Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nocturne Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about this project for those that have never heard of you before?
1.) A:  Nocturne is my solo project that I have been whittling away at for the past 5 or 6 years.  I started off playing drums in a thrash band called Wartorn (Chicago) and in a death metal band called Deist (Chicago) but due to a foot injury I had to stop playing drums so I picked up a guitar and started writing songs.  Nocturne is essentially the result of that injury.  I'm not sure I ever would have started playing guitar and writing songs to the extent that I do if my foot had remained in tact.  I haven't really played in any active bands since my injury 7 or 8 years ago.  Just writing songs by myself for what is now Nocturne.  I had a full length worth of material about 5 years ago but it never really got recorded properly and by the time I had the means to do so I wasn't really interested in keeping any of those songs haha.  'Ave Noctem'  the debut Nocturne album is a collection of songs I have decided are worth keeping that I have written over the past 5 years.  I have another full length worth of material on deck for the 2nd album but have not started recording yet.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

2.)  A:  Progressive black/death metal, I guess.  If 'progressive' means wandering among various styles and genres.  I draw influence from many different places as a drummer, guitar player and vocalist, each in their own respect.  There are elements of just about every metal sub-genre in Nocturne ranging from traditional Mercyful Fate type riffs to more modern, fast and 'brutal' type stuff.  Same goes for the drumming and vocals.  That type of sound can easily turn a lot of people off because the riffs aren't all 'brutal' or all 'heavy' or all 'grim and frostbitten' haha.  I think there are many different feelings and atmospheres that arise from Nocturne and that's what I try to create.  Life isn't all one feeling from birth until death; there is loss, gain, triumph, suffering, strength, weakness, etc.  I write based off all of the styles of music I love regardless of the genre.  You tell me what it sounds like! haha.

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

3.)  A:  'Ave Noctem' has mostly 'dark' lyrics so to speak.  Pain, suffering, loss, regret, depression, etc.  There are some elements of strength, power and triumph like in track one: Pursuance of the Righteous Elucidation, but like I said, mostly dark themes on this record and the strength you can find within dark spaces of the mind.  There are some philosophical elements and words of existential advisory as well.

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

4.)  A:  Well, the literal definition of the word is along the lines of 'a piece appropriate to the night or evening.'  Or 'a painting or poem of a night scene.'  It has also been defined as 'an instrumental composition of a dreamy or pensive character.'  Having said that, what Nocturne means to me is an ode to the night.  The time when the sun is no longer up in the sky, the world is dark and most people are asleep or at least not out and about.  Being a misanthrope for the most part I enjoy times when most people are nowhere to be seen or heard haha.  I actually almost instantly start to feel better when the sun goes down.  There is a certain comfort and inspiration I find within the night.  In a metaphorical sense it has meaning with the night being synonymous with solitude and darkness of the mind.  Nocturne…in a literal sense, musical composition based on these feelings.

5. Currently this project is solo, how would you compare being solo to working with other bands?

5.)  A:  I enjoy it for the most part because I don't have to rely on anyone but myself.  At the same time there is no one but myself to blame haha.  I would say I definitely find it more fulfilling taking on all musical duties on my own though.  There are no disagreements, no waiting around for other people to do whatever, no clashing of egos and I get to explore and build each element of the music as it comes together as a whole from no one else's mind but my own.  More work and discipline certainly but hearing the finished product knowing each sound was created by myself I think there is definitely more satisfaction to be had in that than in listening to a record that I only played drums on.  There are often uncertainties and insecurities as far as sound, material and writing but I am my own critic in that sense and I'd rather have that than have someone else tell me 'No, we're not gonna put that in the song..' when I think that it should be in the song.  Playing shows is obviously the main downfall of a solo project.  Yes, there is much satisfaction and other advantages to playing a good show but it is easier said than done to find a solid, like-minded, dedicated lineup.

