From: Boston, MA, United States
Last Known Status: Active
Isis is a doom-fusion group from Los Angeles, CA (US). They have borrowed from and helped to evolve a sound pioneered by the likes of Neurosis and Godflesh, creating heavy music consisting of lengthy songs that focus on repetition and evolution of structure. As such, a great range of musical labels are used to describe their sound, including avant-garde metal, post-metal and experimental rock.
Several sessions of experimentation in origin town Boston, Massachusetts led friends Aaron Turner (guitar/vocals; also the owner of Hydra Head Records and its subsidiary, HH Noise Industries), Jeff Caxide (bass guitar), Chris Mereschuk (electronics/vocals) and Aaron Harris (drums) to form Isis in late 1997. As Turner states, "Isis formed as a result of the dissatisfaction with past bands of the founding members [Aaron Harris, Jeff Caxide, Aaron Turner, and Chris Mereschuk]. None of us were happy with what we were doing musically at the time, two of us lived together, we had similar tastes and similar record collections." Isis released a demo and their first EP, Mosquito Control, in 1998, with this line-up. After an East Coast tour in the summer of 1998 where they were joined by Randy Larsen of Cable on guitar, Mereschuk left the band. Jay Randall (now of Agoraphobic Nosebleed) soon replaced him, working on Red Sea (1999). However, his stay would not last; this ultimately led to the addition of Bryant Clifford Meyer of The Gersch as well as former Cast Iron Hike guitarist Mike Gallagher in 1999. After releasing their debut full-length entitled Celestial and its sister EP, SGNL>05 (on Neurot Recordings), in 2000, Isis gained national underground attention in the metal/hardcore scene through tours with Cave In and Neurosis.
Turner has gone on record saying "I like the idea of preserving at least a little shred of mystery and making the band to be more an entity—without hopefully sounding too pretentious — as a work of art [than a traditional rock band]".There is a definite attitude that art and music are interchangeable and synonymous to the band; he feels that "the songwriting and the artwork come from the same place".This logic relates to visual and aural aspects as well as overt intellectualisation, through literary references and driving philosophies.Books such as Don Quixote, House of Leaves, Labyrinths and the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham all play a role in shaping the themes of Isis' releases.
There is an overt intention of progressing heavy music present in Isis' output; a desire to further the intellectual cause that pushes them forward.This is evident within the clear progression of their sound from release to release, their influence on heavy music, and their acceptance in art circles where other metal bands are not so readily embraced. Their stated goal is "not to break away from the scene that [they] came from, but to expand upon it". Publications such as Terrorizer attest to how Turner has completed his goal, explaining that "Aaron Turner has loosened hardcore from its geographical roots, and in the process created an intimate, yet immeasurable vision all of his own". Turner has complained that "metal in general has long been unjustly maligned as solely the province of knuckle-dragging meatheads...That said, there's never been a group of musicians like there is now, who are helping to advance the form."
Latest Isis News
Below is our complete Isis news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Post-metal icons ISIS have been confirmed as the headliner of the Friday Roadburn Festival date — April 18, 2008 — at the 013 Club in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Currently celebrating their 10th anniversary as a band, the Boston-to-Los Angeles transplants will help fans take part in their milestone anniversary by releasing their entire catalog in one deluxe 12 vinyl-LP box set, and their headlining slot at Roadburn 2008.
Throughout the years, ISIS have maintained their position in the vanguard of post-metal by consistently exploding the idiomatic strictures that have defined heavy music with each successive release. Roadburn reveres ISIS and feel they warrant discussion alongside such established pioneers as NEUROSIS and CELTIC FROST.
Roadburn Festival organizers have also announced that Swiss post-metal stalwarts KRUGER will play the Saturday Roadburn date — April 19, 2008.
