With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to TORTURE ASCENDANCY 1307. Answered by Chrisom Infernium (vocals). Anders Ekdahl ©2019
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-The name is the most important aspect of a band next to the sound. It has to imbue the atmosphere of what is being heard musically, and also resonate to whatever image is created with the music.
Cannibal Corpse sounds like what they should sound like, the name resonates with their sound.
Therefore we wanted to find something that mattered to us from a historical standpoint while also trying to find something that would evolve with us as our sound became more organic. The name works on many levels and it fits many genre tags and at the end of the day that’s what we were going for. Originally it was inspired by the Templar’s and their persecution but it again works on so many levels not only for where we were but for where we are headed. It’s an extremely organic name.
How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-I don’t know about the others, I’m very proud of what we do and I try to promote for the others sake but personally I let the music do the talking, I treat it like religion, I try to approach people if they seem into metal or something different but I don’t want to force music on someone like it’s a way to salvation.
If they are interested they will find it either through our live experience or through other gatherings and such, sure we do the social media bit but music can be personal and communal at the same time, as a band we try to respect both of those ideas when it comes to suggesting our music to people, some want to find it on their own like they are hunting for treasure and others want it fed to them, we try to accommodate everyone but for real who likes a door knocker? That’s how I see some promoting, some bands over reach.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Age. We all are in our thirties now, some closer to forty and what we were in 2012 we certainly are not now. Yea it’s just as heavy probably faster, more chaotic but it’s more intelligent, we have crafted a sound that to us is like no other. For us the black metal crowds sometimes think we are too death metal and vice versa, to me that is awesome, we never forced our sound into any one thing, we just are and I think our openness with each other and trust in one another have allowed us to really create something unique and something that is in itself and organic being always growing, always learning, always slaying.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-We are proof that you can exist with no scene and next to no bands.
People say there is a scene or was a scene, everyone wants that belief, I always said “show me the scene, what scene?” There’s an emo scene a hardcore scene and punk but the metal has never really been here, there’s bands that think they’ve accomplished a lot because they are paying to pay and bankrupting themselves to say they played on a bill at 4 in the afternoon when Immolation went on at 11pm. That’s how the scene was around here, pay to play and travel.
Fast forward to about two years ago and a bar/venue opened up named JB Lovedrafts and they have allowed metal shows in there, have embraced it wholeheartedly and really are the reason why there is a scene now developing in the Harrisburg/Lancaster Pa area scene.
Bands are coming from other states to play here and you don’t pay to play you get paid to play. It’s a venue that has turned community into family and we are indebted to Justin,Josh and the rest of the staff for allowing the opportunity they have for all genres but most importantly extreme metal.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-I wouldn’t say a movement, I would say a mentality. At the end of the day the respect that you gain from your peers is what makes you feel like you are apart of something bigger and in that creates a confidence and humbleness I have never felt before, it’s the relationships you gain and the friendships made that really transcend the whole experience.
Metal in general isn’t something that’s gonna allow you to quit your 9-5, it happens once in awhile but really to play in the kind of band that Torture Ascendancy is you have to be committed to yourself and the others in the band.
Anything outside of that will most likely see you fail before you succeed, that’s the problem with some musicians, they worry to much about what others think and allow that to shape their sound which to me really tears apart the integrity of what you are doing and in the end how can you be apart of a movement if you can’t even stay true to yourself.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-A great album cover is something that explains to you what you are going to hear when listening to the album and secondly it needs to be a piece of art, something you would frame and hang on the wall, with or without the logo. It needs to feel timeless.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Physical copies in the metal scene is really the best way to go but digital is convenient. Some of us can’t display the collection we have created over the years due to space or whatever it may be. With digital you can have your whole catalogue on the go and on one device that if stolen can be replaced. You can’t replace something that was only produced on a run of fifty and that’s it.
I do not believe digital is killing the scene, it has just afforded more avenues for getting your music into people’s hands. Again it’s convenient.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-That’s a tough question, even though we have JBs now we still have to travel a good bit and seem to have difficulty getting steady shows.
Like I said earlier a lot of promoters wait to book us for the right show because we aren’t quite death metal and we aren’t quite black metal so they have trouble placing us on a show they think works.
There’s definitely opportunities out there but if the promoter only hears a sample of our music and doesn’t come to a show or book us they truly aren’t getting the full experience. Most of the time if they give us a chance we do not let them down.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-It’s a car wreck, it’s chaos it’s a party it’s everything under the sun. We can hang with every genre and we get along with everyone, I think some of the older black metal heads think we take things lightly because I like to entertain people and make a joke here and there.
I love black metal and respect it more than any other genre of music but I’m not really good at being grim 24/7 and I think that may rub some people wrong but at the end of the day we want to be at our very best and we want to show you we have personality.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-Death and famine…I would like to see the whole human race reduced to ash….just kidding, sort of. I’m hoping to get some sort of label backing to help with distribution and some of the merch duties.
It’s always nice when you don’t have to worry about all of the business logistics that goes into being more than a garage band.
I also wanna connect to more people throughout the world be it a fan of the band or someone I look up to, people who have influenced me.
As for the rest of Torture Ascendancy, they want to get more shows and get the next album out next year. We have another 8 songs written and have recorded drums for three of them so I expect at the very least those 8 songs and at most 10 songs for the next album.