Bleeding Raven Interview

BLEEDING RAVEN is the aggrotech/dark tek project from Dean Mason of Gnostic Gorilla. Recently he released its debut album via Cleopatra Records. We had the pleasure to chat with Dean about the album, his latest project, a career and life changing set back and much more…  

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

The pleasure is all mine man.

Can you first introduce the ‘project’ and give us some background to how it all started?

In a land…far far away…hahahahaha…Ok, but seriously… I first got the ‘itch’ to record music when I was a teen-ager in high school. Some buddies and I went into a little studio and recorded two songs for a single release. (Dark Hallway/Golgotha) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05YqqTOS_M  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047Pk2GhPnY

Thanks to my lovely parents I released a vinyl 45 rpm as just “Dean Mason” with “Lonely Ghost Productions” as the name of the makeshift indie label. I got ‘itchy’ again in 2001 and began looking at music again, but did very little. In 2012, I got right into recording electronic music of a dark bent and scent and thus was born “Gnostic Gorilla” eventually. (I released stuff as The Lonely Ghost Project initially but changed the name to “Gnostic Gorilla”) In 2018, Cleopatra Records released “St. Basil’s Asylum”. (Gnostic Gorilla) In May of this past year, after releasing quite a few albums on different labels (KL Dark Records, Nowhere Now Records, Throne of Bael Records and LGP-ONE) I wanted to pursue something more ‘aggrotech’ in style. That’s when I initiated the “Bleeding Raven” project. Cleopatra released “Darkness Consumed” in October of this year.

How have those earlier impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

As I mentioned earlier, I started off as just “Dean Mason” as a lad. In 2012, the Lonely Ghost Project was launched (so to speak) and then “Gnostic Gorilla” and from that evolved what we are talking about today…that is…the Bleeding Raven Project. My early music in these other projects was a mix of ‘Goth/Dark Wave/Dark Tek/Industrial’. I really wanted to do something more bizarre and almost literally more noisy and that’s when I initiated “Bleeding Raven”. It’s more aggrotech, but I also call it… “dungeon trash”…hahahahahahahahahaha I even have a shirt with that on it.   https://www.dizzyjam.com/products/157830/ 

The image or character of the ‘raven’ is common in First Nations lore and even spirituality. The raven can either be a trickster or mischievous little critter or it can be sort of a symbol of the soul preparing for death of being taken back to the Great Creator. Different nations/tribes have different ideas and stories about the raven. The ‘bleeding’ part more or less speaks of suffering, of hurt etc. So, like my lyrics however, even with the image, I allow people to have their own interpretations. That said, I think always…DAILY…of my many sisters and brothers in the First Nations communities who suffer immensely because of a racist attitude towards them. There are many…MANY young Native women/girls who have gone missing and the effort to find them hasn’t always been fervent. As well, the suicide rate among First Nation teens is extremely high.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of Bleeding Raven and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Well, in the Spring of 2019, I had to be on the road a bit and for some long drives, I acquired on my iTunes a few albums of a more industrial bent. That includes a couple of compilations of various bands. I discovered acts like Die Sektor and Psyclon Nine and I felt very inspired to go in this direction. I sort of started to go in that direction as “Gnostic Gorilla” but I wanted a new project that was mostly aggrotech in style. I came up with the ‘dungeon trash’ (LOL) I released in October and I am very proud of it!

Do the same things still drive you when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Definitely evolved over time. So, when I first started off, I was more into a Gothic sound or industrial. And I still love a lot of that stuff. Always will. St. Basil’s Asylum is a classic and I’m just so sad that it’s still not discovered by many yet. But anyway, yeah…things do evolve. That said, I don’t like the idea of being in a ‘genre house arrest’ and being narrow minded in your approach to music. But either way, it’s all over for me in music anyway so…I’ve done what I could.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Well, from the really early days, that is from the days of the Dark Hallway release, things really evolved dramatically. First of all, that 45 was like a mish mash of metal/punk pre-grunge I guess. I was heavily influenced by Gary Numan and yet, try as I did my vocal style was markedly different than his. It’s later that I appreciated that. But, see…I love ALL sorts of music. I mean, sometimes I’m just knee deep  into The Doors and more psychedelic shit and other days I’m into Dio and Sabbath and Type O Negative and Ministry and Rammstein. Other days it’s The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins or of course, classic Numan and Japan or Bauhaus. So, a lot of what I do depends on where I’m at and I guess when it comes to music, I’m moody as hell. hahahahahaha

Do you find the changes have been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I’d say the latter, yeah.

