1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?
I've just released "666 Minutes in Hell", which is an 11+ hours Dark Ambient concept album about hell. It was really exhausting to finish it. As with any work, there is a fun part and a not-so-fun part. The creative part was of course fun as hell, but the technical nuances were overwhelming. I usually enjoy the mixing phase, but with 11 hours of material, it was quite taxing. So I'm happy that I could finally move on.
Right now I'm compiling a mixtape kind of release for the project, which won't be a usual Dark Ambient album, but rather a drone metal / experimental release.
I've also started collecting materials and ideas for the next major release, which will be a Bloodborne inspired ambient album.
Additionally, a song of mine, titled "Kapteyn's Darkness" will be featured on an upcoming Eighth Tower Records' compilation.
I don't work on more than one projects in parallel, although I have a huge backlog of concepts that I want to execute, so I wish I'd have more time and energy to do so.
2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Well, as I'm only at the beginning of my journey as a musician in this genre, I'm always finding and incorporating new elements. On "666 Minutes in Hell", I had piano segments, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, spoken word, harsh vocals. I've also used several new ideas from the audio engineering point of view, and just the sheer volume of the project was new. This album, in itself, is I think 2 or 3 times longer than all the other materials I've released combined.
3. The new album was also 666 minutes in length, what was the decision behind making an album that long and how long did the recording process take to record an album of that portion?
I had planned to make a long album without any concept already, and I also had the idea of a hell concept album. When I started collecting materials and composing for the latter, I realized that this is going to be that very long album.
Initially, it was titled 6.6 hours in Hell, but as I was working on it, it grew to almost 16 hours, so by the end, I had to cut 5 hours out to fit into the re-titled 666 minutes concept. It took about half a year to make the album from the first sounds till the day it got released.
4.A a lot of the song themes deal with the occult, Satanism and the dark arts, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics and also how long have you had an interest in the occult?
First, answering the questions regarding interest in dark topics, I've always been this way from childhood. I believe it's just the nature of some people to be attracted towards these topics. It's great to find like minded people around the word and share this passion, either as a listener or as a musician, or in other arts like painting, literature, films, etc. Personally, I don't wanna pose as a minister in the Church of Satan, rather I'm just a casual consumer (and sometimes producer) of these topics. It's unrelated to faith, as I'm quite interested in Abrahamic religions as well, even though I despise them. In short, anything mystical, unexplained, unusual, weird, extreme, I'm interested, be it serial killers, anything ancient, religions, cosmology, .., you name it.
Regarding faith, I do not hold a strong faith towards anything, although I highly value the individualist nature of Satanism. It just makes the most sense to me as a way of life. Although people nowadays already have a strong "me, me, me" attitude, that's a twisted way of viewing individualism. The individualist viewpoint should also believe that all the people around you are probably completely different from you, and they have every right to be so, and them, as individuals, should be respected just as much as yourself.
People are different, in every way, and no communal viewpoint will work for everyone. Even on the biological level, what medicine works for you, might not work for me, not to mention as complex things as thoughts, interests, preferences, etc. By this nature, we have a very small chance of properly understanding what others want and feel, especially if they are not close to us. So I find it mind boggling when a person interacts with another one thinking that his own beliefs and preferences apply to everyone. If it causes no harm to you, you have no right to judge another person's way of life. Be it a preference of rather ordering food instead of cooking, or having a footjob kink.
Another important thing I'm trying to apply to myself, is accepting that there are behaviours and instincts that millions of years of evolution and hundreds of thousands of years of tribalism had on a human. We only recently, in the last few thousand years started to live in such societies resembling our current way of living. Simply disregarding ancient behaviours that are deeply coded into you, or just simply labeling them "evil", that isn't the proper way to manage them. Especially in our current culture where major entities act as the "thought police".
I'm not saying we should live like animals or as a tribesman, but in order to decipher yourself, you need to foster these ideas, instead of suppressing them like you are told to. "Why am I doing this? Why am I feeling this way? People tell me that it's an evil, or at least a wrong feeling. Then why am I having it? Am I a wrong person? Or is it in my nature? Why is it in my nature?". You don't have to act upon these thoughts and feelings, but without understanding where they come from (to which often the answers are simply evolutionary or tribal), you cannot take control over them.
In short, find out your interests, beliefs, thoughts, kinks, way of life. As long as it hurts no one, live up to them. Find people who you feel in fellowship. Give it to yourself and also let others live the life they want.
