Count Murmur: Tine is an extreme metal band that combines elements of symphonic black metal with modern death metal to convey a thematic musical vision covering topics ranging from ancient history to supernatural horror and many things in between. The band was founded in early 2011 by me (songwriter/composer). Currently, Tine is a husband and wife duo consisting of myself (vocals, bass, guitars, drum programming, and lyrics) and Vanth (keyboards, art, management). Almost all facets of the band are handled by Vanth and me. For example, I designed the logo and Vanth created the album cover art. Tine is truly an independent musical entity untainted by the pressures of the music industry or the forceful hand of a record label.
Vanth: When Tine first came to be, Murmur and I were living in our first house together. The house was weird and we were in a weird town. It was a duplex and the other half was unoccupied. I swore it was haunted! It was unfinished, so there was a lot of dust and dirt everywhere. One day I saw young children’s handprints on the door. I mean, it could have been just some kids, but I never saw kids that young running around. The town we lived in was frequently visited by that show “Paranormal Activity.” One day they came to our door asking if we have experienced anything supernatural. I was disheveled and 6 months pregnant at the time and I did NOT want to be on television looking like a barefoot and pregnant hillbilly, so I didn’t tell them about the other half of the house. It’s quite fitting that Tine was birthed in that house at that particular part of our lives.
2.So far you have released a single and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
Count Murmur: It was very important for the music of Tine to be full of atmosphere and spirit. I feel that this came through in both recordings; however, the difference in sound between the single and the full-length record are noticeable. For the “Encounter with the Shadow People” single, everything was recorded in a more amateur way and I attempted to mix and master it all myself. I considered the single a warm-up for things to come. For the album, I implemented lessons learned from the single and recorded it more properly. Additionally, the album was professionally mixed and mastered. The differences between the single and the album version are substantial as a result. It is important to note that both recordings were done on a shoe-string budget. Both were recorded in my basement with fairly low-end equipment. I used a total of 3 mics for the full album (SM57, SM58, and e609 Silver). I used a Spider IV Line 6 Amp for the guitar and a Behringer BXL3000 for bass. I used a Scarlet 2i4 for the recording in Cubase. And, I used Easydrummer to write the drums note by note. Despite not having the high end equipment or the resources of the big label bands, I feel that the sound of the album is powerful and full of atmosphere. It certainly has that feature of black metal but also the power and production of death metal. It’s a true representation of what Tine is all about.
Vanth: I think you can feel the passion that went into the creation of the music. Each song takes you on a journey through the mind of Murmur. Tine really has a sound all of its own. I really can’t think of anything that’s similar. The usage of clean singing throughout the album is really a unique touch.
3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Count Murmur: I am glad you asked this question, as lyrics are oft overlooked in music. When the band was formed, I was determined not to focus on only one topic. I let the music and my mind decide the topics. Therefore, the lyrical subject matter tends to be varied. Still, it is important to distinguish variation from randomness. The lyrics certainly do not span random topics. The focus of the subject matter includes supernatural experiences from my youth, ancient history and philosophy, lovecraftian and supernatural horrors, anti-religious themes, and the occult. For example, the song, “Encounter with the Shadow People”, is inspired from an experience I had as a young adult when I actually saw a shadow demon in the middle of a church. When I told the pastor of this church what I’d saw, the look of absolute horror that washed over him was something to behold, as this pastor had known me personally as a reputable person of straight fact. I must say that I did get quite a kick out of this in hindsight because I realized just how corrupt this church was – as many churches truly are. Perhaps I was glimpsing a manifestation of this corruption?
Vanth: Many of the songs were written before a song topic was chosen. Murmur matched the song with an appropriate experience or topic, based on how the song felt. I remember when “The Watchful Eye” was just one bass riff, and now it’s a ripping song about something truly terrifying. The evolution of the songs was a profound thing to be a part of.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Tine'?
