ThisIsNotAScene was taken with the latest release from Danish metallers, Illnath. “Third Act In the Theater of Madness” shows that Illnath has become a cohesive unit and really hit their stride.
Can you talk about the overall concept of the album and were there any specific themes that you are trying to convey to the listeners?
This album has been underway for a long time and changed a few times along the way! Mona had totally free hands to do whatever she wanted and she came up with the overall theme and wrote all lyrics.
Mona: I came up with a title and after that every song just fell into place. I listened to the music and wrote about whatever I felt when I listened to the music. I found the cover art through a friend and each song has something form the cover in it… a couple of details were added to the cover to make it all fit…. the theatre curtains f.x. The last lyrics I wrote were “Third Act” – the opening track, and I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce the album than to pay my respect to the bands past.
Having just mentioned themes, who did the artwork for the release and where did the inspiration for the art from?
Mona: A guy called Mike (www.sp34k.com) made the cover art, he had actually finished it long before we ever heard of him, but it just fit so perfectly and he agreed to let us use it.
Was the creative approach for Third Act In the Theater of Madness similar or different to your other releases, what shaped that approach to this point?
Pete: It was pretty much the same. . We made some songs in the rehearsal and some songs I wrote back home. We decided to make some songs with no limits concerning the style. In the studio things changed upside down since our (almost) former drummer Lars Borup (Seven Thorns), cause of lack of talent and abilities, could not do the drum tracks tight enough. We recorded all other instruments and the vocals and contacted Reno Killerich to do the drums.
Pete, given the line-up changes through the years, do you think this has helped or hurt the development of Illnath?
Pete: It’s never easy being a band with line-up changes all the time, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. Some people might think that Illnath is a band that’s hard working with, or to be a part of. I really don’t have an explanation for the changes, because it has been different causes every time there has been a change. I choose to see it as a positive development of the band, the music and the Illnath spirit.
Even with changes this line up has really gelled on this release and from the sounds of things Illnath has really hit a stride here, your thoughts?
Kenneth: Everything prior to the release has been very chaotic, and the release has been exciting and interesting. There have been different drummers, different studios and such in play, but the most drastic change in sound happened when Mona joined the band.
Mona, you really add emotions and texture to this release, are there any special vocal routines that you go through to keep those impressive abilities in top form?
Mona: To be honest… not really. I would like to say I had practised a lot prior to the recording but I never rehearsed once with the band before entering the studio, and my other band back then didn’t rehearse so much… Now we practise a couple times a week and that is very helpful to maintain and expand my range. I had a blast recording it though!!!
Social media has really put fans in touch with artists these days be it book or music, how does Illnath view this trend?
Pete: I think is SO great. It feels like you are closer to the crowd. It has been easier to make new business contacts, book more shows around the world, and to expand the fan base. As long as you as band not let the crowd control your creativity and decisions.
Building on that thread, would you care to share your thoughts on downloading of music and do you feel it helps garner fans for a band and ultimately lead them to shows and merchandise
Mona: it’s just the reality of things… we need to look at it in a positive manner. It is good because more people will listen to at least some of our music, but if no one buys the albums in the stores… well, needless to say, there will be fewer albums to purchase.
What are the touring plans for Illnath this year, a US show or two preferably near Chicago would be spot on?
Mona: We have just been in Moscow which was awesome. We also have a festival gig in Sweden on July 28th, some gigs in Norway and of course some in Denmark during the summer. We are also working on some other stuff, but unfortunately nothing in the US (yet). Of course we would love to if we had the chance!
If you could tour with any band, which one would it be?
What is your most famous or infamous gig that you have played to date?
Pete: It’s hard to say. . We have been playing many memorable shows in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Denmark. But according to the crowd reactions, I will say that Moscow was amazing. The most spectacular gig must have been the Legacy Festival in 2009. I was playing with a broken foot, so I had to sit down all the show. Strange feeling. (feel bad for you drummers ).