TesseracT is a British progressive metal band formed in 2007. They are credited as one of the pioneers of the 'Djent' movement in progressive metal. As of 2013, TesseracT has released two studio albums, One and Altered State.
The makers of Djent music, a unique genre for metalheads, TesseracT has something new to offer in terms of musical genius.
We catch up with Jay Postones of the progressive metal band before their Saturday gig in the Bacardi Arena of NH7 Weekender Bangalore. "We're going to have an amazing time," says Postones confidently, when asked about his expectations from the Weekender.
Tell us about your latest album Altered State. Could you describe one song and share an anecdote about how you arrived at it?
Jay Postones: The concept behind 'Altered State' is simple -- it is about change. It also deals with human desire to fight change, when ultimately you just have to accept some things. We examine this from the small 'microscopic' level of everyday life as well as the 'macroscopic' level of universal time. It also takes from the struggle the band has been through, a few of these changes big enough to kill most bands.
The album can be broadly divided into four parts - Of Matter, Of Mind, Of Reality and Of Energy.
Under 'Of Matter', we have the tracks Proxy, Retrospect and Resist. TesseracT as a band started with Daniel Tompkins as a singer, had Elliot Coleman and then Ashe O'Hara. This movement addresses how we dealt with the public reactions to a member change. Ashe's lyrics explain our thoughts on this: "I'm a surrogate… your excuse to long for a superior… I will undertake… I will overcome… I'm stronger than I was before"
'Of Mind' has Nocturne and Exiled - two tracks which cover schism that occurs when you are unsure about something. "Who will I be… How will I live to tell, what I have seen… must I endure the hell… that comes with the peace… I remain torn in two." The lyric themes are far more direct and emotive than our previous work.
'Of Reality' has Eclipse, Palingenesis and Calabi-Yau tracks. They deal with our trepidation in the face of a change with an eclipse as the analogy. "As the crescent grows… and as the light returns… can we face a new beginning."
Singularity and Embers comprise 'Of Energy'. The music is an explosion of chaos that turns into a slowly burning ember, which if you've left the album on repeat will seamlessly brings you back to the beginning.
The titles of the songs conjure up images of the very large universal life we lead whereas the lyrics apply this to everyday life and make the emotions real.
You're the pioneers of Djent music. How do you define the genre?
Well the word literally means a palm muted double octave power-chord, however it is commonly used to describe the current wave of progressive and technical metal.
Meshuggah are the granddaddy's of the dreaded 'Dj-word' genre though -- for the love of all living things, please don't say this word in front of them -- it's embarrassing! Without Meshuggah, all of today's bands would sound completely different.
In a recent interview you said that Djent is getting "saturated by loads of bands trying the same stuff". In that case, would you say it is fading out?
Yes, the term 'Djent' seems to be dying out a little because of the scene being saturated by loads of bands that sound pretty much identical. However, I think the most innovating bands that were born out of Djent have transcended the tag and will continue to evolve their own sound. Textures, Periphery and Animals as Leaders are doing their own things and faring well. I'd like to think that with Altered State we're treading our own path too.
It's your first time at Bacardi NH7 Weekender. What are your expectations from the Bangalore crowd?
If it's anything like our last two visits to India, we're going to have an amazing time. Indian crowds are always so energetic and aren't afraid to show their passion for the music. I just hope they can deal with 90 minutes!
From 2007 to 2013, TesseracT has produced two albums -- One and Altered State. Is there something you do differently that takes time?
Writing this stuff is a long process. There's the initial hurdle of coming up the idea, developing it into a demo, making it into a song and finally learning the song. The only songwriter in the band in Acle -- he writes all of the music (other than the lyrics) so it's very much a case of whenever Acle is happy with a song, he shares it and it's added to the pile of potential new tracks for the next album. We're sitting on a mountain of unreleased material which we just need to sift through and add to. I can't wait to start jamming new stuff!
What do you think is unique about the Indian audience? Is there any particular Indian band that you think defines the metal scene in this country?
The Indian music scene seems to be booming. Skyharbor is a great Indian band making huge waves worldwide, but I recently heard Eccentric Pendulum and Undying Inc, who were pretty cool too. I haven't heard many Indian bands and I'm looking forward to check more out during our visit.
How has your tour been so far? Do you plan on doing a longer India tour any time soon?
The tour has been incredible. We've been to Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, America, Canada, Mexico and the UK. We've seen so much, played to more people and met more fans than we ever imagined possible. We will definitely come back to India sometime soon.
Do you have plans of any new song or album in the pipeline?
There's a lot of material we're yet to work through. We do have plans for album three and a deadline to meet. Our focus for the next six months or so is on touring though.