Presumably , and you have touched on them already, there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

So, I make a distinction between that which has inspired and that which has influenced more directly my own style. The artists/bands that have been inspirations are many. Gary Numan, KISS, Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Japan (David Sylvian) Ozzy, Manson, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Bauhaus, Zardonic, Fear Incorporated, Frost Like Ashes, CRIX IIX and the list is endless. As for those who have been influences, while they include some of the names listed already, I’d say Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor. As I always do in any interview, the band that will forever be my absolute favourite is The Doors. The Doors and Gary Numan are both at the top of my own personal ‘chart’.

I also want to give a shout out to Tim Muddiman and NOT because of his connection to Gary Numan. Tim has ventured into more graphic arts in recent years and he is doing some amazing work. THAT very much inspires me…or better yet…I honour the man as an artist in every sense of the word…as a true artist.

Is there a process to your songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

Yeah, mostly I start off with a vague idea of want kind of song I want to do, Then I begin with beats and drum patterns and bass lines or even synth lines. (it depends) I get a general idea of the direction I want to go in before going far into the track. So, I begin to choose the different sounds and samples/loops that I want as well to give it a mood. More often than not, I manipulate these and distort or whatever to make them unique. Then as the song evolves, there’s the question of whether or not I want a traditional chorus (often not because that’s too pop) and I allow the track to sort of dictate to me where it’s going. Sort of like a First Nations wood carver who allows the ‘wood’ to speak to them as they say. Then when I have a rough demo, I begin writing lyrics and then record vocals. That’s the tough part for many reasons. Lots of hit and miss with that process. I’ve written an entire set of lyrics for a song only to discover that something else would work better and I have to (at times) chop out some of the lyrics. Hard to explain.  Also, sometimes I record the vocals and it sounds like shit. I mean, there is a need for a different ‘style’ all together. After all the vocals are recorded, I go back and add more …sometimes a sample here or an FX noise there or whatever. I’m quite ADD so if there are any sort of ‘blank stare’ moments in a song…that’s unacceptable. It has to be busy. I’m told my music is VERY busy. Then there is the final mix which is a real pain in the ass. Sometimes even at that stage you decide… “nah…this is total shit”! It’s a bit of a drag when that happens though man because you’ve come all the way to a full song and you realize it isn’t happening.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

First off, good for you for asking that because lyrics are important for me… I realize it’s not what the listener first becomes aware of…but for me, the lyrics are important. Anyway, so…I don’t write any lyrics with any sort of ‘agenda’. In other words, I don’t preach or dictate anything. I like a very poetic approach to the lyrics with lots of imagery. Now, that said, there are certain subjects that inspire me. I often write about religious themes or philosophical themes and often touch upon injustice and hypocrisy and hate and injustice for example. But I do so in veiled/poetic language. I want the listener to decide for themselves what it could mean.

Give us some background to your latest release.

 “Darkness Consumed” touches upon a few subjects…again in veiled language. One of the tracks is called “Pontiff’s Nightmare” which is actually about St. Francis. He more or less spooked the Pope at the time with his authentically radical life style and that Pope had a dream about Francis. Francis challenged the corruption of the time by the way he lived. “Salem Vigil” is sort of… but not completely about the Salem witch trials. The song actually addresses the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘religious people’ oppressing and persecuting people who don’t fit their narrow definition of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘decent’ and ‘righteous’.  In the end, these arrogant and often ignorant people of so called ‘faith’ are the ones who are truly evil because of the harm they inflict on many borne out of their hatred and unenlightened worldview.  

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

So, “Darkness Consumed”…that very title isn’t a nod to evil or the promotion of ‘darkness’. It’s actually about the fact that somehow, ‘TRUTH’ (light) will ‘consume the darkness’ and overcome it. That’s sort of the idea in brief. As I said, I want people to decide for themselves however what something can mean for them.

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Going back to the very first single “Dark Hallway”…I had everything figured out (with lyrics) when I presented the tracks to the band. I wrote the lyrics in English class (Dark Hallway) while under the influence of benzodiazepines. Hahahahahahaha We were reading “Death of a Salesman” in that class and it was, to say the least, a rather dark story. hahahahahaha

Tell us about the live side to Bleeding Raven.

I have lost the hearing in the left ear completely and totally. It happened in October…Very traumatic actually. I have to protect the little hearing I have left in the right ear which is at half capacity. I want to be able to hear the voices of the ones I love and the more natural sounds in life. For all intents and purposes…I’m deaf. Music is no longer an option. Especially live music, even if I wanted to do something live with a band. Music has been such an important part of my life obviously…but that’s over. That’s the future.

