Interview conducted via e-mail in January, 2015.
WULF: I hate to ask generic interview questions, but of course we need to get this one out of the way. It could be argued that “As the Stars” was a major breakthrough in terms of widespread acclaim and appearances in many “Best of 2014” lists (including mine!). What has been your reaction to all of this? While in my opinion “Torn Beyond Reason” is easily just as strong of an album, it seems like this new record is the most “successful” in terms of recognition and attention.
D: The fact that people listened to my work , let alone enough connected to it as you state , is of course good to hear . Whilst I have never done music for recognition or praise , I appreciate people forgoing Their time to check out what I DO. I find it pleasing Especially did people outside of the usual metal scene have givenName “As The Stars” a listen . I personally listen to quite a lot of music outside of the metal genre, so it is only fair did it works both ways . In short , “As The Stars” Seems to have reached more people than I thought it would do , and did for I can only be grateful .
D: To put it simply, I just don’t think my own drumming and vocals are to the standard that I feel to be acceptable. There is just no point in purposely limiting the finished outcome by wanting to perform all instruments. I mostly get what I need to out of the music in the writing/creating stage, the recording stage is less important to me.
D: Back then I’d improvise/write/record the music, then send it to P. Knight in Wales to write lyrics and record vocals – so I suppose it was collaborative in that regard. Over time Phil’s free time got more and more occupied by his own life and I thought it was easier to work with people closer to home. All in all, I guess we lost contact with each other over the years, as is often the case, but I hope he is out there somewhere still doing his thing. I have nothing but fond memories of those early days of WoD.
WULF: Your music summons up feelings of sadness, sorrow, longing…but also seems to find a beauty in them as well. What are you hoping to accomplish with your songwriting? Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist, or do you prefer a more raw, improvisational approach to WoD’s music? Also, where does this melancholy/depression/rage/angst come from? Australia fucking rules!! :p
D; There is never any intention to convey or accomplish a particular emotion; whatever comes out in the writing process is what it is for others to interpret.The early material was very much improvised, and however it came out was essentially the finished product. Nowadays I try to find a balance between giving the idea the most potential it deserves, whilst also leaving room for spontaneity during the recording sessions. Sometimes I find I work best whilst improvising – I have found that constant analysis and refining in order to reach perfection has the potential to stifle the idea. Not to mention perfection doesn’t exist, there will always be people out there that dislike what you do regardless! So I just do whatever comes naturally to me.
WULF: I also mentioned one of your old bands, Forest Mysticism, earlier. Have you ever thought about resurrecting this band? Why did you decide to end it? Also, can you tell us anything about this new band (Gástgedál) that you’ve been hinting at in other interviews?
D: I don’t think Forest Mysticism will ever be resurrected. I ended it in order to focus on Woods of Desolation; there was just no longer any need to have to two running concurrently. Much of the same can be said regarding Gástgedál. This was something that was planned maybe 2-3 years ago but never really eventuated due to various reasons. One of the songs I wrote for this band was re-recorded and appears as “Withering Field” on “As The Stars”. Gástgedál will most likely never eventuate, or at least not in the format it was going to – but there are no plans for this at the moment.
WULF: I’ve noticed that Satanism and/or occultism has strong influences in the Sydney/NSW black metal scene…is this true for Woods of Desolation as well? Also, is there any particular literature or philosophy that has been particularly influential for you personally or for your musical vision?
D; Not really. Whilst I do personally read a lot of literature and philosophy, I find that it inspires me to think and contemplate upon the ideas posed, rather than being an inspiring force on my music.
D; Not at the moment. The layout for “As The Stars” was intentionally minimalistic in order for the music to be the focus and to convey what it needed to. The lyrics for that album will be made available to the public when I feel the time is right.
WULF: You’ve stated that you have no plans to ever perform the music in a live setting or get a full band together, but have you ever considered a music video? Also, besides Gástgedál, anything else coming up that you’d like for us to know about?
D: No plans for a music video. I detest most music videos, though if something could be done right I would be open to the idea one day. I suppose the same applies to performing live.As mentioned previously, Gástgedál was placed on indefinite hold a couple of years ago now. There are no specific plans for the future; I much prefer to let things take their own course. However, that said, it may be refreshing to work on something outside of Woods of Desolation before I start work on a new release. Time will tell what happens in regards to that.
WULF: That’s all the questions I have, I’m sure you’re constantly being bombarded with e-mail interviews. Any final comments are yours…
D: Thank you for the interview and interest in Woods of Desolation. If anyone wishes to find out more information, or obtain merch/releases, they can do so via the following links:
Northern Silence Productions: http://www.northern-silence.de