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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Last Surrealist Interview


1. Can you tell us a little bit about the project for those that have never heard of you before?

The Last Surrealist is a one man black metal project out of Eastern Pennsylvania. It is, more or less, an outlet for the expression of my personal nihilistic views as an attempt to create a surreal reality for myself so existence is possible. It is more complex than this for me as I sit down and create music, but there is no real need to dive too deep into my work as the surface is amusing enough. 

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

At the core of the sound is a fairly staple black metal sound. In some ways I follow suit of more atmospheric artists in the genre like Wolves in the Throne Room, but then I diverge out into electronic/trance, symphonic, and folk music to add more diversity to my tracks. Indeed, this may throw off the black metal elitists among us, but they are not necessarily who I am attempting to cater to. For me, the surrealistic aspect of my music requires alternative sounds as my dreamscapes are not just in black and white, nor are they consistent of just treble guitars and blast beats. In the future as I continue to expand my music I hope to bring in more influence from Brian Eno and similar ambient/soundtrack artists. 

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

In general I explore fairly common depressive black metal lyrics and themes, however I have a tendency to divulge and, at some points, add a fair bit of ironic black humor as well as touches from my personal experience. On the VOID EP the track "With Stretched Out Nihilistic Hands We Embrace Suicide..." explores my suicidality and depression, and simultaneously the death of my youngest sister. In a sense, it is a track of longing while being consistently submerged by thoughts of suicide and bitter emptiness. The track "She is Clenched in the Teeth of Zombies" goes in a different direction as it was written with the idea of zombie B-movies in mind. The lyrics are somewhat depressing but ultimately fairly humorous, particularly the stanza referencing fucking a zombie with a dildo. 

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the projects name?

The band name The Last Surrealist has a cool aesthetic appearance, and this is the primary reason I chose it. I also feel the word "surreal" invokes an atmospheric image into the brains of those who read it. I will allow you to read into any additional reasons you think I have for choosing this band name as you so desire. 

5. Currently there is only one member in this project, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you choose to remain solo?

It is possible that I will want to expand into a larger band in the future, but I am very picky with what I want and will not settle. In my area it is difficult enough to find black metal artists, and even more difficult to find people into the effeminate type of music I tend to create. As such, I am a solo artists simply because I am able to relate to my own musical and philosophical ideals and create them to the best of my ability. If anything, I may look into getting a sound engineer as I am not the best in terms of production design. 

6. Currently you are unsigned, have you received any label interest or looked for a label?

I have no received any label interest. I don't even know where to begin with searching for a label myself. Personally, I don't give a huge fuck one way or the other. 

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of black metal and experimental music?

It is difficult to gauge. I've received quite a bit of positive feedback in the form of comments on Youtube videos and oddly enough a few emails. I've also seen my EP show up on a variety of torrents, which I suppose is more positive than negative. As a musician I do wish more people who explored my tracks would leave feedback, whether positive, critical, or utterly against my work. 

8. Are there any other musical projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?

Yes. I have another solo project wherein I create "lighter" music merging electronica, folk, and post rock stylings entitled The Horizon of a Dream. A year or two ago I released a self produced album "Surrealistic Suicide," but have been taking some time away from that project as I want to get more into extreme musical forms and finding the beauty there. 

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

I expect that my music will be similar, but I hope to bring in better production quality and just "more" of what I am seeing now. 

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

While I am primarily influenced by philosophical ideals in some strange way, a few bands that come to mind when asked for "influences" include Agalloch, Vindensang, Rome, and Brian Eno. Essentially, if the music is atmospheric it can positively influence the outcome of my work.

I find myself listening to a lot of post rock, classical, and neo folk music these days. I don't listen to a lot of black metal anymore which may be surprising to some. 

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

I opt for a relatively simple and secluded life. While I do work and socialize as is necessary, I typically enjoy being alone. I enjoy hiking and just disappearing on family and friends. 

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

I think I am out of words at the moment. For those interested in checking out more of my work you can download and stream my music via my Bandcamp page. Feel free to "like" my page on Facebook for future updates.

http://www.thelastsurrealist.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Last-Surrealist/478715428866630

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