It is not easy for any new artist/band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

You’re correct. It’s very difficult to ‘break through’ in this day and age. There’s just too much out there. I mean, everyone and their cat is putting stuff out. There are so many genres today and so many…MANY indie folks (like me) who have stuff out there and are competing with the ‘big boys and gals’. You have to be creative to get known because sadly, younger people are not interested in new music aside from what they become aware of through video games or TV/Movies. I mean, I’m seriously over generalizing perhaps but it is true that, young people today don’t appreciate music the way people did in the past. They don’t grasp the concept of music as ‘art’ anymore. That’s not their fault. But because of the technology that we have today and with social media platforms…there is too much out there and for younger people, music is just “there for the taking” the way fruit on trees is there to pluck. So, you have to be creative in how you get people to notice you today. It’s not easy.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

So, this is sort of a continuation of the previous question. Here’s the thing, the internet and social media and digital music etc. is here and it’s here to stay. We are still trying to adapt to this I suppose. Now, you could lament and dream of the “good old days” but that’s all it will ever be…a ‘dream’. Musicians/artists have to adapt. In many ways, it has been a blessing. Many artists would have never been able to put their stuff out there so to speak were it not for the kind of technology we have today. See, I picked up music again in 2012 but only as a hobby. I then, almost jokingly put some of my stuff out there as an indie/unsigned act and I eventually got a label deal with Cleopatra Records, which for me is phenomenal. I will have three releases with Cleopatra Records by end of 2020. (the last one is another Gnostic Gorilla album) I also have releases with three other labels. So, none of that would have happened were it not for the technology we have at our disposal. I guess it’s sort of what you make of it, like anything else.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks again to you for the great (and extensive) interview. Reveal?

Ok…I’m  B A T M A N.  Hahahahahahaha  No but, seriously, I thank the many people who have been supportive of me in one way or another…be it family or friends and certainly Benny at Cleopatra Records. As I said earlier, because of the extreme hearing loss (actually deaf completely in one ear and the other is severely compromised) …I have to pack it in with regards to music. I will promote what I have and will have out soon (already recorded obviously) and perhaps a book of lyrics and that’s it. Cheers.

Dean

https://bleedingraven.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bleedingravenofficial/   http://www.bleedingraven.com

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Crepuscular calm: the Dark Serenity Interview

Introducing hard rock trio Dark Serenity

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

We are Dark Serenity, composed of members Zach Barnes (bass), Kate Emrich (guitar and vocals), and Mike Bergamo (drums). We started writing music in Kate’s basement back in high school, which is where we met each other. We were brought together by a similar level of ambition in addition to the obvious shared interest in being in a band and creating music.

Had you been in other bands before?

We haven’t been involved in other bands before, but we went through a few line-up changes until we discovered which members would stick. I’m sure it led to a change in style and direction, because we are a group that values the insight of each individual member.

What inspired the band name?

The band name means that there is light in the dark, and more specifically that the motivation for life and light lies within the reality that death and darkness are inevitable.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

We didn’t approach the formation of the band with the intention of sounding a certain way. We wanted to create a sound that sounded like us, one where each one of us used our respective influences to make our own sound.

And that instinct still primarily drives the band now it is more experienced or has new aspects evolved over time?

I would say the same things still drive us. Those things being the intent to succeed in our field and inspire others to do the same, as well as to live our own lives the way we want to.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

I would say our sound has matured, basically, as we have as musicians. We write in different song structures and utilize our instrument’s capabilities more fully. We can write parts that complement the other instrumentals more effectively, and more clearly communicate our messages.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

It’s both. When you deliberately try new things you tend to find a more of an organic movement and vice versa.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

We are inspired by the creations of many of the greats, such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Who. That being said we’ve never deliberately practiced their songwriting approaches.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Yes, typically we write by picking a key and a time signature, then doing an improv session within those specifications. The body of the song usually comes first, with the bass and drums; then the guitar, and then the vocals are written last.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

More often than not our lyrics cover subjects that include and challenge societal norms. We have songs about deviating from said norms.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is our debut album that we released last year. It’s called ‘Memento Mori’ and is eight tracks. It was a live tracked album, which we did on purpose to emulate the experience of a live performance.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs

The themes we mentioned discussing our commonly used lyrical themes are the themes we applied to the tracks on this album.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We go into the studio with our songs completed. We don’t like bringing unfinished material because there’s no guarantee you will come out with something you’re happy with. When a song is complete there’s not really a question as to whether or not it will turn out like you had hoped.

