There’s something dark and mysterious looming in the forest in the Northwest corner of the US, and it’s not Bigfoot. Atriarch bring forth a monstrously heavy sound that inspired me to interview them. Answers by Lenny. Anders Ekdahl ©2011
Lately there seem to have been a boom in creative, original bands coming out of the woods in the Northwest. Why is that?
-I agree. I can’t speak for any other bands, but we find the Cascadian forests inspiring. Being in touch with nature helps us keep in touch with ourselves, this helps keep our art honest. I would also like to add that being around smog pollution and overpopulation would be detrimental to our inspiration and infuse our art with hate. This is not a place that we want to come from.
With this new resurgence of talent there also seem to be a deeper agenda to the music. How much of this fit Atriarch?
-Absolutely. The ideals and message of our music is as important as the music itself. It is all coming from the same place and they are integral to each other. Subculture is constantly asking for change. Change is constantly happening all around us. Change is unavoidable. It is controlling the direction of this change that we must master.
To me deathrock is like early Christian Death and stuff like that. And although these bands had a darker sound, your sound is more doom and gloom with a crust edge. How would you define your sound and how metal are you?
-We are inspired by all of these things and more. I believe genre is killing underground music and turning into a fashion. It stands in the way of our deeper connection to each other. We waste so much energy trying to put labels on art and segregating each other. The dark side of subculture is larger than ever and if we spent the same amount of energy standing in the way of authority that we do segregating each other we would be a force to be reckoned with.
Looking at the cover to “Forever The End” there’s a lot of iconography going on. What is it that you’re trying to say with the cover?
-It’s the Alchemic symbol for “everything” heaven, earth, mind, body, night, day, man, woman, the elements and so on…
“Forever The End” will be released on vinyl, CD and digital download. Of these three formats which is most true to Atriarch?
-Vinyl. Any form of sharing music and ideas is important though.
As I’m rather old school when it comes to formats I have a hard time coming to terms with this whole digital download. To me this digital revolution is somewhat killing music. How do you view this evolution and what evils do you see with it, if any?
-I think that making music accessible to anyone is a positive thing in the long run. What is killing music is that it has become a fashion and an image and no longer an ideal. This is the downside in my opinion.
Your music is pretty dark and emotion-filled. How do you go about achieving the right kind of atmosphere in the studio in order to capture the right mood?
-Most of the music is recorded live with minimal overdubs and we play in the same room to maximize our connection to each other.
With music as dark and emotional as yours, how do you go about presenting the graphic image side of the band, i.e. promo shots and live performances?
-Very carefully. As I said before there is too much emphases on image. We keep it as dark and minimal as possible to let the music speak for itself.
If I were totally new to the extreme music scene and Atriarch was the first band I’d come upon where would you like to see me go from Atriarch?
-That’s hard to say. The bands that inspired us, Swans, Christian Death, The Birthday Party and bands like that are important. Equally important are our peers and contemporaries, Alaric, Dispirit, Agaloch Worm Ororobouse and bands like this.
When playing live, how important is it that those who share a stage with you don’t depart too much from your sound/image in order to keep a cohesiveness?
-Very. We are extremely careful about who we play with and also how often and where we play.