Exterminate All Rational Thought have been honing their musical skills for years now in the Fort.
Combining prog metal muscle with melody-driven songwriting, the four-piece band which consists of members Cody DeMille, Peter Lock, Lucas Sigg, and Nick Annis have gone from young rock n’ roll upstarts to masters of their art.
And with their newest full-length album, Chromatophores, EART have made their best record yet.
“Since our last album, the biggest thing that’s happened with us is that Nick Annis joined us as our bass player in late 2015”, said guitarist Pete Lock when speaking with Whatzup recently about what the band’s been up to since their last full-length album Antithesis dropped in 2014.
“So the time between then and now was largely used in catching Nick up on older songs, writing new material, and recording it,” Lock said. “We were also able to do a short tour run around the Midwest area with a band from the Chicago area called Sioum, who we became good friends with.”
As to how Nick came to join EART, Pete explained.
“Nick and Cody (guitar) had played in a band together previously years before EART began. Not only was he a natural fit, but with his background in music composition (he has a masters in composition from Ball State), Nick really helped us take our musicianship to the next level.”
The new record came together as the band kept trying to improve on what they had done in the past.
“We feel that this album represents a lot of progress for us as a band in many ways, especially dynamically,” Lock said. “Unlike past releases, we started exploring new tunings that we had previously never written in before. This resulted in us writing both some of the heaviest and dynamically soft and quiet music we have ever written thus far.”
The album was recorded with sound engineer Austin Putt, who runs a studio out of his home called 1521 Studios.
“Not only does Austin know his stuff when it comes to recording, but he completely understands what we’re trying to do as a band, which was crucial to the recording process and the end result,” Lock said. “It took us a bit longer to complete because we wanted to make sure that every detail was correct. Austin was a big motivator, pushing us to get the best takes possible, and ensuring that we were not settling for anything we weren’t completely happy with.”
And the band titled the album Chromatophores simply because they thought the idea was cool.
“Our friend Arthur (drummer from previously mentioned band Sioum) is also a visual artist, so we asked him to do the artwork,” Lock said. “He totally immersed himself and did a lot of research on chromatophores to inspire himself for the album artwork. He did an amazing job and we’re lucky to have him on our side.”
Steady comes the Bassist
The addition of Nick Annis on bass hasn’t changed the band’s songwriting, but he has improved the band in other foundational ways.
“Typically Cody or I come in with a few riff ideas for the rest of the band,” Lock said. “Then we all work together to structure them into a complete song.
“Adding Nick to the mix has been great, however, as he’s helped us focus on things we had previously not given enough consideration, such as steady tempos, dynamics, and the general tone of our instruments. This attention to detail has improved our live sets tremendously as well.”
The bands that have helped influence the sound of EART include Between the Buried and Me, Tera Melos, The Fall of Troy, Mastodon, Meshuggah, Tool, and King Crimson.
“I think that all of us having such an eclectic range of what we listen to helps how we have challenged each other in writing music together,” Lock said.
The bandmates don’t have plans to go on tour right now.
“We are all a bit older now and have our own families so it makes it a bit tougher to do things like that,” Lock said. “We still plan on playing shows as often as we can and writing and recording new music. We all work really well musically together and we want to continue doing this as long as we can.”
What’s the rest of 2019 look like for Exterminate All Rational Thought?
“Hopefully to keep writing music and playing fun shows that we hope people enjoy,” Lock said. “We may continue to do our video game-themed shows if people still dig it.”
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