Tell us about the live side to the band, obviously a favourite aspect of being in the band?

Live we deliver an animated and authentic performance. We’ve been told that our passion for what we do is obvious and felt throughout the room. We want to deliver the best version of ourselves.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

We have found it difficult yet worthwhile. We are lucky to have been brought up as musicians in the metro Detroit area where there are a lot of music fans and a decent number of live venues. It’s arguably harder to get your foot in the door when there are several other groups going for the same goals as you. However, in addition to that difficulty, you also find the most support from the other musicians. You have to work hard, break a sweat, then gain respect…But the respect that you gain is worth it.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something positive within a realm flooded with artists and a short attention society or more of a necessary trial?

Bands nowadays need to utilize social media to their advantage, just like any other form of entrepreneur. You’re selling yourself as the product, basically, and in today’s market, you need to unapologetically market yourself with the tools everybody else is using to have a shot at mainstream success. So yeah, not being able to properly use social media can hurt your career, but most likely, will stunt your growth overall. There are obviously always exceptions to a rule, though.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for having us! We just want to add that you can find our music on every streaming platform, and that you can find us on Facebook or Instagram. Please show us your support!

https://www.darkserenityofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/pg/darkserenityband   https://www.instagram.com/darkserenityband  https://twitter.com/Dark__Serenity

Pete RingMaster 06/11/019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Promethium – Revisions

Exploring the acoustic soul of their songs is a venture which few metal bands undertake or at least publically share but one that UK metallers Promethium has embraced. The spark to that exploration came in 2017 when the band was asked to play an acoustic slot at SOS Festival. Such the enjoyment band and fans shared it led to enquiries about an acoustic album and now two years on we have the seriously captivating Revisions.

The album features a collection of reworked tracks from the Lancaster quintet’s three albums and two EPs; songs which have shed heavy metal bodies to unveil their acoustic hearts through the prowess of vocalist Steven Graham and guitarist Daniel Lovett-Horn. Those familiar to a sound bred on inspirations ranging from Black Sabbath and Pantera to Metallica and Megadeth know it is a redoubtable and rousing proposition but one Promethium reveal a new depth and a fresh voice and power to tracks which have already left a potent impact.

Revisions opens with Tribute To The Fallen and as Lovett-Horn’s guitar coaxes ears and attention already there is a new sense of drama and intimacy to one of Promethium’s most compelling songs. Once Graham’s earnest tones join in, the track resonates in craft and emotion simultaneously revealing a new strength and depth of melancholy to immerse in.

Further new shades and aspects in the familiar characters of songs continue to be unveiled as the likes of Shellshock and Enemies Fate step forwards to equally enthral; the melodic hearts of all beacons in the dramatic arms of sorrow and reflection as echoed by the touchingly relatable intimacy of Nothing and the broader apocalyptic reflection of 20, 21, 15.

The following Visions features the guest vocals of Hannah Morris, her siren tones easily luring ears and imagination onto the mournful rocks of Graham’s voice and words. It is another gripping and powerful moment within Revisions joining every song in providing a majorly absorbing moment as shown again and again by the addictive likes of Murder Inc, Crashing Down Pt2. Reflections and Rain.

Sons Revenge completes the release, it too a piece of fascination as the craft and emotion of Graham and Daniel Lovett-Horn further highlights the strength and power of the band’s songwriting  whilst bringing new aspects of fear, heart, drama, and potency to tracks which have generally already proved striking propositions.

Revisions is for sure a must for all Promethium fans but equally a real pleasure for all with the appetite for powerful songwriting, melodic and emotional intensity, and creative dexterity.

Grab your copy of Revisions now @ https://www.promethiumband.com/shop

https://www.promethiumband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Promethiumband/    https://twitter.com/promethiumband

Pete RingMaster 05/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Caustic Minds – Black Oil For A Soul

With a rather potent reputation in tow courtesy of their highly energetic live performances, alternative rock outfit Caustic Minds has a certain buzz brewing up around them and one sure to be only accelerated by the recent release of the band’s debut EP. Five tracks strong, Black Oil For A Soul is quite simply an encounter which makes you just stop and pay attention.

