Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Obsidian Kingdom Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

We are on the verge of making a very big announcement that will suppose a turning point in the history of the band. In the meantime, there's a tight schedule for us this year, since 2014 is going to be a very busy year for Obsidian Kingdom.

Expect to enjoy a lot of newly released audiovisual material, included but not limited to, music videos, photo shoots and a European tour by this fall...

And of course, we are already writing our next album.

2.How would you describe the musical sound of the newer material and also how does it differ from your older recordings?

It is still soon to say something about it, since it is still in the making, but we can already announce that we are experimenting in two directions at the same time: first, we have become very curious about pop structures and radio formula. That doesn't mean we're going to do that in the near future, but we're certainly dabbling with that field of expression. Furthermore, we're implementing electronic music production techniques into our style and language. That will sure not come as a surprise after the release of our latest album, "Torn & Burnt", which is mainly electronic music.

Anyhow, we're definitely keeping the darkness, the sophistication, the aggression and the variety, as well as our ability to keep our listeners engaged and entertained with our art.

3.Recently you put out a remix album, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

"Torn & Burnt" is  a collection of remixes of seven cuts from "Mantiis", produced by renowned artist from all over the world which have been personally selected by us. They have taken up the task to re-write the codes of the original work in a new key of dark and moody electronic music, maintaining the overall atmosphere but altering the language as they have found appropriate, making the songs their own in the process.

The result couldn't be less astonishing, we're certain that is will interest not only the fans of "Mantiis" or the regular followers of the remixing artists, but also to everyone curious about stylistic gray zones and dark broody music in general.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the newer music explores?

As it has been said before, it may still be too soon to make a statement about this issue, but there are certain general lines that have already been laid regarding lyrical content.

The music in the new album will certainly have a more urban and contemporary feel, as opposed to the psychologically abstract and fable-like tone in "Mantiis". We're currently addressing less introspective themes such as city spleen, near-future dystopias or secret society conspiranoia. What will become of it in the end, no one yet knows.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Obsidian Kingdom?

It's an abstract and suggestive image that evokes the dichotomy between the primeval chaos that is condensed inside a volcanic stone and the cold order of a hierarchical structure - the immanent connotations of a material that's both useful for weapon and ornament manufacturing.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Despite acknowledging that our live shows keep getting better and better, and how much we love to play abroad, it is fair to say that one of our stage highlights was the first live presentation of "Mantiis"  in our hometown, Barcelona. The energy that derived from that show is hard to describe, but there was this remarkable anticipation and momentum amongst the audience that made this event one to remember. Although we know it is impossible to be successful in such a task, we still tried to capture some of that energy on camera, and you are welcome to watch the results on our Youtube channel. We hope to repeat it very soon, though.

Our shows are intended to enhance and amplify all the emotions that run through our music, provoking an immediate nervous response in the audience. Complemented with video projections and special stage lighting – and of course the complexities of the interpretation of music and words themselves – they broaden the band’s speech and take it to further fields of reading.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Certainly. There's nothing assured to this very date, but chances are that we will hit the road this fall in order to present both "Mantiis" and some of our new material through the main cities of Europe.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you open to working with a label in the future?

It could well be, if the conditions are suit. We've realized that, in order for our music to reach its potential audience in a proper way, alliances in the music industry need to be made and, for as long as our artistic integrity stays a priority, we will be willing to take advantage of any chance we get to have our music pour into your ears.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal/

We are still totally blown away by the incredible outcome of "Mantiis". Both audience and media have given it a much warmer welcome than we ever expected. The digipak edition sold out in a couple of months and the vinyl one is running short, and the digital album has been downloaded more than 6500 times to this very day. Furthermore, feedback from both the audience and the music press has been amazing so far; the album is getting an average score of 9/10 in the more than eighty reviews that have been published to date from all over the world, ranking in high positions on several ‘best of’ lists among giants such as Neurosis, Ihsahn, High on Fire or AmenRa. We couldn’t ask for more.

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

Anywhere, for as long as it keeps both us and our audience excited and enthralled about the magic of making music. There's a thin line between finding one's own voice and stagnating, but we have just started to tread our own path so it's far too early to worry about such a thing. Being conscious of our insatiable curiosity and ambition, the Obsidian Kingdom could be heading anywhere, anytime. Just come along and trip with us.

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

It shouldn't come as a surprise that we're deeply interested in dark electronics this days, especially the UK scene - drone techno, minimal, idm, dub and bass music. We could maybe point at Andy Stott, WIFE, Demdike Stare, Actress or The Haxan Cloak just to name a few. We are also doing a little research on early jazz as a result of the recent start on trumpet playing of Ojete Mordaza II, especially John Coltrane... And of course we love to listen to many bands that are still doing excellent boundary-pushing Metal such as Necro Deathmort, Shining (NOR) or Cult of Luna.

12.How would you describe your views on Occultism and Philosophy?

We're keen on many disciplines related to Occultism, such as Magic(k), Astrology, Numerology and Tarot, and we're particularly fond of literature on Parapsychology and the History of Occultism, from Theosophy to Satanism and including Illuminism or anything Crowley-related, but we wouldn't say that Obsidian Kingdom is a band about that at all.
Furthermore, let us not forget that we are a group of five independent individuals, each one with its own beliefs and ideas in the fields of philosophy, religion and general spirituality, so it would be really hard for us to describe our points of view in that field in the brief space left in the question of an interview. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be too wrong to say that most of us just fall somewhere between the Nihilist/Hedonist and the Zen Buddhist personality type. Whichever that might mean.

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

We wouldn't know where to start... We come from very different academic backgrounds and we share most of our many interests, and I think that is what makes the band so special. Just to name a few of our most common passions, we could maybe name Literature, Cinema, Comic Books, Architecture, Video Games, Photography, Design, History, Travelling, Economy, Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll.

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

We would just like to thank you for this fine interview and send our kind regards to every reader of Bringer of Death.

Also, fourteen questions, is that a coincidence? We shouldn't think so...

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