"Manipulation under Anesthesia" is now available in Europe (and digital worldwide), soon in North America. How do you feel? What are the first responses?
Jasun: It's a very exciting time for the band as we're very please with the response thus far. The press is coming in and the listener's are giving us great feedback. We're very proud of "Manipulation Under Anesthesia" and excited to be on Lifeforce Records.
What is the genesis back these almost 2 500 seconds of instrumental creativity?
Jasun: Mikey, Troy and I have been playing music together for a long time and we've always strived to bring the best out of each other. Abnormal Thought Patterns "Manipulation Under Anesthesia" is our strongest songwriting, feel and chops to date. In order for Progressive-Metal - instrumental music to stand out you need to be creative. We brought some Jazz chordal and soloing arrangements to compliment our sound. I feel it's a unique album start to finish.
"Manipulation under Anesthesia" shows a real balance between reaching an acrobatic speed of light and cool, sometimes atmospheric parts, where the listener can take a breath. I had a feeling of musical journeys through different regions, near erupting volcanoes then quiet mountain lakes. Did I get your message?
Jasun: Yes totally man! The music compliments the feel of the pictures and stories you create in your head. On our EP we imagined surfing huge waves and anything else that has to do with intensity. "Manipulation Under Anesthesia" has more melody than the EP. Which offers an even bigger range of dynamics. You can imagine a high speed car chase one moment and then shortly after you're standing in the center of the most tranquil and beautiful place you've ever imagined.
One of the most important thing in life is health: how is Troy's arm now / how is your arm now (If Troy is doing the interview)? Much better, I hope and guess, according to what can be heard on «4 String Lullaby» and everywhere else on the record.
Jasun: Thank you for asking as you're so correct in saying our health is number one. Troy's been working hard to get back into playing shape. He'll never be perfect but he's gaining some strength in his left arm and pushing forward. He approaches the bass differently and has done a very nice job of reinventing himself. His playing on "Manipulation Under Anesthesia" is excellent. I'm just so happy we're still creating and playing music together.
You have received a kind of blessing from Steve DiGiorgio for the band's name. I had the chance to see him on tour with Death in Paris in October 1993. For fans like me, Chuck Schuldiner was a genius. We lost him almost 12 years ago, but his music lives forever. Can you tell us about the source of inspiration you get from artists like Chuck and Steve?
Troy: The Death influence is obvious. I have massive respect for Steve and especially the bass work he did on Individual Thought Patterns. The material Chuck wrote on such albums as "Human", "Individual Thought Patterns" & "The sound of Perseverance" is completely sick. Chuck really lets the other musicians cut loose. "Individual Thought Patterns" to me is by far the sickest bass work. Both musicians inspired me greatly with that release alone. I ran into Steve at a show in SF while I was recovering from surgery and he grabbed my arm and said "I'm sending you all of my positive energy so that you'll heal up and play again soon".
Your music takes from metal, progressive, jazz fusion, classical music. What are the bands and musicians who had and still have a strong influence on your own work?
Jasun: It's a big list as we're influenced by so many great musicians and bands. Templets of band and player that still drive me musically are the likes of The Pat Metheny Group, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Death, Pink Floyd, Return to Forever, Buckethead, Meshuggah, Gary Moore, Dream Theater, Animals As Leaders, and Tool to name a few.
How is it possible to make a living with music when you are not in the mainstream? Having many projects at the same time? Giving 250 shows a year? Teaching an instrument? Recording in studio some music parts for famous artists?
Jasun: I'm a guitar instructor and that's how I make my living. I love teaching as it's very rewarding. I would love to make a living performing with Abnormal Thought Patterns. No matter what I'm playing music and enjoying it.
Is internet the gravedigger of music creation with all these systematic downloads, or its savior via bands' and fans' websites or platforms like Pledge Music?
Jasun: It has its good and bad sides about it. I still buy CD's like crazy and I like supporting the bands. By buying the CD's of the band you enjoy you have a better chance seeing them on tour. I do like the idea that I can listen to a couple songs before I purchase some music. After you listen to two or 3 songs you should have a good idea if you're going dig their material or not. You hear from people sometimes saying oh I downloaded that album a couple months ago but haven't taken a listen yet. I'm not a fan of that. Bands do put a lot of time and effort in making the music.
What do you think about people who are not music journalists or professional musicians and who are writing music reviews on the internet and sending interviews, sometimes in a language which is not their mother tongue?
Jasun: Music is universal. People in Metal are family and we're all very passionate when it comes to this style of music. It's great to have people all over the world doing their part in support the Metal community.
Have you got any comments about reviews which has been written for "Manipulation under Anesthesia"?
Jasun: Lifeforce Record sent us a press-release and they added quotes from some major mags and webzines. Here's what the added.... "All who consider MESHUGGAH a higher power should down-kneel here!"- METAL HAMMER GERMANY - "If music would be motor racing, ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS would be driving on the first position!"- FUZE MAGAZINE -"Pure joy!"- METAL4.DE -"Absolute Purchase Recommendation!"- XXL-ROCK.COM -and they added what you said "Follow my humble advice: do not miss the chance to listen to this record."- POWEROFMETAL.DK. The band is very pleased pleased by this. It's great to receive emails and Facebook posts from the listeners saying they love "Manipulation Under Anesthesia".
When will you cross the Atlantic Ocean to make us, European fans, happy?
Jasun: We very much want to cross the Atlantic and play some dates. Once we finish up our tour with Into Eternity we'll chat it up with Lifeforce and see what we can put together. We'd love to do some festivals and shows out in Europe.
Cool events will happen in July in Arendal, South of Norway, where I live: Between the Buried and Me at Hove Festival, then Al DiMeola at Canal Street. Are you coming?
Jasun: I love both Between the Buried and Me and Al DiMeola. You have some great live events coming your way in July. In July Abnormal Thought Patterns will be touring the States with Into Eternity for A West Coast tour. So we'll be touring in July and unable to attend. It would be awesome to check out.
A final word to powerofmetal.dk readers to close this interview...?
Jasun: Thank you very much for the interview and we appreciate you spreading the word about us.
Interviewed by Philippe Leconte