HorrorInterviews

Interview: Ryan Policky of GENESSIER

Horror industrialists Genessier are renowned for the unrestrained terror experience that they deliver to their fans during live shows; think Skinny Puppy but even wilder. Their latest album Graces the Bone is a true stand out in the genre and they have scored the soundtrack for the slasher film Shovel which is currently making a dent in the horror community.

What was the driving inspiration behind the creation of Genessier?

The main idea was to create something fitting for a gore-filled haunted house or a poorly lit basement. Something that induces fear while still having bite. To take our years of working on a drone project and completely flip it to the opposite side. Personally, I am a huge fan of anything that can make you see an environment through its sonic layers. Genessier was to be that project.

Who are the band members and what are their roles?

Ryan – I am the guy who screams, programs, makes melodies and produces the final tracks.
Eddie – The one behind many of the samples, drones and modular synth tones.

What sort of musical training have the members of Genessier taken part in?

I’ve been in numerous projects since the late 90’s I was in a goth band in Denver named Pure Drama, learning to produce, sing and perform for numerous years through experience. This eventually led to projects such as Drop The Fear and the long living A Shoreline Dream shoegaze project. Within each, I have learned bucketloads about techniques from the engineering side all the way to the mastering side. Musically I have learned from the many members I’ve worked with over the years. Influences wide ranging from basic to ultra-technical styles.

Who does what in the songwriting and assembly?

We sat for many nights (Eddie and Myself) throwing ideas back and forth. I would write some basic beats or hit things to make sounds and put melodies on top to give us a base track to start with and it would morph from there. Eddie would bring over samples he had been collecting and modifying, and I would then mold it all together and lock myself in the attic and scream into the mic for a few nights. It was pure hell… in a good way!

What are some things about the Genessier’s style that shows off your uniqueness and individuality?

Being the horror fanatic, and actor of many haunted houses, I always bring the chills and the dark. The screams and the moans. The evil layer of sin that lies in the molded bathtub. With Genessier I strive to let it all out and let even more out after that. I hope that comes through in what we do…

The layering of samples and modular sounds really pushed Eddie and showed off his skills of making the weird noises come to life. Some of the things hidden under all the screams and beats undulate the songs in a way that is super rich and disturbing. Without them, it wouldn’t be as vivid and I think that’s where Eddie hits all the marks.

How do the songs from Graces the Bone represent your view of the world?

The greed, the insanity of family, and shattered love stories are all right on the surface while screaming behind layers of bricks and dirt at the bottom of a well. The matters are all common, while some things which feel so insane to hear are closer to reality then we think. It’s the feeling of hell that we portrayed on our debut disc and hell is exactly what it sounds like.

What was it like working on the recording and production of Graces the Bone?

Graces the Bone was a project with no limits and no restrictions. We literally tried everything and felt far more free doing it than we had ever before. The songs were more organic than we could ever ask for and that’s why it was so easy for us to also bring that vision to the stage as fast as we did when we first wrote this stuff. I remember driving out to the middle of nowhere with some field recording devices and nothing more to see what sort of sounds came out of different buildings in the rural landscapes and a ton of that stuff we used throughout the album. I really think the freedom we allowed ourselves to push out the anger and frustration was what made the final product so cohesive. We were trying an insane amount of techniques throughout with no boundaries and somehow it all matched and worked perfectly together.

Please describe what Graces the Bone sounds like as a whole and any specific songs you think that stand out among the rest at this point?

The title track says it all. Graces the Bone is the one song in my mind that I found to be one of my proudest moments in music writing. It’s dark. It’s rough. It’s raw and it’s fucking pissed. That’s what this was all about. Getting pissed and tearing things to shreds. This one track, in particular, does just that. The African Lake of Death is a close second. Man was I f’ed at that point. And that was a good thing because that track is one of the darkest I’ve ever written.

Lyrically what are some of the most personal moments that are discussed in the songs?

By far the most personal moment would be exhibited on the somewhat controversial track “Rockstars”. This one contains one of the most rambling voicemails I’ve ever received in my life from my father, who at the time was living on the streets and was trying everything he could to keep himself out of jail. The main point of the song had something to do with getting millions from the police by suing them, and in turn giving that money to me so I could become a rockstar.

Musically how did you challenge yourselves to create the best songs you could?

One of my key influences being Skinny Puppy became one of the biggest challenges I could think of. I felt if our songs could be played side by side with Skinny Puppy while maintaining a perfect dark and demented vibe we were hitting the mark. So, in essence, I used many of my favorite Skinny Puppy tracks as benchmarks for our songs.

Why do you feel that people really need to hear this album?

I do think people should experience this album, not just hear it. They need to listen to it with the lights out, in the basement while alone. They need to drop their ideas of what “industrial” is and try just living in moments blasting with fear. I hope we bring something new they were never expecting.

What was Genessier’s biggest highlight of 2018?

The biggest highlight was when we both came together again and decided to start an album number two and really take the next big step and get some amazing management.

What are a few of the struggles when trying to balance home life, work life, and band life?

When you’re in a band you hope to make enough to cover costs but rarely is that truly the case. So trying to keep a solid vision going while also trying to make enough money to pay the bills is beyond challenging. It affects everything. Sometimes that’s a good thing however when trying to push a song somewhere totally new.

What are your band goals for 2019?

The goals moving forward are to step this up and really achieve something different. Something that evolves to a really amazing live show. We’re doing everything we can to get this out there and hope people give it a listen.

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