Crucial Blast Artist - EMIT Interview is up ...
1. So tell us about how the Blackened Electronic Nightmares known as EMIT came to be?
If I must. In the late 1990’s I felt an overwhelming urge to make music with Abruptum (“the Gregorian chant of black metal”, their works thus described by a friend) as a not so distant ancestor. Their “In Umbra…” album was a revelation to me, in all senses of the word. Yet my so-called music was more specifically “English” and haunted by an atmosphere of nature mysticism and the supernatural. A music communicative of my environment. Of course, this wasn’t premeditated and planned, it evolved naturally. I nurtured obsessions, cherished and cultivated experiences and gradually developed a medium perfect for their expression.
After a year or so I had arrived at the beginnings of a sound of my own and had at my disposal an extremely rudimentary means of recording these sounds. Before this I had had no desire to make music at all. IT sowed a seed, and from that seed there grew… Emit. IT Särkkä was to me what Quorthon and Tom G. Warrior were to Fenriz. That’s the story in a rather unflattering nutshell. My focus for the last seven years or so has been Hammemit though, and that’s a somewhat different story.
2. There is such a haunting and unsettling minimalism to all that goes on with the project. Were did the Ideas come from I can here influences from Dark Industrial to Drift to Black Ambient styles all in one track?
I have no idea what Drift is, despite the record label also using this term in describing “Spectre Music…”, nor have I a very concrete conception of what Black Ambient is either (does anyone?). Pray excuse my ignorance. Dark Industrial, or even Industrial per se, I have to say there is very little of influence there also. There is definitely something of a vaguely industrial or mechanical “feel” to certain tracks, but nothing specific.
Emit’s music is very spontaneous in execution and the first track recorded for “Spectre Music…” set the tone for all the others. The idea was to build an anachronistic atmosphere of subtly retro-futuristic apprehensions of the past, of living myth, a cyborgargoyle. A very 1980’s concept indeed.
3. How did Crucial Blast come about being this fright fest of sounds home for the reissue?
Where the particular memory to assist me with this answer should reside, there exists only a hazy mist or perhaps a hopeful void waiting for something of greater interest to fill it.
We started discussing the idea of an Emit release through Crucial Blast at least a couple of years ago. Adam (the overlord of CB) had publicly professed an interest in Emit via the descriptions on his website and stocked such releases as were available. This specific area of noisome and underworldly music is very much his cup of tea, you understand. Probably I noticed this and ventured to propose that Emit actually manifested a CD or something of that kind on his label. And, so it came to pass.
4. WIll we be seeing future releases with Crucial blast or have you moved to other projects?
I’m more than satisfied with the work Crucial Blast have done on my behalf, but I have no plans for anything at the moment. The earliest stage of preparation for a new Hammemit album has begun, but I am far from the point where I would be looking at finding a home for it and I doubt it would sit comfortably on a label with a roster such as CB’s anyway.
5. The Occult and Ritualistic elements are in full force on "Spectre Music of An Antiquary" is there a story behind the album or Just a journey of self expression?
There is no element of self-expression, only an exploration of the local English environs and all that occurred and still occurs there, serving as catalyst for strange moods. Unless you could argue that there exists a correlation between that which exists as a living individual and that which lives outside of that shell of flesh, animate life in all forms, sentient or (believed) otherwise. Indeed I could argue that very strongly, in which case, an expression of such places as I seek to convey to the listener could certainly be construed as “self-expression” of a sort. But far removed from the modern form of narcissistic self-expression, naturally.
6. I hear so much in common with projects like Kerovnian, Aghast, Endvra and Lustre are any of these bands templates for the sound EMIT presents?
Not in any way, shape or form. There doesn’t exist any band or project or any such thing that serves as a template for Emit’s music today. There is nothing “unique” in this world of course, but if according to you those bands share some similarity with Emit, it’s not through any intention on my part but perhaps the result of a similar outlook. I don’t doubt, for instance, that people of a certain disposition may feel something alike when confronted with the kinship between oneself and a landscape or environment, felt in the very blood. I need to emphasise as well, that when I refer to a landscape I speak not only of the visible aspects. The source of my inspiration is largely the intangible essence, as it most likely is for many others, perhaps also the bands you mention, who knows.
7. What is the process to create the sounds and lyrics for EMIT. Is there a focus or is it much more what the live record outcome is mixed to what sound right to you?
It’s a process of moulding the character, spirit, history and possible future of a landscape into sound. To use a phrase of Thomas Hardy’s, Emit (and Hammemit even more so) unearths forgotten “ruins of human song”. The music is crumbling and covered in the moss and lichen of centuries, carelessly maintained or ignored by countless persons long departed, forming the skeletal remains of the music you can hear today. There is nothing new in the creation of Emit’s music, it is literally the voice of the hills, the chalk downs, the streams, the forests and the spirits of those places. The lyrics are another expression of the same.
