Author & Punisher, the alias for visionary San Diego musician-meets-mechanical engineer Tristan Shone, returns with the melody-laden new album, Krüller, featuring a suite of upgraded machines, a distilled vocal process and a handful of guest players including Tool’s Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor. The album will be released on Relapse Records on February 11.
A taste of the eagerly-awaited record arrives with today’s release of “Drone Carrying Dread,” and the accompanying, graphically-saturated video. The clip was directed by MonteLegaspi and features illustrations from album cover artist Zlatko Mitev.
“’Drone Carrying Dread’ was the first song I wrote on Krüller,” explains Shone of the album that thematically was inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable series. “I had just gotten home from the final tour of the Beastland album cycle and I spent a couple weeks updating my overall tones with a nice balance of sub, saw/synth and tube amp. This track was basically the one where it all clicked and I had these chords that resonated just right, shaking the entire warehouse. It's a simple but raw progression that was ripe for the addition of synthesizer programming from co-producer Jason Begin (Vytear). Lyrically, it's about escape and survival, as the events that were unfolding in 2020 were prophesied by the books I was reading throughout the year.”
Shone began work on Krüller after returning from his opening slot with Tool across the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, before being cut short due to the March 2020 lockdowns. "Melody has been and is still a part of my sound," says Shone. "I've always bathed them in a lot of reverb, delay, and distortion, though. This time around, I was bothered by the wall of distortion I had created. I wanted a little more clarity. I wanted to refine the sound. I wanted to step back from my own show and analyze it a bit. I had all these competing distortions that I wanted to streamline. I like contrast and wanted the vocals to be immediately noticeable. There's something about mixing punishing drones and rumble with a mellow thing on top that I really like on Krüller.” Shone’s digitized snarls rightfully had their place on earlier tracks like “Doppler,” “Terrorbird,” and “Nihil Strength,” but contrasting mellow vocals atop Author & Punisher’s unparalleled heft made dynamic sense. Indeed, with Shone’s singing on songs like “Drone Carrying Dread,”“Maiden Star,” and the exceptional translation of Portishead hit “Glory Box,” Author & Punisher have projected an air of uncertainty around the steely, often slow-motion grind.
Part of the Krüller revamp included refining the machines that have become synonymous with Author & Punisher. As a result, Shone is also launching a bespoke audio gear company called Drone Machines to coincide with the release of Krüller. The gear company launch follows nearly two decades of Author & Punisher honing in on his craft - meticulously inventing, machining, experimenting, and creating custom musical instruments for his incredible live performances and recordings.
Krüller pre-orders are available now with the 8-song, 52 minute collection available on a selection of limited-edition vinyl variants, CD, cassette and digitally.
Drone Carrying Dread
Glorybox (Portishead cover)
Author & Punisher has announced two rounds of 2022 European tour dates with North American performances to be announced soon.
February 7 Tallin, Estonia Sveta Bar
February 8 Riga, Latvia Melna Piektdiena
February 9 Vilnius, Lithuania XI 20
February 12 Haarlem, Netherlands Complexity
February 13 Antwerp, Belgium Kavka
February 14 Brighton, UK Patterns
February 15 London, UK The Underworld
February 16 Leeds, UK Brudenell Social Club
February 17 Glasgow, UK Stereo
February 18 Newcastle, UK Cluny
February 19 Birmingham, UK Castle and Falcon
February 20 Bristol, UK Fleece
February 21 Manchester, UK Deaf Institute
w/ Perturbator and Health:
October 6 Lille, France Aeronef
October 7 Paris, France L’Olympia
October 12 Bordeaux, France Krakatoa
October 13 Toulouse, France Bikini
October 14 Madrid, Spain La Riviera
October 15 Barcelona, Spain Razzmatazz 2
October 16 Nantes, France Stereolux
October 18 Lyon, France Le Transbordeur
October 19 Strasbourg, France La Laiterie
Oxtober 20 Lausanne, Switzerland Les Docks
October 21 Munich, Germany Freheiz
October 22 Vienna, Austria Arena
October 23 Budapest, Hungary Akvarium Nagyhall
October 25 Prague, Czech Republic Lucerna Music
October 26 Wroclaw, Poland Zaklete Rewiry
October 27 Warsaw, Poland Progresja
October 28 Berlin, Germany Heimathafen
October 29 Goteborg, Sweden Tradgar N
October 30 Stockholm, Sweden Berns
November 1 Helsinki, Finland Tavastia
November 3 Oslo, Norway Vulkan Arena
November 4 Copenhagen, Denmark Pumpehuset
November 5 Hamburg, Germany Uebel & Gefahrlich
November 6 Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli
November 8 Cologne, Germany Kantine
November 9 Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxermbourg Rockhall
November 10 Brussels, Belgium Ancienne Belgique
Author & Punisher formed in January 2004 as the brainchild of mechanical engineer, artist and sculptor Tristan Shone. His innovation, and the unique way he has melded his seemingly disparate background, has been highlighted in a wide range of outlets, from Wired Magazine who dubbed him a “doom metal auteur,” to Pitchfork who noted he “literalized the idea of sound sculpture.” He has released seven full-length albums and an EP over the years: The Painted Army (2005), Warcry (2007), Drone Machines (2010), Ursus Americanus (2012), Women & Children (2013), Melk En Honing (2015), Pressure Mine EP (2017) and Beastland (2018).