Toner Low

Unpublished interview with unknown zine (Oct 2010)

 

1.) Which ideas led to the forming of Toner Low back in those days and was it difficult to find the right line-up ?

"I remember back in the early nineties -- after listening to Monster Magnet's Spine Of God -- Jack (drums) and me talked about forming a jamlike rockband when we would be around 30 years old. But first, in October 1993 and February 1994, we did two short instrumental jam-gigs under the moniker The Peace Brother Dudes, with a different bassplayer. In 1998 Deef (TL's original bassplayer and vocalist) came with the idea of starting a stonerrock-band. This idea was much inspired by the Kyuss-albums. When we began TL in March 1998 our influences came not only from Kyuss and old Monster Magnet, but also from bands such as Orange Goblin, Slo Burn and Sleep. It wasn't much of a problem finding the first line-up, 'cause we all knew each other. Most of us had already played with at least one other later TL-member in earlier bands dating as far back as 1987/1988 and going on through the nineties with several more bands. When the first major TL line-up change occured late 2007 (Deef decided to leave the band), we asked Miranda back. She had been our bassplayer during 1998 and 1999. So all in all since 1998 only five musicians have played in TL: Jack (drums 1998-present), me (guitar 1998-2007/guitar/voice 2008-present), Miranda (bass 1998-1999, 2008-present), Deef (guitar/vocals 1998-1999/bass/vocals 2000-2007) and Willem (guitar 1998-2002). We've had three sample-guys over the years: Thuur (2004-2007), Rogier (2008) and Kees (2008-present)."
(In February 2011 Dennis became our fourth sample-guy and in January 2013 Dirk became the fifth)


2.) How important is the psychedelic aspect for Toner Low ? What kind of narcotics do you personally use (if so...) and which would you recommend for a deeper listening experience of your material?

"In our personal lives this psychedelic aspect is not important, we just use what everybody else uses. But I can't recommend anything for the listeners to experience our music on a deeper level, 'cause I never experimented with it and if I would have it still pretty much differs with every person."


3.) What kind of music / bands influences the songwriting of Toner Low in a remarkable way in your opinion ? I mean there are probably more influences than the well known Doom bands of the early days in some way...

"Well, since 2001-2002 basically we mostly got influenced by the nineties-bands such as Sleep and also by Acid King, early High On Fire and some later Electric Wizard-riffs. We have our roots in the eighties metal-scene, but listen to all sorts of music. Probably some of it has an influence on TL. I can't really name a particular band, though."


4.) Until now you have released two LP´s. What is to say about these releases, are you satisfied with the results and what is to say about the progess between the first and the second album ?

"For us it was a natural progress, that we didn't think much about. It just happened as it happened. The biggest difference might be, that the first cd consists of songs we wrote over a period of a couple of years and at the time we wrote the second we were more focussed on composing the cd as a whole. But we are satisfied with both albums."


5.) The first album is much more in the typical Stoner – style compared to II, which is very dark and heavy, will you continue with material in that style ?

"I think so yes, but since we haven't rehearsed any new songs, I'm not sure how they will turn out to be. The riffs that I so far wrote at home in this year of 2010 are a continuation of what we did on our second album, maybe a bit less drone-ish though. But once in the rehearsel-room as usual riffs get changed. I also got some cool ideas for samples, but for now I'm keeping those to myself, haha." 

 
6.) Toner Low basically is an absolute underground band, do you have any expectations of getting more success, do you think a wider audience would be interested in your material / kind of music ?

"I like the term 'absolute underground band', it's true too, haha. The music we make I think is bound to only be appreciated by a limited amount of people. Mostly 'cause there is so little to relate to: no rocking riffs, hardly any vocals, lyrics about nothing, no chorus you can singalong to, no image whatsoever. Nevertheless, I think we still can reach some more people that might be interested. Most of those will already be familiar with or into this sort of music."


