Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Inquisitor Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Lord: This interview caught us in the middle of the recording process of our new album. This is the primary reason, why we suspended other activities. We'll be sharing updates of the status in the nearest future. Apart from that, we're living in personally interesting times now, changing jobs, starting or finishing Ph.D.'s. We hope, after all settles down a bit, the new release will be a solid foundation to start a new chapter of the band.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new material and how it differs from previous releases?

Lord: In my opinion, we have expanded the stylistic spectrum of our music, yet (I hope...) managed to stay coherent. The coming of new members since The Quantum Theory of Id (QTI) certainly had a considerable impact. You'll notice that in the interaction of the guitars and definitely in the bass line. The “black metal” parts are way more “black” now, and lots of “progressive” bits have been introduced. Personally, I feel the sound and composition being mature in comparison to our earlier attempts.

3. Can you tell us a little bit more about your song lyrics?

Lord: As the question does not specify which ones - the previous or the most current ones - are addressed, I'll put it this way. It was with QTI that I realized the most fruitful way of writing lyrics is doing themed albums. It allows one to have a broad field of ideas to contemplate, and it keeps the whole "script" unified. Of course slight variations are welcome, because a concept album is a rule and I like playing not just by the rules but with the rules as well. So this will be the case with the forthcoming stuff. As for the content, it is dictated by the topics/questions originating from certain chapters of philosophy (epistemology and metaphysics, mostly) that are current at the time of writing lyrics. Therefore, e.g. QTI was focused on the struggle between determinism and indeterminism doctrines in the even broader context of "the rational vs. the irrational".

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band name?

Lord: That is a rather usual question and, correspondingly, the rather usual answer starts with "oh, it was so long a time ago, I don't even remember exactly". But nowadays "Inquisitor" has a pretty well defined message for us: it is a searching figure, it embodies curiosity, amazement and passion for perceiving things. Hence, "Inquisitor" stands for "Inquisitor Rerum Omnium".

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Lord: That would depend on whom in the band you'd ask. As for me, one of the most outstanding gigs we've played in was Wacken Metal Battle 2012; by this I mean the scale of the event and the completely new level of experience, but not necessarily the atmosphere (don't mean to say it was bad in any way). The latter is usually best in smaller scale shows at some never-heard-of-it-before clubs, and I have several personal favorites, but you wouldn't have heard of those ;) Our main goal on stage is to uncover and sharpen the character of individual songs. The task is to visually increase the depth of the contemplative aspects and to drive to the climax the explosive ones.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Lord: Couldn't call it "plans", but we feel that the current stuff is very much worth being spread more widely. So, after the recording part is done, we'll get back to sketching a European tour.

7. Currently you are signed to Forgotten Path Records, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support they have given you so far?

Lord: Forgotten Path Records is a part (or rather a counterpart) of Forgotten Path Magazine, run by Odium (Martynas Vaškevičius). Odium is an old acquaintance of the band, yet it was his personal attitude towards QTI that led him to propose us releasing the album under his banner. And we couldn't be too grateful for his effort in both releasing and promoting QTI. You should also check out his annual zine (yes, a true paper release), which earns points for high quality standards.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the newer material by fans of avant-garde black metal?

Lord: It is difficult to say, since we haven't promoted our recent material heavily. Another thing is about our position in the sub-genre of avant-garde BM. Although the reception of QTI was overall rather great and pleasing, labeling the style is unequivocal even among ourselves. So we'll let the new album set clearer indications, whether "avant-garde" or "progressive" is more suitable.

9. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?

Lord: Some of us are involved in other Lithuanian bands either as true or session members. The most "hard-working" ones in this respect are GarLoq (drums) and Skol (guitars). While Skol is the guy behind the names like Haeiresis (experimental metal/dark cinematic industrial http://haeiresis.bandcamp.com), Terralienus (cosmic ambient drone http://terralienus.bandcamp.com), he has recently started a brand new drone/dark-ambient/industrial/noise project Velemara (http://velemara.bandcamp.com). GarLoq runs a BM act Dark Ravage (http://darkravage.bandcamp.com) and occasionally performs live shows with other bands. I'm also involved in a fresh-start black-gaze project Devlsy (http://devlsy.bandcamp.com), which will be presenting some records later this year.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

Lord: It's difficult to foresee, especially after just recently having finished the new material. At this very moment I don't see any drastic changes coming, for we still have themes and structures to explore within the current configuration. Even more so, I'd say there was a certain progression during the last couple of years, so if you take QTI as a starting point and compare it to our new stuff, you'll have a vector where we're heading to. To be more precise, I'd guess that we're going to a more massive sound, playing more on atmosphere.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer material and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Lord: As we were mentioning it several times elsewhere, it would be difficult to map various influences to our music directly. Off course, things we listen to unavoidably contribute to the formation of our tastes, but that's it. We're pretty much into music on the borderlines of post-rock, -metal, -black; maybe progressive (black-)metal to some extent. (Black-)metal with unusual (although usual is also fine, haha) attitude in general. If one badly needs the names, that could be Enslaved, Emperor, Ihsahn, Arcturus, The Axis of Perdition, Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Altar of Plagues, Russian Circles, (...)

12. How would you describe your views on Occultism?

Lord: This one needs to be clarified a bit. The hints of occultism in QTI should not be taken too directly as the band’s inclination. Someone might find this disappointing, but Inquisitor is not about occultism, and the opposite is even more likely. While there is an internal craving for the transcendence, for the Secret in each sapient being, Inquisitor is about the critical mind. It is about seeking the answers – maybe even in vain – but not about someone knowing those answers and keeping them in secrecy. There is a substantial amount of romanticism in the notion of the Occult, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is a definite line between the romantic worldview and the critical one. While we (Inquisitor) can embrace the first, we follow the second. And while the plot/storyline may rest on the second, the poetry allows the first.

13. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Lord: That would make a lengthy list… To some extent everyone is into science fiction, horror (both fiction and movies/games), astronomy, desolate places, travelling, queer art – I’m brainstorming quite loosely.

14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Lord: Firstly, we'd like to thank you, Erik, for this interview. Secondly, as stated in the beginning, we're very much looking forward to finishing recording our latest album, and even more so – presenting it to all of you, so stay tuned for the updates (e.g., https://www.facebook.com/inquisitor.lt). In the meantime: Keep searching!

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