Thursday, March 19, 2009
TONER LOW - INTERVIEW
TONER LOW are a trifecta of epic drone proportions from the Netherlands. Their first album was a self titled trip that took the listener on a spacey journey through the universe. In the late fall of 2008 TONER LOW released their mammoth album II( Roadkill Rekordz (CD) Freebird Records (Vinyl) ) . A change in sound was evident, with their new grooves being stretched further and darker then their previous work. I was able to ask some questions with Daan, main guitarist and vocals, for TONER LOW.
Doomed Review - Where does your name come from?
Daan (guitar/vocals) - Basically the name comes from the messages that you see on (old) printers, when the toner is low, haha. Our former bassplayer/vocalist Deef, who was one of the founders of Toner Low back in 1998, thought it would be a cool bandname. I came up with The Teenage Lesbians, but nobody seemed to like that, so we became Toner Low. We have always related the name to our low and heavy sound though, and left behind the link with printers a long time ago. To be one step ahead of those who still connect our name with printers, in recent years I have come up with this other explanation, that ‘Toner Low’ also can be seen as a form of badly written Norwegian, meaning something like ‘Law of Tones’. In Norwegian that would be written somewhat like ‘Toners Lov’, and wherever we play live we sort of lay down the law with our loud tones and sound, so how’s that for a bandname explanation haha.
Doomed Review - Alot of your songs have somewhat of a science fiction feel to them. Were you influenced by any specific works of this genre?
Daan (guitar/vocals) - I agree with you on some of the samples from our first cd/lp from 2006, that indeed have a scifi-feel. Those were created by Jack (drums) and Deef. I don’t think they were influenced by any specific movies or books. Instead Deef wrote some lyrics for the first cd/lp that were inspired by technology turning against its master, like in Devilbot (aka Evil Machinery) and to a lesser amount in Murphy (aka Praying For Murphy’s Law). On the second cd/lp from 2008 the samples are somewhat darker. Those were created by Jack, since Deef left the band in 2007. We don’t like scifi by the way, but I think Deef likes it. The lyrics on our new 2008-album are really about nothing. The only one that makes sense is the lyrics to the song Two, which are about living in the slow lane, rejecting the rat-race and becoming a drop-out. The words reflect my persona very much, so I think most of my future lyrics will be variations on this.
Doomed Review - How did you come about playing this style of music?
Daan (guitar/vocals) - We evolved into this psychedelic doom/drone-style over the years. Toner Low started in 1998 using stoner, doom, guitar rock and psychedelic influences in our songs. Until 2001/2002 when we redefined our sound with a more doomy than stoner approach to writing riffs and creating arrangements. We wanted a sound less varied and more of our own, but I must add that in the early years we already wrote 10-minutes songs and used samples, although the music was much more vocal-orientated back then. Devilbot (written in 2001/2002) is the song that marks the shifting to a different sound.
Doomed Review - What is the normal process you guys follow for writing a song i.e. are they cultivated from jam sessions? does someone approach another member with a riff or idea?
Daan (guitar/vocals) - Most of the second cd-songs are for the main part written by Jack, with a few riffs added that I came up with. Some songs started as a jam, but it’s really hard to tell how a particular song came together. Most of the songs from the second cd/lp have had several arrangements before we recorded them, and during this process we’re always open to re-arranging some parts ‘cause in the end the song will sound better and more thought-out. We rehearsed and recorded without samples by the way, those were created and added by Jack in the months after the recordings.
Doomed Review - In a world that seems to be falling apart, what do you hope to bestow upon the listener?
Daan (guitar/vocals) - I think that would be a different answer for each Toner Low-member. My answer is that I would like the listener to have a trip and gets carried away from life and the world, with or without dope, alcohol, headbanging, air guitar-playing, tinnitus and/or rocking-position with horned fist. By the way, I would like to thank all that bought our albums and come to our gigs. Also I would like to announce something I am very proud of, and that is that in Austria there has been founded the Church of Toner Low by Mario the Master From Orion. I hope soon to move to Austria and become a dopesmokercult-leader with some cute girls-following, haha.
Make sure to check out TONER LOW at: