Though it came as a surprise when black metal supergroup Twilight announced that Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore would be joining them on their next record, the decision wasn’t spontaneous. Founding group member Blake Judd tells Hive, “We actually talked to him two years ago about getting him involved in the last record [2009’s Monument to Time End] and that came together so last minute that it wasn’t going to work out, time-wise.” Now that they have the time, Twilight — with a lineup of Judd, Atlas Moth’s Stavros Giannopoulos, Sanford Parker, Leviathan’s Jef Whitehead, Krieg’s Neil Jameson and Moore — are heading into the studio this August to work on a currently untitled full-length. “We try to do something new or bring someone new in for every record,” Judd said. “Twilight is always going to throw a curveball at you.” Hive caught up with Judd to discuss what the next album might become, touched on the aesthetic of the album, and their future plans to perform live.
Have all of you guys been in the same room yet?
No we have not.
How have you been communicating?
Through email and telephone. We start recording in a few days [and] we’re doing it in two sessions. The first session is just the very core of the band, which is Neil [Jameson] from Krieg, Jef [Whitehead] from Leviathan, and myself, with Stavros and Sanford there helping us out. The five of us are going to write the majority of the record and record it and make some rough mixes of it. Those tracks won’t be completely finished — it will be a skeleton of of the record — and we’re going to send them on to Thurston [Moore], who will have time to get familiar with them and, for the stuff he’ll be writing, it will give him an idea of where we’re coming from. He can base what he’s doing off of that and try to preserve the aesthetic and overall vibe that we’ve created. We’ll all have a few weeks to work on those and then we’ll come back into the studio at the end of August and that’s when Thurston comes into town and, from there, we’ll be finishing the tracks that we started and also recording the songs that Thurston will be bringing to the table.
Do you already have a good idea of what the aesthetic and vibe will be?
The album will be a little more black metal than the last one [Monument to Time End] was. We’re going back to our roots and we’re going to keep it primarily black metal, but — with me and Thurston and Sanford being involved — I think no matter how hard we try to do that, it’s still going to come out sounding very different just because we all have such broad taste in music. It should be a thing of its own and that’s the key goal.
Is Thurston really into black metal?
From what I know, he’s a huge fan. Decibel Magazine ran a feature about Thurston being a massive black metal fan, so that’s where we got the idea from to get him involved. We realized he was into it and we have a direct connection to Sonic Youth, through our soundman Jeremy [Lemos], so we were able to reach them very easily and Thurston was immediately responsive in a positive way from the get-go. He mentioned that he’d be very interested in working together with us in the future, so it’s just manifesting itself a couple years later. We’re all such big Sonic Youth fans, it’s a real blessing to have Thurston come in and be a part of this.
Would you guys ever do a black metal reworking of Sonic Youth songs?
It hasn’t been discussed, but that would be really neat and I’d certainly welcome the idea of doing that.
Down the road, will you all be touring together?
As of right now, the only live performances we’ve discussed are limited to Roadburn Festival next year and one show in the United States, which would be in either Chicago or New York, and happen before the festival. Geographically, it’s very inconvenient for us to get together to rehearse, considering that we have people in this band that live from San Francisco to New York and everywhere in between. We do understand that there is a demand for a live performance but a tour will never happen with this band. Plus, Twilight has always been a studio project.
Watch the video for Twilight’s “8000 Years” here: