I do not like too long speeches, but idea of doing such big combined interview with artists playing slow and heavy music (psychedelic, stoner, sludge – all that we call “doom” sometimes) was simply in the air! And now here we go… I just sent 5 questions to few bands but a day after that and a day after that day I started to ask other bands without which this interview wouldn’t be completed! It was so hard to stop so you can see how much stuff we have here, and even now I’m thinking that it would be right to gather few more bands for this publication! It’s a kind of doom-obsession! But okay – few words about crux of the message…
1. Question one is pretty simple – it’s about most significant doom-release or doom-event of 2011.
2. Next question is a mental pabulum for you, dear doom-followers. Most of us are dealing with illegal downloads of music which our favorite doom-heralds are composing and recording. I do not agree with the sentence that “artist must be hungry”, though it’s obvious that living off playing heavy music is quiet a impossible thing. I didn’t suppose that such a simple (as I thought) question would make such a wide resonance amidst bands, so I recommend you to read all of this. As for me… There was one ugly case in Talbot’s gig in Moscow. I was speaking with Jarmo (drummer and voice-man) because we did the interview a week before this concert and he has asked me if I have Talbot’s CD. I answered something like “Man, don’t you remember – I sent you the link onto my review of your album?” But Jarmo said:
“Yes, I remember, but DO YOU HAVE CD?” You know – it was very uneasy feeling when I answered “No”. After that he presented me “Eos”, and I felt ashamed. Yes, mostly I get CDs straight from bands for reviews but, please, don’t forget how OUR support is important for them.
3. Drugs’n’doom. I expected not shocking revelations from our honoured respondents about terrible shit due to drugs abusing – no. I rather want you to pay attention to this problem because it’s not only the fun of revealing new dimensions, the matter has it’s negative and positive aspects. I don’t want to preach, I want you to think – that’s all.
4. I had to ask about bands’ plans for the next 2012 year. Of course if someone didn’t split up and already bought good and strong oaken coffin expecting Mayan Armageddon or some other fantastic shit. Fourth question is about it.
5. And last one is about how to spend New Year coming. Do not know how it goes in other countries, but it seems to be the main celebration in Russia, so I have the chance to drink vodka for your health till I drop. But, well, I’ll endure – never surrender!!!
After all I wish all the best for our dear respondents – thanks for your music, thanks for your inspiration! Thanks to our devoted and patient readers, thanks to doommantia’s writers! And of course thanks to a chief chaplain of Doom Cult – thank you Ed for a chance to spread Word world-wide! I wish all the best for all of you and success in your beginnings in forthcoming year of 2012.....Aleks
Part Two featuring: Vince Verkay from Evoken, Jan (manager) and Edmunds Vizla of Frailty, Luther Finlay Veldmark from Hooded Priest, Erkki Seppanen from Kypck, Kimi Kärki from Lord Vicar, Jerry Wilde from Lazarus Complex, Alejandro Arce from Mar De Grises, Jochen Fopp of Mirror of Deception, Brendan Roache from Mourning Beloveth, and Adrian Bickle from Mournful Congregation.
On with the Q & A's ......
Vince Verkay (drums)
1. Well, there are only two significant events in doom that stands out for me. 1. Would be the announced reunion of the original line-up of Black Sabbath. 2. Would be the reunion of legendary NY doom and gloom masters, Winter. To have the opportunity to see and play with Winter on the same bill, is something I never contemplated. They were just as impressive as I imagined them being. It was truly and experience I will keep close to me; an honor. Anything beyond those would be events or releases that would fall under the year 2012. One that immediately comes to mind would be the upcoming performance of d.USK as this coming years’ “Roadburn Festival” and performance of ‘Transcendence into the Peripheral’ in its entirety.
2. Being a realist, I don't believe an absolute solution to the problem can exist. With the internet being so accessible and open, which I believe should be the case, if any boundaries are enacted, people will find an alternate route. It's an industry that is too volatile with too much money invested. Being a fan of vinyl, I think it's fantastic to see it come full-circle, and in some ways those vinyl re-releases which include bonus material will become more problematic to those seeking to upload those songs for download; it's not as convenient as the CD. This isn't an event that will simply fade with time, but only increase. The best thing the music industry can do is adapt, by developing ways to benefit both the fans and the bands. Due to the major record-labels being concerned with profit for so many years, using the bands and the fans as pawns, they have brought this issue onto themselves, which in turn forced both fans and bands to find alternate means. In the end, it has allowed more artists to develop on their own terms, generate a fan-base without the need for a record label. The consumer is no longer force fed artists that are backed by major corporations.
