Bindrune Artist Fall of Rauros Interview
1. With several full lengths under your belt as a band tell us a bit about how the band sound has changed over the years and how do you see the 3 full lengths tie into each other?
I guess the primary change in our sound stems from a higher degree of care put into composing each song and writing the majority of the music together in our rehearsal space. It makes quite a difference. Each of us continually explore new and new-to-us music and as long as people keep listening to music and hungrily seeking it out there will be myriad inspirations and evolutions. I'd like to think you can tell it's the same band on each of our full-lengths (although the line-up has rotated) and there's a sort of continuity between each album. I'm not qualified to determine that, I don't think.
2. You have now worked with Bindrune for two albums. How did you come to work with them?
We'd been aware of Bindrune for some time due to the quality releases they had already put out. I'm also pretty sure Marty had "Hail Wind and Hewn Oak" in his distro for a time. After we recorded "The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood" Austin Lunn (of Panopticon, who played drums on the record) put us in touch with Marty and we sent him the unmastered version to hear. We decided to work together and the rest is history.
3. Your sound is a mix of Folk, Prog and Black metal is a similar way bands like Fen, Later Agalloch and October Falls . Do you view this music as a spiritual or emotional outlet or just a love of Nature, Heathenism and Other Realms?
I would say all music is an emotional, spiritual, and cerebral outlet for me (and most music fans I imagine?) but what I find so attractive about the blending of folk and black metal with other styles is the prevalence of a sort of freedom-worship and unfettered beauty that comes along with it. It's obviously a path that's very well trodden but there are swaths of frontier out there as is proven on occasion. Also the lyrics in black metal are a major factor. When I can get behind and possibly understand what a lyricist is being consumed or emboldened by I find that I'm drawn much nearer to that approaching-consummate form. Some artists write lyrics about mathematics or theoretical sciences or satanism and that's fun and has its place but isn't exactly spiritually or emotionally entangling for me.
4. I know the name comes from The Lord of the Rings. For my reader why have these stories played such a role in the bands ideals?
I wouldn't say Tolkien's novel has played a huge role in our personal ideals so-to-speak but the symbolism he employed through descriptions of natural environments I've always thought to be impressive and inspiring. There are a slew of bands out there named after Tolkien's work and that honestly encouraged us to follow in that tradition when we chose a name way back then, nearly 10 years ago now. From Isengard and Burzum to Cirith Ungol and the seemingly dormant Nazgûl...
5. What is a live performance like for Falls of Rauros and how does it differ from the recordings?
We perform live as a quartet so while we try to keep layering down to a minimum on our records we sometimes have to omit parts or rework them for a live setting. Often we'll combine two guitar parts into one and play what we see as the most prominent or necessary melodies and textures. We don't use much of anything in the way of stage props or accessories. Our shows are pretty straightforward. We essentially just try to play well, play energetically, and be relatively faithful to the recorded versions of these songs. Depending on the room we play in and the equipment provided it could sound very different from night to night.
6. Are you fans of the digital age ( social media, blogs and stream media) or is there something lost in the 1 and 0's?
At this point I think we're all so used to the digital age that it's not particularly bothersome. There's a certain nostalgia for when we were young kids and would record songs from the radio onto blank tapes and all that, but it's mostly just that: nostalgia. These days there are innumerable resources and affordable options for recording music and listening to music and I think that's generally beneficial for expressing creative impulses and experiencing them. There's the issue of oversaturation and of demystification which we're all coping with but with each passing year it seems to remain manageable. Music is still powerful and magical and acknowledging that and appreciating that really pays off. Records have made a comeback, tapes are even making a comeback, people still buy CDs and go to shows so I see no massive irretrievable loss in the digital age. But no, becoming obscenely rich on music is probably not something to cross your fingers for these days.
7. If you could make a full length DVD for some of your tracks which ones would it be and how would the DVD look for the band?
All of us are pretty uncomfortable with being filmed so a live DVD is pretty much out of the question for the time being. Music videos more often than not alter my idea of what an artist represents and embodies, and usually for the worse. They are a temperamental and volatile beast that we're hesitant to take a stab at. I can't really imagine a DVD of any sort I guess. It would have to be something aesthetically reinforcing and visually subtle; hopefully tasteful. Actually, I have no idea, but the thought of making a DVD is almost making me cringe so we'll hold off on that for now.
8. There is very much a bond between the fragile and bombastic on your new album "Believe in No Coming Shore." What is the process for creating songs for the band?
We've always come up with a good percentage of guitar parts on acoustics and later played them on electric as-is or adjusted them to be effective on electric guitar. This is especially true of our earlier material. For "Believe in No Coming Shore" we actually had a practice space to rehearse as a full band and a lot of the ideas came together quickly or even spontaneously in a group environment. This resulted in a lot of direct communication and the creation of the record was a collective effort with a very democratic process. Chances are we'll approach our next album in the same way. Each of us bring our own ideas to the table and after that there's never been a reliable or consistent formula for seeing a given song through to conclusion. We just work with what we have.
9. Falls of Rauros, being from Maine, is the more isolationist way of the area helping define the band's style? Are there bands in Maine that you would like to promote or support as it's not a hot bed of Extreme music.
The state of Maine is gorgeous and not excessively populated which is pretty wonderful. Our surroundings here have definitely affected the music we make and continue to influence our development and direction. That's only natural I suppose, whether you live here or in a large metropolitan area. It's hard to entirely disregard and filter out life and where you live it when creating music or any other art. There's not a lot of "extreme" music here in Maine but there is a thriving underground scene, though it's very self-contained and self-perpetuating.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, Butcher Boy is an amazing dark and experimental folk-influenced group from Portland. Absolutely worth checking out. Big Blood is another "folk" group from Maine that is incredible and unique. They've a sizable cult following and have even worked with Michael Gira and Young God at various points. Awesome.
10. What are the members of Falls of Rauros listening to and reading currently? Any surprises?
Just yesterday I finished the essay "Sun & Steel" by Yukio Mishima. It's basically a meditation on the cultivation and worship of art forms (particularly writing) versus the direct and physical world and an attempt to find the meeting point between the two. It's pretty beautiful and raises some interesting points about a society that increasingly permits the deterioration of physical ability and action in favor of a purely cerebral and sheltered existence bolstered by technology.
Musically I've been exploring deeper into the Tindersticks catalog as they have a lot of releases I've slept on over the years. I've been doing the same with Lambchop. I've also been frequenting Roy Montgomery, Peter Wright, Steve Gunn and others. Experimental, typically guitar based composers and that sort of thing. James Blackshaw is always in the rotation and "Piedmont Apocrypha" by Horseback is one of my more listened-to albums this year.
11. If you were not making music are there other creative outlets that members of the band thrive in?
I'm not really sure to be honest. We all focus on music for sure. Maybe if I could go back and retrieve all the time and energy I've spent on music over the years I would have pursued another artistic path, but as it stands I'm not confident in my abilities as a painter or photographer or any sort of visual art. I am very interested in those art forms anyhow and can see myself dabbling in the future but to what degree I'm unsure. I think the same could be said for any of us in the band.
12. Where do you see the sound of the band moving with future releases or is it always a process in the making?
I have no idea the direction our next record will take us in but I assure you it will be somewhat different from "Believe in No Coming Shore" as well as our earlier albums. We're putting that process on hold for the moment but when we begin to write new music it'll work itself out then. There's no premeditation or plan to speak of. I know that we don't want to repeat ourselves and hopefully won't.
13. Thank you for the time and chance to cover one of the more interesting bands out there today. Any closing thoughts here.
Thank you much for the interview and the support you've shown. It really means a lot to us. Until next time..