SPECTRAL VOICE

 
 
 
Hi there, good to finally see you here in Poland. By the way, not all the shows on your tour will be shared with Demilich. Is there one single band to replace them on the rest of the dates or are you going to be accompanied by different bands each time?
 
Hi. It will just be the local bands. Daniel from Kill-Town Bookings set up 13 shows with Demilich as that's as many as they can play due to their work schedules, we decided to continue on our own throughout the last week.. 
 
You often seem to be compared to bands from the Finnish scene (Disma, Demigod, to name just a two) – how do you feel about it? Are you indeed inspired by bands from that part of the world or is it just a biased opinion of some listeners? I guess you can't ignore the fact that you are touring with a Finnish band right now. 
 
We're definitely inspired by Finnish bands. When Paul and I started the band we wanted to capture the sound and gloomines of early Finnish scene, which was different from the rest that was going on then, with bands like Rippikoulu, Demigod, Disma, Disgrace. Also Disembowelment was a big one for us, they're from Australia and have a different sound, but  share the same vibe, this introspective element in their music. I fucking love Finnish death metal, way more than Swedish – the Finns had a smaller scene, but more varied sound. You know, Demich doesn't really sound like Demigod, Demigod doen't sound like Rippikoulu and so on. There was this sense of inspiring, but not copying among those bands and that's really cool. 
 
It took you five years to release a full lenght album, although you had released some rehearsals, a crushing demo and some splits on the way. This time can be seen either as long or short, depending on many factors. How do you personally see it? I mean: the music you make is very dense and structured, it clearly does not come to life overnight – how would you describe your writing process?
 
Well, the demo was just me and Paul, I played the drums, guitar and did the vocals, Paul mainly recorded the guitar leads and some synth parts. At the beginning we were specifically trying to do a Finnish style band, to recreate the sound of Abhorence, or such and such band from there. We had always wanted to tour from the first day we started the band, so when we got Jeff and Morris to join the band and with a full line up we did a tour, but it was me and Paul writing the music. We started working on the full lenth album in 2014. It was still the two of us handling the majority of writing, but this time also Jeff and Morris had some riffs and arrangements so it was more like a group effort. It was very positive, four guys creating music made the sound wider – instead of two guys obsessed with Demigod sound it was four having their own ear and ideas. I don't think five years is a long time. We all have jobs and homes, so in my opinion it's better to take more time and create something more solid and cohesive rather than release an album every year or two with just two good songs on it. But you know, sometimes the music does come overnight – Paul  once came to the practice with a song he had made the previous  night – Terminal Exhalation of Being – and we didn't almost change anything in it. Sometimes inspiration just strikes, at other times you have to work with the song. But what matters is that everything remains natural and organic. 
 
 
Everyone knows you're involved in some other projects, though Spectral Voice is your priority band. From your own perspective, do you think your involvement in other endeavors contributes to Spectral Voice or do you rather see it as exploring other music genres and a thing completely unrelated to your work in Spectral Voice?
 
Well, most  bands I play in are metal acts anyways, so it all depends on how you define 'related', but what matters here is that none of us would ever bring a riff that was made for another band, but it didn't work there or the other way round – not a single idea meant for SV would go to another project. The mindset and mental focus are strictly dedicated to each band so there can't be a lot of crossover. Well, some projects that I'm in are electronic or noise bands – they're unrelated musically, but it's moreless similar outlet in trying to capture the same energy. So, most of my projects are trying to seize the same thing, but in different ways and with different results. I think that could be said about most everybody in SV.
 
You desribe yourselves as a secular band, but your lyrics, although definitely more of a psychological rather than religious nature, seem quite spiritual. Could you tell us something more about them? What are your inspirations in that matter?
 
