Dark Sun , Empire Augira, Yak & Musth Interviews
1. Tell a in the US very new to Dark Suns a history lesson in this amazing Prog Doom/Death/Jazz band.
Well, ds started as a doom project late 1997 consisting of just two members (niko and a former guitarist), to record a few songs... maik joined shortly after and a band was founded as things worked out very fine... diverse line up changes over the years, developing in their style of music with growing influences, the former death/doom metalband prefers to be called something like an experimental rockband playing melancholic songs ;)
ds have released three albums so far...
2002 - Swanlike, first self-produced and later distributed through Prophecy
2005 - Existence, first official label record under Prophecy Productions
2008 - Grave Human Genuine, 2nd album under Prophecy Productions
We went on German support tour with Katatonia in 2003, and two times on european tour with Pain Of Salvation in 2005.
2. Your music is amazing and across the spectrum them delicate sung harmonies mix with deep growls, clean and down tune guitars, deep warm bass, strings, flutes and a percussive master. To my ears Opeth, Dan Swano and Porcupine Tree come out a lot in this release. Do you feel the mix of many sounds is what makes this so compelling a release?
Thanks a lot! ;) You're right... though there are albums out there i like a lot where the music is absolutely "one-style" i today prefer or want to get suprised when listening to a full record... there are thousands of bands doing the same album again and again (and this is reality in the so called progressive music scene, too...) ... to be honest I prefer albums nowadays I disliked first... but in a confusing way... when I must get used to something interesting and may overextending my ears the first listen ;)
3. I’ve read this is your 3rd release - are the others very different to Grave Human Genuine?
We think they are a lot. "Swanlike" was a melancholic deathmetal album with some acoustic guitars and growls... opethish or "scandinavish"... we were still on our way to find OUR style... "Existence" got the proggy, rock influences with lust for some "unstraightness" and odd time signatures and we got sick of using the growls as they just did not fit to the music...
"Grave Human Genuine" is our most up to date musical statement that the band has developed a lot and does not give a shit on cliches... Everything on the record came out by heart - that probably is the one and only guide when we are composing... Of course, we wanted to write real songs... btw, we have never used so less single parts in our songs... we experimented in variation, variation, variation... f.e. "Amphibian Halo": Just one single riff, one rhythm... "... "Rapid Eyes Moment": two parts, one measure..."Free of You": one measure the whole song... you know what I mean? ;) ... One could say, we wanted to do it the other way to "Existence", where the songs were full of different parts, harmonies, vocal lines,... Hmm, I don't know what will happen on the next one!
4. Your signed with Sensory Records for North America how did that come about. In Europe you’re on Prophecy Productions one of best Indie labels period are you happy with all both labels are doing so far.
Our contact to Sensory hast just begun, but we are very happy that our records are available in North America now... I had one telephone call to Ken so far, seems to be a real nice guy...we will see what happens next... Prophecy indeed is a quite cool label with a nice "line-up" :) They support us in the best possible way and without them we never could have realized the tour with POS...
5. What is a live Dark Suns show like? There are so many ethno element to the music as well I wonder how hard it is to replicate the sound live too.
Hmm, do you think there are so "much" ethnosounds on the record? Anyway, we work with no clicktracks or music from tape... only the elctronic drums on "Amphibian Halo" are not played by ourselves.... we have some session musicians to do percussions f.e., the "rest" is done by the keyboarder...
Dark Suns live are very powerful, there is no show or something special, we love to play our songs and to communicate with each other on stage... very funny sometimes... the songs kick ass onstage ;)!
6. Your video for "The Chameleon Conflict" is one of the most enjoyable and unusual videos I’ve seen in a long time has a very confusing feeling to it. Will this be only on the website or will video channels and shows like HeadBangers Ball give it a shot?
Ken is free to do what he wants with the video!!! Meanwhile we have some good clicks from youtube, but I don't know if it will appear on TV ever..
7. Do you feel in this day and age that the digital media format is very important such as Myspace, Mp3's, Webzine, Internet and Satellite radio or is traditional media still the way of world? Do you see a day in the near future where Cd's will be a media no longer supported?
Yes, that will happen, I'm sure... in 5-10 years the cd will disappear as a media format... of course, for the bands it will get harder and harder to earn some money with sales... it's a pity but that is reality. The focus will be on download-platforms, Dazzer, LastFM and stuff like that...
8. How does Dark Suns create releases is it all written in studio or is there more of a long practice time where new songs are fleshed out and then brought into record?
