- Hi! Give a brief history of Of Spire & Throne, music style, and the members.
Hi, Ali here! We’re from Edinburgh in Scotland and we’ve been playing music together since 2008. We’ve released a demo, 3 EPs, and 2 albums. We started out with a kind of funeral doom dirge sound, then gradually brought in more sludge and experimental styles. We’ve always stuck to a basic approach of big slow riffs and a certain heaviness that we just kind of feel out. If it feels right, we go with it. Members are Ali on vocals and guitar, Joe on bass, effects, and synths, and Graham on drums and synths.
- Give in more detail, some information about “Penance” and how well it sells?
Penance is our second album and our rawest and most spontaneous release. It has a live feel, and features a lot of improvised synth, effects, and noise. It’s a brutal and unforgiving album, dealing with themes of regret, the passing of time, and finding strength and forgiveness. It’s somewhat stripped down and it’s lyrically open and direct. It’s quite dynamic for us, including sludgier tracks, walls of synth, doomier passages, a piano-led track, and some more straightforward songwriting. It’s been selling very well and the reception has been very much positive.
- Of Spire & Throne has signed with Aesthetic Death, tell more about that?
Aesthetic Death released our first album, Sanctum in the Light, in 2015, but I had been in contact with the label some time before then, exchanging and discussing music. I have the utmost respect for them and their values, and their approach and work ethic is unique among the scene. AD only releases music they believe in and they don’t involve themselves with trends, so just to have our albums on the label is a great source of pride for us. It’s good to share the same attitude and care for music. It’s not just product or entertainment to us.
- What is the difference between your latest and the very first records?
The songwriting has changed to reflect our strengths and there’s a lot more freedom to what we do now because we’re more comfortable and we’re better musicians. Our earliest release shows a band finding their way and there’s a lot of space and rigidity to those songs. Penance is a more spontaneous album and shows our gradual shift away from a more traditional approach. We still have a lot of the same tones and sounds, growled vocals and similar riffs and drums, but there’s been a natural progression as we’ve grown and kept on exploring.
- What inspires Of Spire & Throne music and lyric writing? What does Of Spire & Throne lyrics talk about?
Of Spire & Throne is a personal thing for me. I write about my life and the things I feel and what I’m dealing with: my regrets, fears and hopes. I see each release as a document of my life at the time, and there’s a running narrative with recurring references and themes. Music became very important and powerful for me in my teens, and it helped me find strength and it helped me find my way. It’s the same now, and this experience of and relationship to music drove me to find my own expression. That and my love for heavy riffs and heavy music in general.
- Do you play live often? Do you like abroad gigs?
At present we are separated (I live in Canada and Graham and Joe live in Scotland) so live activity is on hold for a while, but we love playing live and we would love to play abroad. Anywhere and everywhere. We’re hoping to arrange some gigs or tours in the near future.
- How often do the band practice and work on new material?
We used to practice every week, but at present we communicate online. We’re working on our third album this way, exchanging ideas and working on things piece by piece.
- How did the band come up with the name Of Spire & Throne and tell what does it means for you?
I came up with it after settling on the imagery taken from some things I’d been reading. At first I had the idea that the spire and the throne were personal devices, like heart and mind or faith and strength, but I think it’s grown into the idea of things in opposition and the conflict and balance between them. Church vs. state, body vs. mind, heart vs. soul, etc. But honestly, I just like the name and I think it’s cool and I think that’s important. A band becomes its name if that makes sense, so your experience of the music becomes the name’s meaning.
- What does the band plan on doing in near time?
At present we’re hard at work on our third album while continuing to promote Penance.
- Any message to Sick and Destroy readers?
Thanks for reading, support the underground always, and listen to Judas Priest!