is a post-metal band from Los Angeles, California and features Sacha
Dunable, ex-Anubis Rising, guitarist Leon del Muerte of Exhumed,
Impaled, drummer Danny Walker of Uphill Battle and bassist Joe Lester.
They play progressive metal with harsh vocals combined with progressive
and jazzy instrumental breaks. Their sound incorporates traits from
sludge metal, jazz and death metal. In 2005 the band released a
four-track demo entitled Null – Demonstration Extended Play Compact
Disc. Soon after that the band got signed to Goodfellow Records, and in
early April 2006, they recorded their debut album ‘Void’ at Shiva
Industries in Santa Ana, California with producer John Haddad. In
January 2008, the band announced that they had signed a world wide deal
with Century Media Records, and theycompleted their next album, ‘Prehistoricisms’.
In 2009, Intronaut went on tour with Kylesa, as support band for
‘s latest effort, the
‘Valley Of Smoke’ came out a couple of weeks ago via Century Media
Records. The follow-up to 2008's ‘Prehistoricisms’ was once again
produced by Josh Newell (Jane's Addiction) and it features a guest
appearance by Tool bassist Justin Chancellor. In order to hear all about
this new release, we tracked down David Timnick (Guitars, Vocals)
to ask him some questions, here you can read what he had to say to the
readers of Metal-experience.
First of all, how are you doing?
Congratulations with your new album ‘Valley of Smoke’ which will be out
soon, so of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it!
I’m not familiar with your band, so
could you start this interview off with an introduction of the band? How
did you get this band together and where does its name come from?
are Intronaut from Los Angeles, California USA. The band has been
together for almost 6 years now. The name Intronaut is pretty self
explanatory (and a bit cheesy as well!). Just as an astronaut travels
and explores outer space, an Intronaut travels and explores inner
space. I told you it was cheesy. But we are all quite fond of the name
How did you launch into writing
material for ‘Valley of Smoke’ and how much time did you spend on
creating the songs?
we had the fortunate experience of touring with Mastodon in 2009 for our
previous record, ‘Prehistoricisms’, and once we got back home we decided
it was time to get to work on a new record. We had already been jamming
on some new ideas before that, but once we got home from that tour, we
started getting together as much as possible and began putting our ideas
together and working out all the subtleties and nuances that turn a
handful of ideas into cohesive musical statements, and eventually,
complete songs. So we were writing full time for the better part of a
year before we were ready to start recording.
Which approach did you choose to
create this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.. Or something
more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something all together
this particular record has a concept behind it, which isn't really
something we had done before. ‘Prehistoricisms’ was a bit conceptual,
but not in the same sense as ‘Valley of Smoke’. The whole record is
about the lesser known histories and mysteries of Los Angeles, the city
we all choose to call home. We thought that if we're going to do some
kind of concept record, then the concept itself should be something that
we all relate to and are affected by.
Was your experience with you
previous bands helpful in creating this album?
think that any previous experience, musical or otherwise, is useful when
starting something new and different from anything one has done in the
past. It goes without saying that every member of this band brings a
lifetime of different experiences to the table when coming together to
create something new. We all have very different musical backgrounds,
which surely plays a large role in the music we create together.
How can we imagine you worked on
these songs, what's the typical writing process like for Intronaut? For
example, did people come in with just riffs, or was it more of a group
a combination of many things. We spend a lot of time together in the
practice space, jamming together and working out ideas and transitions,
but we also all spend time on our own coming up with riffs, beats,
melodies, harmonies, rhythmic ideas, etc. The finished product is a
result of all the practicing we do on our own, as well as all the time
we spend together creating musical statements out of musical ideas.
What were the goals you had in mind
when you started to record ‘Valley of Smoke’, any elements you
definitely wanted to include on the album?
biggest goal for this record was a musical first for us, which is the
inclusion of clean vocals. This is something we haven't done before, but
it's something we have wanted to do for some time. We believe that the
dynamic nature of the music demands an equally dynamic approach to the
vocals, but it took us a while to find the right way to do it. This
album is complete with singing and vocal harmonies, as well as the
screaming and growling you'll find on our previous records. It's all a
direct result of our desire to be as musical as possible. Also, the
guitar playing is a lot more involved... Sacha and I have been
Was it a conscious decision to do
it this way?
David: Absolutely. We
try to write music that runs the gamut from heavy and crushing to
ambient and psychedelic, and if the vocals are brutal and dissonant
throughout the entire record, then it does very little justice to the
What is the utmost important
ingredient for a song according to you?
don't know if there really can be only one, but I guess I would have to
say cohesion. All the beats and riffs in the world mean very little if
they are not serving a purpose with regard to the entirety of the song
itself. We try to use as few ideas in a song as possible, and rather
than "riff stacking", we try to expand and contract those ideas ad-nauseum
until we have what sounds like a bunch of different parts, but in
reality are just variations of a few simple ideas.
Could you please describe the
implications of the title ‘Valley of Smoke’, what does it stand for and
is there a special meaning behind it?
