1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
We’ve been mainly concentrating on rehearsing for our US East Coast tour with Mitochondrion and Auroch in May as well as playing shows with our side-projects. A lot of time was also invested in making sure everything is ready for the tour, which can be a really time-consuming and frustrating process.
2.In May you have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
When we finally released “Deprived” in September 2014, the writing process had been done for over two years, so of course our influences and the way we write songs had evolved by the time we started writing songs for our second effort. I feel that the material on “Bringer Of Drought” is a better representation of where we’re at musically at this point in our existence. The new songs are definitely darker and the doomy, slow parts are a little more present on the new album.
Chaos, darkness and pain have always been the three main ingredients in our songs, but while “Deprived” was a little more focused on the chaotic aspect of our music, I would say that this aspect took a backseat on “Bringer Of Drought”. The new album is definitely more focused on pain and darkness rather than on chaos and dissonance. This might change again on our future releases since we still love this type of stuff, but this is how those new songs turned out when we wrote them.
3.The band has been around since 2008 but so far has only released 2 albums, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
We formed Phobocosm in January 2008 after leaving our former band Vengeful, so from 2008 until 2010, we learned a few cover songs of bands that we like and I also wrote our first batch of original songs. We kept working on those songs and we found our sound sometime in 2010, after which I decided to scrap the material that we had at that point and to start anew in a more collaborative way. The new songs that emerged from this collaboration were written over a period of one year from late 2010 to late 2011. We rehearsed and perfected those songs for months until we were 100% satisfied with them.
We recorded drum tracks for what would become Deprived in late 2011, but just as we were getting ready to start recording guitar tracks at the beginning of 2012, our other guitar player left the band. A good friend of ours then joined the band and we started playing live in our hometown. We then resumed the recording of our first album, but the engineer we used just couldn’t seem to come up with the sound we had in mind. We decided to scrap everything besides drum tracks and vocals and re-record everything else and then we hired Colin Marston to mix and master our album in early 2014. Shortly after, we signed with Dark Descent Records but we had to wait until September 2014 to release “Deprived” since we were still working on the artwork after the mixing and mastering of the album.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
“Bringer Of Drought” was not necessarily intended to be a concept album per se, but as the writing of the lyrics progressed, we noticed that each song had some kind of relationship with one of the four elements bringing chaos and destruction upon mankind, so we decided to use this to our advantage and to emphasize this while working on the subsequent drafts of the lyrics.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Phobocosm'?
When we started to look for a band name, we wanted to find a unique name that would not sound like any other band name without having to resort to using a really long one, so our best bet was to form a new word using existing words. Phobocosm is a combination of the words “Phobos” and “Cosmos”, so it loosely translates to fear of cosmos (cosmos as in the opposite of chaos, nothing to do with space). Since chaos plays a huge part in our music, we felt that it was an appropriate name for our band and we also liked how it sounded, so we just went with it.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I think some of our best shows are the ones we did with Vengeful and Incantation. Our album release shows with Thantifaxath and Adversarial were really good shows too. We also had the chance to share the stage with Ulcerate, Chthe’ilist, Bölzer, Mgła and At The Gates among others.
We try our best to create a dark, unsettling, hypnotizing mood when we play live by playing as loud and intensely as possible and by using oppressive, harsh-sounding samples between songs as well as dark visuals when the venue allows us to do so. Mood and atmosphere are the two most important things for us when it comes to playing live along with replicating the original recorded version of each song as closely as possible, of course.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
As I mentioned previously, we are doing a short US East Coast tour with fellow Canadian bands Mitochondrion and Auroch in May on the way to MDF 2016. We also have some offers for shows and tours, but nothing confirmed yet. We would definitely like to do a European tour at some point, maybe next year.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of dark death metal?
Of course we’re fans of our own music since we’re into bands that play in a similar style, but we really didn’t know what to expect when we first started playing live and when we finally released our first album in terms of reception. Luckily, the reception we got was beyond our expectations and we couldn’t be happier with everything that's happened to us since the band’s inception. We play music for ourselves first and foremost, but I'd be lying if I said that the fact that the vast majority of the reviews we read for “Deprived” were very positive didn't make us proud. I’m glad we waited until we had material that was strong enough before releasing anything because we still really like our first album and we don’t have shitty demos circulating around that we don’t want anyone to hear.
9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
All of us have side-projects which allow us to experiment with other musical styles. Our drummer and I are in an old-school death metal band with a bunch of old friends called Obsolete Mankind. This band is purely for fun which is a huge relief for me since I get to play music without worrying about anything else. Our singer rejoined our former band Vengeful a little over a year ago, one of the best local bands in our area. However, our main focus is Phobocosm.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Hard to say, really. I think our music will keep oscillating between dark death metal and doom metal. Some albums might lean a little bit more towards one or the other. However, one thing’s for sure: we will keep exploring the darker aspects of both styles and we will make sure we reach our goal, which is to create music that is heavy both musically and atmosphere-wise.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I’ve been influenced by a lot of bands that do not fall in the extreme metal category for this new album. Actually, the main difference between our first and second album is that the material on “Deprived” was a lot more inspired by bands that play in a similar style, whereas the songs on “Bringer Of Drought” were significantly more influenced by bands that do not play death metal at all. As far as metal is concerned, I’ve been listening to a lot of Altarage, Abjvration, Inverloch, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Plebeian Grandstand, Irkallian Oracle and Gevurah as well as old favorites like Neurosis, Ulcerate, Gorguts, Incantation, Deathspell Omega, Swans, etc.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Personally, I like travelling, visiting historical places, museums, reading, stuff like this. However, I think I can speak for the rest of the band when I say that music comes first. We are 100% devoted to our craft and everything else is secondary.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
If would you like to be taken to a place where darkness reigns, check out our albums and come see us live. Thanks for the interview.