Recently, Myron from ThisIsNotAScene caught up with Rob Such, bassist for Twelfth Gate, prior to their show at Reggies Rock Joint in Chicago, IL. Twelfth Gate formed in 2000 and has, to date, released two full length LPs, “Summoning” (2003 on Crash Records) and “Threshold of Revelation” (2006 on Season of Mist). This show marks the reunion of that band and as of publication, they are back to creating their newest metal offering. No word on a release yet, but it’s great to hear that they are once again laying down the metal for us to hear.
As ThisIsNotAScene found out, Rob does more than play in Twelfth Gate these days. He is also co-owner of Mortal Music and lays down some bass work for the Chicago-based bands Ion Vein and Scar Inc as well.
So what prompted Twelfth Gate to reunite at this stage?
We all just really wanted to get back together and start writing music again. I think we just missed the magic we had as a band, and because of that, we were able to get the founding core members back together again.
How long has it been for Twelfth Gate?
This will be the first time since 2005 that Scott, Rich & I have gotten back together, and we also have our original 2nd guitarist, Gabe, back as well. Everyone in the band is really excited and looking forward to new things and new music.
What’s the plan for you guys studio wise, and are you going to try and cast a wide net regionally or focus here in Chicago first.
We’re really just gonna take it in small chunks at first. We may write and record 3 or 4 songs at a time till we think that we have enough for an album. We’re all pretty busy, but very excited about being back together, so we’re going a little slow in the beginning to see how things shape up. We’re a Chicago based band, so that is where we are going to focus on for the immediate future, but after that, of course the world.
What’s on tap for tonight during the show, can you give me a hint on things. I have read the promo material, but are there any other plans.
No, we planned to play our debut album, Summoning, in its entirety and maybe throw in a track or two from Threshold. We just couldn’t find a better way to let the local scene know that we are back.
You mentioned something about Mortal Music, can you tell me a little about that venture.
I started Mortal Music in 2005 with one of my best friends, Tim King from Soil, as a traditional record label. As the industry started to change, we evolved to include management activities as well. For example, we provided management for the band The Autumn Offering during one of their album cycles, and now it’s really just become a part of the service we provide to all our bands. Now, our model has evolved even further into more of a partnership with the bands that we bring in, so we’re more than just a “label”. It’s truly a team effort between Mortal and the band, with everyone doing their part and having a voice, to ensure success for the band.
So you and Tim run it as a partnership?
Yes…and equal partnership with our bands. Our motto and credo that we live by is “Artists Developing Artists”, and that’s Mortal Music pretty much in a nutshell. Tim and I are both artists, and we use our experience to mentor, manage, and advise newer bands that are on our roster. We really try to help bands help themselves, and try to get them to stay ahead of the game in this industry. In fact, we have had some decent success with our strategies, so much so, that another local label, Goomba Music, has adopted part of our model as well.
I see that Mortal Music is something we will have to talk further on, and I see that you need to take care of a few last minute details. Any final thoughts before I let you go.
I found Rob to be a great and engaging person, and if I was a young musician he would definitely be one I would seek advice from. I was lucky enough to stay for the Twelfth Gate show as well. All of the opening acts were really well chosen and complementary and were in great form. It sure seemed that the sound folks at the club were paying special attention to all the acts, which sometimes doesn’t always happen. The opening act highlight was a band called Clad in Darkness, they were brilliant. A great piece of Chicago Doom Metal, that really sent chills through the crowd. So much so, that the notable metal musicians from the area that were there literally stopped what there were doing to be caught up in the landscape of sounds.
When Twelfth Gate took the stage, the one thing that struck me the most was how all of the bands stayed to add their support to these guys. It’s so often that the opening acts seem to disappear quick that you can’t even offer them a “great set” compliment. But not on this night, this one belonged solely to Twelfth Gate and we all knew it. Great energy, great sound and above all, these guys just enjoyed playing again. It was truly a nice celebration of not only the reunion of a local great, but also of metal music in general. It’s nights like this that remind me why I have loved metal my whole life and God willing I will be 92 someday, trying to headbang, and praying that I don’t break a hip in the process.