Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spectral Manifest Interview

***Originally printed in Feral Noise #1***

So when was the almighty Spectral Manifest created? 
According to Depravis, before time existed and after reality faded…  Depravis and I have known each other since ’85 and jammed together as kids back then with several working names before settling on Bloodshed back in the late 80s, early nineties. (Laughs) But the concept and music of Spectral Manifest with the name, logo and whatnot probably started to really brew in 2005.  
Although in the music I hear elements of black, death and doom, your style is still somewhat hard to classify. Could you give the readers some background on your self-described Wraith Metal? Your statement before your question signals that we are accomplishing our goal, thank you. (Laughs) We grew up in the early days of thrash, doom, death and black metal, experienced the natural progressions of extremity and this is a blend of all of that. Yet, like you said, we feel it manages to not really fall entirely into any of those categories. A lot of the feel of the music and lyrics tends to be of an otherworldly nature... and really, that’s all that will be discussed to protect the pure brew of wraith metal.   
We are aware that you are working on a debut full length. What kind of brutality should we expect? When do you foresee it becoming available to the masses? 
Yes sir, we are wrapping up the composing of the last two tracks for the untitled debut. As far as what to expect, if you have witnessed us live, we are aiming to capture that essence of uncompromising brutality in the studio. It will be a joint release between the Lair and our good friends at Ossuary Industries in the second or third quarter of 2012. We cannot state enough how pleased we are by this alliance.

It seems that you really have been taking your time in perfecting the songs for the full length. How does your song writing process come about? 
Yeah, we want the debut to make an impact. Let’s face it, when you have the nerve to call your music by a name no one was using before you, in this case wraith metal, it better be good. But for us, it’s not quite full on death metal, not quite black metal, but a concoction that we create with the different influences coming to the plate. Often the songs start with a riff Depravis has come up with and then depending on what beat I throw over it, the riff may morph several times before we settle on what becomes the song. One of our newer songs we decided to challenge ourselves a bit and Depravis wrote the music to an already existing set of lyrics I had written. So, that was an interesting approach and the results are pretty intense. We are quite pleased with the batch of songs that we have for this release. 
This is a somewhat generic question, but this topic interests me. What elements do your lyrics cover?
Ha! Well, let me give you a somewhat generic answer… they run the gamut, but to explain them would be to steal meaning from those who get their own interpretations from them. We like to leave it a bit open ended in that regard. 
I find it interesting that the two of you have practiced together for so many years, even before Spectral. Your persistence really is an accomplishment. Would you say it is due to a great chemistry or some supernatural element? 
(Laughing) Perhaps a little of both.., the ability to tolerate one another definitely comes into play. But even after all of these years, when we sit down and jam, there’s just a certain magic in the air. We’ve played shows where we couldn’t even hear one another and somehow pulled it off. 
After being a two piece for a time, you have finally added a bass player to the fold. How did that come about and how has the union worked out so far? 
Well, we had tried out several people and it never worked out. Mainly it was guitar players trying to play bass, but playing it like a guitar... So, for the longest we just opted to say fuck it, we carry on as a two piece. Then, along came Ulfr, who had split with his previous band and was exactly what we were looking for. We have a few shows under our belts now as a trio, including appearances at the Building Temples From Death Fest here in Houston, which was put together by Ossuary Industries and The Adversary as well as the second Gathering of Bestial Vengeance Fest in Dallas. A lot of the material for the debut full length was already written before he joined, but the embellishments he has added are the icing on the low end of the cake. And I do like icing on every layer of my cake. (Laughs)  
Aside from Spectral Manifest, you also handle the duties behind the Dread Lair. For those who are unaware, please give some history behind the label. In what year did it originate? So far, how many releases are on the discography? Early on did you have any challenges getting it started? 
I started the Dread Lair back in 2008. The idea was to build an underground infrastructure for bands that were at a demo level to get their music distributed. Over the years, I have built relationships with labels, promoters, zines, mom and pop stores, etc. and thought what better way to put all of this to use? And how can I do this internationally? So, as a coalition, we have been able to really visualize this idea, and it’s a work in constant progress. We cover area from all over the US to places in the Middle East, Europe, the Ukraine, South America.. it truly is global and I couldn’t be more proud. We have 49 releases at the moment, plus 11 volumes of The Legion of Tchort compilations based out of Peru, so make that 60. The challenges getting started have really only been financial, but over the course of time with smart planning and execution, this has lessened and things are looking great for the future.  
With 2012 upon us, what new releases do you have planned for the Dread Lair? 
Oh man, there is a lot in the works… we are starting off the year with a band from Mexico called Aspergar, then we will follow with the Mantus’ EP, a compilation from Funeral Rites, a sort of best of.. Plutonian Shore’s next release… let’s see, we have some new additions to the family, both from Houston. Brimwylf, bringing crusty black metal with a raw punkish edge to it and Human Chunks, sick old school style death metal. Plus a few surprises that are still at the “in the works” stage.
Please provide your contact details and any final words. 
You can find us as a band on Facebook, Reverbnation, Myspace… Both Ulfr and I have our own personal pages on Facebook, but Depravis does not. Our email address is SpectralManifest@hotmail.com  For any Dread Lair business, I can be reached at thedreadlair@yahoo.com and found on the above mentioned websites as well. No final words, for there is a long road yet to be travelled. Thanks to all for their support.  

