The Contortionist are preparing to board a plane and return to our shores this month. With an arsenal of technical and innovative tunes, the band supports Between the Buried and Me on their national run. Killyourstereo.com had a quick chat with guitarist Robby Baca about the upcoming shows.
G’day, Robby. Thanks for doing the interview. The year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. How has 2013 been for The Contortionist?
Hello Kane, thanks for having me today. 2013 has by far been the biggest year for the band. Having wrapped up our touring cycle for ‘Intrinsic’ with Hatebreed, Deftones, and Between the Buried and Me- I’d say it will be a tough year to beat.
Good to hear. We are excited to have you back in Australia soon for the Between the Buried and Me tour. How is everything coming along for a return to our shores?
Awesome. We couldn’t be more stoked. International travel with six other dudes and bunch of gear is a nightmare, but still quite the adventure.
You’re taking in all of the major cities, which might add to the gear nightmare (laughs). What are you hoping to do in between shows when down here this time around?
Any touristy activities that we can get our hands on. We like to find hiking trails and stuff like that.
You guys know the Between the Buried and Me boys quite well. What is it like getting to share a stage with a respected band like they clearly are?
It is quite a privilege. We probably wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for Between the Buried and Me existing. Touring with them has been kind of surreal.
We as fans and listeners see the glamorous side of being in a band – playing shows, having fans engage with your music. However, being a touring musician can be tough at the best of times. There’s another side to the beast. Tell us some of the hardest things about being a metal musician today.
Honestly, it is probably money that is the hardest part. We don’t take in a whole lot of income personally…yet. It is always been a labour of love. Writing and [subsequently] recording records is hard too.
Ne Obliviscaris are a fantastic local band that has been added to your tour bill. What are your current impressions and observations of the Australian metal scene?
A couple of our favourite bands are Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus- two awesome Australian bands. Other than that, our first time over there was with a band called The Storm Picturesque, they’re sick guys.
Might be a hard one to pinpoint, but what record has had the biggest impact on you? The one that made you want to become a musician?
‘Alaska’ by Between the Buried and Me. I was 15 when I heard that record. It totally changed how I looked at music.
What’s going to be the immediate plans for the band in 2014?
Get the next record finished. Studio time has been booked.
Playing technical music requires a lot of concentration and application. What has been the ‘heart in mouth’ moment in the past for yourself while you’ve been on stage?
Playing songs for the first time is always a little nerve wracking. I can remember playing Anatomy Anomalies from Intrinsic for the first time on the Between the Buried and Me U.S. tour. It was a little scary, but [thankfully] we nailed it.
Just some easy ones to finish off with:
Favourite album of 2013?
‘Interior City’ by The Gabriel Construct
An album that you consider the biggest letdown of 2013?
Can’t think of any to be honest.
Best gig of 2013?
Worcester, MA on the Between the Buried and Me tour.
Best new musical discovery?
Probably the same as favorite album of 2013 – The Gabriel Construct.
Essential items to take on tour?
Favourite song to blare in the tour van?
‘Rap Promoter’ by A Tribe Called Quest.
Thanks for the interview Robby. Look forward to catching up with you guys in Melbourne.