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Interview: The Interrogation
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
TT: My name is Thom Turner, songwriter/guitarist/bandleader of The Interrogation. I cannot remember a moment in my life that was not filled with music. My parents constantly had a record playing on the stereo or TV in the house. We probably had 50 records in the cars! We talked about music and played music, hell my grandmother was a Classical Harpist. Everything revolved around it and continues to do so. Along with the music came ideas. Later I would join my local metal and hardcore scene. This was music with a purpose and a raw edge of emotion. The combination opened me up to philisophy and history and so much more. If I hadn’t had music, I still would have gone looking for the ideas. Likelyhood is I would probably be teaching philosophy or history.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
TT: I am what you might call a mediaphile. I love Film, TV and most of all Books. Truthfully, I am a researcher at heart. I want to know and understand as much as I possibly can to then synthsize it into my life. Having this extra exposure really pushes me in all aspects of the art I make.
How long has your band been around?
TT: The Interrogation as it exists now started out in the summer of 2019. The idea and the name reaches all the way back to my musical beggings. It all started out as my first foray into songwriting for myself. What it bacame was a 3 album 30 song concept album. It taught me so many things about the craft and ultimately was part of what got me into the Berklee College of Music.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
TT: I, and our live vocalist James Kang are based out of Vancouver Canada. The rest of the band, Nik Eason on Drums, Rdge Bernosky on Gutar, A.J. Piszcz are all across the boarder in the US. My musical story starts in upstate ny in the punk, metal and hardcore scene. This is where I gained my musical language and influences. That area and scene just lives in the music I make. Local bands like Earth Crisis, Honor Bright, Long Since Forgotten and Ed Gein shaped that whole period of musical development and has stayed with me.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
TT: The name The Interrogation comes from my original album cycle. It was explained in the last album that the entire story was being written from the point of view of the main character being interrogated about the events of the albums. Now, it has morphed to mean so much more. It has to do with the deep instrospection that I went through following the death of mother Merrill Turner in December 2018. The music of the band all deals with the things that I learned during that point in my grief. It was that internal Interrogation that lead us to now.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
TT: The Interrogation was supposed to be touring right now like everyother band. With the world shut down to live performance for the time being we havent played enough to have a best and worst. That said, personally I would have to say opening up for Hawthorne Heights/ Catch 22 in my hometown of Oswego NY was an incredible experience. Worst shows are hard to say. For me any time I get on stage is a good time. It is my home. That said any time the band isn’t getting along on stage or stage sound is bad I get on edge. It is a part of playing in bands and our kind of music anyway. You just need to keep moving forward and put on the best show you can!
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
TT: My favorite venue of all time is Webster Hall in NYC. All the different rooms have so much vibe and history and the shows are always epic. Next to that is my hometown spot The Lost Horizon will always be the most important venue to me. It is a weird shape with low ceilings and a narrow pit area but, it is still the place I saw and played most of my best shows! All of us want to play Chain Reaction in Anaheim because it is so legendary but also The Masquerade in Atlanta.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
TT: YES! Great question! Wow, probably Coheed, Thrice, A Day To Remember, Four Year Strong. Alternately, Neck Deep, Meet me @ The Altar, The Story So Far, Stand Atlantic.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
TT: Have Fun. Make honest art. Have real communication with all the band members. Whatever your goal is, work as a unit toward that goal. Most importantly, never give up. Music is a life long companion and no matter where you are in life it can be there with you.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
TT: Stay the course. Life gives you so many waves to contend with. There are troughs so low that you feel like you will never get out. But eventually life moves you upwards towards the brightness of possibility. Stay the course because the sun also rises and in that there is always more to learn and experience.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
TT: Wow that’s tough. They are all so wrapped up in a very traumatic part of my life so they are all very important. On our EP “Posters on My Wall” coming out on September 25th, there is a track called “Shine”. It is the story of the summers my family would spend on Keuka Lake in upstate NY. Every summer for the first 25 years of my life were spent on that lake. It operated like our New Years Eve. It would culminate all the happenings of the year in a calm and idyllic setting. The lyrics ended up so autobiographical that whenever I hear it I cant help but get emotional. My mom and I driving around in her old car listening to music and bonfires on the beach at night. It is an eternal reminder of that time for me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
TT: I love playing our current singe “Summer Love (in Hell)” It has all these great summer vbes and a really fun verse riff. “Kick It Off” our first single gets requested a lot by our amazing fans.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
TT: Currently I am the only songwriter in our band. My process might sound like fantasy but, I swear it is how it happens. I will be thinking about a melody and all of a sudden there is a full arrangement just behind it. Usually just the intro, first verse and chorus of music. From there I usually begin to develop the lyrics and the rest of the arrangement. This process can take an afternoon or many months. As far as inspiration it can be literally anthing that sets me off. I am such a bloodhound for understanding that I tend to “hyper focus” on ideas. This leaves me with a great deal of inspiration.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
TT: We are not alone. No matter what is happening in our lives we are never alone in how we feel. If we are not alone then by extension we have a communty. We may be separated from it but, it still survives. Life is exceptionally complex and always will be. But, we have the ability learn and grow from the experiences we have. No matter who you are you can be the best you that exists. Also, FUN IS MANDATORY! Even with all these deep emotional things we go through, there is always joy to be had.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
TT: In any relationship there are arguments. Now, add 4 other people. If you are honest upfront and always moving in the same direction those arguments can be stemmed by that common purpose. Disagreemnets are a function of growth and can show us different ways of looking at a decision.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
TT: Our current Singles “Summer Love (In Hell)” and “Kick It Off” are available on Itunes, Bandcamp and streaming on Spotify/ Apple Music and all the other platforms. On September 25th we will be releasing our first EP “Posters on My Wall” everywhere. We are working alongside Greg Burt at Wavelink Agency to keep looking for booking tours as soon as live performances are available. Beyond that just keep working on new music and medai for all of you!
Thank you very much for having me!