We all love necking back handfuls of Skittles. Noone enjoys them one by one, flavour by flavour. Mixing the flavours up adds a whole new dimension, the taste sensation remains the same, but the flavour is all new.
That’s what Terms is all about. It’s an internet collaboration between guitarist Christopher Trull (Grand Ulena, Yowie) and drummer Danny Piechocki (Jitters). The musical calibre remains as high as their exisiting projects, but the flavour, that’s where things are new and interesting.
As we wrote back in May, Terms is dark but enjoyably amusing. An exquisite mess. An invigorating malaise. At times cacophonic, at other times idyllic. Their brand new full-length Asbestos Mouth takes the wonky mercurial madness of Hoarder of Operations a step further. We threw a few questions at the band to pick their brains on writing and collaborating in the digital space.
How did you guys come to collaborate together?
Chris – “Danny & I had messaged back & forth a bit over the years about our bands possibly playing shows together, but nothing ever worked out. One day, he wrote asking if I’d be interested in some sort of collaboration. I said “sure!”, which is my usual response, knowing that 99% of the time nothing ever comes of these sorts of conversations. Much to my surprise, Danny started sending me drum recordings right away. It took a few false starts before we figured out a productive long distance work flow, but once we did, it actually made things easier & less time consuming than a standard ‘everyone in a room together at band practice’ type situation.”
What led each of you guys toward playing a more unconventional style of music? Is this a conscious choice, or simply how the music comes out?
C – “I’ve been playing in unconventional bands for over 25 years, so i’ll have to go back a ways…I was always a rabid music fan, but when i discovered there were genuinely mind-blowing local (to me at the time – this was the early 90’s in St. Louis) bands like Dazzling Killmen, it dawned on me that i could actually play intense, unusual music myself. Now, I have spent so long writing & playing in idiosyncratic bands that when I pick up a guitar, that’s just the type of music that ends up coming out.”
Danny – “There’s always been a subconscious gravitation towards creating more unconventional music for me as well, ever since I started playing the drums. The idea of not having restrictions as to where the music can go has always been especially inspiring to me.”
Let’s talk influences. What musicians/bands do you mostly channel with your respective projects? Are these influences also coming through in Terms?
C – “I don’t consciously attempt to sound like anyone else, really…there are certainly artists & works that I find very inspiring – that make me want to immediately grab my guitar & start working on music. Some examples of the artists I was listening to & inspired by during the period we made this record are: Catherine Lamb, the Necks, Patrick Shiroishi, Harley Gaber, Sarah Hennies, Jute Gyte, Bloar (formerly Bloor), Kukangendai…you may note that Terms sounds basically nothing like any of these artists!”
D – “I also don’t consciously try to channel projects in particular when creating music, it’s more based on what sounds I’m presented with and what they inspire in that moment. While working on ‘Asbestos Mouth’ I was listening to a lot of Okkyung Lee’s work and Miles Davis’ ‘Milestones’ record at the time.”
What are you hoping to bring out in Terms that are different from Jitters, Yowie and Grand Ulena?
C – “For me, Terms is a fun, informal project. Musically, I think it’s a continuous forward progression from the music I’ve written over the years, but I also really enjoy that it’s very low pressure & allows us to do whatever we might want to do.”
D – “Since we haven’t played together in the other projects mentioned, the music of Terms is bound to be as different as the individuals are.”
Finally, describe Asbestos Mouth in one word.
C – “Elastic.”
D – “Ohm.”
Asbestos Mouth is officially out tomorrow. Go and pre-order it from the Skin Graft Bandcamp page right now, or suffer minimal consequences