It's quite traditional I would say... collecting ideas while rehearsing and jamming around...the full arrangements ared one later when we record demoversions, trying out sounds, pads, percussion elements...
"Grave Human Genuine" was a bit special and was born on the PC mostly as we had no time to reherase as a complete band, as we were (and still is) no complete band. I did the bass (Kristoffer later did his great tunes in his homestudio in The Netherlands) and we arranged the keys together, played the percussions for ourselves and just got "help" with the strings by a chamber quartet...
9. Does the words Metal Band offend the band as I know your more then that? Or does the Metal music scene find you to non metal to support you? Just wondering, as Sensory is one of the bigger Prog Metal labels in US with Insideout and Magna Carta.
No, I would not say so... I think we have our feet in both "scenes" and it is always a bit difficult when there are problems to peg a band as this or that...
10. Is there a running theme on Grave Human Genuine?
No, every song deals with it's own topics. The lyrics appear as a garment out of longing and melancholy. They're facing the appeal to get a grip of oneself. You can see them as a kind of an alarm call for the subconscious. They rise to the occasion to escape from the narrow-minded lie which is about having to accept your world as it is; because stagnation means resignation, resignation means rather death!
Furthermore they transport a more personal note than ever. They are accusation, image, appeal and perspective; somehow an identity in motion.
11. The artwork is stunning as well - does that play into the music’s story line too?
Yes, watch the collages next to the lyrics... it obviously refers to it.
12. If the band could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Wow, difficult... I would love to do something with Robin Staps from The Ocean, a great German band doing highly emotional music... But, and i know that will never happen :) ... jam around with Robert Fripp or Adrian Belew... I'd die for respect ;)... I could also imagine to do something with "electronic gods" like the Massive Attack guys (or guy meanwhile? don't know...)...but: dreams are dreams *g*....
13. Your Website site is more just a portal to other sites was this done for a reason or is myspace site your main focus on internet now?
Relaunch date is set to 28nd of July...
14. Will we see you performing in USA in 2008 as I would not want to miss it?
We would love to play everywhere... it is not so easy to realise a show in North America from Germany... maybe in 2009 we can pass the ocean for some gigs in your country...
15. Thank you for your time and any closing thoughts please place here.
Hmm, peace and love is a bit too naive, isn't it? ;)
so... always keep the passion alive, in everything you're doing!!
1. Tell us for those new to Empire Auriga how did the project come about
Empire Auriga started with a much more industrial vibe in mind. Black
metal is always at the core of my musical influence and surely it
would have some black metal vibes. We started to move it in a
Dodheimsgard 666 direction, but soon found that a more droning and
deathly sound could better conjure the depths of space into sound.
2. There is such a mix of Martial industrial , Ambient and Blackened
elements are you fans of bands like Blood Axis, Der Blutharsch or MZ 412 as
you have strong influence of all 3 mixed.
Truthly, I have only heard Blood Axis and Der Blutharsch a couple
times and it was years ago. I remember it as worthwhile music but
have never been able to pursue it as such. Our musical influence
comes much more from black metal and ambient sounds combined.
3. Would you even call Empire Auriga Black metal I feel you go way beyond
Again, black metal is certainly a large influence and probably our
largest influence, but ambient music as well as a number of science
fiction books and movies help to give form to our sounds. So, no, we
are not necessarily black metal but then, what is?
4. I love the very millatristic percussion and sirens in the tracks. The
moods are what make Empire Auriga so interesting.
The celestial realm of Empire Auriga which our music tries to give
life to is a place of destitute politics and war. The lyrics are
generally apolitical because political music has no substance behind
it-- much like politics itself, but it is hoped that the sounds can
convey the feelings of unrest and revolt which have brewed into the
Empire for millennium on end.
5. You have been around for a while how did you come to sign with
Wonderful Moribund Cult a label that is much more in tune with Death and
Raw Black metal.
Moribund expressed an interest in us a couple years ago but we were
locked into a contract with another label. The previous label did not
work out and we were forced into waiting until our contract expired
and we could move to Moribund.
6. The Black metal elements are much for akin to Burzum, Xasthur,Velvet
Cacoon and Krieg to my ear are you like to use sound of despair in the very
over effected vocals and way guitars ebb and flow.
