Sofia, Bulgaria’s chaotic hardcore / mathcore band THEM FREQUENCIES sat down with me talk about their still new album “The Great Wave-Off”, released 4 months ago, their recent tour with SOFY MAJOR and upcoming touring plans for October.
Formed in 2010, this young and energetic powerhouse brings in a diverse heavy music experience spiced up with multiple chaotic shifts that set their work in serious motion. A bunch of groovy melodies and powerful rhythms make their tunes worth tasting!
Hello, boys. Good to have you here on IDIOTEQ! What’s up? How are you doing?
Hey there, Its Dido here. First of all I want to thank for the invitation about doing an interview and sorry for my delay. I really appreciate the work you do about that page. IDIOTEQ is a space where I often find something interesting to learn, so now it is great to do an interview for it as well. You caught me in one of Sofia’s parks reading some old magazine about Iggy Pop’s stage divings Haha!. A few busy months are now at our back, we did a lot of things with the guys in the past months. 2013 started with a lot of energy for every one of us. We released our debut album called “The great wave-off” supported by an Eastern European tour with the buddies from SOFY MAJOR. That’s the most important things until now, because all these stuffs have been put as a plan a year and a half ago and now after watching our “wish list” done we feel happy, experienced and ready for a lot more. In personal aspect, I’m working on my screen printing atelier. My new best friends now are the inks and a bunch of chemicals.
Nice one. What masterpiece exactly are you working on right now?
Тests of designs I am going to put soon. Also some designs for other bands and for ours, too. Trying out different inks, textiles, preparations and other things related to it. It is an interesting process and it is great to get into it, mostly because of the fact that when both music and artworks come from one place they can fit each other really well. Back into the music – soon we will start working on some new songs we did an ideas for, so we can be ready with more material for our October tour. Just a week ago one of the songs from our debut album took part into “Street of Bricks” vol.4. It is a hardcore / punk compilation from “One Voice Asia” records which includes 45 bands from all over the world. The best thing about it is that we are there together with our good friends from THE BRIDGE (Serbia). Miss them a lot, three weeks ago we shared the stage here in Sofia and spent really great weekend. We will do it again, for sure.
Wow. Amazing! I’m readying a nice feature with THE BRIDGE as we speak! I really enjoyed talkin’ to Rajko, too. Anyway, tell me how were you tapped for the compilation by the OVA Records. I love the label.
Actually Rajko is the reason for it. We often write each other. One day he just wrote me ” Hey Dido i sent your bandcamp page to the OVA records’ guys and they really liked you”. They left positive feedback on our stuff and were interested in taking part into that compilation. I’m glad how that turned out – a pure friendship help. Friendship built through music, which personally for me is important thing, because in general it’s not about a competition, but the good moments. Rajko and Aca are on the stage from about 20 years, still full of positive energy. A briliant example how this become their way of life and i share the idea. A reason to keep doing the things you love, whether it is music, drawing, writing. It is the best way you can explore yourself and find something new and unique in there. Soon they will release their split with MY TURN, so be ready for some quality stuff.
Haha! Amazing. I’ll be teasing this split on IDIOTEQ next week. And I’m arranging an interview with Aca, too! He got married a few weeks ago!
Are they helping you out with the distribution of “The Great Wave-Off”? By the way, what was the initial feedback to the release?
Yes, I heard some stuff from it and it will be great for sure. We are distributing it like spreading each other the word about the bands’ news. In general “The great wave-off” received positive feedback. We got some reviews from Denmark, Romania, Serbia. In local aspect, too. We are a band that excists not only in one “room”. There is sludge, chaos, melodies, positive agression. All these stand on a hardcore foundation. So i think every inteligent listener can find something for him. It is interesting personally for me that when we play live there are not only people from the hardcore scene. Not one typical type of listeners. I find that in some way as a reflection of the band’s and “the great wave-off” sound.
How was the time spent in the studio?
We spent almost a week at “Next dog” studio, based 30 km from Bucharest, Romania. It is a peaceful area with a river passing by and great view from the recording room of the fields around it. The idea to travel from Sofia first of all was that we really liked what our friend and producer Marius Costache did on EXPECTATIONS‘s record, also his different view about sound, what he is influenced by and mostly because we wanted to spent our time focused only on recording. Six days getting up, making cofees to the top of the cups, recording all day long. Also watching “The Shinning” in Romanian is a real experience. We did that. For sure we’ll go back again for our next record. Marius Costache and Mihai Andrei (BREATHELAST), who also joined “We Made You Breathe” are great people and good friends.
