Trilateral (Graeme Kalb (guitars, vocals), Sam Smit (bass, vocals), and Jacob Goose (drums, percussion)) is a progressive metal band that has been operating out of London, Ontario, Canada since mid-2014. This project is the end result of a few band names and line up changes over the last several years. We started with a completely different line up, name, and dedication. We played out of a rented storage facility which got super cold in the winter. Once Sam joined the band, our other members fell away. We changed the name to Trilateral and started our new journey.
2.Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Each member in the band has specific tastes in metal, and we embrace that as much as possible. Our debut album Elliptic Orbits is very dense musically, drawing from genres like death metal, djent, metalcore, and jazz. In this right, we tend to describe it as “progressive”. Most of the album reviews we’ve gotten comment on the element of surprise our songs have, and I like to think we got a taste of that during the writing process as well, because much of what is on the record was not consciously intended. There was great attention to detail as we created the album, but the finished product still had its surprises for us. If you’re a metal head, it’s very likely you’ll find some part of this album that you enjoy.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
All three members write lyrics, and while we each have a distinct style, most of our songs are stories. Elliptic Orbits is not a concept album, and that allowed us to explore many different topics. Cloud Forest tells a story of prey being chased by predator, as a metaphor for the “Trail of Tears” genocide of Native Americans. Whalefall is social commentary on racism in media. Arbitrarium explores the fallacy of humanity within the confines of arguing over the internet. There are songs about love, the human condition, and others are purely fictional. We are primarily musicians, but it’s always been important to us that there be substance in our lyrical content.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Trilateral'?
Trilateral simply means “of three parts”, because our band is a collective of three minds working towards a common goal. It’s tough these days to pick a band name that’s not spoken for, will set you apart, and is easy enough to remember.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe
your stage performance?
Our album release has been the best show to date, which is not surprising as it can be hard to generate excitement without first putting out an album. We also had a great turnout at a small local festival, and have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many great acts from southwestern Ontario, such as The Apex, Vesperia, Crimson Shadows, Battlesoul, White Swan, Yeti on Horseback, Ataxia, We Are Human, Matter in the Medium and Nothing Left for Tomorrow.
Our stage performance is designed to flow from one song to the next as much as possible. There’s a minimal amount of crowd interaction, as we’d prefer our music do the talking and the walking.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We don’t have anything booked as of yet, but playing live is our main priority now. We have plans for some weekend tours around Ontario and Quebec in the summer.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We’re open to any opportunity that supports the band, but we’ve made a conscious decision to stay independent. It’s a growing trend in music today, and while both avenues have pros and cons, at this point we don’t feel it’s necessary to be signed to a label.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme and progressive metal?
This is a bit tough to determine because the album hasn’t been out for too long, but every review we’ve gotten has been positive. If there is anyone who hasn’t enjoyed our album, they’ve held their tongue.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’ve been playing music together for years now, and there has definitely been a progression in our writing style. Songs like “Dividers of Infinity”, “Cloud Forest”, and “Celestial Bodies” were re-written from earlier iterations of the band, at times when we played with a different bassist, or had a 2nd guitarist. “Whalefall”, “Darkless”, and “Arbitrarium” were the final three songs to be written for Elliptic Orbits, so they are a better depiction of our current writing style, and of the new material we’re writing. All three members play in other projects, and that allows us to explore different musical ideas without potentially changing what our fans will know to be Trilateral.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
G: In my formative years as a guitar player, I really only listened to metal (As I Lay Dying, Children of Bodom and Lamb of God played non-stop through high school), and that certainly laid the groundwork for how I write today. Meshuggah and Periphery are currently my two biggest influences that come to mind. I personally enjoy a tight groove more than a flurry of notes and arpeggios; any djent influence heard on Elliptic Orbits comes solely from me. Today, my listening habits have changed quite a bit. I still enjoy metal, but also listen to a lot of jazz, more rock, and some top 40. As a musician who has some classical training, it became very easy to enjoy quality music from any genre once I got over being a snob about “musical skill” or the fact that something wasn’t “metal”.
J: Coming from a classical percussion background I was immediately drawn to jazz, progressive rock and progressive metal in high school when I finally bought my first drum-set. When you’re young, and hungry, playing along to top 40 just doesn’t really cut it. I devoured bands like Dream Theater, Between the Buried and Me, and Mudvayne. Aside from the progressive music though I was heavily drawn to any kind of powerful sounding music. It moved me. It was energising. I brought a lot of that into Trilateral. I wanted to play music that was interesting, energizing, and that I felt I could sink my teeth into. You can hear my influence in Elliptic Orbits with a lot of the weird progressive changes and heavy powerful choruses. I’m currently listening to Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon, Cloudkicker Fade/Subsume, Meshuggah – Koloss, Mastodon – Emperor of Sand, anything from Longmont Potion Castle.
S: The biggest influence by far, one night at the age of 12 turning Much Music and seeing a late-night airing of the 1999 family values tour late one night and seeing Primus perform. Les Claypool’s insane side-show of frontman bass domination immediately grabbed my attention and captivated me. I’d never seen anything so insane and awesome. From that moment on I was obsessed with the extremes of the instrument and have since then I’ve been spiraling down the underground wormhole of human possibility with music. Fuck the top 40 bullshit. I discovered through peers, death-metal in high-school; bands like Vital Remains, Severed Savior, and The Red Chord were a huge influence on my writing style. After high-school I mellowed out and got really into prog-rock and jazz-fusion, but still can’t resist going back to death-metal as I find there is no music that generates such intensity and energy. Not as much finesse as the jazz and prog, but I do appreciate both worlds and the focus that goes into them. Right now, I’m currently listening to Anomalous – OHMnivalent, (top 5 album of all time for me), Daughters – Hell Songs, Frank Zappa – Hot Rats, Irreversible Mechanism – Infinite Fields, and Longmont Potion Castle – 11 (if you don’t know LPC, do yourself a huge favour and look that gnash up.)
11.What are some of your non-musical interests?
G: I’m currently enrolled in a post-secondary program with an intense workload, so I don’t have time for much outside of that. I enjoy a good book, and used to play a lot of video games, but lately I just drink and hangout with friends in my free time!
J: I love working with my hands (I’m a contractor by day), so I’m naturally drawn to fine wood working. I make fine wood pieces in my shed and work on my house. I’m also a massive closet nerd like Graeme. Not just video games and fantasy novels but straight up tabletop gaming. I’m always on the hunt for the best slice of pizza so if anyone knows of a banger spot in their hometown please share and I’ll try to visit it when we’re on the road!
S: I brew beer with a good friend of mine who also plays in a death metal band in town (Ataxia). It’s a hobby that I’ve joined in the past few years and can’t get enough of, drinking a beer you’ve crafted and put heart and soul into is something just as satisfying as creating music.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for giving us this opportunity! Bird up!