I always hated over effected vocals until Burzum and Arckanum were
able to do them with a chilling and wonderful result. With this in
mind, Empire Auriga sought to give vocals to an empire that exists
only in a world which is near to beyond the limits of space and time
that mankind can even imagine. As such, the vocals would surely be
distorted by the void of space.
7. Does Empire Auriga perform live or is this just a studio project
We are studio only. Live would detract from the inhuman feel that we
try to purvey.
8. Would I be out of like to say that you have a strong love for the drone
style too as There are moments a swear there are Earth ,SunnO))), Troum
The very idea of drone music is wonderful because it is meant to
induce a feeling and a mood which you would not normally be in without
the music-- in fact may not even be capable of without some form of
musical or visual
stimulus. The term "drone music" inevitably
reminds me of the Werner Herzog movie "Heart of Glass" in which he
supposedly hypnotized all the actors. Whether or not that is true or
even possible, the movie is like drone put to pictures and induces a
mood otherwise not possible. This is the hope with Empire Auriga and
if that aligns it with the above mentioned bands, then so be it.
9. Being from Michigan is that a hard place to get known or to spread the
word of what Empire Auriga is creating
There is an excellent scene in Mid-Michigan right now which largely
revolves around blackened thrash metal. Bands like WASTELANDER,
SAURON, and HARBINGER lead the way there while there are other great
projects such as ELSEWHERE, HORDES, and EUNICE SLEMBERT, who pick up
the slack for the not-as-thrash side of things. All told, it is
excellent as far as having a creative atmosphere propelled by like
minded people. As per getting "known"... it seems not to have any
bearing on anything. The internet connects the world and everybody
seems to be "known" today. It doesn't matter much. I'm happy to see
a label as great as Moribund take an interest in us, but it was
unexpected and we will remain grateful as long as somebody is willing
to print materials for us to create on.
10. Does early Empire Auriga material sound very different from the New
material on Moribund.
The early Empire Auriga material is what Moribund has released. What
materials we had before Auriga Dying were all scrapped.
11. Whats your thoughts on the digital age of music and promotion of the
underground scene are you a fan or do you miss the old tape trading, print
zines and radio days.
The more good music that can be made available to myself the happier I
am. Really, the digital world has allowed there to be more and more
crap that you have to sift through to find the good stuff. But it has
also made that good stuff more accessible. It is a fair trade.
12. The more I dig into Dying Auriga the more I hear the heartbeat of the
old Cold Meat sound bands like In Slaughter Natives, Sephiroth and Sanctum.
You all must fan of the old Dark Industrial movements in Sweden back in the
I was a fan of some of this stuff around the year 2000 give or take a
couple years, but I really lost interest in it as time moved on. I
suppose it gave way to interests in other ambient forms.
13. What this the theme of Empire Auriga ??? What is the message you want
to present to the world.
It is that of an empire beyond all time and thought of modern human
recognition. It is an empire that has been strangled by the madness
of religion and religious rule. It is the story of the awakening,
uprising, and revolt of a people who come to scorn their mass
14. Your Website and Myspace page are both rather minimal with no images
of members . Is there done on purpose or just knowing who the members are is
not as important as the whole.
Music with extreme moods of drone and void are best listened to with
no connection to humans and earthly things.
15. If Empire Auriga could collab with any artist who would it be and
Film director Alejandro Jodorowsky. It would be difficult to put
other musical entities along side our own and not just naturally judge
it until our own music feels either inferior or superior and that
would detract from the musical value of both projects. Film, however,
could give a new outlook and perspective on our music by adding an
outlet which we are otherwise incapable of rendering ourselves. And
Jodorowsky is a king.
16. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here.
Think for yourselves!!!
1.How did Yak come to be give us a history lesson.
We didn’t come to give nothing except our “iron candies”, and in those candies there’s nothing about history, only the fucking present!
2. Your on OTO Records a label ive not heard of how did you sign with them.
Oto Record is a small independent label which is growing fast here in Italy. The situation is very simple: OTO Record believe to us and we sign with them, nothing more. We hope this merge will be a reality also to the other side of the ocean.
3. You music is such an odd mix of Avant, Noise, Metal, Jazz , Hiphop and Pop music . how are the live shows , do you find it hard get person on shows with like minded artists
First of all, in the YAK’s live shows, there is a great sound impact ”Pure Violence”, difficult to record on a CD. The Yak is a heavy animal and it moves only in flock. Then, can you image 5 sweating yaks that beat and jump on the stage? they are very difficult to manage!! So this kind of show draws a lot of attentions and the yak’s family like the national geographics’s spectators grows day by day to see this violent flock run by the cities. We don’t know if there are minded artists inside, but we can say that every show we talk about our music with a lot of “curious”, it ‘s a nice thing.