Humut Tabal Interview

*** Originally printed in Feral Noise #1***























I know you get asked a million times about the meaning of the band’s name. To set the record straight, can you give us that history? G- Humut Tabal is the grim Boatman of the Underworld in Mesopotamian mythology. He ferries souls to the land of the dead.                                                                                                                                
N- You would be right, as is Grimzaar. He approached me soon after we began to play music as a trio with the idea for the name, and the second I pronounced the word itself, the feeling it invoked within told me that there could be no other option. As with many of our actions as an entity, we didn’t think twice & the title Humut Tabal became ours. As Grimzaar stated, the word is of Mesopotamian origin. He, being an oarsman, is naturally a wayfarer, however not a vagrant. Humut Tabal does not perform his task for Ereshkigal, ruler of that heinous realm; neither does she condemn him to doing so. It is of his device & accord that his work is done, similar to us I might generally say.          
It seems your band is one of the rare occasions where all the members are perfect for the line up. Every member seems extremely enthusiastic about the band. How did it all come together and become a working band? G-Hravan, Njord and I were three individuals whose common desire united us in such that drama never occurs. To us, there was HT, and there was everything else. For me in particular, experiences outside of HT never manifested in the group in a negative way. Bullshit never shook us. All we were interested in was perfecting our bleak, terrifying, hateful music. Negativity and hatred became music that we directed at the world outside of us, thus the three of HT remained at peace with each other. We played many shows as a bass-less band, but managed to make enough of an impression to whip up attention in spite of it. We tried one bassist before Prokingu, who, despite her enthusiasm, simply couldn't keep up with us and was a harbinger of negativity. Her parting saw HT as a three-piece once more, but we were unable to unleash greater fury. Together, we three shared many intense and rewarding experiences during this time. During an early 2011 show in San Antonio, Prokingu saw us, interviewed us (he is the San Antonio Heavy Metal Examiner), then offered to play bass for us. I met with him a few times and jammed with him, and after he had learned a set's worth of material, we all started jamming together. Prokingu proved to be an excellent fit. His motivation, enthusiasm, and love for evil misanthropic music is boundless. We played all over Texas during the summer following his joining HT. We were rather satisfied as a 4-piece, but we have always intended for HT's music to have keyboard parts. I have played synth on all of our recordings thus far, but my playing guitar made having synth impossible for live sets. One day put an ad in the Austin Craigslist for a synth player. Bakeneko responded and proved to be rather adept at keyboards, and possessed unparalleled enthusiasm. Musically, she fits in outstandingly. As of now, she has only played one show with us, but I have high expectations for what the future will bring. Prepare yourselves. You will hear what pure hatred sounds like.     

N: It has indeed been an unbelievably progressive journey with some massive highlights and relatively few disastrous occasions, luckily. We became a working band really before we even knew exactly what we wanted to do with this collective. After a meager amount of time performing together, it only seemed natural to formally recognize our journey and begin aiming as high as we could in as many different avenues as possible. This natural inclination was further solidified in my mind when we first gathered, as I was recruited by Hravan, who was an old band mate of several previous, deceased groups.  As we went on, our experiences were considerably beneficent which generated a productive air to our operations.  I believe that can be chalked up to our possessing a specific mindset of how we manage Humut Tabal both in the outside world & within our own. An artistic medium such as this, first of all, does not become fettered or burdened from any outside turbulence, be it of a foreign or domestic origin. When we gather as a group with a mission, we leave our own personal distractions behind. We have always put faith into acting for the general benefit of the group, and as that has not failed us so far, we have continued to do so. That is not to say that individual interests are cast aside in this group, quite the contrary in fact, we’ve just never had any predicaments about individual benefit. If HT grows stronger, I & all of my band mates feel the surge in pulse, and so we have quite naturally always worked towards that general end. I, personally, am extremely honored to have worked with & continue to be working with the artists in this band who truly understand this concept. We will not cease our advancement.      
P- First, thanks for your kind words! I can only speak of mine and B's entry into the band. I assume Njord will take Bakeneko's story, so I will just present my own.  I had witnessed Humut Tabal live back in February of 2011, and I was simply astounded by their performance, along with the performances of Plutonian Shore and Emperial Massacre. About a month later, I decided to see about auditioning for a bass position for their June 3rd show with Woods of Ypres. Njord was interested in having me come down, so I drove from SA to the Humut Tabal rehearsal space in order to give it a shot.  After a brief jam and tutelage under Grimzaar, the first song we played was "Frozen Death" (currently renamed "Through the Forest and Twisting Shadow") and the next thing I knew, I was in the band. I rehearsed with Grimzaar constantly in order to get the remaining songs down before the Ypres show. We played the Ypres show, and the rest is history. The band has grown through leaps and bounds since that show, especially with the addition of B., who serves the intended sound of Humut Tabal better than we could have imagined.     
                                                                                                                                                                                                    
