Profile: David Schellenberg of Noise Titans Tunic

There are times when I’m speaking on noise rock albums that I’ll reference huge names such as AmRep or The Jesus Lizard and there’s good reason for that in certain scenarios. I guess you could say that falls under the RIYL category, but with noise rock it’s different since it’s such a unique style of music that, for me, should evoke the feeling of being put through the ringer and needing a cleansing after listening. BUT, this is only experienced when said noise rock album is done right and the name dropping is, again, only apt when done right. And, on Quitter, Winnipeg, Canada’s Tunic does noise rock the right way: obtuse, jagged, extremely loud and pummeling in such a way that it bruises to the core. However, there’s another element to their approach that makes this album, and their back catalog, even more of a noise homerun which is the realism in the lyrics, the real time experiences that color each track, and the scathing vocal delivery from David Schellenberg. Ahead of the album’s release, we had the chance to ask David our set of Profile questions to gain some insight on him, the band, and their sound so jump in and see how it went down. And do be sure to grab a copy from the links contained within.

Tunic - Quitter

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

I got into playing music in a pretty stereotypical way, my friends in Jr. High were starting a band and they needed a bass player, so I begged my parents to rent me a bass, so they did. But what really kept me playing music was the people I would meet through it and the access to the community that comes with it, that was really cool.

I’ve 100% accomplished a level of success that I am happy with, I always joke that, 15 year old me would think that 30 year old me is the coolest guy ever haha. But 15 year old me was pretty unaware of what success in the music industry looks like, so 30 year old me knows that there is still a lot of work to do.

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)

For Tunic, we never really debased ourselves too much to get anything. We once slept in a metal shipping container in mid February in Slovenia, and we had the heat cranked so high that we all woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat gasping for air.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal (or replace “metal” with “music” if you prefer) and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

My favourite thing happening in music right now, is everyone pushing their tracks as hard as they can and clipping the shit out of them, making them sound so blown out. The latest The Body and Low record are great examples of this.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

I agree, it is a very very good thing. Personally, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life and even wanted to kill myself at the age of 8, I’ve also struggled with alcohol as a coping mechanism for my poor mental health. So mental health advocacy is something that’s important to me. How it relates to my music? Well, Quitter really acts as a diary of my journey battling my addictions and my mental health.

What, or who, got you into metal (or replace “metal” with “music” if you prefer) and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

As a preteen I started to dabble with music, it was that prime age where one searches for their identity. My friend’s older brothers had a band that would cover early Weezer and The Strokes so that was a gateway into some cool music, that and skateboard videos. The Girl “Yeah Right” introduced me to Interpol and that was my real gateway band into music as a kid and I became obsessed. My family was cool with it, they were supportive, I don’t think they thought my obsession would last this long to be honest…

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

Learn/ask for everyone’s pronouns. Dan, our drummer is nonbinary, and constantly, they are misgendered by everyone in the industry. It’s such a simple thing to do.

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

What’s my goal for Tunic? I want it to be a part time / full time job. I want it to be as lucrative as it is if I’m at home working my day job. I would love to fill 200 person rooms in 100 different cities. We both have day jobs. Dan works in a high school cafeteria and I work in digital marketing.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?

I already mentioned both these records, but I’ve recently been obsessed with the new Low album “Hey What.” It’s a masterpiece, so innovative and beautiful. On the complete other side I’ve also been really into The Body’s latest “I’ve Seen All I Need To See” which is one of the most hideous and terrifying albums I’ve ever heard, it’s truly a masterpiece.

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

Releasing Quitter on October 15th, demoing LP 3 in the studio on October 16-17. Travelling to Rhode Island to record album 3 in November/December. Ideally play some shows in March. We’re suppose to tour the UK/EU in July of 2022, so that would be cool.

Summarize your band in exactly one word.

Unpleasant

Many thanks to David and Tunic for their time!


Quitter will be available October 15 on Artoffact Records. For more information on Tunic, visit their official website.

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