4. Aural Music seems to be distroing the CD they are parent of the amazing Code666 are you happy with distro so far.
Iron Flavoured Candies will be out on the second of june and this is the only important thing. Certainly we are happy to be distributed so far.
5. ' Iron Flavored Candies' is such an odd release have you read anything in a review that shocked or upset you?
Yes, many webzine said that iron flavoured candies is a low… but
We aren’t upset because if we were it you should have some collaborator less (ahahaha!)
However, every metal/death/core album need more than one listening and we are conscious that Iron flavoured candies is a strange album for the music in general e this aspect make we proud.
6. what bands influenced YAK's Sounds
We are influenced by all the situations lived and every listening, there isn’t any model to follow... simply we try to take inspiration from the time we are living. Anyway we listen a very large range of different music styles and artists, so the inspiration could be retrieved by anything, anytime and anyway.
7. What your thoughts on the digital age are you for digital releases, Myspace, webzine or do you miss Radio, Print zines and a full lp in the days of old
today everyone could produce, propose and distro a CD using the digital age’s technology, so out is the music caos… webzine have big quantity of reviews to do in a few time and the people could have gigabyte of music in a day, but not the time to listen it at all!!! The qualities of the sound productions are going low , but in a moment you can reach kilometers that you can’t in a lifelong… the life’s duality is here in like everything… Yak is served by use this technologies because now are necessary but we can say that Iron Flavoured Candies is recorded and produced without disrespectful editing and mastering. Today the most of productions are standard, fully of compressions made for the “crazy volume’s war” We join now to the digital age, in the u.s.a. we should agree with the “Less Volume” movement.
8. How does Yak creat the music in a studio is it a group effort or do you work on music 1st of lyrics???
Every yak’s tracks is a vision. Have you ever sing the soundtrack about what you are seeing and listening, walking into the street of your city?
This is an usual idea for a track. And by this way every track has a different taste…
9. Being on a smaller label do you have any real North American push or is just Aural music pushing it here
Our Sicilian friends said that we will play everywhere in U.S.A. but they are talking only about “Pizzerias”!! And also they continue to saying that before the travel, into the instruments cases they’ll must put in “something”!!!
10. Will you be touring on this CD and if so with who?
We are presenting the album in many show cases here in Italy for the moment. The most interesting show we are waiting for, is with THE LOCUST the 28th of Augus. Anyway it's better you stay tuned on our myspace, 'cause many show will be published soon.
11. You seem to have only a myspace page will YAK have an official website in 2008?
As we told you before, new technologies age brings some constraints. Nowaday, all that a band needs, can be made with myspace. Websites, the last shape of 'expression of identity' left, has been devoured by myspace standards, absolutely anonymous but perfectly functional. GO! MYSPACE GO!
12. is there a story on ' Iron Flavored Candies' or just a collection of very creative tracks
It's a collection of visions. The only link is the 'anger', sometimes suffocated and many other times so clearly pure. The anger could make crazy........'SLEEP INTO THE FIRE 10 TONKPILLS IS YOUR DESIRE'
13. If YAK could collab with any artist or band who would it be and why?
THE ONE, THE LAST, THE ONLY........THE MAN....MIKE PATTON!!!
14. What does the future hold musicially. With Yaks sound change or stay were its at.
Music changes continuosly and as you know, there are many artists which try newvanguard solutions and situations every day. But let we make a question to you:'how many people are ready to listen?'
15. thank you for the time any closing thoughts here
You are one of those Clint.....Thank you so and so much for the interview. We hope to meet you in the States asap.
1. Tell me how Musth came to be?
Musth have been playing with the current line-up for about 2 and a half years now. The time before we got together isn’t really interesting to hear about. Cause it was then the “magic” started happening. Coincidences played a huge part in how we found each other. Originally we are from all over the country. Luckily we all where in Oslo (Norway’s capital) for some reason, and all with a general idea about what was missing in the Norwegian music scene. The reason to stay in Oslo soon became Musth. Its safe to say that Musth would never have been what it is today if any of the members had been absence.