The 13th annual Roadburn Festival will take place April 18-19, 2008. Also scheduled to appear on the Friday Roadburn date are WITCHCRAFT, TONY MCPHEE'S GROUNDHOGS, BABY WOODROSE, DANAVA, MOS GENERATOR, BLOOD OF THE SUN, GENTLEMAN'S PISTOLS, LA IRA DE DIOS, ZONE SIX and CHURCH OF MISERY, among others.
Seminal avant-garde/metal pioneers CELTIC FROST are confirmed as the main headliners, playing Saturday, April 19, 2008. YEAR OF NO LIGHT, ELECTRIC WIZARD, CULT OF LUNA, ACID MOTHERS GURU, THE HEADS, KONGH, LESBIAN, MY SLEEPING KARMA, ELECTRIC ORANGE and NADJA, amongst others, will also play the Saturday Roadburn date.
There will also be two additional dates added to Roadburn 2008: Thursday, April 17 [Roadburn's Pre-heat], and Sunday, April 20 [Roadburn's Afterburner — Kentucky's THE GLASSPACK will play an exclusive show, making their European debut]. The Roadburn Festival is currently talking to David Tibet/CURRENT 93 about a very special curated evening at the festival's main-hall on the Sunday, April, 2008. More info will follow shortly.
Originally a spin-off of the Roadburn web site, the Roadburn Festival has emerged as an event in its own right — it was even nominated for the prestigious "Festival Of The Year" award in the Netherlands this year. Roadburn brings together bands, fans and media from around the world. Despite its international acclaim, Roadburn retains an underground vibe and ethics, but with seriously big-league production values.
Friday, November 16th - Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Friday, November 23rd - Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne
Friday, November 30th - Bar Broadway, Sydney
Saturday, December 1st - The Zoo, Brisbane
'(Re)capitulate' was recorded at the hi-fi bar in Melbourne during the band's tour with Isis and These Arms Are Snakes. Of the promotional single for the album, Laura said "you may download it from our website or get a loaner of it here. take it. we want you to have it. eat, eat, you're skin and bones."
US metallers ISIS check in with the following:
"That's right we've got the official itinerary for our 10 Year Anniversary Shows so head for the oceans - although we're still not quite sure of the set list, it will be sure to include something for kids of all ages...
1 - New York, NY at The Fillmore (with Oxbow, 27)
2 - Philadelphia, PA at the Trocadero Theater (with Oxbow, 27)
3 - Cambridge, MA at The Middle East (Downstairs) (with Oxbow, 27)
4 - Cambridge, MA at The Middle East (Downstairs) (with Clouds, 27)
14 - Seattle, WA at Neumo's (with These Arms Are Snakes, 27)
15 - Vancouver, BC at Richards on Richards (with These Arms Are Snakes, 27)
16 - Portland, OR at The Hawthorne Theater (with 27, TBA)
18 - San Francisco, CA at Slim's (with Big Business, 27)
20 - Los Angeles, CA at The Troubadour (with Big Business, 27)
The next day, November 21st, will see the release of the first of two singles from In The Absence Of Truth. 'Holy Tears', the first single, also includes a live version recorded during last fall's tour with TOOL, a video directed by Dominic Hailstone (Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Eel), and a LUSTMORD/ MELVINS remix of 'Not In Rivers, But In Drops'.
The second single, 'Not In Rivers, But In Drops', has a January release date and will also feature a live version, video, and 'Holy Tears' remix."
Stay tuned for further updates.
June 11th American metal band Isis will perform at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Their entire concert will be webcast live, in video and audio, on online-concert-channel Fabchannel.com. The webcast starts at 20:30 CET. Afterwards the concert will be included to the online video archive at fabchannel.com. Live as well as on demand the Isis concert is free for everybody to watch.
The 2007 Tuska Open Air Festival is scheduled for June 29th - July st at Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki, Finland. ISIS, MISERY INDEX, THUNDERSTONE, TURISAS, PROFANE OMEN are the latest acts confirmed.
Acts on the bill now include: More...