 
True, the lyrics are definitely not religious, as none of us are religious, though each ofu s has their own spiritual outlooks and beliefs. I try not to impose mine on others, but one big inspiration for me would definitely be Austin Spare, an English occultist who used psychology to break down  the barriers of mundane reality. He calls it atavistic resurgence. Also Carl Jung, who believed that within the collective unconscience we tap into the currents  and energies that are archaic, timeless, completely outside and acasual to any human domain. It's all very inspirational to me and it opens multiple universes to explore and see what lies behind the veil of our existence. Then there is Yung's outlook on dreamscapes and how your dreams can be reflective into your reality – that has also fascinated me. I've had recurring dreams since I was a child, really vivid and intense, really scary dreams that have definitely left a mark on me. So that's some of the inspirations, there are also my own visions of outer dimensions and inner realms. The lyrics of Spectral Voice are quite personal so they might be rather abstract for an average reader but that's OK for me, as those lyrics are important for me alone, not for the band to present its filosophy. It's not like I'm having a spoken word discussion with the audience every night, it's more like a chance of getting into the same mindspace as when you're writing the song. The lyrics are like a spell you set each time in the same way, otherwise the words will not work. They help recapture certain landscapes and emotions thanks to witch I can present the spectral aura of the band. 
 
All SV members are involved in multiple bands or projects,  some of them (Blood Incantation for that matter) seem more occupying than others. Don't you think that due to this state of affairs the band might not use its full potential? 
 
It hasn't been a problem so far, those guys are all dedicated to their craft and what they are trying to do with their lives. There are no schedule conflicts, we're all open to what offers are  available for each band. Both Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice are busy bands touringwise – SV do four to six weeks tours in the States, the last European tour was six and a half weeks – we like touring for sure. But it's not like I feel like I need to be on a tour, when Blood Incantation is touring there is no animosity, like 'SV could be on tour now, but they are instead.' I think when the time is right, the time is right. All members are dedicated, both bands practise twice a week, so we all make this our lives and it never conflicts with our schedules because we have the same schedules. The other guys are crazy, they played a 3-week tour with Blood Incantation ending at Kill-Town Festival and started a SV tour there as well. After the show they just got into another van with other gear. They just love doing it and that's the key thing here – if there was one single person who doen't really want to be there in that van, the whole band's energy would be lost and that would compromise everything. Also, I don't think we'll ever be a band that replaces musicians – if anyone decided to quit, it would probably be the end of the band. The way the band works is a very specific formula of all four individuals, in case anyone were replaced, it would be extremely hard to recreate that chemistry. 
 
You took over vocals after Casey Hogan's departure. Why did he leave and why did you, a drummer, decide to take this responsibility? It can't  have been the first option that popped in your head, you know what I mean.
 
It was actually somehing that simply made sense. When Casey left the band we were all in really good terms, he almost always goes on tour with us, he does the merch and sometimes joins us on stage to sing some songs, but he left the band simply because he didn't really want to do exactly what we were doing. In the beginning of the band it was all more rigid sonically, but he wasn't really sure about the aestethics and the presentation of the band on stage, also the touring at the time... When he left, we talked about it. At the time it was still only Paul and I, and it was me who wrote and composed the placement of the lyrics so it kind of made sense. So instead of finding a person to fill the void I just tried it and, although it was hard at the start, it became an integral part of our band. It was ust easier for me to sing my own lyrics than for anybody else to sing another person's quite personal words. And I said to myself, that if Chris Reifert can do this... also at that time I thought James Reed, the drummer from Revenge, did the vocals on stage as well, so, shit, if they can do this, why not me?
 
Not even a year has passed since the release of Eroded Corridors of Unbeing, I guess we'll have to wait a while longer for another full lenght. What are the bands plans for the nearest future?
 
Yeah, we have a split coming up with a band from Seattle, a 10 inch, then we'll start working on a new record, but I can't say when that will happen. Matt from Dark Descent Records is very open with whatever we do, he says 'when you're ready, just let me know.' He's been our friend since before the band started, we hang out a lot so it makes things easier. I really want the new album to be out, but it just has to be the right thing. The more the band exists the more we realise that we don't really need to be writing a song every two months to be on top of any schedule. Sometimes we try to write a song and it sounds good, but then we come back to practice another time and it sounds a little stale - the essense and atmosphere have to be there so the filter is very high for what will pass through. So that will probably make for a slower process, but we also devote a lot of out time to it so it doesn't have to be that long. We'll see. 
 
Thanks for the talk.
Absolutely, thanks. 
Radosław Grygiel
Foto Live Kazimierz Ździebło i zdzieblo.com.pl
 

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