Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Transylvanian Funeral Interview

1. Can you give us a brief history of the band?

A Transylvanian Funeral began in March of 2008. Sojourner and I were in my studio playing guitars and came up with the song Asmoday Unbound, and it really took off from there...we wrote the 13 tracks that are on the album in roughly two months. Once there were three or four songs, I began passing out free demos at shows and record stores. Sometime when the album was ready to be released, Sojourner lost interest in working on the project and I have been doing everything myself, which is fine. I enjoy what I am doing and am not slowing down...relying on others slows me down.

2. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?

Aggressive. Violent. Dark. Evil. There is a lot of different influence in my work, especially thrash but I try to incorporate as much as I know into the music and lyrics. It is definitely not mall metal bullshit and it never will be. Someone asked me what the sound was like and started naming of all these bands like Disturbed and White Chapel and I had to explain to this person that those bands and A Transylvanian Funeral have nothing in common...I don't hate those bands, that would be a waste of my energy...I just don't care about them...I suppose a good definition would be that ATF is a vessel for the darkest aspects of my higher self to manifest...

3. What is the meaning behind the band's name?

The name A Transylvanian Funeral to me, means ritual and mystery. Every society has funeral customs, rituals and ways of doing things. Transylvania is meant to extend a sense of mystery to something that is familiar, such as a funeral. Ultimately, it is for the listener to decide.I think that the Transylvanian part of the name has a gothic sound to it or something and maybe that gives people the wrong idea...my idea of goth is the Sisters of Mercy or Skinny Puppy, not exactly black metal, but definitely something I enjoy more than some shit I've heard that is gothic...to me, black metal is the most gothic music you could have...whatever that means...

4. What does black metal mean to you and what inspired you to play this kind of music?

I have no tolerance for commercial music and I wanted to get as far away from the way I was doing things as I could. I don't care to play live, I don't care to make the scene or any of that shit...all that does is take away from the song. I can record a song and it will outlive me and everyone I know where as I can play a show and maybe someone will remember it. Black metal is a way of doing things the way you want to do them without any regard for what other think. ATF is a vessel for my own creativity and not an outlet for scenes, clubs, promoters, etc.

5. How would you describe the lyrical content of the music?

The lyrics encompass things that interest me...occult and satanic perspective and knowledge. Some of them tell stories, some relay a feeling or message. I hope the listener is able to gather their own meanings from what I write about. My next release may not even have lyrics just to do something different and allow more interpretation from the audience. I really wanted the lyrics to be strong enough to stand on their own as a form of poetry as well.

6. What direction do you see the music going into on future releases?

I definitely want to incorporate more atmosphere and doom elements into my next release. I have a lot of good keyboard sounds but don't want to do the whole symphonic metal thing...I don't really care for that stuff...Keys would be used to add more atmosphere and gloom, not melody lines...I really wouldn't be using string sounds or anything...more along the lines of sound textures from sources like the ARP 2600.

7. What are you listening to nowadays and what are some good bands or releases that you would recommmend?

I was on a compilation from the Zine Beyond the Dark Horizon with a couple bands that really impressed me such as Teutoburg Forest and Profundis Tenebaraum...Hod, Hydra, Bestial Holocaust, Mythology, Graves at Sea, Catacombs, RuneMagick, I could list a hundred or more!

8. What are your main influences music wise or non music wise?

I grew up on a lot of thrash...I didn't get into extreme stuff until a few years ago...I was always a big Morbid Angel fan. I was always into the darker stuff in life...I'm not really a negative person but I am dark and have dark interests...I never had any religion forced on me growing up and was lucky enough to be somewhat kept away from it. I read a lot and don't watch TV so I have a lot of time to be creative.

9. What role does Satanism, Left Hand Path and Occultism play in the music and life?

When I was a teenager and read LaVey, I was really intrigued to find something that I could relate to but as I get older, I have a lot less interest in Satanism...I am not a joiner of things, I am a fucking leader...I don't lean on others or seek acceptance...I don't need a social network of like-minded individuals to surround myself with...and honestly, that is all I see religion as. A good friend of mine is a Master Mason and talked to me a lot about joining but I never did and never will. Same with the Golden Dawn or other group magick networks...I don't really have the confidence in others to become a part of something like that...my interest and influence for the occult is solitary and is based in the foundation of creativity...Creating music is my ritual...creating anything is a ritual...to me there is no limit as to what an individual can do as long as the proper ritual is used...

10. What are some good books or films that you would recommend?

I read anything by Crowley that I can get my hands on even though I think of his work as Judeo-Christian...A lot of the books I have read say the same thing or have slight variances between the rituals but Crowley's work is so shrouded in mystery and code that it really leaves the reader wondering...which I think is extremely important...I don't really watch movies...I enjoy good visual works of art but never devote the time to a movie...it's just not my thing.

11. How would you describe the black metal scene in Indiana?

I wouldn't describe it. The only bands that I know of are Fog, Christ Beheaded, Hordes of Nebulah and A Transylvanian Funeral...I saw Fog live about ten years ago and they were great...there is a extreme metal fest coming up in Indianapolis in May I believe...I can't tell you who will be there other than Hod, from San Antonio...Like I said, earlier, I don't really care about the scene...I have played live in bands my whole life and don't care about it right now.

12. Any final words?

Thanks for the interview! I have shirts on the way...should be ready by May 1st, 2009 and you better hurry if you want a copy of the album...I have less than 20 left and when it gets reissued, there won't be a free button or sticker...There will also be new music on the way as soon as these shirts are done...thanks again and don't hesitate to send me a message!!!http://www.myspace.com/atransylvanianfuneral

13. Thanks for the interview

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