Interview with Kevin (Pseudonym:Paradox)
Knowing this individual already since somewhere in 2003 with the band Onrust (nowadays Yawgmoth),and after a period of time meeting up with him again,a next round of questions will follow about his activities in music,a new musiclabel,and of course the long awaited new Yawgmoth album.
MRP. So,to kick of the interview. How have you been?
I have been in and out of myself, but ultimately I was here all the time doing what I am here to do!
MRP. What got you inspired to make music in first place,and also understood you were inspired by occult themes. From what books did you got this inspiration and does it come back in the songs you write.
Making music started pretty late actually, compared to my age of almost 25. I was 'only' 14 when I accidentally tapped on the table. It sounded like a drumbeat which my brother had to convince me of really. At the time I wasn't even interested in music. But it resulted in getting a drumset and playing in my first band, Dying Insanity which later turned to Onrust and ultimately became Yawgmoth.
Occult themes among others indeed. And just to clarify; although I'm involved in black metal related music, I am not a Satanist or anything else for that matter. Occultism often seems to be mistaken for Satanism. Satanism might be a part of occultism, but the word occult simply means hidden. Even tarot-cards are occult and in fact they should not be represented by women in purple dresses throwing some cards around. Even this holds extremely valuable knowledge. I'm not even an occultist, I just find it interesting.
I had to understand every aspect of existence. I'm reading books about many topics really.. some authors I get inspired by are Michael Tsarion, Carl Jung, David Icke, Jim Marrs, Jim Keith, Terence McKenna, Erich von Daniken, Lloyd Pye, Jordan Maxwell, works of Plato and metaphysics in general, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Helena Blavatsky etcetera. The Old Testament (highly occult, even though Christians refute occultism) and the Nag Hammadi codices are also an infinite supply of inspiration. And ofcourse, the internet is full of fascinating websites and independent researchers. Also, comedians are often a huge inspiration to me, such as the late George Carlin, the late Bill Hicks, Louis CK, Joe Rogan and so forth.
MRP. You have been a drummer since the period i know you,in time ever thought of picking up another instrument?What sort of brand drums do you use now?
I have to quote a musical inspiration of mine here, Devin Townsend, he said: 'The first instrument you picked up, ultimately becomes your instrument of choice'. And to me that is the truth. I began with drums and I love playing drums. Synchronizing the mind and body in an artistic way.
I took drumlessons for about a year, and after that the teacher said that I have to do things on my own now, since he couldn't teach me anything new and that it was up to me to better my skills. And of course, metaldrumming is not something automatically included in drumschool. I do not consider myself to be a metaldrummer, I enjoy technical playing more. I can't play doublebass faster than 180 BPM but that is currently not my field of interest. I want to work more on perfect execution, hitting where I'm supposed to hit a drum and playing parts exactly as I've written them, with as little energy consumption as possible.
Ì also auditioned for music school, department 'media music' (producer, songwriting etc.) at the ArtEz Conservatorium. The panel concluded that my music was good and inventive, but, and I quote: 'too authentic'. In other words, I wasn't going to be accepted so before they ruled me out, I ruled them out. To hell with them, I suppose. But over the years I have learned to play the guitar, bass and keys. I mastered them enough to start my own projects which is a liberation. Regarding the brand of drums, I happen to own a Pearl Forum kit.. a beginners' kit with scrambled cymbals here and there, of various brands. I don't feel the necessity to play on a €3000,- drumkit knowing I might break the thing. And an expensive high-end kit doesn't make me play better.
MRP. As musician you have been very active playing in different various bands since 2003,like Wolversveen, Bellum Animi, Yawgmoth, and the Co-creator(latest project).Now,in this time. How do you look back on that period,with recording etc. How do you see the future from here on,and what can we expect.
