Hi D, "As The Stars" is going to be released in a few weeks after a acclaimed "Torn Beyond Reason", how do you feel at the moment ?
Fine, thanks. I’m glad to finally see the album finished and ready for release.
The music of Woods Of Desolation is "shaded", the term "depressive" seems a little bit reductive, how would you define your music ?
I’ve never actually labelled my music anything. I’ve always thought it best not to restrict myself to any definitions or (sub) genre specifications. I like to leave it open to the listener to derive their own thoughts from my music.
Why did Tim leave the band ?
Tim never left the band per se; we simply had an agreement that he was to only help out on one album – so there was always going to be new guests on the next release.
How happened the recruitments of the guests, very especially Vlad from Drudkh ?
I had been in contact with Roman Sayenko (Drudkh) for some time already, so when it came time to record again with WOD I asked Roman to propose to Vlad the idea of performing drums on the new album; and thankfully Vlad unhesitatingly agreed.
I have been in contact with Old from Drohtnung for almost a decade now and have always thought he was the best live vocalist I’ve ever witnessed on stage – furthermore, we had also worked together a few times previously, so Old was already a clear choice for the vocalist position. I knew when I was compiling the material for the new album I wanted a different style of vocals than previous releases, and this was exactly the style of vocals Old delivers.
As for the bass; I suffered a hand injury preventing me from playing the guitar for any lengthy period of time, thankfully Luke Mills (who was helping me record the album) agreed to help out and record bass.
What do they bring to your music ?
Each guest brought years of experience and professionalism with them. I am very grateful they agreed to participate and help out on “As The Stars” – everything went very smoothly. It really was a much less stressful experience overall.
No chance to see Woods Of Desolation playing live ?
Perhaps one day. I wouldn’t rule it out completely anymore, but on the other hand it would be difficult, for me personally, to do. I don’t really enjoy the whole “live experience”.
What is your writing process ?
The writing process is usually exactly the same as it has been since day 1. I usually just play and create riffs on an acoustic guitar, then record them electrically and work with them on my computer. It’s all really done alone and without outside opinion; which can be both positive and negative at times.
Why this return towards a more "obscure" production (mix and sound of the guitar) ?
Before commencing recordng I already knew I wanted to aim for a more organic production; so we mic’d up the guitar amps, used completely natural drum sounds, used minimal effects, stripped away the keyboard orchestration etc. The overall aim of the material was to create songs driven by the guitar melody – the production/mixing was also geared towards this guitar emphasis. By having such an emphasis on guitars, I didn’t hold back on including anything I wanted in that department. It has always been something I wanted to do, but had to leave out to make room for other elements.
Your three albums are very different, do you think it's necessary to renew itself and evolve each release ?
Absolutely. I have no desire whatsoever to create the same album. Each release should be different.
The post-rock side arises (aerial tremoli and crescendo rise), which bands are you listening to ?
To be honest I don’t really listen to much music anymore, nor have I for the past few years. I guess my favourites remain; Nirvana, Ignite, Sigur Ros etc. However, if you’re after post-rock recommendations, I find acts such as Caspian and This Will Destroy You rather interesting.
Do you feel concerned about this fashion "post black" wave (often a shortcut for black metal and post-rock/shoegaze influences) ?
I haven’t really paid much attention, nor checked out what has been currently happening with all these new sub-genres during the past few years.
What is the concept behind the lyrics and the artwork of "As The Stars" ?
The lyrics generally centre’s around the idea of separation of body and spirit and the question of any possibility of the soul’s immortality. The artwork was a concept I came up with that would reflect the themes found on the album, as well as the ambiguity behind the name “As The Stars”.
Woods Of Desolation could have come from northern Europe... How can you live in New South Wales and create a such cold and melancholic atmosphere ?
I think I would be writing the same type of material regardless of where I lived in the world.
The 2013 year was recently over, which bands and albums do you recommend ?
I didn’t really listen to many new releases or new bands last year. I think the album I liked most though was probably Sigur Ros – Kviekur.
Thanks for your answers, last words are yours.
Thanks for the interview! Those interested in keeping up to date with my work can do so at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Woods-of-Desolation-Official/169396779759552
- links to merch and releases can be found there also.