On a greater scheme of faith, nobody has any idea. It would be great to crack the mysteries of consciousness, matter, spacetime, multiverses, life, but I am quite certain these won't be solved, at least not in my lifetime. Still, any of these are great topics to delve into and consider all the possible theories.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The artwork of "666 Minutes in Hell" is 100+ images of dark entities, objects, architecture and feelings, presented in an ancient, bleak way. I cannot explain it further, not because I intentionally want to be obscure, just, I have no words for it. It's the same with music, I think what actually drives you to create any art, is because you cannot express your thoughts and feelings in simple words. So you make music, paint something, or wrap it in a written story.
6.Since 2020 you have also released a great amount of music with this progress., do you spend a great amount of time writing and creating music?
Not as much as I'd like to. I think the key is to work on the material every single day. Especially because I believe most musicians get tired after a few hours, both creatively and also your ears. At least for me, I cannot spend a whole day working on music, rather do it in small chunks, but I try to do that every single day. Like how they tell writers to be consistent, and write X pages every day.
7.Would you also be open to bringing this musical project onto the live stage if the opportunity ever came?
Due to the nature of how my music is composed, it would not make much sense, at least for now. Just stepping up and pressing "play" would be pretty fake. Also, I think this kind of music is rather better experienced in seclusion.
Like, I've seen Sunn O))) a few times live, but it was more like a pilgrimage to undergo their wall of sound, rather than a regular metal live show.
8.You have also mentioned being interested in the writings of Lovecraft and science fiction, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
No wonder Lovecraft (and King as well) are known outside of the circle of horror fanatics, their impact is undeniable. I especially connect with Lovecraft's work with his enquiry about primeval topics and his view on humanity as insignificant.
As for sci-fi specifically, while I was writing the Leonov album, I realized how much I enjoy working with futuristic and modern sounds, opposed to the archaic sounding music I made before that. It doesn't matter whether it's set in the past or future, if it's mystical, otherworldly and dark, it fits my vision.
9.You also mention that you also write your own horror stories, what are some of the stories you have written so far for this genre and how does your version of horror differ from other authors?
I've publicized those short stories under a different name, and I'm still unsure whether I like to tie these hobbies together. Fact is, I'm not a native English speaker, which does not cause problems during business or private conversations, but in writing, my "style" in English comes off as weird and immature. The lack of vocabulary makes it dry, and the grammar mistakes come through immediately.
In addition, I of course cannot work as efficiently as with my native tongue. As with music, I think being efficient is a key component in fulfilling your creativity. If it only takes 5 seconds checking out how two sounds combined together sound, then you can experiment a lot, but if it would take 2 minutes, you might say "ah, nevermind, fuck that", and by that, limit your creative output.
It's tough, as I love writing, I've been working as a music journalist in the past and have written fiction in several genres. So even if my ideas are worth it, the execution is hardly professional. I might create a website for these stories in the future, just to catalog them nicely.
10.You also have played in black and death metal bands, how would you compare that to the dark ambient style that you are currently playing?
I more and more get the feeling that playing in a black metal band and doing BlackWeald are not even comparable. Although metal elements and influence often sneak into this project, this is mostly a digital project, composed in a way similar to electronic music. Even if I record guitars or anything live, I usually loop it and manipulate the shit out of it.
Plugging your guitar into the amplifier, screaming into the microphone, while the drummer blasts loudly, all in an analog way, embracing any mistakes you make during the performance, well, this is totally different than zooming your eyes on an automation clip to make a half a second of an audio clip 0.5 dB louder. These two ways of making and playing music have not intersected for me, at least for now.
Even on my upcoming release, where there are a few metal-ish tracks, those are not composed in the way metal music is made. At least I'm not aware of people using 808s in a funeral doom track. I rather consider this experimental music, distorted guitars aren't exclusively metal music. Especially that most of the "distorted guitar sound" I make isn't even guitar-based, but synth-based. I dislike noise music, but love distorted sounds and screeching feedbacks, so I'm pretty sure I'd use these more when it fits the concept of a song.
11.Are you also open to working with a record label in the future?
I don't think so. I'm greedy enough of my IPs, that I don't want to transfer any rights or control of it to someone else. Still, it would be amazing to be part of such a community like Cryo Chamber, but I don't think my work fits their catalog, neither in style nor in quality.
12.Do you have any plans to release more albums in 2021?
Of course! Time will tell how fast can I work on the upcoming projects, as I'm approaching a quite busy period in my life. Still, I'm sure the Bloodborne ambient album will happen before summer, then a few experimental EPs, and hopefully a sci-fi/space ambient till the end of the year.
I also plan to do some late-Earth style record, then something more beat-driven industrial. If the urge comes, these might happen sooner than planned.
Taking part in collaborations (not necessarily with Dark Ambient musicians) is on the bucket list as well, but that's for much later. Anyhow, quick compilation works are always welcome, as working with limitations always sparks up creativity.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the opportunity to share these words and thanks for everyone who supported this project so far.
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