Five Questions With This Will Destroy You Guitarist Chris King.
This Will Destroy You isn’t the band it used to be — and that’s literally true, actually.
After the swirling, often doomy instrumental outfit formed in San Marcos in 2005 and earned near-immediate acclaim for its debut 2006 Young Mountain EP and follow-up 2008, self-titled LP, founding members Raymond Brown (academic pursuits) and Andrew Miller (creative differences) split from the group, leaving guitarists Jeremy Galindo and Chris King as the band’s sole original members.
But Galindo and King continued to press on, bringing two Dallas-based musicians — bassist and keyboardist Donovan Jones and drummer Alex Bhore — in to fill the void. And thank goodness for that: In the wake of Jones and Bhore joining the band, the four-piece has gone on to earn only greater acclaim, accomplished the kinds of feats most acts only dream about.
Since 2009, This Will Destroy You has: toured Europe multiple times; opened a 10-date stateside stint for the Deftones; toured Asia and Australia; seen its song “The Mighty Rio Grande” dramatically score the 2011 Brad Pitt film, Moneyball; darkened its sound for 2011’s Tunnel Blanket; and, most recently, recorded and pressed a live album of the band performing a set in Reykjavik, Iceland.
It’s a lot, to be sure. So, in advance of the semi-local band’s performance tonight at Sons of Hermann Hall as part of the Dallas Red Bull Sound Select series alongside fellow North Texas-based acts Botany and New Fumes, we figured it was about time to play some catch-up with the band.
Thankfully, King was happy to oblige our request.
One of the bigger shows I know you all recently played was Riot Fest out in Denver. How’d that go? Did you get to check out some of the bigger names on the bill (Replacements, Iggy & The Stooges, etc.)? What was that experience like?
There are always up and downs with playing an outdoor fest. Playing in the middle of the day can feel very strange, but the reception was great and everyone working there were on point and on top of it. The highlight of the weekend was me and Dono having some really, really weird conversations with the guys from the Stooges. If I told you what we talked about out of context, it would make absolutely no sense at all.
Before Riot Fest, you guys toured Asia and Australia. I know you’d toured Europe before. How did this tour compare to previous international ones?
We have great people working for us in Australia — Tom at Hobbledehoy Records, especially — so the tour there was short and sweet. Turnout was excellent and travel was low-key. People there are so friendly. It’s like a more pleasant, sunny U.K. Asia was quite an adventure in the best way possible. Shows were promoted well, and the crowds were beyond respectful and eager to listen. China is such a trip. So many wild stories and learning experiences from it being our first time over there. I feel, with the growth over there and the response from the tour, Asia is going to be a good market for us in the future — probably more so than Europe at this point.
Speaking of touring Europe: What can you tell me about the new live album from Iceland? How did that come to be?
We played at this amazing concert hall in Reykjavik called Harpa that was put on by the folks that run Icelandic Airwaves. The architecture looks like an alien space craft, and the acoustics inside the concert hall were outstanding. So we were lucky enough to get multi-tracked live stems from the show, and just ended up going into the studio and doing some mixing to get it to the final product. The CD and three LP versions will be available at the show tonight. Anybody going to the show tonight have the first dibs on grabbing the live record.
It’s been two years now since the release of Tunnel Blanket. Is the band currently writing or recording any new material? Anything you can update us on in that regard?
We have been doing scoring and other band-related releases in the past couple years, but the new record is coming along. We just spent four days doing some initial tracking and demoing here in Dallas at Elmwood Studio.
Any last words on tonight’s show? Sons should make for an especially cool environment. I assume you’ve maybe caught some shows there, but have y’all ever played that room before?
I’m excited to play Sons of Hermann Hall. I’ve heard great things about the space. It’s a solid lineup with Botany and New Fumes, too, so it should be a great evening of music. And its $3. Can’t beat that.
This Will Destroy You performs with Botany and New Fumes at Sons of Hermann Hall tonight as part Dallas’ ongoing Red Bull Sound Select Series. Tickets are $3 and available only at the door. Attendees who have already purchased tickets to this weekend’s Index Festival will be admitted for free and can pick up their weekend wristband’s tonight, too.