6. The new album came out on Do Or Die Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

6.)  A:  Do or Die is a local (Chicago) label just starting up.  A fledgeling label.  The label is owned and run by Tim Pearson of Deathcult (Chicago) and Relentless (Chicago).  Those two bands are two of the first three full length releases the label is to put out.  Nocturne being the third.  I actually played drums on the Relentless record (doom metal) and am going to start playing shows with that band as the drummer before too long.  Relentless is the band Tim and I are both trying to run with so to speak at the moment.  That record will be out on Do or Die in the very near future and is worth picking up for any fans of doomy, heavy metal type stuff.  Like I said, the label is just getting started but I think it's off to a good start!

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

7.)  A:  Well, I've gotten a few good reviews, gotten on a few compilation discs from other countries, a handful of international fans from internet exposure.  But like I said earlier, the 'progressive' stuff does turn a lot of people off.  Having said that though 'Ave Noctem' hasn't officially been released and distributed by the label yet so I guess the shit hasn't officially hit the fan yet haha.

8. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?

8.)  A:  If by that you mean what is going on with MY other musical projects…I already mentioned Relentless earlier, I play drums for a band called Boulderhead too.  We have a 5 song EP that has not been officially released in any capacity.  Gotten a lot of good feedback from people who have heard it so far but no disc or shows.  If I had to name bands to compare it to and bands that we draw influence from I would say it sounds like Opeth/Immortal/Gorgoroth/Cobalt to name a few.  Good stuff that I would like to play shows with eventually.  I have also been involved with a band called Cryptic Fog for the past few years.  I produced their first record and played session drums on their latest 4 song EP.  Cryptic Fog is black/death metal.  It can be very brutal but also very melodic at times.  Think Hate Eternal/Dissection/Necrophobic.  There are some old school death metal elements in there as well.  I plan on playing drums and recording a few new tunes with Cryptic Fog over the summer.  I played session drums for another band/project called Impuritan, created by Rob Knopf (ex-Ezurate guitar player).  That stuff is just ripping, brutal black/death metal.  Pulverizing speeds and crushing riffs in the vein of Dark Funeral/Angelcorpse.  We did a 3 song demo, didn't get much attention.  I love that stuff but I'm not sure what more will come of it.  I would love to do more with Impuritan some day.  Bit of a long winded answer but that's what I have done over the past two years as far as other projects.  Didn't play shows with any of them so far.

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

9.)  A:  Hard to say.  I would say I already lean more towards black metal sounds than anything else.  That's what seems to be happening haha.  There will always be 'progressive' elements in Nocturne though and I don't think it will ever be pegged into one genre.  Up and Up is the plan though, better song writing, better production and hopefully a live lineup some day.

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

10.)  A:  As far as influences go some of the main ones are definitely Enslaved, Opeth, Akercocke, Bathory, older to mid-career Behemoth, Immortal, Absu, Mercyful Fate, Destroyer 666, Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel, The Chasm, Drudkh, Cobalt,  too many to name haha.  What am I listening to these days?  Phazm, Negura Bunget, Bible of the Devil, Blut Aus Nord, Acid Witch, Dawnbringer, Necrovation, Grand Belial's Key, and of course constantly revisiting all the classics.

11. Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?

11.)  A:  No, not really.

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

12.)  A:  I actually have no interests outside of music…Just kidding haha.  Good food, good movies and shows, nature, spiritually awakening substances, drinking, engagements in idiocy, being silly, and of course the company of a beautiful and intelligent woman.

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

13.)  A:  Thank you for your time and interest, try not to carry a chip on your shoulder, keep and open mind, and support true artists of all forms.  Nocturne debut album 'Ave Noctem' OUT NOW on Do or Die records!  Get yours through the Nocturne or Do or Die page!  Check out my studio page Arcane Audio too if you are in need of any aural services.
http://www.facebook.com/NocturneChicago
http://www.facebook.com/DoOrDieRecords?fref=ts
http://www.facebook.com/ArcaneAudioChicago