Interview: James Kinnear – This is Turin

Recently I had the pleasure of listening to This is Turin’s first sin(gle) entitled “Wrath” which I described as “not for the faint hearted”. The harshness of vocalist Daryyl interspersed with twin guitarists Anthony and Davey’s mix of old and new school death metal, this is a sure fire way of establishing themselves further within the scene. Since I have heard “Wrath”, there have been a number of occasions where I have watched the video below and I think you should do the same. In the meantime, I caught up with bassist and all round good guy James Kinnear who shed light on all things happening to This is Turin and what can only be described as exciting times for the band. Thank you for this interview James and I wish you and This is Turin the best of luck and keep sinning.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

The band is based in the North West of the UK, all members are too apart from Ben (Drummer) he lives in Darwen.

All in all we have been together for 15 years, had a few changes along the way but not stopped since 2004.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Over the past few years we’ve really tried to embrace the darker side of our writing style, blending traits of black metal with our death metal background to really force an ominous feeling onto the listener. In the past we’ve been branded as anything from tech death to blackened death metal but the main constant with us is the death metal element. We’ve been passionate about producing music that’s different and ties in with a concept we’ve all bought into, our Thrones EP was the first evidence of this and we’ve kept with it ever since.

You have recently released the first sin of mankind entitled “Wrath”. How does it feel to get the new song out there for the masses to hear for the first time and how have the responses been?

It’s a great feeling, after When God Bleeds was released we decided to change things up, create a concept and try a new style of release strategy buy dropping individual singles to form a collective after a period of time. We’ve put the best part of a year building up a catalogue of new songs to drop and finally we’re getting the chance to start releasing new music again along with new artwork, new band logo and new videos.

How would you say it compares to that of your earlier material and do you think you have found the sound you strive for or will This is Turin continue to keep experimenting?

The sins will be something completely new to previous release, since Cercis we’ve definitely evolved our sound and songwriting, this comes hand in hand with a new stage show as well something we’ve been reviewed on as giving a feeling like you’re watching a band in hell! With the sins it’s given us the opportunity to play around with music and lyrics that blend your classic death and black metal styles together and creates something new.

Its been roughly four years since the release of your debut album Cercis. Was it a case of the band wanting to make sure that they have everything perfect before recording?

Cercis was defiantly a milestone for us as a band and we gigged that album relentlessly. When we started writing new music again that’s when we decided to change things up, Thrones was a risk as we pushed away from our tech metal roots and moved more towards a darker side heavily influenced by bands like Gojira, Behemoth and Chelsea Grin to name a few. Thrones surpassed our expectations massively and really opened up a whole load of new doors which made us start to rethink the benefits behind doing another album or try to hone in on a new sound, we decided on the later which bought us to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Is there a main lyricist within the band? How did the concept of the seven deadly sins idea come about?

Daz is a lyrical genius and locks himself away to write the lyrics, concepts are always band decisions and need to be something we all buy into before we start to run with them. Songwriting is also a group thing as well, we love jamming – we all come up with ideas and bring them to the table to see if it has potential. The sins came about when we were talking about if an album would be a good idea as a next step or continue to release singles but more regularly. We’ve always had a fascination around the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri as well the impact religion has on us as a civilisation, the sins are such a well-known subject but we all had never seen a band write songs based on the sins so we thought we’d challenge ourselves to take them on and release something a bit different and hopefully something our fans will really enjoy.

How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio?  Where do you get together and record?

We’re really lucky in that we have our own rehearsal space set up and ready to be used whenever, we normally get to gather once a week for either set rehearsals or writing. Ben (Drummer) has built a new home studio which we’re starting to use to demo new music, this is something we’ve been dying to do for years and now. Recording wise we’ve always used Mike Bennett (Empires Fade) at Fox Hound Studios in Byley, this guy is genius and gets the best out of whenever we work with him – highly recommend using him for any genre of music!

How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is This is Turin a band where all members contribute to the songs?

Davey and Hayden (guitarists) are the key drives behind the songwriting, they normally bring the ideas to the rest of us and then we build the songs as a group. The process for us can take anything for a couple of hours a night to write a song to a couple of months depending on if everyone agrees on the way the song is going to how experimental we are feeling!

Being a five piece and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?

Yes, definitely but I think that is what gives us an edge to be honest, we’re an eclectic band when it comes to tastes and this allows to bring different viewpoints when songwriting, don’t get me wrong it also brings its fair share of arguments but it just means that everyone gets their say in the final structure and mix.

How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on more bigger tours and further afield in 2019?

The whole work life balance is a struggle at times, we all have bills to pay, other bands we’re in, families to take care of and habits to feed! However, we always make time for Turin, gigging is probably the best part of this band we’ve been playing together for so long it’s just second nature now to prep for a gig or run of shows and just get on with it no matter if we have work in the morning. We’ve got plans for later this year to hit the road in the UK once we’ve released a few more tracks and bring a new live show to everyone, next year though we have some serious goals to meet but that’s hush hush for now!

How hard is it for a metal band like This is Turin to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?

It’s definitely become harder to survive over the past few years, to really make sure you’re noticed amongst to endless talent that’s on everyone’s social media feeds takes a lot of effort and with that comes a cost. We’ve always been self-funded and used merch or music sales to invest straight back into the band which helps. Thankfully with companies like Nemesis Designs, Enso Music Management, Loki Films, Ditto Music and Pins and Knuckles who don’t charge the Earth for their services, provide outstanding quality and really support bands it makes it a lot easier to pull something like a new release together and get it out.

Before the internet, magazines and fanzines were the places to find out about new bands and trends.  Now publications are replaced with thousands of websites catering for all genres. Do you think that some of the passion has been lost or do you think that the internet has been a good thing for music and This is Turin?

Great question, personally I’m torn, I grew up craving for Kerrang! and Metal Hammer to tell me who’s the next big thing and listen to the cover mount CDs to hear all the new releases whereas now every Monday Spotify does the same thing just without the blurb and personal touch of a reviewer giving their opinion and predictions. From a band point of view the only thing that has changed is how easy it is to distribute music to a whole load of streaming platforms and online stores, getting people to listen to new music and read about it is still as difficult maybe even more now due to the mass of new tracks, albums and videos that getting pumped into social media on a daily basis. Playing live is still the best way to reach new people!

What are the rest of your plans for 2019?

We are planning a couple of UK runs after Summer as well appearing at Amplified Festival and Alt Fest, music wise the plan is to get another two sins out this year and then deliver the remaining sins in 2020.

Being from the Cheshire area, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?

Where do I start! Definitely need to give a shout out to our boys in Derby Djent heavy hitting From Her Ashes, utter gents and great drinking buddies! Mortal Shift are another up and coming band from Manchester, these boys are delivering something new and exciting! Gamblers is another, punk/hardcore band and close mates of ours, just released some new music and its damn good!

A fun question to end this interview.  If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?

Right, playlist start finish would be…

  • 36 Crazyfists – Snow Capped Romance
  • Soilwork – Stabbing the Drama
  • Reflux – The Illusion of Democracy
  • Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
  • Pantera – 101 Proof

Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?

We want to take this opportunity to thank you guys actually, you’ve given us some great support over the years and we really appreciate the time you take to do interviews like this and give us time at festivals and gigs to talk utter nonsense and plug our band to your readers! Next time the beer’s on us!

Wrath is out now

This is Turin: facebook | youtube | spotify | bandcamp

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