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LAist Interview: Aaron Harris of ISIS

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Los Angeles-by-way-of-Boston quintet ISIS are the type of band that your mother warned you about. They emit a gargantuan, unwieldy sound that could easily impair your hearing. But after some twelve years of rocking out—or what drummer Aaron Harris simply refers to as "beating the shit out of their instruments"—they've created their own niche. The distinctively heavy tone that many have come to associate with the group has helped develop a new wave of metal bands, including the likes of Cult of Luna, Pelican and Russian Circles. So it should come as no surprise that their fifth, hotly anticipated record entitled Wavering Radiant has found Isis in a fairly comfortable position, doing what they've known best the only way they know how to do it.

LAist: For starters, what's going on with the band?

AH: We're all done with the new record and we released the name of the record; It's called Wavering Radiant. We're just kind of in a weird in-between phase right now where the record is done and it's in the label's hands. It's due out May 5th on CD and the vinyl will come out April 21st, a couple weeks ahead of time. We're going to hit the road mid-May, planning that right now. We always try to put together an interesting bill.

LAist: And Adam Jones (of Tool) played a bit on the new record?

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AH: Yeah, he plays on the first song and also on a segue-type thing that we did.

LAist: How did you guys meet?

AH: We had met Justin, the bass player, first. He had heard of us through his brother. At the time, he was working for Polydor Records in the UK. When we were on tour with Mogwai he used to come out. And I think maybe Buzz from the Melvins gave him a CD. I believe the first time we met Adam he came to a show at the Troubadour. Then we toured with Tool and just became friends.

LAist: Where did you record?

AH: We recorded the drums at Sound City in Van Nuys, which has a huge drum room—It's where Nirvana recorded Nevermind. That record was of major significance to me while I was growing up. It was pretty strange to be tracking drums at the same place they recorded that album. And then we did all the rest, guitars, vocals and mixing, in Joe Barresi's studio in Pasadena.