All For Naught, the debut album from Goatcraft is one of this year’s biggest impacting releases so far, a release which ignites and inspires hungry thoughts, imagery, and emotions through the neo-classical bred instrumental shadows and compulsive ambiences it holds within its walls. An intrusive and captivating tempest of passion and creativity reaping the essences of black, death, and occult metal and infusing them into unique and emotive key sculpted tracks which offer a powerful narrative and soundtrack to deep questions and experiences. Goatcraft is the solo project of San Antonio based Lonegoat, and the innovative musician allowed us the pleasure to find out more about the album, his music, as well as touching on the existence of us all and other thoughts.
Hello and thanks for taking time to talk with us at The RingMaster Review.
Tell us about the spark or inspiration which brought Goatcraft to life.
Hi RingMaster. Thank you for taking the time to write these questions.
During 2010 I woke up one morning and had a cup of coffee; then I decided that it’d be worthwhile to kill some time by recording a seventy-plus minute piece on piano. It was done in one take and sounded decent enough to keep. I burned some discs; inscribed ‘Lonegoat presents Goatcraft’ on them, then I figured it was good enough to mail around to my friends. The responses were positive and the advice from them was to do an actual project.
Shortly after, I recorded the tracks that were on the Goatcraft demo that PaleHorse Recordings released.
The concept that stemmed from the demo has been extended into the album. I believe it’s better executed than the earlier recordings.
Information about yourself has stated you were disillusioned with the state of music in your favoured genres, has your frustration at the Occult and death metal scenes tempered now with the release of your stunning album All For Naught or is it still a fire which drives you on as much as your creative exploration?
I perceive the occult as if I would an esoteric thought process. The esoteric should never be commercialized in bland forms. I’m not keen to how some metal bands use the esoteric for commercial reasons. They usually water it down and make it ‘fun’ and ‘hip’; something that aimless people latch onto for an image.
Honestly I think my viewpoint on reality/existence/consciousness is the driving factor. In the end we’re not even dust. The sun will supernova; the universe will eventually return from whence it came. I think a realization of how minuscule our existence is could provide a better understanding in our lives. What are we to do with this time? I would rather defy the crowdist method and devise something that is my own.
Do you feel the audience has also changed along with the direction of those genres and if so do you feel you have to rebuild an appetite in people as well as that of the music itself?
Of course the audience has changed since its inception. A lot of extreme metal has been commercialized. It’s a ‘product’ that isn’t very profitable except for a few gimmicks that parade around like carnival acts. There are good bands that have defied the rock music mind-set and stayed true to their concepts. However, I think all of this stems to Metallica. They ushered an influx ‘jocks’ into the scene in the 80‘s.
Further, metal as a whole has become much more accessible. Those who are truly interested in it will unearth the classics, as well as delving into other quality acts.
Tell us about those early times of the project in 2010, did you find a ready to accept audience at live performances from the start or did they need some persuading that your ‘return’ to the original vision of the aforementioned areas of music was a hunger they could also devour?
Much like an author collecting ideas for a story, Goatcraft was in its adolescence stage during 2010-2012. I had grown weary of playing in bands, but I went through many changes for my own personal project.
Mike Browning from Morbid Angel and Nocturnus has been telling me since I was 20 to do this project. I suppose acknowledging my own abilities then fermenting a purpose to it solidified the concept. Now that the project has established itself, I will extend and strive to further Goatcraft.
I read that there were times where more people came to shows to focus on your work than other bands on the bill, even the headlining artists, how many artists did this piss off? Ha-ha
There were only a couple of shows when this happened, but no one was upset. They were rather small events; most of the time I’ll play first to set the mood for a death or black metal show. I’ve received the ire from numerous bands that have toured through. Negura Bunget, Eclipse Eternal, and many others have confronted me after playing.
What came before Goatcraft for you and your creativity?
I’ve spent most of my life wandering, as if trying to find some sort of meaning or purpose. The ultimate conclusion that I’ve came to is that there’s only nothing. We’re the result of cosmic randomness. I recently turned 28 and I’ve lived all over the United States and Japan. I figure it’s time to imprint myself on this world. However small or large; there will be something of me left behind for others to unravel. We create our own purpose and shouldn’t falter from indirection.
How have your sound and your approach to it changed from those opening steps of Goatcraft to the emotive and striking sounds on the album?
The result of the newer compositions is of a better understanding of what I’m executing. Some of it is off-the-cuff, but my abilities are strong enough to not warrant dwelling on certain compositions to death.
I am right in believing from reading the promo sheet for the release that the rich ambience aspect which powerfully evokes the senses and emotions on All For Naught were not yet explored in the initial invention of the band?
