Fans haven’t heard any material from Dutch progressive metal group Textures in almost five years, but in a recent announcement, we found out they are being treated to two separate upcoming albums. We spoke to guitarist Bart Hennephof about Phenotype and next year’s Genotype. You can read about the LPs and other answers below.
So first of all, congratulations on recording your first album since 2011. Was the time in between mostly a break from the band or were you guys writing for a decent chunk of those five years?
Well yes, most of it was writing, but right after 2011 we were touring for Dualism. After that, our guitar player Jochem [Jacobs], decided to quit the band, so that brought quite some delay on any writing. After about a year, we found a replacement, Joe [Tal]. We took some extra time to get used to each other and writing melodies and rhythms. It took awhile to learn a new way how to write all together again, but he was a big part of the process.
Can you talk about Joe’s contribution to the effort and how it may have differed from previous albums?
Joe comes from a really quite different background than our former guitar player. For example, he a lot of jazz composition education, but on the other hand, he has his own band. They’re a very heavy death metal band with chaotic and freaky stuff. So based off that, he brought a lot of experimental and weird ideas to the table. To be honest, it wasn’t what we were thinking of, but it sounds so cool that we just wanted to use it.
So far you’ve released the tracks “Illuminate the Trail” and “New Horizons.” Would you say these songs are a good representation of the other material on the record?
Yeah, especially “Illuminate the Trail.” For “New Horizons,” it is one of the more mid-tempo melodic songs, which there isn’t much of on the album. The rest is a bit more uptempo and heavy like “Illuminate the Trail.”
Would you say there is an overall either lyrical or musical theme to Phenotype?
Well, the title itself is referring to genetics. An organism has both genotypes, which makes the basic core of you that is already set, and phenotypes, which are the characteristics that change due to your environment. We thought to make two discs on that concept spread across two years to make a longer impact. And there will be melodies that you hear for the first time on Phenotype, you will hear on Genotype but in a different way.
There’s a lot of great albums planned for this year. Are there any ones you’re particularly excited for?
Gojira should be releasing an album this year and I’m really curious about that. I’ve been following them for a long time and they’re just a great band. Meshuggah will have some new stuff as well. I’m not a big fan of them anymore. Of course they have great stuff now, but I like their earlier work much more. Their later albums seems to lack harmony and melody, which they’ve always been strong at. I’m always curious towards their releases though because they make their music sound so extreme and heavy.
I know you have European tour dates for the promotion of Phenotype, but are there plans to tour North America as of now?
Yeah, there is talk of touring there right now. I can’t say anything yet, but we have two cool options that I hope will work out. They should happen around the summer of this year. I like the US a lot and last time we were there we went on a tour with Periphery, which was pretty good for us. Our fanbase there is already really cool and sing along with the lyrics.
Who is your dream band to tour with right now?
I would say maybe Devin Townsend. It’d also be cool with Tool or Deftones. But like I said, we toured with Periphery and the package worked really well, so I’d love to do something again with them.
Besides the album release and tour, are there any other plans for the rest of the year that your fans should know about?
Well the next album, Genotype, is already about 70-80% done. We’ll do the European touring soon and European festivals by the end of the year. US and Australia tours are still an option. Every album cycle, we go to India, so I’m sure we’ll head there as well.