The impending permits/visas finally cleared for Jesu this week; the unforeseen backlog at the U.S embassy in London had somewhat reduced enabling the band to be interviewed and be issued their work permits/visas.
This means that Jesu will perform its first live show in the U.S this Sunday, March 11th in Washington DC at the 9.30 Club and will complete the rest of the tour with ISIS from there on in, performing at the Hydra Head Showcase at SXSW, Austin, Texas on the 15th March along the way.
"Many thanks for your patience and huge apologies to those that missed Jesu at earlier shows due to these unforeseen circumstances. A Jesu headline tour of the U.S over the next 9 - 12 months will hopefully compensate somewhat, especially since Jesu now have permits/visas for 12 months!" explains the label.
Here is the full list of shows where Jesu will now perform in the U.S.:
3/11 930 Club Washington DC - w/ Isis, Torche
3/12 DAY OFF DAY OFF -
3/13 Theatre of Living Arts Philadelphia PA - w/ Isis, Torche
3/14 Irving Plaza New York NY - w/ Isis, Torche
3/15 Emo’s Annex Austin TX - SXSW
3/16 DAY OFF DAY OFF -
3/17 (d) The Middle East - Downstairs Cambridge MA - W/ Isis, Zozobra
3/18 Theatre National Montreal QC - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/19 Barrymore’s Ottawa ON - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/20 Opera House Toronto ON - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/21 St Andrews Hall Detroit MI - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/22 Metro Chicago IL - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/23 DAY OFF -
3/24 DAY OFF -
3/25 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis MN - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/26 The Picador Iowa City IA - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/27 Granada Theatre Lawrence KS - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/28 Marquis Theater Denver CO - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/29 DAY OFF DAY OFF -
3/30 In The Venue Salt Lake City UT - w/ Isis, Zozobra
3/31 DAY OFF DAY OFF -
4/1 The Big Easy Boise ID - w/ Isis, Zozobra
4/2 The Big Easy Spokane WA - w/ Isis, Zozobra
4/3 Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room Seattle WA - W/ Isis, Zozobra
4/4 Hawthorne Theatre Portland OR - w/ Isis, Zozobra
4/5 DAY OFF -
4/6 Bimbo’s 365 Club San Francisco CA - w/ Isis, Zozobra
4/7 Downtown Brew San Luis Obispo CA - w/ Isis, Zozobra
4/8 Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles CA - w/ Isis, Zozobra
Goodfellow recording artists INTRONAUT have been added to some additional dates on the current ISIS US tour. The band will now continue on the tour until the March 10th show in Richmond, VA. All shows are listed below.
INTRONAUT w/ ISIS
Mar 02 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
Mar 03 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree Lounge
Mar 05 Orlando, FL @ The Social
Mar 06 Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds
Mar 08 Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
Mar 09 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
Mar 10 Richmond, VA @ Alley Katz
Intronaut was originally brought on to the tour to replace Jesu for initial dates since they were delayed entry to the country.
Since Jesu is not in the country just yet, Goodfellow recording artists INTRONAUT have been asked to fill in for them on the the following dates of the ISIS tour, commencing today.
Here are those INTRONAUT tour dates:
2.22.07 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah (w/ ISIS, OXBOW)
2.23.07 Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse (w/ ISIS, OXBOW)
2.24.07 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad (w/ ISIS, OXBOW)
2.26.07 Oklahoma City, OK @ Conservatory (w/ ISIS, TORCHE)
2.27.07 Fort Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater (w/ ISIS, TORCHE)
2.28.07 Austin, TX @ Emo's (w/ ISIS, TORCHE)
3.01.07 Houston, TX @ Numbers (w/ ISIS, TORCHE)
One or two more shows may be added to this in the days to come.
As previously reported, when JESU does officially join the tour, INTRONAUT member Danny Walker will replace the band's regular drummer Ted Parsons for the remainderof the tour.
