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Abnormal Thought Patterns Talks New Album "Altered States Of Consciousness"

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Band Photo: Abnormal Thought Patterns (?)

Instru-metal lovers mark your calendars: the U.S. wizards of instrumental metal will help you reach "Altered States of Consciousness" next month with a new full-length album release.

Breaking out of its typical comfort zone, the band actually brings on vocals on one track this time around with a guest spot by none other than Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried and Me (who also goes by Thomas Giles in his solo material).

If you need an Abnormal Thought Patterns fix before the album drops, check out our interview below with guitarist Jasun Tipton, who discusses the album's guest spots, writing compelling instrumental music, and the current status of related band Cynthesis.

xFiruath: It's been awhile since we heard from Abnormal Thought Patterns – what's been happening with the group in between “Manipulation Under Anesthesia” and “Altered States of Consciousness?”

Jasun: The band stayed pretty busy jamming out and creating "Altered States of Consciousness." Just before hitting the road with Into Eternity we brought in guitarist Jason Montero into the group. He's an awesome addition to Abnormal Thought Patterns. After touring and playing some additional shows we just went back into the studio to write "Altered States of Consciousness."

xFiruath: There are quite a few high-profile guest musicians on this new album, which definitely piqued my interest, especially with the weird proggy Tommy Rogers solo stuff out now. Were these in-studio or long distance collaborations, and what did the various guests bring to the table for the new album?

Jasun: All of the guest musicians were long distance collaborations. Luckily we're able to do this with today's technology. We're so stoked to have these five amazingly talented musicians on "Altered States of Consciousness.” My brother contacted Stefan (Lifeforce Records owner) and asked if he could get us in contact with Tommy Rogers. We're HUGE fans of Tommy and Between The Buried and Me. The band was prepared that more than likely Tommy wouldn't be available due to his extremely busy schedule. Stefan came back with an email letting us know Tommy was interested. We were beside ourselves as we always pictured Tommy's vocals and writing style over the jam. It was written with him in mind. We sent Tommy an email of the song and we wrote how we totally dig his writing and vocals.

He wrote back saying he's excited to be part of it and that he's a fan of our Former band Zero Hour. Obviously we were beyond STOKED for so many reasons. Right away Tommy had some ideas as he wanted to change up the song structure a little bit. Troy had some ideas as well and it all came together. Tommy literally wrote and recorded the jam in three weeks. We didn't have to make any changes what so ever. Tommy is the real deal and such an amazing person to work with.

A dream came true for my brother Troy as we had two of his bass heroes hit out some solos on "Synesthesia." Michael Manring and John Onder are Troy's biggest influences on bass. They're playing speaks for itself and not only are they amazing bass players, they're some of the coolest cats you can ever chat with. On the instrumental version of "Nocturnal Haven" we had the amazing guitar talents of Jeff Loomis and Tim Roth. Jeff is truly the new guitar hero for so many. After Jason Becker and Marty Friedman, Jeff has kept the shred flag strongly waving with his amazing playing. He's been around for awhile but is still so current in the guitar world. He's a really good guy and such a beast of a player. I'm proud to say I have a great friend in Tim Roth. He's an outstanding guitar player and writer. He's one of the best guys in the music and has always looked out for my brother and I. He took us out on the road with his group Into Eternity in 2013 to help us support our release "Manipulation Under Anesthesia." He did an absolutely beautiful piece for "Nocturnal Haven." I can't say enough about all these guys. They're contributions were huge.

xFiruath: The title “Altered States of Consciousness” definitely creates an expectation that this will be a mind-fuck of an album. How would you describe the sound this time around, and what's changed from previous releases?

Jasun: Right after finishing the MUA material, I started seeking out inspiration on how to better my writing and playing. I got an 8 string and worked a little different writing style for myself. Start to finish "Altered States of Consciousness" is exactly what we wanted to create. To be honest my brain is still a little distorted with all we had to do in regards to putting the material together. This material pushed me with my writing and playing like no other. It was a process and we didn't settle on any of the material.

xFiruath: Who handled the artwork and what's going on in the symbolism?

Jasun: Erick "Wurm" Pollard did an amazing job capturing the visual side of "Altered States of Consciousness." The symbolism from the artwork definitely captures a condition that's significantly different from a normal waking beta wave state.

xFiruath: As an instrumental band (with the exception of the vocals on “Nocturnal Haven”) there isn't a traditional story, but is there a particular theme or idea being conveyed through the music beyond just guitar chords?

Jasun: We write music that sounds appealing to our ears. There's no set plans in the writing process because your emotions change all the time. When something vibes and sounds right to your ears, you follow down that path. I can tell you we didn't settle and leave something that didn't belong in "Altered States of Consciousness.”

xFiruath: What's going on with Cynthesis these days, and do any of the Abnormal Thought Patterns guys have any other projects going on right now?

Jasun: Erik is recording the vocals for the new Cynthesis. He has 3 of the 4 songs finished. I finished the guitars and keys to that material like 4 years ago. Once Erik finishes his tracks, Sean will go in and track the drums with Troy to follow on bass. No other projects going on with everyone else in the band.

xFiruath: With Summer on the horizon, what's the best alcoholic brew for a hot night rocking out to the new ATP album?

Jasun: For me it would be a couple Jupiler's. It's amazing beer made out of Belgium. I look forward to having a couple in October. We're confirmed to play Progpower Europe in October. We so dig the new material and look forward to playing out live.

xFiruath: What's the best show you've seen lately and what set it apart?

Jasun: I saw Meshuggah and Between The Buried and Me in San Francisco and it was a ass-kicking show start to finish. It was just one of those shows that reinforced your love for metal music. I felt music euphoria that night.

xFiruath: What else is happening in metal releases that's got you excited?

Jasun: The new Steven Wilson disc is amazing. I'm eager to hear the new Between the Buried and Me disc. I saw somewhere that Meshuggah has plans for a new album later this year. I'm super pumped about it.

xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to say?

Jasun: Thank you very much for spreading the word about us to your readers. You can stay updated with Abnormal Thought Patterns at our website and Facebook profile.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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1 Comment on "Abnormal Thought Patterns Talks New Album"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Troy Tennard writes:

Thanks for the interview with Jason Tipton, an amazing guitarist and songwriter. Looking forward to the new ATP and Cynthesis cds!

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