Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Tristwood was founded 20 years ago in the Tyrolean mountains. This is also one reason why the name has a clear reference to the Alps and the associated barrenness of the alpine mountain world. The band consists of three core members: Me, Deimon (vocals, keyboards), Neru (guitar, synths) and Jegger (guitar, vocals). Then there is our drummer HMG, who has also had his share in the musical direction for quite a long time. Since a few years JD (bass) is with us, who is also active with Eschaton and Thine. During our first decade Axumis was also on board as singer. However, it has dropped out for various reasons. Basically, there is not much to tell about our history, because our recordings are the focus of our work.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
So, when I look back on the early days of Tristwood, I think one of the main reasons why we focused on this style was the interest in experimental music.
We were also excited about how the more radical forms of metal developed in Norway, Sweden, the USA, and Austria from the second half of the 1990s onwards. But at the beginning we were not so much aware of what we were doing, we just wanted tob e different.
Then, when we recorded our first mini album "Fragments of the Mechanical Unbecoming", we became more and more aware that we were recording something unique, even extraordinary. Even today we still look at this recording almost in disbelief. The same goes for our second album "Amygdala". In the first half of the 2000s the question arose how we should describe our style. Sure, we were already an Industrial Black Metal band, but there were also Grindcore-, Death Metal, Post Punk, Ambient, Synthwave and Industrial influences. In one of many drunken nights in an insider pub in Innsbruck we decided to call our style Black Industrial Cybercore. Somehow this still fits today, even though we have meanwhile released a drone record called "Crypt of Perennial Whispers" and an ambient doom/black metal recording called "Svarta_Daudi", which even makes our style name seem too narrow. So, no idea what we are. We are just avant-garde...
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Well, that is not so easy to answer. I think people buy our albums for two reasons. One is because they appreciate our radical, honest, and radical artistic approach to metal. Many listeners like the fact that we are not a trivial band that just copies other music groups. The other reason is that people simply love our style. To find that out, you just must listen to our music and want to and can embark on a musical adventure. But we are not a band that begs fans or listeners. We want intelligent listeners, not sheep.
I think many people who have a little idea of true extreme metal or industrial, but are also open to new things, will appreciate our music.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
Over the last 20 years we have released a variety of different releases, all of which can be seen as a melange of Drone, Avantgarde Extreme Metal, Industrial Black Metal, Death Metal, Post Punk and Synthwave. Maybe this listing and the stylistic classification will give you some information about our back catalogue:
- Fragments of the Mechanical Unbecoming (debut mini-album/2003/Industrial Black Metal)
- Amygdala (Album/2004/Industrial Black-Death Metal/Grind)- Svarta_Daudi (Mini-Album/2005/Industrial Doom-Death Metal)
- The Delphic Doctrine (Album/2006/Industrial Black-Death Metal)
- Dystopia et Disturbia (Album/2010/ Industrial Black-Death Metal)
- Nyx (Chapter Album/EP1: Lethe/ EP2: Armada Khaeotica/2019/Industrial Black-Death Metal)
- Crypt of Perennial Whispers (mini-album/2019/Industrial Drone)
- Blackcrowned Majesty (Album/2020/Industrial Black-Death Metal)
Maybe I should say something else about how the press reacted to our albums. For one thing, Tristwood has releases that were only released for fans. These include "Svarta_Daudi" or "Crypts of Perennial Whispers". Then we published albums but only wrote to a few magazines for reviews. These include the compilation "Nyx" and the debut "Fragments of the Mechanical Unbecoming". The album "The Delphic Doctrine" was promoted internationally by Soundriot Records. This was an amazing experience for us, because we felt that we were very much in the spotlight. We were very happy about that, even though as an anti-commercial band we had rather difficulties with success at that time. When we released our follow-up album "Dystopia et Disturbia", we deliberately chose a free netlabel from Romania. Back then, 10 years ago, Asiluum, which unfortunately no longer exists, was the perfect partner. It was not about money; it was only about the music. Our fans loved us for releasing the album for free. But after that we had some difficulties to develop our style further. That is why we slowed down the pace of development a bit. Oh yes, the question was how our albums were received by the media. Well, I must admit that the reactions are very diverse. I think the sound of Tristwood is a big challenge for some music reviewers. In any case, the music is not for traditionalists.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
So, we do not play live, and we will never play live. Maybe one day we will compose the background music for an installation for an artist, but that is not likely either.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
This is difficult to answer after a 20-year career. I think that a zine, a label or a promoter should know that we are a very experimental band that somehow stays true to their style, but in sum, we always try to explore and fathom new musical depths. So, if you do not get a feel for our back catalogue, you will quickly be led on the wrong track. I believe that record companies will certainly have their fun with us as a music group, precisely because we do not play trivial music, but offer the listener something new and exciting. It is similar with journalists: we make music that you might not have heard too often or never heard before. Especially for creative and open-minded people this can be great.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Well, we do have some plans. For one thing, we are just starting to reissue our back catalogue. Next year our album "Dystopia et Disturbia" will be released in a very small edition. The great thing is that our fans have asked us for the release. The edition will be strictly limited. The advance sale is going great here. Then in 2021 we will release our new EP "The Vortex of Damnation" digitally via Bandcamp. And furthermore, we are currently working on two new albums. One will be produced by me, the other by Neru. That will be very cool.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Officially you can listen to almost all our songs on Bandcamp: https://tristwoodofficial.bandcamp.com/
If you would like to buy an album, you can contact us via Facebook or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.facebook.com/Tristwood-117030138385682/