OV HOLLOWNESS from the great vastness that is Canada give it to us in the form of black metal. To find out almost everything about this band just read the interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Is Canada a great place to be black metal?
-To be black metal? Well, anywhere is really. The interest to make music is a personal thing, that drive comes from within, so in that sense you can be anywhere in the world. If you are referring to the surroundings, the environment, the weather, then I suppose that also has some influence, a country that has long winters, this influence does happen I think. Now if you are talking about the music scene, if you want to call it that, I would say no. There are some good bands from Canada playing black metal, but as a fan of a more European style of black metal, or atmospheric black metal in general, there is not much of that here.
How different is your black metal to the first wave of Black metal and the Norwegian black metal?
-More atmospheric, well maybe that is not the best way to put it, since so much black metal does have that emotion and atmosphere. The early stuff sure did. What comes to mind is the length of songs, the fact that there is much to be taken in by a way of a feeling created in the music, the guitars, as opposed to something more riff by riff based. It is a tough question you ask, earlier black metal and Norwegian black metal cover so much. What I try to create is more of a wave of sound, a wall of sound, sometimes the guitars are playing simple notes or trem picked chords, to create a ‘movement’, like a wave. This seems to be, at least in my opinion, can differentiate an atmospheric sound from a more riff/thrash style of song.
What is black metal to you? How would you define it? What sets you apart from all other black metal acts?
-What is music, it is sound. It is what comes out of the speakers and to your ears. The image and lyrical topics do have their part, but the end result is sound, it is music. Sound is sound, it is not an ideology or lifestyle, it can come from those things, and take influence from them, but the ultimate outcome is sound. Even the history does not matter when you listen to something in that moment. That being said, the typical traits of harsh style vocals and tremolo picked riffs can describe black metal. Beyond that, in its true essence, it is its own unique feel that it creates in the listener, a more melancholic feel, or dark sound, and this happens slow or fast. It is that feel that I think separates it from other genres of metal. There are elements of identifying the sound of black metal that are objective, as mentioned, but some subjective, to identify the sound one needs to be able to be objective to it.
Ov Hollowness may have many similarities to other what other bands have done before. What sets it apart, what sets my style apart, is my approach to song structure. The desire to make music is just there for those that do it, inspiration is there and songs get written. What I do is, I don’t just let the inspiration run the song creation process, I take a step back and give the music and overall look. I arrange with a certain ‘flow’ or intention to it. It is as though I like to try and control the flow of the music, to move it, to create that journey that the 6 to 9 minutes will go. Many artists create by feeling, I do too, but I also incorporate logical flow and pattern. It is something to do with having an ability to objectify the music being created.
The classic Norwegian BM is very much rooted in nature. Where do you draw inspiration from? How much does urban life contradict with nature?
-Interesting questions. My inspiration I think is less based on nature than most other bands, perhaps more leaning toward the force of nature than simply the physical surroundings. But I am aware of how the winter and cold seems to make its way in to my music, but it is actually more metaphorically used in Ov Hollowness. Or perhaps this could indeed be interpreted as an influence from nature I suppose. My true inspiration, I don’t know where it comes from, the need to create just seems to be within us, almost like we just channel it, there is little control over that initial step. I think beyond that, my own inspiration comes from my own personal growth or sufferings. Humans always have an element of suffering, that is why we are always looking to accomplish the ‘next thing’, because the current situation is almost like never good enough.
I think urban life can be okay, the problem lies in the specific groups of people within it. It is society and false fears everyone has that leads us to separate from nature, not knowing what matters, not having a clean objective awareness of nature and how we can fit in it. People are naturally meant to follow, most of them, the problem is that they are taking their lead from followers themselves and being led away from what is important or true.
Is there a North American black metal sound? If so, how does it manifest itself?
