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My main goal is to always create something unique...

Interview with Torture Wheel.
First of all, are you afraid that some people might confuse Torture Wheel
with the Finnish band Terror Wheel?

Honestly, I haven't heard of Terror Wheel before this. I try not to worry
about things like this, I imagine we are very different types of music
anyway. I'm sure there's even been another band named Torture Wheel at
some point in time. Every good band-name has already been taken it seems.
It's extremely hard to come up with something good and original these

How did Torture Wheel get started in the first place, what was the final push
that you wanted to try your hands in the field of funeral doom?

Torture Wheel started in 2002 as an offshoot to my main band: Wraith of
the Ropes. It was basically started to keep myself occupied inbetween the
great stretches of off-time in the writing/recording process of Wraith of
the Ropes.

Wraith of the Ropes is a very slow moving band, we've been working on our
first release for over 4 years now. We are perfectionists with our
songwriting and we have the habit of writing, recording, re-writing and
re-recording everything over and over, ad infinitum.

This began to drive me insane by late 2002 and i decided to create Torture
Wheel as a
stripped-down project for myself that i wouldn't have to obsess over so
much. Also, I wanted to release music much more frequently than Wraith's
agonizingly slow processes would allow.

I decided to play "Funeral Doom" simply because it's what i was into at
the time. I felt that i could build on the music that had come before and
add a unique voice to the genre. The first Shape of Despair album was a
huge influence at the time; as were many of the projects of my friend
Stijn Van Cauter... particularly The Ethereal & Beyond Black Void. I guess
hearing these bands gave me the biggest "push" towards playing this
so-called "Funeral Doom" music.

As you also play in two other bands, is it easy/hard to sort out what melody
lines/arrangements/etc to use in what band?

All three bands are musically quite different and I write separately for
each band so it's not too hard to keep the music sorted. There have been a
couple of instances where songs that I intended for Wraith of the Ropes
ended up as Torture Wheel songs... usually because they didn't turn out
quite good enough for 'Wraith'. I always try to save my very best material
for Wraith of the Ropes, while the scraps and failed experiments sometimes
become Torture Wheel songs.

For both 'Wraith' and 'The Sad Sun' (my band with Stijn Van Cauter) the
writing is a collaborative process with the different members of the
respective bands. It's not like I have three solo projects; each band is
an individual entity.

When the word came out that Firebox is releasing funeral doom, there was
quite a number of contacts from American (NS)BM circles which I found
quite confusing.
Is American Funeral Doom scene some how related to black metal and
especially on its Nazi flirting part?

Hmmm, that's quite confusing to me as well. I don't really see any
connection between Funeral Doom and Black Metal here. There are so few
Funeral Doom bands here anyway, it can hardly even be considered a "scene"
in my opinion. I'm certainly no nazi, and of the American Funeral Doom
bands that i know of, i'm not aware of any 'NS' sentiment at all. Perhaps
it does exist in some bands but i'm not aware of it. It's a bizarre
concept to me anyway to mix such politics with music. Music should be
above all of this shite.

Are there any plans to perform Torture Wheel in live setting in some
near/distant future?

Hopefully at some point, but not in the immediate future. It is sort of a
dream to bring my music to the stage, but it has to remain just a dream
for now. I would need to recruit many session musicians for a live
performance and it just doesn't seem possible. There really aren't any
musicians around here who want to play this type of music. I don't think
there are any venues in this part of world for this kind of music anyway.
Wraith of the Ropes hopes to one day play live though, and this is a more
realistic possibility i think.

The Crushed under MCD contains old material, partly unreleased though. How would you compare these four tracks to your upcoming album?

Yeah, all the songs from Crushed Under come from mid-to-late 2003. The
first three songs come from a split i did with Uncertainty Principle and
the fourth was never released before now.

I recently did another split with MOSS for Nothingness Records. The stuff
i did for this split already shows a lot of growth from the stuff on the
Crushed Under EP. I can't guess exactly how the next Torture Wheel album
will turn out, but i'm sure it will be another progression from the Moss
split... and it may seem like a drastic progression from Crushed Under.

Torture Wheel is constantly evolving and taking in more diverse
influences... my main goal is to always create something unique for every
release. It should still be mainly Funeral Doom but perhaps heavier than
before... probably better produced... and i'm flirting with the idea of
incorporating blast beats alongside some torturously slow moments. There
will be some odd timings and epic/strange song structures. Basically,
it'll be a more diverse and dynamic record.

Whose decision it was to release Crushed Under as digipack, yours or the

This release was almost entirely the label's idea actually. I never really
planned on re-releasing the old tracks from the Uncertainty Principle
split; Firedoom came to me with the idea of re-releasing those tracks as
an EP and it seemed like a fine idea. It was indeed the label's idea to do
it as a digipack... which was also fine by me. It turned out great and the
artwork is very impressive as well.

Some politics too, what kind of place Hamilton is to live? I found out
that the city has been named as city of renaissance, so I assume that arts
have a major (public?) role there?

Hamilton as a "city of renaissance" sounds like a joke to me... i don't
know where you got that information. For me, Hamilton is a hellhole full
of slums and rednecks. It's a very working-class city overall, but there's
a great divide between the rich and poor: upper-middle-class white suburbs
and poor mostly-minority and immigrant ghettos/project housing. As for the
"arts"... the more affluent areas (up in the hills) perhaps have some
culture or purpose for arts, but I live down in the valley with the dregs
of humanity... art is meaningless here.

This part of the Ohio, is it full of grain/corn fields or are those things
more common in Indiana?

No, I guess Hamilton is an urban area for the most part. There are some
small parks and forest areas but there are a lot more run-down old
factories and ghettos than farmland here. I suppose up north (away from
the Cincinnati/Hamilton area) there are plenty of cornfields and farmland.

America is always associated with Whiskey and as you are living next to
Kentucky (and certain Bourbon fame), so the obvious question: Is (bourbon)
whiskey the drink of the choice in that area?

Well, i like whiskey fine but I can't say it's the drink of choice around
here. Everyone i've ever known seems more content with cheap beer, vodka
or liqueurs. I actually can't drink at all any more because of some
medications I have to take. I became extremely sick in early 2004 and had
to quit drinking and smoking, so that's pretty much made miserable my
already empty life. I'm over nicotine already but I really do miss the
booze sometimes. Alas...

Big and sucks a lot of gas - the standard American car. Why Americans are
so keen to have all these biggie SUVs and off road vehicles when there is
more practical solutions around (i.e. European & Asian cars)?

I have no idea. I don't drive at all and i've never even been behind the
wheel of a car in my life... so i'm probably not the person to ask this. I
actually have some kind of phobia about driving. Anyway, I've always
considered cars as merely transporation; a way to get from 'point A to
point B' and I don't understand many people's obsession with cars in
general. I guess it's just some sort of vanity or status thing here... i
don't understand it at all.

Anything to add?

Keep an eye out for Wraith of the Ropes... our first release is coming
soon! I guess that's all...thanks for the interview.

Visit the Torture Wheel bandpage.

Interviewed on 2005-03-01 by J-P Muikku.
No God Only Pain
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