When Aaron Turner started writing music for what would become Sumac’s forthcoming debut album, The Deal, the singer-guitarist set out to create some of the heaviest songs of his career — which is saying a lot considering that his résumé already included pulverizing art-metal groups like Isis, Old Man Gloom, Twilight, Greymachine, Split Cranium and more. As the project progressed, it became clear to Turner that he needed an exceptional drummer to match its intensity.
Friend, Converge guitarist and noted producer Kurt Ballou recommended Nick Yacyshyn of highly touted hardcore outfit Baptists and introduced the two musicians. But Yacyshyn also comes endorsed by a much more famous rocker: Foo Fighters frontman and a guy who knows his way around a drum kit, Dave Grohl. Since early last year, the former Nirvana member has repeatedly gone out of his way to publicly cite Yacyshyn as his “favorite new drummer,” sharing Baptists songs and live videos with millions of fans via the Foos’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Yacyshyn also impressed Turner, and together, they became Sumac. Brian Cook, formerly of Botch and currently of Russian Circles, laid down the bass on The Deal, but at its core, the group is a duo — one that coalesced around the song “Blight’s End Angel,” which you can hear below.
“‘Blight’s End Angel’ is the first song written for Sumac, before I even knew Sumac would exist,” Turner says. “I knew what my intentions were in terms of how the music should sound, and it seemed this song’s creation was an act of channeling rather than intellectual composition. The middle section of the piece was also the first thing Nick and I played together, which solidified Sumac as an entity — the threshold through which unformed ideas were transmuted into form and flesh.”
Sumac will release The Deal in North America on February 17th via Profound Lore Records/SIGE and play the following tour dates in March.
March 11 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
March 12 – Victoria, BC @ Logan’s Pub
March 13 – Portland, OR @ White Owl Social Club
March 14 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
March 15 – Seattle, WA @ Highline