Friday, January 6, 2017

Obitus Interview

 1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

JH: well since completing the recording we've been working on the remaining aspects of it, artwork, layout, and finding a label to work with.

> 2.You have a new album coming out in February, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

AA: Obitus has always sounded cold, chaotic and mechanical. The new release is no different. Though, compared to earlier releases, we have managed to incorporate both faster and more disharmonious passages at the same time as our strongest melodies yet (in my opinion, obviously...). In general, I think "Salves of the Vast Machine" sounds more dark and monumental. In any case, that was our goal. You be the judge.

> 3.Both of the band members came from a death/thrash metal band, what was the decision behind going into more of a black metal direction?

JH: At the time we needed an outlet for musical ideas which did not fit in our current band, so we started Obitus to channel that.

> 4.On the new album the only song was a 45 minute track, what was the decision behind creating a long song other than writing an album with 8-12 songs?

JH: Well this goes back to our previous album "The March of the Drones", it's also meant to be listened to as a single track, ultimately we decided to split it into tracks to make it easier on the listener and because it had three distinct parts it didn't feel forced. With the new album we went into it knowing we were producing an album length song, so splitting it into tracks really never entered our minds.

AA: From a composer perspective, we thought it to be an interesting challenge. Writing one set of music is on the one hand more free form but on the other requires more planning. It is easier to break free of the much overdone "verse, chorus, verse, chorus"-structure, but more challenging in building themes that can be reused in slightly changed ways and having a good idea of how the whole set should progress.

> 5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer music?

JH: The lyrics can be seen as a continuation of the themes we've been exploring over the past few releases: human fallibility, weakness and inclination to group-think. Luckily for us the world is the gift that keeps on giving.

> 6.This is your first full length since 2009 and other than a split in 2014 there has been no new material, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

JH: So there are several reasons why it's been fairly quiet since the last full length, first and foremost we're both busy people, we have families and day jobs, Obitus is a project we work on when we have time and inspiration. Working on compositions as long and complex as both "The March of the Drones" and "Slaves of the Vast Machine" were can be draining, so generally we need some downtime after each release to recharge and be able to produce quality work. The fact that I took a job on a different continent and we only meet up in person a few times a year obviously doesn't help the situation.

AA: Inspiration is indeed the key. Not feeling inspired? Don't write music, go play ping-pong instead.

> 7.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Obitus'?

JH: It means death in Latin.

> 8.Since the beginning there has only been 2 members in the band, have you ever thought about expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?

JH: We started Obitus deliberately as a two person band, we are two people with a clear vision of what we want to and can accomplish as such.

AA: On occasion we have had a couple of guys lending us their talents when it comes to background vocals and bass, something we will probably do in the future as well. But the core and brain of Obitus will always be the two of us.

> 9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

JH: Generally we've had very positive feedback from everything we've recorded. I tried to keep a list of all reviews but as sites come and go many of them are now lost. Judging by those who purchase items from our own webshop we have fans everywhere in the world, think I've shipped items to most continents.

> 10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

AA: Black metal is what Obitus is about and that will not change. We will, however, continue to carve out and further refine our own niche. And where that will take us, no one knows.

> 11.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?

JH: So as the previous year just ended, one ends up reading lots of best of lists, and every year I realize how little I manage to listen to. I try to browse a few choice blogs a day to stay abreast of new music but between the day job and other obligations it's just hard. That said currently listening a lot to the latest Black Funeral.

AA: There is no specific band that influences Obitus. We have been doing this long enough to have our own idea and vision of how we should sound. When it comes to my own appetite for new music, it varies, but I try to keep up. There was a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s where I constantly tried to find new and innovative black metal. Even though I'm far pickier these days, I still settle for anything 'good enough'. The main reason is that a period such as the 1990s with a steady stream of new interpretations of extreme metal will probably not be seen again. So, would I to continue search after those 'new' and 'unique' bands I would end up with a pretty slim playlist. With that said, I do enjoy seeing several interesting Icelandic black metal bands surface.

> 12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

JH: Nothing really, thanks for the support and check out "Slaves of the Vast Machine" out on February 16th!

AA: What Johan said.





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