After Math

tm2013

Tera Melos’ debut self-titled album, released some seven-odd years ago, totally changed the music game; at least, for my roommates and I it did. “Math Rock” and “Experimental” became household terms, and we discovered other strange musical projects like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Melt Banana. The Sacramento-based band just released their latest LP, X’ed Out, last Tuesday and it’s proving to be one of their least experimental, but most digestible, musical efforts to date. I talked to their bassist, Nathan Latona, about what went into making this slightly strange, totally lovable creation.

How does the title X’ed Out apply to the music on this new record?

When we were writing this record, we didn’t overanalyze or overthink parts. There wasn’t a lot of muscle-flexing. We knew there was potential with this record that audiences would “X us out.” Like they would go, “Oh. They went in a direction I didn’t like. Too simple.” It’s like that when you put out any record. If you go into anything looking for just one specific aspect, you might not understand this record.

Pick a song off this album you care a lot about.

I’ll go with the song called “Bite.” That song’s interesting because it’s one of the more minimal songs on there. It plays with some cool contrasting ideas. I always thought of it as a dark-sounding song. We just did a video for it, and it came out really bright and happy. I thought it was strange, for how dark it was, and the other guys thought I was strange because of how happy they felt “Bite” was. You know, ‘cause of the twinkly guitar stuff going on. Now I see the brighter parts in there; I think it’s a really cool song with its contrasts.

Tell me about “Until Lufthansa.”

Well, it’s one of my favorite songs on the album…

Yeah! I mention it because the first time I heard it, I got a big smile on my face the entire five minutes. The second time I heard it, some time had gone by, and it made me teary-eyed. The hook was that good.

Cool compliment from someone that’s into metal. There’s something about that song that sounds really joyful, an overwhelming happiness feeling. Getting teary-eyed seems like a natural reaction to it.

What was it like writing “Lufthansa”?

It was a really positive, fun thing; it came together really easily. I don’t wanna say what you always hear: “Oh it just wrote itself!” But it was that kind of feeling. The last record we were coming out of losing our old drummer and writing with our new-at-the-time drummer. We were making it a big thing that we might lose fans with the drummer change. We had a bit to prove. It was a bit more dramatic. “Lufthansa,” and this whole album, it was more light and fun.

Tera Melos is currently touring the nation, but will arrive at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on Saturday, May 25th. Also, make sure to check out the brand new music video for the single, “Bite” (Latona’s favorite song), on YouTube.

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Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.