Lots of black metal bands sing about nature, forest and the likes. MEMORY actually lives that. He moved in to the middle of a forest to write and record his last album, which blends middle-eastern influences with the classic black metal sound.
Please, describe the music and aesthetics of Memory.
I’m trying to make contrasts and even conflicts with different aesthetics and different kinds of music to find what permeates between them. I don’t want Memory to be limited to one aesthetic because then it would be at risk to being assimilated into the empty consumerist culture that it is against. The aversion to this assimilation is largely what inspires this music. I want to be outside of everything.
The project has been up since 2006 and you released 8 records so far. What’s your full discography and how your sound have developed from 9 years ago until today?
Long story short, I used to make dark experimental music but by the album, Creating In A Lucid Dream, the music had become more technical, faster, and progressive, and incorporated a lot of classical Middle Eastern influences. The forthcoming music is more straight up progressive black metal.
Your last record “Creating in a lucid dream” was recorded in an old house in the middle of the woods. How changing from an urban environment to this natural landscape had influenced your music and the process of composition?
I moved from the exploitative concrete urban world, being forced to consume a “reality,” into the forest, and producing reality. At first I just wanted out of the city, so I bought a van and traveled around the mountains. That’s where I wrote most of the music, and that’s why it’s acoustic. I ended up in a community that lives in cabins isolated in the woods. I can’t write too much about it because we’re private people, but it is very inspiring to me to feel removed from society. It’s also great to be able to be loud in the middle of the night, and be able to go days without seeing humans, so I can really obsess about projects.
Also about this record, it was record in a 4-track cassette recorded. What other equipments did you use? And why the decision to go back to this “ancient” form of recording? Do you think that aggregates to the aesthetics of album? Like it’s another instrument?
I used a tube preamp and compressor as well. I hoped that the lofi recording would emphasize the actual composition. In my region of the world right now there are a lot of terrible metal bands with expensive gear and hifi recordings who can’t compose anything interesting at all. I’m motivated to be outside of stoner metal, and do the opposite of what it is doing, so it seemed extreme to use cheap analog recording gear. I hoped people would hear the ambitious (non-institutional) compositions and the speed of the music recorded on this unprofessional technology and think of how fucked society is. That being said the next full album will be recorded in a professional studio, and I’ll only use 4-tracks for demos now.
You have a very broad range of sounds and styles on this record. When you start writing an album, do you have a specific genre or concept in mind? What was behind this album?
I wanted to make conflicts between music styles, like classical Middle Eastern music arguing with Norwegian black metal. I’m inspired by bands like Emperor, Blut Aus Nord, and Negura Bunget, that offer a different distinct musical idea with every song (but I also love straight ahead black metal like Judas Iscariot). I feel like any real musician who would play something creative, employ skills that took discipline to develop, and say something individualistic would have a lot in common, despite their national culture. At the time I thought playing fast music on a 12 string acoustic guitar would be really bold and extreme. I studied a classical Persian style that took me about a half a year, practicing every day, before it sounded musical at all. It’s what is used on the stuff like “Doorless Hallway; Burning Rooms” which is written in 16th notes at 200+ BPM. What links all these songs is that they represented an impossibility that I had to transform myself to overcome. They are all about doing what I cannot do. I think this album has been popular on the Internet because of the musical contrasts.
I do want a label to put out my music, and for as many people to hear it as possible. But I’m not a businessman, I spend all my time composing and practicing and participating in local music communities. But even if a label put out my music I wouldn’t compromise what I want to do. That’s why I put it out myself. It keeps coming out even at times when I face total rejection. And I would only want to make money from my music so I could know that there isn’t someone else out there that’s making the money from it.
You did mention to me that you’re going to do some live gigs in the near future. Most of one-man bands never do that. How are you arranging things for this shows? Will you have a backup band with you?
These songs are written to the loop pedal with a digital drum machine playing all the blast beats, which is plugged into the same loop pedal, which will sequence the beats with the guitar, and hopefully take away some of the staleness of playing pre-recorded music, because I have to musically react to the loop, and each time it will be slightly different. In this region there are actually scenes of both solo black metal acts and shreddy dark experimental guitar acts (like Sir Richard Bishop, and Bill Horist, for example). I’m also a fan of the solo guitarists, Larry Coryell, and Ralph Towner, from this region. I’m booking shows for both scenes. I hope to subvert the black metal scene with some of the guitar playing and subvert the guitar scene with the serious screaming and blast beats. I always aim to disappoint.
What you’re going to play on this shows? Are you put a compilation of all your 8 records? Also, what’s your tour schedule for 2015?
I’m playing mostly new music from the forthcoming demo, Human Trap. The First Room is a compilation of the early dark experimental music. So far in 2015, I’m playing a lot of solo shows, starting next week in Seattle, and going all over the Northwest region of the USA, and doing a West Coast tour in the Spring. After that I’ll be working with a band on new music written for 3 guitars, and we’ll tour more extensively.
Thanks for the interview, now you can say what you want. Cheers!
I love all the bands on this website. It’s going to be an important community. I also want to thank my local music community for all the inspiration including Sun City Girls, Swarming Hordes, Girth, Labyrinth and the Desert, and everyone else. Please keep following Memory, this is only the beginning!
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