SHADOWS IN THE CRYPT is an American black metal band that has a new album out now. My questions were answered by George and Lawrence. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I’m not trying to be smart or anything but I see black metal as more of a European thing. How different is the American version of black metal?
George: Depending on what opinion you listen to, some would say the American version of black metal is a bastard child of the European (mainly Norway) stuff, and mainly a marketable item instead of true artist expression. There are bands in the US that have been disproving that ideal everyday in my opinion, but of course these bands do not get as much recognition as Liturgy or Wolves In The Throne Room these days.
I’ve been listening to black metal since 1982/3. Over that time span the genre has changed to not being just one thing. What in your opinion is black metal all about?
George: To me black metal has always represented expression of the negative elements of mankind, the true darkness that lies within every single one of us. The idealism that we are insignificant next to the everlasting circle of life and death. The fact that we as a species have become more of a herd than truely exploring individualism. A rebuttal of the powers that sit on thrones of gold and ivory that have bought their way through life, never seeing what desolation lies ahead.
Do you ever feel that some bands have totally lost what black metal is all about,being eco friendly and such?
George: Definitely the complete opposite of what black metal represents. To me these bands that talk about living on communes and living at one with nature are way too late on this one. Nature itself is a dark force that mankind is not meant to live in harmony with, nor try to use it to advantage. It is meant to be feared, unpredictable and respected. Nature has done quite well without the interference of man for centuries and the whole idea of eco-friendly black metal is more politics than anything else, and as far as I’m considered hypocrisy.
What shadows are the in a crypt? What kind of message is it that you want to get through with the band name?
Lawrence: I was basically looking for a band name that was very mysterious and creepy. Basically what I want to convey is that we are a dark demonic serious black metal band. Nothing more really.
I guess all bands go through line-up changes before they arrive at a final one. But how annoying is it to have to change members when the band is about to pick up speed?
George: It is definitely annoying, but one aspect of being in a band you have to go through in order to find that perfect combination.
When you are a small band releasing albums what kind of expectations do you have?What is it that you want the album to do?
George: I’ve become very indifferent as far as expectations goes. If I like what I have done personally and if the band itself likes the outcome that is all that is needed for me. I can never please everyone with everything I have ever done, and I’ve been in bands for 10+ years. As long as you like what you have done, there should be no regrets.
How hard is it to come up with lyrical themes that will still feel relevant 5 years on? How much do you think of that when you write lyrics; that you will have tossing them in the future too?
George: I have written many songs that have ended up getting scrapped for one reason or another, but with two bands to write lyrics for, it does make things a little easier. Subject matter depends, with Shadows, it’s a little easier to write lyrics because the subject matter is a little more broad. With my band Decieverion, I am very selective-the new album that Decieverion will record has more of a nihilistic theme to it.
Do you feel that you’ve put any limitations on what goes and doesn’t go as far as music goes?
George: Not really, I’m a little more open minded these days. But when it comes to song writing, I’m very picky and prefer to stick to the old school.
How much of a live scene is there for a black metal band in the States?
George: It has become a little easier for black metal bands to get gigs in the States in general, but with that comes the whole problem of what type of crowd comes out to your show. I’ve become more of the advocate of playing less gigs because as I get older, I find less tolerance for some of the people that attend these shows. A lot of people these days use a gig as a get together/social gathering/gossip column and rarely do they ever go to check out a band in the artistic sense. Same goes for some of the bands playing shows. Bands should love playing gigs for the sake of just loving to play on stage, not for the social scene afterwords.
What would the ultimate future look like?
George: More blood, more blasphemy, more black metal.