Thread: Black Metal.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #14732 (permalink)
Omni
Song to the Siren
 
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Florida
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Originally Posted by Josh

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Was the use of dextromethorphan an influence of the Atropine material? I read belladonna (along with hemlock, datura..) was used in the recording.

Anything with the VC name is meant specifically for upper plateau DXM doses, always.


Beyond the use of deliriants and dissociatives, what is the process for creating your ambient pieces? Do you utilize instruments or rely more on field recordings? How much is digital manipulation a factor? Bloodscents, for instance, seems as if there was an acoustic instrument present in the recording, whereas Bete Noir has a much more spatial, atmospheric and droning feel.

I rarely ever use live instruments to create the more brooding type of ambient pieces. Those are mostly bizarre forrays into sound manipulation. I like using bizarre sources and methods, even if audially they have little significance. It's mostly a personal deal, just the idea that I know flicking Jade Edouard onto a heated coin, recording the "sizzle" and sampling it as an open hi-hat. Things like that are things I love.


At least some of the upcoming release was recorded in 2003, before the recording of your official debut. Do you feel such a long duration of recording affects the fluidity of the work?

It would've had I tried precariously releasing "P aa", which had an almost pop sensibility to it and spit in the face of the minimalism VC was known for. I think "Atropine" is very fitting under the VC namesake and seemed like an appropriate, if not obfuscating (at least for one very vocal forum user here), last note.


I was struck by the large variation in the track lengths of Atropine. Ambient music, in my experience, seems to lend itself more towards longer, drawn out compositions. How do the shorter sections compare to the longer ones?

The shorter tracks are there for deja vu instances on 4th plateau DXM experiences. The track fours on each disc, the monsters, those are the meat of "Atropine". They're my zone out pieces, though I actually prefer listening to the album sober.


How did Velvet Cacoon and d.Marvin of Veinke come to collaborate? Has his input been a factor at all on other releases where he is not credited?

I've known Dan since he was like 12 or 13. The guy is supergenius. He turned me onto Swans "Great Annihilator" album and we began talking quite a bit, realizing we had a lot in common from music to pharmacology. He and I put our heads together and netted ourselves a good chunk of change. We're both very fortunate, and retired! I basically sit around all day playing guitar or riding my bike. He's helped VC in terms of concept.. usually when I went too far into psychedelia and sugar he balanced things with drugs and grit.


Out of curiousity, where did you draw your sampled material from, such as those inserted on 'How the Last Day...' and the interlude in Fire Bloomed From Frost? The strings in The Fullmoon Corridor? The whispering in Flouvonne?

I barely remember the Last Day thing, but I think some parts were sampled from a rare but exquisite French import called "Natacha Tertone - Le grand déballage". Flouvonne is a shhhhhhhhecret.


Is there any symbolism or meaning behind the track 'Genevieve'? I recall one message board poster referencing a connection to a Perry Blake song of the same name as a juxtaposition of Blake's suggestive lyrics and Velvet Cacoon's published stances on asexuality.

'Tis a shame I can't find it, but when we signed to FMP and were putting "Genevieve" together, the inner panel was originally quite a long bit of prose about what "Genevieve" was but I thought it was too much info for a debut and wanted to keep the focus on the tunes instead so we just printed "dextromethorphan". I don't really know how to say this and sound cool doing it, but for the sake of honesty: Genevieve was a ghost I saw on lsd when I was a kid and it was a pretty fucking crazy experience that basically changed me in a very profound way.


Although you stated there was no more recorded material, did a full CD-r version of Genevieve ever exist? Still would be interested to hear it.

Yep about a dozen exist, or existed. I have none of that. I actually don't own a single CD or vinyl from VC. Jon sends me that stuff but I give them away or drop them off at local record shops. The cd-r of "Genevieve" was the same as the FMP version except the title track was different (we had it on our site), "Laudanum" was sans drums, and "Kismet" was the "King Deluxe" sample at the end of "Laudanum" but as a standalone track.


