Saturday, May 22, 2010

Interview: Demoncy

The first thing that really strikes me about Demoncy's music is the very personal nature of the melodies...I do not mean to say directly that they are intentionally obscure or that they do not lend themselves easily to dissection, even though I think I am hinting at this, but the feeling that I get when I listen to your music, especially 'Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost' is that Demoncy exists mainly to draw pictures of other places: landscapes, other worlds, other realities besides our own, and that these imagined atmospheres must come from a deep well inside you - a place that must be explored and pictured, but which also seems to resist the lure of all-defining daylight. One gets the idea, when listening to Demoncy, that you feel the need to open up these worlds to other people, and, at the same time, you feel like withdrawing, enclosing them, protecting them from the light of day...can you comment on this?

Many people do not see the same visions as we do in the music we create, but your description is close to truth. We present the gate or portal to pass through, but it is not open. To enter requires a depth of understanding and the power to do so on the part of the listener...

Is it possible for music to 'shroud' itself in obscurity even while it tries to communicate?

Yes, for when it is shrouded in obscurity, it communicates only to the obscure, which is quite the point with our art...

Why is the 'cult of mystery' so important/inspirational in black metal?

For me personally, I am enamored with mystery itself and that which lies hidden beneath the surface so that is why it plays such an integral part in the creation of what I do...

Do you find the style of black metal to be an adequate release for your musical instincts?

Yes, but I am composed of many things and to explore fully every facet of my own inner world through the creation of my art, I work with other 'styles' in other projects, although everything that I endeavor retains something that is present in each one of them...

Do you think that Demoncy's music is to be used mainly to inspire lucid daydreaming - that it reveals atmospheres to be swallowed up in - or is there a darker intent behind the music?

It is at once inspiring of other realms to encapsulate the listener and tinged with a much darker intent. This being evident I think, to those in understanding of it...

Does Demoncy call for action on the part of its listeners?

Immerse yourself in darkness and travel the path of the left...

I am trying not to ask the 'obvious' questions in this interview (most of them have already been answered elsewhere), and I wanted to stay away from querying you about the black metal 'scene' as I know of your disdain for it, but I wanted to ask this: do you think that staying outside the mainstream, even the mainstream of the 'underground', is beneficial in the long run for musicians who want to develop a truly original voice and/or style in their music?

For me personally, staying away from everything else has been entirely beneficial for I have always done things the way that I want to do them regardless of what others may be doing. I think that that shows clearly in what I create...

Is originality just something that you are 'given' - that you are born with - and not something you can self-consciously develop?

I think that a bit of both is required to make something truly original...

Are there just some musicians who have an insight, instinctively, into the powers, motives, and meanings of Darkness?

I think that there are some musicians who can employ these emotions and sounds simply through their knowledge of music, but that does in no way give them any depth of understanding into darkness itself on a personal level...

Or is it necessary to hone your music and your playing style by 'pitting' it against the art of others?

I think that it is necessary to do so on a personal level, rather than pitting it against the sound of others...

I know that you are also involved in projects outside of Demoncy - some of them long-running - could you explain these and their importance in your life?

I do four other projects besides Demoncy and all of my projects are my life's blood, each being equally as important as the others and simultaneously most important in my life. Profane Grace and Raven's Bane are both dark/experimental, Mysterian is gothic/ethereal, and √úbermenschen is darkwave/electronica...

Why do you think it is so common for black metal musicians to be involved in side-projects?

I am not aware that it is...

Are there styles of music that can not be incorporated into black metal, or does this practice exist because of an obsession with keeping certain sounds/bands 'pure' and free from outside influence?

Yes there are, for certain styles incorporated into black metal make it no longer 'black' and it loses the intent of its purpose...

Why the obsession with 'purity' in black metal - even the 'purity' of evil?

This for me is the same with the obsession of purity itself. That which isn't pure is tainted...

Is such a thing possible?

Yes, I believe it to be...

Do you think it is really possible to explore the 'nature' of evil through music?

I think that it is possible to explore the nature of anything through music...

A simple series of questions: what, in your mind, are the goals for Demoncy's music?

Domination and dominion...

At what point in the future do you see being satisfied with Demoncy's existence - in other words, when will you think that the band has accomplished all that it can ever accomplish, that its 'mission', so to speak, is finished?

Demoncy for me is eternal, and so I foresee no end...

Demoncy, while concentrating on developing a certain core of related concepts and sounds, has actually produced a wide range of styles on the two albums that I have in my possession, and you don't seem to be frightened to cross stylistic boundaries, although you almost always draw back from committing yourself strictly to doom metal's aesthetics, for example, or the harsher ranges of death metal - instead you draw these elements back into the fold and they become one with Demoncy's sound. Do you feel that there really are limits to what black metal bands can do - that there SHOULD be certain style choices or aesthetics qualifications?

Yes, if there are no limits in style choices or aesthetic qualifications, then black metal would not be black metal, but something else entirely...

Has Demoncy fully realized your ideas for what a black metal band should sound like?

Although the sound is always evolving, it retains what lies at it's core, so that was realized from the first moment of creation...

What will Demoncy sound like in the future - what are your plans?

Only the sounds of utter darkness will ever be created...