So, I think the perspectives are high. Being in an underground band, you're not hand-tied to only certain locations, forcing you to compensate to reach beyond your borders. Now, with this new found freedom, you can release your music worldwide with a simple click of a button. You can stay true to your own standards, completely side-stepping the need to beg your way into finding a record label. Yes, this situation is a double-edged-sword, while having this freedom is great, as with anything there will always be a down-side. Which we also find ourselves dealing with, which I guess can be perceived as greedy, but we lose money as well. Of course we understand that if you're looking to make money playing music, extreme doom is completely unrealistic, so we play this music for the love of the genre. At the same time, a band does need to generate some income in order to allow a band to continue going. Of course you need employment outside of music, but with record-labels losing money, they are not going to continue providing an open check to bring their music to the fans via tours etc. A band's life-blood on the road is merchandise. In order for a band to make this merchandise, they also need to develop income. When a bands' music is put online for free download or a fan decides to create income, selling music for their own profit, you're hurting the band you're a fan of. Fortunately, we're involved in a genre in which the fans will go out a purchase the music in its original format (ie: CD, vinyl, etc,). It's not hampered as other genres of music like pop, mall-rock, hip-hop etc. For the record companies; you reap what you sow.
3. For each musician or band, the use of drugs as an influence can be beneficial, as some of the most creative musicians to ever live were under the influence at the time of writing, but as we also can see this can have a negative impact to the point of addiction or worse. I think if you are going to use some sort of drug in order to enhance your writing, you have to understand its history or you're doomed to repeat it. In moderation, I don't see a problem with it. Although being a band that has never found ourselves dealing with such an issue, we had our moments where, at very sparse times, used some sort of chemical to open up our creative-side. We just understand that writing in such a way has its limits. You simply cannot decide in order to create any music or art that the use of drugs be mandatory. Our brains are so complex and powerful that at some point, it becomes such a routine, and your brain is expecting that chemical on a more frequent basis. Once you fall into that category your brain becomes addicted, once addicted it has the complete opposite effect. Instead of using it for creative means, you're now using it just to maintain your daily existence, where your sole thought is based around a “fix”, neglecting any creativity you once possessed.
Like I said, we have been very fortunate to be a band that has never dealt with such an issue. We feel we're more creative being of sound-mind, rather than letting a chemical be our outlet or muse. Personally, I have only come across the negative side of this issue and not just related to music, these negative aspects come via friends and family members who I had to witness a slow decay of mind and body, only to eventually die from the continued act of hiding behind chemicals. In the end, in my opinion, as with anything in life, it's okay in moderation because there can be such a thing as too much of a good thing.
4. We plan on stepping up our attempts to stock-pile food, fortify our basements, purchase a wide array of firearms, and formulate a survival plan. In actuality, we're looking to make 2012 a busy year for us. Currently, we are recording the new album being released via Profound Lore. We have several shows lined-up for the Spring of 2012, which we'll announce as soon as plans are set. We're also looking to tour in support of the new album in Europe and possibly a small tour in the U.S. Of course until things are engraved in stone, we can only say "plan", but the way things are developing those plans should become reality soon enough.
5. First, enjoy the wide variety of predictions and horse-shit about how the world will be coming to an end this coming year. Meanwhile in reality, contemplate all those in your life that will probably die this year, just like every year prior. The disappointments you'll encounter, the friends that will at some point betray you, and the continued downfall humanity has a stellar history of achieving.
As of right now, I don't foresee anything exciting to involve myself in that night. I find more peace and enjoyment in having a quiet night with my adored Carrie, than finding myself at some party with only a handful of those I care about, with the rest of those attendees that I could care less about. Crammed into one location like cattle pretending to wish those I could care less about having a good New Year. With that....enjoy!
Evoken @ Myspace
Jan (manager) and Edmunds Vizla (Guitars, Vocals)
1. J: As for me – no doubt, can mention two albums - Comatose Vigil „Fuimus, Non Sumus…” and YOB „Atma” and Kathaarsys "The Concept - Live At Capitol" DVD. Sorry, there was too much personal doom, to attend some doom evenings outside, but we will make one at last, in Riga this autumn.
