Friday, March 25, 2016

interview: Necronomicon (Canada)

Recently I had the chance to listen to the new album by this Canadian symphonic extreme metal band, “Advent of the Human God.” I did not really know what I was getting myself into this time: I was familiar with the name of the band, but looking deeper into the history of the band a whole bunch of questions came up. Necronomicon seems to have a history that goes back to the late 80s. They have a death metal demo from 1992 called “Morbid Ritual.” The demo or part of the demo is on YouTube, too. It’s a brutal, full-on death metal recording. They now have five albums in total. At any rate, I figured it would be a good time to try to get some answers. Fortunately for this publication, the band’s vocalist/guitarist Rob “The Witch” was very accommodating and responded.
Metal Archives shows some crazy information about your band! Did the band really start in 1988?!
Metal archives is not super accurate, some info there are wrong. Yes, I Rob the Witch, started the band in 1988, but besides some local shows at the time and a self-recorded rehearsal tape we didn’t have much. We hit the road for our first mini tour in 91 for 12 shows and then recorded our ‘’Morbid Ritual’’ demo that we released few months after in 92. The story is really long and has a lot of things that happened on why we don’t have as many albums on that long of a career. The entire story of the band have not been written because it would be time-consuming and I’m not sure a lot of people would be interested on the story of band members running out with the band money, stealing the band gear to buy drugs, suicide, and the list goes on and on with crappy things that happened. We need to focus on the here and now and that’s what is all about.
How would you describe your music back in the late 80s?
Already I was struggling to form the band with the idea and the vibe I wanted to do, but people where I come from were more into the ‘’Metallica’’ and other bands like that, even the people more into Slayer just wanted to play cover songs and not really compose their own music. So it was really not easy on that part, but also when you want to do something that’s more with an occult or dark theme most of them were backing out. You have to think that I come from a remote region and people were still believing that metal is the devil’s music.
Now that you have your album out and ready for the world, what are your objectives?
We want to get where we never have been before for sure, but at the same time we want to keep growing on the markets we already had worked on these last years. For example, we have been doing really good in the US compared to what we used to, that market became something we love to reach on tour and we just want that expended as much as possible. We think it’s possible with that album since we saw the difference with ‘’Rise of the Elder Ones’’.
You are from Canada, correct? How is life for you and your band, in the part of Canada where you live? Are you professional musicians at this point in your music career?
Yes, we are Canadians and living in Montreal. I’m not sure what you mean by professional musicians …what you considered to be professional musician is the real question. Here it means you are touring and have albums, endorsements and media attention that is what I call professional musician. In that aspect, yes, we are. We don’t play really often here, as for many place we could say that no one is prophet in his own country and that applies really well to us, even if I can say that things start to look a little different nowadays. There’s like 100 bands just in Montreal, with the event of the internet and computer recording everyone is in a band, so when you play it’s in front of people that are in bands and start to compare themselves with what you do. On top of that people take you for granted, so they don’t want to pay you what you charge, money that they can have easily anywhere else. So it’s not that we don’t like to play here, it just don’t happen very much.
“Advent of the Human God” sounds like a professional, quality recording in the genre of modern extreme metal. What keeps you motivated? Are you stubborn, like the guys from Anvil?! You started in the late 80s and you are doing great work in 2016!
Well, I’m the only original member, and I don’t have family or kids and I don’t think I would have time for that anyway since my main priority is Necronomicon. The Anvil reference represents really well how here in Canada we have no support from any kind of industry for metal bands because it simply doesn’t exist beside few underground acts that don’t have the power to push bands to the international market. As Canadians we have to work 5 times more than any bands to get out of here and try to get something that’s worth it. We got screwed and abused by labels, managements and other medium of the industry many times, Anvil are not the only ones; we are many in that position. Some other bands have been more lucky and been backed up by the right people at the right moment, like Kataklysm for example, not saying they don’t work hard here, but just that they have been really lucky. Don’t think it’s to be stubborn but more a reality of the fact that Necronomicon is getting bigger every album, not as fast as other bands did, but it never stopped growing and doing better.
Is “Advent of the Human God” a concept album? What are the ideas behind the album?
It continues the concept of the band about life, death, rebirth, the idea than man is one with the creation and we should renounce what is imposed on us to face our true self and become as gods. To project ourselves on an evolutionary path that will be more in harmony with the cosmos and to see what is really good and bad from the universe perspective and not from religious or human made preprogramed way of thinking. That’s a short version on what is going on there but we have some songs that are a little on the side of that like the one called ‘’The Fjord’’, that one is about me and Rick (drummer) home region in the north and the fact that we move away from there for our music career among other things.
Since you have such experience making music and have seen so many changes in the industry, how do you see the future of metal music, especially for underground and extreme metal bands that do not have multinational corporations supporting them?
Well, things need to change because even if people in the industry say that they don’t make money anymore, well it’s half the truth, they still do make money, for sure they do less than before but they really still do make money where musician are the ones going down with nothing. Already it was hard before now it leaves no chance to anyone who don’t have already a financial support for their band if they really want to go somewhere. You need money to make your band happen and that’s a reality, you need to work and know the right people. It’s not sending your Cd to a label that will make you hit the jackpot, that doesn’t exist. You need to prove you want to do something and already be someone before a label might get interested, and from there it’s in which aspect you accept to get screwed, because you will get screwed, it’s just a matter of what will you accept in exchange to get your name at the bottom of the label mailing list. So things need to change because starting a band from scratch these days is almost futile.
What can your listeners do to give some support to your band?
Like the band page on Facebook, like and subscribe to the YouTube channel, buy the album, watch and like the video clip and buy merch, of course. We are not backed up by big money shots here, what we do it ourselves and it takes a lot of work, time and money. You were asking how we stay motivated after all that time…at the end it’s the people who decide, at end it’s the fans that made us keep going and it looks like it’s far from over the way it’s going right now.
What news do you have about your band for the rest of 2016?
Stay in touch because we have some tour dates coming that are in planning at this moment, I can’t say much now, but I assure you that it’s coming.
Necronomicon - Crown Of Thorns (Official Video)

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