INTERVIEW WITH 24 THORNS- 24 THORNS BRINGS THEIR SIGNATURE MELODIC HEAVY HARDCORE DOWN.
With a feel in metal that melds harmony and heavy hardcore the band 24 Thorns bring a few stylistic elements to their sound. The ‘metal health’ scene is alive and kicking as fans are purchasing tickets and demanding more music purchases for metal and hard rock. Reaching back to those bare-bone roots is where 24 Thorns began, and as their own unique brand of heavy hardcore continues to develop, so does their fan base. The entire band from 24 Thorns recently sat down and talked about their unique approach to their sound, the importance of studio and live performance, plus their plans for a new studio album, a video, and a tour all in 2017.
SR: A new style of melodic heavy music, was the first thing to grab the attention spot. In a field so diverse how did you go about developing a new style and is it completely you feel unique to 24 Thorns
JOKER: I do feel that the style is unique to 24 Thorns. Melodic metal though was something that has come along as of late, which is a style in itself. Harmony mixed with heavy hardcore.
CHUCK: I feel it is unique to 24 Thorns, as we weren’t trying to develop a new style it just came naturally when we started playing together, each member adds their own influences to the music and when it all comes together melodic metal is what you get.
STORM: As the guitarist for 24 Thorns I feel like it has a lot to do with our individual styles. We all have a heavy back ground but also enjoy sensible music as well. I personally base my whole guitar style on how well my clean channel sounds. That to me is super important and I feel it helps mellow the compositions.
DANIEL: Each of us come from different musical backgrounds. I myself played heavier music in my previous band. Which I brought to 24 Thorns. Other members have that more melodic sound so we mix the two and get the 24 Thorns sound. CHRIS: Styles come and go, it’s hard to anticipate what listeners are going to enjoy from month to month. 24 Thorns brings a few stylistic elements to the sound that I feel and connect with. After the band evolving over time, it’s become a melting pot of influences.
SR: Overall what would you say the health of the metal scene is like currently? Is it still changing and developing or are we witnessing a desire to reconnect with the original bones of metal? JOKER: The scene is there, but not as it used to be. I do think there is a great desire to reconnect with the roots of metal and see more people at shows again. CHUCK: I feel the metal scene is healthy as possible with the scene being flooded with millennial type music, but as anything else in life if it doesn’t evolve from its origin, than it will surely perish, but the classics will never die, as they are the foundation of an ever changing scene. STORM: I feel in my opinion that metal never died or dies. It’s a particular niche market and the fans that enjoy metal are life time fans. I’ve noticed that some genre’s will mostly be a temporary niche. And if they don’t adapt to the times then the flop. DANIEL: I personally feel that it is still changing and developing all the time. Most recent example is asking Alexandria. They mix electronic dub step type music into their music which is really cool. CHRIS: The scene is always developing and changing. City to city, community to community there’s support for metal in many venues and not so much in others. Fans always enjoy the opportunity to connect with the bands and musicians that they were moved by, I believe fans will always desire to reconnect with the original bones of metal.
(At Alice Cooper's Town in Phoenix Arizona) (At the Whisky A GO GO in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California)
SR: Many people do not understand the amount or what devotion to music is. In general most people are not capable it would seem of making full on commitments, how is it 24 Thorns has managed to keep this drive in forward motion and keep it firm? JOKER: It’s all about family, friends, support of the fans, positive attitudes, working hard and believing in the dream. You have to reach out and grab it. CHUCK: We thrive as a band because we are a very family orientated group, we all have each other’s backs whether in personal or business, and this is key to keeping the sound tight throughout the ups and downs that no one can avoid in life. STORM: The desire to play music is something that is ingrained in the very soul. I agree many people don’t understand the commitment it takes to be successful in any art. There is a lot of adversities and many short comings that also cloud the industry. Really it take patience and the ability to over come frustration. I’m guessing from experience that most of the general population gives up when they realize that it takes a lot of full time practice and devotion to properly develop the skills required to actually play. If it was simple then everyone would be an expert! DANIEL: For one we got a really amazing manager who is always pushing us to do better, bigger things. Plus we all have the desire to play and succeed. We try to keep to a schedule and set practice times as much as possible. CHRIS: We’ve all pursued our passions with purpose and getting into this business doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Any artist has to be devoted to their art because no one else will take your art where you want it to go. The artist has to be willing to endure and preserver potential struggle if they ever hold hopes of reaching the world.
SR: Your EP, Twisted Hours, came out in 2015. Describe its inner workings, tracks, production, mastering. JOKER: Twisted Hours was our first EP and an expression of a variety of styles from 24 Thorns. Also, it was the songs that stood out most for us. Tracking, production and mastering were all done at Saltmine Studios Oasis in Mesa, AZ with Don Salter and John Gray. We had an amazing time and learned tons from the experience.
