THY WILL BE DONE - Sanctified Subversion

September 6, 2009, 9 years ago

Aaron Small

feature thy will be done

Having spent the summer on the road in North America as part of the Thrash and Burn Tour, THY WILL BE DONE is currently playing shows in Europe. All this activity is in support of their expertly crafted new album, In Ancient Of Days.

Since the release of the debut disc, Was And Is To Come, in 2007, lead guitarist Chris Drapeau has replaced Rob Gill due to required touring commitments. Going into their sophomore CD, Thy Will Be Done aimed to write music the band wanted to hear themselves. “That’s exactly what it was,” confirms vocalist J. Costa. “There are too many bands that sound the same. We want to hold true to our heavy metal roots.” Furthermore, significant emphasis was placed on the multi-layering of both music and lyrics so that it wouldn’t be strictly one-dimensional. “That was very important to us. No disrespect to anyone, but for me personally, I miss music that has substance.”

‘Mourning Without The Sun’ is a perfect example of Thy Will Be Done’s sonic plurality. “There’s a lot that inspired that song,” admits J. “It stems from what my mantra ended up being. I was going through a really tough period in life; there was a lot going on and a lot of pressure. It’s about that morning you wake up and ask yourself, what did I do wrong? Why are all these terrible things happening right now? It’s about the realization that there is a balance in the universe – there’s good and there’s bad. If you can easily accept the good times and the great times, you should be able to accept the bad times with open arms too. Otherwise, it’s all one-sided and we lose our perspective on things. It’s about understanding that it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It’s not bad karma. It just means there’s a balance. You have to accept it and deal with it. It’s how you get through it that makes a difference at the end of the day.”

Given the lyrics, “those that plow iniquity, forever the first to deceive, so quick to take what’s given, turn their backs when evil’s received,” ‘Mourning Without The Sun’ seems to be sharply focused. “Certain people take things for granted. Until the day they die, iniquity’s their name. They do everything wrong or improper or immoral. Maybe they don’t see it that way? They’re just doing what they have to in order to get what they want. For me personally, I feel that’s selfish and one-sided. I can drum up inspiration by thinking of certain scenarios and individuals. With that song, no matter how difficult it gets… there’s always an upswing. No matter what hand we’re dealt, we have to make the best of it. During that time when everything sucks, you have to work extra hard – not to sound cliché – to find that silver lining. We’re all guilty of it. When things are great, nothing can break our stride. But the moment something goes wrong, it feels like everything is falling apart. That’s one of the most human things ever so I had to address it. Ironically enough, right before the record came out, I lost both of my grandparents. Honestly, that song ended up being more helpful to me than I thought it would be. I had no idea. So I’m grateful for that.”

For the recording of In Ancient Of Days, Thy Will Be Done pretty much repeated the steps taken on their debut. Jamey Jasta from HATEBREED and KINGDOM OF SORROW returned as executive producer while Zeuss (SHADOWS FALL) once again handled the production, engineering, mixing and mastering. Even the same facility, Planet Z Studios in Hadley, MA was utilized. “The chemistry really worked on the last record. Not only are these guys our friends, they’re really good at what they do. It just made sense. Zeuss is underrated. A lot of people say his production is hit or miss. I don’t think people really understand that Zeuss is one of those producers that doesn’t try and make a band sound any different than they do. He tries to capture the band as themselves. He doesn’t try and make them sound like another band. I think that’s where a lot of people get confused. Is his production hit or miss or are you trying to compare his production from album to album? ‘Cause that’s not how it’s going to be from band to band. Each band is individual and he treats it as such. I really like his style. I love working with him. Jamey was active at the tail end of it, right before we started mixing. He had some really great ideas that he threw out there. We had already worked on the arrangements ourselves, doing pre-production before going into the studio. Jamey came in with some suggestions that ended up working out very well. It was a nice group effort.”


