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Rob 'the Baron' Miller (TAU CROSS, ex-AMEBIX): TAU CROSS has all the markings of a future reference point

Rob 'the Baron' Miller (TAU CROSS, ex-AMEBIX): TAU CROSS has all the markings of a future reference point
BANDS : Amebix, Tau Cross

After the split of Amebix, Rob "the Baron" Miller comes back on the scene with Tau Cross, a super-group in which he plays along with Michel "Away" Langevin (Voivod), Andy Lefton (War//Plague) and Jon Misery (Misery). The band will release the debut album this year through Relapse Records, and I have to say that this album it's an "instant classic". Rob was kind enough, as he always is, and accepted to talk to us about the past, present and the future.

 

Metalfan: Hi Rob and welcome back in Metalfan.ro pages! Not to long after the release of the album Sonic Mass Amebix split-up. What did it happen?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: There was an expectation that Amebix would be able to follow up on Sonic Mass by touring again, but there was an issue that prevented that, we also found ourselves unable to communicate properly, there were different priorities for different people. It became obvious to me that we could not continue. It was a very difficult decision to lose a band and name that i had been so much a part of, I decided that to be fair I could not use Amebix as a name without my brother also being involved, so it was a case of starting again completely.

Metalfan:This year you've formed a super-group with Michel "Away" Langevin (Voivod), Andy Lefton (War//Plague) and Jon Misery (Misery). How did it all start? Could you tell us how did you've all meet and start Tau Cross?

Rob "the Baron" Miller: Tau Cross was formed in 2014 to work on material that I had been working on for a new Amebix album, initially recording four tracks in L.A. with Roy Mayorga before getting in touch with Andy and Jon with a view to playing the guitar parts. Roy became really busy with his other commitments which opened the conversation with Away, who was immediately in the studio working on the drums for the first group demo. We reworked all the songs from that point on,with another drum studio session in Montreal, whilst Andy and Jon set up a new studio for the guitar tracks in Minneapolis. Meanwhile on Skye I was recording the vocals and bass tracks whilst James was in the process of finishing his own recording studio a few miles down the coastline. The demo was sent around three labels before being picked up by Relapse who are now the band's record label. The album details are soon to be announced.we are all very proud of what we have achieved in this short time together and hope that we will be getting out on the road in the coming year.

Metalfan: Could you explain the meaning of the name Tau Cross for our readers? I know it is a form of the Christian cross symbol…

Rob "the Baron" Miller: It is symbol that pre dates Christianity, yet has become most associated with the Franciscans, I was hoping to re introduce this ancient symbol as one that is perennial, it occurs in Egyptian and  Mesopotamian cultures as well as in the more recent symbol of the Smith Gods, the Hammer of Thor, which is relevant to my work as a swordsmith.

Metalfan: On May 18th the debut album of Tau Cross will be released via Relapse Records. Could you tell us more about the writing and the recording process?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: I had written all of the songs after Sonic Mass,and recorded some with Roy in L.A., but he became busy so I continued making a rough demo, eventually handing the material to Jon and Andy after several guitarists had not been able to commit to the project, we began recording the proper Demo once Away was on board,he would track studio drums in Montreal, we shared tracks in Dropbox and pulled them into session here on Skye and in Minneapolis, we would also talk on Skype about the ideas and form of the material as it progressed, so it was not like a live studio session but it was as close as we were able to get. My friend James Adams was at the mixing desk at this end. Once the demo was completed we went looking for a label, and then began the same process again with a new kit and fresh strings.

Metalfan: How did you've signed with Relapse Records? Was the only offer on the table or was the best offer on the table?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: I actually started to go around a few labels,but we were turned down initially, mostly due to other commitments from the labels, but I then sent a copy of the demo to Brad Boatright at Audiosiege and he  got on side, sending the songs to Relapse and helping to open that door. Relapse has been a very positive experience for us, with the Amebix material I was having to do all of the work, publicity, promotion etc, it makes a real change to be able to just concentrate on the music and allow the label to get it out there for us.

Metalfan: The artwork looks very eerie. Could you tell us more things about it?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: I was keen on making sure that the artwork would not be either me or Away, as both styles are obviously intimately connected with either Voivod or Amebix, whereas this would have to be its own thing,we had to establish a new band. Orion Landua was suggested as being the in house guy for Relapse and i really loved some of the cover work he has done so had a chat with him.We were talking about the particular feel evoked by the music itself,this very earthy and ‘witchy’ vibe, particularly in Lazarus, Hagmans Hyll and Midsummer, I wanted to try and make a connection with that feeling,something like the first Black Sabbath album cover but more earthy. Orion suggested this idea of actually physically making the Tau figure and taking it into the countryside for photos, he constructed it and let it rot outside for some months before taking it to the fields, I am so pleased with what he has done on this, it is something quite unique.