Interesting question. Recording Yawgmoth material was a very intense period for all of us. We decided to do it ourselves, with me on the producer seat. We started recording the second album in November 2007, and we are still not finished! It is, among other reasons, to be honest, due to my lack of technical producer skills that led to this delay. I recently had a talk with Delirium about this album. I concluded I learned enough about producing and recording over the last 6 years and that we should pick up where we left off. But keep in mind; the album itself is READY but sound-wise it is far from it. Another contributing factor to this ungodly delay are personal issues which are too complicated to explain here. But I think we were all a bit bummed about all of this but we never failed to recognize the worthiness of this album. Also, over the years, getting all of us in the same location at the same time to actually do something turned out to be a challenge as well.
Yawgmoth slowly but naturally went into a comatose state, eventually to wake up again, since recently.
Bellum Animi I have very little memories of.. I'm surprised you do actually. It was a fun experiment, but for me it is not something I want to be involved in again.
The Co-Creator, on the other hand, a solo-project of mine is something you can expect to hear more of. I'm also working on an other solo-project under my own name, a kind of semi-acoustic but slightly lush and dreamy sounding non-evil music.
MRP. You,Delirium and Labyrinth were all also active in the band Bellum Animi,besides Yawgmoth. A demo and rehearsal release took place. Why not continued with this band? I also heard some material is still laying around. Plans that it ever will be used in the near future?Maybe under the name of a new project?
As I said earlier, that band is pretty much dead I believe. And I think we all share that belief. That was a one-time thing and to be honest, I am not particularly proud of that demo as well. I know there is a scene for every sub-genre, but I'm not even fond of the actual music of Bellum Animi myself! So there is your answer I think, Bellum has gone Inanimate.
MRP. Can you tell a bit more about the Co-Creator,and has it released something already?Who are involved in this band?
The Co-Creator is instrumentally and lyrically my project, but I ask others to do the vocals.
I started The Co-Creator in 2008. As for vocals, I do record some guide-vocals (with a hell of a lot distortion to mask my lack of skills), so that the actual vocalist can study the vocal lines. For main vocals, I asked Dumah Helvraet. For additional clean vocals I asked Ton Oortgiesen (Spectre from Control Human Delete) with whom I also have a project called Undercurve, an electronic indie type music, see http://www.soundcloud.com/undercurve. A The Co-Creator debut split-release with Helvraet (former Proctor) is already out for sale and I am currently recording a follow up, a full-length album, sort of a concept album about the tyranny and 'Orwellian' structures our society has fallen victim of. Musical non-fiction!
MRP. The Co-Creator has some really special mixture in the music itself, like jazz for example. To how many styles of music got you inspired to use it for Metalmusic in general.
When I listen to music, which, perhaps surprisingly, is a rare occasion, I almost never listen to metal. I listen to ambient kind of things and indeed jazzy stuff more often. Maybe this has a subconscious effect on my writing process. It is my solo-project so I can do what I want. There has been a kind of spiritual challenge to this in the beginning years; do I really want to express my emotions through such a personal form of art? I noticed how I was starting to give less and less shit about what 'genre' it should be over the years. Obviously it is metal, but not a standard variant of it. So, this project is indeed personal, as it reflects how I feel and change. So music wise, I'd say it is 80% inspired by my own consciousness and 20% by actual musical influence.
MRP. Any plans to appear live on stage one day with this band?
I would like to see that happen someday. The question is how. I have to find several people who are willing to participate. But I'm not sure myself how I want The Co-Creator to grow and in what directions. Currently I'm very comfortable with writing and recording material without any big follow-up activities. But who know that might change.
MRP. You said in the past 'That less people are involved in bands,the better the outcome will be'.What do you mean with that and ,does this mean you will be doing all the writing of music from here on?and hire session live members instead as far as possible?
I said that indeed. I have to clarify though, that is how I feel personally about it, through what I have experienced with bands. I was in Control Human Deletet for about a year. The slightest change in personality resulted in big changes in the band itself. I guess I'm not a very social person, so particularly in artistic relationships I find quality and synchronicity more important than the quantity of people involved. This might sound a bit elitist but what is the point of having a band with 6 people, out of those 6 there are 1 or 2 who do the actual writing, 1 of the 6 is not as serious as the others and the remaining members just follow whatever the writers do. This is ofcourse an example. But where I'm going with this is that in my opinion, I personally can get more creative and authentic when I'm with a small amount of like-minded people. With my solo-work, I typically ask 1 or 2 people at maximum to contribute to my music because I respect them and know what they have in them. Nothing more destructive to creativity than a fragmented heap of musicians not actually knowing what the hell they're getting themselves into. I may be talking about the human race as well now!
