"We thought it was a joke all the way up until we got on the plane," Iron Thrones guitarist Steve Henningsgard confessed to Noisecreep. "Bands like us don't win things." Of course he's speaking of the Minnesota-based act winning Scion and Metal Insider's No Label Needed contest earlier this year.

Henningsgard admitted everything that came as the prize was surreal -- the crash courses in press, pictures and business all aided the four-piece, but for Henningsgard, a producer himself, the part that he took home was new skills he learned from working in the studio with Will Putney (Suicide Silence, Four Year Strong).

"The stuff I'm taking away from it isn't as much mic techniques or anything. Obviously his were superior to anything I was doing, so I definitely paid attention as much as I could," says Henningsgard. "The biggest things I'm taking away are the actual management of files within the sessions." Before recording 'The Wretched Sun' he was used to tracks stacked on each other in a digital pile, some muted and forgone takes getting in the way.

"Being a musician first I tend to think creatively before structurally. Especially when you're recording your own stuff, you're like, 'I have this idea and I'm gonna record it. Now I have this other idea I'm gonna record it.' Eventually it just becomes a mess, as far as to look at."

Henningsgard -- who is not averse to working with a producer again -- admitted he was always fine with that mess before, but seeing another producer keep the recording process clean inspired him, helping him focus on being the artist. "It clears up your head to really keep thinking forward, and you're not always thinking, 'I need to remember to cut that part out and I have to figure out which take of the solo we're gonna use.'"

'The Wretched Sun' has been chalking up the praise since its July release for a varied sound that finds a home somewhere between prog and post-metal. "We tried to push ourselves into different routes and to practically give us options for the next full-length," Henningsgard explained, already excited about the uncertainty of where the band could travel sonically.

"We're gonna write whatever we want regardless, but that means we can pick and choose stuff that might help people grow with us."