Tristan Shone (Author & Punisher)
SPB: You are well known for building your own instruments in Drone Machines, and they have been part of your music since the beginning. How has your process for creating or modifying these instruments changed through the years?
Shone: In the beginning of A&P, I was in art school and my machines were my attempt to combine sculpture, music-making and engineering. I knew I wanted to make heavy music but I was playing with guitars and drum machines and the whole live performance did not feel physical enough to match the force of the music live. I was playing slower doom/drone and the first instruments were very heavy and slow moving so the dissonance and heaviness all synced up.
As I developed these machines from 2007-2010, I started to build more intricate devices that were a bit lighter and more dynamic so that I could play faster stuff and hit pitches better. Also, as I started touring more, I was racking up baggage fees for flights, so I started to use the Pelican case dimensions and airline baggage limits as a starting point for some of the devices and also started storing some gear in Europe and on the East Coast of the US.
Fast forward to 2020. I have found a happy medium of gear that is heavy enough to feel powerful on stage but also under the limits of weight for flights. Finally, I have realized that I am more into playing my music well than having all the exact gear needed on stage...basically, you need much less on stage than you think you do. I try to use as little as possibly...the less gear I have, the better the sound. I think this has to do with being mentally overwhelmed and less focused on playing well, singing well, and performing to my fullest ability. \m/ :)