Perspectives Played Out
An interview with Toronto's Inner Thought
by: Adrian Bromley
Canada's Inner Thought, an industrial-tinged/death metal outfit that relies heavily on experimentation, is the mastermind of one man: Bobby Sadzak. A one-time member of Canada's legendary death metal outfit Slaughter, its successor Strappado, and Lethal Presence, Sadzak has finally found a home for his ideas with Inner Thought. The band's debut album, _Wordly Separation_ (originally on WitchHunt Records, now distributed through Dwell Records in California), was a mix of doom/death metal, industrial, samples, and realism brought out in the music. The album brought on worldwide attention and as two years have passed, the band returns with an equally, if not more powerful assault on our senses with _Perspectives_, an album brewing with creativity, genre bending ideas and fierce momentum.

Sadzak begins, "Some of the things that contributed to the difference of the second album was me getting more familiar with working with MIDI and the drum machine. For the first album I was a bit more limited because I had just first started working with drum machines. I mean you can imagine a guitarist playing with drum machines, eh? It just doesn't seem like a natural thing to do but as I worked with it more and more, I became more familiar. It wasn't as scary as it seemed it would be. I can now apply more of my writing skills to help create better drum patterns."

Unlike the original three-piece lineup that made _WS_, this time around the band's lineup has once again been altered and that in turn has changed somewhat the style of Inner Thought's music. "It changed not the direction of the band, but gave a bit more inspiration for the band. When you work alone you tend to get a little bit of blind vision with one direction and don't think of anything else except your own opinion. It is nice to have someone from the outside to steer you away and help produce ideas."

So who is in the band at this point in time? "Currently, the band is myself and singer Dennis Balesdent, who is still in the band even though he has moved away from Toronto back to Nova Scotia. We have talked with each other and when the third album is ready to go, he is gonna come down here for a month and we will be ready to go. We are gonna do that." He adds, "As well, I have been thinking about the idea of hooking up with the old drummer of Lethal Presence (Rick Nemith) to play drums on the third album. So... I may be veering away from the drum machines and go back to the basics and try a live drummer again."

And is that something he would want to see brought into the fold of Inner Thought? "I have always played with a real drummer, ever since I picked up a guitar. The reason I went with drum machines was that when Slaughter and Strappado broke up, where was I to go? I was too old to start a new band and I just still wanted to write. So I got a drum machine and took it from there. I assembled an 8-track recording system and brought in a really good MIDI keyboard recording system. That is what I started with."

Unlike the views and visions of the atrocities of war shown through the images within the album's artwork or the lyrics on the album, the growth of the band has been altered as well within the lyrics found on _Perspectives_. Sadzak accounts for the changes. "I thought I said what I had to say with the first album and I didn't want to bore people to death with the [issues] I was dealing with. I didn't want to desensitize them to it so on the second album I moved away from that and filled the topics with very personal ideas and a bit of that racial tension that has been going on in the world in the last five years or so. I also dealt with the desensitization of television where people go to work, come home and watch TV. How the TV rules us and tells us what to do. Those were some of the topics that I covered on the new album as well as the relationship between man and woman. How when a relationship goes wrong you go crazy for a while. Not that I wrote ballads or anything, but just how far people tend to go when things don't go right."

The thing that does set the band apart is the use of female vocals, samples, and the drum machine. The uniqueness of the band is evident and with each and every track on both LPs. "I have always had these ideas from years ago to do something like this. When I was in Slaughter, I had ideas to incorporate keyboards. I don't know if you were around back in the 1980s when Slaughter was around, but keyboards in music was sort of this taboo thing. No one did those ideas because it wasn't really accepted, and whenever I brought in those ideas to the band they were shot down anyway. That is the problem with being in a band. There is a lot of good but a lot of bad too. If not all the band members don't see eye to eye on a direction then it doesn't happen. I was usually held back with my ideas and what I wanted to bring to the band.

"This project was an outpouring of what I wanted to do for years and years," explains Sadzak, "to get down to write lyrics that meant something. Lyrics that meant something to me and when I read them, not necessarily everyone will feel this, but for me to get something out of reading the lyrics in the pamphlet. Back in that Slaughter and Strappado era, you had to sing about the devil, you know, and all that stuff. Destruction was the main focus without any meaning sometimes, and I wanted to be in a situation where I could channel more ideas that were more personal."

And as happy as Inner Thought's lead man is with his music and the direction it continues to head towards, so is the fan base of the band. What does Sadzak believe to be the winning trait of the band? "People have always seemed to use the term "original," says Sadzak with pride. "People say that I have something more to offer and that songs seem to vary on each album, making it an enjoyable listen. I like to hear that."

One thing that Sadzak has going for him is determination to further the sound of the band. Having time to do work (Sadzak has a full-time job and then spends rest of his time on Inner Thought) on Inner Thought in his home studio has allowed him to have already the blueprints for the next release. "The problem that I have had in the last few years is that I have worked so far ahead than what my labels were doing that the album would just be released and I would have the next one written, recorded and ready to go and it seems like every time I record it takes a year or two before the album is released in Europe or the United States. At that point I get bored of my material and when it comes time to hype the album like I am doing now I am sort of lacking the intensity that I had coming out of studio and waiting to see the reviews. This album was recorded two years ago, just look at the booklet of the album. It has worn off a bit - the feeling of being excited by my work."

And how do you combat that then? "Now what I have done is every time I go down into the studio and hammering the material out right away I pace myself. The album has been out in Europe for a year now and just came out in U.S. and Canada so I figure in about six months I will go into studio and start up with the next release. I already have ideas flowing around in my head and I can take it a bit easier now."

About the evolution and recordings of the band he continues, "The problem with Inner Thought is that I want the band to be constantly evolving and I don't want to turn out an album that sounds like what I did before and that is my problem right now. Trying to get the creative juices going to create something with a new twist. It is always a challenge to create music and that is what I enjoy doing. It would be very easy for me to copy what I did with _WS_ and just change it a bit and put different songs on the album but what is hard is to expand on what I did. That challenge is always there."

(article submitted 2/1/1997)

11/18/1996 G Filicetti 9 Inner Thought - Perspectives
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