Wednesday, March 5, 2014

interview with funeral doomsters Ephemeros (Portland)

interview with funeral doomsters Ephemeros (Portland)
Ephemeros (U.S.)
Speaking of funeral doomsters Ephemeros back in issue number 38, Metal Bulletin Zine observed:
“Recently, I have been listening to Ephemeros a lot, and I have been wondering why that is. It could be that Ephemeros masterfully works funeral melodies and that is really all there is to it: Ephemeros has great melodies. This trait makes it very difficult to argue with the music, and very easy to agree with it.”
This zine also noticed about the album titled “All Hail Corrosion”:
“Ephemeros plays very slow throughout the complete album, yes, and the growling is low and slow, yes, and the slow heaviness is meant for stopping and smelling the roses, and for forgetting your fast, busy life. The riffs themselves are a journey to the places where plodding, tripped out heaviness meets up with melancholy and melody, and it all makes sense when Ephemeros puts it together.”
Recently guitarist Chris gave these answers to an interview about Ephemeros and other bands that the members of Ephemeros are in, and about life in Portland, Oregon. Ephemeros is: Garrett (bass), Chuck (drums), Jesse and Chris (guitars), Josh (vocals).
“All Hail Corrosion” is:
1.All Hail Corrosion (13:53)
2.Stillborn Workhorse (10:40)
3.Soilbringer (15:29)
Is "All Hail Corrosion" your debut. I have read the names of your other bands, but I am not going to lie: I have not heard your previous bands. For Ephemeros, whose insane idea was it to play very slow doom?!
Yes, “All Hail Corrosion” is our debut record, and we're very excited about it. We have 2 long ass songs written and plan to finish a 3rd and record a new album in the fall of 2014. Previous bands span lots of genres. Graves at Sea is sludge/doom, Nux Vomica is crust/melodic death metal, post-metal, and ambient/atmospheric, Elitist was, well, I dunno what to call it, very angry and heavy music rooted in hardcore. This band was the idea of Jesse and Chris, and we basically just wanted to play very slow and heavy music that was both brutal and beautiful, following in the steps of a lot of European funeral and death doom bands.
Did you record bits and pieces of the songs at a time or did you play the songs all the way through?
Oh, we had plenty of "go-backs" and overdubs, but nothing too excessive. We tried to take out each song in the largest cuts possible. I believe there was some minimal sound replacing done to certain kicks/snares that maybe didn't sound too hot, but most of what you hear is the live real time recordings. We didn't question Fester at Haywire much at all about his recording techniques, partially because we completely trust him, and also because we don't have any strong opinions for/against modern recording techniques. If it sounds good, which we think it does, we're happy.
I keep hearing that Portland has a thriving scene of punk and metal. Do you feel that this is accurate? I guess funeral doom is never going to be "hip" and "cool," is it? Or, maybe I'm wrong?!
Well, I went to see Pallbearer last night and couldn't believe there were 400 people there, so maybe it's catching on? Yes, Portland has a very thriving punk and metal scene and we are very much a part of it through our other bands, our jobs, and just our friend circles. Ephemeros is lucky to be part of such a thriving scene.
Your song "Stillborn Workhorse" was on YouTube even before the album was released. Does that bother you?
It bothers us just a little bit... but not much. I mean, we'd like for people to purchase our tunes and support our band as well as the record labels that put up so much money to make it happen. On the other hand, I'm just happy people are listening to our tunes. I'm happy anyone gave enough of a flip to bother putting our stuff on Youtube.... that's rad.
Reviewers usually talk about how funeral doom is depressive and use this silly language, like hopelessness and things like that. But when you are playing the songs, do you not feel joy and happiness?
I like to think our music evokes several feelings, but yes, there is some joy and happiness that comes from it. We try to make music that reflects our hopelessness in the world, but also those moments of light and hope that always shine through. I also think our tunes are a release for anger and rage. And also, it’s good stuff to get high, close your eyes, and take a friggin’ breather from this stressful life. Practice is like therapy to us.
I looked up the definition of Ephemeros and I was wondering if the lyrics are part of an overall concept. I have not read your lyrics, but I do like to know what people are screaming about. Who in the band writes the lyrics? How would you describe your lyrics?
They lyrics are written by Josh, the singer. They are all over the map, expressing all of the feelings I mentioned in the earlier question. We have a loose concept of time, erosion/corrosion, decay, and the slow march to death. Ephemeros is the Greek root word for the modern word "ephemeral" which means something, typically something in nature, that only lasts one day. Like an ephemeral insect or stream. The Greek root word translates to "of the day". So I suppose the theme is being aware of our gradual decay, but also living in the moment and embracing the moments of joy as they come and go.
How much of the song "Soilbringer" was made up at the studio? Was it more than 15 minutes before you recorded it? Did one of the guitarists, Jesse or Chris, just keep going with the riffs and then your drummer Chuck, just said, "Oh, well, I'll just keep going, too"? Next thing you know, boom, a 15-minute song?
Haha, no, that is nearly exactly how we wrote it at practice and perform it live, with maybe a few extra ambient sounds thrown in.
What is the longest that your vocalist Josh can hold a continuous growl? Also, if Josh forgets a lyric, would the rest of the band notice? Would your bassist Garrett give him a look, like, "Dude, you messed up!"?
You're cracking me up...I have no idea how long Josh could hold a growl, but he seems to be able to hold it as long as is needed hahah. And no, if Josh messed up, we wouldn't likely notice. In fact, we'd just assume he was experimenting and hopefully making his vocal part even more awesome.
Here are some quick Portland questions. What are some of your favorite metal or punk Portland bands from the 1980s?
Well, this is just me, but I'm gonna say the Wipers and Dead Moon.
What are your favorite places for vegetarians or vegans to eat in Portland?
None of us are actually vegetarian, but some of us are ex-vegans, and we all are part of a general community and environment here in Portland where there is vegetarian food all around us. So, unlike a lot of meat- eating Americans, we eat vegetarian often, and don't think much about it. When we have potlucks or meals with guests we always know there needs to be options for our veg fam/friends. I think we can all say we support a diet that consists of more than just fast food and processed meat. From there, we each have our different opinions and diets.
What are the clubs where Ephemeros and friends play?
We play currently a lot at Rotture, Tonic Lounge, and The Know. In the past we played Ash St, Plan B. We'll probably play Slabtown soon.
What are some things that you hate about Portland?!
Mostly the same things I love, all the progressive hippies and freaks. It's love/hate. I hate the way people drive. Overall though, I love it here … wait a minute, are you interviewing me? Or Ephemeros?
Have you ever watched Portlandia?! Do you like it?!
We've all seen it and I think we'd all agree it has its moments, but is a little overrated.
OK, that's it. Thanks for your time!
Thank you for the interview and interest in our band!!! Cheers!!! --

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