1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
S. I’m Sean and I am half of The Proprietor. I’m responsible for the vocals and a portion of the guitars. Frank does everything. We are from two of the five boroughs of NYC, respectively. The Proprietor began as a side project for Frank and myself while we were both playing in other bands. We had discussed working together on a project for years before it actually came about. The direction of our project before we even had a name or anything was that it was always going to be black metal.
F. I’m Frank. Sean and I have always been fans of heavy music since our youth and it showed in the metal bands we performed in for years. When I first met Sean, we realized pretty quickly that we were on the same wavelength creatively. We wanted our music to be our brutal raw expression without any constrictions to our artistic outlook. Thus, The Proprietor was born.
2.So far you have released one ep and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other/
S. When we started working on the EP, I was excited about the collaboration and that it was different from what I was already doing in a previous band. The Proprietor has a more straight forward approach. I think “From Nowhere And Worthless” was more about riffs and the arrangement of those said riffs. I believe our process has matured as The Proprietor became more of our main focus. I feel “For Nothing Is My Own” is a more cohesive and prepared record. I love both but there is definitely an evolution that is apparent to anyone who listens to them in succession.
F. “From Nowhere and Worthless” we hit the ground running. We had 3 tracks that we have been working on and quickly recorded them. Each track on the EP is very different in style and Direction. The Musical style ranges from Melodic Death Metal/thrash/Black Metal. We were still trying to find our direction. “For Nothing is my Own” was more thought out musically. We set out with the goal of making it a complete album from beginning to end. The type of album that you would listen to in your room while following along reading the lyrics.
3.Some of your lyrics have a poetic and prose feeling as well as being inspired by Shakespeare, can you tell us a little bit more about those lyrics?
S. Lyrics are just as important to us as the riffs and song structures and art direction is. Lyrics have to have a narrative, whether straight forward or cryptic or metaphorical. There has to be a certain quality in the words. They have to convey something while fitting precisely within the music. it’s a balancing act. Thematically, most things can be categorized as Shakespearian. In regards to the conflicts we as humans deal with on a daily basis. Those themes vary from deception, hatred, good vs. evil, suffering and transformation, the list goes on. For the title track, “For Nothing Is My Own” it is really about being unhappy with life, with people and the ways of the world but finding comfort that it will end, it touches on an ideology that nothing is yours and nothing lasts. It is open to interpretation. I love the notion behind it. That ideally nothing is yours. You are not special. It’s all been done before sort of tone. That song may be more Bukowski than Shakespeare.
4.You also explore with the occult with your songwriting, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?
S. There are so many things that I find fascinating especially cults and the occult. I mean I don’t subscribe to any one faith but I’ve always been attracted to anything supernatural. From a small child I loved hearing ghost stories, and watching horror movies. I loved reading about Vlad Tepes or Satan, or serial killers. I still do. I have a obsessive impulse to learn more if something catches my curiosity. I enjoy learning. So when I go down those wormholes its difficult to climb out. “Suffolk Pink” is about the Boleskine House in Scotland, which is amazing to me, it housed Aleister Crowley as he performed certain rituals. it was said to have been haunted prior to his ownership which adds to the allure of the mythology. The song is basically a cliff notes on the history of the abode. “Book Of Thoth” meshes Crowley’s interpretation of the Tarot with Thoth’s roots in Egyptian mythology. My interest continues to grow.
5.I know that the band was named after a character from an old Amicus horror anthology called "From Beyond The Grave", how does this name fit in with the musical style you play?
S. I’m not sure if the name entirely fits within a genre, but I kind of enjoy that. I preferred a name that wasn’t so blatantly metal. Peter Cushing, is the proprietor of an antique shop in the film, he is a bit mysterious. Each segment revolves a person receiving an item from the shop which always ends poorly for the customer. It’s creepy and cheesy by today’s norms. The Proprietor is sinister in the sense he dishes out twisted fates to shit people. That is kind of fitting.
6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you chose to remain a duo?
S. I think we are in agreement that The Proprietor will remain a two piece. although, we are looking to enlist some friends to accompany us for some live performances, hopefully as early as summer. I wouldn’t mind having Infernus do a lead on a song or having Nicholas Barker track drums on an album. Highly unlikely, it would be awesome nonetheless.
F. Creatively, The Proprietor will always be myself and Sean. We feed off of each other’s energy well. And as we continue to learn and grow stronger, our artistic vision becomes enlightened. The Proprietor is our first born, and we are bit over protective of it, haha.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
S. We are not looking to sign with a label. We are not opposed to the idea. We enjoy doing everything ourselves and we definitely want full control of our art. It would take understanding and full accordance of all parties for us to sign with anyone.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
S. We are still pretty unknown to most. But the feedback we have received has been good, surprisingly.
F. As a group starting from the ground up, it may seem hard at first to gauge where people are listening to your music. We have a lot to thank to social music communities, online Metal Magazines and blogs such as yours. Bandcamp, Etc. They really do great things to help bring artists/fans from around the world together. Coming from an age group where all of our new music was learned of through word of mouth, local mags and cd stores. To now, where I can have a conversation online with someone from Australia, Norway, Indonesia, Germany, Anywhere in the world! And share musical taste. It’s truly inspiring.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
S. We are already writing songs for another EP. As I mentioned before we are plotting to make playing shows a reality. We really want to create, so that is what we’re going to do.
F. With every track we write, we are progressively finding ourselves. As Sean mentioned we are already in the early stages of writing our next EP. This one will be a very aggressive.
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?
S. Gorgoroth. Gorgoroth is incredibly influential on me and the music I want to make. I listen to all different types. I just listened to the new Necrophobic album, Mark Of The Necrogram” and I enjoyed that. Watain, The Wild Hunt. Anathema, The Silent Enigma. Pallbearer, Heartless. Cobalt, War Metal. Ghostface KIllah. Some 70’s soul stuff. Vattnet Viskar, Settler. Emperor, IX Equilibrium. I looked through my most recent played on my Spotify and that was most recent.
F. I came from more of a melodic black/death metal and Swedish Death Metal background. At the Gates being one of my most influential bands since the early 90’s as well as many others that are definitely present in my writing style. Abyss, Arcturus, Old man’s Child, Eucharist, Dark Tranquility, Katatonia, Thy Primordial, Borknagar. Recently, I have been very much enjoying Batushka, Mgla, Der Weg einer Freihet, Cor Scorpii, Avslut. The list goes on. There is a lot of great bands out there.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
S. My wife and kids. Writing. Whiskey. Mets. Films. Books.
F. Forest trails and hiking. I love nature photography. Definitely good coffee and whiskey.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
S. I’d like to say thank you to Occultblackmetalzine for the interview. Thank you to anyone who supports The Proprietor, we are humbled.