Our two favorite wannabe paparazzi sit down with Taryn McLoughlin, Blake Ramsay, and Sénia Urban for their first interview since becoming a trio again.
Angels of Hellfire has a reputation for always following through on commitments. Once, having accidentally overbooked a television interview in Los Angeles on the same day as a show in Buenos Aires, the band took a red-eye flight to LA the morning after a São Paulo show, did the interview, and took the next jet to Buenos Aires.
Despite all this, we were surprised when we received a call from the band’s publicist to confirm the interview that had been scheduled several months ago. Cyd had been busy preparing another segment, now she had to scramble to put some new questions together, and scrap some that were originally prepared.
The mood was solemn when Taryn Mcloughlin, Sénia Urban, and Blake Ramsay first sat down. Neither Cyd nor Nansi knew how to start the conversation, until Nansi finally just jumped in with a nervous, “We’re so sorry!”
A weak smile was all Sénia was able to provide, while Taryn and Blake both gave their thanks. Treading lightly in the wake of drummer Richard’s untimely demise, the questions focused on the band’s professional and musical goals, trying not to skirting into their personal lives. This proved to be harder than they thought. The entire experience was a sociological study in what happens when your leader takes a subservient role, as Blake and Taryn both seemed out of place answering questions before Sénia spoke.
Cyd & Nansi: You guys were planning a pretty intense world comeback tour. Is that still in the works?
Taryn (glances briefly at Sénia): Right now it’s still planned, we just need a little more preparation. Some things need to be…reworked… but once that’s finished, we’re good to go.
Cyd & Nansi: Blake, will you be taking over on drums?
Blake: Yes, for now. We’ve actually been contemplating some internal changes.
Taryn: It’s probably not something we’ll see soon, because I’d have to brush up… and then re-learn all of our music (laughs), but I’ve been thinking about going back to drums. But we’ll see.
Cyd & Nansi: Now that you’re going to be returning to your previous one-guitar sound… how will this affect your songwriting?
The question is originally met with silence, as Sénia looks at the floor and Taryn and Blake look at each other.
Sénia (still looking at the floor): On the plus side, we’ve already written for one guitar, so it won’t be completely weird. The largest obstacle now, will be writing for someone else… I mean, with Blake only filling in on drums for a few weeks, and then moving to guitar, I’m not that familiar with his particular strengths, the way that I am… was… with -
Taryn (jumping in): Obviously, we tailor our songs to what we’re each great at. For instance, I know that Sen is capable of playing some really funky bass lines, but I also know that she sucks at it if she’s singing at the same time –
Sénia: Not nice
Taryn: – So whenever I contribute a song or two, I like to make sure the breakdown has the more complicated bass part, or I’ll include it in a bridge where I’m the one singing.
Blake: You know… I don’t think I’ve ever given it that much thought. I just write what I think sounds good.
Cyd & Nansi: One of the biggest concerns amongst some of your fans, is that there was a very specific and unique sound that Richard brought to your sound. Are you worried that it may change?
Blake: Well, I think the focus is going to be on crafting a new sound, without losing the main feel.
Sénia: Any single one of us not being here would effectively change the sound. It’s less about the individual player and more about our bonds and interactions. Losing a strand changes the rope.
Taryn: That’s deep. Can you write us a song called Losing a Strand?
Sénia (smiling): Absolutely. It’ll be about your brain.
Taryn: This is why we can get through anything. Sénia and I always have each other. Hell, we’re the only ones left from the original band. What? Too soon?
Sénia: Just a little (she’s laughing, but the smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes).
Cyd & Nansi: Should we be expecting brand new material? Or a lot of oldies but goodies?
Taryn: It’s all brand new material. Very few oldies.
Blake: We’ve been working on a new album for a long time, since the last tour. Kept it quiet because we weren’t sure when we’d release it. But now seems as good a time as any, right?
Cyd & Nansi: Since you brought it up, and we’ll only mention it briefly – It’s a very sensitive question, but now we’re curious – what would become of AoH if anything ever happened to either one of you two?
Blake: What about me?
Taryn (teasing): You were a temporary stand-in, dude. We just kept you around ‘cause it was easier than trying to fire you.
Blake: That’s just mean.
Sénia: I don’t think Angels of Hellfire is Angels of Hellfire if I’m not with Taryn.
Taryn: I’ll co-sign that. Personally, I’m still not sure if we’re AoH without Richard. I mean, yeah, sure he was originally a replacement, but he was around for longer than all of the other former members combined. So… yeah. I’m not gonna lie. It does feel weird.
Sénia: You never toldl me that.
Taryn: I guess it’s because he brought so much knowledge, and because he was with us for so long, and then… This was every much your project with him as it is your project with me… I don’t know. I think it’s because once we started to get famous, it was the three of us. Now… it’s not.
Blake: I’d like to say you’re giving me an inferiority complex right now. But I get it.
Sénia: I will definitely go on record right now, and say that if Taryn and I are not making music together, then Angels of Hellfire ceases to exist. Period.
Cyd & Nansi: I think your fans would probably agree. Thank you so much for meeting with us tonight. Best of luck on the tour!
by Cyd & Nansi. Written for the city of Chicago. Article ID 73353