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Interview With David Schellenberg of Tunic

You’re set to release your new album Wrong Dream on April 28th, via Artoffact Records. How do you compare this album to any of your previous releases? Did you do anything differently this time around? David: Wrong Dream is a totally different beast than our previous records. I wrote a lot of it by myself and half of it on keyboard and bass as a way to avoid my usual tropes on the guitar. This is also our first record without founding member Rory on bass, so our friend Drew Riekman (Blessed) came on board to help us flesh out the songs and play bass.

Press shot for Winnipeg noise punk trio Tunic.
Photo courtesy of Adam Kelly.

How was it like working with music producer Seth Manchester? D: Amazing! Seth is literally the best! He has golden ears and was a perfect fit for us, I can't say enough nice things about him.

In your words, could you walk readers through the nine-songs on the album and what they’re all about? D: This record's lyrical content covers three major topics: Living under capitalism and the strains money creates in our lives, the death of a friend, and being in a mentally abusive relationship. The first few singles “Whispering,” “My Body, My Blood,” and “Disease” have been great! Are there any songs on the new album you can’t wait to hear listener's responses for? D: Thanks! The last song on the record, "Empty Husk," is a real different track for us. Stoked for people to hear that one.

Any reason why the single, “Dull Ache,” released earlier this year in January didn’t make the album? D: "Dull Ache" was actually written after Wrong Dream, so it never had a chance of making it on the album. We wrote a handful of songs after we tracked the new record and thought we'd record them so we can have something to sprinkle between releases.

Are there any plans to celebrate the release of Wrong Dream in any form? D: Honestly, probably not [Laughs]. We'll have practice the day after, and we're going on tour for a month as of May 3rd, so I guess that counts.

Unlike your previous releases, this new album sounds more cohesive and a lot more experimental, per se. Where did this newfound creativity come from? D: Mostly that we had time. I was always in a rush to try and create so that we could have something else to release. Plus, as I said earlier, writing everything on bass and keyboards helped a lot.

Hearing the use of keyboards and other sounds and elements from various genres that wouldn’t be heard on past Tunic material throughout these new tracks. Who was the one to get a bit more experimental with your songwriting for this album?

D: Oh, to be honest, we've always used synths on all our records, but they've always been buried in the mix. A lot of the keyboards and experimentation was Seth and Drew's doing. I especially love the drum machine on "Indirect." It was cool to have a rather minimal track that way.

The loss of Rory leaving the band must’ve been a really big blow when it came down to finally getting into the writing/recording of Wrong Dream? And what did stand-in bassist Drew Riekman bring to the record, if anything?

D: Rory is my best friend, we are still best friends, and it was time for him to be done. So no hard feelings, but for the first time ever, it felt like I didn't have a writing partner, so Drew was a great sounding board to help flesh out the songs and make them the best versions they could be.

Finally, you’re hitting the road shortly. Are there any new cities or venues you’re hitting that you’ve never performed in and are thrilled to perform in? D: Yeah! We love touring. It's fun and always nice to see friends. We've never played Nashville, oddly, so I'm very much looking forward to that.

Thanks for the time today, David! Is there anything else you want to say before you go? D: Thanks for having me! Was a pleasure.


Check out more from Tunic:

Album artwork Wrong Dream, the latest studio album from Winnipeg noise punk outfit Tunic.

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