8. The U.K. has a rich history of bringing Bleak and Sinister sounds to the underground is it the area, climate or just aura of the area that make the music so unique?
I would say that England has. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, not so much. In any case the so-called “United Kingdom” seems of uncertain unity these days, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Really there has been little unity at any time, except in terms of political expediency. The people of these countries have never truly been united. I personally loathe this 18th Century “U.K.” nonsense, we’re separate countries with our own distinct cultures and Emit belongs firmly to an England of a much earlier period and a distant future one. I don’t feel any antipathy towards our neighbours, merely a dislike at being grouped together with them in an arbitrary manner as foreigners are apt to do. I would even go so far as to say many smaller Kingdoms would be preferable, even within the borders of what we now call England, rather than one vast “united” one.
Well to answer your question, England is certainly a country with a melancholy climate and was once the mystic centre of an entire Aeon. It is that inheritance, felt even today through the generations, which seeps out through certain people’s artistic output and is definitely that which Emit taps into. There are memories that refuse to die, memories that refuse to remain in the distant past.
- What are your thoughts on the digital age does it take away from the artist or is it just a tool to get the sounds to those that would have seek it out any way?
It detracts from some of the mystery that could be felt in the pre-internet days, certainly. But those persons who have a genuine aura, charisma and “mysterii” about them still retain that despite everything. I don’t think the “digital age” has had much of a bearing on Emit seeing as I established myself before the advent of all-pervasive social media. People are getting lazier and impatient though. “Lucky” for me I suppose, that record labels, fans and well-wishers take it upon themselves to spread the word about my works, otherwise I would apparently fail to exist in the eyes of most people. Not that I’m bothered, as great periods of public silence will testify.
10. If you could film a video or long form Video of EMIT what would you like to see of it any visuals or message need to be presented?
I could easily make such a thing but the desire for me to do so is non-existent; the music by itself is very visual (as people often tell me). Therefore to detract from that realm of imagination and dream would be a mistake, I think.
Having said that, I did approve of the video made by Pseudo Arcana to promote Hammemit’s “The Ghastliere Morrowe” EP. It was ambiguous and restrained enough to not define a strict interpretation of the music in the mind.
11. I know EMIT is not the only project tell us about the other sounds created?
Yes, I have been involved in a few musical endeavours aside from Emit, Hammemit being the most important. Hammemit works in a similar way to Emit but through different means, more contemplative I would say. I began to concentrate on Hammemit rather than Emit because I found it more expressive of that which I wanted to convey. Everything I’ve written here regarding Emit also applies to Hammemit to some extent, it’s mainly the method of approach that differs. But the key difference between the two is that Emit is concerned with my interpretations of more generalised perceptions shared with others in the form of “folk myth”, whereas Hammemit is a more personal approach, an attempt at describing something that defies words. Only music, in my view, can come close to embodying even something of what can be felt at certain times in certain places. One of my most successful works in connection with this would be “The Trod of the Darklie Faye”.
AnXpm was the tombstone laid over my “metal” past, a necessary burial. Despite what the liner notes of the E.P. may tell you, Emil played guitar on two of the tracks, something that shouldn’t have been too difficult to discern in all honesty. The second track features a melody that was an outtake from Malacht’s “Urkaos” album and is easily recognisable both in composition and playing as emanating from the genius of Emil.
12. What music and books current inspire EMIT and are there any surprises?
Nothing really, for many years music and books haven’t inspired me much at all in the work of Emit or Hammemit. The title of “Spectre Music…” though is derived from a collection of M.R. James stories, as a tribute of a kind. James was one of those scholarly English gentlemen like Tolkien, writing fiction primarily for the amusement of their fellows or family and yet for which they are mainly remembered and known for today.
But as hinted at earlier, I currently lie prostrate before the great Thomas Hardy and listen enraptured to Reverorum ib Malacht.
13. EMIT seem to let the music do the talking is social media not worth the time, again the music will find those that truly need to hear it?
Rather like Oscar Wilde, I tend to want to know everything about new friends and nothing about old ones, thus social media is both a blessing and curse. But I have no social media presence these days, not even a website. I don’t doubt that social media is a valuable tool for promotion and such things, but I find it demeaning to bother. Those likely to appreciate Emit will probably find it by themselves, through some circuitous route or another.
14. Thank you for the time any final thoughts?
Thank you for the interest. To understand something of my local environment from whence spills the blood of my inspiration, you should read The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy and then listen to “Morthwork”. Good bye, fare well and beware the source and progeny of the lore of the folk.