Haha! Awesome! :) Do you feel fulfilled in what you’ve done with it and that you have done the best you can so far?
Yes, we are fulfilled for sure. I’m happy we did an album with some kind of different “view”. Both compositions and sound. The guitars were recorded in 180-degree way. I basically play guitar through tube vintage bass amplifier from the 80s, which is not an amplifier used for such kind of music, but i like it. I think you don’t need high gain sound to be heavy and aggressive. I did the record with it, too. And just the opposite thing happened with bass guitar. It was recorded with tube guitar amplifier pushed through 4×12 guitar cabinet. Lemmy style distorted bass. When we heard that roaring sound from the bass we just looked at each other. No words, just smiling like little kids. In general every one of us put a lot of energy into that album. It is a process of creating something you love, and when you see the final result are going well you are always fulfilled. Still can’t say the best, just for myself so far i don’t want to put a “roof” on our music. A lot of new and fresh ideas are on its way now.
I love your latest studio video. Whose idea was it to make such a feature?
The one with the guitar studio update? I think it was with the MENTAL ARCHITECTS music inside. They are friends of us and we just decided to put some of their stuff. All the videos are made by our vocalist. He makes videos behind “RosettaStone” and also working as a freelance VFX artist in Prague, Czech Republic. He is coming back in about two weeks for our next live with CANCER BATS here in Sofia.
Oh yeah, tell me more about your touring plans. I’ve seen some rumours about an October tour :) What about the upcoming weeks?
Yes, we are going on tour from 12th until 26th of October. This time our buddies RAIN BIRD, really new and interesting band with members from EXPECTATIONS will join us. We are planning a route which will pass through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Serbia. We will start booking the dates after EXPECTATIONS’ summer tour. I’m sure we will have really good time on the road with the guys because we already know each other. About the near future, we are playing with CANCER BATS in a few days. They are on their European tour which will pass through Sofia. Can’t wait for that one.
Speaking of touring, how was your tour with SOFY MAJOR? :) How did people receive your music?
The tour with SOFY MAJOR for THEM FREQUENCIES was a thing we have always wanted to do. We got back really happy and experienced. We didn’t get in the van with any expectations about the scene at the other countries. Just going from city to city, from country to country, playing together and having good times with the guys, meeting new people and audience, seeing the friends we already have, “building” good memories. That it is all about. SOFY MAJOR is a band with a lot of experience on the road. I’m happy we shared that time together. I remember how we had to move a car which had stuck our way in one of the Thessaloniki streets at about 2 a.m. All eight of us went to move that car.
Nice :) What are your favourite venues to play at? I mean both specific names and venues’ features and characteristics in general.
Here in Sofia “MIXTAPE5” is one of the best venues to play, based downtown. It has good and quality soundsystem with professional and friendly crew. Another place with unique and more diy atmosphere is GRINDHOUSE SKATE CLUB – its great paying on a half pipe.
And what do you think of the European punk rock scene right now?
I think the scene now grows with quality good bands. Internet and the access to information helps a lot for that too – finding international bands to play with, promoters, festivals, smaller or bigger record labels, music promoting pages and blogs. If using all that stuff in the right way and most important if you have something good to show them – music literally, then that can open an access for new and more proffesional experience. Now it is not so hard to book a tour for your band or just to see where it “stands” in the European scene or at all. RISE AND FALL, OATHBREAKER, KVELERTAK are good examples for new hardworking ones.
Ok, before I let you go, please admit it ;) You guys definitely have some more new songs left :) Any plans for a split or another follow-up release later this year? :) Could you tell me a little about your future recording plans?
We will start working on new material after the June 3rd show. There are already some ideas for new songs. They will be mainly for new live set for the October tour. I don’t think we will be ready for recording until the end of 2013, but already have an ideas for that and will be focused on working new material. Probably early 2014 split or EP.
Ok.. what else, guys? Let’s sum it up. Do you guys have any special surprises up your sleeve for later this year?
By that time if we manage to release “The great wave-off” on a vinyl through some small label that will be one well done job for saying goodbye to 2013 and get into 2014.
I wish the best of luck with that. Thanks so much for your time, buddies.