Jul 272010
 

The subject of today’s post is an interview of Jesse Zuretti, the guitarist and co-creator of the musical juggernaut that is The Binary Code (whose new EP we reviewed here).

If you’re like me, when you see the word “interview” on a metal site, you sub-vocalize the words “Fuck that shit” and click away as fast as your fast-twitch muscle fibers will allow your finger to work. Why is that? If you’re like me, there are two reasons:

First, most interview questions are stupifyingly inane. Even when the interviewer actually has a functioning brain, many of them are just fucking lazy. So they ask questions that involve no thought or effort, and they get repaid in kind with the answers.

Seriously, if I were a musician and had to answer one thoughtless, cliched, repetitive, dull-as-dishwater question after another, year after year, I’d be sorely tempted to pull an Ernest Hemingway and put a 12-gauge Boss shotgun in my mouth.

Second, a person can be an extraordinarily talented artist but still be inarticulate or simply uninteresting as a conversationalist — even when the questions are halfway decent. Being really good at one thing doesn’t mean you’re really good at everything else.  To step outside the realm of music, when’s the last time you read an interview of a pro athlete or a movie star that you actually found interesting, that made you think, that opened your eyes to a new idea?

That’s not intended as a put-down. It’s just a fact. Being a talented artist doesn’t automatically make you an innovative thinker or a fascinating raconteur, just as being a diehard metal fan doesn’t make you an adept interviewer. Many people who train and work hard as professional reporters still don’t make the grade as good interviewers, so why should we expect that just being a devoted fan is enough?

Why, then, should you read this interview? Is it because I’m an extraordinarily good interviewer? Well, fuck no. All I can tell you is that I tried to think of questions that weren’t the usual dreck. Whether or not I succeeded is something you should judge for yourselves.

No, the main reason you should read this interview is because of Jesse Zuretti. He’s one of those rare people in the metal scene (a) who is a naturally gifted musician and songwriter, (b) who listens to lots of music and thinks seriously about it , (c) who thinks a lot about things other than music, (d) whose opinions and ideas are unorthodox for this scene, and (d) who can express what he thinks in words that are worth reading — and that make you think. Also, even when my questions were retarded, he was patient and serious in his answers.

Well, at least that’s my opinion.  You can judge all that for yourselves too — but you really shouldn’t miss this. Naturally, we start by talking about the new EP, but things go off in other directions after that.   (after the jump. . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 272010
 

We have seen the future of extreme metal, and it is bright!

The METAL AS ART tour featuring Hypno5e, Revocation, and The Binary Code is one we’ve been waiting for with bated breath for months. We’ve been curious about Hypno5e and huge fans of Revocation and The Binary Code for a while now (we’ve written about our admiration for Revocation here and The Binary Code here and here).

On January 26, the wait ended as the tour rolled into Seattle’s Studio Seven, with support from local band 7 Horns 7 Eyes — which was the biggest revelation of the night — and two of your NCS Authors were there.

This was, bar none, one of the best shows from end to end that we’ve seen in many moons. These are young bands that are capable of carrying the future of extreme metal on their shoulders.  If merit counts for anything (and unfortunately, it doesn’t always), these hard-working dudes will find a place in the vanguard and the kind of widespread notice they deserve.

For our detailed review of the performances and a big collection of our amateurish photos, continue on after the jump . . . . Continue reading »

Dec 212009
 

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: Continue reading »

Dec 202009
 

Last week we put up a brief, rushed post about the one-day-only streaming of The Binary Code‘s December 15 full-length release on MetalSucks.net — brief and rushed because we wanted to give our readers the chance to listen to Suspension of Disbelief before the stream evaporated into the ether. But now it’s time to explain why we thought that alert was worth doing.  And tomorrow, in Part 2, we’ll also share with you our e-mail interview with The Binary Code‘s guitarist/songwriter Jesper Zuretti. Trust me, it’s worth coming back here to read that.

First, the explanation of why we care about this band.  In three words:  shitloads of talent. At all the levels that count. Prodigious technical instrumentation; complex, beautifully structured song-writing; the ability to dive deeply into the technical/progressive side of death metal while at the same time incorporating compulsive grooves and elements of jazz; an abundantly evident creative intelligence that promises future growth. All that and more make Suspension of Disbelief a very impressive full-length debut and The Binary Code a band worth watching closely.

As a reader, I usually lose patience with album reviewers who feel compelled to offer observations about every last track on an album. But there’s so much going on in Suspension of Disbelief that I don’t know how else to fucking do it. So, here goes:

The album begins with a powerful, genre-defying one-two punch. “Suspension of Disbelief (Part I)” is a furious, pummeling, riffage-and-blast-beat-filled onslaught that showcases the band’s technical talent. And then without warning, the music shifts gears into “Suspension of Disbelief (Part II)” — a prog-metal influenced, largely instrumental track that begins and ends with down-tempo atmospheric soloing with high-intensity riffage packed in between. “Mechanical Seas” is tech-death with a groove, but punctuated with melodic synth interludes. “Ghost Planet” is more blast-furnace death metal, featuring a mix of deep gutterals, high-pitched shrieking, and chants; screaming guitar interludes; and some awesome syncopated interplay on the low end between bass and skins. And then there’s a “what the hell?” moment: The closest label I can affix to “Void I” is metal-infused progressive jazz.

Following a brief musical interlude, the band then launches into “The Story,” another genre-bending, technically complex piece with multiple tempo changes, jazzy interludes, and even more vocal variation (including flashes of clean singing). Following another brief instrumental interlude, the band explores the “Human Condition” — more unexpected tempo changes, brutal vocals, crashing riffs and machine-gun bass-and-drum work alternating with more episodes of progressive jazz. “Awaiting Necropolis” is another foray into tech-death territory with probably the most head-bangable rhythms on the album. And then, to finish off this mind-blowing collection we come to “Void II,” another melodic, jazz-influenced number. Continue reading »