Do you still ever visit Maryland? There was an Italian interview where you mentioned staying on the Chesapeake. I'm from Annapolis myself.

Yes I love, love, love Maryland. It knocks the wind out of me each time I visit there. I know of Annapolis but only like to spend time in St. Michaels. This is a very endearing little place and if you've ever been there you know what I mean. It's full of nothing but old rich folks (both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have houses there), fucking achingly beautiful scenery, deer everywhere, looming forests, ethereal smells, gentle Chesapeake bays and alcoves all over, lots of memories of sitting on the docks, feet in the water, eating blue crab with grenache and Old Bay seasoning. Can't even explain it. I'm still young enough to prefer life in the city but when I do decide to settle things down, It'll be in St. Michaels.


Do you foresee carrying any lyrical and thematic aspects of Velvet Cacoon over to your next project or would you rather bury them for good?

Yeah, I don't think you can really get rid of the inner dialogue and verbal core... it's embedded deep in your framework, not something you can ditch if you get bored. I have an unusual interest in wordplay. On the subject of this, many people noticed a pretty blatant "feminine" quality to VC, which was intentional from song titles, fonts/artwork, passive attitude, themes of water, rain, oceans, relaxation, sleep (or drowsiness, dizziness), decadence, royalty, etc. For some people bm is about Satan, beer (ha!), suicidal thoughts, whatever. For me it's just laying in bed, lazy nights, headphones, rain (of which we get a lot of where I live), being chilled out basically. I wanted VC to have that same rainy day quality, something to nuzzle up to. It's not like tomorrow I'll suddenly be singing about Thor or national socialism.


Finally, will there be any way to stay abreast of post-VC projects

Yes. I'm not sure how, but I can't seem to do anything without everyone knowing about it sooner or later. I know any attempt to obscure what I do will be foiled regardless. That's one thing about the internet, your privacy is crumbled up and pissed on the day you enter the "public arena" in any way. I'm a very private person by nature and people wanting to know things about me weirds me out for whatever reason. I guess it seems hypocritical that I even answer this. Maybe it's a subconscious way of throwing red meat to the dogs in hopes of placating curiosity.


1. Does the song Kismet (track 3 on the Genevieve CD-r) actually exist?

Yes, it is the outro to "Laudanum"

2. There was a that teaser mp3 version of the song Genevieve from the CD-r version, was there actually a whole CD-r version of the album?

Indeed there was, but it was mostly just different artwork.

3. If so, can I get the tracks, or any alternate or extended version of other songs (I gather there is an alternate version of Laudanum that a few people may have)? Even in a zip format like the "fleurmilk" tracks from the unfinished album.

I don't even have them myself.

4. Was Miranda Lehman in on the whole thing? I just get the feeling she was.

Awww my dear Miranda, she was in on nothing. Her response to my temerity was indeed authentic, but about a year or so later she contacted me and seemed to, in retrospect, have a better idea of what we were doing. We've spoken since then and everything is fine between us. I'll keep the details private, but I will say she is a marvelous little soul, just a pure delight in every sense. And who knows, maybe one day soon something will surface w/ both of us.


What guitar did you use on "P aa"? What methods do you use to play?

I used a Gretsch White Falcon for it. As for the method, I fingerpicked the entire album. Using a fingerpicking style with a semi-hollow guitar creates a really fat and dark sound, the notes are more muted and bassy and create a warm, rounded, smooth, wide, almost sleepy & murky distortion. I think sound is waaaaaaay more effective when you make your listener think they hearing a note as opposed to beating them over the head with it. To me, people almost have to guess how VC sounds. Many notes sound more like an illusion to me. On bass, I obviously tuned everything down quite low and used a custom tuning for each of the songs, so good luck tabbing 'em. Each string alternates being tuned further up and further down than usual, each took a while to get right based on open chord foundation. I use a custom made program written by a friend; it can be tweaked to virtually any sound and it runs through a Macbook. Every VC recording was done on Macs. Also, all reverbs are natural spring reverbs for maximum blur.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh
Did annoying black metal kids inspire you to quit VC?