I mentioned before, ‘Valley of Smoke’ is a concept record about Los
Angeles. The title itself comes from the name given to the region by
the Chumash tribe of Native Americans that lived here before us. It has
to do with the actual geography of the region which, based on being in
low basins surrounded by mountain ranges, would trap smoke from
campfires which would in turn remain as a haze for extended periods of
time, much like our smog issues today.
Who was responsible for the lyrics
on this album and where do you get your inspiration from? Are there any
stories behind them? Did anything in particular inspire your lyrics?
wrote most of the lyrics for this record, and Sacha wrote some as
well. If you check out our website, you can find explanations of the
historical events that directly inspire the lyrics, song by song. And
you can read all about the songs on the following page:
How important is it to you that people pay
attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
say it's very important to me personally, but honestly, if people get
into our music without much care for the lyrics, then I'm perfectly fine
with that. The music is really what's most important in this band. The
lyrics and the vocals are only there to enhance (not define) the music.
How did the recording process
proceed, did you work differently this time than you did with your
previous works? How much time did you spend in the studio?
time around we had quite a bit more time to work in the studio than we
did for our last record. This was extremely beneficial to the actual
recording process, because we could go back and change things at the
last minute if we felt so inclined, and really make sure everything was
exactly the way we wanted it before it was officially done.
Can you tell us a little about
yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your
poetry, and your lyrics?
honestly I think that the inspiration for writing music and lyrics comes
from everyday life. Trying to find inspiration without experience is a
dead-end street. You can slop together some cool riffs, or some
deep-sounding lyrics, but creating something meaningful can only occur
when you find a way to channel your thoughts and emotions truthfully
into whatever it is you're doing.
Which song is your favourite one to
play live? Which song do you find is the most challenging one to play
don't know if there's one song I like to play live more than the
others. If I had to pick one, I would maybe say "Core Relations",
"Miasma", or "Above". I guess I just picked three. But that's just
from the new record. There are a couple of songs from the last record
that are particularly fun for me personally, namely "Any Port", which
ends with a big dual drum solo between Danny and myself, as well as "The
Reptilian Brain", in which I play tabla for the first 5 or 6 minutes of
What were the highlights and low
points throughout your career?
I'd like to believe that our careers are far from over, so I'm hoping
that our low points are behind us, and the highest points are still to
come! But so far, I would say that our last 3 tours could all be
considered high points. I don't think that any of us thought when we
started out that we would eventually be touring with the likes of
Mastodon, Cynic, and Helmet! And we don't plan on slowing down anytime
Could you respond to the following
terms in just one word or sentence:
The dwelling place of the mysterious lizzard-people which are the
subject of the song "Core Relations".
The only good things to come from religion are music and art.
Sadly and hopelessly corrupt.
The Netherlands :
Rembrandt, van Gogh, Escher, and an amazing football team. Also, good
food and good weed!
BBQ, jazz, corn.
What is your opinion on the metal
scene these days?
preface this by saying that I don't come from a strong metal background,
but I have noticed that now more than ever there are a lot of metal
bands taking influence and inspiration from other genres of music, which
often results in something fantastic. One thing that I've notice about
most different styles of metal is that they all take the technical
aspects of music very seriously, and when this approach is coupled with
outside musical influences, well, the sky is the limit.
What do you think about the
overload of bands at the moment and is there anything missing in the
will always be a surplus of bands in any musical genre, and there will
always be certain things that could be considered missing. I think that
the best music comes from a person or band with 2 driving forces behind
them: 1) a desire to stand out from the overload of other bands, and 2)
to create whatever they believe is missing from the scene. So I think
that the overload of bands and the things that are missing from the
scene are absolutely essential to the evolution of music, in any genre.
What can we expect from Intronaut
in the near future, any touring plans?
yes!! We don't have anything set in stone just yet, but our plan is to
tour our asses off throughout 2011. And we definitely plan on making it
back to the Netherlands during that time, so make sure you come out to
the shows, say hi, and smoke us out!
Where do you see the band going
within the next couple of years and where do you see the band’s musical
direction going for the next album?
for now, the plan is tour tour tour. We're hoping that people respond
well to this new record, so that we can continue to play our music for
anyone and everyone that wants to hear it. As far as musical direction
and the future of Intronaut goes, all I can say is that we never know
where we're going until we're there. It's all about the journey...
A last statement?
is still alive and well, contrary to popular belief. Support it! Go out
and see your favorite bands, buy the albums, and spread the word.
Thanks for your time,
Sacha Dunable – Guitar, Vocals
Dave Timnick – Guitar, Vocals
Danny Walker – Drums, Samples
Joe Lester – Bass Guitar
Leon del Muerte – Guitar, Vocals
Cristina Fuentes – Keyboards
2006 - Void
2008 - Prehistoricisms
2010 - Valley of Smoke
2005 - Null (self-released)
2006 - Null
2007 - The Challenger