Features One Question Interviews What's That Noise? Lamniformes

What's That Noise?

One Question Interviews: Lamniformes

Ian Cory (Lamniformes)

SPB: Did you experiment much with different drum sizes, cymbals, or drum heads in the studio when making Sisyphean, or did you have a set approach when you went in? 

Cory: I experimented with the kit much less than I expected before going into the sessions. Having spent more years than I should have working over the demos, I came to Pallet Sound with a very specific drum tone in mind. Barring a two minute stretch of blast beats in “Hypothermia” most of the drum parts on the album are pretty slow, which means we could bring in a lot of roominess without losing precision. Seth Engel, the engineer behind the boards for all of the tracking and mixing on Sisyphean, isn’t into artificial reverb, and having heard plenty doom metal albums ruined by tracking their drums in a CGI cathedral, I shared his preference.

Seth had recently brought in a new kit into the studio, a chrome Tama of some kind. It sounded killer once we tuned it up. Seth ended up liking it so much that he started gigging out with it in a few of the bands he drums for. Because the drums themselves sounded so good, most of the experimenting was on Seth’s end, as he moved around the various bafflers and microphones to capture the blend of attack and size that we were looking for. Since I have none of his technical qualifications I’ll spare the Seth the embarrassment of reading my summary of his process.

I brought my own snare and cymbals. The snare is a brass Tama, from an old Granstar kit. I spent my teenage years playing on well-loved house kits, which makes me a terrible judge of when it’s time to change drum heads. Thankfully, Seth set me right with a fresher Remo coated head that I borrowed for these sessions.

I play a pair of Istanbul Alchemy hats and a Sabian Paradigm Crash. The ride I played on Sisyphean was one gifted to me by my old drum teacher Peter Davenport when I was in high school. Even then it was old. The make and model had long since flaked off. It happened to work pretty well as a low crash, so of course I hammered the shit out of it. While we were tracking we could tell that it wasn’t long for this world. It had taken on this, flat china cymbal quality, and a few weeks later a crack perpendicular to the cymbal’s radius opened up. The ride has since been retired.

Like many of the strange technical hiccups that Seth and I ran across while making Sisyphean, this half dead cymbal was a blessing in disguise. Instead of drowning the drums in cymbal soup, the ride sound was short and brutish. It helped the drums sound dirty, earthy, and aggressive. All qualities that aided the heavier side of the record and kept the softer parts from sounding too maudlin. These days I play with a Dark Custom K, an objectively better instrument, but I still have a fondness for the old nameless ride.

I cannot stress how important it was that Seth and I came to drum tracking prepared. There was no wasted time learning parts or finding drum sound from scratch. I had studied the drums on the records that inspired Sisyphean and passed my preferences along to Seth ahead of time. I had also spent the whole summer prior drilling the material with Parker Langvardt, who played bass on the album. All of this preparation allowed us the time for Seth to dial in the equipment and for me to push my performances if certain takes weren’t working without fear of going over our time limit. Preparation saved me time and money, and gave the record a foundation that we could experiment on top of.


Words by the SPB team on Jan. 25, 2020, 7:09 p.m.

KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

Posted on Jan. 25, 2020, 7:09 p.m.

Share this content
KFAI - Root Of All Evil

Series: What's That Noise?

One-question interviews with artists where we find out about the gear and equipment they use to achieve their sound.

More like this


One Question Interviews Lazerbeak

Posted Jan. 2, 2020, 8:49 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Lazerbeak (Shredders / Doomtree) SPB: To you, what is the most important element in your setup to get the best live sound? Lazerbeak: By far it ...


One Question Interviews Pound

Posted Dec. 25, 2019, 9:45 p.m.
What's That Noise?

David Stickney (Pound – drums) SPB: Walk our readers through your kit and offer insight as to how you arrived at your sizes (shells and cymbals ...

Tired Of Everything

One Question Interviews Tired Of Everything

Posted Nov. 16, 2019, 12:02 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Will Butler (Tired of Everything – vocals) SPB: Tired Of Everything is your first time singing in a band. Between your first show and today, what ...

The Blind Shake

One Question Interviews The Blind Shake

Posted Nov. 11, 2019, 8:08 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Jim Blaha (The Blind Shake - guitar) SPB: What type of guitar do you play with The Blind Shake and how did you pick that model ...


One Question Interviews Pound

Posted Oct. 22, 2019, 6:29 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Ryan Schutte (Pound – baritone guitar) SPB: What led you to the baritone guitar as your instrument of choice?  Schutte: I do a fair amount of ...

Frank Turner

One Question Interviews Frank Turner

Posted Oct. 11, 2019, 9:21 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Frank Turner SPB: What guitar do you play and what do you like about it when performing solo, versus with a full band? Turner: I ...

Ann Beretta

One Question Interviews Ann Beretta

Posted Oct. 7, 2019, 9:11 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Rob Huddleston (Ann Beretta) SPB: Did you use a different model guitar on the recordings of your old material (Old Scars, New Blood) than on ...

Low Culture

One Question Interviews Low Culture

Posted Sept. 29, 2019, 9:21 a.m.
What's That Noise?

Chris Mason (Low Culture/Macho Boys – guitar) SPB: What guitar do you play and how did choose it?  Mason: A few years ago I bought ...


One Question Interviews Dwarves

Posted Sept. 17, 2019, 9:51 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Blag Dahlia (Dwarves – vocals) SPB: What is the most important vocal element when doing sound check for a Dwarves show?  Blag Dahlia: A sound man ...

Nastie Band

One Question Interviews Nastie Band

Posted Sept. 8, 2019, 10:28 a.m.
What's That Noise?

Roddy Bottum (Nastie Band - keyboards) SPB: With Nastie Band, what keyboard do you play and how did you make this choice? Bottum: I play an ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.