I’m very happy to have been able to make this interview with this band that I really really like. A big thanks to Andrew for answering in detail and making it easier for me to publish the interview. I urge you to throw an ear on their fantastic improvised free-jazz/metal here
1 – First of all could you introduce your band to those who don’t know about it yet?
Kurushimi is a project that I put together that is best described as ‘free-metal’; it is metal-based music that incorporates the elements and ideas of free-jazz and free-improvisation.
It’s quiet heavily metal/rock based, but it does venture into other genres like ambient, dub and no-wave.
On top of that, the music is manipulated live by a conductor who alters elements of the musical improvisation, steering the musicians in one direction or another.
2 – You’re currently preparing a second album. When is it planned to be released? Did you get a deal for an album release?
I can’t actually say right now, as in I don’t know. Mixing has begun, but only the early stages. I’m hoping for August, but maybe it will be earlier, maybe later.
A deal? No, there’s not really a ‘deal’ as such. I just get it all together myself, and will see if Art As Catharsis will add it to their roster. Lachlan (AAC) and I are good mates, and play(ed) together in Serious Beak. Kurushimi’s debut and EP did quite well through AAC, and it also seems to be the way many fans found us, due to the great music that comes out via AAC, so it would be silly to steer away from that, plus I want to keep supporting Lachlan and AAC, he does a killer job running it.
I may see if an international physical deal can be sourced, but that’s all new to me, so we’ll just see how it all pans out…
3 – What inspired you to make such a unique brand of music?
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve really enjoyed improvisation. I was predominantly a metal-head, but midway through high school I was introduced to jazz and then avant-garde jazz. I had ideas to do improvised metal when I was about 16, and then I discovered Zorn’s Painkiller, and it really made an impression on me. Since that time I wanted to start an improv-metal project, but it just never came to be.
It wasn’t until I did a recording session for Simon Dawes’ “Poseidon” project (which is a 6 bassists, 3 drummers Violence In Action ‘splinter’ group), when something clicked for me. I suddenly knew how I’d make my improv-metal idea work: put it through the Violence In Action filter – aka have a conductor manipulate it utilising games from the ViA manual, and not just should be as a group improvising,
I told the guys I wanted involved about it and they were keen. Next thing I knew we had a gig. The debut show was pretty cool, and a great chemistry was formed between the players (whom, for a few, met for the first time).
The crowd really enjoyed it too, and I think having the ViA element makes it much more interesting (for both audience and the players).
4 – You’re focusing on improvised music. How do you work to create an album?
Creating an album is pretty much the same as live – all improvised. But I do keep in mind that it will be an album. I (as well as Lachlan, and Simeon [guest conductor on upcoming album]) also create some outlines of games to cue for a movement.
For example, I might write down what game to start with, what games to include, and what game to end on – and we just see how it comes out.
We’ve also done some ‘stories’. ‘In A Grove’ from the debut is an example. Lachlan wrote out specific games and vibes he was after and before recording, he’d just mention the game, or say something like “drums, play only toms. Saxes, mirror drums” – so it’s still all improvised.
5 – If I’m not mistaken I saw you do play gigs, do you replay tracks from your releases or do you improvise on stage as well?
Each gig is different. It’s all improvised. Sometimes this can feel a little daunting prior as we don’t know what will happen, or how it will sound – but this also is thrilling.
Actually, if the second album ends up taking longer to be completed than planned, I may just look into putting out an EP before it, as I’ve received a live recording of a show, and it’s quite possibly our best show we’ve done. It’s really intense and heavy, but also has some different chilled moments (and even a few silly moments). It also has a great flow to it. .
6 – Is there bands you could recommend to our readers?
Well I have to plug the members’ other projects, because they’re all so good.
All the guys are amazing players & composers and have really cool things going on. I won’t bother with descriptions, just check them out.
Instrumental Adj. https://instrumental-adj.bandcamp.com/album/a-series-of-disagreements
Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt
And basically anything on Art As Catharsis https://artascatharsis.bandcamp.com/
7 – The traditional question here : can you give some pointers to beginners?
Don’t worry what others think.
Sure, it’s great to get positive feedback, but if you enjoy what you’re doing, just go for it.
8 – Last words are yours!
Thanks for all the support. It’s been a shock actually with how much people are digging this (editor’s note : I’m not surprised any single bit. It’s really great work!). The new album is shaping-up to be quite different, and we hope everyone enjoys it as much as the other recordings, and if not, as a said in previous question, we don’t care if people don’t anyway. hehe.