Holy smokes! ALARM’s fan-boy meter is registering off the charts, and for good reason: hardcore quartet Converge is covering Entombed’s classic “Wolverine Blues” on a new seven-inch split with pioneering grindcore outfit Napalm Death. And it gets better, because the cover includes guests in the form of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear), Aaron Turner (Split Cranium, Mamiffer, ex-Isis), and members of The Hope Conspiracy and Trap Them. Calling it “epic” seems like an understatement.
In June of 2010, post-metal quintet Isis called it quits following a farewell tour. The LA band was one year removed from its final studio release, Wavering Radiant, and feeling that it didn’t want to “push past the point of a dignified death,” its members parted ways right before the release of a split EP with Melvins.
Now the band is giving wistful fans another taste of its melodic sludge rock. On May 31, Isis posthumously and digitally reissued the first of its five live album, which originally were released over the span of 2004 to 2009. The rest are being rolled out in two-week intervals, with the third becoming available this Tuesday, June 28. ALARM recently spoke to drummer Aaron Harris about the reissues, the band’s personal significance, and what the members have been doing since the breakup.
What was the catalyst in putting together the live album series?
We wanted to have something we could offer to the fans. We were getting a lot of live recordings coming in from fans that had been to our live shows, and it was just starting to pile up, and we figured we should do something with all these live recordings. So we started sifting through them and figured that we would do a little live series, release it ourselves, sell it at our shows, and make it a limited, special thing.
We did small runs of them, and once they were gone, they were gone. Recently, we decided that we would make them available digitally and reissue them. So that’s what we’re doing now. They’re digital reissues for people that weren’t able to get copies the first time. It’s just kind of a cool idea to strengthen the fan/band bond, something between us and the fans.
What do you miss about touring and playing with Isis?
The thrill and the energy of playing live. I don’t know if it can be replaced by anything else. There’s something special about touring and visiting your favorite cities and playing shows in some of your favorite spots and getting to see old friends. It’s something I’ve done since I was a teenager, so it was part of my life, and I guess, in a sense, it’s part of me, and it’s not there anymore. So I definitely miss it.
You never thought it could happen in your wildest drone-metal dreams, but it has: noise honchos Ted Parsons (Swans, Jesu, Godflesh), Aiden Baker (Nadja), and Colin Marston (Krallice) have joined James Blackshaw (Current 93), Marissa Nadler, Vern Rumsey (Unwound), and many others to work with R. Loren of Pyramids in his collaborative project titled Sailors with Wax Wings.