Sort of, kind of a local band, This Will Destroy You tour so incessantly that it's hard to determine where these guys are from. Two band members live in Austin, one is in Waxahachie and one hails from Dallas. Wherever they are from, This Will Destroy You has never had any trouble living up to the name. Playing what they have called doom gaze, this four piece relishes long songs and super slow tempos.
Speaking from his home in East Dallas and in anticipation of Friday's show at Lola's, drummer Alex Bhore talked with DC9 about touring Asia for the first time and recording a live album in Iceland.
What were the circumstances that led to you joining the band in 2009?
I've known Chris [King] and Jeremy [Galindo], the two founding members of the band for a long time, pretty much since they started the band with two other dudes. At the point, there were some creative disagreements with the old drummer [Andrew Miller]. He left the band and they asked me to join. At that point, my friend Donovan [Jones], who I had introduced to them was playing bass. When I ended up joining, it was like coming full circle.
Did you have to audition?
No, we had been really close. We had toured together and played a lot of shows together. I had even recorded and produced the demos for their first album. We've worked together like that over the years, so it was a logical pairing for both parties.
Did you already know all of the songs?
I did to a certain extent. There was definitely some adjusting the way I play. I play a lot differently than the previous drummer. I made it my own over time.
Do you live in Dallas?
Yes, I do, in East Dallas. Donovan lives in Waxahachie and Chris and Jeremy live in Austin.
Living so far apart, does it make it hard to practice?
We do get together to rehearse occasionally, but right now, we are trying to find time in the schedule to make a new record. I work at a recording studio in Oak Cliff. The band makes it a point to get in there as much as possible to hack away at a new record, writing and recording it at the same time. It's not too hard really. We just have to plan things in advance. As long as we do that, it usually works out.
Has the band played overseas often?
The band has done somewhere between eight and ten European tours. Last year, we went to Asia and Australia for the first time. It was fantastic.
Are you more popular in Europe than in the States?
I would have to say it's pretty similar both places. Big cities over there have generally the same turn out as big cities over here. For a long time, Europe was definitely stronger, but that has changed. I think at this point it is fairly even. I was really surprised by Asia and Australia. Eighty to ninety percent of the shows were sold out. Some of the shows were at pretty remote locations, so it was pretty mind-blowing how cool those shows turned out.There seems to be quite a few bands in Asia with similar influences to your band.
That is true. Fortunately, there are some great, under-the-radar promoters who like working with bands who play left-of-the-center music. People have found a way to connect to our stuff and we are really, really grateful for that.
Each of your albums is two to three years apart. Is it that you are too meticulous?
We tour a lot, too. We go out on tour for months at a time. When we get home, we kind of keep to ourselves. Sometime, you have to take a little break. We are meticulous. We don't have a specific box that we have to fit in. We can do what we want. We want what we do to be something people can identify with. We also do not want to do the things we've done before. We want to push ourselves and try new things. We don't want to make a self-indulgent record. We put out a live record a couple of months ago.
How did you come to record the live album in Iceland?
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I guess it was the last European tour that we did. The last chunk of the tour was in Iceland. The shows were really great. The show that was recorded for the record was this incredible hall and the crowd was super quiet. There was really no applause or talking until each song ended. Basically, the guy who recorded the show did a great job tracking it. I opened up Pro Tools at the airport on the way home and it sounded really cool already. I couple months later we ended up mixing it and put out a triple vinyl. It was a show that we didn't even know was going to be recorded. There was no overdubbing or editing. We happened to have a particularly clean show. We nailed our parts. The room we played in sounded awesome. We were lucky to have a cool audio document. It was a completely seated, sold out show. It felt right. We've talked about playing more seated venues. It was almost like going to see an orchestra, the way people waiting until the very end to clap.
That must have been a big change from crowds around here.
It was a bit different. We played other shows like that where the crowd is so quiet and it kind of freaks you out. It feels really good to have no distractions at all and really focus on the music. Our music can be pretty quite at times and when people are yakking, it can make it hard for us to pay attention to what we are doing.