Recording Under the Influence is a recurring self-titled feature where we ask artists to ignore their most obvious musical inspirations for a minute and share what really went into the making of a particular record. Since Agalloch is one of the country’s most compelling but reclusive metal bands, we didn’t expect to hear much back from them about last year’s Marrow of the Spirit LP. Guitarist Don Anderson and drummer Aesop Dekker came through with a couple hints about their creative process, however.
Check them out below, alongside two lengthy cuts from their fourth full-length…
BÃ‰LA TARR FILMS
We’ve always been influenced by cinema, but during the writing and recording of the new album I was particularly drawn to the work of the Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr. [Frontman] John [Haughm] had introduced me to his film Werckmeister Harmonies. After seeing his other work, I was completely absorbed by his static long shots, real time sequences, and incredibly stark black and white photography. The opening to Werckmeister Harmonies stands as one of the greatest in cinema and continues to resonate in my memory today. I often would express a musical idea to John or [bassist] Jason [William Walton] in terms and images that had more to do with Tarr than anything else. – Don Anderson
STEVEN WRAY LOBDELL
Although a musician himself, it was more his attitude to performing that helped me expand my playing while recording [Marrow of the Spirit]. After having recorded six albums between Agalloch and Sculptured, I was very set in my ways. Steven’s emphasis on achieving a level of looseness and breath within the songs and my phrasing as a guitarist was incredibly influential. He is responsible for the more â€œliveâ€ sound of this new record. – D.A.
That Frazetta painting of a berserker is always somewhere in my mind when playing drums. – Aesop Dekker