Closed Casket Recordings Immortal Bird Interview is up

1. For us new to the crust infused Doom/Death elements of Immortal Bird tell us how this project came to be?

This was a project I’d been thinking about starting for awhile, but the timing/personnel was never in the right place until I moved to Chicago last year. I asked my immensely talented multi-instrumentalist friend Evan Berry if he would help me bring my ideas to light, and he agreed. Then we found John Picillo to handle bass and Garry Naples to take over live drumming, and the rest is (recent) history!

2. Rae you have a killer set of pipes . You also did the drums on the EP as well. Live, it seems you have a drummer. Does it add a better dynamic?

Thank you! Having Garry helps with our live dynamic for a number of reasons. He’s got an incredible handle on our material, he’s a consummate professional, and he's a blast to be in a band with. With him behind the kit, I can focus on my vocal performances without worrying about how I can deliver lines while slamming away at the kit. We played a show without him last January where I was handling both duties, and it was certainly an interesting experience! It went really well, but for now, I prefer sticking to vocals live. 

3. Closed Casket Recordings. Is this your own indie label? I see you’re using Bandcamp to sell your releases as well. Is DIY the best way to release music in 2013?

Closed Casket Recordings is part of the ‘Closed Casket’ collective I established with two friends, Meg Dolan and Tim Thompson. Immortal Bird is the first band to release music from the label. Meg handled our photos, CD packaging/layout, logo/t-shirt art rendering, and a bunch of other components. Tim is our ‘resident’ artist, and he designed our “Spitting Teeth” t-shirt (which you can buy on our Bandcamp!)

4. How did you hook up with Earsplit PR? They are a power house for promotion for extreme underground movements.

I asked, and they (more specifically, Liz Ciavarella-Brenner) delivered! I’m really glad we’ve been working with them – scoring that Decibel album stream when ‘Akrasia’ came out was hugely helpful, among other cool opportunities that have come our way due to Earsplit’s promotion of the band.

5. Is there a running theme for Akrasia? Or just a collection of powerful, blistering tracks?

‘Akrasia’ is mostly focused on its title – acts of akrasia – but it’s not a narrative or a “concept” album as much as four tracks filled with a lot of rage. Calling it a collection of “powerful, blistering tracks” is a very nice way of putting it!

6. The songs are so good, why a 4 song EP and not a full length?

Thank you! This is a very new band. We started writing about a year ago and I wanted to put something out as soon as we could without sacrificing the quality of the music. It was something that felt very time-sensitive to me, and there was a sense of urgency while we were creating the music that was sort of inexplicable but highly present. Four songs just seemed to make sense when it came down to our ‘timeline’, and we wanted to do an ‘all killer, no filler’ release. An EP was the best course of action!

7. If you could make a video for any track on the EP, which one would it be and why?

I’m not sure! Most likely, “Spitting Teeth” or “The Pseudoscientist”. “Spitting Teeth” was the first song we wrote, and I think it has a lot of visceral imagery that would be brought to life by adding more visual components. Who knows, maybe we’ll put something together!

8. You’re part of a rich Chicago music heritage. Do you feel this has anything to do with your sound as Hardcore, Noise, Metal and Punk seem to blend in many Chicago artists?

Chicago is still a new place for me, I’ve only been living here for a year and a half. There are a TON of incredible bands in this city, that’s for sure, and I’ve definitely taken notice. But as far as the Chicago metal scene influencing our sound is concerned, I’m not sure if it has. I don’t know if I deserve to call myself a part of Chicago’s rich musical heritage just yet! I’m still learning about everything this ‘scene’ has to offer, and it’s been exciting, impressive, and even a bit daunting at times.

9. What are the members of Immortal Bird currently listening to? Anything shocking or anything we should know about?

We’ve actually been listening to a lot of the bands we’ll be playing with on our upcoming tour (February 28-March 10, check for details): Mortals, Zevious, Trials, Occultist, Obsidian Tongue are a few we’re stoked to share the stage with. Listen to them all!

10. I know some call you Black metal but I hear more Crust, Doom and Noise then Black metal. Would you say those are in the heart of your works?

I’m sure almost every band says this, but we’re not ‘going for’ any specific genre. Our writing style is a bit unconventional and Evan and I listen to a lot of very different music from one another. It’s ended up having a distinctly black metal vibe but I agree that there’s some crusty noise elements going on that we didn’t necessarily anticipate when we were writing. But we’re into it! And we like throwing d-beats and grindy/hardcore stuff into our songs when the mood strikes. I’ve heard a few publications throw the ‘doom’ genre tag around, and that’s the only one I don’t fully understand or agree with. I don’t find it insulting or anything, I just don’t quite get how it’s applicable to our tunes thus far.

11. If there was one song you could cover, what would it be, and the reason behind it?

We’ve actually been discussing this at Immortal Bird HQ recently, so I won’t divulge what that song would be. Hopefully we'll include it as a bonus track on our next album. I’d personally like to cover something by Current 93, probably "A Silence Song". There's so much potential there for alternate arrangements and varying takes on the original material. Maybe we'll have to do that, too. 

12. Are you fans of digital age or is it a necessary evil today? Do you feel it allows many basement bands to cloud the music horizon?

Hopefully I can say this without sounding like a millennial dipshit, but we’re all under thirty in this band, and the ‘digital age’ is basically what we’ve grown up with. Soundcloud, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…’institutions’ like that in some form or another have almost always been ‘present’ while we’ve been in bands. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan but I also don’t view it as an ‘evil’. There have always been shitty bands getting famous for bogus reasons. Nowadays, there can be a tangible social media component that’s responsible. But ultimately, I think that bands who utilize social media and digital marketing are able to connect with more people and become accessible to wider audiences. The departure from the classic ‘get signed, put out a record, get famous’ roadmap that used to be the prevalent path to success didn't happen overnight, it was a long time coming. This is especially true of metal bands. It's more common for bands in this genre to establish cult followings that can sustain them through recording/touring cycles, even if they never receive any semblance of 'mainstream' attention or acclaim. 

Thanks so much for interviewing us – We’re just going to keep writing, recording, and touring until we implode or kill each other.