For this Special DOC III Edition of Making Meaning, we’re talking with Glenn Szymanski of Tines!
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Let’s make some meaning…
MAKING MEANING: THE BACKGROUND
Tines is from Buffalo, New York and they play Heavy Progressive Rock.
Tines is: Arrow Fitzgibbon (keyboard), Mike Hermann (bass), Kelly Murphy (vocals), Eddie Pearsall (drums), and Glenn Szymanski (guitar).
MAKING MEANING: THE SONG
Listen to the song “Augmented Exile” from Tines Demo and learn what meaning Glenn makes:
Music for “Augmented Exile” by Glenn Szymanski and Arrow Fitzgibbon. Lyrics by Kelly Murphy. Engineered and Produced by Glenn Szymanski.
The music was mostly written by myself with help from Arrow Fitzgibbon on keyboards and lap steel. Kelly Murphy wrote the lyrics, vocal melody and sang on it. Former members Blake Ellman played drums and Mike Dagonese played bass. It appears on our compilation of demos from 2013-2017.
This is probably the song that I’m the most proud of composing. It’s an 11 minute plus prog epic, so there is really no escaping sounding pretentious when describing it. The original skeleton arrangement of the song was written in the fall of 2013 when the band first formed and was performed at our first 2 shows. This was recorded around this same time, but was only meant to be a pre-production demo. I then spent a few months experimenting with overdubs while the band was searching for a new drummer.
“This is probably the song that I’m the most proud of composing. It’s an 11 minute plus prog epic, so there is really no escaping sounding pretentious when describing it.” – Glenn Szymanski of Tines on their song “Augmented Exile”
It starts with a guitar riff that I came up with in the early 2000’s that was definitely influenced by the song “Fracture” by King Crimson. I loved the idea of having a saxophone sound doubling the guitar line. While we don’t have a saxophone player, we do make use of an astounding synthesizer from 1994 called the Yamaha VL1-m with a breath controller. I also played some doumbek-type percussion underneath this with a setting from a plugin called Chromophone. After a few rounds of that first line it kind of morphs into a dissonant funk riff with more horns courtesy of Native Instruments Reaktor VST. I also used kind of a vocoder effect underneath Kelly’s vocal for this part.
The intro section grinds to a halt with a screeching of the virtual saxophone and we’re into a heavy doom metal part. This part features some great piano and lap steel parts by Arrow Fitzgibbon that add to the harmonic content. You’ll also hear a sparsely added gong that was programmed into a Korg Wavedrum. Kelly Murphy’s haunting vocals on top of this section are a delicious doom frosting.
The next transition features some great sparse Fender Rhodes lines and acoustic guitar. Then a faster and heavier transition part that include a virtual violin again from the Reaktor VST (specifically Serenade by Chet Singer). Finally something resembling a verse is introduced by the Fender Rhodes and the whole band joins in. Hammond organ doubles the guitar, Fender Rhodes provide some passing tones underneath and analog synth doubles a line here and there. Kelly’s sharply spit out vocals lend themselves very well to this upbeat section.
The next “Mercy, mercy. Curses, curses!” vocal section has always reminded me of either a Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac song, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on which one. Maybe someone out there hears it too and can clue me in? The verse part returns for a few measures and then slams back into the funk section from the beginning. Then comes what I referred to as the “dream/nightmare” section, with a whole bunch of tweaked delayed guitar, lap steel, Fender Rhodes, weird metallic clanging noises from Chromophone and the Korg Wavedrum. This leads us back into the doom metal part, although only half as long as the first time around.
The next ‘Mercy, mercy. Curses, curses!’ vocal section has always reminded me of either a Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac song, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on which one. Maybe someone out there hears it too and can clue me in? – Glenn Szymanski of Tines on their song “Augmented Exile”
After this comes a simple two chord doom part with more great piano by Arrow. I added some timpani and 2 droning virtual violins. Kelly brings back some more vocal curses and begs for mercy. This part features a big orchestral crescendo (strings, flutes, oboes, bassoons, etc) and then we return one last time to the upbeat verse section. I had one last rocking riff that I thought would fit in with the song, so why not throw it in? I still really love this song 6 years later. We haven’t played it live in a while, but I look forward to adding it back into the set some day.
DESCENDANTS OF CROM III
We talked to Glenn about playing at Descendants of Crom III. The Third Annual Descendants of Crom heavy music festival takes place in Pittsburgh, PA September 20 – 22, 2019.
How do you feel about playing DOC III?
Very excited! We’ve only played Pittsburgh twice before, but I feel like we are appreciated there. We have lots of friends there. Shy is awesome!
What can the audience expect from your performance?
Something a little bit different than your usual doom/stoner band. We take a lot of influence from the hard rock of the 70’s and mix it together with the keyboard worship and adventurous composition of the great prog bands.
What other bands are you excited to see perform?
I personally haven’t seen Black Pyramid since around 2011, so I’m excited to see what they sound like now. I’ve heard great things about Argus and met some of them, but have yet to see them. We played a show with Vault featuring Erik Larson a few months ago, looking forward to seeing his other band Backwoods Payback. We’ve played with Fox 45 a few times and they’re always fun to see.
What else do you want readers to know?
I’ve been playing guitar in bands since 1990. My music making days went on a bit of a hiatus when my daughter was born in 1995, but after she went off to college in 2013 I started my dream band. It hasn’t been easy as a responsible greying adult, but I’m excited to get our music out there and to play with other cool bands and meet lots of new people. See you yinzers soon!
Thanks so much to Glenn of Tines for talking with us about their song “Augmented Exile” and Descendants of Crom III! We hope this adds to your experience of their band, their song, and their performance. Thanks for making meaning with us.
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