High on Fire Reveal the Challenges of 'Luminiferous'

High on Fire Reveal the Challenges of 'Luminiferous'
Photo: J. Hubbard
Oakland, CA metal trio High on Fire recently released their seventh studio album, Luminiferous. The powerful release picks back up and expands on the band's stunning 2012 release, De Vermis Mysteriis, and as drummer Des Kensel tells Exclaim!, that may have something to do with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge), who recorded their previous effort as well.
"Since we did use Kurt again, it probably is something that takes over from where the last one left off," Kensel says. "That's not a bad thing in my mind, because I really like the last record too."
Luminiferous is faster, and it's also quite diverse; the album's nine tracks contain a variety of sounds and songwriting structures. Kensel explains that while the songwriting process for High on Fire is organic, Ballou brings in a different approach.
"When we get into the studio and actually record it, that's when it's good to have an outside ear," he says. "He might throw some effects on one part or have an idea to make something slightly different on another part. We're comfortable enough to say no, but we're also comfortable enough to say, 'Yeah, you're right, that would work.'"
Since their 1998 inception, the band have managed to progress with each release. But as Kensel explains, maintaining their classic sound while experimenting with new styles isn't where challenges lie.
"We wouldn't want it to be too easy — then it might get boring. I think that with everyone in the band, with our songwriting and our styles, once it's all put together, that's what makes High on Fire, you know? Just our instruments, our tones, the way we play and just our ideas.
"With the songwriting process, we try to make it challenging for us on our instruments. But making it something that we could all agree on and we all like, that's very challenging because sometimes something might come together really quick and we all instantly agree on it, but a lot of times we don't. So sometimes one of us might want to change something and we try it out and maybe the others see the light," he laughs.
High on Fire embark upon a North American tour in late July, including Canadian dates in Vancouver (August 4) and Toronto (August 13). Check out the full schedule here.
Luminiferous is out now on eOne.