Thanks for taking the time to sit and chat with us here at Metalheads Forever Magazine. Hope all is well and we appreciate you being apart of our online publication. With that being said, let’s start the interview.
First of all, I’ve read there have been some line-up changes since 2007 to present day, can you tell us about your new line-up from 2007 to current day and what led up to these changes?
In 2007, there was a new line-up for a small North American tour involving some of the members from Demoncy, who also recorded on the Serpent Beneath the Skin e.p. However, those members being located in the U.S. led me to end up covering most the instruments on recordings afterwards, working with Vorskaath (Zemial) on drums for a split release with Acherontas. It wasn’t until this year I started to find a line-up up for live shows and brought in Sabnoc on guitars/backing vocals and Vual to perform drums. As I went through a period of time with not much desire to play live with Crimson Moon I ended up doing things on my own for recordings only.
I must confess I’m a huge fan of the name Crimson Moon, how did this name come about and is there any meaning behind it?
The idea came from the book of Revelation 6:12-14 – “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood” as well as a reoccurring dream I had. It also relates to a sort of Moon worship, or the drawing down of the moon. There is not only a meaning behind the name, but a meaning behind when the moon shows as the color of blood. It can be interpreted, but for the most part it is still a unique phenomena that can only be experienced in the right setting. I always saw the sign of a red moon as an aura that fits to the music in my vision for Crimson Moon, it is of malevolence and omen, yet of beauty.
Where does your creativity stem from? is it a collective effort or is it an individual venture?
To this point it’s been an individual process, I can’t verbally pinpoint where it comes from, it is just a current of inspiration I will get that makes it possible to write material I am content with. I guess anyone who has worked with forms of meditation can relate to it. I prefer to spend a lengthy amount of time each session of writing/recording and listening to get into the “zone” so to speak and be completely immersed in the currents I work with.
This can cause things to take a lot longer sometimes, but also results in an explosion of creation at times, where I am able to get a lot of things written in a small amount of time. In the end it is effort and with working with others, it cannot exist unless it is a collective effort. For many reasons such as the lack of creative combined effort I have taken my time for this release and accorded it so towards an alignment of circumstances.
I read that you guys are writing some new material and there is a new album ready to be released. How is this process going with the new line up and how are the new songs transitioning and translating into your live show ?
The new album, Oneironaut I did on my own and is now just in the final stages of finishing extra vocals and some fine tuning/added touches. At the moment we have been rehearsing the track Urilian Worm which has been presented as a preview from the album and it is translating excellent for live performance. We will utilize some playback tracks to cover some synths/acoustic parts, but not to the point where it drowns out the fundamental instruments of the material. At the moment the live set we are rehearsing will cover the entire discography, from the demo up until Oneironaut. As far as the new line-up is concerned, it’s one of those things that from day one everything just fell into place and clicked, where you somehow know it will work out extremely well, further preparations and rehearsals only have confirmed this ‘gut feeling’. The live material will be an awakening experience joined with the witnesses who are awake.
Which do you enjoy more the process of writing and recording, mixing etc or playing the finished product before a live audience?
I personally enjoy more the process of creation and recording. For live performances it is a different ‘high’, that is something I enjoy on more of a musician based level to be able to execute the materialize well live, however I see a lot of concerts being attended by people who either don’t fully understand that aspect or don’t care. There is a saying that an audience hears a band with it’s eyes, and unfortunately that is commonly correct. One of my favorite benefits of playing live is it gets you in very good shape as a musician, you tend to put much more effort into your instrument but yet still learn to achieve an extremely high state of calmness that comes along with the more experience you have in this manner.
I love your diverse sound, how would you label yourselves and what genres influenced your sound and style and musical direction?
I got a bit fed up with all the sub-genre labels that are associated with extreme metal some time ago. I always just associated Crimson Moon as an Occult Black Metal band meaning the music is Black Metal and the lyrics are about the occult. I try to keep things with a style of writing music that has it’s own identity, but in the end it is black metal and I am not trying to reinvent the wheel in that aspect. My influences are many, from extreme metal, mostly that done prior to the year 2000, but I listen to a large variety of music and have found influences and inspiration in many different genres ranging from folk to ambient. I find a lot of inspiration in things that are not music as well, such as nature, history, meditation, lucid dreaming and even just pure silence and isolation.
The name of the new album is “Oneironaut”. Can you tell us a little bit about the theme and direction of this effort and when will it be released and what can your fans and listeners expect to find inside of it?