E: Defiantly, Esoteric's Paragon of Dissonance. Pure darkness in music.
2. J: Yes, could close the internet for some moment, he he. None can brainwash so much people, like some politics did years ago, so there is no option so far. One try is vinyl records and small prints for cds only, if You are collector, You will get the stuff to keep it in collection, if You love beer more than music, sure, You will get kind quality files only. There was idea inside the Frailty crew, that no more records – like, today, we will play our new album and some part of the old one. Idea is, that You can not bring the music back home, cause, there is no records, You can listen, enjoy and made some phone video in bad quality, but You cant bring the music back home to listen, to download etc. So there is twice things – 1) maybe people attend more to live shows 2) want to hear – go to show. Also, save money for studio and recordings…
Me, You, everyone else will always have not enough money to buy all the cds, shirts, bikes, books, whiskeys etc.
Same time, there is too much music around; none says it all are very good, good or maybe good. And if You are following the scene, its not so hard get some record, there always will be someone, who will support band by buying record and someone, who will put it to download.
Attitude and Thinking problem is there, also. Check out how many Zines, Magazines etc was some years ago and nowadays. We can speak also about marketing and promotional things here. If people can buy Justin Bieber stuff, why they same way can’t buy Doom Metal stuff? Sorry, for me some mp3 files are too impersonal, seems, I’m one of the old farts who will die together with touchable format.
20 years or more ago, when I got some new tape I was one happy kid in town for more than day or two, nowadays, need just open internet explorer.
Of corpse, money You save up for music, anyway You will spend on something other – beer, shirt, burger, but we don’t steal Your underwear, don’t steal our music, don’t rob yourself.
E: Illegal downloads are bad thing, of course. However, if your stuff is not in the illegal trade, your stuff is nowhere at all. I think, there is no solution to this problem currently, only if there were some really draconian laws against it. And I mean - draconian! Otherwise, the music piracy can not be stopped. Some share the opinion that music must be free to everyone, but if you are a musician, who wants to improve the quality of your music and performance, then the money is crucial. The price for your music must be reasonable however.
3. J: Well, my personal and last journey was couple of years ago, strong hash and sitting 4 hours in bath with wide open cosmoss and darker side of moon as well. Second one, was funny at Frailty party, when we celebrate „Ep” out coming, some of friends bring some weed, so there was few one, who smoke it for first time, including „ dooors opening in ceiling and death asking to join...” and stuff like that, but that’s more funny stories. I know some psychodelic music players, who smoke some weed or use some mushrooms, but can’t say, their music is bad or they are bad. If You use some light stuff – its not yet the prob. If You are under some harder stuff, sorry, there starts „naked, fat, ugly old man” and sings Celine Dione lullaby like this - time to say goodbye. I would say, that sometimes, the music can made similar effect, depends on many factors, of course, but hard drugs – sorry, its a road to hell. If think about trying some heroine or kind stuff, better cut your veins now and slowly. Or just take a trip to some hospital to check out how it all looks like in reality...
Actually, a good doom metal album could be made about this theme... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVp1UfCi-ew)
E: Drug-abusing is such a devastating thing - it ruins everything - your health, your life and the lives of your closest people. Nothing positive can come from this whatsoever. Clear mind is always the best way to deal with your problems.
4. J: People always need something to believe in, same way they are afraid of unknown....
Frailty second album coming out january, 2012, so we will definitely spreading the word about it and loudly preaching - „The End Is Near, Doomsday coming!”, he he, also there will be two video clips from us, we will play live shows and participate in some festivals, there is still idea, that we will record at last, also material of Latvian funeral folk songs in crushing strong doom manner, so we have quite a lot things to do. We are open for live shows and as I told before, this year we will build mini fest - Antithesis III: doom and dark.
E: Frailty will release its second album. That's the big plan for 2012. And a strong coffin is always a thing you might need, nevertheless what's coming... especially, after listening to our new album.
5. J: Doomed Dragon Year! May it be musical melancholia and nice things full, there is too much bad things around, same way there is not so much light, so You should not wear sunglasses! Doom is inside & doom is lifestyle! Prieka!