 Humut Tabal is extremely busy on the live circuit. Tell about your travels and any interesting adventures you have had. 
G- Our travels have been enjoyable, rewarding experiences. Our most recent journey, our playing at the Gathering of Bestial Vengeance II in Dallas, revealed to us the most ideal black metal venue I have yet seen in Texas. If Satan has ever attended one of our sets, it is that one. The festival was aptly titled; everyone in attendance became a beast. Praise Satan for such a gathering of his brethren.                      
N- The tales are, even at this young point in our existence as a band, nearly countless. Grimzaar does not exaggerate when he describes the bestial energy present at our last performance. A hoard of berserk, enthusiastic fans is almost a tale in itself. Our second performance ever, in mid 2009, caused a musical outfit to request of the venue owner that he make sure they never play with us again, because they were “very frightened”. Our most daunting, epic tale is one that cannot be revealed at the current moment, but the medium through which the story is told will shake & stir the
hearts and spirits of all. I await the  day.                                                    
 P-Interesting adventures? Hmm...good question. Since my entrance into Humut Tabal, we have played in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas and Corpus Christi, and all cities have yielded excellent times. It is difficult to pick an absolute favorite, although I will admit that currently Dallas is in the running with an intense show with the Black Moriah and Spectral Manifest on November 12th. Massive pits all night with an audience that "got it" in a venue that contained a perfect ambiance for a disgusting black metal show - simply perfect. In terms of interesting aspects of these shows, there have been multiple times where I've gashed my head open against Rex's headstock while colliding into it due to headbanging - two scars each on the right side of my head, with one near the eye and the other on my forehead. I can only consider it a great honor to have shed blood for metal. I will wear these "skarz" with pride. What else...forgive me, I've been up for approximately 42 hours straight so I'm having a bit of a difficult time recalling more, hehe...There was the headlining show at Walter's that was amazing for me (since I was standing in the same spot where Wrath of Averse Sefira stood when I saw them with Inquisition and Ares Kingdom in 2010), with a dedicated crowd, and there was the time opening up for Absu, which enabled me to complete a lifelong goal, as Absu are my favorite metal band. All in all, we've had quite a few superb experiences in the last few months, and it seems fair to suggest that there will be more in the future.                                                                                                         


I see that your group is actively searching for a keyboard player. That addition would definitely add a welcome extra dimension to your mood altering music. Have you had any luck in finding someone to fit that billet? G-Bakeneko is now our synth player.                                    
N- Mood altering? I rather like that. Also, billet?  Bakeneko has already risen above & beyond very high expectations and the texture ow finally audible within our completed music, I believe, will continue to amaze and astound, particularly those more familiar with our live performance in the past and less with our recorded music.                                                                                                                                                                     

P-Her performance was impeccable and we look forward to working with her in the future.    
                                                                                
Austin is known as a live music town, but not so much on the black metal scene. So I found it surprising that a good black metal such as HT would originate from the area. Locally are you in contact with many like minded individuals? 
G-I personally am in contact with very few people. Of the few with which I maintain a sparse amount of contact, I feel the greatest respect for and allegiance to Plutonian Shore, particularly Zvs. Note that Plutonian Shore are a San Antonio band.                                                                                                                                                      
N- Thank you and I would agree that for one who is not entirely educated on the origins of black metal bands in the United States, Austin seems like one of the last places worthwhile music of this style would be produced. However, as all stereotypes have usually groundbreaking exceptions, this is could not be farther from the truth. When speaking of quality Black Metal bands from the States, the first two examples that pop into my mind are Averse Sefira & Absu, both hailing from Texas. Averse will, in my opinion, always be considered Austin’s Black Metal band, and that is a title I think the denizens of this city should very much embrace and be proud of, for the music created by those three has breached & infiltrated, lovingly, the hearts and minds of metal fans across the world. The same goes with the aforementioned Mythological Occult Metal masters Absu, Plano should hand out keys to the city if you ask me. My point is, none of us even live in Austin proper, so you can never expect a certain area to be too devoid of something worthwhile. It’s out there, just waiting to be discovered…In terms of maintaining contact with like minded people, my job as unofficial manager of HT has afforded me many opportunities to meet many wonderful people, and our network of associates, friends and colleagues only continues to grow by the day, be it Austin or Houston or out of state individuals. Locally, I’ve had great experiences working with Tim Corken of The Blood Royale, DJ Laura of Equilibria Radio KVRX, Gravedigger & her underground radio crew, Dustin & Sara with the Metal Fuckin’ Mondays weekly over at Headhunters, Jeff Tandy- The Austin Metal Music Examiner-PARASITES DIE!!! and all of the good folks doing independent photography, graphic design work, or anything useful to local metal that goes unnoticed and unappreciated most of the time.             
P-While Humut Tabal is an Austin-area-based band, I am fortunate enough to reside in San Antonio, a city whose metal pedigree should not be questioned, although I have many allies and comrades in Austin as well. In particular, I would like to thank Jeff of Birth A.D. for providing constant guidance in various realms, as well as Zvs, Devastation, Waar, and Amethyst Moon of Plutonian Shore, who are some of my most valued comrades, and to Erika of Morgengrau and HOD, who along with the aforementioned Jeff would play a vital role in my current standing in metal. I am also eternally indebted to Averse Sefira, who have played a most significant role in the discovery of many philosophies; musically and ideologically. Hexlust from Killeen are great friends with great riffs, as is the case with VBT from San Antonio. (Off-topic: A few of them play in Grieved, an excellent black metal band that I would recommend.) I am lucky enough to attend many SA or Austin death metal shows where I have many allies, and the few occasions that I have ventured into Houston, Corpus Christi or Dallas have been filled with friends, such as Cryptos, Depravis, and Ulfr of Spectral Manifest, although this is hardly a comprehensive list. There are so many individuals that I have had the privilege of knowing, and each show seems to bring in more compatriots.  Ultimately, while it is impossible to name every contact, it has to be stated that I owe these great musicians an insurmountable debt. May our horns never lower.                                                                               

