Saturday, August 5, 2017

At Dusk Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?

While this has always been a recording project done in solitude, there have been moments in its history in which a live lineup has materialized.  I'm currently working with a new set of coconspirators to make the live band materialize again soon.

2.How would you describe the musical sound of the most recent material?

More anger, more viscera.  My music has always reflected my own depressive states, and my personality is such that negativity turns inward.  I feel most At Dusk music expresses that theme by being more droning, mid-paced, and reflective.  The most recent material finally directs the negativity outward, and it's reflected in a much more aggressive sound.

3.Your lyrics deal a lot with Nature Worship, can you tell us what kind of spiritual meaning this has to you?

For the most part, my lyrics attempt to describe painful inner states and neuroses. The state of nature (and the state of musical creation) are the only places where those demons subside.  I find the most peace and inspiration among the trees.  It's not much more complicated than that.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'At Dusk'?

The short version is this: I was inspired by the Emperor album "Anthems to the Welkins at Dusk" when I was a teenager just learning about the dark underground and beginning these workings in secret.

5.On the studio albums you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians on the recordings or do you prefer to work solo?

At Dusk is my own catharsis.  It's difficult to imagine having anyone else contribute anything that wasn't of my own invention.  The closest I've had to this is the live album, and a single sample on Anhedonia in which I recorded a female friend of mine enunciating the phrase: "Sometimes I feel like I'm in a cage."  I had been to the local zoo with this person, which was and still is a foul and pathetic place that terribly mishandles their animal tenants, when she had said this to me and it sounded very appropriate.  So I suppose I may use the spoken words of acquaintances as samples, or possibly even a female vocalist at some point as that is a task I cannot complete myself, but beyond that, I don't work well with others in the composition and recording phase.

6.What are some of the best shows that the live line up has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Every live performance has been well-received.  We always put some effort into creating the appropriate atmosphere, with incense, candles, corpsepaint and the like.  Possibly my favorite so far was performing with Lluvia (then known as "The Rain In Endless Fall") at the top of a mountain in the woods locally.  It took a lot of effort to make it happen but the forest shows are always the best and most appropriate setting for this.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

The current live lineup is rehearsed and a few irons are in the fire for some California events. I can't say more beyond that as of yet, unfortunately.

8.Recently you where a part of a split with 'Sacerdos', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?

We live in a small rural coastal area of California about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, so the dark underground here is often nigh unto nothing.  Whenever I learn of another bedroom black metal project besides myself in the area I am immediately intrigued.  This is what led to my older split cassette with Procer Veneficus, and it is also what led to doing a split cassette with Sacerdos.  It is very honest and intellectual music and I think the track he contributed to this release is outstanding.

9.The ep was released on 'Pacific Threnodies', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Pacific Threnodies is obviously very new.  As the name suggests, it is focused on materializing the few high quality dark and extreme bands that are found in our local vicinity. I look forward to seeing more releases revealed and having these otherwise geographically obscure acts see the light of day.  I think California central coast heavy music has a number of idiosyncratic qualities drawing from common inspiration.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

Very early on I was surprised to see my first split CD (with a band called Idolater) being shared heavily on Russian and eastern-bloc European blogs.  I have always loved receiving trades and correspondence with fans around the world, who communicate in an English that is broken but impassioned and earnest.  I had the pleasure of working with a Slovakian act called Korium thanks to this reputation, and have also done limited releases through Serbian and Russian labels.

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

My current lineup shares a drummer with Nan Elmoth (who you may remember just had their full length released by PT last month) and our bass player has been collaborating with Sacerdos for a new traditional black metal project, called Ossomancer. I'm very excited to see what they do with that.

I personally make (industrial, neofolk, dark ambient, other metal) music under a number of other names that I prefer to keep separate as much as I can.

12.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The next full-length will come eventually.  The problem with good "depressive" black metal is that real clinical depression makes it very hard to work, and when you're actually ok and can get out of bed to do things, the music is shit.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Early on, Burzum, Xasthur, Leviathan, and Make a Change...Kill Yourself were my primary musical influences.  Lately I'm enjoying listening to Plasma Pool, digging through the Current 93 discography again, getting lost in the immense atmospheres of Earth & Pillars, Battle Dagorath, and the like... It's always tough to answer these kinds of questions.  I most frequently find myself revisiting Paysage d'Hiver and My Dying Bride when I'm not wading through the extravagant morass of new black metal albums I keep downloading.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?

Literature, especially English Romanticism and WWI poets and esotericists such as Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, W.B. Yeats, Vera Britain... I recently played through the Dark Souls series of games, which have a uniquely dark atmosphere and environmental storytelling that worked well for me. I'm also interested in finding the best natural swimming hole, in my partner's small daemonic black dog, and in fine Scotch whiskey.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you for contacting me for this interview.  I hope these answers are satisfactory.

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