Saturday, September 10, 2016

Veilburner interview

 1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
1. MD - We just finished our 3rd album, called "The Obscene Rite," which will be available September 30th.  We're currently doing promotion for it and we've been enjoying very positive feedback on the pre-release single, called "Eucharist of the Breathing Abyss".  Chrisom has another band he sings in called "Torture Ascendancy," which I'm producing but don't play on, so we're still busy doing that for the time being.  

    2.You have an album coming out during the end of September, 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?

2. CI - I would say it's a combination of the other two albums we have written. We really tried to take the originality of the first album, "The Three Lightbearers" and mix it with the really obscure and experimental feel that we achieved with "Noumenon," and try and fine-tune the balance between the two albums into an overall sound. It feels as if we have accomplished the task, and the trilogy as a whole feels like a smooth ride from beginning to end.

    3.Your lyrics cover Occultism, Gnosticism, Philosophy and Nihilism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
3. CI - From a very young age, I was intrigued by the darker side of life and also by the fact that I was raised Catholic.  Although we weren't a full-on church loving family, I still needed to go to Sunday school every week until I was confirmed. Anyway, there was a day when the Archbishop of our area was visiting our class and I remember him asking if anyone believed in UFOs, ghosts, unexplained phenomena, etc.  I raised my hand for every question he asked, and when I explained to him why I believed in this phenomena, he explained to me that science could explain most of these things, and told me that ghosts are not real and it could be something like wind from my fireplace that was causing things to move in my house (even though we did not have a fireplace).  I asked him a simple question back, "If ghost's are not real, then what is the holy spirit?  Doesn't ghost and spirit mean the same thing?"  He looked shocked and told me to leave the room. So from that point on (I was 10 years old), I have always searched for something more than the traditional Christian ideals that most people in my area are raised to believe, not realizing that they are just a crumb in this vast ocean of different beliefs.  At the age of fourteen, I was turned on to Nietzsche and started to craft an anti-religious, nihilistic approach to my writing, specifically anti-Catholicism, etc. I was infatuated with crucifixion and such, and then I moved on to studying the Gnostic ideals of Samuel Aun Weor and am now fully into the writings of Blavatsky and Manly P. Hall. I love to mix Gnosticism and Nihilism because they allow for an endless landscape of writing.  Are you wrong in what you write about? Technically, you can't be. Anyway, I could go on forever but that's a small dose of why I write what I write; basically the only truth is death, and death is the thing that humans fear the most, and the humor in it is the fact that it's life's largest lie.

    4.I know that the name 'Veilburner' came from an Enslaved song, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
4. MD - Enslaved obviously had their own meaning for the term when they conceived it, and I would not have used it if I just thought it sounded cool or for some other lazy purpose, because I have too much respect for the creative process.  We decided it was an interesting word, and that we'd like to give it our own meaning in the context of our project.  To me, the word makes me think of the stripping away of illusions, or the destruction of barriers.  I thought it was a really good way to describe the music we were writing, because of the way we pull influence from a lot of different genres of music in a way that makes the idea of "genres" seem to disappear and expose music for what it is.  We recognize that the idea of genres and subgenres are necessary in the world of journalism to provide quick, useful descriptions of what a band sounds like to a potential fanbase, but some people take them too far and assign more meaning and importance to them than they're intended to have.

Themeatically, the two characters at the center of our trilogy are dabbling in transhumanism (the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations) and attempting to achieve immortality through a combination of occult practices and mad scientific experiments.  In essence, they're trying to burn a veil seperating mortaility and godhood, so the name has multiple levels of meaning in our project.

CI -  We have received feedback from lots of different people asking "What is this? Whatever genre it is, it's good."  We know we are going to be labeled, and the roots of what we do are in black and death metal, but we really wanted to try and create a sound that personifies the name and vice versa. It ties into the lyrical themes and also the different genres that my mad, riff-writing musical composing cohort of insanity has seemed to be able to pull off with the music.

    5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?
5. CI - It is so much easier the way it is now. Mephisto writes the music, and he is one of the few musicians I know that I can depend on composing every part of the song and not have it feel like something is missing.  With every other project I have been in, I usually feel compelled to pick up the guitar and help write, but with Veilburner I feel like we are on the same page from the first note that is written to the last word that is penned.

MD:  Efficiency and complete control over our vision are the most important things, and things become exponentially more complicated creatively and logistically as more people become involved, so the benefit to adding another member would have to outweigh the compromise we would be making to what's already a perfectly efficient process and fulfilling working relationship.

    6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
6. CI - Yes, we are definitely interested in the prospect of working with a label. We have received a lot of positive feedback and want to be able to share our music with a larger fan base, and that is really hard to do when you work for a living and cannot spend all of your hard earned cash on making music, doing all the promotion and creating merchandise to sell. We hope someone comes our way and is willing to try and help Veilburner be where we want to be.

