Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rebel Wizard Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Rebel Wizard is a project that was ‘official’ around 2013.

The following questions will delve further into what RW is about so I’ll save repeating myself too much.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?

I can’t accurately described the recordings too much. Although there are plenty of traditional elements in there, the writing process is very much a subconscious process of ‘not’ being this or that. Each ep has it’s own feel in production and song writing and it’s generally what’s being channelled at the time (please excuse the terrible metaphor)

The production, to me, sounds really slick! Haha – so I was really surprised that it had such a ‘raw production’ response. I listen to mostly older stuff as the current ‘sound’ of modern era metal is repulsive. So ultimately I am just recording what I’d like to hear that I feel no one else is doing – both in song writing and production. A few friends wanted to hear it and they thought it (the demo) was killer (I thought they were lying) – but I chucked it on bandcamp and it actually did ok. So I wasn’t alone in the negative wizard metal quest.

I would definitely admit that the ‘subconscious’ process nonsense is a morphing of all the metal/punk I have devoured ravenously over the past 30 years and let that all flow from a nothingness – so not actively wanting to sound like this or that. Just jamming or writing without much in mind etc blah blah wank wank.

There’s an importance of (self) declaring Rebel Wizard as the ‘new wave of negative metal’ – not really following a formula which is why I got into metal and punk as a kid; when the current era is one of such rigid banality and conservatism. Each sub genre is manically pushing to sound so pure – mostly it comes off as insincere/ gimmicky but some fucking nail it, but it’s rare (but oh so wonderful when you find it!)

Rebel Wizard is not this or that (negative) and I really enjoy how different ears interpret it – some reckon it’s black metal etc. I have spent about 20 years doing black metal and RW is in no way a black metal project but it probably is. No one can really say and that’s the joy in playing ‘negative’ metal.

So I am hoping it’s coming across at being somehow unique and refreshing but I also hope very much that it irks and causes some offense.

3.You have released a great amount of material in 2015 alone, do you spend a great amount of time and effort into creating or writing music?

Every fucking spare and sometimes not spare moments. It’s been extremely strong with me forever. It’s a life support system. Literally I fucking hate being a ‘musician’ – I have quit so many times and after a few months I feel suicidal. I feel like a complete ass admitting this on the internet, I am very sorry readers. Being a musician, especially the kind I am, sucks. Haha. Yeah, the effort is great.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects that you explore with your music?

Completely open to the listener/ interpreter although the feel and song titles do direct.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Rebel Wizard'?

Well, following on from the previous answer on the project being only concerned in the ‘negative’ – it’s important that the music, vision etc does stand alone somewhat. Now, don’t get me wrong in that I am slamming all forms of contemporary underground metal, well mostly I am haha, but not in totality. It’s the contempt I have for aspects of ‘normal’ humanity that is now so prevalent in the underground that I just go into my own world of Rebel Wizard or Nekrasov.

When you get mailing lists from distros or see the top 10 metal albums each year, it’s all the fucking same – and it’s getting worse. So to create something that stands outside of all this trite there must be a Rebel and he must be a heavy metal wizard; hence Rebel Wizard. Perfect, no?

6.With this project and your other one as well, you record everything by yourself are you open to working with other musicians?

With Rebel Wizard there’s been no collaboration and I am open to it. I have a really good, small, network of really great people who I have done plenty with in the other project (Nekrasov) and I hope this continues.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any label interest?

Zero interest and I have submitted this to all my favourite labels! Either a no response or ‘the riffs are killer but we don’t like the vocals’ haha. That’s all fine however a little disappointing as you hope that some of the more interesting labels might ‘get it’. However, I am well aware that it doesn’t really fit into anyone else’s vision but mine. But that’s what it’s all about, doing your thing. I am more than happy to be free to release it all on bandcamp, if  anyone wants to release it on physical formats, that would be great. I spend all my time doing RW or Nekrasov so I just don’t have time to work on the physical releases; I used to with Nekrasov - making elaborate limited cdr releases. I’d like to do more of this and I will eventually.

Into the pit records did release the first few eps on tape which was really nice. I would love to have these out as 7”s – the ep thing really is that I love short, killer eps, I grew up on 7”s.

To be honest, I don’t think there would be a label that keep up with all the fucking eps I do!

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

Polarizing, which it to be expected and hoped for! Haha. In the sense that I think that it’s nice to be something that a few people ‘get’ and enjoy. And the ‘good’ feedback has been really encouraging – I really didn’t expect people to enjoy it that much. I suffer terrible from self loathing and listening to the songs, during the recordings, so much that I don’t’ know if they’re any good any more so each time I am uploading, I am biting my lips and totally unsure whether I should inflict more bullshit in the world.

But getting back to the label thing, kind of, it’s nice to be ‘discovered’ by people who are actually still actively looking out for new, interesting music – instead of relying on others which is so sadly common place nowadays. I grew with music without the internet and the discovery was of such incredible importance. Now everyone is just told what to listen to by fucking everyone and rarely do people discover what they like on their own. That’s happened a fair bit with both projects, I really enjoy that as that kind of thing formed me growing up.

But yeah, mostly it’s been really really good. Way more positive that negative which is a shame for a negative wizard. L

9.What is going on with your other musical projects these days?

Nekrasov which has been around since 1997 is back after a long hiatus. It was that thing I mentioned earlier that I forced myself to quit as it became a little too obsessive – I took a few years off and it almost killed me! Haha. I just released an ep. I have finished the 8th (at least I think it’s the 8th) full length and that should be out March – that took a while to complete but it’s great to be in that void again.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

Nekrasov will have a full length soon, as mentioned. There’s no plans on a Rebel Wizard album. I don’t like to plan such a thing, it gets stressful. Rebel Wizard is also fun for me, Nekrasov is a fucking demanding beast. It’s easier for me to do eps and I enjoy that needing more feeling that a good ep does.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music?

The bands that have the biggest influence which sound nothing like RW, but moreso their ethic would be forces like Crass, Econochrist, Bolt Thrower, King Diamond, MY Dying Bride etc. All those bands were doing things with a unique sound and vision that was really encouraging to me, moreso than bands like Maiden (who of course can’t fucking help themselves in being an influence to everyone!) – Guitarists like Andy Larocque and Gaz Jennings are big influences –they are very unique, soulful and so underrated that my hurt  and scorn at the world is infinite.

It’s very much a subconcious vomiting of all the metal and punk bands that really resonated with me, all the usual stuff.

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

With both projects there is an obsession and super importance of non-belief. However, that answer is super arrogant and there would definitely be an occult interest  in doing ‘music’ and ‘sound’ – however within the realms of non belief or inspiration from ‘theories’.

Lucky for me that eternal nothingness sometimes communicates to me in heavy metal riffs.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks so much for the interview. I hate doing them but feel compelled as I am very honoured that someone actually would want to even read this.

Much power to you and your blog comrade!


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