Friday, October 11, 2013

Ceremonial Castings Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the bans these days?

- We always have a ton of things going on. Some stuff we can talk about, other stuff we can't. Right now we're about to start recording vocals & mixing the music for our new album "Cthulhu". It is a concept album much like "Salem 1692" but based The Elder God Cthulhu & all things Lovecraft Mythos.
2.You recently recorded a Slayer cover ep, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
- When I was first learning to play guitar was about the first time I had heard Slayer. I had heard a lot about the band via word of mouth. Back then that & zines were really the main source of finding new music & bands. I had a friend that had "Reign In Blood". I asked to borrow it. He actually tried to talk me out of it, not realizing it was exactly what I was looking for. Upon returning home in a mad dash to check out this masterpiece, I was blown away from what I heard. These guitar riffs weren't your average metal/rock riffs. This was evil sounding music & it inspired me to learn to play guitar even faster. 
So with the recent passing of Jeff Hanneman, we felt the need to show my thanks & respect in the only way we could. Thus the 5 song EP was born. 

3.Over the years the band has used the tags bewitching black metal and deathphonic black metal to describe the music, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
- In our early years there wasn't much of a black/death mix happening in the metal world. We were playing Symphonic Black Metal with a lot of Death & Thrash influences. 'Deathphonic' seemed like the word to describe it. However, later on we didn't feel any real connection to that word. It wasn't the right description anymore. 'Bewitching Black Metal' was featured on a promotional poster sometime around 10 years ago. It was something that had always stuck with me. It just felt right & the best way to describe our sound. Everything is Witchcraft!  

4.On the albums the song lyrics have cover a lot of Witchcraft and Occult themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interests in these topics?
- OldNick & I were born into the Occult world. Being from New England there is a lot of history about Witchcraft & Magicks unknown to men of regular minds. When we were young we were often told stories about the Salem Witch Trials & our bloodline on our mother's side. It leads back to Judge Hathorne. It is our Great Grandmother's Maiden name. She was a (however many) great grandaughter to Nathaniel Hathorne who had added a 'w' to the name. He felt the need to change it to Hawthorne to sever his tie to his grandfather Judge John Hathorne & his own personal embarrassment to his actions. 
So with knowing this information as a young child, it had been a great interest to me. Between that & all my fascination with the world or horror & the occult, I think there was no choice or other path for me. And this for some reason is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. 
When OldNick & I started to write music together these were the topics we wanted to study & write about. Our first demo in 1996 was a tape titled "Witchcraft". Even at that time we had the plan to write a concept album based on the Salem Witch Trials. We held that idea for 10 years until we thought we were ready to write the album & properly succeed with it.  

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Ceremonial Castings?
- Black Magic, Witchcraft, Occult Rituals, Forgotten Natural Magick.  

6.What are some of the best shows or tours that the band has done over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
- We recently did a few out of country mini-tours. One with Gorgoroth & the other a few off shows with Cradle of Filth. These are so far my favorite experiences. Being able to travel to a place where people are waiting to see you & openly receive our craft is an amazing thing. We have played & participated in plenty of great things here in the United States, but nothing in comparison to the feeling other countries have given us. 

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
- We were just announced to headline Winterfest in Eugene, Or. in December. It is the only thing we have planned for the rest of the year. I also believe we will be touring Australia in March. However we're still waiting on final details from the promoters. 

8.What has been going on with Dark Forest Productions these days?
- DFP is our own productions. We release everything (for now) through DFP. So there is always something happening. 

9.Are the other musical projects still going on these days?
- We all have side/solo projects that we work on alone or together. Right now we're getting ready to finish up a few projects that have been sitting for 6 or 7 years. 

10.Over the years how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
- With anything there will always be a mixed reaction. For the most part our reception seems to be a good one, but we know no matter what we do there will be people that just want to hate. Hate has become the popular "cool" thing to do. No negativity other than our own will effect us. We're not interested in anything but perfecting our craft & properly casting it for many years to come. 

11.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases/
- Many future releases are those of the past that we simply have not got to or finished yet. But we are always working on new music as well. While there probably always be similarities to our older albums, the ones to come will have many new aspects. I know one direction is fading from the Symphonic side & focusing more on atmosphere. Many new things & more professional things are coming. We are growing within ourselves as well as musically & I think our next release "Cthulhu" will show that. 

12.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays/
- Not much music these days influences me to do anything. Most music I listen to is from the 80's & 90's. Sure there are some things here & there that come out that I like, but to me they are just albums. Nothing hits me now like it did 15 - 20 years ago. I draw most of my inspiration from within my own head. I have a very active mind that is always overloading itself with ideas. As far as lyrically, I draw most inspiration from American Literature now. With "Salem 1692" & "Cthulhu" we are venturing into the story side. We're recreating our own visions on these classics & making it more than just an album. Writing songs is not a challenge. Writing songs & lyrics to make a story album is more of a challenge & something that makes us feel closer to it. I've already written out the structure & my guitar parts for another concept album that once again is spawned from American Literature/History & of course our favorite subject; Witchcraft. 

13.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
- One of my biggest personal interests outside of music is my health. I am now taking everything into account. My health will guide me to further untraveled roads. We've been a band for 16 years now & I feel like we're just getting started. There are a lot of things we want to do & a lot of things we'd hoped that we would have done by now. But regardless, we will continue to do what we do & our health will help us continue for as long as we can & wish. Everything else we've learned to keep behind closed doors. There are far too many judgmental people waiting for any ammo they can find to use against you. Learning to live privately is becoming quite a positive thing & is also an interest of mine. 

14.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview? 
Yes, I'd just like to thank everyone for their support. We highly appreciate our fans. Also thank you for taking the time to speak with me about Ceremonial Castings. Many things to come. Salute. 

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