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Sunn O))) Why loud music can be important – Spotify for artists


Since its formation in 1998, Sunn O))) Widely recognized as one of the most important strengths of experimental metals. They rocked speakers around the world with the breakthrough of their third album, 2003 White 1, And released as many drone records as 2009 Monolith and dimensions And this year Life is metalWhich was recorded and blended by audio engineer Steve Albini, famous for his work Nirvana And Pixie, Among others. Sun O))) – Founding members Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, as well as frequent collaborators Toss Newenhuizen, are equally famous for their deaf live performances, where they assault concert passengers with assault waves of vibration and thick clouds in places.

What do we mean by “Life Metal” with Anderson and O’Malley, why do they play so loudly and why do they wear costumes to hide their identities on stage?

Spotify for artists: Your live shows are known for their irresistible volume. What kind of experience do you want audience members to have?

Stephen O’Malley: This is one of the strengths of Sun O))) – the experience of being inside the word is something unique to many people, including music performers. The audience and the people on stage are both experiencing this kind of phenomenon of music together. When we have so much energy, sound energy, sound energy happening in a space, we are all together in it. And that’s something we’ve improved and refined over time. In my opinion, there is still refinement to get to where its potential is, but at the moment it is quite beautiful and wide and huge. Staying inside the sound field, that’s music. To do this, it takes a lot of energy – with sound, it ends up becoming the amplitude of the volume and the specific frequency.

Greg Anderson: Personally, I hope it will have some kind of impact on people, be it positive or negative. This can be a negative reaction. [Laughs] For me, it can be a very cathartic experience. Playing this music can be very comfortable. I try not to worry too much about what the audience understands. Personally, it’s an intimate, personal, and I guess you can say selfish experience. I quickly realized if I was concerned with what the audience would think if I let myself think about the reaction – that it was getting me out of where I wanted to be: in my headspace, playing music. That’s why we came up with the idea of ​​wearing costumes on anonymity and used a lot of fog to create this atmosphere that was different than a normal ceremony, and something that would help bring us into a state of mind that is conducive to this music and Make this sound.

There is a lot of layering in Life Metal; There is a lot going on inside the drone. Is volume an element for the audience to capture the subtlety of what you are doing?

Anderson: It is certainly helpful. I think, really, it’s about capturing sound in the best way possible. To me, our band’s best recordings of what the band actually looks like and feels like live. One of them [Steve Albini’s] The peculiarity is that they record a band as they live and breathe, and sweat and bleed, and all those things.

O’Malley: [Albini] He’s really a documentary, almost, in his recording method. Sunn O))), it works very well, because there are so many voices, there are so many colors and levels and textures to make the whole music. But I want to be careful and be ashamed of the idea that our purpose is to record the live experience in your home on record or in your earbuds. [Laughs] It just won’t be possible. The album format lets us experiment in a variety of ways. Working with Steve is amazing because he is so good at getting sound, realistic sound of playing elements. It seems to me to be standing in front of the amplifier. All the details are there. And we’ve worked with some incredible engineers and producers in the past, collaborating with different people who are really technically really good in different ways. But I’ve never heard that it’s so clear, so detailed.

You talk a lot about energy channels, and you talk about meditation. Would you say that these ideas are inherent in your music?

O’Malley: Extended music is electricity. It’s not channeling – you’re working on it as one of your formats and one of your main tools. Electricity. I’m not the kind of person who thinks I’m channeling something from the outside through music through a soul. Music exists, and you are part of it. You are part of a circuit, bring it out. Meditation is something that is really helpful and positive in my personal life. For music … it’s meditation, but it’s not meditation. I think it offers the same state of mind or attitude towards things, but it’s not the same thing. At least not for me. Maybe it’s for other people.

The notion of the “metal of life” strikes something that I think many people feel is that metal is not inherently negative; It can also be a positive force. Can you tell us in detail where the title of the album came from?

Anderson: I think what you mentioned is something we also believe. Traditionally, the metal was dark and sometimes associated with negativity. Many of these have been really inspiring to us over the years – something we were connected to and will continue to be connected to. I think it’s a very important part of music. What we are interested in expressing or creating with our music is some contrast and some lightness with it. Clearly, there is no other than one.

O’Malley: This band has been around for almost 20 years. Greg and I had incredible experience and opportunities as a result of the work we did in this band and the music we created. I always think that music is a very strong, positive part of my life. It has kept me alive and optimistic and excited and curious. There are so many things in life, but music is always valuable to me. Maybe a sacred thing in my life too.

How is your hearing after doing this for so long?

Anderson: Man, I’ll tell you … it’s not the best. We use very professional hearing protection. Molded earplugs and 25 dB filters and things like that. One of the consequences of doing so. It’s not something I’m happy with, but. [laughs] This is my life. I love what I’m doing. I’ve been playing on the band since the mid-s0s, and a lot of that time was unprotected hearing. Hopefully with technology I will be able to use a lot of help and tools when I am old enough and have completely lost my hearing so they can regain my hearing.

– Adam Rothbert



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