Jesu are still stuck in England and will not be playing the Spaceland, L.A headline/release party. Work permits for Jesu have still not been cleared by U.S officials/customs and the band are not allowed into the U.S until the permits are officially cleared. The band are yet to receive a date of clearance and simply have to wait until they do so before entering the U.S, hence Jesu will not be appearing at any shows with ISIS until the permits are available and Jesu can leave England.
"Hopefully the band will not miss more than the first week of this tour, being the bands first tour of the U.S.," comments Hydrahead.
In related Jesu live line up news, Jesu bass player Diarmuid Dalton will not be playing any of the U.S dates due to being refused a work permit for the U.S for this tour. Diarmuid has been replaced for this tour by long time collaborator (and fellow Birmingham, England native) bass player Dave Cochrane (Justin and Dave played together in Head Of David, Sweet Tooth, Ice, God and now their new project together GREY MACHINE).
Drummer Ted Parsons has also been unable to make this first Jesu U.S tour due to family commitments and has been replaced by drummer Danny Walker, a Los Angeles native who plays for many bands including Intronaut.
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES have landed in Japan with friends ISIS to begin their Japan and Australia tour in support of Easter. Here are the tour dates:
1/29 - 2/1 Japan Tour with Isis and Boris
2/3 - 2/7 Australia Tour with Isis
01/29/2007 Tokyo Japan @ Club Quattro - Tokyo
01/30/2007 Nagoya Japan @ Club Quattro - Nagoya
01/31/2007 Osaka Japan @ Club Quattro - Osaka
02/01/2007 Tokyo, Shibuya-ku Japan @ O-Nest
02/03/2007 Sydney, NSW Australia @ Metro - Sydney
02/04/2007 Melbourne Australia @ Hi-Fi
02/06/2007 Brisbane Australia @ Arena Brisbane
02/07/2007 Adelaide, SA Australia @ Fowlers Live
Tour dates have been announced for the upcoming Isis and Jesu tour in 2007. Additionally, Torche and Zozobra will appear on many of the dates. Here are the confirmed tour dates:
2/22 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
2/23 Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse
2/24 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
dates w/ Torche
2/26 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
2/27 Ft. Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater
2/28 Austin, TX @ Emo's
3/1 Houston, TX @ Numbers
3/2 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
3/3 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree Lounge
3/5 Orlando, FL @ The Social
3/8 Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
3/9 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
3/10 Richmond, VA @ Alley Katz
3/11 Washington DC @ 930 Club
3/13 Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
3/14 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
3/16 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East w/ Versoma
dates w/ Zozobra
3/17 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East
3/18 Montreal, CAN @ Theatre National
3/19 Ottawa, CAN @ Barrymore's
3/20 Toronto, CAN @ Opera House
3/22 Chicago, IL @ Metro
3/25 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
3/26 Iowa City, IA @ The Picador
3/27 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre
3/28 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
3/30 Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
4/3 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
4/6 San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo's
4/8 Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theatre
TV EYE DVD Magazine and Southern Lord Records will be putting on an event to celebrate the release of TV EYE's fourth installment, which features Sunn 0))), Isis, The Melvins, High on Fire and more. The event will feature a live performance by Sunn 0)))'s Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson alongside David Grubbs (Squirrel Bait, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol) as well as live DJ sets by Stephen O'Malley and his various cohorts.
The party will be happening Friday, November 3rd from 5-8PM at the Rockstar Bar in Brooklyn, NY. Admission and beer are free.
Isis have posted an update on their current happenings here. The group are set to release their new album "In The Absence of Truth" through Ipecac on October 31st and will also be touring the U.S. with Jesu from late February through to early April.
Justin K Broadrick will be performing with Sunn 0))) on their current U.K and Eire tour, here are the dates:
Fri 13th Oct 06 London - Hippodrome[Frieze]
Sun 15th Oct 06 Glasgow - ABC2
Mon 16th Oct 06 Belfast - Black Box
Tue 17th Oct 06 Dublin - Crawdaddy
Thu 19th Oct 06 Galway - Richards Bar
Fri 20th Oct 06 Cork - Cypress Avenue
Justin will also be performing as Final in England ; a one off headline on Nov 3rd 06 at The Cooler in Bristol, and supporting MONO [Japan] at The Corporation in Sheffield on Nov 7th 06.
