Do you remember that feeling you had when you discovered your fave band? I get that feeling each time I discover a band new to me, like with WORSHIP OF KERES. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
How different is it releasing an album compared to a demo where there were no real pressure?
-It’s funny you should ask that because THIS is actually our first release! It is our debut EP and is literally only 4 days old as I write this. Hahaha
That being said, though this is our introduction to the world as Worship Of Keres, we all come from other bands and have had serious, past projects. So, there is a bar that has been set, that I know I try to surpass on any new effort I put forth. Though I wouldn’t say this standard is present in mind while I’m writing the actual song, it’s a standard that comes to mind when reviewing I song that I feel has been completed. If I feel, upon review, that the song is below standard, I will most likely get rid of it altogether and begin again on something brand new. However, when in the moment of writing the song, I want to be in a place free of any mental distractions. Including one’s that I may create myself. I believe that I write my best material when I’m simply in the moment of the song and letting the feeling or force of the song or riff, guide me into what I will play next.
All in all, the pressure will only be what I put on myself and the standard I hold myself to. I can’t write for other people or concern myself with what will or will not please them. I only know my own mind and not the mind of others. If I begin to try and write for anyone other than myself or for the essence that inspires me to write, I’m not writing from a sincere, genuine place. And that would be not only doing a great disservice to myself and to that which I believe in, it would be also be doing a great disservice to those who would listen to what I write, as it would be insincere. And I’m not interested in lying to people to make them feel better or to serve my own ego.
What response did you get on your first album? What was the weirdest response you got?
-We’re very grateful and a little overwhelmed at how enthusiastic and positive the reaction has been to this, our very first EP!
You never really know how people will react to what you’ve created until you put it out there. Especially when it’s brand new and nobody knows who you are yet. Hahaha
But again, I feel like when I’m writing at my most brutally honest, it’s usually when the work is the MOST well received. So ALL of this has been an excellent indication that we are doing things right.
So, while I wouldn’t call it “weird,” I think it’s very exciting when people react in a way that they think you’ve been around for a while! This is GREAT! A further indication that we are creating something very potent, to the best of our ability, otherwise people would assume that we were “under-developed” or worse, amateurish. So this is very flattering and I, along with the rest of us, are incredibly humbled by your interest and enthusiasm!
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own? Do you feel that you have to follow in the foot steps of the first album for a second when it comes to lyrics and art work for example?
-Again, this is our first EP, so people are just now getting to know our songs and lyrics. I would hope that as our shows go on throughout the coming Spring and Summer, we would see more and more audience participation. Wether it’s singing the lyrics along with us, or physically acting out in some way, shape or form! The feeling you get when you see people reacting that way is so immense, it’s hard to describe. I try to channel certain energies when writing the music I write, and to see it manifest in ways of what could classically be described as “possession” is very rewarding. Another sign that you are obviously doing something very right!
I would NEVER feel, nor am I interested in, following a rule to repeat myself when it comes to another recording. Not with the music or the artwork. But that being said, Worship Of Keres is a very intentional band from it’s title, to it’s music, to it’s artwork. Nothing was done on accident. So, being stuck in creative stagnation or becoming redundant doesn’t concern me very much just as “doing something different” doesn’t concern me much either.
The sound and the purpose of this band is always going to be rooted in the same diabolical, nefarious, maligned cause no matter what. And with that, I think there will always be a sense of continuity both visually and musically, and there may be new elements that introduce themselves along the way, but the context will never change. Worship Of Keres is an embodiment, vessel, and instrument of elemental mayhem, and that will always be a constant.
Order in chaos you could say.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a metal band?
-I do feel like there is a Metal community that we are more or less a part of. And it is a great community that I’ve always treated with great respect.
It’s also riddled with violent contradictions that make it, or at least the best parts of the community, the best musical environment for me to be in. Because you don’t always know what to expect. You are never truly safe and it’s that element of danger that keeps the true core of Metal alive and well. Other bands come and go. The fake ones are noticed from miles away by the true fans. But being a part of the true, core of the Metal community doesn’t mean that you suddenly have a massive amount of friends. A lot of people here don’t care for one another on a personal level. There are tons of differences. The one uniting factor in REAL, honest Heavy Metal is just that, it’s honesty… And as long as you remain honest, you have a place somewhere in the chaos of this very dysfunctional family. Hahaha
When you have found a sound how hard/easy is it to come up with aongs that fit into the sound?
-The sound of the band or of the songs is simply a sum product of what’s inside us and drives us. It’s very easy for me to let what drove me this far, takeover. I don’t fight against my instincts when writing. I simply let go and let the thing that brought me here push me into the direction it wants to push me in.
My influences are typically worn on my sleeve.
Besides the essence of a very unholy, nefarious spirit at the core of what drives me as a person, the bands that made me pick up a guitar in the first place, such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, W.A.S.P., Amebix, Metallica, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Venom, Pentagram, Slayer, and so on, have informed the way I chose to play and to write.
What influences/inspires you today?
-As far as current bands that have had an influence on me go, while I try to remain as inward and unaware of what’s around me WHILE I’m in the mode of writing, bands like High on Fire, Rotting Christ, In Solitude, Inquisition, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Cathedral, Watain, Young and in the Way, Tribulation, The Devil’s Blood, Behemoth, Goatsnake, Magic Circle, Lycus, CHRCH, Beastmaker, Tau Cross and Uzala have been constantly in my ear lately.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-Though is the first Worship Of Keres EP, between this band and my past projects/bands, the only thing that I’ve really noticed about the state of record industry right now, for the genre we’re in, is that it seems as though more people are embracing vinyl, bands are embracing allowing people to download their music at either a low cost or for free if it’s not on vinyl, and that more emphasis has been put on touring, playing in front of as many people as possible via the “Festival” circuits, and selling band merchandise as in t-shirts, patches, pins, limited edition items, etc. And to me, this is ALL a very good thing.
I think this is where the importance needs to be placed after your first 3 priorities which, to me, are : 1. Writing very sincere, potent songs. 2. An affective, great recording. 3. Playing live and making sure that it’s an experience that’s incredibly visceral and engaging, which should come as very little effort if priorities “1 and 2” are where they should be.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-I think that it’s important to be able to have your music available in a variety of formats. Digital is obvious because it’s so vast now, and reaching as many as possible is very important to me.
I also think that doing your very best to have a budget to produce and release a tangible work you can hold with your hands is important. Records/vinyl are my preferred method in this medium and I hope to be able to afford making that a reality in the near future.
What lies in the future?
-And on that note, the future of Worship Of Keres is a fast moving one at the moment, and though this band is more about “the moment” than it is interested in on overthinking what may or may not, should or should not happen, we are already writing for our follow up EP which should be available as early as late April/early May, and MANY shows throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall of this year.
Constant movement is the only surefire death to stagnation, and we plan on moving very quickly, as far forward and downward into the unknown as possible… So we will be having an incredibly active year to say the VERY least!
Cheers Anders! Thank you again, SO much, for your time and your interest! I’m sorry for some of the longer answers, but I definitely wanted to try and answer your questions to the very best of my ability! Hahaha
Worship Of Keres is:
Elise Tarens: Vocals
Matthew Woods Wilhoit: Guitars
Trevor William Church (Beastmaker/*Rise Above Records*): Drums
Robert Lander: Bass
Our debut EP, “Bloodhounds for Oblivion,” was recorded, Produced, and Engineered by Patrick Hills at Earth Tone Studios in Sacramento, CA in 2015/2016, and is available via Bandcamp/Facebook for FREE download!