Matt McDonough – Drums
Billy Keeton – Vocals
Perry Stern – Bass
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Forget everything you’ve heard or anything you think you might know about Audiotopsy.
The quartet’s members—Billy Keeton [Vocals], Greg Tribbett [guitar], Matt McDonough [drums], and Perry Stern [bass]—would urge you to simply close your eyes, open your mind, and let their full-length debut, Natural Causes [Napalm Records], do the talking for them. Don’t worry. Their message will come across loud and clear in the music, because it’s defined. These four individuals knew exactly what they wanted to achieve when they converged.
“The focus was to write solid, hooky, big riff songs,” declares Greg. “We didn’t want to sound or look like every other band. It’s not supposed to be regular. We’re all building this vision together.”
Everything about the group’s genesis was natural. In July 2014, Greg and Matt hopped on the phone. The two hadn’t played together since Mudvayne’s last tour in 2009, but they both felt the urge to collaborate.
“We were sitting around like, ‘What are we doing? Let’s put a fucking band together!’,” recalls Greg. “I went to his house for a weekend, and we wrote seven songs in two days. There was a lot of energy and excitement. Music was just coming out of us like crazy. I brought up Billy to Matt. He was totally in.”
With a relationship dating back to Mudvayne’s early aughts tours with Skrape, Billy instantly jumped at the opportunity, bringing Perry along for the ride. “When I heard the first few songs, I just knew I needed to do it,” says the vocalist. “I made the decision to dive into this thing with them. I had been working with Perry on my solo material, so I brought him up. We all clicked from the first note.”
Maintaining their singular perspective, they self-produced what would become Natural Causes at Laud Productions, The Porch Studio in Florida with engineer Tim Laud. Merging intricate instrumentation with a seamless knack for melody, they conjured up a style as heavy as it is hypnotic.
“It’s a new direction and sound for Matt and me,” explains Greg. “It’s not as crazy as Mudvayne. It’s not Skrape. It’s something else. It’s some other energy. With every fucking thing I do, I want it to sound fresh. It wasn’t about copying anything. We got a vibe going. You could call it ‘Progressive Hard Rock’.”
The first single “The Calling” merges muscular guitars with a polyrhythmic drum snap and searing refrain. It stands emblematic of that personally patented approach.
“My first few writing sessions yielded some really cool things,” continues Billy. “Those guys would just hand me pieces of music. They would morph and change as we each put our touch on them. The song represents Audiotopsy being our calling. It’s abstract and up for interpretation, but for us, this is what we’re doing.”
Album opener “Headshot” pairs a slithering riff and steamrolling percussion with another anthemic punch. “Of those first seven, this was the last one we completed,” he remarks. “It’s from the point-of-view or the eyes of, not necessarily a soldier, but anybody who’s in battle and in the trenches. Metaphorically speaking, it’s life through the eyes of somebody fighting a battle.”
Then, there’s “Swim,” which illuminates another facet of Audiotopsy. The dramatic swing of the guitars mounts into a massive chorus that’s both pensive and powerful. “Greg handed me that music and said, ‘This has to be a homerun. Give me back something in 24 hours. I want to hear it’,” recalls Billy. “I made a session and sent it to them that night. They started calling me at 1am. What you hear is exactly what I wrote. It speaks for itself. The world just sucks right now. It’s that honest feeling.”
That honesty defines Audiotopsy and this entire chapter for its musicians. “I want people to realize this is a different band,” Greg leaves off. “This is not anything we’ve done prior. This group has the talent to do something that stands on its own. We want to save rock and roll.”
TOUR DATES Bandsintown