The song ‘New World Idolatry’ contains the line, “my job does not define me.” A very bold statement; something a lot of people would agree with. “We’re a blue collar band; we’re working class too. When we’re not on the road, we’re working full time jobs. When we recorded both albums; we were working our full time jobs and going to the studio whenever we could to actually record. We spent more time at home than we wanted to last year. It was no one’s fault. It’s a tough economy and a tough industry right now, but things are balancing out. We took that time to write and it proved beneficial. But that line right there, it hits home with all of us and I’m glad it struck a chord with you too. We all have to survive. People see you at your day job and they think that’s where it ends. They don’t realize that you have this completely other lifestyle that you’re so passionate about, that you basically are sacrificing so much for – and it’s so under-appreciated.”

An exclusive version of In Ancient Of Days was released in Hot Topic stores only, containing the bonus track, ‘Becoming The Way’. “Hot Topic has been so good to us. They’re one of the few retailers that get it! They get a lot of crap. People say Hot Topic is fake punk rock or this or that. A lot of people throw them under the bus before they really understand. I think the other side of it too is, you have people who trash talk it, then they shop there to buy reissued t-shirts. In the States, I see them as a retailer who gets music and artists and understands how much passion there is behind it. So it only made sense to work with them. Any other retailer – I’m not going to mention names – it’s corporate to a tee. You’ve got to play ball and I understand that, but why not help out and do a little extra for a company that does a little extra for art and music? That’s the main thing. You go into Hot Topic to buy music and you end up talking music with anybody in there.”

In Ancient Of Days features a song dedicated to “all fallen soldiers and their families.” That song is ‘Ex Morte Vita’. Translated from Latin, it means Life From Death. “For anyone who’s willing to lay down their life for others, whose job places them in harm’s way. It’s not necessarily those individuals that are making the decisions. It’s not about choosing a side but creating something for those who no longer have a voice,” elaborates J. “They truly gave all they had. It’s such an unfortunate situation. We lost some friends. It’s not like we’re saying we’re anti-war or pro-war. It’s not about that. Obviously we wish we could live in a world where there was no war and there was peace 24/7. But it goes back to that balance thing. Unfortunately there never will be complete world peace. There will be battles and struggles. There are going to be those chosen few who will pick it up and go to do something I personally couldn’t do. They’re choosing a job that’s completely selfless. No matter what nation… it’s a tough subject.”

Just as Was And Is To Come contained quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in its booklet, In Ancient Of Days houses a famous quote from the late 18th/early 19th century originator of world literature, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It reads: “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.” “I love how you pick up on the quirks I throw in there! It makes it worthwhile,” enthuses J. “That one is really important to me. Looking at society, the economy, everything… a lot of times people think they’re experiencing freedom, but they’re not truly experiencing freedom. They’re not truly free because they’re bound to so many other things going on that they become slaves to everything – whether it’s money or possessions. Aside from people’s greed, which is the theme within that record – it’s definitely not a concept record but – the vibe we’re throwing out there was, you have an entire world of people that are just asleep and enslaved. The majority of them have no idea because they don’t really get to experience much freedom."

"I feel like I get to taste freedom more than say someone who’s working a nine to five job. Because I get to create and travel and make music, I get a different perspective on life than someone who’s obsessed with money and puts money first. They’re part of this social and economic structure that’s been set forth and perverted over time; it’s a warped perspective. People think they see it one way and that’s not exactly how it is. People are misinformed. We really can’t trust 90% of what we hear or see. Everything has an agenda or there’s a spin on it. People progressively more and more are taking less and less time to do any kind of research. People joke about Google-ing it, but even then, you go to Wikipedia and that changes every day. People can edit it themselves and put whatever they want in there. But there are a majority of people that will take it at face value and believe what they read. It’s a combination of all that. It’s a quest for knowledge and getting to the bottom of it – no matter what it is. It’s about understanding and not just accepting at face value.”

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