Jesu WILL be touring the U.S.A with ISIS beginning late Feb ending early April 2007 in support of the 'Conqueror' album release in mid Feb 2007. The routing and dates are currently being finalized, and dates and details can be expected soon.
You can check out the front sleeve of the Jesu Aurora Borealis ltd 12" vinyl release - 'Sun Down' / 'Sun Rise', sleeve by Seldon Hunt. This is going to the manufacturers shortly, hopefully for an end of 2006 release.
The Jesu half of the split 12" with Eluvium on both Hydra Head and Temporary Residence is complete.
Also in the process is another Jesu split with Battle Of Mice to be released on Robotic Empire on limited 12" vinyl and limited CDep.
Justin in the Final guise is currently remixing [utilising guitar and processing only] Fear Falls Burning a project from Vidna Obmana for a vinyl box set remix release.
Robotic Empire and Neurot Recordings have teamed up to put together a CMJ Showcase this year at New York's Sin-é. It will take place on November 4th and will be starting promptly at 7:30 PM. Admission is only $10. Here's the lineup:
Made Out Of Babies
MGR (Mike Gallagher of ISIS)
Neurot Recordings instrumental act Red Sparowes have announced the dates for a UK tour in support of their new sophomore full length, Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun. The band includes members of Isis and Neurosis and previously made their debut with At the Soundless Dawn.
The Red Sparowes tour dates are as follows:
October 15, 2006 Exeter, UK @ The Cavern w/ Guapo
October 16, 2006 Birmingham, UK @ The Custard Factory w/ Una Corda
October 17, 2006 TBA, UK @ TBA
October 18, 2006 Glasgow, UK @ Barfly
October 19, 2006 Belfast, UK @ TBA
October 20, 2006 Dublin, UK @ The Village
October 21, 2006 Sheffield, UK @ Corporation w/ Una Corda
October 22, 2006 London, UK @ The Scala w/ Una Corda
October 23, 2006 Bristol, UK @The Croft
October 24, 2006 Southamptom, UK @Nexus w/ Ephel Duath, Tangaroa
October 25, 2006 Milton Keynes, UK @ The Pitz w/ Guapo
Ambient/electronic act Spylacopa has posted some new material. The band is led by John LaMacchia (Candiria) and includes Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato, Chris Hornbrook of Poison The Well and Jeff Caxide of Isis. You can check out the songs on their myspace page.
Experimental rockers Isis have announced the release dates for their new album, up-coming DVD and Isis/Aereogramme split CD. Isis, who were anticipating a lack of love from the crowds on their recently begun their tour with Tool, and have proclaimed the first show "better than we could have expected", thanking everyone who turned up for being early and enjoying the music. Isis are increasingly excited about the rest of the tour with Tool, which is "gonna be killer".
Isis' up-coming studio effort, "In The Absence Of Truth", is due to be released through Ipecac on Halloween this year. Front cover artwork for the album is available here. The new DVD, also through Ipecac, will precede the album with a September 26th release date. Artwork at this location. Finally, an Isis/Aereogramme split CD, entitled "In The Fishtank" is set to hit shelves sometime September this year, through Konkurrent. Artwork can be viewed here.
Berkeley based rock band, Kaura have been added to TOOL's Sacramento show on September 2nd with ISIS at the Sleep Train Amphitheater.
The band recently got back from traveling to India, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Bali, and Laos collecting instruments to incorporate into their melodic and epic rock sound. They documented the entire trip on video, which was recently released on DVD. A Perfect Circle's Paz Lenchantin played on the bands self-released EP last year and they are about to begin negotiations with record labels for the release of their first album. You can learn more about Kaura and hear their music at their MySpace page.
