In this interview spotlight, we speak with Fractured Spine about their influences, the latest release, challenges and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of Tru from their album Failed Pieces below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
Antti: We’re from Finland, playing melodic/atmospheric metal, largely revolving around the death/doom genre with an experimental touch. Various non-metal genres also tend to get mixed up in our music. Instruments we use include semi-acoustic jazz guitars, baritone guitars and even cello. The basic idea is to keep releases fresh and interesting to the listener – it doesn’t have to be easy on the listener, but each song needs to have a “reason to exist” and differ enough from the others on the same release to be recognizable.
Timo: Self-expression is the main drive musically and lyrically. Our music has been the main outlet for me for all the negative feelings, thoughts, hardships and tragedies etc. Also a great way to deal with such things. It is meant to be thought-provoking, self-punishing and critical of certain things such as religion and human nature itself. Musically there are many influences from the extremes to few little surprises like shoegazing and progressive rock. I think we have managed to create a pretty recognizable sound that is all in all hard to put in one box.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
Antti: It came off naturally based on the bands and style of music we listen to. Finding more and more talented musicians in various underground genres outside of metal constantly motivates and gives new ideas.
Timo: I think it is the negativity and darkness in the mind that needs some sort of outlet. Art is the best form of therapy and puts things in order inside your head. There are other forms of art to fulfill the need, but dark, melancholic, moody, extreme and sometimes raw music is the most natural one for us. It is also a great way to challenge your limits. There is always something within music to experiment with.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
Antti: We’re releasing 4 concept EP’s, all of them very different from each other. The idea stirred from both going back to the origins of our band and at the same time advancing our sound further. “Failed Pieces” EP goes back to the times before our first demo (“Frost”), “Remains” EP is in the style of that first demo and “The Price of Retribution” EP is a logical continuation to our studio albums. Plus there’s a cover EP with the title “Stolen Pieces”, covering some artists that have inspired our song-writing over the years. We also have a compilation album coming out next year and both studio albums just got remixed & remastered “Anniversary” re-releases.
Timo: Our new EP. “The Price of Retribution” is different from the two studio albums we have released in the matter of concept. It is our first release to have a complete concept in it. Something I have dreamt of doing before but have failed until now. Also the depression and self-loathing have given a way for regret and realization of one’s own mistakes. When you have been wronged enough you can be so bitter and blind in your quest for vengeance and justice that you end up giving your demons the full control. Then you realize that in the end you were no better than the ones you went after and end up hurting the ones that have loved you all along, even though you thought that everything is pointless. Musically speaking the songs are much closer to each other than on our previous releases. Also, this was the first release that was mixed by Jeffro Lackscheide, but not the last.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
Antti: It really helps with distribution – your music is instantly reaching a large audience with minimal costs. But bands who wish to go mainstream face the problem of getting heard in the first place as there’s just so much music released these days and getting attention can be difficult. However, going mainstream was never our goal so I don’t consider it a problem for us. The real challenge for everyone is that music has become “free”. It’s all about free streaming, but the costs of recording an album or EP still heavily strain the musicians’ pockets. Unfortunately this also means that the album format is essentially dying as it is too expensive, too time-consuming and sales are too low.
Timo: That pretty much sums it up. It is easier than it has ever been to get your work spread all around the world, but you really need something that is your own trademark if you wish to stand out. Too many bands make great music but end up sounding the same as thousands of others. Making a living out of this is getting harder and harder even for the big names. Bands are relying on merchandise and touring like theres no tomorrow to make something out of it. I personally have never done this for money and it shows. But you need some money to do this at all, so…
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
- Website: www.fracturedspine.net
- Full releases streaming: https://fracturedspine.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FracturedSpine
Anything else before we sign off?
Antti: Thank you for interviewing us!
Timo: Thanks for the interview. Stay Metal!