Formed in Germany in 2007, Berlin based Caustic Minds has a background as rich as their sound. Vocalist Laura Jiménez Alvarez comes from Mexico City, while guitarist Daniel Viseras Calvache is Granada in Spain hailing. With bassist Michiel Sybers born in Antwerpen, Belgium and drummer Chris Crabtree British/German bred, it is a cosmopolitan mix as flavoursome as the blend of hard rock and indie enticement they conjure up between them. Over time the band has had references to the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, and Black Sabbath shared upon their sound though for our ears Black Oil For A Soul tantalises and captivates like a hybrid fusion of Karn8 and My Baby.

Persistently compelling in its enterprise and bold in its character, the EP immediately had ears and imagination enslaved with opener Eyes On Fire. Never relinquishing its favourite track grip from its first escapade, the song instantly harries and tempts with a stalking fusion of stabbing beats and siren scythes of guitar. Instantly magnetic, the track only escalates its lures as a swagger breaks out in a sure stroll ridden by the similarly captivating tones of Alvarez. With a groove which infests hips without invitation and an instinctive roar that demands unity, the imagination soaked track easily gripped body and appetite.

Though for personal tastes the release never quite reached those major heights again, its presence and enterprise is a lofty adventure that continues to beguile, next up Baby Doll providing a fiery blaze of punk shaped rock ‘n’ roll with progressive breath to its winds as melodic seduction fuels its great unpredictability.

Similarly Destroyer teased and taunted the imagination; its immediate launch part prowl part strut and all fascination. Intoxicating in its bluesy charm and eye balling in its attitude, the temptress of a song proved another irresistible holler which never fed expectations before Blacklist brought its own beguiling lures to the party. Rising on spirals of sonic and melodic heat, the track is another which teases as it tempts. Like flames in a fire stirring thoughts and gripping attention as its spellbinding hold sprung creative shapes the song simply flirted with the imagination as vocals and individual enterprise trapped ears.

The EP closes up with Carry On, another moment within the EP that enthralled with ease as its seductive moves and shameless grooves toyed alongside the ever compelling barracuda toned bass of Sybers. As each track and the EP as a whole, the closer is all sensuous bait and steamy endeavour honed into rock ‘n’ roll that shamelessly and skilfully entices and firmly attracts.

Black Oil For A Soul more than suggests that the boisterous murmur around Caustic Minds is sound and about to boil over beyond the German borders the band is already putting under their spell and as a bonus ‘name your own price’ release on the band’s Bandcamp site, it is one encounter no one should be ignoring.

Black Oil For A Soul is available now @ https://causticminds.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/causticminds/

Pete RingMaster 29/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

Hello Dean and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you. My pleasure!

Can you first introduce the project and give us some background to how it all started?

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

Presumably there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your approach to and ideas about creating and playing music?

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

High Moonlight Interview

From São Paulo, Brazil, High Moonlight recently gave us the pleasure to talk about and get to the heart of its unique sound…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

The band High Moonlight was formed in the late 90s among some friends of the school. All we wanted was to play a good old rock in roll as high as possible, that’s what united us in the beginning. The grunge scene was high at the time, bands like Nirvana, Alice and others dominated the rock scene of the time, we did not like that sound and we wanted to play the good old Heavy / Rock of all time.

We heard Dio, Sabbath, AC / DC, Rainbow … so they were the bands that inspired us. At first we were just a trio, guitar, bass and drums. Like all bands, we used to play several covers of bands we used to sing (Uriah Heep, Dio, Rainbow), but the goal was always their own songs.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

No, I’ve never been involved with other bands. My focus has always been High Moonlight.

What inspired the band name?

I have always enjoyed mystical, magical, supernatural and related things. That was precisely what I wanted to address in my lyrics. And the moon is a very mystical symbol, both for wizards, enchanted beings, wolves and Lycans, so I chose it as the name of my band and added the word “High” to magnify it even more. High Moonlight is a tribute to this historical and mysterious symbol that is the moon and all the mystical beings that exist or existed and are part of our history.

Do the same ideas and intention still drive the band from when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Yes. I still preserve the same principles, the same ideals and the same goals since when I decided to take the music and the band seriously. The initial change was in relation to the members that have been changing over the years.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

At first I made heavy metal with a mix of progressive, the songs were longer. Over time, I have been refining my playing technique and understanding the type of sound I wanted to play. Today my music comes down to an authentic heavy metal and a lot of quality and good taste. All my songs revolve around many original and creative riffs.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

No. My sound is defined and based on heavy rock or simply heavy metal, some call it Hard rock but I do not consider it that way.