ISIS frontman Aaron Turner isn't stupid. He knows his band is certain to get booed by TOOL fans when ISIS head out on the road with Maynard James Keenan's collection of avant-metal cohorts. But that's not going to stop Turner from trying to open up a few minds.
"You're bound to have a larger meathead contingency in your audience when you open for a band as big as TOOL, and we're very aware of the fact that a good portion of the people at these shows will be bored to tears or perhaps even angry while we're playing," said Turner, who also owns Los Angeles-based Hydra Head Records. "There's also a good chance a lot of 'em won't even be there and will be finding their seats as we're finishing up our set. In one way, we're really excited about it, but in another way, we're realistic about it too.
"TOOL are definitely the biggest band we've ever toured with, but I don't feel like it's ultimately going to change things for us that much," he continued. "The hope is that we'll gain some new fans. But there's no delusions that by doing this tour we're going to come out on the other side being a much more popular band. Most smaller bands that open for a bigger band are likely to gain some new fans, but they're just as likely to be heckled off the stage."
ISIS — who got together more than eight years ago — are a monstrous, thick and spiritual assemblage of musical experimentalists whose sound contains elements of heavy metal, punk and hardcore. Their complex compositions make them a perfect fit for the TOOL trek, which winds down September 29 in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
"We've done tours with a wide array of bands with the intent of trying to capture a really eclectic audience," Turner said. "I think that any band that has a style even slightly outside the box or a little bit difficult in some way or another, those types of bands — which I see ISIS as being — are more likely to garner a really hard-core following, because it takes a person who's willing to dig beneath the surface to find out about these bands and get intimate with their music. That kind of listener's more prone to a more devoted, almost slavish obsession with a band."
While on the road with TOOL, ISIS will be promoting a pair of new releases: the band's debut DVD, "Clearing the Eye," which will be in stores September 26, and In the Absence of Truth, the follow-up to 2004's Panopticon, slated for release this Halloween. ("We picked a good date to release a heavy metal record, I guess," Turner laughed.) The DVD contains live footage the band started culling back in 2000. "It's the stuff we felt was most representative of us as a band and our evolution over the last few years," the singer said.
Releasing a provocative, cerebral metal album at this time is a smart move for ISIS. With records from MASTODON, SUNN 0))), BOTCH and THE MARS VOLTA (not a metal band, but certainly an outfit metalheads revere) on the not-so-distant horizon, Turner said he considers ISIS part of a movement, perhaps even a revival of progressive rock and metal.
"Metal has been alive and well in the underground forever, and occasionally it pops its head up into the mainstream," he said. "Right now is just one of those times when it's got some more mainstream visibility. We're not ashamed to take advantage of that. But that's not to say that we're compromising ourselves or doing things differently than we have in the past. This is what we like to do. If we can absorb some of the trickle-down from these other bigger bands that are getting noticed at the moment and turn new listeners on to what we're doing, we're certainly going to capitalize on that.
"We want to be the kind of band that demands a certain amount of attention to really grasp the full effect of what we're going for," he added. "The way we approach our writing and the way we record, we purposely bury a lot of elements deep in the mix, so it's like little subtleties and nuances that are unearthed after repeat listens."
After ISIS finish TOOL's North American trek, they'll probably head over to Europe with the band, again in a support role for a monthlong tour. Turner said ISIS also plan to travel to Japan and Australia for some live dates and are working on organizing a U.S. headlining run for either late fall or early 2007.
And believe it or not, ISIS may even have a new album already recorded, one that came together almost accidentally. The band has been rehearsing with Montreal producer/electronic musician Tim Hecker, who remixed several of ISIS' tracks for 2005's Oceanic: Remixes/Reinterpretations.
"We've been recording everything that we've been playing together," Turner said. "It was all largely improvised but based on some really basic premises and parameters. That might actually end up turning into another record for us."