Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Vagrond Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about this musical project? We are a two piece from opposite ends of Australia consisting of Mortcer on guitars, bass and vocals and myself (Atheos) on drums and vocals. We started recording together in mid-2010 and have since released a full-length demo as well as two proper full-length albums.
2.How would you describe your musical sound that has been present on all the recordings so far and how do all your releases differ from each other? Our demo ‘Bleeding Fields’ was quite straightforward, raw yet melodic Black Metal and is not really representative of how we sound currently. With our first proper full length ‘Of Separation and Departure’ we aimed for a more atmospheric and emotional style of Black Metal which incorporated elements of progressive rock and shoegaze. I see our latest full length ‘Temporal’ as a continuation of the sound of ‘Of Separation…’, although I feel it is somewhat less dark while maintaining its emotional quality.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored with your music over the years? The lyrics for ‘Bleeding Fields’ were written entirely by Mortcer so I won’t attempt to explain them in any detail; however I will say that the major theme of that record was the incredible evil man inflicts upon one another, which is often motivated by nonsense, such as differences in religious beliefs or cultural/racial differences. Underneath our supposed sophistication and civilization, man is inherently a primitive species capable of unthinkable evil. The lyrics for ‘Of Separation and Departure’ deal with feelings of isolation resulting from a separation from the mainstream in terms of beliefs and ideology. The album also deals with loneliness brought about by a lack of connection, both physically and emotionally, with other human beings. Although the lyrics explore many negative emotions, they also deal with self-acceptance and embracing your identity, even if ultimately it means you may never be fulfilled on a human level. ‘Temporal’ in general deals with the concept of time from a human perspective, or more specifically the notion of mortality and what it means to humans from different contexts. The album also deals with a more personal view of the passing of time; specifically my own feelings of discontent, which become more difficult to endure when you are able to fully comprehend your own mortality.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Vagrond? Mortcer came up with the name back in 2006 for what was, at the time, his solo project. The word originates from Norse mythology although it has little significance to our philosophy as a band.
5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on working with other musicians in the future or do you choose to remain a duo? I think we will remain a duo, at least for the foreseeable future. We both have a singular vision which we are able to achieve without the addition of other members and we have no plans to play live, so we don’t feel the need to include anyone else at this point in time.
6.The new album came out on Self Mutilation Services, can you tell us a little bit about this label? They are a small, underground label based in Mexico dedicated to releasing dark underground music mostly based in the Black Metal tradition, although their output is quite diverse. We decided to release both our full lengths through them as they put more care into their releases than many of the underground labels dedicated to the style of music we play. They also produce a quality product by releasing professionally pressed CDs, rather than the usual small runs of CD-Rs.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal? Although we are still largely an unknown band, we have received many positive emails from various parts of the world, which is always very surprising and flattering. It’s amazing to think that the music we create by ourselves in our spare time is listened to by people from all over the world. It’s pretty mind-blowing actually. That is the beauty of the digital age we live in- the connectedness it brings and the opportunities it allows in terms of putting your music, or whichever art form you choose to create, out there for anyone to discover.
8.Are the band members involved with any other musical projects these days? No
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases? We are currently in the process of writing our next full length and while I don’t want to give anything away at this point, I will say it is sounding quite different to our previous releases. We aim to explore a variety of sounds with our music while maintaining our essence, which is dark, emotional expression, and thus we don’t feel confined to any particular style or genre. We felt the need to do something different after the last two releases which were built on a similar foundation. However, while we challenged ourselves to expand on our sound, we simply did what came naturally to us when we sat down to write new material and as such, we feel the next release will be a logical progression.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays? Although the music we both listen to is quite varied, there is a lot of common ground we share which inevitably influences the music we make. Obviously our biggest influence is Black Metal. We are particularly fond of raw and emotional Black Metal which, when done well, can be incredibly beautiful. I feel Black Metal is extremely underrated as an art form as people are generally deterred by its lo-fi, ugly exterior and fail to hear the beauty within. I would cite albums such as Ulver’s ‘Nattens Madrigal’ and Darkthrone’s ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ as being influential to us initially. We have also taken inspiration from the works of bands such as Drudkh, Taake, Austere, Woods of Desolation and Alcest who have either expanded on the Black Metal tradition or taken the genre to new places entirely. Other than Black Metal, we are influenced by various forms of progressive music, particularly progressive rock from the 70s, although it may not be obvious when listening to our music.
11.Outside of music what are some of your interests? Not much to be honest, although we are both very much into quality craft beer, which we tend to consume a lot of during writing sessions.
12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview? Thanks for the interview; we appreciate your interest and support. Also, thanks to anyone who has shown an interest in us and supported our music.

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