Fall of Troy: Changing Times

Originally published in Guitar World, 30th Anniversary 2010 issue

Fall of Troy's Thomas Erak discusses the band's evolution on their latest album, In the Unlikely Event.

Fall of Troy guitarist Thomas Erak has always known that his band’s songs are stylistically complex. But it wasn’t until the artpunk trio made its latest effort, In the Unlikely Event, that he realized just how complicated its tunes are. The revelation came as Fall of Troy worked on the record with industry veteran Terry Date.

“This record was the first time we ever recorded to a click track,” Erak explains. “I never realized how many tempo and meter changes we have!”

The fact is demonstrated on In the Unlikely Event. The songs swerve from wah-wah spazz-funk (“Panic Attack!”) to double-time speed metal (“Straight-Jacket Keelhauled”) to jazzed-up screamo (“Battleship Graveyard”), all within the album’s first 10 minutes. Throughout the record, Erak performs some burning guitar work, nowhere more than on “Dirty Pillow Talk,” where he pulls off a sort of post-hardcore version of Tom Morello’s famous air raid siren attack.

Erak views his brazen virtuosity as something of a rejoinder to “hipsters who don’t like records that sound good because it’s not cool to.” But he is also proud that In the Unlikely Event shows off his impressive chops as well as Fall of Troy’s growing compositional maturity. “When it comes to guitar wizardry, I definitely wanna be a sorcerer,” he says. “But I wanna do it in a way that creates magic.”

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