7) What do you think about the underground (metal) scene of today ? I mean a lot of things changed and there is not much left from the spirit of the old days (at least in my opinion)...

"Well, the real underground scene is still alive and well with many bands, but they are so damn underground that even the people in the underground scene can hardly find them. However, the nowadays underground scene is much more accessible than it was 25 years ago, except for the true underground bands of course that don't have no website, haha. I'm not sure about the spirit though, times have changed and consequently people and society have as well."


8.) Please give comments on:

a.)Aleister Crowley

"He seems to be just a christian-raised guy who wanted to free himself from religion and so he created some sort of mockery religion. Basically Crowley is a good example of how religions are man-made as a reaction to the circumstances people find themselves in."

b.)Timothy Leary

"Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann is the real psychedelic hero."

c.)LSD

"LSD is okay, but it takes many hours before you get out of it. I did it a few times. The effects are much the same and recognizable but the experience differs with each time, so you won't get bored, haha. But in no way it gets you to a higher state of mind or something, you just have a different notion of the things happening around you. It's interesting though how LSD screws with your brain and your perception of the surroundings when you're on it."

d.)Esotericism / magic

"I'm not very interested in those things."


9.) Have you ever been into so-called hard drugs, what do you think about the use of Heroin or Morphines in general ?

"I don't know nothing about those drugs and ain't gonna try them. But when I find speed or XTC on my way and I feel like it, then of course I'll take it. But this doesn't happen very often, only once or twice a year."


10.) What would an ultimate Toner Low gig look like if you could do what ever you want to, without any boundaries... ??!

"Well, never thought about that, but of course we would have an immense backline. It would also be cool to have an extraterrestrial merch-dude."


11.) What is in your opinion more important (for Toner Low and for a Doom band in general), the playing abilities and sound or the spirit and philosophical / ideological side ?

"For TL it's definitely the sound and music that are the most important, but also creating the albumcovers and artwork is something our drummer Jack puts very much of his time in. I don't care what other bands wanna put the most importancy on, they are captains of their own ships, haha."


12.) Actually your former bass-player Miranda is back in the band for quite some time, what led to this line-up change ?

"Well, our bassplayer and vocalist Deef decided to leave TL in November 2007. He wasn't quite happy with the darker songs we were creating for the second album, and had already some solo-projects with which he made completely different music. More like electro-beats and vocal-orientated, with a sort of tongue-in-cheeck twist to it. He's still doing this music with several projects, amongst others as Dr. Dynamite. We asked Miranda to replace Deef in TL, because she was the most logical choice."


13.) What have the members of Toner Low done before the founding of the band, how long are you active musically ?

"I begun in March 1984 when I joined the first ever speed metal-band of the village I live in, haha. Miranda and Jack started 1986 and 1987 with playing in local speed/thrash metal-bands. Over the years we've been in all sorts of bands and projects, most notably Miranda who played the bass in the final 7Zuma7 line-up in 2000. Nowadays the three of us still play in other bands as well. Jack and Miranda both play in grindpunkcrust-band Kru$h, and I myself do my solo-project Danny Ramirez (murderballads) and since July 2010 I play the live gigs-guitar in necro black metal-band Slaughter Towen. Originally a one-man-band (not me) only a few gigs are planned though."


14.) What plans do you have for the future, is there any new release to look forward to ?

"We will probably release a 7-inch or something, somewhere in 2011. Also we will start working on some new songs for a next full-length, to be released hopefully at some point in 2012. In past interviews I mentioned a vague timeschedule, like early this year or late that year, but I ain't gonna do that no more 'cause I really don't know, haha." (The plan for releasing a 7-inch or something in 2011 has been abandoned)


15.) Last words to end the interrogation

"Thanks for the interview, Florian. We will do some gigs in Germany again in mid-June 2011, amongst others Protzen Open Air, a small two days metal-festival near Berlin. Malignant Tumour plays there too. Check myspace.com/tonerlowstonerdoom for details."