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Interview von: arne mit Joe Preston, am: 15.07.2005 ]

Joe Preston ist längst eine Institution im Heavy- bzw. Experimental-Noise-Sektor und sein musikalisches Schaffen umfasst Beteiligungen an/bei Earth, Melvins, The Whip, Sunn o))), High On Fire und natürlich sein Solo-Projekt Thrones. Über SouthernLord ist gerade mit "A Day Late, A Dollar Short" eine eindrucksvolle Raritäten-Sammlung erschienen, die nach Labelboss Greg Anderson nicht weniger als das beste Release markiert, das er jemals veröffentlichte...


Musicscan: Give our readers a short briefing about Thrones at first, please. Anything you want to tell us about?

Thrones: Thrones is a band I formed on new years day, 1994. Originally there was a live drummer, actually a couple different ones, but I soon pared it down to just me as I was wanting to tell the drummer how to play the songs, and it really bugs me when people make me play things "just so", so I took up the drum machine again and went solo. I've been touring regularly and independently up until last year, when I joined High on Fire, which takes up most of my time now. But Thrones is still kicking.

Musicscan: Why did you choose this title "A Day Late, A Dollar Short" - What are the thoughts behind it? How did this CD-compilation come to be and has it been your idea to do this kind of retrospective?

Thrones: Day Late, Dollar Short came from my "relaxed" work ethic with Thrones, I'm pretty lazy and lately kind of blocked, and there's been alot of people asking for me to put stuff out in the last few years, including re-releasing older, hard to find material. So,as usual, I opted for the easy way out, and it still took me about a year or more to get this stuff together.

Musicscan: Will there be new studio tracks by Thrones or is A Day Late, A Dollar some kind of good bye to your fans?

Thrones: I still have several records planned, but as I said, I'm pretty lazy. Some of the hopeful upcoming releases are Lambda Lambda Lambda cd for Neurot recordings, if they still want to do it (it's like four years late, or maybe more) the Pizza ep split 7" with Pig Destroyer the mini tour cd from last summers tour that I never finished up I almost don't want to mention this stuff in case it never happens, you know? Day Late is definitely not a "goodbye", more like a "whoops".

Musicscan: What's the actual status of Thrones? We havn't heard any new recordings quiete a long time yet and you seem to be very busy with your other involvements.

Thrones: Thrones is still active, however, I'm not going to be touring like I used to. People seem tothink that I never play shows, but I used to play an average of 150 shows per year, usually to a handful of people. I'm a little burned out on touring now, what with about 10 of the last 12 months filled with High on Fire dates, so I'm planning to make touring in the future a pure pleasure. Interesting places, better pay, more time off. Fun. Bottom line.

Musicscan: As musician you evolved over the years, so how does it feel to you to go through different steps of development by arranging such a collection like this new one?

Thrones: Well, it's a bit hard to listen to most of the stuff on Day Late, I'm already my own worst critic, but it is good to recognize that yes, I have evolved a bit. I really love playing music, and playing constantly has sharpened my existing skills, and opened me up to alot of new styles that I'm still learning. I personally prefer struggling with new techniques to cruising along on a plateau, it's more fun to be learning.

Musicscan: How do you judge the development of Thrones by yourself? Where did you start and what paths you have travelled musically?

Thrones: Thrones started for me purely as a need to get my creative frustrations out of my body, just put them out there, my songs feel very intimate to me and repulsive at the same time. I think Thrones appears as a bunch of tangents without much commonality to most people, it doesn't fit in to categories easily, but it's that "randomness" that seems to me the thread that binds Thrones together. All of my songs came from "what I was feeling at the time", angry, sad, corny, whatever, so I'd say Thrones does what I need it to do when i let it. It only gets bogged down when I confuse what I'm doing for myself with what I think other people want me to be doing, or what they'd like. Which is where I've been with it for a while.

Musicscan: Are there songs you feel especially proud of?

Thrones: The songs I like the most are ones that come together on their own without much thinking, i like the visceral ones. My favorite is probably Obolus, which came together in two parts, one right after my Grandmother died, and the other after one of my cats died. They started off just as expressions of grief and gained an instant, pleasant cohesion for me.

Musicscan: What cover-version would you point out to be your best one?

Thrones: I usually do covers to get my ass in gear when i haven't done any writing for awhile, they're just for yucks, and apparently, I've neede alot of help getting motivated. I think my best one, live at least, was The Trees by Rush, mainly because it was fun and lightened the mood of every show I played it at.

Musicscan: Out of my view Thrones stands for a more inclusive approach to music, cause the songs always cover a lot of base musically. Has this kind of approach something you were heading for?

Thrones: Definitely, I like alot of different kinds of music, and I like to assimilate anything that I like into what I play so that it'll be more fun.

Musicscan: Is there something like a "higher goal" that you want to accomplish with Thrones, that's may not possible in a real band-concept?

Thrones: I've never had a thought out goal for Thrones, but maybe it would be just to express myself as honestly as I can through all forms of art, visual, aural, what have you.

Musicscan: What's the driving force making you create massiv music in general? And how do you choose the musicians and bands to work with?

Thrones: It feels satisfying to play loud, feel your pants ruffle, sing with gusto, just go for it. I don't always choose the people I play with, sometimes they choose me. I am often attracted to roles I'm unfamiliar with, instruments I don't have proficiency in, it's a challenge. It's also a bigger challenge to just throw in with other people and make a commitment to their projects, High on Fire is a huge challenge for me because I'm so used to doing things on my own and always getting my own way. It's been a long time since I let other people get this close to me in a musical/social environment. I like it, it's kind of scary.

Musicscan: What bands or artists do you consider to be truly inspiring to you at the moment?

Thrones: Shocking Blue, Magma, Cindytalk, Metal Church, Stanislaw Szukalski, Coil, Orthrelm, Gene Hoglan.

Musicscan: What are your thoughts on the current heavy underground scene, that has become more big-time? Do you feel like having better chances today? What are the good and worse aspects you experienced?

Thrones: Heavy music IS more popular these days, and like most trends, that brings alot of rules with it. The right way to be a "heavy" band, blah blah blah. There are definitely more people aware of what I'm doing/have done, and yet I think the fact that there are alot of disparate things going on in Thrones is still a hindrance to it's widespread acceptance. i just need to remember I'm not asking for acceptance from anyone other than myself.

Musicscan: Last question: Do you prefer Vinyl or CDs personally?

Thrones: Probably vinyl. I haven't unpacked my records and cd's for about a year now, I've just been listening to what's on my computer. Lame. Sort of. Bye!