MRP. How are things going with Wolversveen? You have recorded 2 full lengths with them. Is the band still active?
I joined Wolversveen in 2005, they already recorded some material without me. Currently we are in the process of recording the first album with this line up. Although this has taken several years already (sounds familiar?), the songs are pretty much finished. So we are active, in Wolversveen terms. We have no idea when the album is finished though.
MRP. Besides all the bands, you now also have your own home studio and music label called Symptoms of Reality (http://www.symptomsofreality.com).How did you came with the idea to start your own music label, since there are a lot of them already, and what are future plans with it.
It was not my idea, I was asked to join. SoR is not limited to releasing music but all kinds of art. This hasn't been done that often I believe. But you are correct, there are a lot of (indie). What distinguishes us from most of the indie labels is the fact that we are: either responsible for, or at least guiding the complete process of recording/producing and releasing art.
We have a very clear philosophy as to what we want to accomplish:
We aim to create a platform for artists that are able to create a resonating effect in the ones subjected. This means that we want, through our art, create an opening in the minds and hearts so one is capable to experience a new level of existence. We believe that the doorway to this level is darkness We do not promote darkness and death, but we ask not to ignore them either. Since mankind is used to steer clear of anything painful, it’s not too hard to imagine that the best kept secrets are locked in that region of the soul. Secrets that are essential for a clear view of oneself and the world around.
Metal is in essence a dark genre of music, but jazz can uncover the dark regions of the mind as well. Or paintings by Salvador Dali for that matter.
Why does this appeal to some people? it can trigger certain emotions, and usually not the happiest ones. Dealing with them, uncovering the source and addressing them will kick start a healing process. You might want to call it creative therapy. This all sounds a bit dramatic, and in fact… it can be quite dramatic, but it is also possible to have a shitload of fun in the process! We are thinking about adding a special page on our website dedicated to our philosophy , so if you want to know more about this or just have fun dwelling in the darker atmospheres, check the website regularly!
Our plans for the future are quite ambitious, because we see the necessity of art growing more and more. But to cut back the philosophical part, we are planning to release and promote more art in the form of music, 2d, 3d, video, poetry etcetra. Possibly organize an event with live music by SoR bands, expo's by artists and what not. We already work with artist Sanne Stijnenbosch who designed the official SoR logo, and she will be designing a lot more artwork from now on. We are still in the early stages but we've already released two products with more to come in a few months.
MRP. Do you run the label by yourself,or are there more people involved from different bands,we know about.
I am co-founder of SoR. I was asked in 2011 by Dumah Helvraet (main man behind Helvraet and former vocalist of Dimensional Psychosis) to join him making a vision come to life. We have known each other since 2005 or so, making music during those years. We have grown simultaneously towards similar interests so it is only natural to team up and start this label. Of course our own projects are signed to our label such as Helvraet, The Co-Creator, Lygophilia, but we both know enough people to collaborate with, who in their turn also know people.
So it is a network of likeminded people altogether. This helps to broaden our view so to say. Of course our aim is to not only work with people we already know. We are also eager to working with artists internationally.
MRP. Next to the process of the new Yawgmoth album?Any other cool releases coming up we should know about?
The next Yawgmoth album will be a reality and most probably signed with SoR. Yes there are a couple of releases coming up. A full-length Helvraet album, a full-length The Co-Creator album, an album by HaaH and some other side projects lingering, including visual art.
MRP. How far is the process of the new Yawgmoth album?When we expect to see it released?
As I stated earlier, we are going to re-re-re-record the album besides vocals, so considering how the recordings went in the past, it is a mystery when it shall be finished.
MRP. Since besides music you educate yourself also with themes like the occult,please explain the background of it .And what is your ideology behind everything?Also,plans are in the make to create an own website for it,to share thoughts about it. Really curious how the outcome of this will be. Do you already have a name for it?