Well, not sure yet, could be - will be in dark room, with millions of candles, drinking tears and playing cello? Visiting Frailty members in madhouse, will bring them some fruits? Well, tired of all these drinking-eating parties, sooner, I will be in silent place without a loud crowd around.
E: Dear readers, Frailty wishes to you all to get reasonably priced and good quality coffins, for our next album is coming!
HOODED PRIEST (Netherlands)
Luther Finlay Veldmark (Vocals)
1. Well, I think the one that blew me away the most was the The Wretch by The Gates of Slumber. I saw them live at Roadburn and they hardly play any song I knew since the Conqueror album was the last one I bought before...but once again they proved to be a great live band and the material sounded very promising...whether it were new songs or songs from the missing albums in my collection I later was especially searching for songs of the Wretch on the internet. After hearing a few I just had to go out and buy that album, unlike before I didn’t had to order it at the metal specialist shop nearby, they had it in stock.. It had a lot of spins since, same like Pentagram’s Last Rites. Griftegard’s album is brilliant as well but these two other albums just get me going crazy...I don’t even know if all the afore mentioned albums were released last year, but does it count if I bought them the last year, actually I’m not sure about that either. What might be of great significance to myself is that I have been listening a lot to Portishead on one hand and keep turning to PileDriver and the more rocking era of Darkthrone....I should not forget to add of course that it is very significant to myself the vinyl release of Devil Worship Reckoning.
2. When we released our debute the global record market was already considered suffering from internet and illegal downloads but in the meantime it’s due to that very internet and the social media that we first got die-hard followers. Of course if we want to reach ‘em all through live shows they’d better buy our albums and merchandise to get a tour financed...it’s a two edged knife, but as long as the cut is deep I’m fine with that....
3. A wise man once told me that using drugs is the opposite of freedom...have not much more to say on that topic...
4. Well the ancient Maya’s installed their calender that ends next year but ours will hopefully really begin...actually we are on a kind of leave at the moment but we’ll be meeting in due time to arrange all ideas we had the last years into new songs for our sophomore album, we hope to bring that to a good end and release it which might lead to a more expended tour going on. But instead of touring we just might continue to put the emphasis on more new material because if we want to develop all the raw material into consistent songs we will need some time for sure due to the amount of ideas, but let’s not make too many plans, we might write totally from scrap as well, everybody in the band is very willing to work on new material...
5. I was usually at home last years with my family, but like ALL evenings we try to make it cozy so I must admit that for me personally it shows that it’s not a big thing the end of the year or the beginning of a new year...because life and society just go on like the same song and dance all over again...maybe I’ll make a promise to myself to quit smoking...could be a ripple that makes a difference hah...let’s conclude that whenever one is on the verge of a new year, you can only hope for the better the next year, hope is something positive...maybe I’m hoping for a new 84...or ...’54...
Earth, Day of the Innocent, 2011 AD
Hooded Priest Official
Erkki Seppanen (Vocals)
1. I'm a little busy nowadays with my own bands and projects, so I don't have much time to follow all that's happening elsewhere. I'm still quite satisfied with what we did with Kypck's 2nd album, Nizhe, and I think it's stands out as quite different than a lot of the other stuff that came out this year... So, even with the risk of sounding too arrogant, I'll say "Nizhe", for me personally.
2. A final solution was tried by the Nazis in the 1940s. Maybe something along those lines? Well, seriously, there's not much more that the music industry or musicians can do. This is the way it is. If music listeners don't care about what they listen to and where, and law enforcement agencies have better things to do than raid people's computers and internet connections then professional musicians are doomed. Music becomes just a hobby. To me it is a strange view of the future, but I guess it doesn't matter if we're all doomed anyway...
3. Well, there hasn't been that many problems among my friends. We have quite a strict policy that everyone can use whatever the hell they want, as long as the music and the shows don't suffer. And I make sure that I play with such people who love music more than drugs, so I don't have a problem with that. The weaker-minded will always succumb to drugs and alcohole, that's a different question. I try to focus on music mostly.
4. Kypck is writing new material and hopefully we do a couple of shows in Russia soon again. We have a plan to start recording the next album in about a year's time, next winter. So, we'll start thinking about themes and things for that album... There's a lot of things going on in Russia after these "elections", so it'll be interesting to see how that reflects on everything. We also have a few festivals in the summer already marked in our calendar, but there's always room for more!
