Yesterday we frothed at the mouth over The Binary Code, its just-released full-length Suspenson of Disbelief, and the kick-ass “Metal As Art” tour that The Binary Code is about to launch with Hypno5e and NCS favorites, Revocation. In the course of preparing that post, we put a few questions to the band’s guitarist and co-songwriter Jesper Zuretti, and the dude was good enough to indulge us. Yesterday’s post was so damn long that we didn’t want Jesper’s answers to get lost in the rest of our verbiage, so we deferred publication of the interview til today. If you’re already a Binary Code fan or just beginning to get curious about the band, there’s some interesting revelations in there. Read our interview of Jesper after the jump:
NCS: Is it true that Todd Stern from Abacinate will be touring with you on the Metal As Art tour? If that’s right, can you give us a hint about how you intend to integrate a two-guitar attack into the band’s previously released songs?
Jesper: Todd will be touring with us. It sounds monstrous with Todd filling the void during solos and what not. For the most part, he’ll be playing in unison. It allows me to improvise a little bit as well. Which is very cool.
NCS: I read that Suspension of Disbelief was recorded more than a year ago and that you’ve been working on new songs since then. Do you plan to play any of the new ones on the tour?
Jesper: We will be playing 3 new songs live. We have a pretty long set, so we’ll change it up every night. We’re actually stoked to play this stuff since some of it was written collectively or with structural contribution from [bassist] Brett [Bamberger] (East of the Wall) & Todd.
NCS: How would you describe the ways in which new songs you’ve been working on differ from what we hear on Suspension?
Jesper: One of the new tunes is a doomy, post-metal song. We use a weird tuning for that particular song, which is cool. The other songs are a result of musical expansion and maturity. We stepped it up and backed it down in some areas. One of the songs we’re most excited to play is a very technical song. I know most people think we’re already playing technical music, but in comparison to anything else we’ve written, this one far surpasses the technical extremity found in our previous material.
NCS: Completely random question (which I ask solely because I grew up in Texas): I read that you were born in Santa Fe. How long were you there before you moved to NJ?
Jesper: Actually, I was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, but raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico from the age of 2 until 1998 (12 years old). We moved to Tampa, Florida in 1998, and then I moved up here to Rochelle Park, New Jersey in 2002 (16 years old). Few years later (2004), Binary Code formed. How’s that for lineage? Haha!
NCS: I also read that both you and drummer Umar Fahim studied performance jazz at one time (and I can definitely hear that influence in your music). Was that in school? What caused you to shift your musical performing interests into metal?
Jesper: Umar studied performance longer than I did. I didn’t get too much performance study in while I was in school. I was still getting a lot of my prerequisites out of the way. But, Umar has studied performance for a while now. He studied with Chris Pennie (Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed & Cambria, Return to Earth) for a long time. He also studied most recently with Jay Dittamo (Frank Zappa, etc). Personally, I’m more of a self-taught musician. I was in school for Jazz performance at a moderately well-known jazz school, but didn’t get to delve into it too much. I got the theory & history aspect of things down pretty well through my schooling though. I’ve only been playing guitar for about 7 1/2 years now, so when I moved to NJ I really had just begun playing. When I heard Between the Buried & Me’s self-titled debut in 2001, I was so moved by it. Same goes for Dillinger Escape Plan’s Calculating Infinity. Shortly after, I knew I wanted to play guitar.
NCS: In previous interviews, you’ve identified bands that have been influential to you. Are there any particular guitarists you especially admire, who’ve influenced your own style of playing?
Jesper: Pat Metheny is my biggest multi-influence. He is responsible for writing more than just his own guitar parts in Pat Metheny Group. His music moves me more than anything else I’ve ever heard. Fredrik Thordendal from Meshuggah is a huge influence on my lead guitar work. He’s basically an improvisational soloist, but he has different pieces of solos set in stone. I try to do the same thing. I’m influenced by Allan Holdsworth in a “I’ll never be able to play like you” kind of way. But I can pretend! The guitarists that have played in Extol are a huge influence on my chord progressions. Stone Temple Pilots are a huge influence on my chord vocabulary building.
[Editor’s note: If Pat Metheny happens to be a new name for you, educate yourself here. And if you want to know who Allan Holdsworth is, follow this link.]
NCS: Is there any breaking news you’d like to share with our readers? Or any other thoughts you’d like to share about life in general?
Jesper: We have a $5.00 debut 10 song album we’d love to see people give a shot. We’re still a DIY, unsigned band, so proceeds aren’t going into the pocket of a label just yet. We’d love to see people come out to our dates on the tour we’re doing with Revocation & Hypno5e. We also love meeting fans of our music, and make it a point to converse with anyone whom has anything they’d like to talk about. So come out, message us on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, whichever!
[Editor’s note: if you got $5 to burn, you can (and should) download The Binary Code’s full-length CD here.]