Darin Tambascio and Sacha Dunable of Graviton have been kind enough to answer a few short questions in anticipation of their upcoming release, Massless, released through Translation Loss on April 26th.You can stream the entire album on Metal Sucks.
This is an excellent album, fascinating and gorgeous ambience, go have a listen!
You can stream three songs from their album on their Bandcamp.
You can order the album through Translation Loss.
Connect with the band through Facebook.
1. How did Graviton come to be? How’s the chemistry between you three?
Sacha: To give you the long version of how I remember it, I had been spending a lot of time playing guitar alone, recording ideas for the last Intronaut record and just whatever else. I was kind of inspired to do a side project and ended up coming up with a sort of alter ego to base some ideas around, like maybe 2 song’s worth of stuff that ended up being the starting point for Graviton. Derek and Darin are old friends and I loved their other band, but I was also inspired by their work ethic and how they were so efficient at writing and recording music (efficiency is not one of Intronaut’s qualities). I figured we could write an EP or maybe a record in a couple months and it would be a nice vacation from doing only Intronaut for so long. It ended up taking almost a year to finish this thing, if I remember right.
The chemistry was sort of figured out along the way, which is something you deal with in any new situation, and I think that often times, a band’s most exciting material will come during this time. I remember coming in with the idea that the music would be extremely dark and ugly, and then we started incorporating acoustic guitar, synths and the vocals, and the concept shifted a bit, so that combination is cool and something that probably helps give it some character.
2. How much input did everyone had with regards to the compositions? How much of this album is a mix of the individuals in the band?
Sacha: We were all there for every step of the way. I’d say it was a full on collaboration.
Darin: Definitely. Sacha had a few songs which Derek and I added personal touches. I had a few songs, which Sacha and Derek added input. Then we started writing songs all together with each of us adding something to the mix. Derek recorded and mixed everything, so it was definitely a collaborative affair.
3. The music seems to be tamer and subtler than, but as exploratory, progressive and adventurous as, your two other projects (Intronaut and National Sunday Law).
Is this your way to let out another musical side that you would not usually expose on your main projects?
Are there cross-influences between the projects or did you set up to do something completely new and ignore your previous musical output?
Sacha: Yeah, like I said before, at least for me, the purpose was to be coming from a different mindset than Intronaut, and to sort of play a different musical “character” if that makes sense.
Darin: I definitely wanted to added an acoustic element to this band. I play acoustic guitar constantly and very often write music that isn't considered metal. Mixing light and dark elements is one my favorite aspects of classic prog rock, so there is definitely an influence there. Both Intronaut and National Sunday Law have some similar influences, but we set out to explore aspects of these influences that neither band had before...vocal harmonies being a good example.
4. Speaking of your other bands, no doubt Graviton fans will come from those sources, but are you aiming this project for those fans or for new fans (not necessarily metal fans) that are perhaps unaware of Intronaut and National Sunday Law? This album strikes me as an album that can appeal to people not necessarily into metal (despite being on Translation Loss), and so there might be an opportunity for you there to reach a different type of audience; are you interested in that? Perhaps physics researchers…?
Sacha: In my mind, it wasn’t really aimed at anyone. I mean, if someone hears it and likes it that’s great, but part of the fun of this project was that we were doing it under the assumption that we would never really go through the motions of a band who is trying to get out there and play shows and tour, or do the “band thing” in any way. We had the freedom to be completely self-indulgent. There were no expectations and no one to please.
Darin: I always write music to please myself and myself only. If others like it, great. If not, I'll be happy with the results. I definitely think that both Intronaut and National Sunday Law have "cross-over" potential into non-metal circles. Graviton is just an extension of that potential. And like Sacha said, we had no expectations of this band or the music, so that was very liberating.
5. What’s with the fascination with all things physics, in particular, string theory and the Hadron collider? Are you into science and physics in particular? Or is it a natural curiosity about life, the universe and the meaning of it all?
Sacha: I don’t know much about this. I just thought it sounded like a cool theme to use. The other guys are much more knowledgable than I am.
Darin: Despite our lack of formal education on the subject, Derek and I are definitely into scientific explanations of life and the universe. Being non-believers in the religious sense makes us more curious about science. String theory is a huge concept that initially boggled our minds, but it definitely falls in line with the thought that everything is connected in some way.
6. Any plans to support the album with live shows? I imagine it can be hard to recreate such rich and dense ambiance on stage with just the three of you.
Sacha: It’s not out of the question, but it would take something really worthwhile considering Darin relocated back to the east coast recently. Could happen one day though.
Darin: It’s not going to happen anytime soon. The reality is that I’m trying to dig myself out a financial hole right now and music doesn’t pay the bills for me at least. Maybe when we get older and more stable, it’ll happen. Graviton, the post-retirement tour!
7. Will this be a one-time collaboration, or can we expect more music from Graviton?
Sacha: Again, we’re not ruling that out, but it would be difficult.
Darin: Derek and I are actually working on some new songs for National Sunday Law, so it’s not out of the question. As technology get better, we could all be in different places and jam out some ideas. Or we could all record music on our own and come together to finish them. In the meantime, we’re very happy to have the opportunity to put this record out.