Monday, June 17, 2013

Desiderium Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the project for those that have never heard of you before?
Desiderium is my "solo" project, where I write a ton of music and bring in friends to help me record the music while I sing, since I'm instrumentally inept. My demos for Desiderium, which consist of some of the first music I've ever written, sounded like very Agalloch-inspired melodic black metal, but over the past few years I've worked hard on improving my songwriting skills, and thus my newest music is what I'd rather represent myself with.
2. How would you describe your musical sound?
To be simple, I would just call it post-black metal. I take influence from a ton of different styles of music, but I usually tend to tie them together with at least a hint of black metal, and I really enjoy
composing in the very epic style that usually makes up some of my favorite black metal. I've found more and more that writing black metal songs has almost become too easy/formulaic, though, and I want to keep challenging myself, so I've been adding elements from post-punk, really early post-rock, folk music, dream pop, more traditional heavy and speed metal with epic lead guitars, progressive rock, and even some older goth rock into my music. I suppose that list of styles may seem all over the place because I don't usually plan ahead of time to write any particular style, I just write the music that feels right to me using whatever sounds I think will convey the mood or feeling I want to express.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
My demos were all about really typical subjects, lyrically, generally discussing nature, myths, winter, etc. I didn't really know what to say with words at the time, since I was only 17 or 18. Not to say there is anything wrong with writing about such things, but for me it doesn't feel very genuine. Beginning with my upcoming debut album, "Sunless Meridian", all the lyrics of Desiderium focus on a large concept which is going to span over multiple albums. Lyrically, I suppose the concept is a bit vague, but I don't really care about conveying the specific story to an audience so much as the emotions of the music. Strangely enough, I don't feel comfortable writing very personal lyrics over my own music; for some reason I just don't relate my feelings and ideas which translate well into words to the music I write. My better lyrics, I feel, are in a band I sing for called Súl ad Astral.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
A friend of mine actually showed the word Desiderium to me, and I initially just thought it was a cool looking word. After I looked up the word, which is defined as "an ardent longing, as for something lost", I knew that Desiderium would be a perfect representation of this project. Much of the music I write evokes a sense of longing within me, and potentially a sense of nostalgia, which is something I heavily relate to in my own life.
5. Currently there is only 1 member in the band, how would you compare that to working with other musicians?
I used to believe that being the only member of a project was the way to go, because most of my friends who play music in North Carolina don't listen to a lot of the same music that I do, and certainly don't write it. Being able to take full creative control over the creation of music, fully exploiting every idea that I have, has absolutely no drawbacks, and is the ideal way to make music for this project. However, I've recently found that working with other musicians on other styles of music is just as rewarding, especially when the opportunity to bounce ideas off one another leads to unique and quick songwriting ideas. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when inspiration presents itself, I almost always prefer to work alone, but that inspiration is not as prevalent as when I was just starting to make music a few years ago, so being able to work with others lets me get my ideas out in ways I never would have otherwise tried.
6. Currently you are signed to Domestic Genocide, how did you get in contact with this label and what are your expectations for when they release your next album?
I actually just messaged them with a couple songs from "Sunless Meridian" to see if they were interested in releasing it. Within a day, they responded with high interest, and I just called Trevor to talk to him about it. I already knew that Černá was signed to the label and liking how he was being treated, and Trevor seems to be a really cool dude who genuinely wants to help support my music, so I'm feeling good about working with them. I'm told that the Černá album has been selling pretty well, so hopefully my album is at least able to get to those who want it, and reach some of new ears.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Surprisingly, black metal fans really seem to enjoy my music. I'm just some dude making music on his computer who can't even play instruments, so I expected some harsh critiques, but it seems that most people like the same things about my music that I do! As time has gone on, my music has pulled further away from black metal, for the reasons I mentioned above, so time will tell whether black metal fans continue to enjoy my music. That said, I'm obviously a black metal fan as well, so I suppose that whatever I write could potentially appeal to others. I do remember quite a while ago that some blog wrote the funniest bad review of my demo, calling it "the gayest thing they had ever heard", even though the end of the review pretty much said "there's nothing technically wrong with this music, I just don't like it". Don't get me wrong, they legitimately hated my music, but I still thought it was pretty funny.
8. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
I have another post-black metal project called Súl ad Astral (which is VERY different from Desiderium), though I only sing in that band. We're working on our second album - made up of one 50 minute song - and have an absolutely insane amount of other music demoed which will be used for more albums after that. I also do vocals and songwriting in a symphonic death metal band called Lorelei, which I'm really excited about. Lorelei is working on recording our debut album right now. I also sing in a folk/black/doom metal band called Forestfather, which currently has one EP out, and a lot of music written for a full length. I like to keep busy with different projects, so having all these to bounce back and forth between is really good for me right now. Very recently, an idea has come up to begin a new non-metal project, so I may have even more new music coming out!
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
"Sunless Meridian" is already very different when compared to my demo material which came before it, and the music I've been writing since finishing work on Sunless is once again very different. I don't have any real goals with Desiderium regarding a specific genre; the only true goal is to keep writing better and better music, with a very cinematic quality to it. Sometimes that'll mean writing a sweet speed metal riff, sometimes it'll mean writing a mysterious goth rock verse, sometimes it'll mean writing black metal, and sometimes it'll mean putting all of those things together with some crazy psychedelic organs underneath and a flute melody on top. Or something else entirely. I don't think I'll know these things until I'm feeling the inspiration to write what music I create.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I'd venture to say that any music I've really enjoyed has influenced me. Sting's work in The Police set the foundations for the sort of melodies I enjoy the most, back when I was very little. Dir en grey's impeccable songwriting combined with Kyo's untouchable vocal abilities have set and continually raised the standard for me to strive for in originality, artistic integrity, musical evolution, and sheer ambition. Agalloch initially paved the way for crafting epic, beautiful compositions. Lunar Aurora taught me the meaning of the word atmosphere. Regarding influences, this list could go on for quite some time. I'm currently listening to a huge range of stuff. I've not been listening to that much metal, besides really otherworldly and dark stuff. Just browsing my mp3 player, most of my recent listening has consisted of Talk Talk, Vildhjarta, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Bark Psychosis, Wormed, Dir en grey (always), Fields of the Nephilim, X Japan, and late 70's Jethro Tull - specifically the albums "Songs from the Wood" and "Heavy Horses"; those albums rule. That song "All Things Return At Night" by Ballet School is also really sweet!
11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Film has become a continually larger interest of mine, and I'd really like to try getting into working on a screenplay. Unlike with music, technical film theory is interesting to me, as I feel knowing it is somewhat necessary to crafting a good film (read: good art).
12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thank you for this interview! I just saw the positive review you gave of "Sunless Meridian", so thank you for that as well! For those who want to keep up with Desiderium, you can find me on Facebook, where I'll be posting any and all information about where to hear new music.

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