Interview conducted via e-mail in March 2015.
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WULF: OK, there’s seriously like no information about you that I can find on the internet, except that you’re from Toledo, Ohio, and you produce your own minimalist dungeon synth music recordings on cassette tapes. Tell us about yourself, Mr. Wizard!
HEDGE WIZARD: Yes, I am from Toledo. I live in a place that sort of feels like a boarding house for factory and retail workers. A lot people in one spot, you know. Working long hours while playing games and drinking on our nights off.
I occupy my time with a lot of other good stuff though like books, comics and magazines. However, I do spend most of my time playing and listening to music, while at the same time trying to avoid both death and taxes.
WULF: Speaking of cassette tapes, I like the art that you’ve chosen for the cover. Did you make this art yourself? If not, then who did?
HEDGE WIZARD: Yes, I created the cover. I just wanted to make something by hand and have some fun with it. It seemed to work out in the end and the response I have got back has been encouraging.
WULF: Your music seems to fall into the “old-school” dungeon synth style, similar to (era I) Mortiis and point-and-click adventure games from the 1990s. Do you agree with this?
HEDGE WIZARD: I’m not sure where this album would be placed. I would have to leave that for others to decide. But when it comes to Dungeon Synth inspiration, I was listening to a lot of Gvasdnahr and Darkstroll at the time. Along with a lot of the 90’s DS recordings. So I’m sure some of that influenced my musical direction.
WULF: Is this a particular style you are aiming for on purpose, or is it just a matter of working with a lower budget?
HEDGE WIZARD: There was no clear direction for this album. It was just a hodgepodge of spells I conjured with the equipment that I had.
WULF: Do you plan on making future Hedge Wizard music within this style, or could you see your music evolving into something similar in sound to the newer, neo-dungeon synth style (such as Erang or Lord Lovidicus)?
HEDGE WIZARD: I am not entirely sure what the horizon brings.
WULF: Is “More True Than Time Thought” a concept album, or is there an underlying, unifying theme? Honestly, the vibe I get is that each song has kind of its own mood and storyline, but that’s just my interpretation.
HEDGE WIZARD: This album is about smoke emerging from strange mixtures. The aroma of mildew in a dank hall. Maybe this music sets the pace to the beads of sweat that roll down your face at the climax of a reoccurring nightmare. These are a few of my favorite things.
WULF: Also, is there a particular way in which you would encourage the listeners to experience your music? Personally, I think most dungeon synth works best as ambient music for table-top RPG sessions in the evening, but I’m not sure if everyone else feels that way.
HEDGE WIZARD: Like any music, I believe it is in the eye of the beholder. I could see a lot of pen and paper players really digging Dungeon Synth for their sessions. Or set the mood for a fantasy author to write their stories. It could be the soundtrack to an entity’s nightly musings. Personally I love to walk around or drink ale while telling stories. I suppose everyone has their own unique interpretation.
WULF: Are tabletop role-playing and/or computer games an influence in your music? I know that many dungeon synth artists have gaming backgrounds…
From when I opened up my first Magic booster and smelled that fresh print to the grueling raids during the MMO boom, I would say I have some gaming blood. And yes, quite a few RPG and tabletop sessions.
WULF: Is there any literature that you’d like to recommend that has either played a big role in your music production, or would perhaps enhance the listener’s experience or understanding of your music?
Reading is probably my biggest past time besides music and it has a large influence on my musical script. I enjoy the Sword and Sorcery short stories the most. One of my favorite authors being Fritz Leiber. I’ve recently been reading the Swords of Steel anthology by DMR Books. That’s been killer.
WULF: Along the same lines, is there any particular philosophy or world you are attempting to convey through your music, or at least something along these lines that you adhere to and would like to share with us?
HEDGE WIZARD: The blending of the real world and the fantastic. I walk this line constantly.
WULF: I’ve asked you a bit about your plans for the future of your music, but would you like to add to this? What can Hedge Wizard fans expect from you in the coming months or next couple of years?
HEDGE WIZARD: I’m not sure when the next album will be ready, but I am working on it. Only time will tell.
WULF: That’s all the questions I have for you, my friend!! Any final spells or incantations before we end this Malicious interrogation?
HEDGE WIZARD: Hey! Thanks for the interview Wulf.
Forever In The Dungeon!
You can read more of Wulf’s thoughts on Hedge Wizard here.