||MIKE SOCRATES OF IF THOSE TREES COULD TALK INTERVIEW
Luke 'Loki' Milne
As a follow up to my two reviews of If These Trees Could Talk albums 'Red Forest' and 'Above The Earth, Below The Sky', here's an interview I conducted with guitsraist Mike Socrates.
Congratulations on your recent signing with Metal Blade Records. How has life as a band been different for you since joiing forces with a label that has catered to bands like Symphony X Devildriver and Amon Amarth?
"It's been pretty great. Since the signing, we've just been holed up in the studio getting the new album tracked. Since Metal Blade reissued the older albums, it's given us a little push in the right direction and has introduced us to a new audience while we get this new record complete."
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The recent re-releases of your back-catalogue of music must be a bit of a blast from the past for you; what's your funniest/strangest memory of your earlier days as a band?
"There's so many to mention. It's hard to narrow that down. I think the past ten years have gradually brought us to where we are now in small steps. We have always been a slow cooker when it comes to progress, but I think that has always helped us in the long run."
You're currently in the studio working on your next album, due for release later this year. What can fans expect from your upcoming release, and how does it compare/tie in with your previous work?
"I think fans can expect that same trees vibe with a lot of progression from our past efforts. We don't like to repeat ourselves, but we also don't want to veer away from the sound that our fans have grown to appreciate."
Where will you be, or what will you be doing on the album's release date?
"Hard telling. Hopefully playing a show somewhere."
Other than your hometown of Akron, where in the world would you say you receive the strongest and most positive fan support as a band?
"Europe pops into my head immediately. The entire European continent has shown us so much love since the beginning. They have supported us from day one, and for that, we are eternally grateful."
Social media publicity and online music downloads have been both slammed and praised by many a musical figure over the past few years. As a band who has grown in the age of internet exposure, how have you as a band reacted to, coped with or flourished from the ups and downs of online publicity and promotion?
"I'd say it's mostly been a positive experience. Without the internet, we might not be doing this interview right now.
"The web really opened us up to so many people over the years, so we have nothing but good thoughts when it comes to how the internet plays into our band.
"Downloading is something you can't stop, so we figure it best to adapt and let the fans figure out how they will get their hands on our music. With all the free downloading that is out there many people are still purchasing music digitally, on CD and on vinyl."
If you could tour with one band (current or disbanded), who would it be and why?
"Tool. Because they are amazing."
What are you currently listening to in your spare time, and why?
"Everything and nothing at all. When were in album mode, it's hard to listen to anything outside of what you're working on. I do always go back to Tool, Radiohead, Pantera and other classics that I grew up on."
And finally, do you have any announcements you would like to make, or any words for your fans?
"Thanks so much for the support. We can't wait to share this new music with you and hopefully see many more faces than we have before."
Click here for the review of 'Red Forest' and here for the review of 'Above The Earth, Below The Sky'.