 

 
Metalfan: I've listen to your single Lazarus and I have to say it sounds like a strange version of Motorhead. It is Motorhead an influence for Tau Cross? If so, you could tell us which is your favorite album from Motorhead and why?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: It is strange that a lot of people hear Motorhead there, when I cannot see that, but yes of course Motorhead had a huge influence on all of us at one stage or another,but that was certainly not in mind during recording.I am interested in how other people interpret this,as there is definitely something different here, in the same way that Amebix manifested a particular type of energy, so that has continued, with a new infusion of blood and ideas. My favourite Motorhead album was always No Sleep 'til Hammersmith - that caught the amazing power of the band live.

Metalfan: It would be interesting if you could tell us more things regarding the themes about which you talk in your songs…

Rob "the Baron" Miller: It became apparent that there were an equal number of songs that had their thematic base in the 17th century and the more 21st century too, so the album was split accordingly. I am not going to point people into my way of viewing the material, the lyrics will hopefully allow the listener to construct the picture.


Metalfan: A few albums are called "instant classic". What makes an album classic? Does Tau Cross falls in this select category?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: I am not sure that an instant classic is always recognised until a long time after its release, hence the retrospective term "classic". When I listened to Bad Brains first album i knew it was something great but it did not become an instant classic,it has to enter the group unconscious for a while and be evaluated over time as to whether or not it still holds up. Arise! is a classic by this measure, but it was certainly never acclaimed as such at the time. Tau Cross has all the markings of a future reference point, it has enough to make it stand out as entirely different to anything else,and that may well be what makes a classic.

Metalfan: Tau Cross have an mysterious logo. Could you tell us more about it?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: This is the symbol of the Roots of the earth and the light of the moon, the language of the unconscious, that manifests in the darkness and breaks through the soil into the conscious World.

Metalfan: How important are the rehearsals for a band? I'm asking you this thing because some of the bands seem to not take them so serious when it comes to work…
Rob "the Baron" Miller: Jon and Andy are able to meet once a week and go over Tau Cross material, I would love to be there but cannot at this point. When we tour the intention would be a long period of rehearsal,in the same way as Amebix rehearsed solidly prior to touring in the U.S. distance is our one problem, but it will not stop the band from doing what we need to do.

Metalfan: Some artist charge their fans money to sign merchandise. Have you ever done something like this? What do you think about this practice?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: That is ridiculous.

Metalfan: Pink Floyd have released in 2014 a new album titled The Endless River. Did you had the chance to listen to it? What do you think about Pink Floyd in general? Are there any connections regarding Pink Floyd and Tau Cross music?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: I have not heard that yet, I think this will make me buy that album now. [ed.note smiles] Pink Floyd was always a Big influence on me personally, again because they are unlike anything else, their energy is entirely  different, in Amebix we always respected them, and there are a couple of points in Tau Cross where it is clear.

 

 
Metalfan: We here at Metalfan.ro are fans of mix-tapes. Could you choose 10  songs from 10 of your favorite bands for us? What it would be the name of this compilation?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: No, you should really ask the other guys this question,my music tastes are very weird,also i do not have much knowledge of new music as i cut self away from everything for 20 years, Andy and Away are very much more into what is going on now, from me you would just get a list of 80’s and 70’s music. [ed.note smiles]

Metalfan: It is there any book that have impressed you in a special way? Would you like to make an album someday after that book?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: I have read a lot in my life, and have a lot of books that have been inspirational, but i would not draw on them for my music necessarily, I certainly take ideas that I read about and incorporate them, but no overall theme from a book, I am still struggling to articulate my own narrative through the music and lyrics, to write my own book that way.
 
Metalfan: Thank you for your time and for your answers! In the end would you like to add something or to send few words to our readers?
Rob "the Baron" Miller: For those new to this, Amebix, Voivod and Misery all have a long history that it is worth looking into, Tau Cross is simply a blending of these people and ideas, so far it is bearing fruit beyond all expectations,we hope you will share in the journey.
Autor: H.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Amebix,

   May 15, 2015  | 0 Comments  | 5586 Views « BACK

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