We're shaking off inertia like the rest of the world. So that means we've just started writing the next record. One of these days we'll figure out how to put something out faster than every three years. But it's not yet that day.
I - Justin - also have the inclination to use the site as more of a journal for the process of creating this record. If my intentions bear out, that will mean a pile of posts that travel along the process of creation. Of course, this is weird - the rest of the world uses social media or self-publishing sites that build in the tools and connections to potential connectors.
This doesn't feel like a good fit for a few reasons. Most importantly, I'm not crazy that those platforms, and especially social media, are built around audience engagement as a method to develop customer profiles. It bugs me that someone wanting to find out what we're up to or indulge a curiousity or affinity for our band is then feeding this and other information to Facebook, et al. I absolutely get that we do that lots of time in other parts of our lives. I'd just like this band to be one place where people don't have to do that. Or at least do it less.
The other reasons are less important. We've done a bunch of work to have this site be a durable (if now clunky) document of the band's evolution, so why stop? And, most selfishly, I'll let you in on a secret: the site gives the greatest enjoyment to me. I get a kick of going back and tracing the history of what we've done and how we've talked about it, and I like knowing that this journal will be around to do that until we stop paying the hosting bill.
So that's the thinking. We'll still use those other outlets to some degree. But not for everything.
On the last record we did - Bible Songs 1 - we indicated it was the first of two records. Bible Songs 2 and be about the same length. We made a deliberate choice to push further into abrasiveness, atonality, desperation with that record and I'm happy with the results of that effort. But there are challenges in going down that route. It's easy to become either repetitive (how many times can you just blare 16th note snares across a whole song) or cerebral (which is how I experience a lot of noise music - it engages my brain but not the rest of me).
I've been listening to a bit of weirder, low-frequency metal to help figure this out, most specifically the new records by Altarage and Portal. They both craft songs around using common instruments - really, the guitar - and playing it in a way that's interesting but alien from how that instrument usually sounds. Good food for thought as we're writing: how can the music be engaging while forcing an approach to playing that reachest well-past what's comfortable?