New Zealand trio Jakob have a strong release history behind them, but they have been largely absent over the past several years due to injuries that have kept them from playing and recording. All that is done now, and the band unveils the video for "Blind Them With Science", the lead-off track from their forthcoming Mylene Sheath release Sines (October 17 in New Zealand and Australia, October 21 in Europe and the United States). Check out the video below, then read up on the band's drive and direction on the new record.
Can you describe (in more detail than your online bio) what injuries the band members suffered and when, since your last album?
In September 2008 I [Jeff Boyle, guitar] had arthroscopic surgery on an elongated ulna bone in my right wrist. Basically it means the ulna keeps growing and starts to tear the ligaments that are attached to the bones surrounding it. In April 2010 Maurice [Beckett, bass] broke his left metacarpal 5 bone. At the beginning of December 2011 Jason [Johnston, drums] lacerated his 'little' & 'ring' fingers to the bone, which meant his main tendons had to be retrieved and reconnected.
Were there particular emotional/conceptual or musical ideas you were interested in exploring with this new music?
I think with this album we were mainly trying to move forward musically. We were really conscious of not stagnating and recycling old ideas. It's definitely the most crafted album we've done so far. As much as we originate ideas quite organically, we worked on elaborating on those ideas in different ways. Like with “Blind Them With Science” we wanted to get some riff action on because we hadn't really done anything like that so far. And it was kind of a tip of the hat to some bands we had toured with like ISIS, Pelican & Tool. We also wanted to take these songs in a more cinematic direction, using string sections, pianos and samples to bring in other timbres to create a more cinematic mood. A lot of the time with our ambient parts I'm kind of playing guitar with a mind to appropriate a string section anyway so this pretty much just an extension of that.
Over what length of time was the music for Sines actually written?
Some of the songs that made it onto Sines have actually been around in one shape or form since 2008. “Magna Carta” & “Harmonia” both originated from the writing sessions we did when we got back from touring with ISIS in Europe. The ideas for “Blind Them With Science”, “Emergent” & “Resolve” were originated in 2010. “Darkness” and “Sines” were the last to be written in 2012.
How do you think the band members have grown in technique over the time you have worked together? Has this altered the sound of Jakob over time?
We've all developed our techniques over the years for sure. A big part of that has been in doing other musical projects. Maurice started a solo project called Desbot which has since turned into a band, Jason played with the Tiki Taane Live crew and I worked with Rhian Sheehan on a couple albums. I think when you start creating music with other people, parts of their style can work its way in your own. We've definitely taken pieces of what we've done with these other projects and brought them into this new album.
Where does Jakob go from here?
We want to get into some touring again now that this album is finally all done and about to be released. We'll definitely head back over to Europe and USA next year for pretty extensive tours. And we're already talking about the next album which I think we'll try and record quite simply this time. Mainly we'll keep trying to progress and evolve musically.