Do you have any intention of traveling outside the boundaries of Texas for a live setting? If so, what can the masses expect? P: I would absolutely say that we intend to play outside of Texas eventually, although it may not be for some time due to the logistics involved, as well as the massive amount of preparation necessary to allow for an apropos experience.  Off the top of my head, I would like to share the stage with Immolith, Barghest, and Cemetary Desekrator, and we would definitely play with Severed Faith and Shadow of Creation from Georgia again, although as previously stated, out-of-state touring and playing requires an immense amount of planning, so it may be some time before we "grace" other states with our presence.  If a promoter wants to get in contact with us about a possible deal, the official Humut Tabal email address is:  humut_tabal@yahoo.com
What can the masses expect?  The same thing that Humut Tabal always delivers in the live setting:  Epic, technical, thrashing black metal.  You will not find swoop-haired hipsters preaching from their "manifestos", but a celebration of all things unholy and visceral; black metal without irony.  These "post-metal" artsy types attempting to co-opt black metal for their own agendas can look elsewhere (ideally at the bottom of a cliff).     

G- If it becomes logistically possible, I would not hesitate to bring Humut Tabal's ritual blasphemy outside of Texas. The masses may expect raw, satanic, misanthropic scathing black metal and horrific displays of hatred  and anguish.                                                                                                                                              
N: Expansion in all avenues of existence has been a mantra since day one for this band. It is, in my mind, similar to Prokingu’s declaration- the conquest of other regions is absolute & lays only within the capable hands of time itself. We find ourselves, however, as those hands of time slowly release their sands, in a beneficial environment in regard to traveling for live performance. One particular benefit of claiming origin to a state as geographically boundless as the one we operate in is that any one band can satisfy, at the very least, a thriving thirst for sojourn to relatively foreign regions with relatively foreign practices, music scenes, etc. all without metaphorically  leaving the comfort of their own home. Things are done a slight bit differently in say El Paso then Dallas, Austin then Nacogdoches, so on, so forth, and these differences allow an up & coming group to attain that experience of traveling outside your city as a band and making new connections or fans to areas that have yet to experience your music. Yet as one large operating grid, word easily spreads & those endeavors are made even easier in a considerably short amount of time. The masses must be commanded to attention before they can expect anything at all, yet once that flame is lit within the public, what can be guaranteed will be wretchedness & wonder through music and art until our shells cease to function.     
                                                                                   
