Monday, May 30, 2016

Interview with The Howling Void done by Patrick on 5-30-16

Here   is  a  new  interview  with  the  Texas  funeral death/doom  band  "The  Howling  Void"   who  discusses  the  bands  newest release  and the  bands  history  and  future.  If you  are  a  fan  of this  type  of  doom  then  defintly  check  out  his  bandcamp  and  other  sites.

Interview  with  R.  vocalist  and  all  instruments   for  The  Howling  Void   done  by  Patrick

1.Hello  R.   how  are  things  going  with you  these days? Please  introduce  yourself  to  the  readers?

Things are going alright; neither good nor bad, which is just fine with me. My name is R. and I'm the sole member of The Howling Void. I've been writing and releasing strange music for various projects for about the last sixteen years or so.

2.When  did you  first  get the  idea  to  form The Howling  Void  and  how  did you  decide  on  the  band  name?

The idea to blend dark and crawling funeral doom with ethereal choir and string synths probably originated when I first heard Emperor's "In the Nightside Eclipse" a long time ago. I was moved very profoundly by the orchestration of that album and at that point I knew that I wanted to blend darkness and light in the same way, so to speak. The name of the band can refer to many things, but it refers primarily to the pre-natal and post-mortal darkness that lies on either side of our brief, fleeting lives.

3.The  Howling  Void    is  getting ready to  release  the band's  fifth  cd  "The  Triumph Of  Ruin"  How  long  did  it take  you to  write  and record the  songs  on the  new  cd?

 I was actually quite fortunate to be struck by a kind of surge of inspiration when I wrote "The Triumph of Ruin", and I think the entire process from writing to recording took about a month. Past albums have taken significantly longer, usually due to recurring bouts of writers' block. Before the inspiration hit for this album, in fact, I had spent several months trying and failing to come up with new ideas for the project, but suddenly the inspiration hit and I scrambled madly to get it all written down.

4.Which  usually  comes  first the  music  or the  lyrics.  And  what  are  some   subjects  you  explore   on "The  Triumph Of  Ruin"?

The music always comes first, but the music itself is always inspired by imagery, either mental or visual. I usually envision landscapes of one sort or another, and then try to write music that "takes me there". The lyrical subjects on this latest album all revolve around the idea of cycles and eternal return. The title of the album is actually loaded with a few meanings that relate to this. Namely, the triumph of ruin is the fact that everything dies and everything is temporary, no matter how vital it may be right now. However, ruin and death are not absolute endings but rather the catalyst for new life and new beginnings. Thus, the "triumph" of ruin is actually kind of ironic, because ruin doesn't really win out: it only leads to more life. But if you dislike life, well, there really isn't any good news there.

5.This  is   The  Howling  Void's  fifth  release  how  do  you  feel  the   music  has  evolved  over the years?

Personally I think that every album has a very different sound, but I know most people think all of my albums sound the same. The greatest evolution of my sound started with the "Runa" EP where I tossed the growls and started working themes from traditional Celtic/Germanic folk music into the compositions. I feel like "The Triumph of Ruin" represents the sound that this project has always been evolving towards.

6.Besides  the  new  release   "The  Triumph Of  Ruin"   do you  currently  have  any  of the  past  releases  or  any other  merchandise  available  for the  readers? And  if  yes  where can the readers  buy  it?

All of my releases are available digitally on my bandcamp site ( but physical copies are available from the labels and from various distros around the world. For the latest album I would recommend going straight to Avantgarde Music and ordering the digipak from them. The artwork came out beautifully.

7.Have  you  ever  had  the  interest  to  make  a  video  for  any  of your  songs?  If you  could  do  a  video  of one  of the  new songs  which  song  would  you   like to  see  made  into  a  video?

I don't have a lot of interest in making videos, but that's mainly because I haven't spent much time thinking about it. I suppose that a video could possibly create a more memorable or moving experience for a certain song, but I would need someone who is more visually oriented than I am to make all of that happen. I just write music; I sometimes struggle to explain or express myself verbally or visually, so I do it all through music. I think that "Where Once A River Flowed" could possibly benefit from such an arrangement.

8.Have   you  ever thought  of  adding   more   members to   The  Howling  Void  or  do  you   prefer  to  work  alone?

I always prefer to work alone due to my generally reclusive nature. I wouldn't mind playing live at some point, in which case I have several musicians lined up to become the live version of The Howling Void. Sadly, though, the opportunity just hasn't presented itself yet.

9.If you   had the   opportunity  to  work  with  any  musicians{past  or  present}  who  would  you   like  to  work  with?

That's a difficult question to answer because there are so many possible answers. I'd rather not name living musicians because they would probably be embarrassed to be mentioned in the same sentence as a nobody like me, but as for the dead? Giacinto Scelsi. I would love to have been able to watch him compose.

10.Besides   The  Howling  Void   are  you  currently  working  with  any  other  bands?

Yes, I'm constantly writing music for several different projects at once. Lately I've been writing material for Pneuma Hagion, which is an ominous black/death metal project of mine which recently released a demo cassette on Nuclear War Now! Productions. In addition, I have kept busy lately writing new stuff for a few other projects such as Serpentine Tunnels and Intestinal Disgorge.

11.     R.   you   handle   the  vocals  for the  band  when  did you   first  become  interested  in  singing?  Do  you  do  anything  special  to   keep  your  throat  and voice  healthy?

I've never considered myself to be a singer, but I recently fell in love with the sound of gregorian chants and, really, any chant-oriented music. I wanted to try and capture the hypnotic atmosphere created by those types of vocals and add it to the sound of The Howling Void. I don't do anything to keep my voice and throat healthy, which is a shame because over the past twenty years or so I have done lots of damage to my voice (it goes out quickly when I scream and growl these days). The strain on my voice is probably a contributing factor to why I've tried to rely more heavily on singing/chanting than screaming.

12.You  also   handle  all the  instruments  when  did you  first  start  playing  music?  What  were the  first  instruments  you   learned  to  play?

My first instrument was the drum kit, which I picked up in elementary school. I took a few lessons and enrolled in the percussion section of my middle school band, but that is the extent of my formal training. Also in middle school I picked up my brother's guitar and taught myself to play it. I did the same with the bass and the piano later on. I'm pretty much an autodidact when it comes to music, which has both advantages and disadvantages.

13.Are  their   any  instruments  you  would  like to   learn  to  play  someday?

Too many to name. I'd love to learn to play all instruments if I could.

14.When  not  writing  new  music  or  working  on  band  business  what  do  you  enjoy  doing  in  your  free  time?

 I spend the majority of my time working and writing music. So, if I'm not at work or writing music, you can usually find me reading a book. I'm very reclusive and have had very little contact with the outside world in recent years, so reading is usually what I do to pass the time.

15.Thank  you     R.    for  taking  the  time  to  fill  this  interview  out.  Do  you   have   any  final  words  for the  readers?

Thank you for the interview; I'm always honored to be considered. I would also like to thank the readers for taking the time to read this interview, and if they are interested in my music I would encourage them to visit my bandcamp page. I hope that they find something meaningful in my compositions.

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