Battle Path’s latest album Ambedo sees the band expanding their sound into wider arenas, creating an extremely enjoyable 47 minutes that improves upon their already impressive earlier work. I managed to have a chat with the band about their latest release and its place in the grand scheme of things…
How did Battle Path form?
Battle Path formed out the ashes of Murfreesboro band Under the Earth. It originally started as a drone project with Casey, Todd, and Nathan, very shortly afterward Chase and Adam joined, and that is how Storm and Stress was created. After time, Chase moving and Casey having an injury that prevented him from drumming, it evolved into what it is today.
What are your influences?
70’s prog (early Genesis, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream), Emperor, Darkthrone, Neurosis, Graves at Sea, Ass Chapel, Zombi, to name a few.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend?
Batushka, Colin Stetson – Sorrow, The Body/Full of Hell, Kauan – Sorni Nai, Celeste – Animale (S)
Tell us about Ambedo – what are the themes and ideas behind the album?
Growth and loss mainly, and self reflection. The album covers various themes lyrically. Musically, we rarely have a theme in mind, we just play and write what feels right. But as always it’s up to listener to interpret the meaning.
Ambedo has a noticeable shift in sound, with more experimentation and added keyboards/synths – what prompted this change?
Our old guitar player, Chase, moved to a different state. We were actually looking for another guitarist, and then we met Chris Davis. Our motivation changed and we collectively decided to expand our sound with the addition of synth. It also expanded the ambient side of our sound, which was previously utilized heavily on Storm and Stress and minimally on Empiric.
How would you compare Ambedo to Storm & Stress and Empiric?
All of our albums are separate entities. We are not a band that is complacent to be stuck in one style. Our creative outlet is wide. To compare our current compositions with Ambedo, Empiric, or Storm and Stress is irrelevant. People evolve and so do bands. They are all separate works of art. We hope none of our albums sound the same as the previous releases.
How did you choose the cover artwork?
A friend of ours, Stevie who is a phenomenal local artist and musician, had a piece of art that was commissioned and the client never picked it up, so she posted it online and we immediately wanted it for our album cover. That’s the whole story. We were toying around with some photos until this painting came along. But the painting fits the mood of the record perfectly.
How important is good album art to you?
Extremely important. The visual art is as much part of the concept of a record as the music. We prefer physical releases as opposed to a digital release. It becomes a more tangible piece of art then. Then the whole package does matter regardless of one’s thoughts on this matter. When you open a tape, record, or CD the art pulls you into the experience of the album.
With music becoming increasingly digital in nature, what’s your take on the digital/physical debate and the current state of the music industry?
The debate over digital and physical is tiresome at this point. We are not in a position to fix the problem. Black and doom metal are not very marketable and probably never will be. We just want to play and put out records whenever and wherever we can. We will continue to play regardless of the politics of he industry. We do this for us first.
What’s the process you use for writing songs?
We get together and play. Parts come and go and we compile them in a way that makes sense. All of our writing is a collaborative effort. We have an all or none rule. If someone isn’t happy with a part then it is taken out completely.
How do you think your music will progress in the future?
We plan to continue down the same path. We plan to keep writing the same way we have been. It’s always manifested unique results. As stated before, we hope that none of our albums follow a formula. There is no formula for Battle Path, it’s just music.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
This album is all one collective piece. We can’t pick a specific song because we view the album as a whole.
Playing live – essential or pointless?
It’s neither. This is a matter of choice. Whether you play live or have a studio project, it’s all about the music. We have heard some amazing studio projects and have heard amazing live bands, whose shows far surpass the record. It doesn’t really matter either way. Good music is good music, whether it be at home or a venue.
What are the next steps for Battle Path?
To finish our next record. We’ll always keep playing. We have several local shows booked throughout the year, but our main focus is finishing writing our next release.