Count Murmur: This is an interesting question and the answer requires a bit of a story. When I was a child, I was quite artistic and imaginative. I would invent mythologies, people, and places in my mind, and I would invent stories of their heritage and struggles. One such place I invented was a world called, “Tine”, which was a world of fire where beings of fire lived. Of course, my scientific mind would also seek to explain how this was all possible – even back then. But, at the time, I had no idea what the word “tine” actually meant. The name just popped into my head… So, many years later, when I was developing the concept for this band, part of the inspiration for the band was some various haunting encounters I’d had in my childhood, and, so the name “Tine” seemed like a name befitting, as it was straight out of my childhood. But, the name also has further significance. A “tine” can be part of a fence or gate, and I see the music as a gateway into my mind and into a mythology from my childhood. Additionally, a “tine” is a prong on a pitchfork – a symbol often associated with Satan. I see the name representing defiance of Christianity. Finally, a “tine” is also a weapon. I see the music as my weapon against the world. This band is my statement to all.
Vanth: Before Murmur settled on the name Tine, he was thinking of naming the band “The Cult of Quindorrian.” Quindorrian is yet another manifestation of Murmur’s mind when he was a child. It was a Lovecraftian creature with a head like an artichoke. I don’t know where Murmur comes up with this shit, but he’s a creative genius.
5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?
Count Murmur: For now, we will remain a duo unless someone comes along [particularly a drummer] who can match my passion for this music. This will be a rare person, indeed. When I first founded Tine, I actually intended it to be a full band. Initially, it started as a 3-piece project, but guitarist Azim Erebus, as he was known, went in a different direction. It is, then, that I decided to handle most of the musical duties myself and work solely with Vanth. The search for like-minded musicians has been fruitless and frustrating to say the least. I certainly tried to find supporting musicians, but I quickly realized that the work ethic, musical ability, creativity, and, most importantly, the passion, was just not there for the local rabble. This was initially discouraging, but later liberating, as I soon realized that my desire to expand the band membership was not necessary. I realized that I could do this myself without desperately clinging to the local mediocrity. If nothing else, this has ensured a consistent musical vision for Tine.
Vanth: I think it would be extremely difficult to find someone who would be a good fit for the band. It would be like finding another person to marry. Compatible band cohesion is just that to me; a marriage. The reason why Tine made this album is because Murmur and I are on the same creative wavelength, and we’re happily married. I don’t know if there’s someone out there that could join us in the band, but I won’t completely rule it out.
6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Count Murmur: We have not received direct interest from any labels as of yet, but I also would not expect us to. Labels are mostly blind and usually only take notice of bands that are hard not to notice. We don’t have a dramatic gimmick and do not play live shows. This makes labels scoff. Record labels tend to be quite idiotic in their marketing and strategies. They aren’t looking for real music; they are looking for a marketing scheme. They seek to ride the popularity of bands who’ve already busted their asses to get where they are. I view record labels in the harshest light. They are mostly the scum of the Earth. Tine will never kiss a record label’s ass. In this day and age, record labels are mostly irrelevant in my opinion. They seem to only truly benefit bands that have already gained a massive amount of success, which, to me is the opposite of how it should be. But, then again, they are in it for their own profit, so this should be expected. It’s the easy way for them, after-all. I see Tine as turning down most record “deals” unless the rare label comes along that seeks to support the music and genuinely believes in what we are doing. This doesn’t mean that I feel Tine would not be a good signing for a black/death metal label; on the contrary. I just don’t feel they will see it this way. Nor, do I care.
Vanth: Murmur summed this question up perfectly. I’m not really interested in being signed. I have negative things to say, but I want to keep my good Karma.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Count Murmur: The support we have been receiving has been overwhelmingly positive. We have had people say some amazing things to us, much of which can be viewed in our press on ReverbNation. When someone recites the lyric of a song back to me, and tells me that the album gets them through their day at work, it truly warms my heart. The fans are feeling what I felt when I wrote these songs, and that is amazing to me. I’m quite flattered by all this. It also amazes me that the support is so global. We have fans in the Philippines, Russia, Brazil, and many other countries around the world. What is also special to me is that the music seems to appeal to black metal fans, death metal fans, and fans of other styles of metal as well.
Vanth: The feedback we have had has been extremely positive. I knew people would like Murmur’s work. It’s just so memorable. I listen to it all the time. Every time I listen to the album, I pretend in my head, that I am someone completely different who has never heard the music before. This way, I am able to kind of experience the music for the first time, over and over again.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Count Murmur: First, I feel it important to say to our supporters and fans that the music of Tine will continue on this path and will not falter or “sell-out”. I have at least 5 songs already in the works for a new record and some are the darkest aural monstrosities I’ve ever written. More of the black metal element will come out in the next album and I see the music further increasing in both density and atmosphere. Vanth continues to explore her talents as a keyboardist, so I see the symphonic component of the music being even more profound than before. Other than this evolution, you will definitely recognize the music as being distinctly “Tine” on future releases.
