Architects of the Aftermath: Serious Thrash Metal, Without Dignity
“I had a millisecond to decide: Do I either maintain
some dignity and wipe it away, or say, ‘Screw it,’ because I’m from hell and I
don’t care and just go for it,” Tilley says. “So I just said, ‘Screw it.’ When
you’re up there, especially in this industry, you can’t have any pride or
dignity. You can only be primal.”
It is with this philosophy that Tilley and the rest
of Architects of the Aftermath—Dathan Lythgoe (guitar), John Gehring (guitar)
and Dave Koehnlein (drums)—handle music. They try to hone it to its truest form
without any of the cartoony, ’80s feel.
“I think it’s interesting taking the thrash genre of
the ’80s, using those same tools, and use it now,” Tilley says. “Thrash went to
death metal and got all mutated. We wanted it to be just undiluted,
straightforward and focused, not mixing it up that we’re kind of this and kind
of that—just straight to the point and no gimmicks.”
When it came to picking a band name, the band didn’t
want to fall into the trappings of the typical thrash metal name.
“We [would] tell people that we have a metal band but
don’t have a name, and they [would] say name it Necro this or Satan that,”
Tilley says. “No, we’re actually going to try to be serious about this. The
point was not to have something too stupid, but not too clever that people
would say, ‘Oh you’re better than us?’ or, ‘You’re trying to have ironic
distance from the genre?’ It’s important to not have a name that’s
Metal fans expect more in 2010 and the band hopes
they can help deliver their own spin to the genre. For Gehring, who originally
got the idea to form a hardcore/thrash band in 2007 with Koehnlein, giving the
audience something original but true to the genre merits special attention,
especially with a tough audience like the metal one.
“We have to gear it and apply it with more modern
tools or aspects that help make it relevant and fresh even though it’s a pretty
classic metal genre,” Gehring says.
With the release of their debut album this weekend,
they have physical proof of their almost yearlong recording process. The album
comes in CD and cassette formats and features a set of songs that originated
mostly in Gehring’s basement. The music is frantic, wild and roaring, but
somehow it manages to keep from falling apart.
“The music’s so fast that I think it will collapse at
any second; it’s just on the verge of reaching some kind of critical mass,”
While the band takes what they play seriously, it’s
important to note that the band is all about giving their audience a good time.
“We take the music that we do seriously, we take the
genre seriously, but we in no way take ourselves seriously and I think that’s
the most important thing,” Tilley says.
Architects of the Aftermath play an album release show at Club Garibaldi on Saturday, May 1, at 9 p.m. with openers Death Dream, Mother Orchis and Centipedes.