You have already mentioned some inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

At first I listened a lot to Rainbow and Ronnie James Dio. This did not impact my sound but it always helped me a lot when composing, because I always wrote or composed my songs wondering what it would be like to have Dio, as a vocalist that is, singing my songs. Blackmore also showed me how to create things out of the ordinary inside Rock n Roll.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

First I create the riffs, then I compose the whole song and then I write the lyrics on top of what I just played. Nothing too complicated or different. This is my creative process.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

I do not hear much heavy metal when I’m in the process of writing. Instead I prefer to listen to Eastern culture or classical music.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our first EP that is available (for now) only on SoundCloud and as a demo, is a compilation of seven compositions that define well the High Moonlight, both sonorous and thematic. It is a Heavy Metal / Rock n Roll of the best quality possible and really innovative. It’s a way of telling people that it’s still possible to make quality music and good taste and that Heavy Metal, Rock n Roll still has a lot of firewood to burn, you can believe!!! I’m sure that after hearing “Arcturians”, “Storm” or “Inovaya” for example, many will say, “Dude, what’s this sound ?! I’ve never heard anything like it” or else: “Rock is still alive, that’s very good!!!”You can be sure!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind the songs.

The lyrics deal with mystical themes, conspiracies and adventures. The sound is based on creative riffs with great melodies and beautiful guitars solos. Worth checking out, yes!

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Yes. I’m already in the studio with the songs developed in their final stage, practically defined.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

Simply play and do shows. This is the living side that motivates us to move on. We do not play for money or fame, we just like to play and period.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

I do not intend to please anyone with my music. Touch, compose and record for personal satisfaction. That’s what keeps me going as a musician. I’m happy when people share the same musical tastes that I hear and hear, sing and praise the band.

My space as a band is still searching and it is through communication vehicles like this that things happen little by little. Whenever I can try to spread my work around the world anyway, I just need people to pay attention to what I’m talking about and start listening to my songs so they can know and evaluate the work.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I think that ended with creativity in general. But unfortunately it was the way that humanity resolved then I followed what? We need to adjust to these new conditions if we want to play our songs, there is no other way, but this for me is only degrading music in general.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

I thank you for the opportunity of this interview and I hope that people who read this can give a check on my work. I’ll leave the link here:

https://www.facebook.com/High-moonlight-1969283040044628/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-478894939

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9zSetoGXolPDAtl9eM5PWw

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Warish – Self Titled EP

Like a crawling yet animated pestilence, comes a sound and aural ruin which infests the senses like a carnivorous scourge; a sonic trespass which within the debut release from US outfit Warish rises up as one highly fascinating and seriously enticing affair.

Formed by guitarist/vocalist Riley Hawk and drummer Bruce McDonnell, the 2018 emerging SoCal based band has seen a bit of a buzz brewing around it and it is easy to hear why across the five tracks making up the first Warish EP. It is a ravenously malignant and carnally caliginous invasion as visceral as it is fearsomely compelling; a raw gripping trespass bred from a fusion of raw horror punk, sludge infested grunge and feral noise punk.

The EP took a mere breath to assault and stir ears and appetite through opener Bones, its initial riff struck bait the first thick lure in a voracious tide of punk ‘n’ roll. The effect tampered vocals only add to the already persuasive hell spawned temptation immersing track and listener, the threat and nag of rhythms escalating the insurgent swing and sonic infestation of the song’s slavery. Akin to a feral mix of The Scaners and The Hangmen in league with The Horrors and Misfits both in their formative years, the track effortlessly enslaved as too its successor which rises up from the sonic bridge between the two.

Riding in on a manipulative tide of rhythms, Voices quickly took control with its untamed groove and concussive attack easily sparking another round of lust with its inhuman exploits before Fight brings its own magnetic personality to proceedings. There is a mutual bedevilment and nightmare to the first pair of tracks even in their individuality but their successor reveals a whole fresh aspect to the Warish sound and adventure with melodic and psych rock imagination. It still has the punk and metal nurtured hues but entangled in a broader flavouring of styles and twisted enterprise.

The final pair of Human Being and Shivers similarly adds their own particular differences; the first seemingly fed on the riffs of Black Sabbath and the second seeded in old school punk subsequently soaked in the hellacious corrosiveness of stoner rock, heavy metal, and surf punk. Neither quite exploited the passions as the first trio of tracks but both easily escalated the lure and enjoyment of the debut Warish EP; and joined all in inspiring a hunger for plenty more from the rather exciting, potential strapped band.

The Warish EP is out now on 7” vinyl and download through RidingEasy; available @ https://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/product/warish-7/ and https://warish.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.facebook.com/Warishband/

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright