Monday, 31 December 2007

Cold Spring Records interviews THB

The following interview was conducted in March 2007 and appeared in the April 2007 CSR catalogue

People may remember your earlier work with Endvra. How did THB start and does it have any relation to that band?

Endvra stopped recording around 2000/1. When that happened I felt a real loss and an urge to carry on making my own music. I had been involved with Endvra for 8 years, I still had many more ideas that I wanted to express and I was frustrated that the vehicle that I planned to use for them had come to an end.
I started recording again in 2003. At the beginning I didn’t know what would come out – I had been away from music for some years so I just began trying to make the music that I hear in my head. I knew I wanted to make this music far darker and bleaker than Endvra but the use of electric bass and guitar feedback was something that I stumbled on. There are some elements to TenHornedBeast that people who know Endvra may recognise – I use some strings like cello and violin but more to create textures and ambience than as a lead. I also wanted to write and compose on a larger scale so many TenHornedBeast songs are very long and “epic”.

What have you released as TenHornedBeast?

I did a self-released CD-r in 2004 called “Ten Stars Ten Horns”, just to test whether any body would be interested in it. That went down pretty well and was released in a first edition of 100 and a second of 50. Both have sold out. In 2005 Nothingness from Belgium released “Woe To You O Earth And Sea”, another CD-r collection. That ran to two editions which have also sold out. I have several other releases pending – including “The Sacred Truth”.

TenHornedBeast – and also Endvra – is known for its use of imagery and themes with a strong magickal feel. What part does this play in your life and music?

I think it was much more explicit with Endvra but it’s still here with TenHornedBeast as well. Endvra albums such as “Liber Leviathan” and “Black Eden” were themed around magickal work I was involved with at the time but what has happened to me is that as I’ve grown older the line of separation between my everyday life and my “magickal” life has dissolved and it is now so much a part of my experience and world-view that I only notice it when I’m confronted by it’s consequences – for instance when I’m talking to somebody and I have to check myself from saying something that would be so bizarre that they would not know where it came from.
I do not record music for any specific magickal purpose but I do try to express ideas and concepts with music. I think a strong “conceptual” feel to this sort of music is important, there is very little narrative contained within the composition and for me some sort of sign to steer the work is crucial.
Also as the years pass I am aware that I am increasingly intolerant and my opinions and values are becoming harsher. This is definitely reflected in TenHornedBeast – tracks like “Oppression Sacrament” and “In The Teeth Of The Wolf” are statements of where I am at now. This ain’t the summer of love.

How do you record and is the music on “The Sacred Truth” typical of other THB material?

I record everything myself and I record in a home studio. I have no interest in working with other people on TenHornedBeast, I feel strongly that it is my vision and my voice – bringing other people into that creative area would feel very wrong.
Because I record in a home studio I’m not constrained by time/money or the ideas of others. Sometimes I work very fast, layering sounds on top of each other and other times I spend days looking for the right sound or effect. It’s a luxury I can afford and I have hours of unreleased material that is being constantly changed and re-visited until it says what I want it to say.
“The Sacred Truth” is more ambient and subtle than some of the other material I’ve recorded as TenHornedBeast, which can be quite rigidly structured and “traditional”, even using guitar/bass/drums in a sort of “rock” context, but I have also recorded very long tracks that are composed only of minimal drones of feedback and noise. I don’t want to box myself into a corner – I can see TenHornedBeast going where ever I take it.

Are there plans for TenHornedBeast to give live performances?

Not at the moment. I’m aware that the times have changed but I still feel that this sort of music is not suited to a live environment, for me it is much more introspective than that and works best experienced alone. I am also totally disinterested in entertaining people, in providing a back drop for people to get pissed and chat with their friends.
It is something I think about, I get offered gigs and I’ve also been offered help in “going live” from friends in other bands but at the moment it’s not on the agenda.

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