Among the Bones is the musical moniker of camera-shy, 25 year-old, London-born producer and all-round lovely chap, Misha Herring. We first cottoned-on to Herring’s epic mesh of Americana, doom metal and post-rock after hearing his 2010 debut EP Chosen Son of Snakes. A handful of split releases later and he’s hooked up with the consistently brilliant No Pain in Pop label, and is soon to unleash his debut album: 'A Dead Sun for a Black Earth'.
Despite my best efforts it’s ended up sounding quite pretty and delicate in some places. I guess when I try and sit down to play doomy metal on a guitar, I feel like I’m re-hashing something that’s come before
Dazed Digital: What musical projects have you been involved with in the past?
Misha Herring: Well, I suppose the only other thing I have really done before I moved back to London, was that I used to produce for rap groups. Nothing big though. Like, none of it saw a big commercial release or anything. I really wanted to be able to rap when I was a kid, but, y’know, I have this…weird voice, ha! Sooo, I saved up for an MPC so I could start producing. I guess you could say East Coast rap was one of my very first musical loves; that’s purely because of my Dad though.
For my tenth birthday I asked for a BB gun but instead Dad just got me ten classic hip-hop 12"s. I’d never listened to any proper rap or anything before that. I’d only heard shit like Kris Kross, or whatever. Anyway, yeah Dad gave me a Raekwon record, a J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E. record - stuff like that. Some stone cold classics!
DD: Among the Bones is quite a departure from rap!
Misha Herring: Yeah! That’s partly because, when I moved to London, I didn’t know any rappers or anything. And, you know, instrumental rap strays close to being…like, trip hop, or whatever. That of course wasn’t just it, though. I’ve been wanting to explore these kinds of sounds and my love for metal for a long time.
DD: Speaking of which… tell us about your debut LP?
Misha Herring: Well, the release is planned for May or June. The album is essentially one piece split into different movements and sections. I wanted to create an extremely bleak, ultra heavy record; something as extreme and as sludgy as possible. Despite my best efforts it’s ended up sounding quite pretty and delicate in some places. I guess when I try and sit down to play doomy metal on a guitar, I feel like I’m re-hashing something that’s come before. When I relax and start making music intuitively it often comes out in contrast to how I might initially want it to sound like. I suppose the best way of summarising the sounds is Ennio Morricone meets Hex era Earth…
DD: The balance between atmosphere and melody in AtB’s music is, for me, a central feature; I mean, there are definite ‘hooks’ in the songs. It’s not just all atmospherics.
Misha Herring: Yeah, that’s important to me. I try very hard to write melodies that are catchy, but not straight forward. I mean, I know nothing about chord progressions or key signatures so, when I come up with a riff, the chances are that it’s going to be pretty confused, or even "wrong!" That being said, I play around with stuff until something clicks, so even if, theoretically speaking, something doesn't make sense, I’ll still keep it because it creates an emotional reaction in me…
DD: So, what’s planned for the rest of 2012?
Misha Herring: Well, asides from the album, No Pain in Pop will also be doing a digital only re-issuing of my first EP within the next couple of months. Also, I've got a split coming out with Blood Bright Star and a tape in the works with Italian label NOJOY. Also, I’ll start doing live shows with a full band line-up. The set is done and dusted. Now all we need is gigs!