This Is Hell Check In From the Studio
Long Island, New York-based hardcore band are currently in the studio, working on their fourth album with producer Tomas Costanza. Below, guitarist Rick Jimenez catches us up on his band’s progress.
REVOLVER How are the songs sounding for your new album?
RICK JIMENEZ These are some phrases that have been thrown around amidst the recording: “That actually sounds like the fucking apocalypse,” “That’s a barrier-gripping headbang part if there ever was one,” “This must be a wrestler’s entrance music–the pyro goes perfect right there,” and “Kevin from Incendiary is going to stage mosh to this.”
Are you trying anything different with your songs this time?
There are so many things on this album that are different for us, from a small thing like an auxiliary percussion track on a song to a very obvious thing like the increased use of two vocal parts. The best part about trying new things was the fact that they all came naturally. There was never a “We should really redefine our sound and start doing this and this in place of this or that now.” It was just a matter of how things came out when they were written and being excited to add those new elements both live and on recording.
What have you been listening to while working on this album?
Metallica. They’ve always been my favorite band. The Metalllica influence on this album is way more apparent than any other album we’ve done. So many of their albums are still untouchable. It’s also awesome that Death Magnetic has become a part of my regular Metallica rotation. I’m not sure what the general consensus is on that album but I think it fucking rules.
What has been your biggest inspiration for the new songs?
Essentially the bands that I loved when I first started playing guitar all reemerged as stronger inspiration with these songs, both guitar-wise and vocally. Megadeth, Slayer, Sepultura, Anthrax, Metallica, etc. Then there is the crossover influence which bridges it all together–bands like Cro-Mags, DRI, Leeway. Not just musically but theoretically, these bands are inspirations because they weren’t afraid to take risks and incorporate new things into their sound and not become stagnant, writing the same album and songs over and over just because that’s what people may want. We wrote “Polygraph Cheaters” in 2005, and I swear I’m still flattered that people like that song, but what fun would it be for us if we continued to write that same thing over and over again?
What’s been the most adventurous thing you’ve done in the studio so far?
There have been a lot of things, just the sound overall is adventurous for us. The use of dual vocals and the fact that it’s not just one dude screaming as hard as he can the entire time is pretty different for us. Making use of choruses and not playing as fast as possible 90% of the time. On the other hand, this record is probably the most aggressive and in your face yet, so go figure.
Tell us about working with Tomas.
We also did [2010's] Weight of the World with him. He’s awesome behind the board at capturing the right sounds and bringing out the best in us. As far as ideas towards the songs, I’m essentially the most stubborn bastard in the world and he knows that. He knows when to offer suggestions and when to just let the song ride so I don’t give a 20-minute explanation of why certain things are already set a certain way. He’s the greatest to work with.
Do you guys have an album title yet?
We are keeping it under wraps for now. But stay tuned because more details are coming soon!