Oneironaut by definition means A person who explores dream worlds, usually associated with lucid dreaming. The lyrics do vary from song to song, but all tie into this at the end. I wanted to create material that would still have the same spirit of the oldest releases but still maintain a progression in songwriting and atmosphere that has developed since I first started the band in 1994. I think the results have achieved this and the feedback so far has given that confirmation. There is a bit of variation in the tracks, especially the title track which is being finished now and has been the most work on the album as it is running at about 19 minutes in length at this point. I like long songs that take attention and can engulf a listener into a sort of inner soundscape, but also find it important to keep things interesting and varied enough to not be redundant just for the sake of being long. I won’t give an exact release date as of yet as that tends to jinx things in my experience, I am literally at the final stages with it in the studio and since i have been working on this for so long, the mixing and mastering stages I think will be a very easy process. However, being so close and intimate with the recording, it can cause easy to make mistakes in the mix, after a while you can tend to hear things that you know are there but not necessarily audible to anyone else and for that reason I will be working with some external assistance on this process and hopefully avoid those issues. This had already happened with Urilian Worm, where the snare drum was very hard to hear on the first mix attempt and I really did not notice it until I let a few people hear it and they mentioned that..even then it wasn’t until I made a new mix with the snare boosted in level that I could really catch it. I think the track we have made available online from the album, “Urilian Worm” gives a very good representation of what to be expected from the album.The artwork is currently in the works and being executed by Anatiummi Arts (who also did the artwork for the To Embrace the Vampyric Blood vinyl release planned for next month) and gives a good visual interpretation of the album in the symbolism it contains with references to the veil of the Abyss, the threshold of the conscious and dreaming mind, and the death of the ego.
How do you guys prepare for live shows? any routine rituals or superstitions?
With a lot of rehearsals. That is how to prepare and there are no shortcuts to that process. As a band it must work as one combined entity, and in that case certain currents must be aligned. I generally spend a good 45 minutes to an hour with a warm up routine in an as isolated location as I can possibly find. I have my own ritual for this, it is sort of a way to charge your own battery for lack of a better description. It’s really a matter of stepping beyond the normal everyday veil of life and trying to reach a state of awareness where senses to detail of sound and energy are focused. This is a method of transforming into a totally different mind frame on stage that has always worked well for me.
What are Crimson Moon’s plans for 2016 any touring, festivals, etc and where can your fans expect to find you?
The main focus right now is finishing Oneironaut and getting it released. After that is done I would like to work with the lineup on new material for a split release to follow up with Oneironaut in 2016. We will begin playing live this year, the main focus will be in Europe though and we are not so interested in touring for the sake of touring. I prefer to be more selective with the shows we do play and focus on quality over quantity. In this day and age it is extremely difficult to tour and not lose money. To make money from this (music) has become a thing of the past. I have chosen to have Dark Adversary Productions release the new album. which is a small label and of course, a limited budget. But I believe there are good reasons for this choice , John from DAP has always been extremely supportive of Crimson Moon and will do this release because he supports the music and not some agenda for financial gain. A larger label could surely help out more with funding for the tour support and expenses, but in the end the only thing they are concerned about is how many albums you are selling for them. I have seen it over and over where bands pay to go on tours, usually to be an opening act and playing right when doors open to a hand full of people in the audience and at the end really achieved nothing but a big minus in finances. In my time with Melechesh I saw a lot more into the larger scale of the music industry and how things work, therefore I have a good idea of what to avoid and what I simply do not want to be involved in doing. We all have day jobs we are content with, we are not begging to play live or trying to survive off of the music, and I see this as an advantage for us, as it allows us to make decisions we are not only comfortable with but also 100% motivated and interested in doing. For me personally, just touring 300 days a year would be uninspiring and get you pretty much burnt out after a while. This is one of the reasons I quit Melechesh, the focus was more on touring and playing festivals than actually creating music, meanwhile you see people involved doing anything from selling merchandise and getting paid better than you and in the end, rehearsing becomes so boring and redundant, everyone lacks motivation and you just get stuck in this cycle of playing the same songs over and over. For me, there has to be a balance between playing live so that it is inspiring and motivating to push boundaries and still be active in creating new material.
It was an absolute pleasure to talk with you guys, there were a million more questions I would love to have asked. Maybe in the near future we can do a follow up and discuss your music a little further. With that being said do you have any final words to your fans and readers of our publication?
Many thanks for the interview and interest in our work. 2016 will be a very active year for Crimson Moon and anyone interested in keeping up to date with things can find news and updates at our facebook page, which will also lead you to links of other sources of music, news and visual representations.
Once again thanks for taking the time to speak with us and we look forward to speaking with you again very soon. Spread the Metal.
CEO Metalheads Forever : David Maloney
“Crimson Moon – Urilian Worm”