MD - If a label approached us and felt like we we would be a good fit for their roster, I would love to hear their proposal.  Obviously, it would need to be beneficial for both parties, and I know that not having a live act to promote ourselves can be a dealbreaker for a lot of labels who depend on bands being on the road a lot to boost visibility and drive record sales.  On the other hand, I know that there are plenty of studio bands that are working with some of the bigger independent labels, and they are some of my favorite bands, so I know that it's not out of the question.  It's just a matter of  whether one thinks they can invest in us and get a return on that investment.   

    7.'Mind Eraser' has been helping with the promotion, are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
7. CI - Words cannot express how much they have done for us in just a short amount of time. We got more than we ever expected and the campaign isn't even finished yet!!  Mind Eraser is extremely dedicated to working his ass off for us, and we do not have enough hails in corpsepaint covered faces to trvly(yes type that with a v) tell him how much we appreciate the hard work that has been put in for us two nobodies.

MD - It's been a great experience so far working with Mind Eraser.  I've been especially impressed with the efforts on the social media front.  There have been a lot of new fans coming to our Facebook page to give us "likes" and to our bandcamp page to purchase albums.  Some pretty high profile metal blogs have given us good exposure and we're excited to see our profile grow leading up to this release. 

    8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
8. CI - All in all, since 2014 we have had only a few negative write-ups, and they had more to do with the production than anything else.  We were prepared to receive alot of negativity, and in the end it's to be expected. Not everyone is going to like your band and that's ok. We are very open-minded and are actually a little surprised that we haven't been shit on a little bit more, due to the fact that we like to play with experimental elements a lot, but people seem to at least respect what we are doing and that's awesome.  I never thought I would be in a project that has received so much positive feedback, and I am truely honored and extremely humbled. I am not worthy!!

MD - I also appreciate the good feedback that we have received so far, especially with our most recent single.  I know we're not everyone's taste and that for every 1 new fan that we make, there are probably dozens that checked it out, said "meh", and moved on.  That's fine. I only think about that 1 new fan. If you're really writing what you love to write and it connects with somebody, it's special because you just found somebody who shares your unique taste in art.  And if you're a weirdo like me,  then it's really special because it's rare to find that same kind of weirdo. 

    9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9. CI - We are taking a break so we can get some much needed rest. Mephisto is training so he can get a new day job and trying to update our recording equipment so he has a new toy to mess with.  Other than that, I have an idea for a book, and my plan is to write it and then use it to create music and hopefully some sort of short film.  At the very least, it will be a book and an album. We also might write a couple of songs for a digital release or a cover song or two. Regardless, it seems like concept art is our pulse, and you can believe that whatever we release will be something more than just a group of songs.

    10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10. CI - I would say for this trilogy we just completed, the biggest influence has been Morbid Angel. We are both heavily influenced by '90s death metal and the norwegian death metal from the first part of the decade. There's also a lot of influence from the French black metal bands (Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Spektr)who use a lot of dissonance in their style. The rest of the layering is the hints of industrial, psychedlic and avant garde influences we both share.  During the recording process for the new album, I listened to alot of Leviathan.  "Scar Sighted" is a very important album for me.  It came along during a difficult time of the year and really helped me to escape and get my focus into the writing of these songs.  Florence and the Machine was on heavy rotation also, plus Blaze of Perdition, Mgla, Anaal Nathrakh, The Monolith Deathcult, Zyklon, Lord Huron, Brandi Carlile, Portal and the latest Marduk album.

MD - If you listen close enough, you'll also hear influences from film scores from different styles and eras.  This is all to give the albums and songs more of a cinematic flow and feeling as opposed to just sounding like a collection of songs. For example, on the new album "The Obscene Rite," there are a few transition pieces I wrote where I try to capture the feeling of movies like Blade Runner or the original Terminator movie. In another part, I just straight up sample music from an old 60s movie as a song lead-in.  We know it's nothing new, but it works for us. 

    11.What are some of your non musical interests?
11. CI - I do a lot of artwork via drawing and photoshop. I would love to be able to start working with other bands in helping to create artwork for their albums etc. I play a good bit of video games.  I own an Xbox One and am usually on Madden or soon to be Battlefield 1. I like to watch movies, but never seem to have time so the wife and I watch alot of stuff on Netflix (btw, Stranger Things probably would have derailed the whole writing process for the album because how awesome it is). I'm constantly researching and learning about different religions and history, etc.  I'm steadily swapping between Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine and Manly P Hall's The Secret Teachings of all Ages.  The most important thing is being able to chill with the wife and do the family thing with the kid.  He is fourteen and at the age of becoming his own person and is developing his own listening tastes, so it makes for interesting conversation or arguments when we are picking a playlist for a road trip. He does not share in my taste of the metal.

MD - I collect oddities and bizarre antiques.  A lot of the props in our photos come from my collection.  I also study nerdy stuff like statistics and data analysis, and I've been working towards a certification so I can get a job in that field.  I'm married and have cats.  I also use my recording arsenal to help other local bands make demos.  I travel with my wife periodically.  We've been to Europe and the UK, and a lot of the Caribbean Islands.  Still go to see bands perform when I can, but prefer smaller venues and club shows.

    12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Thanks for taking the time to interview us, we appreciate it and look forward to talking to you in the future.


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