When Conjurer released Mire back in 2018, they quickly asserted themselves as one of the UK's most exciting new underground bands. Fusing sludge, post-metal and shades of prog, they climbed into critics' AOTY lists en masse and earned love from members of bands including Trivium and Dillinger Escape Plan.
Now Conjurer are finally back with It Dwells, the first new single in four years and the opening track of their long-awaited second album Páthos, due July 1 via Nuclear Blast. We caught up with guitarist/vocalist Brady Deeprose to talk inner demons, perfectionism and what the hell took so long...
How does it feel to ‘be back’?
“It's so weird! Obviously we've had the record done for a minute now and we've been playing It Dwells live since the Download Pilot. But it's been such a strange time for everyone, trying to go back to the way life was and the way that we engaged with music and the music industry and art in general before the pandemic. There's a lot of trying to figure out what our relationship with art is now, in a post-pandemic situation. It was people's escape from real life beforehand, and then real life got put on hold.”
How long has the album been recorded? Hammer spoke to you for a studio piece around March last year…
“We went into the studio in November 2020. I think we probably had the masters from March 2021 and then it was just a case of the vinyl delays being so insane. However, I think it allowed us to work in a way that we think really complements the record. It's really important to me to make sure that people when they listen to the record, get the best possible experience and as a fan of vinyl, that means sitting down on or before release day with my physical record and properly listening to it, looking at the artwork, reading through the lyrics –having that experience."
How do you feel about how Conjurer’s profile has risen since the release of Mire?
“It’s batshit! We had no aspirations to do any of the stuff that we've done. We're really not trying to change the world or redefine it, we just tried to make good music and play it to people that want to hear it. It's so very unexpected that we ever got to be in this position, so we don't take any of it for granted. We just keep writing the best music we can and try to put on the best performances we can and if it all dries up and no one gives a fuck in a few years time, we still had a great time.
Does it surprise you that there are bands out there like Irist who are not only aware of who you are, but have actively tried to follow your footsteps?
“It’s really crazy. We met those guys when we were playing in Atlanta last and they were just the best. But we’ve had stuff like Liam Wilson from Dillinger Escape Plan sharing our stuff and saying ‘check this out, this is fucking amazing’ and I'm just like, ‘what the fuck? You're proper!’ To have been able to work with Will Putney, having him approach us and say ‘I love what you guys are doing’ is quite surreal."
It's quite funny, we spoke to you last year about Opeth and then this song comes out and is very Blackwater Park…
“We like spent like two hours just like getting that clean guitar sound perfect and even then, only half of us were happy with it. It was such a perfect distillation of what we've been taught from day one about the insanely anal process of making this band's music. 30 seconds of music was a two-hour process.
We ended up writing a bunch of stuff in the studio, which we've never done before. It was the most stressful thing ever, so we’re never going to do it again! But the one upside is that the lyrics are a lot more collaborative. With Mire, one of us would do 90% of a song and then maybe one other person would come in and edit a little bit. Páthos was a lot more collaborative, we'd be sat in a group pulling lyrics together.”
What is the story of It Dwells?
“With It Dwells, it was mainly Dan [Nightingale, guitar/vocals] that put it together. There are themes running through the record of negativity, fear, self-loathing and self doubt, all of those inner demons manifesting as a presence within your self. It’s about that conflict between the reality of your day-to-day life and the negative self-image people can have of themselves.
A lot of that is directly manifested in the music video; it plays with a lot of those themes of generalised fear and anxiety, which I know is something that Dan particularly has struggled with over the last few months and something that I have personally struggled with as well.
What does Páthos say about Conjurer in 2022?
“It represents how we've grown and evolved as people. Everything on Mire had been written for ages – there were some songs we played at our first ever show. Everything we have learnt from being in Conjurer has gone into Páthos. On a more literal level, the record explores a lot of personal negativity, where there's a lot more general negativity of Mire.
There are tracks about dementia, which has affected all of our lives and part of the album is learning to let go of loved ones. There are also tracks about the relationship we have with our parents, how negativity can be passed down through generations. There's even a track dealing with grief, the afterlife and God, all of that stuff. We tried to not limit what we do in any way, nothing is off-limits.”
Páthos is due July 1 via Nuclear Blast