Sunday, August 17, 2014

Solace Of Requiem Interview

  1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
As soon as we recorded the new album (Casting Ruin) we started searching for a label and manager to help us release the album. That whole process took several months, but we finally managed to secure both of those things. So lately we’ve pretty much just been working our asses off trying to get all the promotional stuff for the album squared away. We made an album trailer as well as a new music video, so we’ve been pretty busy every day since we found a label and manager to help us.

  1. You have a new album coming out during the end of August 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?
We took a very long time to think about our sound and song structures while we were still touring for our third album, The Great Awakening. We really tried to accentuate our strong points and omit some of the things we felt were old-hat and/or unimpressive about our prior works. I basically turned into a hermit and ate, slept and shit only music for about a year, once I had discovered what I wanted to do with the new album. We’ve all grown as musicians since our last recording too and my song writing has gotten a lot better. So I’d say our new album is a more refined and less primitive version of our older albums. Yet, different in some ways as well.
As for the sound itself, that is actually difficult to describe. It’s easy to say we are “blackened death metal” or “technical death metal”, but that’s not really a very accurate description of what we play. It also ignores the thing that makes us unique, so I don’t really like to be classified as simply one thing or the other. We play a form of music that takes two entirely different melodies and rhythms (one in the left speaker and one in the right speaker) that create a third melody and rhythm once combined. A lot of the times, those two different rhythms and melodies are almost nonsensical and comprised of seemingly insignificant sounds. It’s like a controlled chaos that produces a middle song that has its own melody, atmosphere and cadence. It’s very involved and complicated stuff, presented in an uncomplicated manner. There’s no band I can compare the sound to. Although it may be cliché to say this, but SOR is just a band you have to hear in order to know what we sound like.

  1. Their has only been 4 full length in the past 10 years, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
I suppose there were several factors that had contributed to the gaps in our releases. One factor was members. We have had to change around some guitarists in the past, as well as two drummer changes we had made. We never really lost anyone for personal reasons or anything, but we did lose people to families, careers and other opportunities that had presented themselves. Another factor was that it takes a long time for me to completely write a full album. The process to create something this intricate takes about two years to bring through to fruition. I would imagine that another factor has always been money and resources. It’s not the most lucrative of music forms and it requires a very large amount of patience, time, energy and finances to facilitate an album recording and release. When you add all these factors together, it took us more than a little while until we could bring our albums to the public.

  1. Your lyrics cover science,  mysticism and religion, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
I am a very avid science buff. I spend a considerable amount of time learning about things that most people never really take the time to think about. I’m also a strong advocate of a secular government and secular education. It’s hard to be an intelligent American in 2014 and not be extremely disappointed in the world we all live in. I am ashamed of our policies on many levels as well as ashamed of our educational standards. I am also a father that has watched his children grow up in this environment. So I am very passionate about many things dealing with the topics you mentioned above. I want to not only share my music with people, but to also share my views and opinions. It just so happens that I find myself in a situation to do so and I have taken that opportunity and used my music to field my views. I write my songs to be more like philosophy or poetry, set to its own theme music. I try to teach people things without them knowing they are learning. All of my songs are created as a triple entendre and can be relatable on many levels. I take great pride in what I write and I also take great responsibility when I do so. All of my words not only "mean something”, they all mean three things. ;)

  1. The band was originally formed in the 90's but broke up shortly after that, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
We had our drummer at the time (Luke Downing) move out of state with his family. Our guitarist (Chris Young) and I were going to come with Luke when he moved, but as fate would have it, only I ended up going and Chris stayed behind. I lived with Luke for several months but we never found a replacement for Chris, so we eventually gave up and all went our separate ways.
In 2001, I had started feeling regretful of not trying to take my music career further, so when I finally had deemed enough was enough, I called Chris and asked if he was interested in reforming the band. He and I talked about it a very long time and decided to give it another shot together. We looked around for other drummer but none of them really felt write. But one day we were talking about it and although we had assumed Luke was still living in another state, we decided to look him up to see if perhaps he had moved back to Virginia. To our happy surprise, he had moved back and was attending a local college only a few minutes from where we practiced. So we called him on the phone, Luke said he was interested in playing drums for us and the rest is history.

  1. The original line up was known as 'Sarcophagus', what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Solace Of Requiem'?
There were a few bands that named themselves Sarcophagus, so keeping the name wasn’t an option after we reformed in 2001. It took us a very long time to finally settle on a name we all liked. Chris was the easiest on to please, because he’s just a mellow and easy going guy. But Luke and I went back and forth about it a lot. It wasn’t that Luke had any suggestions, he loved to hate all my ideas! HaHaHaHa Looking back on it now, most of my ideas were stupid. All but one! The only name I ever said that sounded great to us all was Solace Of Requiem. Everyone agreed unanimously and we took that for our name ever since.
The word “solace” means to give consolation to someone in a time of grief. Like if someone in your family dies and you go stay with your friend for a few days to help them through it. You’d be attempting to give them solace. The word Requiem is a piece of music that was written to honor the dead. So in other words, our band name means the comfort from grief you receive from death metal. Which is something I think all metal heads can appreciate! If someone in my family or one of my good friends dies, I find and have found a lot of solace from listening to death metal.

