for being so good to us! See you soon.
Every night is different – some nights we’re super tired but we always try to put on the best possible show. That night was one of the unexpectedly great shows. Every city is different, no matter where you are in the world. People always ask us whether touring the US is different to touring anywhere else in the world – it’s exactly the same as touring in Europe or Australia or anywhere else. You’ve got a bunch of people that are going to react one way or another way, and tonight in Brooklyn was how you want people to react – completely amazing. When a show sells out in advance, it’s real fans who have bought the tickets and those shows are always the most fun – when the whole room is brimming with energy, we feed off that in stage and I think that certainly showed tonight. It was unreal! It wasn’t necessarily the best-played show, but the energy was insane. As musicians, we all know our parts, we all know what we’re supposed to do, and we all know how the music should sound. Every night, we reflect on the show and usually comment on a particular part of a song that we fucked up. I’m sure not many people will notice, maybe one or two people perhaps. The rest are just either listening and trying to work out the time signatures and stuff or they are going nuts at the front of the stage. Tonight, it seemed as though everyone was really enjoying it. I love that. I feed off that. It enables us to go to 110%.
You could definitely feel the momentum.
Technical issues aside, they don’t matter when everyone is having such a good time. You’ve got the music and an element of it is cheerleading because you want the crowd to react in a certain way. We didn’t have to do that. You guys just went for it. It was good. It was fun.
Deception-Concealing Fate Part Two really brought it out.
Yeah dude! [laugh] As soon as we drop into that song everyone’s like “Party time!” It’s so much fun.
The first time I saw you guys was in Philadelphia with Animals as Leaders and BTBAM.
That whole tour was fun. I learned a lot. Both bands are incredible. Animals are a very unique band. There are guys like Victor Wootten who pioneered some of the techniques they use but Tosin / Javier use them to such amazing effect and apply them in a very musical way. They’re one of the few bands I’ll happily listen to every night. Their new drummer Matt is insane, totally insane! I really look forward to the next time we play with those guys cause we all will learn a lot from them.
I was never really taken with it. Then there are those other techniques that no one else even can do. Mark, their new drummer, is insane, totally insane. I really look forward to the next time we play with those guys cause we all will learn a lot from them.
Any thoughts on crowd sourced funding?
What are you guys doing for Halloween?
Jay Postones-Tomorrow? When is it? [To Ashe who pleasantly slips into the conversation.]
Ashe O’Hara-Wait let me check. Yes, tomorrow.
JP –We will be on a plane to Mexico doing nothing remotely Halloween-like.
AO- What’s this? What’s going on here?
JP-We’re just doing an interview.
AO-Oh shit! Sorry. [He then swiftly saunters off.]
What’s you’re favorite kind of candy Ashe?! [Reeling him back!]
AO-Candy? In the US?
JP-Everything has peanuts!
AO-I don’t like peanuts. What’s that stuff? What are they called?
AO-No, not that…they’re a bit…no…what we have are called maltesers. You guys have doo…doozers…dizzies…
AO-doozers…doobies…they’re like…eh…chocolate coated malt…malts…
AO-Whopers, yeah. They taste weird. They’re not as nice as malteasers.
JP-I have three. Flipz are excellent.
JP-Reese’s cups are the best. I’m not sure you have them here, but Jelly Belly beans.
Jelly Belly beans? Yes. Definitely!
JP-The root beer ones are the fucking bomb.
JP-Ooh. Popcorn tastes like vomit to me. I can’t stand it! My girlfriend back home, her brother had bought some Harry Potter Jelly Belly beans.
AO-Every flavor beans.
JP-They were the worst. Earwax, fucking earthworm, dirt.
AO-They had a horseradish one. It was nasty!
JP-The vomit one was terrible. It tasted like you’ve been sick in your mouth. I don’t know why someone would ever want that.