One-man doom/industrial/dub maven Author & Punisher will bring his hideous racket to the Melody Inn on Monday, with local support coming from Coffinworm and Black Goat of the Woods. Author & Punisher is touring on the back of last year's excellent Ursus Americanus, but it's safe to assume the setlist will have plenty of newer material as well - his new full-length Women & Children drops on Seventh Rule at the end of April.
We spoke with Author & Punisher's sole member, Tristan Shone, a California native whose distinctive sound has situated him somewhere between the worlds of metal and electronic music. That's a place he's very comfortable with being.
NUVO: What make you so comfortable sharing bills with metal bands as an electronic musician?
Shone: That's where I started out. I was always in metal bands growing up, pretty much through right before Author & Punisher. Even though I'm not 100% doing that stuff anymore, I really think that's where the music is still coming from.
NUVO: Why do you think metal audiences are starting to come around to electronic music when conventionally they haven't been so open to it?
Shone: Well, it's certainly becoming more accepted. In Europe this has been going on for a long time. Here, I think we're a little behind on combining genres and seeing that the music is more about the emotion than 'This guy's got a guitar, this guy's got a turntable." Often they can still be united under the same kinds of emotions.
NUVO: A lot of your music is produced using things not readily identifiable as musical instruments. What's your background with machinery?
Shone: I'm a mechanical engineer, and I've been into making gadgetry and little robotic devices my whole life. In my schooling and in my job, that's what I do. The progression to making musical instruments was very natural. I wanted to use my knowledge to remake my instruments and kind of move away from traditional instrumentation. I haven't picked up a guitar in a while.
NUVO: Your sound relies heavily on these machines, but there's also a very human element to what you do.
Shone: I would say I'm definitely not trying to remove the human side. Even though it looks tech-y, and other people would associate that with things that sound mechanized or robotic, for me it was a way to better encode my emotions. I built these machines so I could very accurately control the entire mix without it getting away from me. If my body's not moving, you're not hearing sound. So I feel like it's more organic [than using traditional drum machines]. I don't feel like it's very robotic and perfect. I think it's kind of imperfect.
NUVO: You have a new album, Women & Children, coming out soon. What can you tell us about that?
Shone: This one, I'm still using the same group of machines as [last year's] Ursus Americanus. I had a bunch of material that I had written, but this is a much more dynamic album. It's all over the place. I'm a bit worried that people who just want straight heaviness aren't going to latch onto it as much. But I am playing the first song off the new record on this tour, and that's because it uses the same setup as a lot of the Ursus stuff I play. It fits in with the feel of the rest of the set.