The effects of ‘wind’ or ‘wisps‘, have always been an underpinning to heighten the sound of the piano for Goatcraft. Those sounds can also be heard when I perform live.
What was the trigger to expand your imagination and exploration into those rich and compelling shadows of sound too?
There wasn’t a trigger other than having preferred the settings after years of playing. It’s the most sensible sound for what I want to convey. I don’t foresee this changing in the near future. If there is experimentation, it’ll be warranted and not aimless.
Can you tell us about the period when you refined and honed your sound to what has emerged on the album, and how long did it take to write the impacting All For Naught?
I recorded a few hundred tracks in 2012. I decided to choose the pieces for the album from personally liking them. However, I’m sure that I have some other pieces that people would enjoy.
There is a very cinematic breath to the album, though more in being a soundtrack to personal and social shadows and malevolence than for an actual movie, though they could also frame such a thing perfectly. Was this an aspect you wanted to craft within the music or something which has naturally bred itself?
The cinematic nature of the album emerged naturally from how I conceptualize music. Music to me is storytelling, or letting different melodies and riffs tell a story by how they change over time. Much as in metal, which is usually told from a history or “big picture” viewpoint like religion or biology, my music denies the human individual. Reality is given the foreground, and humans are tiny little yeasts clustered in a corner, forgotten. When you think about it, most music is about an idealized human individual in a situation of high emotion. Yet in life, all of the most important moments aren’t that way. You have to think about something broader than the human individual and its animal emotion. This gives Goatcraft the “epic” feeling that is also found in movie soundtracks.
Some pieces are pure elegance with equally rich dark tendencies whilst others are raw intensity upon the senses coated in sheer ambient beauty, how easy is it to combine both extremes for a mutual impact?
Both elegance and sonic intensity are techniques that are used to tell a story. If you make the whole album one or the other, it will end up either saccharine or redundant. To avoid this, I treat all of my techniques as colors being applied to a painting. You don’t want too much of any color, but you do want a balance. You can mix colors, but if you do it too much, the painting is washed out and looks like an error. The result is that there is a balance between elegance (sacredness) and intensity (the profane). Like life itself, it is the divine nature of consciousness clashing with the crass and “bottom line” reality of survival. Together these two portray life both as it is, and how it can be.
Another aspect which I love about the album is that tracks make their ‘statement’ than leave, meaning pieces can last a brief breath of time or tell a longer aural narrative, no toying with excesses and outstaying the potency of their impact. When does a piece of music tell you that it is at that point?
I am thrilled that you regard to it as a narrative. I believe I’m executing a musical narrative in Necroclassical.
Is there an underlying theme across the album, a thread which links each piece of music to each other rather than an overall umbrella of intent?
Human negation can be frightening for the average ego bound individual, or it can be something of beauty in regards to how powerless we are to Earth’s elements.
Have you read about the Toba catastrophe theory? One volcano bottle-necked human evolution 75,000 years ago. We’re long overdue for another cleansing. Overpopulation, ecocide, religion, politics, false sense of self, and so forth would be put in their places by a new major catastrophic mishap.
I wonder what the world would be like if everyone turned off their TV’s and looked at how horrible we’ve kept ourselves and surroundings. Perhaps it’d still result in war and commerce. Devolution appears very probable regardless of any societal progressions.
Humanity will recoil.
Can you tell us about your personal presence within the music, how much is bred from your own beliefs and personal experiences and how much is just creative imagination as the seed?
Do you like Salvador Dali? If I’m not feeling any motivation for challenging myself, I’ll immerse myself in some of his paintings to clear my mind. Beksinski used to be a good inspirational source as well. I also wrote one piece after reading HP Lovecraft’s Ex Oblivione.
What is next for yourself and Goatcraft?
I’m writing more music for a split with the Neoclassical Dark Ambient project Khand. We’re talking to labels, but I have a feeling that Forbidden Records will be involved.
After that, I suppose it’s time for the second album.
Again many thanks for talking with us.
Thank you for taking the time to inquire about my exploits. It means a lot.
Any last thoughts you would like to share?
Only a few resources that I’d like to direct people to if they’re interested in checking out Goatcraft.
Stream the entire ‘All For Naught’ album: http://forbiddenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/all-for-naught
The Official Goatcraft Website for happenings: www.goatcraft.net
Forbidden Records for the physical copy of the album, as well as $5 CDs in the distro: http://forbidden-records.com/
Goatcraft on Faceplant: https://www.facebook.com/goatcraft.texas
Read the All For Naught review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/goatcraft-all-for-naught/
The RingMaster Review 11/04/2013
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