Thrash Hits

October 17th, 2012

PROGTOLOGY with James Monteith of TesseracT: #9 – On losing vocalists, winning awards, and bringing it back from the brink

It’s been a bit of a rough year for the guys from TesseracT. We browbeat their guitarist, James Monteith, into telling us the inside story of just what’s been going on with them these last few months.

Progtology with James Monetieth Thrash Hits

Let’s be straight up; the last year has pretty much sucked for TesseracT. We lost our singer from our debut album, much to the disappointment of fans, we parted ways with our US management, lost our US booking agent and stopped getting any gig offers in the UK / Europe.

One plus was that we got to work with the phenomenal vocalist Elliot Coleman, who joined the band to replace Dan Tompkins. But with him living in the US, the impracticalities of writing the second album were far greater than we envisaged, so we found ourselves down a singer once again in June. Various people in the industry were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to come back from this, and told us that another singer change will lessen fan confidence even further. And just went we didn’t think stuff could get any worse, our one and only tour of the year (with Animals As Leaders, no less) was cancelled. With no singer, no gigs and a massive drop in industry confidence, it’s pretty safe to say that summer 2013 was a bit of a low point for us.

I remember when Metal Hammer contacted us about being nominated for Best UK band at the Golden Gods, and we were thinking “Really? Wow if only they knew WTF’s going on”. However being nominated was obviously a massive thing for us, and definitely helped us keep focused and fix the mess that we’d gotten into. Some people still seemed to believe in us!

Watch Thrash Hits TV: TesseracT @ Download Festival 2012:

New material was coming together and sounding pretty good, so all we had to do was sort our shit out, so we set out to find a new vocalist immediately. After auditioning what felt like hundreds of people, from known people in established bands to enthusiastic kids, the man for the job was under our nose the whole time. Acle (Kahney – TesseracT’s other guitarist) had mixed Ashe O’hara’s band Voices From The Fuselage a while back, and when he played them to us we were all like “he sounds awesome, let’s see if he’s interested!” Everything from his studio and live performance, to his writing style fit perfectly. The new single Nocturne was actually his writing audition, and it turned out so great that pretty much all the ideas made it to the final version!

Then followed the Prog awards, where we’d been nominated for Best New Band. This was an insane event, where we found ourselves rubbing shoulders with some real legends and amazing bands; Steve Hackett, Fish, Rick Wakeman, ELP and Anathema were all milling in the bar, and my mate Barley from Basick Records had the look of a 12 year old girl at a Take That gig in the 90s on his face the whole time. And then completely unexpectedly, we won! Other winners from the night included Pink Floyd, Rush, Steve Wilson and Genesis, so to have our name placed up there with those guys was beyond surreal…and completely unimaginable two months beforehand.

The time had come to announce Ashe as vocalist. We were a little nervous, but also confident that Ashe is the perfect fit for where we’re at now. Luckily for us, most fans felt the same and Ashe was given a very warm welcome.

Suddenly things seem to be coming together… gig offers have started coming in again including supporting Devin Townsend and Fear Factory in December, festivals next year, including Hard Rock Hell Prog and various other things. The last phase of launching TesseracT 3.0 is the live show, which kicks off next week with a few UK warm up dates, and then Euroblast festival, followed by some mainland dates. We are so excited about getting out on the road again!

I think we’re back.


‘Nocturne’, TesseracT’s new single featuring their new vocalist Ashe O’hara, is currently available as a free download – check out the official TesseracT website for more details. The band are also hitting the road from tonight for a brief run of UK and European dates, before heading back out on the road in December as openers for Devin Townsend. It’s definitely worth buying yourself an early Christmas present in the form of a ticket and getting down there early to catch James, Ashe, and the rest of the TesseracT boys show what a Prog Award-winning band is capable of.

TesseracT Autumn/Winter 2012 tour dates:
17 Brighton The Haunt
19 Milton Keynes The Crauford
21 Koln – Euroblast 2012
22 Paris Le Batofar
23 Nijmegen Merleyn
26 London – Voodoo Halloween @ the Electrowerkz
13 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall (supporting Devin Townsend)
14 Glasgow ABC (supporting Devin Townsend)
15 Manchester Ritz (supporting Devin Townsend)
16 Bristol O2 Academy (supporting Devin Townsend)
17 Southampton Mo Club Southampton, United Kingdom


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