Practice English Speaking&Listening with: & the League of Extraordinary Djentlemen interview - part 1

Difficulty: 0

Hi guys, how are you doing?

We're loving life right now.

Right meow we are loving life!

This question is for everyone. How has the tour been so far?

Awesome! Amazing!

Awesome bro!

Define 'awesome'?


It's been pretty jizz-tastic, really!

It's been jizz-tastic, yeah? And I think that, it's like a commoonity or something like that...

Is that English?

It's been awesome man, I don't know, don't pick on me!

Misha, how is it to spend all this time in Europe with eleven British lads in a bus?

Well, to be honest, me bum's a little sore, but I think I'll make it!

These guys are the best, I love these guys!

They're my bros from another hoe, you know?

Okay awesome, I guess you're having a great time!

How do you guys spend time on the bus?

On the bus!

We don't have a bus, we have separate vans, and we don't get to hang out.

We want to hang out more but half of our band is dying of AIDS right now.

On that one, you mentioned bus, Monuments, where did you sleep last night?

What was it, on a layby in Milton Keynes, with banana peels stuck to our face, courtesy of TesseracT.

That's rock stars for you, 2011, rock star life! Tour in vans, sleep on floors...

Do you guys get to see any of the places you're playing?

We get to see the venues.

After this show, TesseracT will be leaving. How do you all feel about that?

How do you feel?

Just disappointed.

Are you sad?

Just disappointed.

I'm a little sad and a little horny, but mostly sad.

Jay will fix me up alright, and Metal... but, I'm gonna miss these guys.

We're gonna miss them. But we've got The Safety Fire to fill in.

We've got our good buddies in The Safety Fire.

You win some, you lose some.

Who came up with the idea for this tour and who set it up?

We were approached by management about potentially coming over here as a headliner,

and we were asked "What bands would you want to bring out?"

We obviously wanted bands for once that were somewhat in the same area or vein, or genre as we are.

So we picked these ones and it all got put together.

As far as the name of the tour, we threw out a whole bunch of different ideas,

and someone was like "oh, that's a good idea!", so we kept it.

It was a joke, it wasn't supposed to be serious, but it stuck.

The fact that the tour is named 'The League of Extraordinary Djentlemen' signals to us

that the business side of music is also starting to notice djent and is starting to embrace it.

I'd say that was more like a joke to us, but it's good that...

Secret meaning!

We just have really... have you ever seen our song names?

We just name things really stupid things, and we thought it was kind of funny.

But it does work out pretty well, I think you're right about that.

Let me ask the dreaded question: is djent a chord, a tone, a genre, a religion?

It's all of that, it's a palm mute, an onomatopoeia.

I always say 'Soulburn', right? The beginning of 'Soulburn'.

"djent djent - djent djent"

But now, people have decided that it's gonna be a genre, even though we've all said that it's not a genre.

But it is a genre, so what are you gonna do? It doesn't even matter.

We all have aspects of it, but every band on this tour also has a lot of different sounds that are very fresh

and that don't rely on that, so regardless of djent being big or not, these bands kind of stand on their own.

And that's why we picked them.

It would be very boring to have a band that just does one thing, you know?

Do you guys agree with this viewpoint?

It's just a word, what really matters is the music.

Everyone's going to be pigeonholed as djent for a while.

So do you think it's something that will go away after a while?

I think post-djent's going to come, and djentcore... they're all going to come!

I can't wait for Irish whisky-fueled djent/deathcore, or whatever it's going to be.

The idea I'm getting across is that although it may be some sort of wave that we're riding right now,

regardless of what happens to djent I think these bands will stand strong,

because they're not relying on that sound, there's so much more to it.

Although that is a part of the sound, obviously we all love that kind of sound.

So, it is something that people will identify with, but I think there is so much more to it than just that one sound.

Alright, do you think djent has the potential to go mainstream?


Monuments for the mainstream!

They'll be taking us out on tour soon!

The djent scene is flagshipped by the bands on this tour,

and then next to that you have Meshuggah, who are credited with starting it all,

but they seem to be sort of outside of it, they never really take part in it.

I wouldn't say 'outside', I'd say 'above' it.

They're kind of like the gods of djent, aren't they?

They've always defied description anyway.

You couldn't ever call them... calling them metal is so boring, they're not metal, come on really?

You're going to put them in the same band as... they're not metal. They're just Meshuggah!

Then they're still just Meshuggah. Out there doing their own crazy Swedish thing.

There seems to be a proliferation of bands and one-man-projects that are citing you guys as their main influences.

How closely are you following these musicians?

Everyone fell silent!

To be honest, personally, I don't listen to...

Just like I said, when a band follows any one sound too closely, it just doesn't do a lot for me.