Vanth: I plan on practicing and learning more of the keyboard. I am constantly expanding my knowledge and bettering myself. I really want to be worthy of being in Murmur’s band. I want to be the best I can be, for him, for me, for you (the fans), and for Tine.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Count Murmur: My two biggest inspirations, musically and on many levels, are Behemoth and Burzum. I find both of these bands inspirational for me (if Burzum would be considered a “band”?). Behemoth influences me musically and spiritually as I find myself having a lot in common with Nergal. His battle with cancer and his steadfast diligence in the face of death is certainly inspirational. And, I love his brilliant blend of black and death metal. Varg Vikernes of Burzum is the one who inspired me that an album could be created by even just one person and that it could be successful and profound. You don’t need expensive equipment or big label marketing to make an album; all you need is the passion, the musical vision, and the will to see it through. This is what Burzum has taught me. You may notice in the album photography for Tine that I am wearing my Burzum shirt; this is intentional and symbolizes this album being created and released in a manner not unlike the works of Burzum. As far as my general influences, I would say that my music is influenced by various Black Metal, Death Metal, and Thrash Metal. Influential bands for me are the two aforementioned, in addition to Old Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Mayhem, Immortal, Old Morbid Angel, and Nile. I have a vast CD collection and listen to all genres of metal, however. On occasion, you’ll catch me listening to classical music or even blue grass. I love being consumed by music. It is one of my great loves in this world. I also tend to stay up with the times regarding metal. For example, I am really enjoying the new Cattle Decapitation, Lychgate, GhostBath, Non Opus Dei, and Panopticon records.
Vanth: I am really into atmospheric black metal. Big names like Agalloch, Alcest, and, most recently, a big name, Panopticon, is what inspires me. Most of the good shit isn’t a big name, though. Currently I’m listening to Ghost Bath, Ghost, Abigail Williams, Beyond Creation, Cattle Decap, Summoning, and Crow Black Sky.
11.How would you describe your views on Occultism?
Count Murmur: There is much more to this world than the common human perceives. Additionally, I know for certain that objects, places, and thoughts can hold great power. The secrets of this world are far more than anyone would care to believe and I enjoy learning and uncovering these secrets as I journey through my life. I do invoke them through my thoughts and my music and would currently consider myself a LaVeyan Buddhist, philosophically. I believe in the power of mind, spirit, will, and self. What I do not believe is the Christian and other religious doctrines that were written by infinitely corrupt men some years ago. To me, Christianity is among the worst cults to ever exist in this world. Living in the area where I reside, I am surrounded by this hypocrisy and it is sickening. But, it does give me plenty of inspiration to draw upon for lyrical topics.
Vanth: I think it’s all very interesting and anything is possible. As Murmur considers himself a “LaVeyan Buddhist,” I would consider myself a “Buddhist Wiccan.” I believe in the concept of Karma, and I feel the earth holds much power. I’m constantly trying to collect good Karma. I love doing this. Call me superstitious, but I’m a big believer in the supernatural as well. I also have experienced things in my life that concretes my belief.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Count Murmur: I would like to thank yourself and any who would listen to our musical and attempt to learn more about Tine. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to Tine and I enjoy when the fans and supporters find these “Easter eggs” (sorry for the Christian term, although technically “Easter” is a pagan holiday by origin…) within the music, lyrics, and album art. For those with the patience and interest, please do look further at the lyrics, music, and art and feel free to contact us with questions. Some of the songs have more than one meaning. Certainly, the substance of our debut record is not merely superficial. There is more to it than just heavy metal.
Vanth: I want Tine to reach every corner of the earth. More people need to hear it. I am always working on getting it to new ears. If you enjoy the music, help us out and tell someone with like-minded interests about Tine. Murmur’s work is definitely profound. I never tire of it. I need more people to feel the same way as I. There will be more from Tine. We have already started work on material for the sophomore release. Stay tuned, and keep believing in our musical and artistic vision. We thrive on your positivity.