Ion Dissonance [Interview]
UPDATE: TMMP has been reborn! This video has the full story:
The human capacity for perseverance and survival is absolutely incredible. When our backs are to the wall, we’re capable of coming out fighting – and that’s exactly what Ion Dissonance have done with upcoming album Cast The First Stone, reviewed on TMMP here. I talked to Ion Dissonance guitarist Antoine Lussier about his band’s first album in six years, life changes, Donald Trump, and keeping the dream alive under pressure…
Your new album Cast the First Stone comes out on November 18. Aside from excitement, what emotions are running around the Ion Dissonance camp right now?
For starters, we’re really proud of what we achieved and the way we achieved it. We’re definitely excited to say the least. Since we started writing this record we wanted nothing more than to achieve the best that we personally could do.
I’d also say that we are really happy to be back as well. We’re happy to play some shows, and to share some new music with you guys.
This is your first album in six years; for readers who’re relatively new to you, what’s been happening since 2010?
I mean, we all went through some major changes in our lives, and in order to keep Ion Dissonance alive we had to focus on more personal stuff for a while. We played a few local shows near our hometown and slowly started to put some ideas on the table for a new record. Glad to say we did our homework, and we’re back on track with a new album.
I’m already feeling like we would like to write some more actually.
Cast The First Stone is pretty damn cathartic, to say the least. Aside from music, how do you let off steam?
I can’t speak for everyone in the band, but for me simply playing music does everything I need it to. Whenever I go through a rough/stressful patch, I just feel the urge to grab my guitar and play as if I were screaming my lungs out.
As a band, we all have strong passions that help us forget about all that negativity going around. We don’t have any weird habits, or strange ways to express anger, or let off steam though…
Oh wait, maybe to some listeners Ion Dissonance can sound a bit strange, but it’s our vehicle for expressing ourselves.
If you could beat anyone in the world to death with their own arms, who would you choose and why?
Let’s go with an easy one considering the times.
I am choosing Donald Trump.
Why, you ask? As if this statement required clarification. His claims, statements, and blatant disregard for others over the course of his campaign are far more than enough justification.
Besides, wouldn’t it be great to beat the old geezer with his own arms? Just imagining the very sight brings a smile to my face.
How have you evolved, as musicians and as people, since 2010 and over the course of making Cast The First Stone?
We’ve grown older, we’ve matured, and we took in a lot of various experience in that time frame.
Our drummer got married. Some of us bought our first homes. Our singer took on university courses. I continued my career as a music producer/engineer. These are just a few examples of the life choices we’ve come across since releasing Cursed.
For the longest time we were split between the passion of making music, and the business aspects slowing us down. It’s really sad when you think about it because you get stuck in a repetitive cycle. You just want to make music and share it with the world, but the business aspect is necessary to bring said projects to life.
Letting go of that life is something we had to go through that I think paid off in the end. Afterwards everything went so smoothly. Our creative inspiration returned and I feel as though we wrote some of our best songs to date.
I think lots of barriers fell as well. It has always been clear that we would never change the core of our sound, but this time we opened some doors that were previously closed to us. We had such a great time working on this record and we incorporated new colours that we’d like to see more of in future Ion Dissonance songs.
What’s your musical philosophy?
That’s a deep question…
I would say we all experience music on different levels, for different reasons, and in different ways. The one thing about this band is that it’s always been about anger and chaos for us. We express ourselves with music rather than our fists. We scream with words and ideals what we feel we need to get off our chests.
Plain and simple, this band allows us to get our messages across in a positive manner rather than resort to negative means. Our music is pissed off, fast, and aggressive – but that’s about as far as we take it.
Your songs are insanely complex; what’s your creative process?
Funny you should ask, considering I personally thought about this recently. I was thinking about how much our external lives outside of the band, as well as the new experiences we go through in life, influence the way we write songs.
We’re at a point where we know so much about each other that we can come up with musical ideas for everyone. For example, Jean-Francois [Richard, drums] will write some guitar parts, and I’ll come up with some cool beats and fills. It’s a very cool experience. I think writing this way helps us to challenge ourselves as musicians with every album we write.
The fact that our music is complex comes from our diverse academic musical background. Everything we write comes from intense emotions at first. After the first step we like to sit down and make it more intelligent and complex using what we all know about music theory.
How would you like to see the world change?
For starters, I would appreciate it if the city of Montreal would see reason and stop their discrimination against pitbulls and/or any other creature. To me, that sounds like a good starting point.
Then we can tackle larger issues such as gender discrimination in the workplace, famine across the globe, and the very real threat of World War III being just around the corner.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about pursuing a career in music?
Do not expect too much from it. First and foremost, do it for yourself and because it’s truly what you want to do. Also, don’t lose sight of yourself and let the business side of it change you.
Life on the road is tough and you will surely need to make important sacrifices along the way. You’re best to know this before stepping foot in this competitive business.
Aside from the album release, what’s exciting you about the future? Do you have any further tour plans?
We do not have any plans for any full tours for now, but we do have many shows lined up regardless. Our first US shows in six years are just around the corner, and we’re seriously considering European and UK options if we can work out logistics.
We’re excited about getting out there with our new music and visiting new places, as well places we’ve been before but haven’t been to in ages. We’re looking forward to feeling the energy from the various crowds from all over again!
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