By Sarah Kitteringham
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski
CALGARY — Adolyne resides in an odd intersection of abrasive and gorgeous, of struggle and triumph, of intensely personal frustration channeled in a public sphere. Together for over a decade, the Saskatoon project is a labour of love that musically incites the uglier side of Amphetamine Reptile artists merged with the experimental soundscapes of Hydra Head Records artists. In practice, it’s an assault of noise, hardcore, and sludge that is cerebral, cohesive, and consistent. On their most recent offering, June 2015’s of ash/of shit/of shame, they deliver their strongest record to date, courtesy of what vocalist and guitarist Skot Hamilton (who doubles as bassist for noise mongers KEN mode) articulates as “a blind kamikaze-like dedication that I can’t entirely account for.” Due to the amorphous nature of their music, BeatRoute left Hamilton’s words as is for your interpretation.
BeatRoute: Adolyne has been together for a long time, but only recently your lineup was solidified. I’m curious about how, with the benefit of hindsight, you view the current incarnation of the band.
Skot Hamilton: Our state is bittersweet. I understand this to be a dubious claim, but after all this time we’re the band I wanted us to be in the first place, and that feels like a victory to realize, but a shame that the road needed to wind so excessively. We pissed away a ton of time as an ineffective democracy, our approach to creating was too polite, and I recognized that I didn’t have the patience for that approach. Ironically, I issued a series of statements of intent bordering on ultimatum that seems to have turned us in to a stronger unit rather than creating tension.
BR: Of Shit/Of Ash/Of Shame sounds like Adolyne’s most cohesive statement to date – it’s jarring and hideous, much like previous works, but it’s got some killer hooks that are agreeing with me in the right ways!
SH: The cohesion on our new record speaks again to the resolve that I don’t think was as potent in the past. I’m trying to avoid calling it “vision” for some stupid reason, but it’s the unfortunate truth, there’s a blind kamikaze-like dedication that I can’t entirely account for that I’m feeling very fortunate about in our ranks.
BR: Your song titles and lyrics are indicative of what seems like self-loathing and frustration. Is that frustration stemming from an artistic perspective, a psychological perspective, or elsewhere?
SH: The album themes were culled quite predominantly from a fiercely isolated time I spent trying to construct a valid argument to bother moving forward in any earthly capacity. Most of the time I would end up with a more passionate argument to the contrary. These negotiations are ongoing, and occasionally very heated. I don’t know that I will ever be philosophically at ease with life in the long term. The longer I fixate on it, the more preposterous it seems.
The compulsion to create has never hinged on the joy of creation for me; I’m not talented enough for that. It has more often resembled an awful psychic ache that comes on as a stifling inconvenience, and occasionally an outright adversary. The only governing principle I really used when sorting through the lyrics was that honesty would be paramount, no matter how weak or foolish or over-dramatic that made me feel. If they ended up being the last words I had in me then censoring myself because I was worried about dismissal or ridicule would have been an ultimate cowardice.
BR: Your upcoming tour sees you travel across Western Canada. What will you be bringing for merch? Do you have copies of your three albums (on CD or LP or tape)?
SH: We will be traveling with Of ash/… on limited “Ash Smeared Amber” wax and CD, as well as our previous releases on CD. We also have a handful of new shirts designed by myself and [his partner and artistic collaborator] Cate Francis that Cate hand screened.
See Adolyne on their Western Canadian tour in August. The band performs at Siksika Community Centre on August 17th, in Kamloops on August 18th at the Office, in Vancouver on August 20th at Studio Vostok, and in Calgary on August 21st at Broken City with Spurn and the Weir.AB, Adolyne, Alberta, BC, British Columbia, Broken City, Siksika Community Centre, Studio Vostok, The Office