CHUCK: The tracks we selected were arranged in a way that creates a listening experience for our fans, production was an awesome experience as we got to spend an entire week at the Saltmine Studios is an incredible secluded compound for musicians to relax in a stress free environment and create with producer John Gray, an industry icon and a great guy with a great ear for metal. STORM: It’s was a great experience we had with a fine recording studio. We spent many work hours preparing for the studio so we could stream line the process. We knew exactly what we were looking for and executed the goal with very little bumps. It had good morale and the mastering was then a relaxing process where we got to see our ideas come to life. The extra production by Grammy nominated John Grey at that point was the icing on the cake.
DANIEL: Unfortunately I wasn’t a part of that project at the time. CHRIS: This record was produced out of Saltmine Studios, which I interned at after attending CRAS. John Gray produced the record. I wasn’t actual apart of the project during this time so I can’t speak to the details, but they produced a great record.
SR: Maintaining the control over your own personal and environmental development takes patience and skill. How did you apply those tools to your first EP?
JOKER: Those skills and tools helped me to stay balanced through all obstacles and triumphs. If there’s one thing for sure, we all grew in the process of this album and in our careers to get here.
CHUCK: I’ve personally been playing for 27 years. now and I surround myself with great musicians, also I try not to let any outside distractions affect my writing which is why I love our practice studio, it’s a home away from home where we can all relax and focus on what’s important, also a few beers help calm the nerves.
STORM: I believe that communication was key, also having a good talk about PR was priceless. Basically we agreed that we would respect the flow and that all egos were left at the door. And that any discrepancy was to be outside the walls and outside of the studio. By doing this we had zero problems and the crew kept good morale on our end and in the studio for the duration of the EP.
CHRIS: My first EP was definitely an experience that taught me a lot. You learn how to prepare from a musical perspective and a business perspective. It’s important to have you’re project well rehearsed before jumping in the studio. You spend a lot of money with studios when you, the artist aren’t ready to lay final tracks
SR: Layering happens so often in studio. With the advent of electronics and how far they’ve come many times a studio cut will not sound anything like a live cut. Where do you as a band stand on keeping a cohesiveness to both studio and live? JOKER: 24 Thorns does everything live as we did the same in the studio. We wanted to keep a more traditional straight forward approach to keep the real feeling of the music. CHUCK: It’s funny you ask, as so many times we’ve been told that we sound exactly like the track, we wrote the songs in such a way that we can reproduce them live. I feel that many bands lose continuity in this aspect (unless they use a production track), causing an unfamiliar representation of the music. Although we did use 24 different voices on “The Way It’s Supposed To Be,” we grabbed everyone we could find at the studio that day including Don Salter and John Gray of the Saltmine Studio’s as well as interns and other artists there that day. So we’re not opposed to layering, as long as we can reproduce the sound live for our fans. STORM: Basically you write stuff you can actually preform. Our EP did have some layering to thicken the sound quality, but the musical aspects we set within our capacity and we stick to that during the writing process. DANIEL: I know I try to play in the recording studio the exact same way I do live.. I believe it should sound the same both live and on CD. For example I don’t like when a band with only 1 guitarist records multiple tracks in the studio than live it doesn’t have the same sound or feel because they can’t pull off all those parts alone. CHRIS: Technology lends most performing artists now the ability to reproduce many of the same studio production techniques and supporting elements on the live stage. I want to give fans the best experience possible, if using the technology and processing can enhance an attendees experience… I think it’s worth attempting. You never know if you don’t try.
SR: Are there any band in particular you all really enjoy co-headlining with? If you do, what are some of the things that seem to draw you together?
JOKER: I would have to say that there are many talented bands in the industry, local, national, and world-wide. It’s hard to pick a favorite for me. CHUCK: I really enjoyed playing with SoulFly, Mankind’s Obsolete, The Other, L.A., and Property Six, to name a few, I feel that when we play with bands such as these it really creates an enjoyable experience for the fans, and we all get along very well due to similar styles of music mixed with emotion.
STORM: On the local market here we stick with Property 6, and Bionic Jive (when active). The most attractive thing about gigging with them is they actually work. It’s no fun to play shows with lazy bands. Bands that do work are the way to make a band pact. As far as mainstream I like playing with Prong they’re fun. Also SoulFly because they treat you with respect like a family. DANIEL: Property 6. Been friends of the band for many years. Enjoy playing together and we always help each other out.. They are an awesome band with amazing people.
CHRIS: I’ve always enjoyed Red, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Bring Me The Horizon, The Amity Affliction… There are so many great heavy bands out there now that lend great talent to make the show a great experience.