1. Can you introduce the band to our readers for those that have never heard of you before?
Deafest is a two-man, instrumental, black metal band from Denver, Colorado. I play all the guitars and bass, and Brett plays the drums. Deafest is a recording band only; I refuse to play live, for various reasons, so sorry if we have any fans that would have liked to see us live.
2. How would you describe your musical sound and what is it that you are trying to achieve with your music?
Deafest plays slightly raw, naturesque black metal with some post-rock influences. The whole point of Deafest has become to hail the beauty of the state of Colorado, and I hope that the music does the land justice.
3. What are some of the lyrics that you explore with your music?
Deafest has always been my release for all the awe that I have for the natural world around me. With that admiration of nature, always comes the sadness that I feel when I think about what humans have done to our landscapes with our ugly steel, concrete, and asphalt.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Deafest?
I’ve always felt that most species know how to live with the land, except humans. There’s a disconnection when it comes to our relationship with the earth. It’s as if we can’t hear the planet’s needs over our own desires, hence the name Deafest.
5. The band started out as a one man project and now has expanded to 2 members, what was the motive behind the change?
Deafest started out as a three-man band, but the other two got caught up with other projects, so I kept the band going by myself. The main reason that I added Brett was that I could not drum, and I was getting sick of the fake sounding drum machine that I was using. I really feel that his drumming brings the music to a new level that was unattainable with fake drums.
6. I have noticed that you can download a lot of the albums for free, is there going to be a time where the stuff comes out on a paid cd instead of downloading for free?
My philosophy for Deafest was that as long as I record the music for free, then it should be available to others for free. That’s why all my releases so far can be downloaded off of deafest.net. The only thing that costs money is printing CDs, and so that’s the only thing that we charge for. All the earlier albums were available through Mountain Drought Distro (now defunct), and everything from Eroding Peaks and on is available through 9th Meridian Records in CD format.
7. I have also noticed that some albums are instrumental while others have vocals, are you going to keep recording music in this way, shape or form?
Deafest’s earlier albums had lyrics and vocals, but as I was always disappointed in my vocals, I started liking my instrumentals more and more. Writing instrumental music became more fascinating to me because the focus was entirely on keeping interest through the riffs/melodies. There aren’t that many completely instrumental black metal bands out there that I know of, so I decided that I was going to try it. Now that I’ve fallen in love with writing music without words I doubt that I’ll ever return to vocals. In a way it makes sense that Deafest has no vocals, because I always wrote the music first and the lyrics came as an afterthought.
8. What is going on with the Denver Metal Examiner and Meridan 9 these days and what is your goal for both?
In addition to playing metal, I also love to write about it. I write CD reviews for a local magazine called Meridian 9, run by Owen—who also runs the record label Deafest is on: 9th Meridian Records. For Examiner.com, I write reviews of metal bands from Colorado exclusively. It’s a great struggle for me to turn an audio experience into a written one, but a rewarding one in the end—especially if it helps people find new bands, or new albums, to enjoy.
9. Are there any current side projects besides Deafest?
I was helping my friends in the grindcore band No Thought play live shows a while back but not anymore. So as of now, Deafest is the only project that I have, but Brett also drums in a power-violence band that has yet to be named.
10. Out off all the albums the band has recorded so far, which one are you the most satisfied with?
While each of them holds a special place with me, Eroding Peaks is the one that I listen to the most. It marked the transformation into complete instrumental music, and Brett joined the band for that album. That being said, the full-length we are recording right now is one that I am very proud of.
11. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
It’s hard to say really, but I guess I started out writing more traditional black metal riffs, and maybe with slightly more straightforward song structures. Now I tend to use a more progressive type of structure with riffs that are influenced by some post-rock bands. For the future, only time will tell. But I’m always trying to fit different types of moods into my music while still accurately portraying my experience with Colorado.
12. How has your music been received so far from black metal fans worldwide?
The feed-back that I get is mixed. Some people seem to really enjoy the music, whereas it doesn’t strike others. Deafest has always been about my expression, and as long as I enjoy the process of making the music then that’s all that really matters.
13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have influenced your music, do you have any influences outside of black metal, also what are you listening to nowadays?
A lot of black metal bands from all over have influenced Deafest, but most especially U.S. and Swedish black metal. I love a lot of post-rock bands like Mono, Pelican, and Sigur Ros, and that probably comes out in my music to some extent. I also listen to a lot of old school Swedish death metal, melodic death metal, and I have a soft spot for bands from Asia, since I grew up there, though my family is from Colorado.
14. Does Satanism, Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music and how would you describe your views on these topics?
None of those really play a role in my music at all, because Deafest is solely concerned with nature. Personally, I am not really religious or anti-religious. I can see what people get out of them but it’s not for me.
15. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
Some of my passions are soccer, skateboarding, hiking, writing, and videogames. My friend and I are also editors for a creative writing journal called Dark Fountain which is just starting up.
16. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?
I’d just like to thank you for the interview, thanks to all the great bands that have done splits with Deafest, Owen of 9th Meridian Records, and of course all the support from our fans. Don’t forget to spend some time away from the filth of cities, breath some real air, and admire a landscape that’s still wild.