After touring with both TOOL and Meshuggah, respectively; Intronaut has acquired a league of loyal fans. With their fourth studio album, Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones), hitting record stores across the world; Intronaut is getting ready to set some high standards in the metal world. Sacha Dunable of Intronaut was kind enough to take us into his world for a moment; covering everything from the past, the present, and Intronaut’s very bright future.
Starting back in 2003 in the bright sunny state of California; Danny Walker and Dunable began to write and record some demos. The two had been friends for many years prior to this and it was the right time for them to start working on a musical project together; this project would go on to be known as Intronaut. Joe Lester would be brought in to play bass and after a bit of a switch up the band would have Dave Timnick on guitar. Writing, recording, and touring would consume the band for the next few years, but the pay off would be worth it; signing to a label only about two years after they first began, the band was ready to take on the world.
Fast forwarding to 2012; Intronaut began touring with TOOL. This tour gave Intronaut an opportunity of a life time; playing to thousands of eager fans every night, they were able to spread their music like a deadly virus. Dunable stated ” we played to a lot of people at those shows… for the people who were open to hear a new band there was a chance of winning them over.” Intronaut was able to gain a lot of support from this tour and were able to convert many new fans just as they had hoped. Dunable goes on to say “that this is something you look forward to… that your hopping to gain from any support tour.”
The following year Intronaut would go on tour with another talented band Meshuggah. The boys gave this tour everything they had, even finishing up the recording of their album a bit early in order to hit the road. Dunable being a long time fan of Meshuggah, this tour was something special to him, “I’ve been a fan of that band since the 90’s so just getting to hang out with them and watch them play” was one of his favorite things about the tour. Dunable also had the honor of doing more than just touring with Meshuggah, “I actually sang on a song with them for five shows because their singer was sick.” This was a very last minute situation that gave Dunable little time to learn each song, “they would do their whole set instrumental, and me being the only other singer on the tour, they asked me to learn what I could and all I could really learn on the spot was one song.” He goes on to say “I came out and did the last song with them for four or five shows” this was more than just another tour, “singing with Meshuggah was probably my favorite part about touring with Meshuggah.” With such amazing tours under their belts the band can only go higher from here, “we want to tour with Metallica… we also want to tour with Opeth.” The sky is the limit and these tours just might be possible.
Just at the end of the Meshuggah tour, Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) Intronaut’s fourth studio album, began to be released across the world. The album was highly anticipated and met with the high expectations of their fans. Within the first week of being released, Habitual Levitations hit number 179 on the Billboard top 200 chart.
This album is a little different from Intronauts previous records. In Habitual Levitations, “each song has it’s own meaning” and “each song is inspired by something different” explains Dunable, “unlike some of our last couple records there’s no real unifying concept lyrically… on this record, for whatever reason, I just felt like it would be a tired idea.” Dunable states that “each song is about different things that go through your mind… like things that go through your head when your just being a human… thoughts that go through your mind when your watching life happen around you realizing how depressing everything can really be.” Now although it seems to be on the downside, Dunable expresses that there is more to the album “it kind of puts an optimistic spin on things but sort of coming from a darker place.”
The recording process was well planned out, giving Intronaut plenty of time to gather ideas without being rushed with a deadline. ” It was all set aside with a block of time to write and record the record,” explains Dunable, “that block of time was like a year long; when we didn’t tour at all from March of last year to February of this year.” Dunable goes on to state that “we probably took six to seven months writing, maybe a little longer since you’re always writing rifts, and then recording was another three months or so.” This album greatly benefited from the time the band took, ” we tried to take our time on this with not really having plans to tour or anything, but then the Meshuggah tour got confirmed so we had to set a deadline.”
When it came time to decide on a producer the band decided to take another rout. For the past two albums, Valley of Smoke and Prehistorisms, Josh Newell was their producer, but there with their colliding schedules it was time for a chance. This time around Newell would do the mixing for Habitual Levitations the album was produced by John Haddad and Derek Donley. This made for an interesting combination, as Dunable states “it was just a little more pleasant for everybody”. Instead of rushing for the album to be produced by Newell “we wanted to relax a little more and so we did drums with the guy who did our first 3 recordings and then set up with our friend derrick in L.A. to do guitar, bass, and vocals in his studios.”
To make this album complete and a true Intronaut masterpiece there had to be some amazing artwork. Just like in their past albums, Habitual Levitations was going to be no stranger to this artwork. The band decided to go with the same artist they used for Valley of Smoke. Dunable had “been familiar with his art through out the years… he’s done bands that we know or just records that I’ve owned over the years.” When it came time to find artwork for Valley of Smoke, Intronaut’s third full length album, the band wasn’t sure who to go with but Dunable states that “I think we had mutual friends and when we were looking for an artist for Valley of Smoke and his name came up somehow…. it was just like one of those oh yea duh moments, this is obviously the guy!” Thus the album was complete and ready to be distributed to the masses!
As of today Intronaut is gearing up for their North American Summer tour. It is sure to be an exciting one and will be featuring Scale the Summit, Mouth of the Architect, and Castle. “Scale the Summit are going to be the direct support” Dunable states. The two bands have been good friends for quite sometime now, “we’ve known those guys pretty much as long as we’ve been a band… they actually used to live out in L.A.… we’ve always kept in touch.” This tour was the perfect opportunity for the two to work together with just the perfect timing for Scale the Summit who happen to “have a record coming out right before the tour happens.”
Mouth of the Architect will be joining the two for “most of the tour.” This band is also old friends of Intronaut’s, as Dunable says “they are some of our oldest band friends….our tour ever back in 2006 we did two weeks with them and then a full U.S. tour with them in ’08 and we’ve done other on off shows with them.” The band has more than just a friendship, “Joe our bass player played bass for them for a couple tours… it’s like a super family vibe with them.” This tour will be a special one shared amongst friends. Although, Mouth of the Architect will miss part of the tour, “a band called Castle are going to do the last five shows because Mouth are going to Europe and they can’t finish the tour.” Needless to say “were really excited about that tour.”
In the future Intronaut will be doing more touring and will “probably go back to europe and more state side touring as well.” Their touring will be expanding even with the possibility of hitting Australia in the near future, possibly as soon as “later this year or early next” but there are no promises just yet. India is also a possibility in the future for Intronaut, “we’ve been in touch with promotors there” and it has been quite a while since the bands last visit. Although Habitual Levitations has only been out a month now, “we have actually started writing music for what would be the next record but who knows when well actually sit down and do that,” explains Dunable.
Intronaut has already accomplished so much in 2013, it is hard to believe that there is still so much more to be expected from them. This band never stops pushing themselves forward and only big things can be expected from them. Be sure to catch them on their headlining North American Summer tour and don’t forget to pick up Habitual Levitations at your local record store.