1. Ted, thanks for doing this interview. With your new first solo album you have gone with a real 1970’s Stoner Doom sound, what influenced this?
No problem. I have always loved stoner music and slow plodding heavy tunes and riffs. I have written lots of slow riffs for our Tourniquet albums – just never an entire album at once! When other people were cranking Black Sabbath’s up tempo tune “Paranoid”, I was more into their tunes that had slow riffs – like “Under the Sun” and “Into the Void”… I was into heavy stuff in the 70’s…
2. Ode To A Roadkill has a theme for endangered wildlife, why do you believe this is something Christians should be concerned about?
Since I wrote Ark of Suffering for our first release STOP THE BLEEDING, I have been dedicated to doing whatever I can for animal welfare. I really enjoy hearing from so many fans who share with us how their views and actual treatment of animals has changed for the better as a result of this. When I look at animals and nature in general, I see God’s love for us AND his love for his creation. Most Christians seem to get hung up on us “having dominion” OVER animals. I feel we are to share the joys of life WITH animals. I strongly believe that the acts of those who mistreat animals will not go unpunished by the Creator who loves them. And I have no problem saying that the church falls pathetically short of spending any time and effort teaching people about animal welfare from God’s perspective. Will we share heaven with the animals who have died here on earth? I’m counting on it…
3. The sound of the Ode To A Roadkill album is incredibly ultra heavy, minimal, hypnotic and slow, and is a massive contrast to the Tourniquet material. How was it playing so slow?
Awesome! Those vintage Orange amps can just about peel the paint off walls when you crank them up. An artist always hopes the cool sounds he is getting from the drums, and bass and guitar amps somehow makes it to the final CD version. As for ODE, I am totally satisfied this was accomplished. Of course I love all those qualities of it – the repetition, the ultra heaviness, the simplicity…
4. It is beautiful to hear the sounds of different wildlife inhabitants and to let them vocal on the album, although they are sparse on each track. Why was that and do you think you will record a similar follow up?
Glad you like the animal sounds! I wanted to feature the animal sounds, but not so much as to smother the feel of the music. To me, the sounds are so beautiful, haunting, and fascinating that as is often said: “less is more”. A follow up? Maybe, but it would be different again…
5. I take it that the drums are your first and main instrument of choice, do you play or write on guitar very often?
Yes, drums are my main instrument, but I always write on guitar. With Tourniquet, I have written almost 60 songs that appear on our albums. Written, meaning every note of every guitar riff, harmonies – plus the lyrics on about 50 songs. Much of the guitars on Tourniquet albums were played by me, although it’s not in the credits… It’s funny – sometimes I think of my drumming in terms of “music” and my guitar writing in terms of “rhythm”. In other words, to me – drums can be a very musical instrument and guitar can be a very rhythmic instrument.
6. Tell us something about your next solo album, In The Shadows Of The Masters ? (is this playing over older music not recorded by yourself)
Yes – it’s a highly technical musical venture drumming over classical music. To say I’m “into” classical music is a gross understatement. I have season tickets to the symphony (front row) so I get to hear the most awe inspiring music ever written performed by some of the world’s greatest living musicians. MASTERS has some really crazy pieces on it and I think it will bring in many new fans to classical music and hopefully many classical music fans to what I do with Tourniquet.
7. How often do you practice your drumming and are you always experimenting and looking for new ideas?
I spent many years practicing, so now when I play drums it’s usually for a purpose. But if practicing means running through songs to get them right, then I definitely did some practicing for the tunes on MASTERS!
8. I’ve heard that you find rhythms in natural creation like running water etc. Can you share more about this and your musical influences?
I hear repetition and rhythm in nature more than anywhere else, especially in bird calls. We have almost 40 different bird species on our property, so I get lots of ideas! Plus frog, toad and insect sounds are very rhythmic. Rivers and streams too… As for other musical influences – old prog rock, all types of metal, Dixieland, bluegrass, classical, musicals.
9. What can you reveal about the new 2010 Tourniquet album, about the sound and theme?
Heavy, fast, slow, thoughtful, aggressive… we’ll certainly try our best to make it great…
10. Thanks very much for sharing and The Lord blessings to you. Any final comments?
Thanks for the great questions – take care.
Ted Kirkpatrick interview conducted by Drawnsword.