Exclusive Interview: Kohnerah talk writing and recording “Ominous Ubiquitous”!
Long time readers will know how the format works by now; we interview a band about their latest record and then swing back around seven days later with a second interview about writing and recording. Naysayers didn’t think it would work but as it goes these writing and recording pieces are surprisingly popular. Just ask Chris Underhill from My Latest Failure. He loves these, especially when it comes to getting tips on guitar tone. But we digress. This one is all about Kohnerah, a Kansas City Missouri based Death Metal quintet who love nothing more than to talk about Death, Destruction, Mind Control, Failed Empires, Aliens and Demons while demonstrating the art of the riff. So here’s an interview with guitarist JD Cantrell about how they get it done…
How did your previous experiences writing and recording help to smooth the path of the new record? “When we started this project we talked about approaching the writing process with a willingness to collaborate and consider every idea. I think our past experiences were major catalysts for this way of thinking. Everyone’s input was welcome and we made it a point to try to use all of it. The practice of being open-minded and receptive was beneficial for many reasons and it definitely played a significant role in how these songs turned out. Pe-production was also a big help for us when we entered the studio. Most of us had previous experiences with recording in studios and knew that pre-production was going to play an important part in being prepared for it this time around. Because of that, we were able to go into the studio with the confidence we needed to accomplish our goal”
How does the writing process of a new track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? How does it evolve from there before you consider it the finished article? “It seems like we usually started with a riff or a few riff ideas that one of us had. We would jam on them for a while to get a feel for the type of drum beat or beats that worked best for them and then we would try to arrange them, adding harmonies, leads, solos, etc. However, sometimes we approached it the opposite way. Josh would often have ideas for melodies that would require a certain harmony or backing rhythm that complimented that melody, so we would work on the song from that angle. Every song evolved organically and we tried to allow them room to develop and grow. Some of the compositions felt like they were finished with only 3 or 4 parts and others ended up having many more. We did not follow any formulas in the songwriting process, we would just keep trying different things until we were happy with the composition”
What was it like working with Adam Mitchell (Daemon Poetica, Hammerlord, The Esoteric) at HammerFarm Music Studios? “Adam is great to work with! He has produced many amazing albums over the years for his band Hammerlord and for his solo project Daemon Poetica, as well as bands like Marasmus and Troglodyte. His vast knowledge of extreme metal and experience in the studio made it very easy to work with him. Adam has a very hands-on approach and he would often have input or ideas during the production and post-production processes. He seemed to instinctively know when a part was missing something and actively participated in offering a solution. We will definitely be working with Adam again in the future”
If you had the opportunity to work with a guest in the studio next time around, who would you like to work with and why? “That’s a really tough question. A guest vocalist would be killer and there are many great vocalists from our area who would be really cool to work with. Jeff Sisson of Troglodyte, Devon Ferrera of Garoted, Brent Turnbow of Ahtme just to name a few, but I am not really prepared to answer this question right now. You think we could get Corpsegrinder to do it?”
For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “All of our songs are written in Dropped C Tuning. I currently play a 6-string ESP Viper and run it through a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier. Josh plays both Jackson and ESP/LTD guitars and uses a Bugera 333XL Infinium amplifier. Spencer plays a 4-string Ibanez SRMS800 and he uses a Darkglass Microtubes X7 pedal to shape his sound. Chris plays a 6-piece Sonor Force 3005 drum kit with Evans drum heads, Meinl and Zildjian cymbals, and he currently uses the Pro 1-V Bigfoot Double Bass Drum Pedal from Trick Drums”
What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “That would be huge for us! We have been making some waves in the underground with the release of this album but we are still virtually unknown. An endorsement would certainly give us a marketing boost and potential networking opportunities”
“Ominous Ubiquitous” by Kohnerah is out now and might be available over at bandcamp.