1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording and release of the new album?
I've been planning the overall concept for the next full length. It will be called "The Witch" and will be focused on my experiences with different kinds of love. That record will be a sequel to "The Great Nothing." I need to see a few things through before I can start writing it, though.
2.Recently you have released a new album, 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?
I wanted to make something that sounds like how depression feels. Instrumentally, "The Great Nothing" is oppressive and unrelenting. It's filled with heavy dirges, expressive leads, and a lot of tense, bitter melodies. Every Cicada the Burrower record up to this point has used the poetry of my friend, Alexander Monday, for the lyrics. I wanted "The Great Nothing" to be a more personal release, so I wrote all the lyrics this time around. Besides that, the new record is heavier and flirts with more dissonant sounds than my previous records.
3.The lyrics on the new album have a concept to them, can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting?
This album is an exploration of grief, depression, and loss, but also represents my personal struggle to overcome these afflictions. “The Great Nothing” is a retrospective coming-of-age story, detailing a series of important events that happened to me between late 2014 through early 2016 as well as a severe concussion I experienced on January 23rd, 2012. The record ends with the troubling realization that life has no narrative climax, or resolution. In spite of the album’s dark themes, its lyrics are a story of progress and survival.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Cicada The Burrower'?
Cicadas are really interesting bugs. They burrow underground for as many as 7 years. In the final moments of their lives, cicadas transform into these magical, winged creatures. They're these strange late-bloomers. The name Cicada The Burrower reflects how I see myself as I struggle to work towards becoming who I feel I'm meant to be.
5.On the albums you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians on this project or do you prefer to remain solo?
I'd be happy to work with other musicians in a live capacity. When it comes to writing though, I feel like if other people got involved it would stop being Cicada the Burrower. In that sense, I'd prefer to keep the project solo.
6.The new album was released on Blue Bedroom Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
I'm in a lot of bands so I wanted to make a label where I could put all of the things that I've worked on. This was the main reason I started Blue Bedroom Records back in 2014. I got the name from the end of a Charles Bukowski poem from You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense. Almost all the music is some form of black metal. Occasionally I'll release music by some of my friends, like The Central's "Discovery of a Rat," which I highly recommend checking out, especially is you like left-of-center grindcore. All of the music (with the exception of "Discovery of a Rat") is available for free on Bandcamp. I usually do a limited CD run for each release, too. Typically between 10 to 25 CDs per record.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive black metal?
Not a lot of people really know about my music, but every now and again someone from places like the Netherlands or Japan will stumble across my work and say something pretty positive about it. People generally seem to enjoy the music I make when they hear it.
8.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
I'm hoping to get a full length recorded for The Fire Sermon (triumphant, jazzy black metal) and Hallowed Hands (video game inspired industrial black metal) before the end of 2017. My punk band It's All You, Cowboy will probably be releasing our first full length some time early next year too. There's also an experimental black metal project I started working on. It's going to be a very busy couple of months.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I've always felt like r&b and black metal would play nicely with one another stylistically. I fully plan on writing a record that blends these two styles in a way that sounds really melliloquent. Beyond that, I'd like change my relationship with music from a hobby to a job.
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?
When it comes to black metal, my biggest influences are Oranssi Pazuzu, Nachtmystium, and Tukaaria. Outside of that genre I'll pull from bands like .clipping, Oceano, Giant Claw, Parliament, Joy Division and XXYYXX for inspiration. In general, I tend to study what each genre of music does best and then try to apply that to what I'm doing, whenever appropriate. I'll usually look towards jazz, impressionist composers, and the blues for melody and hip hop for rhythm. Right now I'm listening to Slowly Building Weapons' "Sunbird," hyphyskazerbox's "Royalty (Two Faced)," Chastity Belt's "I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone," and Heathen Beast's "$cam."
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I enjoy photography, painting, and pretty much all forms of comedy. Over the last few months, I've been getting more into nutrition and exercise. It's pretty great when you do something and you can see the results of your labor.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
"The Great Nothing" is available for free digitally at this link: https://bluebedroomrecords.bandcamp.com/ You can also buy the CD for $5 on Bandcamp too. I really appreciate all the support. Thank you for the interview!