Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ruarri O' Baoghill Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with your solo work these days?

At the moment I’m in the middle of my seven releases in seven months plan. I planned  an album a month to be released for the first half of the year, then concentrate on shows for the second half. It’s been going pretty good so far, but with promo and everything it’s a giant undertaking. So far since January there’s been “Forest Rites” with Breinskham (Noctivagant Records), “Descensus Tenebris” with Occult Odyssey (Black Mourning Productions), my own third full length album, “To See Without Eyes” (Cursed Monk Records) ”Between Flesh and Dust” with Dark Awake (Cursed Monk Records) and “Decay” with Sona Nyl (Cursed Monk Records). The next two releases have been pushed back a little bit, so it won’t be seven albums in seven months anymore but that’s okay. They are Ruairi O’Baoighill & Luxury Mollusc (Cruel Nature Records) and “Shrine” with Ashtoreth (Cursed Monk Records). After that I’m hoping to play some shows. Get a new Order of the Black Dawn album out, then begin writing my fourth album at the start of 2019. 

2.Recently you have released 2 splits, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

Both are very ritualistic in their own right. For my pieces on Decay I wanted them to be three parts of one ritual to open the album, so those pieces flow together in a more linear fashion. One piece split into three parts. Whereas my work on “Between Flesh and Dust” whilst still ritualistic, is more experimental. Even drifting into psychedelia in places. So while it’s still telling a story, it’s more so chapters in a book, rather than parts of a chapter.

3.A lot of your music is inspired by Horror Films, Irish Paganism and Occultism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

Sure, but there’s not much to tell. I’ve been interested in the idea of ritual from a very young age. I was a practising Catholic for many years, which is where my interest began. After I lost my faith in the Church, I began to look into the history of religion in Pre-Christian Ireland. As well as more esoteric religions, and psychedelics, most of which were legal in Ireland at the time. I wasn’t looking for a new belief structure or anything like that, but more so investigating out of curiosity. I found and still find it all endlessly fascinating, and I draw heavily from it in all creative aspects of my life. The same goes for Horror, I’ve always had a keen interest in the weird and macabre, so I like to do my part to add a bit more of that into the world. 

4.Since 2016 you have released  a great  amount of music, do you spend a great amount of time writing and creating music?

Most of my time is spent writing music in one form or another. Outside of the Ruairi project, I write for a drone doom band I’m a part of called Stonecarver, I also have a noise project (Reilig) an industrial metal project (Stonedcrow), a doom metal project (Boleskine) I’m also part of dark ambient collective (Order of the Black Dawn) and run a record label (Cursed Monk Records).  I know it’s a terrible cliche, but music really is my life. Next to my partner and dog of course.

5.You are also involved with 'Order Of The Black Dawn', can you tell us a little bit more about this musical project?

The Order was originally meant to be a split album between myself and Michal Polgar (Asath Reon, Movranah). We had a great time working on it, so decided to form a collective rather than release a split. Since then we have recruited two more members. Todd (Withering of Light, Shrine of the Serpent) and Ana (Dult). We have been trying to get a second album written, but with four different people, all with their own lives, schedules, and projects, this is easier said than done. But I’m sure someday we’ll get a second album done. They are all exceptionally talented people and I’m looking forward to working with them.

6.What are some of the best shows that you have done so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

My favourite shows so far have been “A Berry Feast Vol 3” in Austria. The audience were very divided at the end, which at the time I thought was great, plus I’ve been told the visuals I used made someone vomit. At the time it was a big win for me and I thought it was hilarious. But I was still trying to figure out what I was doing, and why I was doing it. These days I try not to make my shows as visually challenging. People have enough to be worrying about without me trying to make them sick for no good reason. It’s been quite a learning experience for me.  Collaborating with Ashtoreth at Radiant Arts Fest in Belgium was also amazing. He is an outstanding artist that I am very proud to know, and even prouder to be considered a peer. To have the opportunity to work with him was, and is, an honour.  For Irish shows, my favourite was Species 2016. That was so much fun. Species is an amazing festival and a must for people interested in gothic and industrial culture. It’s an annual festival in the hills of Co.Leitrim and is run by an incredible couple, Harriet and Iliocht. If you go, and you should, its a weekend you’ll speak fondly about till your end of days. My live show depends on the venue. Sometimes it consists of a lot of smoke and visuals, with a candle lit stage. Sometimes it’s in total darkness. I try to make the most of whatever space I’m in.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

There may be some shows in Holland, Belgium, and Germany in October/November, I’m currently trying to figure all that out. I’m booked to play Species again this year, but due to some complications on my part it’s up in the air, which is unfortunate as I look forward to it every year. Hopefully it’ll work out.

8.Recently you have been a part of some splits with 'Dark Awake' and 'Sona nyl', what are your thoughts on these other musical projects?

I’m really excited about those releases. Both of those projects are great, and both are really good people. It was a real honour to work with them, and hopefully we can do it again in the future. 

9.Both of the splits were released on 'Cursed Monk Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

I decided to start Cursed Monk as a way to release my own work, but when artists I highly respect such as Weed Priest, Luxury Mollusc, Gourd, and Beneath the Sod wanted to release on the label I jumped at the opportunity, and decided to expand the label into a somewhat unique home on Irish soil for an eclectic mix of Doom/Sludge/Industrial/Noise/Ritual Ambient/Psych/Folk and all sorts of musical esoterica. We also have a podcast to promote other artists as well as our own called “Cursedcast - Dark Sounds from the Underground” which you can find on mixcloud.

 10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of ritual and dark ambient?

With facebook's pay to be seen policy, and their new algorithm, it’s harder than ever to reach new people. But the feedback I have got from those who have heard it, has been really positive. I have incredibly supportive fans and I’m so lucky to have them. I’ve been told on several occasions that my music has helped people through some really hard times. An honour I would have never expected to have bestowed on me. It’s an indescribable feeling to know that music you make to help yourself get through your problems, is helping someone else get through theirs. It’s an incredible honour.  But I’m sure lots of people think its shit too. To be honest the positive feedback was, is, and always will be surprising. It’s not easy music, it’s not made for other people, it never will be. But those that do relate to it. Those are my people.

11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

I don’t really think about it to be honest. I’m just going to keep writing and experimenting. I’ll hopefully work with more artists, and work with the ones I’ve already worked with again. That’s the ideal situation. But that’s just ideas. The future is only ideas, and while ideas are important, the here and now is more so.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Zaum. The new Drug Cult stuff sounds great too. I’m looking forward to the album.  I listen to all sorts, but I think bands like Electric Wizard, Cough, Moss, Windhand, The Hare and the Moon, Ministry, Melvins, Subrosa and Blood Ceremony have had the most influence on my music these past few years, but that’s really for my other projects and how I approach thinking and writing for them. The influence for my output as Ruairi O’Baoighill comes from a much deeper, more personal place. Ruairi is like a sonic therapist. 

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

I enjoy creating album art and shirt designs, socialising, reading, movies, art, all the regular stuff. I’m also really into video games at the moment. Generally things that can take my mind away from making music, but still feed my imagination for when I get back to the studio. 

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Just to say thanks for taking the time to interviewing me. And please, check out the label and the podcast. The artists there deserve your attention.

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