Sam: No gods, no masters.
Monday, September 16, 2013
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Sam: We recently completed our Summer of Hellfire tour, bringing the live experience of our latest album, Beyond All Light, to fans across the country. It was an exhilarating trip and resulted in a slew of new heathens to "witness" our musical blasphemy to. We shared the stage with some great acts along the way, including Traitor, Anicon, and Enfold Darkness. Currently we're in the production stages for the vinyl release of Beyond All Light, as well as mapping out new shows, tours, and other forms of chaos.
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
Chris: Just skimming over Beyond All Light, one familiar with the previous releases can quickly recognize that the dynamic within the band has changed and is more deeply rooted into black metal while delving into some very experimental approaches, both for the band and the genre. I feel this album is by far more emotionally driven than the prior material, with landscapes of dynamic contrasts that range from the softest melodic passages to the most frantic and chaotic moments the we’ve put out to date. Beyond All Light is conceptual and spliced into two separate entities, which most fans have been able to pick up on, which makes me feel like we've done our part to convey that message.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
Sam: The lyrics on Beyond All Light are probably the most personal to date - Zachary [Kerr, vocalist] went above and beyond and poured out his joys, sorrows, and life journey on to the page with these lyrics. We're in the middle of producing a documentary about the making of the album which explores these themes and provides background to the depressive, yet sometimes uplifting nature of the lyrics in Beyond All Light. They remain, as always, characteristically godless and anti-theistic.
4. I know that the band name is Greek for recognition, how does the band name fit with the music that you perform?
Sam: As mentioned above, the new lyrics describe the literal anagnorisis Zachary experienced. Live, we try to bring a new awareness of what a black metal show can be to the fans, one that is, in additional to blasphemous and electric, emotional and passionate. This starts with us, the performers - our recognition of reaching a higher level of entertainment - and ends with the fans: their recognition of a more "intellectual" level of black metal. As Zachary writes, "on my own terms, in my own light."
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Chris: My first show with the band simultaneously being the end of a three year hiatus due to seeking members to cover drum and vocal duties was an important, stressful, and rewarding show. The hype built up for the comeback was pleasant to see, and the crowd was about as lively in the pit as we were on the stage. Once that show was over, we immediately hit the road with Abigail Williams for a week’s worth of dates, and this being my first tour, I was beyond excited - especially with Abigail Williams being a band I was really into from their conception - seeing their evolution into black metal almost form at the same time and rate that mine did, so being able to share the stage with them every night was an incredible experience for me. I'd say since then, playing with Glorior Belli for their first time in the states was the most gratifying and memorable show since last year. We actually headlined that show with some friends of ours Voyage Of Slaves and Ophiuchus opening up, and then Wolvhammer adding to the spectacular roster for the night. There was also a wonderful flyer designed for the event by local artist Angryblue which turned out amazing as per usual with his work.
6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Sam: Yes, but none that can be revealed at this time. Anticipate greatness!
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or received any interest?
Sam: The idea of being on a record label is one that has both excited and plagued the band since its existence. We've strived to embody the DIY ethic from day one, and while there are many benefits to being on a record label, a certain amount of control has to be relinquished. This isn't something we take lightly, so a move towards affiliating ourselves with a label is a very serious decision for us, one that we have yet to answer in the affirmative on.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Sam: The response has been excellent. We've been mailing shirts, CDs, and tapes to all corners of the globe, from France to Australia to everywhere in between. We are grateful for the positive recognition.
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Chris: In my personal opinion, and I think the consensus view of the entire band, our future material will be more like Beyond All Light; not exactly a copy and paste scenario, but in a sense of pushing the envelope for ourselves and expanding more on what can be implemented in the black metal genre. We want to continue to strive for breaking the breaking the barrier of elitism that seems to come from some of the community of the genre. We are really getting to the point of forging our own sound, and to belittle that sort of experimentation and creativity is doing a disservice to us and the open minded music populous.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Chris: Fortunately I was raised by parents who were into metal themselves and never discouraged it, so I was brought up on Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, and so on. In the teen years I remember riding with my mom to every record store in the area so she could find White Zombie's Astro Creep 2000 on the day the cassette (yeah, that long ago) came out; a pretty kick ass story I don't think many could tell about their mom or dad when they were ten, or any age for that matter.
But in the middle and high school years, bands like Slipknot, As I lay Dying, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Lamb Of God started making their way into the rotation, and once the end of high school and the year or so after came around and the accessibility of the Internet became more accessible to me, Myspace was just taking off and as was the floodgates of the death and black metal that I was beginning to discover and take a much stronger liking to than anything up to that point. Present day some of my favorite bands I'd have to say are Opeth, Alcest, Les Discrets, Wolves In The Throne Room, Agalloch, Katatonia, Ghost, and many more I could go on all day listing.
11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Chris: My biggest interest would be art and drawing, which is great, on account of the very symbiotic role that it plays in music, from band logos which are one of my favorite things to do, to merch designs and album art, there's a huge calling for illustrations in music, and especially the metal department. I'm also really into video games, mostly role playing games and survival horror. Tattoos are a pretty big thing for me and also goes hand in hand with the art enthusiasm. Then I guess I'm really into my “shows” and quote most of them regularly, favorites being Trailer Park Boys, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, King Of The Hill, Eastbound And Down, and The Walking Dead.
12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?Chris: I hope everyone is as ecstatic about the album as we are, it's been great hearing the positive
feedback and reviews about it! I want to thank Sam, Zak, and Zach for bringing me on board with the band and share this musical journey. Pardon the pun, but it's been a blast.
Sam: No gods, no masters.
Sam: No gods, no masters.