You may not have realised this, but jazz-fusion is pretty fucking metal. The unending musical possibilities thrown up by embracing this eccentric form of music have been exploited to their fullest by Trioscapes, formed by Between The Buried And Me’s Dan Briggs after recording a cover of a Mahavishnu Orchestra song with some muso friends.
Alongside sax ’n’ flute maestro Walter Fancourt and drummer Matt Lynch, Dan is confounding and delighting fans of his other band in equal measure with new album Digital Dream Sequence: a sort of Meshuggah-meets-Mr Bungle affair driven along by a saxophone with a mind of its own. As the bassist explains, even though the trio’s interpretation is fresh, the idea of mixing jazz and metal isn’t a new one.
“There were artists like John Zorn, who really shook things up,” Dan explains. “He was doing really avant-garde, atonal metal mixed with a saxophone. So in that respect, I don’t think we’re doing anything new.”
In keeping with jazz’s spirit of liberation, Dan and his comrades have a tendency to break out into wild improvisations in the studio and on stage. Harnessing the power of their own freewheeling abilities is a challenge that the band relish.
“It’s a blast!” Dan bellows. “The longer we play on stage and in a rehearsal room, the more open and comfortable we all get to explore things we hadn’t planned before. We had a lot of moments on this record, and it’s always fun because you make music you hadn’t planned on. And that’s always really exciting.”
The idea of the unknown may cause many musicians to hyperventilate, but for Trioscapes, it’s the essence of what they do and as real as heavy music gets.
“Walter’s solos are different 100% of the time, and I’d say mine are 50⁄50,” Dan grins. “It feels good to have those unknown sections. It’s good to have that freedom!”
DIGITAL DREAM SEQUENCE** IS OUT NOW VIA METAL BLADE**