I haven't really been following it because I'm kind of burnt out on metal from touring so much with metal bands.

I've been listening to a lot of other stuff. I don't know about you guys?

It's just hard to keep up with, because every fan is a potential creator as well.

If they've got a setup in their room and a guitar, they can do it too, so it's hard to know what's going on all the time.

But you do try. You try and keep up on it.

Do you guys have any tips for these aspiring musicians?

Just go for it, man! Keep pushing.

Don't let a blue screen of death...

My advice would be: do it even if nobody listens.

Just do it because you love it, and it makes you happy. And if other people too, then that's...

That's how we all started out. When we started out, this wasn't cool.

This wasn't cool at all. And nobody understood what we were doing, except for like, us, because we were this online community.

Makin' money! Look at this! Periphery, makin' money! Yeah!

Rolling in it! That's why you guys are opening!

It wasn't cool and no one got it, it was hard to find band members,

because when you tried to find members no-one would understand how it grooves.

They think it's super-technical and try to pick it apart.

No, it's really simple, it's all about the groove.

And now it's becoming more mainstream, but we've always done it for the love.

Never for any crazy sort of recognition, "we're gonna get huge doing this!"

If I wanted to get huge I'd be playing pop punk or something.

What role does music theory play in your songwriting process?

Does anybody here actually know music theory?

As it stands I can barely read tabs.

But that's just part of the whole style I guess. It's about doing what sounds right to you.

It's using your ears.

It's about forgetting everything you've ever been taught, and to do whatever sounds right at the time.

So many people come up to me and say: "oh, you can't do that". And I'm like: "why?"

And I don't think there's anything wrong with learning theory, I'd like to learn theory someday.

The only thing that really sucks is when someone comes up to me and they know more about my songs than I do.

At 4.5 minutes you use this mode, and I'm like: "what?"

We all just use our ears. I don't know if that's a common thread or not, or if it's a requirement or whatever.

I've never done well with lessons, I'm self-taught on guitar.

I've always been doing whatever sounds good, and trying to get better on my own.

I can't read music, and I can't tab anything out. Like Paul said, I can barely read tabs as well. I just like to listen.

It's turned into this kind of organic thing, it's kind of fueling itself.

People learn your songs, and they'll write something and try to take it to another step.

And then people learn them, and it's kind of evolving by itself.

A very common thing within the scene is plagiarism.

Misha, you've been a victim countless times. Why do you think this happens?

I honestly have no idea.

I think it's harder now.

Here's the thing that boggles my mind:

You steal our music, and just to be clear, these kids take a song of ours...

I've seen it happen to every one of you guys. They'll take a song of ours and they'll change the title or something.

They did it to a whole CD...

They did it to your entire CD, they change the titles, and sometimes they'll even try to sell it online.

Now here's the thing, we were born online. This is our home.

You don't think that someone's gonna notice?

You must really have no thought process... you'd think that kid wouldn't sit there for a second and be like:

"Hmm, so I found out about these guys because of the internet, but I'm going to post this up on the internet, because I don't think anyone will find out."

How far ahead did they think... half a thought and then they got hungry.

So every time anyone does it, we just post about it and they get ripped apart.

We have very loyal fans. We all have very loyal fans.

It's like a personal army isn't it?

Yeah it is like a personal army and they just go to town.

And it usually ends with an email like: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that."

How do you not mean to take our song, rename it, reupload it, put it for sale,

and sometimes even put crappy vocals on, do you just do that by accident, while you're sleepwalking one night?

Have you guys ever had something similar happen?

Yeah, we did in Fellsilent.

There was a guy that Lisa Coverdale knows,

he basically got hold of two of Acle's old demos, which was actually a mixture of TesseracT riffs and Fellsilent riffs.

And he put it on the internet. It spread out to loads of people and I found out later that it was actually our songs they put up.

Paul's entire CD!

I was going to ask you about that.

They changed the titles. They tried to disguise the intros so they changed the beginning of the songs,

thinking that I'd check it out and say "Oh, that's not mine".

If you listen for five seconds, it just stops and kicks in to my song!

You've also had something similar happen where someone used your riffs from a construction kit.

There was that band, yeah!

How did that make you feel?

It's a complicated one, because technically they are allowed to do it.

What they're not allowed to do is then say "Check out my band".

And it then got a bit messy, because I posted things up and people were like "Dude, why are you ripping off Seven?"

That was a bit awkward.

Seven ripped off Monuments as well a couple of years ago.

I did it for money, I wouldn't do it again.

Money is the root of all evil.

I think he disagrees.

No, I've learned my lesson on the street. I used to sell my body... money is the root of all evil.

The Description of & the League of Extraordinary Djentlemen interview - part 1