Black metal is not just one sound. It is a variety of different sounds and styles. Finnish CHARNEL WINDS have their take on what black metal can be. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-The founding members met in the late nineties through school activities but it wasn’t until 2003 that we held a ritual by a ravine lake in which we drank each other’s blood and all saw a vision of what was to come. The purpose as it was and is was to express ourselves in a way that no-one else had done and could not be achieved through any other means constructively.

How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-I cannot tell you how hard it is since I have no comparison when it comes to this illegimate child of ours; We have always strived for originality but so have many other bands as far as I know. I have always thought that the sound comes somewhat naturally if you decide to do your own thing.
Furthermore I am not necessarily aware of the all the specific bits’n’pieces we have used to create the sound of Charnel Winds but I am conscious of the fact that there are a lot of them. I love analogue sound; both the process and the overall feel to it. The second point is that I love Black metal, classic Heavy Metal and progressive rock and the sound we sport has always reflected these passions of mine (and ours) to a certain degree.

I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Usually we come up with a concept for a release first. There has to be some sort of a whole to work towards. Never have we done stuff just because we felt just like expressing ourselves. There has always been this kind of importance put on the idea that has excited us all and we have decided to chase that and formulate poetically and musically what we find when delving into it. As you might imagine, making material this way is quite erratic and taxing as we relinquish control at the same time as we demand total control. As such the process is often very long and arduous as we spend countless hours arranging and practicing what will eventually be released. But we love what we do so I don’t complain: it is just the way we choose to do this thing.

Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is
there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-We have rarely done single songs if any. The full-length album and especially the concept album is the format I cherish. The sort of fake fast-food experiences offered by marketed online singles is something I have and will not unterstand or partake willfully.

I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-My guess is as good as yours – nobody knows. If pressed I would deem that the music lovers out there will always love the love and care put into making music and the masses will have their own kind of so called music as they have now. You cannot kill passion no matter how superficial the world becomes.

What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most
-Generally positive though there isn’t much interaction between us and others. We have our nay-sayers at a disadvantage; they can surely offer critique but they cannot undermine the integrity with which we do what we do. I would like to think our attention to detail and overall quality is the thing that gets us the most of the attention we get. I can’t tell for sure.

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-Yet the distance is there. I have always had (and even hold dear) this disconnect with others. The space age has only widened the gap between those who want to capitalize on the immediacy of communication and those who don’t. I couldn’t tell I have ever been surprised by a contact but rather many people have surprised me in surpassing the limitations the nature of our world imposes on us either by revealing themselves as profoundly thinking individuals or by setting an obstacle that we have to overcome (and become stronger in the process).

Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Yes and no. Maybe there once was and still is a need to belong, to be part of a greater whole but as I have grown older there’s even a greater need to point out with what you do the general lack of effort and originality suffered by the greater communities. I respect anyone who is willing to put themselves on the line to make something that enrichens the lives of others but most people engaged in this sort of thing do it for social and personal gratification.

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-It is how you see it. I tend to be negative in my thinking but there is always someone who finds something interesting in what you have to offer. I am not aware of how the following is affected with us playing gigs. We just try to convey both the love for this and the disconnect with almost everything that make us what we are.

What plans do you have for the future?
-We will continue to pursue something new, something that makes our existence and that of those around us more magical. Our second full-length Verschränkung will be released via Feuer Productions in the start of June. Go find it. After that we will finish Bryderschaft-mCD we recorded this spring and are beginning the production of our third album Ruinenwert. Thank you very much for your interview. Hail the genius in all men. Hail Satan.

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