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Aaron Turner Says He Wishes ISIS' Last Album Would've Been Panopticon

"For me, personally, I wish Panopticon had been the last record. To put that bluntly."

"For me, personally, I wish Panopticon had been the last record. To put that bluntly."

Isis existed as a band between 1997 and 2010, at which point they broke up saying they had "done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say." Members of the band never really talk too much about the breakup or the band's history, though guitarist and vocalist Aaron Turner did open up quite a bit in an interview with Machine Music.

In the interview, Turner says it should be obvious to people about what members wanted to make what music, and that he thinks there really could've have been a follow up to 2009's Wavering Radiant even if they wanted to. Turner also says he wishes Isis would've stopped after Panopticon in 2004, meaning there never would've been In The Absence Of Truth in 2006 or Wavering Radiant.

I think that’s very telling, and I think that anybody that has really paid attention could decipher what the creative differences were just by listening to what everyone was doing afterwards. We went in different directions. And to some extent those creative contrasts were what made ISIS effective at times, the fact that everybody did have different ideas and pushed and pulled in different directions created a complexity in our sound and some dynamics that I think were ultimately pretty interesting.

As far of the diplomacy in terms of how we presented the story at the end of the band, that was partially accurate. It was accurate in that we said in our statement, basically, that we had said all we could say as a collective, that was very much true. If we had tried to write another record we wouldn’t of had the choice of breaking up it just would have imploded on its own accord.

The component of speaking about creative differences, that was very real as well. When we started the common goal was pretty unified. And at that point some of us are still in our late teens and early twenties, so our creative personas and our personalities were still in these very formative, transitional periods. So it was easier, I think, at that point to put differences aside and just plunge into this collective effort. But as we grew older and our tastes became more specific and more divergent, it became harder and harder to find that common ground and find a way to make it work.

To reference the first part of your question, about whether or not I’m glad that Wavering Radiant was our last record – I’m glad it was our last record because, as I said, I don’t think we could have written another one. I don’t feel good about it as a final statement for the band. It’s definitely not my favorite record we made. I can’t disentangle it from the difficulty that I experienced in making it. So, for me, though I’m glad that other people have gotten something out of some of the ISIS record that I don’t feel really good about, which would be the last two….. I’m glad they exist for the people who enjoy them. For me, personally, I wish Panopticon had been the last record [laughs]. To put that bluntly.

Isis is currently mixing the audio from their 2018 reunion show in memory of Cave In and Old Man Gloom bassist Caleb Scofield for a release this year.


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