Actually no. If anything, I really like those annoying kids. Seriously, the 14 and 15 year old kids who are the most annoying are also the ones who know of all the bands you'll be hearing about in 2009.. at such a young age black metal is incredibly impressionable and these kids are ahead of all of us because they basically represent the ones who'll be making this music tomorrow. I know that sounds tacky and gooey but it's true. As annoying and unbelievable as teenagers are, these kids just know. They have a better intuition on where the sound & direction of black metal is heading. Old-timer retro-grouch ego gets old anyways.


Werewolves of Venice, Pumkiva, Sterres? What's going on with all these bands?

Werewolves of Venice doesn't exist. Sterres was just a one song thing. We recorded a full length s/t Pumkiva album using nothing but antique instruments from the 40's, 50's and 60's, all analog. The sound was so barbaric and raw it wasn't even listenable. In the lull between Dextronaut and Atropine we briefly discussed with Jon releasing it through FMP, but we never produced a final version. The witch poison theme was carried over to Atropine.



why won't "P aa opal Poere Pr. 33" be released?

I wrote bass and drum parts for each song and lots of classical guitar parts as well so the electric guitar acted mostly as a base, then I started in with piano lines and it just started sounding too big. In my head, with all their respective parts, this album sounds quite a bit different than what you hear on those files. But when I listen to "Genevieve" it sounds more real to me. It was made on a whim and in such a profound state of mind. When you put nearly five years into a mere 7 songs you're looking at almost a year per song. You end up adding and removing and tweaking and adjusting and rearranging the original so much that eventually you lose the song, and that's basically why I had to kill "p aa". I think sometimes people just get it right the first time... sucks it took all these years to understand, but it's still funny to me. You're never as innocent as you are on a debut. After that it becomes really hard not to ostentatiously veer off track and lose focus. Even when you're aware of this, as I was, you just can't get the shit back to shoe level again.


VC went from being loved for the wrong reasons (hype, lies, mystery) to being despised for many years but it seems like people are finally starting to come around again and this time for the right reasons. What do you think of the backlash you guys went through?

We fully counted on it and for obvious reasons. When it comes down to it, most people cannot help but to feel like black metal is theirs and that bands need to fit a certain criteria before they can be accepted. And most black metal bands really do aim to satisfy that criteria. With VC, I wanted to see what would ensue if the exact opposite happened. I wanted to get in on everyone's good side at first and then, once auspiciously "approved", shake the shit in spectacular fashion. Well now we all know what happens. I expected a backlash but the level of hurt and pain I saw in people... I'm not sure if it was funny or agonizing. And when I say agonizing I mean I felt bad at the level to which kids banked their "bm cred" on what bands they liked. The most memorable was some kid on metal-archives who had given "Genevieve" a 100% rating, but when the lies were revealed he curmudgeonly protested and begged and demanded the review be taken down since it was now invalid. Maybe I'm just petty, but to me that is what true comedy is all about. I got a real kick watching people who once lavished praise suddenly deciding we sucked because we were a "joke". To me, if you have two bands, one who wears leather and spikes and face paint and believes in a mystical being called Satan, and another band who thinks that's kinda silly, which band would you consider to be the "joke band"? Sometimes black metal's bellicosity seems really ass backwards and misguided, but I guess that's what makes it such a charming little genre.


What do you walk away from VC knowing that you didn't know before? What things in black metal make you shake your head?

Too many bands with zero personality, or bands who think image=personality. Whether you want to admit it or not, even in black metal, personality matters. I walk away from VC knowing that the best correspondence I've had from VC fans came from 14 and 15 year old kids. I can't stress it enough. I have an abundance of faith in the youth... I think the next generation of kids who make music will be utterly fucking mindblowing. You'll see.


If VC could be remembered for one thing, what would you want it to be?

The heartbreak and headaches, of course.

Vid from "Nightvines" off Atropine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWmo8YzsLu4

And that's all you'll ever hear again from VC. Crack the champagne!
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