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With already three albums under its belt (Strictly Diesel, The Height Of Callousness, and Self-Destructive Pattern), hundreds of thousands of records sold worldwide and experience sharing the stage with famous Slipknot, System of a Down, Sepultura, Disturbed it seems that Spineshank is heading straight for success in this tough music business that we call rock'n  roll!  These days, Spineshank is busy brewing its fourth album Anger Denial Acceptance.  If all goes well, it should hit the selves in early 2012.  To give its fan an idea of what they are in for, the title track is being unveiled at RevolverMag.com.  Guitarist Mike Sarkisyan has kindly accepted to answer RockSource360's questions.  For more info on thi sband, visit http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/Spineshank/

Interview by: Valerie Bastien

Valerie: Spineshank is an alternative metal band.  Tell me what is unique about your band and its music. 

I think the most unique thing about this band is that we are honest with ourselves and our music.  We don’t try to be something we’re not. We take chances with our music and you can always bet on us pushing ourselves to do something different from what we’ve done before.

Valerie: You have been lucky enough in the last few years to share the stage with Slipknot, System of a Down, Sepultura, Disturbed.  Explain which one of these bands is the best model for you musically speaking?

Mike: We respect each and everyone one of those bands, both musically and as people. You don’t get the kind of success and longevity that those bands have had by being mediocre and not taking chances.

Valerie: I have heard that you have been keeping yourself busy in the studio recording new music for your upcoming album Anger Denial Acceptance.  This will be your fifth album; explain how you have grown musically since Self-Destructive Pattern.

Mike: I think the biggest difference in making this record was that it was done by us from the writing stage all the way to tracking. We didn’t have a label rep up our asses all the time and we just kind of had the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted and how we wanted.  Musically, it’s light years ahead of what SDP was, as it should be. We all have grown as writers and performers, and we’ve gotten better at expressing ourselves in our music.

Valerie: We are doing this interview to celebrate the releasing of the first single and title track; tell me about the song Anger Denial Acceptance and why you felt it was a perfect fit to name the whole album after it.

Mike: That song was like my “baby” on this record.  I had come up with the skeleton of it before bringing it up to the guys.  I had a pretty clear idea of where it needed to be musically.  Those three words just kept ringing in my head the whole time I was putting this together.  It’s some of the stages of dealing with loss.  Any kind of loss.  It was the first time that me, Tommy and Jonny collaborated on lyrics.  It sort of became the centerpiece of the record and although it’s not a full concept album, the album does tie together in more ways than one.  And it’s not structured like a basic song either.  It’s not that “verse/chorus/verse…..” thing.  It has three distinct and different parts that sorta tie in together and represent ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE. I’m super happy with the way it came out and am very proud of it.

Valerie: What song is the heaviest and what is it about?

Mike: Wow, I haven’t really thought about this. After The End is pretty fucking heavy; the title is pretty self explanatory. There’s a song called I Am Damage that’s basically two and a half minutes of bashing your head in.  There’s another one called Everything Everyone Everywhere Ends that has some of the heaviest and also the darkest sounding things that we have put to tape EVER.  Overall, if I had one word to describe this record it would be DARK!

Valerie: Are there any surprises on the album that fans will be happy to discover?

Mike: There are many. As I’ve said before, we took chances and pushed ourselves beyond even what we thought we were capable of.  And it shows.

Valerie: Tell me about another song where you dared to try something different to challenge yourself musically.

Mike: The first thing that comes to mind is, using a DUDUK, which is an old Armenian woodwind/flute type of instrument.  It is the saddest, darkest sounding thing that I’ve ever heard. I’ve always wanted to use that and vowed to use it on this record.  I don’t think it’s ever been used in a metal song and just hearing it in there still gives me goose bumps to this day.

Valerie: Are there any ballads on this song to appeal to your female audience and if not, is this a concern to you?

Mike: There are plenty of songs for all the females.  We don’t make records or write songs for a specific gender.  I believe that everyone can relate to this record.  Everyone has experienced some kind of a loss and that’s basically what this record deals with: the different stages of dealing with loss.

Valerie: Spineshank is currently looking for a record label; what is on your “Must Have” priority list?  With that in mind, when do you hope to be able to release Anger Denial Acceptance?

Mike: A label that cares about this record and understands this band.

Valerie: Where and when should we be able to hear your music and see you play live?

Mike: Hopefully the record will be out early 2012, with a full blown world tour to follow.

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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