Interview conducted by Alex. Published on 12/23/2011.
Earlier this week it was confirmed
that California progressive metal outfit Intronaut will provide direct support for a portion of Tool's forthcoming North American tour. As such, we thought it would be a great time to check in with Intronaut's Sacha Dunable (guitar, vocals) to get some more information about the whole arrangement.
Ok, so it was just announced that you guys would be opening for Tool during some of their winter tour. How did this happen? Tool bassist Justin Chancellor appeared on your last album, so I'm assuming that the two are related?
Yeah, the two are definitely related. Us going out with them has been casually put out there a couple times in the past year or two, like in conversation or whatever, and then all of a sudden it actually happened.
We haven't actually spoken to you in the interim, so please enlighten me, how did that whole Chancellor thing come about in the first place?
He and Dave had been friends for a while and had played music together casually. Dave actually recorded drums on a song or two for a project record Justin did called MT Void, which is pretty wild and worth a listen. I guess at some point Justin expressed interest in playing on a song while we were writing our last record, so obviously that was something that we made happen. The cool part was that he and Dave got together and wrote some of the parts for the song, and we kind of wrote the rest of it around those ideas, so it really was a collaboration as opposed to him just trying to add something to what we had done without him.
That's one of the things that I really respect about the guys in that band who I've met, is that they are still so enthusiastic about playing and making music after all this time. They have been this huge band for like 20 years and could so easily be jaded by the whole thing, but half these dudes are still out all the time playing with bands in small bars or jamming with friends, all out of love for the most pure part of being in a band - making music.
Have you ever met Maynard James Keenan? He seems like a pretty intense guy.
I have not met him, so I can't tell you one way or the other.
I'm guessing that these will easily be the biggest crowds you've performed for?
Yeah, well we played a couple festivals in India a couple years ago where there was like, a few thousand people, but I'm guessing these shows will be insanely huge. Apparently most of these shows sold out in like one day, and they're in arenas where sporting events happen. Though, none of them bought tickets because we were playing, so hopefully they actually pay attention.
Are you worried that your entire sets will be drowned out by thousands of people chanting for Tool? We know how rude drunk metal and hard rock fans can be.
Not worried at all. I mean, if the Lambgoat message board can't phase us, what could a bunch of Tool fans possibly do? But yes, we are prepared for this. You see, every time someone boos us, Ticketmaster, as per an arrangement we've made, will provide us with their home address, to which we will repeatedly send boxes of wet feces, and if time and resources permit, a Photoshopped image of you masturbating to a picture of your own father. Sure, I might be kidding, but do you really want to find out?
But seriously, we can take it. I mean, I would be stoked to see Tool too.
I was Googling something this morning and came across the following quote from a Blabbermouth user: "I was a fan until that Prehistoricisms CD, and before I went to see them live at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood just before the Prehistoricisms CD came out. They were awful live; had an emo type vibe about them, which just turned me off and away from them. They absolutely had zero metal, or any balls, vibe on stage." Emo type vibe? Awful? I've never seen you guys live, but this seems unlikely. Not to put you on the spot, Sacha, but what's wrong with this fellow?
Absolutely nothing. We really are awful live. I do appreciate his constructive criticism though. Balls on stage would be a pretty unique idea. I wonder what he had in mind? Basketballs? Wiffle balls? What if we played in a big ball pit like at Chuck E Cheese?
So do you guys actually get to use a bus for this tour? Or will the Tool guys be laughing at you as you pull up in a van and trailer?
We don't even have a trailer. Seriously. It's funny, because when we first confirmed the tour, we totally thought we would need to get a bus, and be able to afford it, but those things are really expensive. Even with the generous pay that Tool is hooking us up with, it makes more sense to do the tour in a van. One day it would really be cool to travel in a bus, but it's still something that would be financially irresponsible of us. Plus the tour is not that long, so we really don't mind doing it in a van.
How much does your pay increase for shows like these? I'm obviously not requesting specific numbers, but give me a sense how this works for a band that typically makes very little for gigs?
It increases quite a bit. Obviously, the scale is just that much bigger than the tours we normally do, so there's more money to pay out to the support band. What we get is obviously not a big deal for them to part with, but it's a big deal for us. This is another reason why I totally respect that band. They'll take out bands who are relatively unknown, not because their management has some music biz political agenda, but because they believe in them, and then treat them way better than they have to.
Do you get any of the backstage benefits that Tool enjoys, like better food or whatever? Do you actually get to have a rider that gets honored? Or is pretty much the same as it always is for you guys?
I'm sure we get better food and drinks than we normally get. I mean, it certainly couldn't get worse. I haven't seen anything about this yet, but again I'm sure they'll take good care of us. I can't see the production manager at a place like Mandalay Bay Arena or whatever getting frazzled about hooking us up with a second twelve pack of beer.
What did Century Media have to say about touring with Tool? Do you get a better Christmas card?
I think they agreed to hold off on sending in a collections agency about our CD debt with them. Just kidding. We love them and we think they love us too.
So aside from this little tour, what's on the horizon for Intronaut?
Right afterwards, we're going to get down to business with writing a new album. We have a lot of great ideas being tossed around right now, so we're excited to get to work.