Lovecraftian Sludge / Doom Metal
Lovecraftian bands have been spreading in recent times, which is just good, not only in the spheres of Death Metal, but Doom metal as well. The big hope is ALDEBARAN band from Oregon, quartet playing Doom / Sludge Metal. Band was formed in 2004 and its first official recording was two songs single "Pleasures of War" a year later, then came a series of many splits and debut album "Dwellers In Twilight" from '07. The band is currently in preparation for the new album, which is now mixing and should be out sometimes in December. Drummer Tim told this and many other things.
Hello, how are things going for ALDEBARAN now? Seems you are quite busy...
Hails! Yes, things are very busy. We just finished recording for 2 different releases and are in the mixing stage right now.
Your 'Dwellers In Twilight' debut album is already quite a long time out. How do you value it now when you are currently recording a new album?
"Dwellers" is 4 years old now and much has changed since then but it is still relevant to us. I think the new material is far beyond the songs that make up 'Dwellers" though. We have pushed everything farther this time and spent much more time writing and refining the songs than we did with "Dwellers".
What kind of reactions have you got to your debut? Your music is very special and original to me. Would you like to hear 'Dwellers In Twilight' from a position of uninterested listener?
Thanks, I am glad you like it! For the most part the response for "Dwellers" has been great, and it is still spreading. Those who don't like it generally say that it is boring, which is fine, if you don't have patience then you will not like our music. I still like that album for the most part so even if I wasn't creating the music I think I would enjoy it.
How did the writing process for the debut go? Was that difficult to put it all together? Who brought the biggest amount of main themes and ideas?
"Dwellers" wasn't difficult to put together really, we had a lot of rehearsal recordings to pick the best parts from and weave everything together. We spent a lot of winter nights in the rehearsal space playing riffs over and over until 3-4 in the morning. For "Dwellers" most of the ideas and themes came from either Mike, the old guitarist, or me.
Your rehearsals must look pretty strange. You are playing quite dark and crazy music, very slow at the same time ... what atmosphere is there at your rehearsals? Are you a band of people with a sense of humor, or everything is otherwise?
Rehearsal must happen at night, it is not the right setting to play while the sun is up. Other than that we need a generally dark space and good beer. We definitely have a sense of humor and we drink a lot!
Do you think it is more difficult to write a track about 15 to 20 minute limit, than a classic song about 5 minutes with one or two solos?
Heh, good question. It is almost easier for us to write a long song now. It has been 3 years since we wrote a song under at least 25-30 minutes. We are not in the mindset to write short songs.
Likewise as your rehearsals, also your live shows have to look gloomy. Perhaps not always you play with Doom Metal bands. A band with fast music often play before your show and most of people are then crazy, jumping, headbanging ... and there come obscurity, gloom, darkness, very slow rhythms with you ... Have you experienced some strange expressions of the fans at your shows?
Yeah, there are not a lot of doom bands to play with around here and have played with all different kinds of bands. In the last 3 years though we play only about 3-4 shows a year and we are much more picky about whom we play with, it must be bands that have a similar atmosphere. Doesn't matter if they are faster music as long as the atmosphere is very dark and heavy.
It’s another thing to play live such a long songs, however the bands with normal length songs always rest for a moment after each song. To be alert and carefully play 20-minutes song requires maybe more concentration...
Yes, it does require more concentration. It is mainly hard to keep the tempos at an extremely slow pace live, the atmosphere of a live gig is usually high energy, everybody is drinking and hanging out ect. Then we have to get in the mind set to play very slow and slow everyone down with us as well.
How hit you an idea to name your band by the star of the Taurus constellation
While on a camping trip reading Lovecraft's short story "Polaris".
Your lyrical concept is mainly about the darkest themes. You are very influenced by American writer H. P. Lovecraft ... are you all one with his ideas, or the lyrics author only?
Everyone in the band is very familiar with HPL but mainly me and Todd (guitar/vocals) are constantly submerged in HPL's influence.
Which stories of H. P. Lovecraft do you prefer? Have you read all his short stories? How can you see his genius and contribution to the literature of horror, sci-fi etc? Is he just plain, though perhaps the best author of stories for you, or something more?
Well there are too many to name here. Lately I have read "The Festival" a few times and I have been reading many of the titles he recommends in his essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature". The short story called "The Purple Cloud" by M P Shiel is amazing, I highly recommend it. Yes, I have read all of his writings including letters, essays ect. His influence on horror and science fiction is huge! Many other artists I like have been influenced by him. He is more than just a writer to me, he creates a very unique atmosphere in all his writings and his misanthropy and disgust with humanity comes through in that atmosphere. His stories are something I can read over and over again and I don't think I will ever get tired of them.
Lovecraft is often the result of debates whether the myth is true or just pure fiction ... some of his dream visions which were in his short stories are also used for some types of magic. What do you think of it?
Well, I do not think it is real but, I do think there are many relevant ideas and feelings in his writings. For me his writings are more of a door to leave behind this existence and go somewhere more intriguing for awhile, as I believe it was for HPL as well.
Necronomicon is a very special book, connected with various superstitions. Directly "Bible" for some, and just fake meaningless drivel for others. There are also many magicians that work with Simon’s Necronomicon for example, even if it is not the ultimate book that Lovecraft mentioned everywhere, but 'only' modern magic...
Yeah, there are so many versions of it now. NECRONOMICON: THE WANDERINGS OF AL-HAZRED by Donald Tyson is really cool, more of the background to the NECRONOMICON. I prefer to keep the NECRONOMICON in the world of Lovecraft, I am not at home casting spells, heh.
Do you think Lovecraft himself would be pleased how his myth have later impressed the people and how have got into the spheres of art for all those metal bands that are devoted to this theme, movies, stories of other authors who are trying to revive most horrible shadows somewhere in space?
I'm sure he would have enjoyed the comfort of money he could be making off it now but I doubt he would appreciate most of what he has inspired. Especially the lame 'CTHULHU' bumperstickers, dolls ect. Probably wouldn't have enjoyed most of the films either since they try and define many things he left undefined on purpose. And I highly doubt he would like any kind of metal.
Will there be Lovecraft´s impact in your new album? Or are you trying to penetrate other spheres?
There will always be HPL influence in ALDEBARAN. Specifically the first of the two new recordings, "BURIED BENEATH AEONS", is based on 'AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS'.
Ok, it would be all on my part. If I forgot something significant you have the space. Thank you for answering my questions and wish ALDEBARAN all the best for the future.
Thanks for the interview and your patience! We will have 2 new records coming out over the next 6 months, of course in our opinion it is by far the best material we have done, heh.
Possibly some European dates at the end of 2011! If anybody would like to help us out with this or has any other inquiries please send a message to email@example.com
Doom 'til Death!
"It is better to laugh at man from outside the universe, than to cry for him within"
Howard Philips Lovecraft
Tim 1. 9. 2010 Mortuary