2. If someone were to ask what Musth sounds like, how would the band explain it?
Schitzo metal is the genre, but that doesn’t really explain it. We can probably say we sound like everything else, but as we mix it in the goddamn Musth blender, we don’t sound like anything anymore. I am sure you can sit down and mention thousands of bands we could be inspired by and you would probably be right about most of them. That’s Musth!! Like it or notJ
3. I can see Musth plays live. How is it like? It looks very visual.
Musth is all about playing live. You can listen to our music as much as you want but you haven’t experienced us before you have seen us live. We make the music to be performed live and then make studio versions. A lot of bands do it the other way around. This makes the sound genuine when we perform it. It sounds the way we intended it to do when we made it.
But the keyword in our live shows is energy. Pure fucking metal energy. We belong on a stage. So if you like the music, keep your eyes open and maybe you will have the chance to see us one day. We would love to come to North America and rip some stages apart.
4. Your music covers so many styles. Is it hard to find bands to perform with?
On the contrary. It makes it easier. The width in our music enables us to play with lots of different bands in different genres. All that matters is that the people we play with are guys we can relate to and have a ball with.
5. What are the reaction crowds give you when you play live?
It’s always great. I think people can see that we are having fun on stage and get caught by that motion. And our live shows are very visual as well. So even if you’re not a metal fan, you can still get something out of it.
6. What is the hardest thing about being an unsigned band?
Not having the network a record label can help you with. And the fact that we have to do most of the work our self. Like promotion, management and booking. It gives us less time to focus on making music. But the positive thing is that we learn a lot.
7. What’s your thought on the digital age? Myspace, MP3s, Webzine and digital sales.
We are not crying over the fact that maybe Metallica, Madonna or one of the other huge artists are loosing money because people download music on internet. They will probably
manage with the rest of their income. To bad if they have to wait a month before building their fifth mansion. But the fact that it gives thousands of bands the opportunity to show their music to people around the world is fantastic. It takes away borders and unites people.
And that’s what music is all about. (What it should be about at least).
Do you think you still need a label to get the music out into the world?
No, but it makes the job a lot easier. With hard work everything is possible. But as I mentioned earlier it leaves less time for making music. And that’s really why we play in a band. To create something.
9. If there was one label you want to sign with, which is it and why?
For us it’s important to be signed on a label that believes in us and lets us create the music that we want to make. The name of the company that lets us do that really doesn’t matter.
10. Is there a running theme or statement in the music you are trying to project?
I guess you think of the lyrics when you ask this question. Even if we touch religious and political themes in our songs, we don’t consider us an especially political or religious band. The meanings are our own, and we are not trying too push them on any of our listeners.
11. The name Musth is very interesting. Tell us in North America what it means and why you chose it.
Musth is a Hindu word meaning madness. It’s also a period in the bull elephant’s life which really doesn’t make any sense. Check it out in wikipedia. It’s funny as hell, and kind of we can relate to the loss of control they experience. Just that we are Human bulls. He he
12. As I am sure this is the 1st time you get any real press in the North America what do you want to say to the people out there?
Yes it is our first interview to be released in North America. We are very grateful for the attention we are getting. “Hope you guys in N-A is ready for us when we come. It’s going to be one hell of a party so hope you are up for it. And check out our music and leaves us a message. Guaranteed feedback. And who knows. Maybe we will send you a promo cd if you like the music. See you guys soon”- MUSTH
13. Your Myspace is very “over the top”. Do you feel this is what’s needed to get noticed these days?
Thank you. A Myspace page is often where you get the first impression of the band. Many drop by a page and if it looks crap, they don’t check out the music. And that’s sad for the band in case they play good music. So we try to keep it updated and visual. And with all the bands out there it’s important not to disappear in the crowd.
14. Are there any other struggling bands not signed or on small indie labels you want to give some support to?
There are tons of up and coming bands in Norway now that plays kick ass music. Worth mentioning is “When smoke sets” (western hardcore) which we have played with at several occasions. Great music, great people and great drinkers. “Miksha” (Industrial metal) from as far north as its possible getting in Norway. And they sound like they have been fighting polar bears all their life. With other words, brutal and worth checking out.
And last we want to mention “Amira”. Talented musicians that got the skill and originality to make it in the music industry. All the best of luck to all of you from Musth. (we love youJ )
15. Thank you for your time. Any closing thoughts you want people to know of?
To all our fans and people that support us in any way, even if is just listening to our music or dropping of a nice comment, we really appreciate it and we will make it worth your while by making more fucked up music that you can listen to. Greetings from Norway and MUSTH!!!