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Interview - Dan Briggs (Trioscapes)

Interview with Dan Briggs from Trioscapes
by Adam Clarke at 05 September 2014, 9:50 PM

Dan Briggs, is a name most of you know from BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. TRIOSCAPES is a bit different. It can be hard enough to start one band and get the name known, but there are the few who manage to pull off multiple projects. Especially ones that differ in sound and genre the way he has done with (at least) these two. “Digital Dream Sequence” is the band’s debut release.

First of all I would like to congratulate you for the new TRIOSCAPES release. I have the feeling that you are stoked about it. What can you share regarding your perception of what you have accomplished?

I am indeed very excited about the new record! We set out to try and capture and recreate an honest representation of what live TRIOSCAPES is like. The room had a lot to do with it, Legitimate Business in North Carolina is such a big, lively room. Composition wise, we established our sound more forcefully and clearly. We wanted to have pieces that felt looser, but then have ones that had denser multi part melodies.

How was the transition from writing music for BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, and TRIOSCAPES?

Well, for BTBAM music I am generally writing on guitar and keyboard; and TRIOSCAPES is all pretty much on bass and a little bit of keyboard. The keyboard has really become a staple in my writing though, I just see things so differently on there and it sparks some really interesting lines. But it's the same in some ways, you're still bouncing ideas off other people. They just happen to be coming from a different place in our case.

The album sounds pretty complex, how long did it take to write it?

We had the first song "Digital Dream Sequence" written a good while before we actually got together to start writing the album, and the other pieces had ideas floating for a little bit. But it wasn't until, really, January when we turned it on and started really getting the ideas finalized. We work fast when we have some ideas floating around.

What was the typical writing process for a song like?

It's different for each one really. Usually I'll come in with sheet music and transitions and then we'll play through them and hear something that takes the composition one way or the other. "Hysteria" was one that we pretty much put together in the room on the spot, and that was a lot of fun. Both ways work really well for us.

Why did you choose to form this side project from your main band?

I just have a ton of creative energy and I've been thankful to line up with great musicians who inspire me to create pieces that I wouldn't have written otherwise. I have interests in so many different kinds of music and it's nice to have an outlet for each.

Do any of the songs have a specific hidden meaning within it that you wanted us to be aware of?

Not really, the song titles are all inspired by the sounds of the song and kind of the mental image that is given off. It's kind of fun in that regard to name instrumental songs, it makes you really listen and explore the songs in such a different way.

How difficult was it to fit so many different styles into your songs?

We just write however feels natural. I've been mixing genres since I was in high school. It just comes from loving so much different music. It's so important to just write what feels most natural and not force anything though.

What sort of audience do you feel you will attract with TRIOSCAPES?

It's very mixed, that's for sure. We have people come out that are instrumentalists themselves, Metal heads, Indie rockers, and an older crowd of people who grew up on Fusion and Prog Rock from the 70s. It's great to see and we're really thankfully to be able to reach out to
so many different people.

Are there any plans for future records?

We'll obviously do more, but right now we're immersed in "Digital Dream Sequence". I'm working on music with my other groups BTBAM and ORBS.

Are there any plans for a tour and who would you want to play with?

We did a bunch of touring before the record was released and we'll be out once the CD and vinyl versions are out. We're hoping to get over to the UK and Europe on this record too, hopefully we'll get an offer!

When performing live, is there a different vibe than when you play with BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME?

Much different, absolutely. When we set up on stage, Walter and I are facing each other so the three of us are all in each other's peripherals. It creates a lot of energy and a really intense interplay between the three of us. There are a lot of improvised sections that take on a new feeling live which is great to experience. When it all locks in it's pretty amazing for us!

Here is a general question, nowadays promotion for bands has been a rather digital process. However, there are those that think that downloading music also help the artists to get exposures, especially the newcomers struggling in a vast market of bands. What is your input about it? Should downloading illegally be banned?

No, I don't think so. I've always been a proponent of it and I think so many bands have put out a record and seen word of mouth really help spread interest in it. All that does is build hype for when the band is going on tour and coming through your city and you have to see it, which directly impacts the band better. The physical release will always be SO important to me though. For me, it is #1 still, but that's because it's my one true vice in the world. I still buy a ton of CDs, and heaps of vinyl. I've got stacks of cassettes and TRIOSCAPES and ORBS both put out our first recorded material on cassette (two song singles). I put out the TRIOSCAPES vinyl on my own label, Hogweed & Fugue Records; so I have a very personal attachment to the physical release.

Dan I wish to thank you for the interview, you are quite an inspiration for any Prog Metal fan and I do hope for the best for Trioscapes. Any last words for the readers?

I appreciate the interview, thank you so much! Hope everyone enjoys the new record.


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