Because I believe music, and especially the action of composing music, to be the creation of a universal human language - a language of the mind and body, of the soul and spirit, of the unconscious and conscious worlds - I alsobelieve firmly in the idea that this language can not be used to express what the musician or artist has not, at some point, experienced or felt. I think it is impossible to 'fake' real music: that truly profound music is an echo of the soul, of unconsciousness, and can not be 'tapped' by those who are not initiated into its mysteries by the realm of personal action, of actual experiences. However, I also know that what we experience touches us on many different levels, and it reaches people in different ways: a witnessed act can have profound implications on our psyche that we may not be able to understand for years, or decades - if ever at all. Music is one method of exploring this world of 'shadowed' reflections. Can you comment on this?

I agree with you fully. Those that try to create emotions and atmospheres in music without such shadowed reflections from personal experience will always fall short of their intent. Perhaps it can be made haphazardly from simple understanding, but it won't retain the depth of something that holds more.

Do you believe that to be a 'dark' artist - a musician who reflects mainly on the dark side of life, the dark emotions - means that one has to consciously seek out experiences that increase one's idea of life's bitterness?

No, such experiences do not have to be openly sought for, for they will inevitably come to pass whether wanted or not, but some do search for them. However, not all remain in reflection of them.

What purpose does the communication of dark emotions truly serve - is it cathartic to bring the Inner Reality out into the open, to make the Outer world resemble the Inner through art?

Indeed it is.

Will these bitter experiences increase your range, power, versatility, the depth and breadth of what you can communicate through music?

Yes, it does.

Is this just a myth? Or, on the other hand, are there just some souls that have an innate ability to transform their dark emotions into music?

The emotions would not be there without the experience. One does not know anger without first experiencing anger. One does not know sorrow without first experiencing sorrow.

Are there 'innocents' who are filled with darkness?

We can be born into many things, but it is experience that heightens and solidifies what we are.

You may have read, along with me (I am mainly thinking of the book Lords of Chaos here), that black metal is considered by many people to be a step above the style of death metal in terms of 'extremity' - what does this really mean to you?

True black metal is more extreme because the ideas and concepts presented through the music are truly practiced and held by those that create it, all of the trendy false bands in existence now, not withstanding. 95% of death metal is made for much less serious reasons and is more a style of music to play than a very deep ideal or concept being pursued. There are a few death metal bands truly into death related material such as necrophilia, murder, and the mysteries that surround it and those bands are just as extreme as black metal. Most death metal bands these days are comparable to bad campy horror films and most don't even have anything to do with 'death'. They are not truly serious about what they sing about or the concepts presented by their music.

Why is it that a form of music that concentrates on 'darkness' and on the ideas/atmospheres/connotations SURROUNDING death is somehow 'more extreme' than a form of music that openly glorifies/worships/intimately pictures death itself?

Both of these are present in something that is true. They are not separated. When they are, is when the extremity is lost and as I said earlier there are very few death metal bands that truly glorify, worship, or intimately pictures death itself. It is more of a tongue in cheek sense of humor for them these days, or so it seems.

Is this a paradox - a series of contradictions?Is there something in the Mystery surrounding Darkness and Death that is somehow more 'frightening' that Death pictured in detail (almost lovingly) as it is in death metal?

It is hardly pictured as so for the reasons I have already mentioned.

Do you feel that black metal truly was an escape from, and a form of evolution past, the aesthetics of death metal?

No, it is a return to the true roots as well as an evolution past, to something much darker and more evil, primordial.

In any case, how can any art that opens up blinded eyes to death (which is common, as it happens to us all) be considered 'extreme'?

Because blind eyes are not very easily opened.

Isn't this [death] actually the most prosaic subject of all?

Indeed it is for the intelligent thinking individual, but how many of those do we really have in today's world?

I am not a devotee of the occult, even though I feel like I have been surrounded by it almost my entire life - that is has hovered, somehow, just on the edge of my vision - and I have never been especially attracted to any one occult/diabolic discipline, even though I have long been fascinated by its mysteries. Do these paths hold any inspiration for you?

Yes, I am eternally immersed in them.

Do you think it is possible to be just as emotionally satisfied by the occult ways as those in the 'mainstream' religions are supposedly satisfied by their dogma and stagnant rites?

Absolutely, for the mysteries of the occult are much closer to our primordial origins than religions created for the mainstream.

Does it just depend on one's personal psychology and history, or the way they were brought up and taught?

It is a matter of all of these things as well as what lies within.

Or is there something in us that calls out to follow - to be a part of a larger movement, even though is may not satisfy us?

True individualists stand on their own and have no need for larger movements. Nothing should ever be endeavored that is not satisfying.

Are there any particular works/books/tracts that you would like to list here as being especially influential when it comes to composing/writing for Demoncy?

No particular works stand out above any others for Demoncy is a very personal project and outside influence is kept at a minimum.

Finally, can you give us a rough release schedule for your projects (esp. Demoncy) in the coming months or over the length of the next year?

A track by Demoncy 'The Ode To Eternal Darkness' will appear on a Realms of Darkness comp. cd which will be released in the middle of 2001. The Demoncy double cd 'Faustian Dawn/Within The Sylvan Realms Of Frost' will be released in Spring 2001 on Baphomet Records. The new Demoncy album 'Risen From The Ancient Ruins' should be released in the later half of 2001 on Baphomet Records. The third Profane Grace cd on Dark Vinyl/Memento Mori will be released in the middle of 2001. The Mysterian debut cd 'A Rose For The Dying', on Dark Vinyl/Memento Mori will be released in the middle or later half of 2001. The third Raven's Bane full length on Live Bait Recording Foundation will be released in late 2001.