Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Tom: We formed early in 2013, having met at university. I had come up with a little something, which I showed Ollie, whose instrumental talents then helped bring the demo alive. That demo became our first EP, Karmic Existence. The début was well-received, encouraging us to get a move on with our latest offering, 'Rabbit Hole'.
Ollie: Yep, that's pretty much it. I'll have to give most of the credit for the project to Tom though, it's really his creativity and drive that keeps it going, but I do what I can.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
Tom: Synsophony firmly believe that music doesn't have to be brutal to be heavy. We experiment largely with droning repetitions, adding a healthy dose of wallowing highs (and even spoken word), to create a uniquely psychedelic experience. I consider our genre hard to pin down in a few words, but psychedelic, industrial, drone ambient, noise etc. begin to head in the right direction. Our influences are fairly broad, but are largely rooted in metal and its derivative traditions. Our industrial side is rooted in acts like Lustmord and Flintglass, whilst doom and black metal acts such as Bongripper and Watain inform our general ethos.
Ollie: I'd say we go for an eerie, oppressive sort of sound. It's really important to us that whatever we make sounds evil and really puts you in a dark place (I guess this is from our black metal influence). Recently we've been getting more and more psychedelic, drawing on some shoegazey stuff. As for influences, there are those bands Tom mentioned above, as well as stuff like Emperor, especially their last album: that sort of avant-garde darkness definitely left its mark on our music. There's also some older shoegaze stuff like Spacemen
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Considering Synsophony to be a fairly unique beast, I would recommend listening to our music first. And, of course, in naming-your-price, we are fine with people downloading our music for free. Considering why a metalhead, in particular, should download our music, I would say that our music aims at much which good metal also aims at. We aim at unsettling music, as psychedelic as it is dark, attempting to create a tension which never quite resolves itself – even once the song has finished!
Ollie: We kind of share that dark, slightly fantastical aesthetic that a lot of the metal scene is dripping with. We try to take you places and make music you feel as much as hear, and I feel that's a lot in common with metal. But like Tom says, it's always worth a listen first in case it's not your cup of tea, so by all means pick up a free download to see what you think.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
Tom: We have released one EP, and have a second one due for release on the 5th of January 2014. We were pleasantly surprised by the response, with the number of downloads and positive reviews surpassing our expectations. Generally, we have been commended for conveying big, human emotions in our music. Our songs have been described as journeys into madness, anxiety, despair and the like, with one reviewer going so far as to describe reality collapsing as he listened to our debut EP! Reviewers tended to praise our ability to combine potentially cacophonous elements into coherent songs, as well as our reservation in valuing sparseness as much as density in our music.
Ollie: Yeah, we're really happy with how our debut EP was received. It feels like a lot of listeners really engaged with the sense of despair and the overwhelming bleakness we really wanted to come across, and it was just great knowing people experienced our music the way we'd intended. We get a lot of praise for just how heavily Synsophony affects your emotions and the way you feel almost suffocated by the music.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
Tom: currently we are not a live band, but would consider it in the future, if our music were to take a more traditionally instrumental form.
Ollie: The issue is that, what with there being only two of us and some of the production techniques and samples we use, it might be difficult to play live. That said, there are always backing tracks and I think we'd both be excited to play live if we could manage it logistically.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Tom: I believe Synsophony to be a hard-working band, who – rather than attempting to conform to any one genre – strive to capture the power music of all kinds can have on a listener. We believe we can appeal to fans of psychedelic, metal, electronica, and especially experimental music, as well as anyone interested in the fleeting, transient character of the human experience. We concern ourselves primarily with the journey which music is capable of taking a listener on.
Ollie: Our music is weird and it is scary. If that sounds like your thing, then you should definitely give it a look. I reckon we're worth a look because we really do have a compelling, harrowing sound and it's always fun to take a bit of an emotional battering.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Tom: We will release our second EP, and have long had plans for our first full-length. The upcoming EP, 'Rabbit Hole', will initially be released digitally, before a cassette will be put out via Acephale Winter Productions.
Ollie: I'm especially psyched to get this cassette out – it'll be awesome to have physical copies of our music!
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Tom: We are available on all the usual social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Last.fm, ReverbNation, Bandcamp.
Ollie: Yup, any of those will get you to us. Enjoy!