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KEN mode interview: Shane Matthewson breaks out of the comfort zone

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Winnipeg’s brain-trust noise trio, KEN mode are about to hit the road again, this time with Chicago’s Russian Circles and Richmond, Virginia’s Inter Arma. This marks one of the many legs of their tour cycle in support of their highly acclaimed 2013 release, “Entrench” This week, The Examiner connected with drummer Shane Matthewson to talk about making the new record, the impact of the band’s new bassist, and his unnatural love of Tina Fey.

It is likely that if you are reading this article you already know the back story on KEN mode; the KEN meaning–kill everyone now. But for the uninitiated, the band was formed in 1999 by the Matthewson brothers, Jesse (vocals, guitar) and Shane (drums), along with former bassist, Darryl Laxdal.

KEN mode has released five studio albums to date beginning with “Mongrel” in 2003 through there most recent, “Entrench“, last year. The latter marks the band’s first for new bassist Andrew LaCour and the first on Season of Mist records. Seattle’s Matt Bayles (Soundgarden, Mastodon, Pearl Jam) produced the new record, and Shane talks about having more time on this record and working with Bayles as well as producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Skeletonwitch, Kvelertak) on their previous record, “Venerable“.

Shane and Jesse were recently interviewed by Forbes Magazine on how their respective backgrounds in accounting and marketing play into the band’s success, as well as their ability to focus on KEN mode full-time. Shane found humor in doing the Forbes piece and shared that when it comes down to it, most of the time it is “guess and test” and hope for the best.

Matthewson talked about having extra time in the studio for the “Entrench“, how Andrew’s writing style fit into the band, and his strange fascination with comedy and comedians. Check out the full interview above and catch KEN mode on tour this winter.

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