This may be a premature question, especially since the Plutonian Shore split is still relatively new, but do you have any plans for future releases? G- We do. Stay tuned. Humut Tabal is always in a state of flux musically. What you hear next may bear little to no resemblance to our previous material or your expectations. N: Literally, little to none. We are a shifting organism, something alive & engaging in constant flux, as Grimzaar stated. What can be relied upon, again & again, will be quality and sincerity within the seemingly boundless potential map of musical endeavors we plan to progress, manipulate and explore. Our morale has been in ascending for a very long time now & all of the haze regarding this matter will soon be cleared in the new year.                                                                                                                        
Your band is black metal through and through but does have ties to the death metal scene. What are your thoughts of the old way of thinking that those two music genres should remain separate? G- Such thought is ludicrous and is akin to an octogenarian's insisting that distortion ought not ever be applied to electric guitar. Back in the days of the First Wave, black metal and death metal were often indistinguishable. The two split and evolved separately. It stands to reason that, given their mutual origin, the two genres should meet again at times. What matters most is that people make good music, not that people remain conservative (in the traditional sense of the word, not in the political sense). If good music is created via conservatism, it is good music. Non-conservative music should also be recognized for its merits.                                                                 
N:  It is exactly as you said- an old way of thinking. I believe I speak for all of us when I say music transcends those lines drawn in the sand. Black Metal answers to no one, is not fettered or enslaved to any restrictions in itself, no matter the opinion of those who practice or support it. It is an indefinable pillar of self assertion, expression & fortitude, which easily rises above those who try to pin I down and contain it. Even if it did or was, I would work with my companions to tear down those forces which restrict the music in any sense. Some groups claim that their utmost desire in their work is to “push the envelope” or “break the barriers” of the style of music they play. I’m not sure if anyone in Humut Tabal even recognizes those boundaries to be crossed. There exists yet so utterly much mass, ground & surface to be chartered and travelled within the music that it would take, I believe, a passing of many ages before we ever achieved even a relatively comprehensive view of this entire practice. It is our path to wander those unknown places & bring to the public what we find, as it has always been. This experience is ever c hanging & I personally desire to engage in as many different forms of it as coherently & musically possible.                                                                                                                       


P:  An excellent question and the simplest answer from my ideology is that death and black metal are two sides of the same coin in my view.  There are many musicians that have proved that the realms of death and black metal can coexist; examples include Adorior, Hod, Morbodisad, Dissection, Abhorer, Blasphemy (hell, the entire "war metal" genre) and plenty of other excellent bands that draw from the well of both genres.  I owe a tremendous sonic debt to death metal and black metal, and the discography of Immolation and Asphyx nicely fits alongside bands like Antaeus and Watain in my collective.  The forces of death metal, black metal, doom metal, and thrash metal should always be hailed as pillars of extreme music, and I find that mixing genres leads to excellent results in many cases.  One could draw from black and thrash and wind up with Absu, or one could go the opposite route and mix death and doom and get Divine Eve or Winter.  Ultimately, it all boils down to what the artist feels is telling them to play.  If playing black metal in one band and death metal in another is one's musical calling (as is the case with Chris Gamble/Mezzadurus of Goreaphobia/Blood Storm), one must follow it to the best of their ability.  Metal is my driving force in life, so exploring all its realms is something that I see as essential.  For those looking into studying similar philosophies, I recommend starting with Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ, an individual who serves as an inspiration to myself.  Bathory and Dissection are also mandatory listens, naturally, although if I were to list every band worthy of examination we would be here all day. 
                                                                                                                                                                           
You may take this spot to give any final words or possible contact details for those wanting to educate themselves about your band. 
P:  Thank you for your interview.  Eternal thanks to the Dread Lair and to our various comrades, named and unnamed.  To our supporters:  You will see us onstage soon enough.                                                                                                                                                                                                     
N: Vomits & hails. To those who wish to view our back catalogue of available releases, or those of any other bands associated with The Dread Lair, you may visit our online store at thedreadlair.vstore.ca. Enjoy the DVD, meticulous hours I know were spent on it. Cheers to Feral Noise production team!


Brimwylf Interview

 ***Originally printed in Feral Noise #1***




To me, Brimwylf has gone through three stages. First, it was a two-man recording only project. Then it graduated to a fully operational band. Lastly to the band’s current form with a new member and a current one switching roles. Each stage has its own unique sound. Could you please walk us through the stages and provide the details that surrounded each one? Brimwylf really began with Brent recording riffs and song ideas at his house, just recording on the computer. He had a ton of ideas but no real outlet, so the first incarnation was born called Agahnim. He played all of his short songs for me and we decided maybe I could do some vocals to fill out the sound. This worked out well and we began to write more and more. Short 20 second blasting songs transformed into 3 minute black metal blitzes. As we kept making new songs, we talked about the idea of forming a band. At this stage though it was just Brent programming the drums on the computer then recording all the guitar tracks, and me doing vocals. Jason would come by sometimes to hang out and hear what we had been up to. One night he grabbed the guitar and wrote a whole new lead riff over one of our songs, it fit great adding new layers to the aural texture. After about 6 songs, we knew we wanted to really wanted to find some more members and create a fully functioning band. After some trial and error, and a few different band members we decided I would take care of the vocals, Jason would play guitar and Brent would play drums. We put out an ad for a new guitarist and met Parham. He was able to add an entirely different song writing approach, and it fit perfectly. It's been us 4 ever sense. We are Brimwylf.
Your band has an interesting ensemble of individuals coming from many different musical backgrounds. Give us some insight on that and how everything came together. We've all been into various forms of metal for a long time. Jason and Brent played in punk related bands for the most part in the past. Parham comes from a mostly experimental and improvisational musical background. But we are united in metal.
I know some of your members were in other bands in the past. Could you provide a rundown of them all and any touring experiences? Brent has toured with a couple of bands called Burned Out Bright and The Walls You've Built. Each band lasted a couple of years and put out a few releases. Jason has played in a myriad of punk and rock and roll bands: Tom Hanks, Pathetic Subsistence, All At Sea, and others. Parham's musical background is chronicled on feltanelephant.com
You recently hit the studio and recorded a few tracks. Please give the readers some insight on your debut recording. Also, will the songs be released as a self titled demo or do you have a specific name? We just recorded 5 songs at the Feral Noise studio. 4 tracks will be used for our demo, right now called Under The Sign of The Tridents. 1 track for a split 7" with Mhinotahn coming out mid 2012.
Brimwylf has a nice, raw 1st wave black metal sound amalgamated with some crisp melodies. A sound that I feel will be quite popular on the live circuit. So when can we expect the next step into that arena? Soon, though we don't currently have a bass player. If anyone would like to try out feel free to contact us.
 

