Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Interview with Canadian Black Metal band ASTAROTH

After a brief hiatus we are back with our first interview of 2016 with none other than Toronto's own Astaroth. This is a band that had it's beginnings in 2015 and are already making a splash with their form of Black Metal, having shared the stage with big named bands already like Beyond Creation. Frontman, Astaroth, took time out of his day of being a Darth Maul/Spawn crossover to talk about the bands previously released EP, the time frame on their first album and what it's like writing an Astaroth song. Note, this interview was conducted at the end of 2015, so anything regarding "next year" is meaning 2016!

Greetings, how are you this cold and dreadful day?

We are great actually…but to be honest, it isn’t cold enough. At least for us. Where is the grim and frost bitten Canadian winter?

Tell us a little about your self-titled EP release, what’s next and when can your fans expect more?

We released the EP on April 25th, 2015 which was the same day when we played first live show. So it was quite an epic experience for us. We have since then played 9 shows in total where we mainly played our EP with the exception of one show where we covered two At The Gates classics. The next gig we play will be unveiling new material which will be on our upcoming first full length which we hope to complete and release sometime near the end of next year.

What is your writing process? I understand how hard starting and ending can be, how do you decide enough is enough?

We play in all our songs from the EP in drop D tuning. Mainly because of our influences and the variety of styles we try to incorporate into our writing. Drop D just worked better than any other tuning at the time. For our new songs, we will be possibly mixing different tunings for different songs. Generally we start with writing guitars and work till we get a solid structure. Structure is extremely important in our writing as it determines the mix of styles we are going for. We don’t have specific length in mind when we write. We just work with what we got and if it feels complete guitar wise then we move onto the drums, vocals and everything else.

What was the recording process like? Did everything handle smoothly?

We recorded the EP ourselves not really having any experience with recording previously. So it was a process of trial and error. A very live sounding EP if we say so for ourselves as we mainly tried to record the guitars and vocals in as little takes as possible. The drums are programmed cause we didn’t have a drummer at the time so we tried our best to learn how to program them and just had a DIY (do it yourself) attitude. We just did the best we possibly could. However, we have a full live band now and are in the process of writing new material which will surpass what we have already done in the EP.

Can you talk a bit about lyrical themes in this release?

The EP didn’t have any set themes so the lyrics were just written based on the feeling of each song. All the songs we write have metaphors built into them and have generally positive meanings despite being presented in a negative fashion. It creates curiosity in the reader so that hopefully they think of the lyrics in depth and create their own interpretation of the songs. For example, Sanctum of Torment is a song about the 5 stages of grief which starts and ends in death. It talks about a child who had everyone he knew taken away from him and grew up in utter misery. He loathes himself and everything around him. After facing grief for his whole life, he unleashes his inner demon and takes revenge on those who brought him so much pain. That is what the lyrics talk about but the underlying hidden meaning behind the song is actually being able to overcome depression. So this is how we try to write lyrics for the most part. We love to tell a story. It differs from song to song.

Where does your inspiration stem from?

All of us are influenced by quite a few different bands so our influences vary quite a bit. Despite our differences, we know what direction we want the band to go towards and we want to remain in the extreme metal genre and keep the essence of death metal and black metal alive through our music while we experiment with various other styles and elements.

Who are you most proud to have shared the stage with?

Beyond Creation!!! This was our last show of the year and we couldn’t be happier to have played an Intertia Entertainment show to finish off the year and being able to open for one of our favourite bands from Canada! We can’t wait to share the stage with many more amazing bands in the new year…this is just the beginning!

Will the songs on this EP be revamped for a full release or will it be solely new songs?

No. We are proud of what we accomplished with this EP. However, we have a full band now with new inspirations and feel that we have matured as song writers and have also learned to work with each other better. So the new album will be like a fresh new start for us.

What direction will your next batch of music take? Do you plan to go all out aggressive, atmospheric, what’s the plan?

Our first full length will be a concept album. Lyrically, it will be very immersive in the apocalyptic theme and will portray the essence of the character Astaroth. Musically, it will be quite diverse as everyone in the band will be contributing in the writing process. We will work our hardest to create an album which will hopefully represent us in the best way possible.

Last, but not least, is there anything you’d like to share with your fans, old and new, who are reading this?

Thanks for all the support we have received so far from all our family, friends, fans and promoters. We hope to bring you lots more in the new year. We had an amazing first year of playing shows and the reception we received was mind blowing. The new year will be a new beginning as we release new music and will possibly be playing shows all over Ontario and or even further!

Thank you very much for your time, I hope to see you on stage again soon!

Thank you for the interview.

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