Monday, September 14, 2020

Ardormort Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Ardormort: Definitely, thanks for speaking with me today.  The project began in 2018, when I was going through a couple of difficult situations all at once.  I had always been an obsessive lover of music and especially metal, but had never taken the step towards creating something uniquely mine.  I needed an outlet and it felt like it was time for me to take that step.  Ardormort will always be an expression of whatever emotions I'm experiencing when writing and where I am in life.  It will also always remain outside the confines of any one genre.  I love and consume an eclectic range of music and they all play a part in shaping what Ardormort's sound has become.   I essentially just call it atmospheric metal.  Synths, guitars, and atmosphere. 

2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Ardormort: The new album is the most free and confident I've felt writing music to date.  My love and involvement in dungeon synth also played a slightly larger role in terms of influences.  It can also be heard that I have become more proficient in recording my own guitar and mixing more effectively.  Overall, I consider it the most well-rounded Ardormort record.  When you are allowing total freedom of style and influence, it can be a task to have eight tracks all sound like they belong together.  These very much do however, so I am quite pleased with it in that way.
3.The first release had a little bit of vocals while the later releases have been all instrumental, what was the decision on going into this direction and also are you open to using vocals again in the future?
Ardormort: When I decided to give music a shot, I wanted to challenge myself on all levels.  This inevitably included vocals and the result was...okay.  The problem is that I'm not a great vocalist and I don't enjoy doing them.  I'm never going to dedicate myself to becoming a great vocalist, so that would mean bringing in someone else, which is an entirely different topic itself.  In short, I imagine vocals will happen again someday, but when and by who, I have no idea.  In the present, I prefer to remain instrumental.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ardormort'?
Ardormort:   As I was in a dark place in life at the time the project began, I wanted something dark.  The mort is simply a reference to the latin root word for death.  Ardor is enthusiasm.  Ardormort is the death of enthusiasm.  A hopeless state of living. 

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Ardormort: Indeed.  I have worked with specific artists for covers in the past, both for Ardormort and other projects, however for this one, when scanning various online collections for inspiration, I came across a stunning piece of work in the Met Museum's open access files.  It spoke to me and it lent itself to the feeling I was after.  There is actually a short fictional story I have written for the album, making it a bit of a concept piece.  It is currently only available with the deluxe edition of the album released through Pacific Threnodies.  But I simply fell in love with the painting, which is entitled "In the Woods", by Asher Brown Durand (1855).  In The Woods... are also an influence on the Ardormort sound, so it all seemed like a natural and ideal fit. 

6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
Ardormort: Only as recently as this year, have I become open to the idea.  In the past, I've been steadfast that I prefer an end result that I can say is a pure expression from myself alone.  That's what I needed when Ardormort was started.  There's no question however, that working with a vocalist for example, or an actual drummer, could really take the music to a level I cannot achieve on my own.  I have never played in a band or even jammed with someone.  Music playing and creating, for someone as chronically anxious as I, has always been something I've done alone.  As I've grown and worked on myself, I've become more open to such things however.  I can see it happening in the future. 

7.Since 2018 you have released a decent amount of music with both of your projects, do you spend a great amount of time writing and creating music?
Ardormort: I do.  When I get started on am album, I become extremely focused on it.  It's all I do.  I don't like to work on multiple albums at the same time, nor do I like to take breaks in between working on songs.  I think an album should carry a vibe that goes beyond a collection of songs.  When I get into a place in my mind where I am locked into a certain album, I don't want to break from it.  I think this helps me keep the creative ideas flowing and helps me keep a vision in mind.  I also don't play live or tour in any way, so there is never that downtime as there is in the cycle of a traditional band.  With the exception of an online performance or two, Writing and recording are how I express my creative yearnings, so I try to keep them active and sharp. 

8.So far you have worked with 'Pacific Threnodies' and 'Akashic Envoy Records' on your physical releases, do you feel these labels have been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out their heard?
Ardormort: Without question.  Akashic Envoy Records gave me my first ever physical release, with "To Live and To Die".  Within months prior, at the age of 34, I had only just decided to try writing and recording.  I had no reason to believe I'd experience success, and getting a physical release at the beginning was a bit of a distant dream.  To have someone express that level of support and confidence in my work was a huge deal and instrumental in me taking things to the next level with the most recent album, "The Desolation Letters".  Working with Pacific Threnodies on this album has been a tremendous experience.  They share my dedication to artistic integrity and we worked together to release a truly beautiful box set edition of the album.  I couldn't be more proud of it.  Their support has helped the Ardormort FB page grow exponentially.  New fans come in every single day and I couldn't be more thrilled and appreciative of every single one.  I've been very fortunate in those I've been able to work with, both with Ardormort and my other projects Shrouded Gate and Polar Keep.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and doom metal?
Ardormort: I try not to perpetuate the idea that the project is 'black metal' or actively promote to that crowd.  Surely there are those influences, and the albums have done well on predominately black metal youtube channels in fact, but overall it is not a black metal project and reaction from those fans will always be mixed.  Doom, I think is slightly closer to the nature and sound of Ardormort and fans of the genre might have a wider range of tolerance for deviation, but I can't point towards any one community supporting the music more than the other.  This is one of my favorite things about the music I make however.  It's unique and attracts individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. 

10.Can you tell us a little bit more about your other musical project 'Shrouded gate'?
Ardormort: Shrouded Gate is my dark ambient / dungeon synth / fantasy project.  It is not a side project to Ardormort.  I consider it equal in importance and quality and under that banner, I have experienced some of my greatest success.  The only actual live performance I've done for any project, in my life, has been as Shrouded Gate this past March.  My last album "Old Paths to the Sleeping Throne" sold out in two days after that performance and the reception was more than I could have ever hoped for.  I have the follow up completed and it can be expected this Fall.  Fans of Ardormort will likely find something to like with Shrouded Gate as well. 

11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
Ardormort:  I don't look very far into the future with my music, but I definitely have the goal of being a better player and performer.  Dungeon synth, and the friends I've made through it, has really been the biggest factor in my growth as a musician.  It's got me thinking about goals and what I can actually achieve.  It's given me the confidence to perform live and helped me find my confidence as a song writer.  It's where my greatest focus is...yet when I'm ready to write for Ardormort, those things all carry over.

12.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?
Ardormort:  I would say the biggest influences are Katatonia, more specifically early works up through Tonight's Decision (I love subsequent works, but don't draw much influence from them), Virgin Black, Shape of Despair, Moonsorrow, Depressive Silence, etc.  As for current listens, Ulver's "Flowers of Evil", Haukruunu's "Uinuos Syömein Sota", Khand's "The Sage of Witherhorn", a lot of Mortiis past and present, and Oranssi Pazuzu.  They are currently the best band on the planet in my opinion. 

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
 Thank you for taking to time to speak with me and I also pass my sincere thanks to all the new fans Ardormort has received since the release of "The Desolation Letters".  If you follow Shrouded Gate as well, you might catch some moments where the two projects collide...perhaps even in a live setting.  The set I am currently preparing for Shrouded Gate has an surprise or two thrown in.  Thanks again!


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