Michael Ventura: Thank you for doing this interview with Doommantia! How are things?
Ryan Henry: It's my pleasure to speak with you. As for "things," I'm getting by.
MV: You had a few demos and one proper album with Necare, why didn't you release more & did you have any additional material written for Necare before its end?
RH: This is a hard question. I think G.C. and I put so much time and attention into Ruin that we hit a brick wall in terms of creativity. I can't speak for G.C., but I felt that we had taken Necare as far as it could go. We got some good press, but the bad press we got for Ruin was all about how we 'weren't breaking any new ground.' For fuck's sake, that was never our intention to begin with. We were paying tribute to the doom/death bands we love. You know, we wanted to tap into those inscrutable feelings we had when we both heard Anathema and Saturnus for the first time. I don't know if we accomplished that, but at least we gave it a shot. The only thing that never got released to the public was a cover we recorded of Saturnus' "Christ Goodbye," namely because we didn't want to get sued. Aside from Jhon Ackerman (our producer/ sound engineer), the only other person who heard the cover was Chris Molinari from Evoken/Divine Silence.
MV: Necare has been described by some to be in the same vein as early Anathema, was this intentional?
RH: Very much so. Both G.C. and I are fans of their early material. I think his favorite album is Silent Enigma, while mine is a toss-up between Serenades + Crestfallen (the version with All Faith is Lost) and Pentecost III. Out of the Peaceville Three, we found Anathema's early material to be the most morose and flat-out heart-wrenching music on the planet. Hell yeah, I wanted to make doom like that. Funny thing, though. I listen back to Necare and I hear no Anathema in any of it. I don't think it's even in the same universe of quality as the early Anathema albums I mentioned.
RH: Thanks for the compliment on Reclusiam. I am not planning any new material at present. I am actually on a medication that causes neuropathy in my hands as a side effect. Playing my guitar, bass, or keyboard is painful. I'm not as strong at fretting anymore. I can still play, but I won't put out any music that's half-assed. What I am plannin, though, is a re-release of the Reclusiam album with new art and liner notes. I'm seriously thinking about pitching it to smaller labels, although I burned a few bridges when labels offered support years ago and I turned them down. At the time, I wanted everyone to hear the music, and I wanted complete control over my creation. That has not changed. But I would not be averse to label support if it meant more people could hear Reclusiam. At present, the album is free for download at Reclusiam.Com.
MV: Have any of these bands played live?
RH: No. I had an idea for a live show for Necare that would be performed by candlelight only. You know as well as I do that kind of shit would never be allowed in any metal venue. An old chapel, maybe.
MV: What inspired you to go from Doom/Death to Funeral?
RH: Hard to say. I took Reclusiam on as a personal challenge. I wanted to record something extremely heavy and slow, without the poetic lyrics of Necare. I was also listening to way too much Skepticism and thought I could pull something off that tapped into that vibe. That didn't really happen. Reclusiam usually gets compared to Shape of Despair's "Angels of Distress," which is probably my favorite funeral doom album of all time. I guess it made an impression on me.
MV: Have you been working on anything musical since the release of the Reclusiam CD?
RH: I've been using my computer, some VST plug-ins, and my keyboard to create dark electro/industrial. Music in the vein of early :Wumpscut: and Velvet Acid Christ. I doubt that will ever see the light of day. I just do it to keep busy, and it's easier on my hands than guitar and bass these days.
MV: I know you wrote a book recently, tell us about it.
RH: It's called Omega Zero and it's a character-driven story about two plague survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. Yet it has a Twilight Zone ending, so nothing is really what it seems. It's been edited and is in the "beta read" phase right now. I plan to offer it as a cheap eBook once I'm satisfied with the final manuscript. As with Reclusiam, it's not about making money. Just creating art for art's sake.
MV: What are some of your interests outside of music?
RH: I read a lot of books on WWII. I'm interested in all aspects of that conflict -- especially the war on the Eastern Front. I am a horror, sci-fi, and war movie fanatic. Whenever I have down time, I'm usually watching something from one of those genres. And I'm an unrepentant comic book geek and tabletop gamer.
MV: What is your ideal gig line up?
RH: If I could get a handful of musicians together to play a live Reclusiam gig, I'd want us to be the opening act for Evoken. That would flat-out kill.
MV: Is there anything you'd like to say to the Doomed masses?
RH: At the end of the day, we're all doomsters -- listening to bands that trace lineage back to a handful of riffs played by Tony Iommi. It's hard enough to get outsiders to understand why we like the music we like. So there's no need to play the "true versus false" game. That was a real problem a decade ago. I hope all of that is over with.
MV: Thanks again for doing this interview with us.
RH: No problem. Doom or be doomed!
Interview By Michael Ventura
Necare | Official Site