  1. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I’ll take the last part of the question first and say that our stage performance is very energetic. We are all very good stage performers but we do not wear any costumes. When we play, we wear the same clothes (sometimes different shoes) that we wear on the street. We don’t put on makeup. We don’t wear any matching anything. We just look like guys with epic beards playing the craziest and most brutal shit you’ve ever heard in your life, all while going batshit crazy on stage.
To answer the first part of the question, we’ve had very many shows that were amazing. I really wouldn’t be able to boil it down to only a few shows. We had a lot of fun with Resurrection when we toured with those guys in 2010. We also had the most insane tour we were ever on with Vomitory and Prostitute Disfigurement. We’ve also had a lot of smaller tours that were incredible. Some of them are now very nostalgic to us. Like all of our underground USA tours with our friends Jaundice from Duluth MN. And all of the underground tours we played in Europe with Moshquito (now “Xiom”) from Germany. Those tours were all really great and we will remember them fondly for the rest of our lives. I would never be able to say what shows or cities were the best. All shows are the best! We want to play because we love to play. Every day that you have a show on a tour is a great day!

  1. Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We have tons of stuff in the works but right now we only have one of the several tours confirmed. The confirmed one is with Ulcerate in Europe this November and December. However, we also have another tour we’re trying to put directly before the Ulcerate tour, so we should be adding more dates in Eastern Europe to our November tour schedule very soon. As well as announcing tour dates in different countries of the world other than in Europe. All those announcements will be made on our websites soon.

  1. The new album is coming out on ViciSolum Productions, how did you get in contact with this label and also how would you describe the support they have given you so far?
We sent them a press kit and Thomas at ViciSolum responded that he really liked our music and had some interest in signing us to a contract. We had several offers from labels but only a very small few of those offers were able to release the album the way we thought it deserved. One of those labels was ViciSolum. We contacted them several times and worked out a plan and so far we feel it was a very good decision. We are treated more than fairly and Thomas is a very cool and easygoing guy to work with. We have a great relationship and we’re all working toward the same goal. We have no regrets at all about signing with the label we chose.

  1. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Not too many people have heard our new album yet, as it’s not released to the public yet. But with our older music we’ve always done extremely well. We’ve always had success on our tours and we’ve pretty much gotten to do everything we wanted to do. We toured a lot of places and have seen a lot of things. So although we’ve had our fair share of bad shows due to poor attendance, we’ve always taken the good with the bad. So I would say over the years the majority of our feedback from BM and DM fans all over the world has been very positive. But as I said, you still have to take the good with the bad.

  1. Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
Yeah, we all do tours with other bands and have side projects we work on. I had a band I sang for in Germany when I lived there for a few years. I did vocals one year and bass + vocals another year for Resurrection from Florida. I have a black metal side project I’m working on now with some guys I know in Europe. Our drummer Dave has a tour he’s doing with Beheaded. And our guitarist Richard toured as the bassist for Decapitated. He also has a band he plays with in his hometown and he's playing a tour in the USA with Single Bullet Theory in a month or so. So we all keep ourselves pretty busy with music.

  1. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I don’t really anticipate changing that much about our writing procedure. I would like to try and incorporate a few more sounds into our atmospheres. I’d like to do a bit of experimenting with different sounds and see what ideas I can come up with for a future album. Although, I honestly haven’t been thinking all that much about a new album because of Casting Ruin being almost ready for release. I have written quite a few of my ideas down and I already have enough stuff to work on to give me about a half an album’s worth of material, but I won’t actually start my writing process until Casting Ruin gets released. So this is a question I could better answer in about two or three months. However, I can say that all of our albums get better and better. So I anticipate our fifth album to be better than our fourth. As it should be, because if it’s not, then it’s time to quit. HaHaHaHa

  1. 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?
My biggest influence in writing comes from the collective memories and experiences with every single piece of music I’ve ever heard in my life. I’ve been a big listener of death metal ever since I was a kid, but I’ve never listened to only one kind of music. My favorite musician is Jerry Cantrell. I love the Wu Tang Clan, Redman and DMX. I am addicted to Franz Listz. I know the words to just about every song that exists in classic rock, alternative and grunge. I was a huge Poison fan as a kid and I really love hair bands. My point is, that I have so many influences in my music that it would be impossible to speculate as to which one is more prevalent. I, like all human beings, am a product of my past. I love all kinds of different styles and genres. So I am a product from all of those things. I never wanted to make a band that sounded like anyone else and I think people will be able to hear that in my work.

  1. What are some of your non musical interests?
SCIENCE! I love a good mystery and what could be better than studying the greatest mystery that has ever been studied?! What the hell is reality? Why can we see it? Is my perspective from my own phaneron the same like everyone else’s? Is there any meaning to life at all? Is Necrophagist going to release a new fucking album? HaHa These are the questions that need to be answered and we have people running around being fucking idiots and not only claiming they already know the answers to these great mysteries, but also indoctrinating their children into their madness. It’s bad enough that grown men and women are scientifically illiterate and spewing all this religious nonsense, but now they’re forcing their children into a word filled with hate, bigotry and applause for being ignorant and cruel in the name of some fictional character. Then their damn books tell them that it’s the right way to be and anyone that disagrees with them should be ostracized and sometimes even killed. This behavior is unacceptable and I only wish they could go to an island somewhere and blow themselves up all they want to, but leave me and people like me the fuck out of their arguments. Science is my passion. Learning is my passion. And teaching is definitely my passion. I have other interests in life, but none so important and necessary as science and scientific literacy.

  1. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Well I pretty much already went on my rant about science and the ignorance of Theism, so I’ll just end with this.... Listen to no one and trust no one. And only trust yourself if you are being honest with yourself. It only takes one person to change the world and it’s time we had more heroes to look up to. You could be that hero. Never underestimate yourself and do everything you can think of to change things for the better. Research what you learn and be sure it’s the truth before you spread it. If you believe in something, make sure it’s accurate before attempting to make others believe it. Especially children! We can take this world back from the people who claim their ownership. All we need is for more people to try!
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to write with you and your audience. Please watch our new music video and checkout our album, Casting Ruin, coming worldwide August 29th. All of our links are below. Thank you again for your time. HAIL SCIENCE!

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