On an earlier occasion you stated that lots of your lyrics are fictional. In your writing, does this consist of fantasy created on your own or do you have some other foundation that is drawn upon? The lyrics are imagery and mythology we create. Mostly metaphorical allusions derived form personal experiences.
In the vocal department, your voice is quite powerful. Is this your first time singing for a band? I've only ever worked on recording projects in the past, this is my first full functioning band. 
For those who do not know, your band was formerly known as Iapetus. Why was the decision made to change the band’s name? We wanted a totally original name that suited us, our lyrics, and our music. 
Speaking of band names, please provide some details on the Brimwylf name. Why did you choose it and what is its meaning? Brimwylf is derived from Old English and means "water wolf" or "wolf of the lake". In the epic poem Beowulf, these mythological wolves were haunters and guardians of burial mounds in marshlands. The idea of wolves and hounds as guardians/watchdogs of the underworld shows up in many cultures and mythologies. In Greek mythology there is a three headed dog, Kerberos, who watches Hades. In Scandinavia, "Baldrs draumar" speaks of Odin encountering a hell hound, protector of Hel, on his way to Niflheim. Brimwylf is the name we chose to express this idea. 
When hearing your music, I hear a Bathory influence (both early and from the Viking era) mixed with traditional rock. What is your take on that? From where do you draw your influences? Bathory is certainly a band we all like and probably influences us musically to some degree. Really our influences come from and amalgamation of 4 separate styles. We don't attempt to sound like any particular band or genre. We just hash out ideas and riffs we like, it all comes together very organically. 
Any final words? Also, how can one find more info about the band? We will try and keep everyone updated on Brimwylf through facebook or via The Dread Lair. Our plan is just to keep writing, playing, and creating.


Plutonian Shore Interview

 ***Originally printed in Feral Noise #1***



I assume that your name was taken from the Edgar Allan Poe poem “The Raven”. If so, why did you select that name and what does the poem itself mean to you? 
Zvs: You are correct. The name Plutonian Shore comes directly from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". Poe's writings delve a great deal into the supernatural and hidden realms, which we naturally resonate with. Pluto Corresponds to the Ruling God of the underworld, death and rebirth. We interpret "Plutonian Shore" as the Shores of the underworld. Upon forming this band we had intended to instill a name that would parallel our etheric sound. 
Dread Lair recently released your great split with Humut Tabal. Where you satisfied with the final product? In your opinion, how does it compare with the full length “Ave Mysterium”? 