-It is not really practical to generalize for all the bands from an area, but maybe there are some things that could be said, lightly of course. It is hard to say, what comes to mind is the melodies, or lack thereof, which is okay. Maybe more riff by riff based sound, a little more thrash influenced. But again, tough to say because of bands like Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room, which are very melodic. I find European black metal to have more of a smoother flow to it. Wow, tough question that one, just something to do with guitar-riff based and not guitar-feeling based. Hm, this could be explored deeper with examples and such, but not always a good thing to do, leave that stuff up to Sam Dunn.
When you are alone in creating how do you know if what you’ve written is anything good? How do you eliminate the bad from the good?
-It is more to do with how it comes together. A song like “Grey”, I would say started out as a seemingly not good song because of the simplicity of the riffs, but then a next part gets made and it somehow starts to work or starts to build upon itself, the track ‘Lost Resolve’ was like that also, the songs seem to be a collection of all that goes on, like a riff can be nothing, but then it’s what gets put before or after it, or on top of it, vocals or whatever. Myself I naturally drop songs and naturally continue to work songs almost without even thinking at that point whether it is good or not. It’s more like, is it coming together or not. There is some reliance on the intuition here, when I am continuing to work on a song just naturally, its seems to get there. I had thought at one time I may plan out albums, try for this or that, but I have yet had to do that, I have just ended up with songs that where just there. In the future if I do plan an album more in that way, then I may be choosing what is good and what is bad, but then maybe in that case it isn’t good because it wouldn’t be a natural flow of creating, which usually doesn’t have good results.
What is that you want to accomplish by releasing records? What does a record do that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do?
-In these years in my life I have come to recognize the importance of creating music or creating anything – for me personally – I mean it is for me primarily, but it is also good to get the music out there to whoever wants to hear it. I like the idea of leaving something out there that has some permanence in the world. The need to create is different for everyone, some need to do it and some would like to do it but don’t, and some are more driven to do other things life, usually revolving around some form of duty. But beyond that there is also some good in having others appreciate it, it is natural, not everyone may admit it but it’s there. It comes down to doing things that are part of what you are on a deeper level and perhaps for some, on a level they never quite knew was there.
What is that you expect to get from releasing your music to the public? What is that you want to say with your music?
-I don’t think any art really suits well to being identified, it’s more ‘experienced’, like in the moment. So much music has come out and it will never stop, I think of it more as a natural expression. I guess the point is that there isn’t or shouldn’t be so much of an expectation, yeah, it is just something to be experienced and enjoyed. I could examine certain ‘outcomes’ from releasing music, like what is good or bad or what do people think, but that may take more time, I will leave at that for now. Is some music better than others? Should good new music get some recognition, or should we just keep going with what “we know” from the past or what was done on one album and not other albums?
What would I want to say with the music, well only recently I have begun to take some time to have some messages – lyrically – in there, perhaps that is some communication to the listener. That may be considered as ‘saying something’ with the music, things for the listener to think about or perhaps open their eyes (and ears) to something they never considered before. As I mentioned earlier, music is sound, you can have image but it’s not really the sound, it’s a separate thing. So even as a message to put out there, there isn’t a whole lot, primarily it is just what the listener gets out of it when the headphones are on or its coming out of the speakers.
How big a part does the place you live in play in what comes out of you creatively? How much is it a mind creation from within the seclusion of your brain?
-I was thinking of this the other day, where I live, I don’t think it affects much, it could be using images, from these cold surroundings, as tools to get somewhere with a song. Now am I contradicting what I said in the previous answer, maybe. I do think most of this comes from within, it would probably be the same no matter where I live. Although there are elements of the Canadian life that I think do repress so perhaps a more spiritually open location could make for a different outcome. Definitely more from within, rather than a reflection of where I live.
What kind of plans do you have for the future?
-It has been many months since I have worked on new music but I hope to get back to that, I have just been busy in my personal life. I do have my other metal projects as well and perhaps getting back to work on the next Arkodaemik album would be a good idea considering the songs are mostly written. So there is that, also Lost Resolve and Dethdrawn, a couple more projects of different music styles to perhaps work on. Also recording and mixing music for other bands at my home studio. Other than that, just continue to try and sort out my own life all this shit that goes on in my head.
On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 7:26 AM, Elisa – Promotion Aural Music