1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording and release of the new album?
I just released this week so not much musically, more about promotions! Although, I was working on this album up until the day it was released. I have already started on the next album, but I have no idea when that will be.
2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
If I go way back, I played in a death metal band Sorrow back in the early 90s (we had 2 albums on Roadrunner). That music was of course more standard OSDM with some heavy doom influences. After we broke up I started writing all synth music that was reminiscent of intros and interludes on metal albums. But it wasn’t minimal, there were dark melodies with heavy death style drums. The music now is probably similar when it comes to the melodies and song structures, but the new stuff incorporates guitar and vocals and is way more heavy and intense.
3.This is also your first release 1996, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
After I released that CD in 1996, I was somewhat jaded. That CD was released on a small label I started myself and honestly cost me a lot of money. It was just hard to reach people and since the music was not death metal and not dark wave or dungeon synth, it just sat in the middle and got very little traction. I continued to write music on and off for the next 20 years (holy shit) but didn’t get serious again until about 2 years ago. So not much went on musically in that time (except I did continue to listen to all the great new music that came out). I won’t bore you with my non music career LOL
4.Your earlier release was more dark ambient while the new album is more symphonic black/death metal, can you tell us a little bit more about the decision behind going into this musical direction?
The older music was sitting in between a bunch of genres, and I guess after listening to it again years later, I realized it just wasn’t heavy enough. So I added guitar to one track and was immediately excited with the result. The melody and emotion was still there, but the music was just way more intense. So I said skrew it, I might as well add some vocals too! I am very happy with the result, it blends what I was trying to accomplish many years ago with my desire to write intense heavy music again. Sought of a merging of Sorrow and my original JID album.
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer album?
I’ve always tried to write meaningful lyrics. The music comes first, but if you have good lyrics the sum of the whole is more than the sum of its parts. As usual, there is an anti-religious song, I can’t help it, I hate religion LOL. One song is about humanity’s deeply violent past, present and future. It’s unavoidable. Another song is about the finality of life and of the universe itself, that death is literally written into our DNA and the structure of the universe. The last song with lyrics is about how insignificant we are compared to the universe (the title gives that away ha). Not just in size, but in time as well. You can take that to be depressing or a way to alleviate the daily stress of life. Some days I choose one, some days I choose the other.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Journey Into Darkness'?
Quick story. The first name I came up with was Near Death Experience and the title of the first album was Journey Into Darkness. But I got a cease and desist letter from a lawyer representing a band that was using that name and had a business in a state using that name. So I switched the name of the project and the album. I am actually happy I did it. I like the name JID way better. It feel it conveys the mood and feeling of my music. When someone listens I want them to have a journey into darkness.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
I wanted a cover representing the title Multitudes of Emptiness. That emptiness is everywhere, both on an emotional level but also in space. Life is empty, and again, you can be depressed about it or you can use it to say fuck it, nothing matters, just try to enjoy life. But space is empty too. An atom is mostly empty space, to the vast distances between stars and galaxies, the universe is empty. I didn’t want a cover that was just black of course, so having a person who was ethereal, or somewhat hollow whisking away into the vastness of space worked well.
8.With this project you record everything by yourself but also have experience working with a full band, how would you compare the two?
The obvious advantage to working solo is the creative freedom. But that makes it more difficult too. I get to control every aspect of the music but that means I also have to write every aspect. I obsess over everything, every note, every cymbal, arrangement, etc. so sometimes I second guess myself. At times it can be very nerve-racking. There were times I almost had panic attacks while working on this album. Occasionally I would ask a friend for an opinion. But for me, it is worth it to be able to bring to life my musical ideas exactly the way I want.
9.The new album was self released, are you open to working with a label again in the future?
I would be open to working with a label, I just didn’t want to wait around on this release. Although labels are still important, and I am sure they can do more than an individual, I didn’t want to wait around for months trying to get a deal and then waiting for more months to have the music released.
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black and death metal?
It’s only been one week, so far so good! A posted video got over 1000 streams with no thumbs down so that is good LOL. I’ve picked up a few hundred new followers on Facebook, Bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify, etc. Many people have been really receptive and like the hybrid style from both the black metal and death metal side. So I am very happy.
11.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
The simple answer is the newer music will be similar to this album. I am really happy with the sound and there is still a lot of area to explore within it.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I’ve been around since the start of extreme metal in the 80s and I am amazed at how it has progressed over the years. The newer music is amazing and definitely prompted me a few years ago to resurrect JID. So here is a long thought that explains a lot: I love symphonic extreme metal, but sometimes it emphasizes the orchestra parts too much. I love black metal, but sometimes the music is too melancholy. I love death metal but sometimes it lacks melody. I love classical but it can be very boring. So I have tried (and I hope succeeded!) at taking all the genres I love, mixing in what I think is great about them and leaving out what I feel is not as good and creating something unique. I don’t want to name bands, there are dozens (maybe hundreds) of bands I listen to and my favorite band can change daily LOL.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks very much for this interview, it feels great to be back making music. For anyone interested, you can visit my website for links to all social media and streaming sites: jidarkness.com
Brett - Journey Into Darkness