Zvs: Oaths ov Stygian Dusk was originally intended to be a three way split. The original plan was to put forth one track per band. When the third band decided to back out, we decided to create an atmospheric/meditation track that would open the gates as an introduction into this split. If time had allowed, we would have preferred to add one more track. Regardless of this we are very pleased with the final outcome, and feel Humut Tabal was the perfect fit for this split. In comparison to Ave Mysterium, these tracks went a lot more smoothly recording wise, as we have greatly improved in our technical abilities to handle a studio environment. As with all of the tracks in Ave Mysterium, the two tracks for the split seemed to manifest themselves in a very short amount of time, which we were successfully able to organize amongst our members and release to meet our agreed timeline. The content of our entire body of work thus far relates directly to our fascination and study of occult knowledge. 
Yes I feel your recording on the split works perfectly. The sound is raw, but still has a brutal, yet audible vibe. Could you go into more detail about your recording process? Was an outside studio utilized or do you have home recording gear?
Zvs: All of the music is composed by Amethyst moon, Devastation and myself. We rehearse the material heavily for several months before we even attempt to record. Our first album was recorded entirely on a Korg D4 four track recorder, but for our recording of the split Oaths of Stygian Dusk as well as our upcoming album Lunar Rites, we invested more into computer software to handle the task. Our instruments are all recorded individually beginning with the guitar, then drums, followed with the keys and bass with vocals almost always last. At this point in time we wish to approach Plutonian Shore as a strictly DIY entity, with the exception of possibly outsourcing for mastering purposes. 
 As you mentioned above, the atmospheric track Unicursal Mediation” was included on the split, which I thought was a great intro to the CD. Upon my first listen it reminded me of an old Italian horror movie score. After a few listens it brought me closer to the soundtrack of the 1979 mutant bear horror movie Prophecy (*Not the more recent series of films with Christopher Walken). Give us your point of view in what you where trying to create?
Zvs: The goal of the Unicursal Meditation was to specifically serve as a symbolic opening into the sonic ritual that is this split album. We wanted to capture a feeling that our doors of perception and the veil between worlds has been opened. We chose the symbol of the unicursal as our personal homage into the study of Thelemic Magick. This also serves as a small taste of what is to come. It is our goal in the future to release a limited series of atmospheric meditation tracks similar to this, specifically for entering the ritualistic state of mind. I have never heard but am very curious to hear the score to the Prophecy. 
Now that the split CD has been out for a while, what is next? Are there any other special releases on the horizon?
Zvs: The main goal at this point in time is to see the release of Lunar Rites before years end. Another split release is in the works for the middle of 2012.
Your bio states the band was created in 2010. Since then you have accomplished quite a bit in a short period of time. That says a lot about all of the member’s motivation. What has kept that fire to succeed burning so hot? What are your long and short term goals? Bands seem to start up and fade away very quickly. Most of our members have over ten years of experience in a band environment. With the knowledge acquired from past failures to succeed, we have managed to prioritize what we wish to accomplish and carry it out full force. The main goal of this band is to create music we want to hear. There is a certain magick all bands strive for, and can only be achieved when the perfect chemistry of members is implemented. Long term goals would be travel outside the country to perform and release a large body of work we can be proud of in the future.
For those who are unaware, could tell us about your former bands? You stated “past failures” Was that due to having band members with the wrong attitudes or was it something more?
Zvs: Around 2003, Devastation and I had started a black metal band while living in Bitburg,Germany called Monotor. We were able to establish somewhat of a following and decided to migrate to Winnipeg, Canada in 2006 since we had mutual friends living there. This is an example of how we dedicated a good portion of our life to music, even switching between countries to follow this path. The band dissolved in 2008 without ever have recorded a single album only a handful of demos. Lack of dedication was the main reason. From Canada we moved to San Antonio, Texas to try and reorganize our lives. There are many other bands we participated in, but I will not mention them as many are still stiving to accomplish something with little progress. 
In the live setting your visual stage presence nicely compliments the dark tone of your music. Do you feel image is just as important as the music? We thank you for your opinion. With Plutonian Shore, our image is not a gimmick, that we use for shock value. We feel it is necessary process to express our music by shedding our outer ego to reach a ritualistic state of mind. Much in comparison as a shaman would to receive divine intervention. The music itself would loose much of its intensity without our visual atmosphere.
Yes I agree, your music and the image go hand in hand. I could not imagine seeing a Plutonian Shore gig without that atmosphere. Has corpse paint been used since day one or was it something you migrated to later? 
Zvs: Even in the early stages of writing music before ever performing live, we had all agreed to use corpse paint for every show, with no exception. 
Over the years San Antonio has gained a formidable reputation of having a great metal scene.  Did you grow up in this city? If so, give us a small glimpse of the scene of yesteryear.
Zvs: I can only speak back to about 2008 which isn't that long ago, and not much has changed. 
Speaking of your scene, what other bands in your area are worth checking out? Most people know of HOD, but what are some of the new upcoming groups?
Zvs: The bands that come to mind from San Antonio are Butchered Saint, Emperial Massacre, Angel Flesh, without a doubt Hod, and Sturmgewehr. Xapharon from Corpus Christi are also an excellent live entity, as well as our brothers in Humut Tabal. I also would like to mention the young band from Laredo Divison Black Noise, who I recently brought up for theyre first out of town show ever. They blew San Antonio away with there huge sound and I expect great things from them in the future. 
I find your logo appealing and memorable. To me, it has a dark, artistic feel that still allows the band’s name to be legible. Please explain the thoughts in creating it? Who is the inventor? For this logo we had drawn out a rough draft of ideas that included a symbolic tree of life motif, a unicursal hexagram and the alchemical symbol for the planet Pluto. We wanted not only a literal tree formed from the name Plutonian Shore with the branches growing out the top of the letters and the roots growing out the bottom respectively, but interweaved the Qabalistic tree of life as well. This symbolically shows the basis to which our study into the hidden paths begin. The finished artwork which you are familiar with was illustrated by the mastermind and lord or logos himself, Christophe Szpajdel.
I will now conclude this interview by saying thanks for your time. Please give any final thoughts or contact information.
Zvs: We appreciate the support and thank you for the interview. Many Hails  Find us at www.reverbnation.com/plutonianshore