This interest into the occult and philosphy began in 2008. After a long period of surviving the education system which left its marks on my psyche more than anything, I realized I had learned virtually nothing of value during the school days. I left IT-school and since then, my life has changed. I felt something so dissatisfying but so clear that I had no choice but to explore. After watching a video on the Mayan calendar and its surrounding mystery, I was warped into a new phase of my life. I researched conspiracy theory and fact, psychology, alternative healing, UFO's, philosophy and basically everything else that would make me a 'paranoid conspiracy-theorist'. I had nothing left to lose, so I could afford my self-image be obliterated by new insights. And it did. In our home we (my girlfriend and I) have a fairly big collection of books about those topics I mentioned. We grew towards that together. This is such an inspiration not only in an artistic sense, but in an individual sense as well. I could have been a respected IT-worker for some corporation by now I guess, but I'm glad I dropped out. I'm learning about myself and myself in existence itself.
On the debut split-release by Helvraet and The Co-Creator, I dedicated a track to Irish author and researcher Michael Tsarion, probably my biggest inspiration. We had brief contact about my music and his work and as a result, a future collaboration is a likely possibility. So this is a perfect example of how I incorporate this wisdom and information into my music. My music has never been so multidimensional as it is now. I want to create a website, maybe a sub-site of Symptoms of Reality, where I combine my music with news articles about various interesting topics and writing my own articles. I'm also working on a book that I might share on this website. I plan to call the website 'Co-Creations'.. merging wisdom with creativity. But this is a plan which I will bring into life sometime in the future.
You asked me about my thoughts on everything. I can not promise to keep this short, but here we go. The main problem the world faces is the grotesque misuse of authority because people have become docile and predictable. We are being drugged, played, manipulated and abused by 'the system'. I consider authentic artists mavericks that can reverse this state of decay. That is exactly the reason, as I've come to believe, why I am on this planet. I see potential in everyone but it is not my direct task to convince everyone of that. My task is, I believe, to plant seeds and watch what grows out of them. One of those seeds is making music with an intent to educate, inspire and awaken the world from its slumber. There are a very few people who call themselves 'elite', controlling the vast majority of the world through banking, media, education, nutrition and so forth. Humanity has a very distinct history to look back on. It's always been tyrannical and oppressing, manipulating and abusing. When is it enough? I feel humanity has come to a crossroad, either we choose enslavement of we choose liberation. I refuse to believe that humanity is destined to be enslaved to authority or religion for that matter. Everything has become religious in the sense that a consensus had been made and everyone holds on to this consensus reality, too afraid to stand out and truly express what happens inside, for it is exactly what happens inside a human being that can revolutionize the whole of human existence. Women were burned because they were at one with nature, trusting their intuition and were called witches or pagans.. where do you think Christianity comes from? It has been hijacked. Thinkers were beheaded for speaking their mind, complete civilizations were wiped out because they worshiped a different god, scrolls of wisdom were burned and destroyed because it said that God is within each man and woman. The problem we face today is a different form of burning, destroying and beheading; we are being lulled into sleep, manipulated into slumber so that we act as slaves for faceless corporations who control governments, who in their turn control us. Even through music we are being brainwashed. What talent do most modern rappers have for example? They talk about bitches who need to get .. you know.., debasing every aspect of humanity and my biggest concern is; what happens to the children watching these clips? They will grow up to be insensitive psychopaths unwilling to think for a moment – the perfect slave. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but 99% of all the bad stuff that is happening, seems to be happening because it is orchestrated. It does not look natural. It is a deliberate dumbing down of society. I may sound pessimistic, but isn't this plain realism? I'm not pessimistic at all, in fact I'm optimistic about the future for every action meets its reaction.. the reaction to this current state the world is in right now, will be so overwhelming that evil will not show itself for a long time, until it does so again.
So it is time to awaken to our full potential and realize we have the power to reclaim the throne.. enough with the bullshit already. I'm sorry this took too long, I get in a certain zone when expressing my thoughts!
Your final words, please.
Make music, write poetry, create a piece of art reflecting yourself. I want to thank you for this interview and good luck with MRP!