1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Atel is a black metal band from Los Angeles, CA. Sandaramet (myself) is the only permanent member. I use a session drummer because of the sound and simplicity that comes with recording live drums and guitar at the same time. I retain full control over the music and am responsible for all production. No bass guitar is used. These days, most will title Atel as “raw” black metal, but to me this is redundant; all black metal should have some level of raw atmosphere. Anything that does not is not black metal.
2.Recently you have released a demo, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Being my first release, I feel the sound is drawn from my influences in a way that is cohesive and uniquely my own. I attempted to create dark melodies that are raw and aggressive, but have a “dsbm” atmosphere to them. The sound is akin to the expression of hatred and death. It was done entirely on a cell phone, so the overall sound stays in the realm of music that is done solely for myself and only finds its ways to listeners who actually want to hear it.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
Misanthropy, the darkness of life (and the wilderness it contains), death, the failings of human existence, melancholy, hatred.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Atel'?
Atel is Armenian for “to hate.” While I endorse no political or racial ideologies in my music, it is very obvious that black metal from around the world tends to utilize native tongues, song titles, band names, etc. So, I wanted to use my own language since I am Armenian. Most importantly, it is a simple and short way to encompass the driving ideology of the music while not using anything used before.
5.with the exception of a session drummer you record mostly everything by yourself, are there any plans to turn this into a full time band?
No Atel will remain as is.
6.The demo was released on Depressive Illusions a label that has released plenty of good black metal releases over the years, do you feel honored to be working with this label?
Yes, Depressive Illusions adding me to the roster is a compliment and inspires me to keep on the path knowing that I will have their support going forward and that many bands I enjoy share the label with me.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
I found Demolishing Life, Embracing Death bootlegged on Russian/Ukrainian sites almost instantly. I just sent a couple CDs from my self-release to Scotland. I have spoken to other black metal fans in South America and other parts of Europe who have given me positive feedback. Look for the demo from Wulfrune Worxx too.
8.Are you also involved with any other bands or musical projects?
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
The second album is being recorded. The third album is almost done being written, or that material may be used for a split. I started Atel later in life than most and am trying to make up for the lost time with a vengeance. I seek to create a balance between the simplistic, repetitive riffing that makes black metal what it is and subtle complexities to make the songs stand out as my own. I am honing my voice to ensure that it conveys the essence of hatred for this world and all those in it, as well the pain of such an existence (without excessive reverb). My music will always be true/pure black metal.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I have a very diverse musical background and have played many instruments but black metal is all that I listen to for some time now. As far as the big names: Judas Iscariot, Mutiilation, Satanic Warmaster, Striborg, Drowning the Light, Celestia/Mortifera, Xasthur, Sargeist, Ildjarn, Vardan, Endstille, Katharsis, Pest, Nargaroth, Cosmic Church, Goatmoon, Sapthuran, Clandestine Blaze.
I am currently listening to Paysage D’Hiver. Also, many bands that are “underground” are more prominent listening these days– Ancient Funeral Cult, Nartvind/ Eloe Noir, Draziw, Breadth of Sorrows, Infernal Hate, Lupus Nocturnus, Thromos, Verrater.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I have been involved with various forms of “art” for many years.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the interview. firstname.lastname@example.org atelblackmetal.bandcamp.com Fuck you sheepish poser scum running around Los Angeles pretending to be black metal and/or adding “black” in front of your already shit music.