5. I'll be hunting bears, mainly female bears. So watch out if you're big and hairy! You might end up on my wall.
LORD VICAR (Finland)
Kimi Kärki (Guitars)
1. If I don't count the second Lord Vicar album, which was obviously personally extremely significant, I'd say perhaps 40 Watt Sun'sThe Inside Room. And Hammer of Doom festival as an event, now that Doom Shall Rise is taking a break.
2. I think music industry is facing a very possible death, and that's why there are all these 360-degree deals, digital pay-to-hear systems and whatnot. CD as a format is evidently going to be abandoned by the major labels within a few years' span. That, in the end, leaves small independed labels releasing vinyl, which is not a bad option for those who like their old school doom metal. Then again, these small labels are very vulnerable, as the productions costs are high and the print runs are low. There is no solution for digital piracy, and it does hurt the sales of the albums. I understand that people might like to get all that stuff for free, wohoo, but at the same time I think they also miss the value of the music. Something that was crafted with love withing hundred hours is downloaded to an external hard drive with thounsand other records. There is no way that the records receive similar attention as they used to, because of everything being availble with a few clicks. Unless, of course, the records are really really good. I hope to be able to make records that are growers and give people enough lasting pleasure and ideas to stand the test of time.
3. I have seen it close and read a lot about the creative aspects, they do exist, especially with the psychedelic drugs... I have also seen first hand and read about the destructive aspects. It's like playing with fire. Drug addiction is a hellish thing, and there is not much romance in it... And I count alcohol as well. Usually the heavy users are escaping something, they can't cope with the real world. Who could blame them in most cases, looking at the state of our planet, even if it comes down to individual fates? And nowadays it's somewhat blurred what exactly is a real world anyway... It's not only drugs, but the media culture, internet as an addiction, etc. People blur their brains with 'reality' TV and fantasy worlds where they receive digital love and 'likes', rather than talk to each other.
4. We will be writing the next album, Gates of Flesh, and touring our recently released second album Signs of Osiris. April takes us to a few European countries with Orchid (USA) and Sigiriya (Wales), that trip wil climax in Roadburn festival. It's been great fun to play the new songs in public, still need to rehearse a couple of them for the Spring.
5. My family is about to relocate by 400 meters right after Yuletide. I plan to sit in my new home with a glass of cold and dry sparkling wine in my hand,
surrounded by those who I love the most. My advice for the readers: Love those who deserve it, love like there was no tomorrow!!!
Lord Vicar @ Myspace
Orne @ Myspace
Jerry Wilde (All instruments)
1. My favorite of 2011 was Morne: Asylum. A close second would be 40 Watt Sun: The Inside Room
2. That's a difficult problem to solve because what it seems like a lot of people are advocating is for some type of subscription service where you pay a set fee per month and then legally download all the music you want. That doesn't really solve the problem of illegal downloading. I think the music industry is hoping to find some type of technology that will make it impossible to copy files. That technology doesn't exist...yet.
The internet has been both a tremendous benefit and a significant problem for some bands. It's allowed worldwide exposure that would not be possible without the internet but it's also hurt young bands trying to get a foothold in the industry. It's a blessing and a curse.
3. Just yesterday a meth lab was busted in my neighborhood. I live in a quite midwestern city, not a big city at all. Drug abuse affects everyone either directly or indirectly. Personally, I don't see a problem among my circle of friends but it could be that they are good at hiding it. You never really know.
4. My plans are 1) get healthy (I still need a kidney transplant), 2) write/record, write/record, write record! I hope to regain my health that will allow me to get back in the studio.
5. I'll be at home or in dialysis for the New Years (pretty boring). Here's a short speech: We're all DOOMED so we might as well listen to some good music as we navigate through this fucking veil of tears called life.
Best wishes Aleks. Thanks for thinking of me.
Lazarus Complex @ Myspace
Alejandro Arce (Drums)
1. To tell you the truth I have not been much aware of doom metal releases this year. As for doom events I recently read that Celestial Season are reuniting. I just love their two first albums very much so its great news for me because I read the reunion is mostly focused on the Solar Lovers album. I really hope they make a new album as well. On the other hand, I look forward to listening to a new Saturnus album, which I thought would come out this year. Hopefully it does soon. And of course for us our recently finished European mini tour was a highlight and the date in Moscow was amazing.
