Sure. Necrolytic Goat Converter is essentially my attempt to examine and exorcise the darkness in my heart through loud and often abrasive music. It started about two years ago as an attempt to get back into playing guitar by writing and recording a song in the vein of Darkthrone, whom I was obsessed with at the time. That attempt, though tongue in cheek (it was about curdled milk) opened something up and since then the music has definitely been more personal and inward directed. Though I defiantly stand by my claim that curdled milk smells like death.
2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
I usually just describe it as metal; I’ve seen other sites classify it as black metal, death metal, DSBM…after a while the sub-genres and acronyms get to be a bit much. I try to embed the tunes in a black metal foundation: the guitars and vocals in particular as well as the whole DYI/one-man band esthetic, but really the music is based on everything I’ve been exposed to growing up. So there’s a fair amount of hair/glam metal to be found in there if you know where to look as well as some of the more obvious influences.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the music?
Curdled milk aside, most of the tracks from a lyrical perspective are autobiographical, even when laced in metaphors or more fantastical language and imagery. Much of it details my struggles with depression, and the anger and fear that arises from that depression. Sometimes the light wins – tracks like “Second Skin” deals with refusing to cave to the lies you tell yourself about your worth, but more often than not like “The Dark Within” or “Eternal Winter (The Still)” on the new album it’s about the darker moments when you believe the lies.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name ‘Necrolytic Goat Converter'?
It really came about as a joke – I had written “Smell of Death (Curdled Milk)” and reached out to my friends on Facebook to crowd-source the name. It was agreed goats are pretty black metal, and I needed some reference to death or decay in the name. At the time I was also working for a large bank that provided financing for cars, so started thinking about metal things in cars like catalytic converters and eventually we got Necrolytic Goat Converter.
5. With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to remain solo?
Just because of the personal nature of the music I prefer Necrolytic Goat Converter to be a solo project, which isn’t to say I don’t reach out to other bands I know for advice and feedback. I do – a lot. But the act of writing and recording/performing the music is something I like to remain with me. As far as collaborating with other musicians, I’m currently in the planning stages for something that will definitely be a group effort, so we’ll see how it goes.
6. On Halloween you had also released a split with 'Domestikwom', what are your thoughts on the other project that had participated on the recording?
I got to know Jon through the #metalbandcampgiftclub community, and we became friends over our shared interests in music, film, and other geek-related pursuits. As far as my thoughts on Domestikwom as a musical entity, I was immediately drawn to the similarity in our choices (we’re both very much DIY, solo endeavors) and how easily Jon can adopt different styles and incorporate them into his unique musical vision. One of the reason we chose to cover each other’s songs on the split was for me to understand his approach to writing and adopting those styles, so I chose the slowest as well as the fastest songs to cover.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
A little interest, but nothing I was ready to commit to. I have no illusions about this becoming a full time thing; right now I’m content to just keep writing and getting closer to getting what’s in my head out to the music. That being said, I’d be stupid and a liar if I said I have no interest in being signed – if the right thing came along then I’d consider it. I don’t think the music’s there yet, but who knows?
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
It’s been surprisingly well received, or least Google hasn’t turned up any “well this is a piece of shit” reviews yet! The folks who have connected with it generally seem to get the intent: I’m not trying to go for any kind of traditional black metal sound or vibe, even though the foundation and (I hope) respect is evident. I think for all the vocal bellyaching about things being “KVLT” or “TRVE” when it comes to black metal the majority of fans of the genre realize and accept the variety of ways the music can be shaped. If it’s honestly crafted and sincere, people are going to respond, whether or not you’re wearing corpse paint or spiked gauntlets. And for the records I love bands in corpse paint and spiked gauntlets; I’d just look ridiculous in them.
9. Are you also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
I have another small project called FirstForgiveness that’s a little more mainstream metal/hardcore focused…it’s really just an outlet for when I’m blocked with Necrolytic Goat Converter or want to try something else. And as mentioned earlier I’m in the beginning stages of a group thing that we’re hoping to get starting later this year: we’re still working on identifying the overall sound for it – all I can say is it’ll be loud and heavy.
10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
My hope is from a musical perspective it’ll get more diverse. On the new album I tried a few different things, most evident in “The Calamity of Not Knowing” but there are some other smaller things: the ending of “Eternal Winter (The Still)” with the outro, the repeated musical cue in “A Quiet Affirmation” and “Isolated Evolution.” The name kind of acts as a pigeonhole of sorts, no one wants an 80s ballad coming from a band called Necrolytic Goat Converter (if you do let me know), but the goal is to see where the music can go while still being rooted in something identifiable as black or death metal.
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?
Like I said, everything I’ve ever listened to has had an influence on me whether it’s immediately evident or not. But specifically for the music released so far probably the two biggest bands for me are Darkthrone and Nachtmystium. There are shades of Satyricon, Behemoth, Alcest and others peppered throughout, but it’s really a combination of over 40 years of listening and absorbing music. Currently? I write for a metal blog called Nine Circles, so it feels like every week is another dozen or so things I’m trying to get my brain wrapped around, but as far as black metal in 2017 goes I’ve been obsessed with the new records from Farsot, Woe, Twilight Fauna, Ragana, and whatever the hell Emptiness have morphed into.
12. What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m a film nerd from way back. I grew up watching Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant and John Wayne with my father in the 70s, and then became truly obsessed in college after taking a slew of film courses. Same thing with books, particularly science fiction and fantasy, though I haven’t had any desire to incorporate that into the music, although there are references to Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series in the song “Throne of Cold.” I’ll leave that stuff to bands like Caladan Brood, who are awesome.
13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just thanks the opportunity to talk about the band!