THINE - The Interview By Mark Bridgeman THINE have just released In Therapy (Peaceville Records), a melancholy trip through paranoia, depression, and Anathemic gloom. Crushing and somehow soul-enriching in one foul swoop. Lisa from Peaceville gave me the opportunity to quiz Paul from the group, so the following questions were sent off without knowing much of anything about them. Let's get the boring necessities out of the way first - what is the history of THINE before your first album came out in '98? How did you all get together? It began with myself and Alan in about 1993. We both liked the same style of music and so got together to replicate our heroes in a sense. The songs were quite atmospheric and had a theatrical flair. In late 1995 Dan joined on drums (which up to this point were handled by Alan). We would play cover songs of our favourite bands and also began to use many influences to try to conjure a more individual style. This is when we did the first demo tape (Journeys in 1996) which was mostly to show ourselves (and a few others) what we were capable of in a studio environment. We then recorded the Blue tape in early 1997 to showcase our stronger material to record labels. We signed to Peaceville at the end of 1997, around the time of the Mayhem shows. 4 years is a long time between drinks - it's documented that THINE went through (according to your press bio) "a sudden & almost terminal breakdown". What exactly happened, and how did this affect the band AND its output musically? Some details will remain undisclosed, some details are just boring. There was trouble from people around us. We became dis-illusioned with a relentless industry. The fall was very sudden. Members left, only to rejoin - members disappeared for months on end. It has been a struggle for survival at a time when most are easily consumed. We had to assess our personal transitions in a way. We were 3 people whose paths were crossed but who were characteristically very different. Approach and perspective was paramount. I am not saying that we have ever fallen out, it is just that each individual has had ghosts to confront and to consume which can leave a bitter taste, yet makes one all the better for it. We succeed in our transitions because we are not acting as one fake entity but as real people of relevant experience. Musically things never stagnated as I must have written approx. 60 songs or so in the last few years. The hunger for the musical evolution of Thine has always remained, even though morale wasn't our best friend. On several occasions Thine has nearly died. In a sense, as people who existed before, they too have died. Our change is our reform. The band definitely wears its heart on its sleeve - particularly with the vocals... is this a conscious move, or just the style of music THINE follows? The decision from as early as 1999 was to make the vocals the focal point of the songs. It was very intentional. Structure and dynamics and more traditional verse/chorus/hooks were the priority of the material. The vocals are sincere. There seems (to me) to be an innocence and a coldness to the delivery of the vocals. The sound is not swamped in effect. It is dry and honest. Alan is quite paranoid and almost self-conflicting. His execution is how he thinks it accurately represents his character and his contribution to the feel of the album. The content has more impact because it is not screamed. It would be too obvious for us to be aggressive, so why bother? The better darkness functions around this deception. What have the reactions been so far to In Therapy? Quite exceptional really. Poor reaction has thankfully been very minimal. It was a big concern of ours as to how we would be perceived/received. We are not a typical band of a typical style. We keep our heads down and try not to belong. To uncover our motivation takes time. Once the motivation is uncovered, the depth should be more intriguing than it was initially. What's a common misconception about THINE? You seem like pretty miserable buggers to me... I think you would be miserable if it rained most of the fucking year where you live. (It doesn't does it? [Does since I moved to bloody Britain - Mark]). There are many misconceptions because we have not exposed ourselves enough to avoid them. Intrigue is important. But I shall say this: "We are not a Goth rock band". Since I haven't heard A Town Like This, how does In Therapy compare in your mind? It is more mature. In Therapy is a document of the stages of our lives in the years between albums. In Therapy attempts serenity. It attempts optimism. It tries to pull you up before attempting to cut your throat. It is not so obvious though. It is contrasting. The monsters of the world do not have horns and green skin. Deception is to be uncovered and made familiar. It is the weight upon the conscience. I am not strong enough to exist without the plague of conscience. A Town Like This documents none of this. It is more an outsider's definition of chaos. It was schizophrenic and untouchable. In Therapy is more prepared to let you in. It is the equivalent of a therapy group indulging in a shared experience. Only 2 people have survived the lineup of A Town..., what effect has that had? Nothing has changed because songs were not written by anybody else. Dan left after In Therapy was recorded anyway but there is no loss. He had the guts to say when he needed a change of direction and this has been a benefit for everybody. Mutual and responsible. Are you happy with how "In Therapy" turned out? As happy as I could be. The album was recorded a year ago and I still listen to it pretty much every day. If I had grown tired of the album, then maybe something was missing. It was important to give the vocals enough room to shine and I think this was achieved. It was also important to have enough content so that people kept hearing new sounds or melodies - if you choose to. Musically it is not too imposing, although still layered. I am also glad that all effects were done on guitar rather than keyboards (apart from the very end of the album). It somehow makes it purer. I wouldn't pin you down as being a metal act - but this is a metal site after all, so what do you think of the current metal scene as you know it? I don't think too much of what is going on but that doesn't mean anything is shit. I prefer my older collection. Personally, I have not heard a death metal album for a long time that comes close to Clandestine[/b] by Entombed. I have not heard black metal lately (probably apart from Thorns & a couple of others) that have matched listening to Pure Holocaust by Immortal or Darkthrone albums. It's probably more ignorance on my part but nostalgia prevails always. It becomes harder to be won over as the essentialism of music in life doesn't hold the same moulding effect. Who's the bloke on the cover of In Therapy? He doesn't look well... That's Alan, the singer, & he ain't well. That was taken at his house by us. It just seemed appropriate. It wasn't taken especially for the cover though, it was just that it captured the moment. What's been the highlight of THINE's career so far? Getting ourselves into a position where we could play with bands that, only a few years before, we were listenting to at home and dreaming about sharing a stage with. It is the ambition of a giddy child. Any live plans for the band in the upcoming months? Nothing is set but we'll start off soon with some UK shows and see where we end up. Finally, what would you like to tell the UM masses about THINE? Thine exists. Listen if you want. www.thine-online.com www.peaceville.co.uk In Therapy is in stores now.