2. Illegal downloads are indeed a big problem from one perspective but I prefer to see this as a part of some sort of a transition phase on which things are changing at a paradigm level in terms of communication and music and art sharing. It’s no use on trying to regulate this as Internet and communication these days have changed at a level impossible to do so. Technology and globalization these days are changing increasingly fast the parameters and paradigms behind this subject. Anything can happen in terms of communication the next years, therefore in the means for spreading your music and everything related to that aspect of music and metal. File sharing and downloading can be a double edged sword but I think it is no use on seeing this as something “good” or “bad”; it is just the way things work now so I think this is the time to go beyond that and figure out and try to give birth to a really new and fresh way to do things.
3. Many great pieces of music or art were born from some mind “enhanced” by some drug. For me is totally valid and actually as recipient I feel grateful when enjoying them, so no problem after all. On the other hand, from the side of the creator, I think it is neither a problem as long as you keep it controlled. Simple: drugs can be a great way to stimulate creativity indeed but of course it is difficult to keep them balanced and controlled for a long period of time, so you choose. Big problem is that sometimes it can be too late to rationally choose.
4. For now we will totally focus on writing new material. I feel it’s time to take our music to a whole new level. Always keeping close connection with what we feel, that is the first and most important thing but somehow I feel this time it will be different; don’t know exactly how I just feel it. It is not that we will start playing reggae or something but I’m sure this time it is time to let ourselves flow more than ever. Maybe it’s fear of the Mayan Armageddon which is making us feel that way after all you know…
5. Hopefully this new forthcoming year keeps you all safe and peaceful; if not, remember every negative event is meant to inspire you. For me, New Year coming, I just plan to stay at home. Don’t quite like all the big party pressure you see everywhere on that that day.
Thank you and cheers!
Jochen Fopp (Guitars)
1. For me Lord Vicar's "Signs of Osiris" and Memory Driven's "Animus" stuck out this year. Awesome albums and future Doom classics both of them. I'd mention 40 Watt Sun, too but they don't see themselves as a Doom Metal band and I agree. I enjoyed Hammer of Doom Festival in October. Lots of old friends on and in front of the stage. But my favourite event of the year was the Malta Doom Festival back in November. A great island, a fine venue, nice audience and some very cool bands. Watch out for Griffen Device and Victims of Creation!
2. Smarter people than me have tried to come up with a solution for this whole mess. Needless to say without success. It's far too late to change things in a major way and of course it will get harder and harder for small labels to put money into their releases and to survive. Our policy is to make an album a really worthy package. People will always download the music and nothing will stop it but as a real fan and collector you want the whole thing, the artwork and packaging in your hands. Not just some stupid bits and bytes. At least that's what I'd like to believe.
3. (Illegal) drugs have never really interested and concerned me or anyone close to me in any serious way so I'm the wrong person to ask about good and bad aspects. No other drugs than the occasional beer, nicotine and caffeine have played any role in creating our music. Even though it's an integral part of Rock'n Roll image I think only very few people have real control over harder drugs. Sooner or later the drug will take over and win in the end.
4. Top priority for 2011 is working on new songs for the worldwide download community. ;-) No live activies are planned at present due to conflicting prophecies regarding the exact Armaggedon date.
5. Well, more of all good and less of all bad things for everyone! I'll be at a party with some friends and I hope you, too. Stay slow!
MOURNING BELOVETH (Ireland)
Brendan Roache (Bass)
1. Mournful Congregation, Isole, Esoteric, Argus, Council of Tanith, 40 Watt Sun, Hell, Necros Christos, Pentagram, The Wounded Kings, Primordial, Before the Rain, the imminent fall of Europe as a economic entity/powerhouse, and I’m quite looking forward to the new album due early next year by both The 11th Hour and Officium Triste … Dublin Doom Day and Dutch Doom Days are always both good reasons to party too.
2. Well in a way I think there is a simple enough answer to this question. Downloading is here to stay. No amount of moaning about it is going to make it stop. Nothing any record company/lable/distro can do will stop it. There is a whole generation of young people out there who’s very idea of music is a small file icon on their desktop or cell phone. For most of these people the concept of an actual record store, a hard copy cd or lp is completely alien. Inlay cards, artwork etc don’t mean a thing to them. And that’s just the way it is. No point crying about it.
