In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with VOID. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
“Dillon: Why? Why are the innocent punished? Why the sacrifice? Why the pain? There aren’t any promises. Nothing’s certain. Only that some get called, some get saved. She won’t ever know the hardship and grief for those of us left behind. We commit these bodies to the void… with a glad heart. For within each seed, there is the promise of a flower. And within each death, no matter how big or small, there’s always a new life. A new beginning. Amen.” ALIEN 3
What was it that made you want to be in a band in the first place?
Joe Burwood (drums): Well… Probably the music of Black Sabbath, Slayer and a whole bunch of classic rock through to thrash metal and so forth that I was exposed to as a youngster. Coupled with an early obsession for the electric guitar and having an older brother who played drums in bands and liked metal, I guess you could say…… it was inevitable.
Laura Katrin (vocals): Personally for me this has always been about the artistic outlet. There wasn’t really a drive to “be in a band” I just wanted contribute to something I considered beautiful. However, I’m happy to contradict myself talking about VOID because I very much wanted to be in THIS band. That was based on the uniqueness of their music. Much of what they had already created resonated with me. There’s a strange alchemy from being in a band, being able to create something from raw chaos as a group is incredibly satisfying.
Elliott Parkin (guitar): I had seen Void around the London Scene for a few years and was always captivated with the styles, complexity and unbridled energy Void weaved together. Void was my favourite metal band in the London scene because they were (and still are) totally unique and different. I’d known joe (drummer) for a few years from him sound engineering my previous bands and Matt (vox-guitar) here and there from around the scene, so I was honoured to be asked to try out to play in Void.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
Gerardo Serra (bass): One of the things that I like the most about Void’s music is that it’s such a melting pot. A review of our latest EP said that it felt like ‘listening to Mr Bungle and Napalm Death practising in the same room’. I think this quotation captures well the eclecticism of our music. It is also interesting to see how, in the writing phase, different individual influences and preferences (death and black metal, punk, drum n’ bass, electronica, jazz) come together.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
LK (vocals): Yes in a way, because you are intimately connecting with others, who are often drawn to your sound or experience based on similar perceptions. Art in all forms will always have their movements, shaped by the people who connect to it. Perhaps this is just more subtle compared to other musical projects that fall into a more definitive category. It’s the inescapable modern day nihilism that shapes a good portion of most modern day life.
GS (bass): “Imagine all the people etc etc… you may say I’m a dreaaamer, but I’m not the only one… etc. etc. ” It’s a difficult question. When I listen to beautiful music from faraway places – be it desert blues from Mali or sufi music from India and Pakistan- I’m reminded of its universality. But writing and playing something is always a response to what intimately surrounds you. If anything, for me whenever a conception that embraces the world at large feeds into the process of writing music, it’s almost always as a strong reaction against it (no matter how poorly defined). Narratives about metal are dominated by concerns about national ‘schools’: this is how the Swedes do it, the Norwegians, and so on. Even though I’m not a big fan of this kind of categorizations, I like to think that our music could have only come out of London. It’s metal for dystopian cities: frantic, crowded, dirty. It’s the soundtrack to unredeemable post-industrial capitalism, rather than the musical translation of snowy forests and pagan rituals.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
EP (guitar): Extremely important, your representation of image I feel is part of your statement of intent and sets you apart from the scene. Look at Marilyn Manson and David Bowie for example, the image is a huge part of the creative process and…..dare I say it (Branding).
LK (vocals): Image can be a very powerful tool to enhance the atmosphere you are trying to project. I personally love blurring the line between the senses, it makes the whole thing feel more complete.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
GS (bass): I would say that lyrics in VOID have always played a big role, but I can talk confidently only about the album we are currently working on, since I wrote most of the lyrics for it. There is a certain continuity with the band’s previous work, insofar as the lyrics continue to dissect the themes of alienation, pain, rage and loss. There is also a willingness to draw on a broad range of cultural influences. For example, in a long facebook post in which he reminisced about his involvement with Void, Mat McNerney declared that the lyrics he wrote for Posthuman (2003), Void’s first album, were deeply influenced by his reading of J.B. Ballard and W.S. Burroughs. Similarly, in the new album there is a strong literary influence. Taking T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Hollow Men’ as a starting point, we developed a concept album that recounts the story of a lonely man who reads the poem, and finds himself drawn into a series of horrific experiences and visions (the line between the two becomes increasingly blurred). The main character dies, gets reincarnated as a battery chicken, and then envisages the (apparent) end of the world, only to find out that what is actually happening is worse than the apocalypse. Besides Eliot, there are other literary references that include Philip K. Dick, Albert Camus, and a goose-bumping description of Babylonian customs on matters of rape and marriage from Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens”.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
LK (vocals): Personally I feel it’s more important. Digital hasn’t killed the concept of an album, just what form you access it in. While digital has made Eps more accessible, it has also cemented the status of the album as a more complete body of work. Subconsciously I’m always more drawn to an album because there’s more of that experience.
JB (drums): I think there will always be albums in many forms whichever decade/era we’re in, either as concept based bodies of work or just collections of songs written in a certain period, maybe not as many are bought and sold in the traditional formats like vinyl and cd due to the digital format but there is still a hardcore contingent of people out there who still buy them and a plethora of bands returning to producing them due to becoming tired with the soleless digital experience. Cassettess have also seen a strange minor comeback of late which is great, as I’m a big fan of these having grown up with them.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
JB (drums): Never, technology is being dished out in stages to the general public (sheeple) so the overlords can continually profit and enslave the masses by bringing out the latest so called advances in music and entertainment tech gadget nonsense with obligatory new and varying formats costing god knows how much every year or so and try to fool you into thinking you must have it in the fear of becoming an out of touch.
EP (guitar): I think there will always be room for the physical format, I used to love the anticipation of waiting for the album release day, then take it to a café and ceremoniously remove the cellophane and read through the lyrics and art work while listening on my Discman (yes I’m old). I’d feel sorry for future generations to lose this pleasure (minus the discman).
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
JB (drums): The band played in London and Norway once before I joined and we have only played outside of London thrice in the ten years I have been with them. Otherwise we have only played in London but we’re looking to play a short 3/4 day tour of the UK later this year and we have a bunch of friends/contacts between us in Europe to now hopefully get us further afield…Brexit permitting lol.
EP (guitar): We are mainly concentrating on the album at the moment, so touring or at least gigging is currently on hold. With the last EP (the unsearchable riches of Void), live was very Punk/Black metal, raw and brutal!! The new material live will be a real sonic rollercoaster, an assault on the senses!!
What lies in the future?
GS (bass): The mixing and release of our latest work, the critical acclaim that will inevitably follow, a world tour, the conquest of the globe and, shortly afterwards, its destruction due to political idiocy, climate change, a new plague, nuclear holocaust, a tempest of asteroids. Like in Isaac Asimov’s ‘A choice of catastrophes’, take your pick.
LK (vocals): It’s too early to say exactly what the future holds, but we have exciting plans in the works including a tour. Providing the aforementioned destruction of mankind doesn’t get in the way.