lunes, 26 de agosto de 2013

ASTRAL WINTER - ENTREVISTA

Good afternoon, how is everything in Launceston?, Thank you very much for agreeing to answer these questions.
Good afternoon, hows Launceston? Nearly the end of winter here and it's pretty damn cold. Has actually been raining/storming here a bit and alot of areas are flooded.Gonna go check out one of these areas soon.

1. How and why did you decided to start a band like Astral Winter? What does Astral Winter offer over other projects in which it participates?
I had a band with a few friends which I used to write the majority of the music for. So when that band ended I decided I wanted to keep writing musicand just handle everything myself. I wanted to really push myself in the writing process so I wanted to add alot of acoustic guitars, strings and keyboards etc..
Which is all instruments I was very unfamilliar with at the time I started.I'd like to think Astral Winter has its own unique sound to offer. 

2. Right now you are the only member of the band, but at times you have collobarated with other musicans, was it raised at the outset that Astral Winter would be your band? Are you open to incorporating other musicians in the future, or maintain the project this structure?
When I started out I wasn't able to do vocals. So I was always knew eventually I was going to need to seek out a vocalist.Luckily after uploading a demo I recorded Phil (vocalist of the Illustrations Of Death demo) send me a message offering to do vocals.We didn't know each before this and luckily he only lived about 5 minutes away from me. I didn't really know anyone else who was into the same type of musicas me around Launceston, so it worked out really well.
For the album (Winter Enthroned) I wanted to add some guest musicians just to add something different to the album.I just asked a few people I knew/met through my music and they were all keen to help out. I plan to have even more guest musicans for my next upcoming album aswell.
Also, I did originally plan on having Phil come and do vocals for that album, but he moved to Queensland shortly after the demo was released so that it pretty hard.I's been practicing vocals on one of my other musical projects a bit and eventually decided to try and do it myself for Astral Winter. 
I'm definitely open to collobarating with other musicians in the future, but I think the overall composition of the music will always be done by myself.



3. How is your way of working in the studio? How was the recording process of "Perdition"? Do you find it difficult having to deal with all the musical aspects when recording?
My way of working is constantly changing. The more I record the more things I learn and this changes my process.I do generally start with mapping out all the drums, keyboards and bass in my recording session.Then spending a while mixing them all in together.I then record all the guitar parts, mix them in then do vocals.After mixing everything I usualy go back through everything and change/improv the parts I feel are lacking.Depending on what project I'm doing this can be a pretty straight forward process or alot more complicated.
Perdition, I didn't really have any particaular routine. It was all pretty much an experiment, I'll address this more in the next question though.
Depending on the project, some are easier than others.. But it can be quite diffucult dealing with all the aspects. Especially in the new Astral Winter materialI'm working (Forest Of Silence), there is so many different tracks for each song its quite easy to get lost in it all. Also my computer can't handle everything at once now, so I've had to split some things off into different recording sessions so I can continue recording without everything lagging. 

4. Focusing a little on your latest work, how would you describe the sound of the album? What feelings are you trying to convey to the listener? How has the sound from the previous album "Winter Enthroned"?
Well Perdition was an experiment. Originally I just wanted to do a plain acoustic album similiar to Agalloch's "The White" EP I suppose.But after recording a couple tracks I thought it all sounded pretty bland and it wasn't conveying the feeling I was after.This is when I changed the sound to whats on the album... My new idea was for Perdition to give the feeling thatthis is the music your hearing while your soul is journeying from 1 realm to the other, after death.Floating through a cold wintery dimension to an unknown after-life.That's when I added all the reverb and delay effects and added the winter atmosphere track to try and convey this idea/feeling.
Also when I was talking to the label about releasing Perdition we were planning to only release it on tape.So Perdition was orginaly just 1 continious track. The winter atmosphere played through the entire 36 minutes then the songs started and finished throughout.Later the label decided they wanted to do it on CD instead, so I had to go through and split the tracks off indivudaly. I prefer the single track version though.I think to get the full feel of Perdition it needs to be listened to start to finish. Playing random tracks doesnt provoke the atmosphere as well.
I was quite hessitant to how this would be received after Winter Enthroned, as they were very different albums.But all the reviews have been quite favourable of Perdition.

5. What bands have been an influence for you when composing your music?
Nowdays when writing Astral Winter material I try not to think about other music and just try and write what comes out naturally.This goes for Perdition and Forest Of Silence (which I'm currently working on) and futher material I've been writing too.Obviously things come through that I've absorbed through the years of listening though.
When I started out though it was quite different, I definitely relied more on the music I was listening to at the time. I was more into melodic death metal... In Flames (old), Dark Tranquillity, Children Of Bodom etc, Wintersun etc..But I wanted my music to sound alot darker, but to have the melodic feel that those above mentioned bands had.I wasn't too heavily into black metal at the time but I did listen to a bit of melodic black metal too, Dissection, Vinterland, Dawn, Catamenia etc...So I think a mix of melodic death and melodic black were my prominent influeinces when I first started writing.

6. The lyrics deal mostly with nature and the apocalypse, how are these concepts related? What facts are considered essential when writing your lyrics?
I always enjoyed poeticly writen lyrics and lyrics that tell a story.So that is what I've always tried to do.Winter Enthroned lyrics are virtually all apocalypic themes. The world being destoryed by some mythical beast or celestial being.
Forest Of Silence also has a similliar theme to it. But a darker feel. More human intervention to the world ending aswell.

7. Is it difficult to live on an island like Tasmania to promote your group?
Yeah, for sure. The internet would be the most effective tool I have.But a fair few people from over Australia have heard of music. Considering I don't play with Astral Winter, my location is much of a factor, where asmy live band Atra Vetosus, It does seem to be a bit more of an obstacle.

8. How did you get started in music and in black metal?
I started with playing guitar when I was 15. Just self taught myself at home on my crappy 2nd hand guitar and amp.I played in a few bands through the years, mostly all school based. Though those bands weren't great it defintely helped devolop alot of knowledge and skills.
I started off listening to a bit of melodic black metal, which I just found about through melodic death metal.Eventually I just became more interested in black metal over other sub genre's. Phil (original vocalist) was also very into black metal, so I discovered alot of bands from him.

9. Immortal Frost Productions has been responsible for the release of this album as above. How did the contact with the label go? Will you be working in the future with them?
Phil and myself actually started that label as a means to release our demo.We didn't do too much with it after that. I'd know Surtur (currently running the label in Belgium) for a while through my music and he offered to help out.So together we were running it for a while. I lost the passion for it after a while though as It was taking alot of time out of composing and recording for me.So now Surtur runs its soley and the labels going very well.
My other band Atra Vetosus is on that label too, so yeah I think we'll be working together more in the future.




10. How extreme is the scene in Tasmania? Any groups we should know?
The scene is pretty decent here, for a small state.Down Hobart (2 hour drive from where I live), there is alot more gigs going on.Launceston doesn't have too many shows on now. Not many venue's that are keen to put them on.
Recently alot of mainland bands having been coming to Tasmania too, so that really helps the scene.
There's alot of decent bands to be found here.Psychroptic are probably the most known one, who are signed to Nuclear Blast.Ruins, Iciclan, Departe are some other pretty decent black metal bands acive in Tasmania.

11. Thank you very much for taking the time to Balck Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the followers of Astral Winter, this is the place.
No problem, thanks for conducting the interview!
If you haven't done so check out the sample video/song for my upcoming album I'm working on "Forest Of Silence". Hails!

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