So what can we, either as a band or a label or as a consumer of music? I guess that’s down to each of us as individuals. From MB’s point of view, we will always strive to give our fans the best value we possibly can for your hard earned cash, be that in terms of artwork, bonus material etc. And it’s up to us to support our favorite bands too, by buying the hardcopies of albums, shirts and other merch. If we want to download for free, it’s only a click away. But eventually there will be nothing to click ON, because producing music is expensive. If the revenue streams for record labels etc dry up, then there will be no-one prepared to invest in bands, therefore no new material becoming available in any shape or form, digital or otherwise. So to answer your question, the final solution is simply this. If you love music, if its your life’s blood, then BUY the music, before it disappears forever.
As for MB as a band, of course its frustrating knowing people have copies of our hard work, blood, sweat and tears, for free, that we are perhaps lining the pockets of some shadowy underground bootlegger while not making any money, what so fucking ever, ourselves. But we go into these things with our eyes open. We’re not young and naïve anymore, we know what the score is. And quiet honestly, in my opinion, if you’re an underground band and your losing sleep over losing “sales” and “money” from downloads, then do yourself a favor and stop. Right now. Because this path isn’t for you.
3. I have actually no problem with drugs. I view them in exactly the same way I view guns. No drug or gun has ever, ever killed anyone. People using drugs or guns kill people. It’s like everything else in life, it’s about how responsible or not you care to be with anything. We write music and everything we do in life influences that, some things more than others. We write about our experiences, the ups and downs but we never preach. It is up to each individual to glean their own references.
I hold down a full time job, a busy life and I don’t let anything get in the way of that, ever. Add to that we all spend so much time working on MB related things that its actually like managing two full time jobs. I don’t have the fucking time for “allowing” or indeed “managing” an addiction.
I’m sure other people have horror stories about this and that, addiction etc, but that’s down to people. Regardless if its drugs, alcohol, gambling or whatever vice, it’s about you knowing your limits, of being in control of the substance rather than submitting yourself to its control. In this day and age the concept of responsibility for one ones actions is a dirty one it seems. Letting an inanimate object rule the life if a creature with free will is pretty pathetic if you ask me. (Which, of course, you actually did. Don’t ask the question if you don’t like the answer).
Add to that that 90% of my favorite music has been written, recorded and performed with the enhancement of “drugs” and that’s the end of the argument as far as I’m concerned.
4. Armageddon can go fuck itself until we finish writing and recording the next MB album. That is quite literally the only thing I’m concerned with in 2012. It really is starting to develop into something that I feel in my blood will be quite special. So until we finish this cycle and bring it to its (un)natural conclusion and release the next album, everything else is utterly inconsequential.
5. Ok. Congratulations everybody for managing to be alive into 2012. Very well done. The world could NOT have done it without you. So as a suitable reward for your mastery of this thing they call life, have a drink, or indeed several, and the next time Mourning Beloveth hit your shores, come down and have a party with us. A Doom party, obviously.
Because we fucking will.
Adrian Bickle (Drums)
1. The latest offering by Loss was a doom highlight of 2011. I didn’t hear anything else that was particularly inspiring in terms of this genre. As far as doom events are concerned – well we live in Australia, doom events of any nature are a rarity.
2. There is no simple answer to this. These days if a person wants to listen to the music of a particular artist free of charge then they will almost certainly be able to find a way. It may not be the highest quality version of the track, it may not be an official digital download but it’ll probably be available somewhere. There are still things that cannot be downloaded: CD booklets, a vinyl release, a shirt, a genuine live experience. Those who truly support a band are still doing so in a monetary capacity and those who listen for free are still a part of the music spreading. And that’s what really matters, audience expansion. I don’t know any band or label that entered the world of extreme metal with the view that it would be funding their retirement. If they did then they entered the wrong business.
3. Basically some people can keep it under control and some people cannot. Some people will have an interesting experience or cognitive revelation and simply leave it at that. Others will end up with some form of dependency and potentially fuck their lives up. It’s an individual thing. I’ve never known a talented person who has benefited long term or improved their skills via ongoing drug taking but I do know various people who have underperformed or wasted their talent as a result of this. It’s their life though, their choice.
4. We don’t have anything specific lined up at this point in time. There is the possibility of additional international shows and we will almost certainly commence work on the next album.
5. It’s just another day. None of this matters.