KRULLUR - Interview

***Originally printed in Feral Noise #1 (2012)***
Krullur is one of the longest lasting Houston bands. When exactly was the band’s origin date?
We started KRULLUR in the summer of ’89, but Marty and I have been jamming since  childhood.
Could you give us a little history on the band’s early days?
It was way cooler in the beginning. There were more venues to play at and better bands to play with. Also was a lot easier to get on with a national act. We’ve played/opened for shitloads of great bands such as Hellwitch, Exhorder, Morbid Angel, dead horse, Anal Cunt, Incantation, Total Chaos, Grimple, Napalm Death, Destruction, EyeHateGod, etc.
What has been the key element to your longevity?
Kicking out the dead weight/meat and having a good time rehearsing/playing live-even had to ax Marty once or twice! Ha-ha. Also, have a goal set. Ours is world domination. What else?
Throughout the years the band has gone through many line-up changes. Despite that, the band has remained loyal to its trademark style. Although I feel that Krullur has a unique sound, how would you describe your music?
KRULLURKORE w/ a dash of death. Kinda like to mix up early crossover, thrash, death, hard rock, punk and modern and classic metal. You get more hardcore/punk songs written by Marty and more techno type metal stuff from me. Diego also writes songs-the ballads.(joke)
In your existence there have been quite a few releases (demos, cassettes, CDs, compilations). Below is a list of some of items from your discography. Please comment on each. Give any recording details or memories you can recollect.
Enormity (1990):
Our first “official” demo. Recorded in 4 hrs over 2 days in Baytown, TX. Engineer was a poser-didn’t have a clue what we were trying to do. Demo was never mixed. It’s basically a sound board recording. Raymond on vox & Scott on bass. That demo has had a long life. We still play a couple of those songs.
Embalmed with Hate (1991):
This was a rehearsal demo recorded in my bedroom at my parent’s house. Remember that shit? You used to come over w/ Dave. Anyway, most of these songs were recorded on Churlish. Raymond on vox and Brian on bass. Placed a condenser mike in the middle of my bedroom and pressed record on a tape deck connected to 16 track mixer. Sounds like shit but was heavy.
Ahh yes I remember those old days of coming over for your practice, great times, memories of being packed in your bedroom and having my eardrums blown out. I also remember your drums elevated on some contraption over your bed haha. That was an ingenious idea for making more space in the area.
Churlish Rubbish (1993):
Our first mega-multi track recording. Had 4 mics on Marty’s amp and was tuned to “C”.
15 mics on drums. Was a nightmare to try to mix along w/ all the sampling. It’s an unfinished work, but one of our best sounding demos. Recorded at HotDog studios in Bellaire, Tx. Owners were cool-let us get high/drink/bring chicks. This demo had the most airplay when it was coming up on local/regional radio stations. Chad on vox and Dave on bass.
Open Ass Surgery (1997) cassette:
We don’t really acknowledge this as a demo. This was also a rehearsal recording but on a 4-track. Pretty bad sound quality and more hardcore (as in crossover/punk) than anything we’ve recorded. Greg on vox and Will on bass. Mixed by Will also. Funny thing about his mix is that his background vox are set higher than Greg’s lead vox!
Haha yes when Will’s parts come in, they overpower everything in volume.
Open Ass Surgery CD (2001):
The demo we had the most fun recording. We drove to Santa Fe, TX to record it because it had one of the cheapest rates available. We got there and they had pictures of all these country dudes w/ cowboy hats on the walls. Should have seen the engineer’s face when we started jamming. It was a motherfucker to get a good sound there but we did ok in my opinion. Our sickest demo up to that point and the most successful selling wise. Robert on vox and Kevin on bass. Underground crust punks favorite by us.
We also recorded another demo, although vocal-less, at U of H in 2009. Self titled. We were looking for a vocalist at the time. Friend of ours had some free time in his sound engineering class and asked us if we wanted to record so we took him up on it.
Of all the old material, how much of it do you still play live?
We play one or two from each demo along w/ metal/hardcore covers. The demo we play the most off of is “Enormity”. At every show seems like someone yells out a song from it. Most of our songs are new though.
PLF (Houston, TX) covered “Stalker Of Time”.
How many new songs do you have that are yet to be recorded?
About 20.
Speaking of recording, do you have anything planned or any new releases?
We are in the process of recording now at my home studio w/ Pro Tools. Should be out the first of the year along with a covers CD.
It seems your current line-up is one of the strongest. Would you agree? How did it come together?
It took forever to find the right matchup. Didn’t think we were ever going to make it happen but a friend of ours brought Diego over and it was the right timing and the right person. We’re fortunate to find a singer/bassist these days –know what I mean? We’re off and running now. Ready to incinerate a path to oblivion.


As in the past, Krullur seems to be hitting live circuit quite a bit. How have the shows been? Are you getting any gig offers outside of Houston?
Shows have been great. We were wondering if there was a demand for us but every show has been better than the one before. Going to San Antonio in January-Friday the 13th.
In the current music scene is there anything that warrants your interest?
No-not really. Most all new metal/hardcore nowadays are watered down versions of their predecessors.-you know? But there are a couple of alright bands I guess.
For readers interested in correspondence or merchandise, how would they contact you?
Facebook or bo7338@sbcglobal.net.
Any final thoughts?
Thanks Jeff- Now everyone must die.