1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
My project is a blend of melodic, atmospheric, and progressive genres. Tonal melody, symphonic feel, and technical details are the greatest focal point of my songs.
I strive to attain versatility as well, so the riffs and arrangements of all the songs remain different, to some degree.
2.So far you have released 2 albums, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
Like I said above, all my songs are a blend of melody, ambiance, heaviness, and technical details, the latter varying in levels from song to song.
The second album saw shorter tracks, as I was able to remove excess repeats and shorten passages. I also feel there's better harmonizing on the second album.
My lyrical delivery improved greatly too. I don't just say words on quarter notes, but on eighth notes for second album.
3.The musical project has been around since 2000, but so far you have only released 2 albums, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap in between releases?
While I created Phobous in 2000, I didn't really find my style and approach (one-man band) until 2002.
As the bio on my website states, my early recordings were uninspired, and subsequently abandoned in 2003 (blame the tunnel vision for rush attempts and poor prioritizing of selected songs, LOL).
After understanding this was the root of the problem, I reformed my one-man approach in 2005. I learned home recording methods from scratch starting in 2006, but with work and school priorities on my plate, I wasn't fully focused on these technical matters. In short, bad choices, trial and error, and additional obligations delayed the recording and publishing processes. Happily, I sense those issues are behind me, or at least more manageable. Recording was slow, but composing was certainly not, and I've already got material ready for the next album, or two...
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
These can be as diverse as the music itself. My topics run the gamut from the spiritual and mystical, to the sociological, to the psychological, even the philosophical.
One song could be about ancient goddesses, and the next could be about street crime. In general, I deal with matters that are extreme and often ignored, but can really get people to think outside their usual patterns. Here are some examples. “Realm of Disorder” essentially describes the overlooked facets of our own world, details we don't know, or choose to ignore in favor of oversimplifying. This sets the tone for the other songs, which are more specific. “Blood Ties to Bloodshed” deals with the families of violent criminals, asking what they experience, and how they react to having blood ties to the source of bloodshed (and being probable next victims). “Vain Sacrifice and Desperate Hope” points out how the willingness to make great sacrifices may be a weakness and not a strength, and how despairing hope prompts people to repeat this mistake and not realize it.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Phobous'?
Initially I just wanted something that didn't sound cliched, and Phobous is something I found in a dictionary while looking up Phobos, a Martian moon and part of the setting for the video game Doom. It sounded interesting at the time, and as I thought of more lyrical topics, it matched up perfectly. A lot of my subjects deal with things we fear, our phobias.
Do we fear being too reckless, or too reluctant? Are we too blind-sighted, or too indecisive. Too insensitive? Too hypersensitive? Is it fear of disorder in our world that leads us to deny obvious complexity?
6.With this musical project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with a full band or do you prefer to remain solo?
For composing and recording, I definitely prefer to remain solo. After my first, low-quality recordings were discarded in 2003, I tried forming a full band under the impression it might solve the problem. As my songwriting is very decisive, the problem was not solved in this manner. Plus, the more members you have, the more conflicting personalities and schedules there are which may disrupt productivity. However, I would gladly accept a short-term session line-up for live performances, and would happily work with “guest” musicians for recordings.
In fact, I have plans to bring in a female vocalist for a few songs on the next album.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I do have label interest, yes. I've not received any interest as I've not had much promotion thus far. In all honesty though, I am not a full-time musician, so tours would certainly not be my strong point. As a solo act, even local shows won't came as naturally as they would for full-bands. I'd gladly accept any label that offered their services.
I just don't know if I could offer everything they ask in return.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic black and melodic death metal?
As promotion was very weak for the first album (lack of time and money upon its publication), I've not received much feedback thus far. What I've gotten has been positive though, and all word-of-mouth feedback from friends and acquaintances has been great. No haters, so far :)
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I see myself staying in the general direction of melodic heaviness with atmosphere and technical diversity. I might try for more uncommon rhythms when possible, and maybe experimenting with eastern-style scales. More use of major scales will probably happen. Since video game music inspires me as well, it would be interesting to try soundtrack composition for games or animation. However, I don't see this becoming a regular profession.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Megadeth, Children of Bodom, early Dimmu Borgir (nothing after Dimensions), older Cradle of Filth (sparingly), Later Death (Human and up), Sirenia, Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork, Nightwish, game soundtracks. I still keep up with most of these groups. Nowadays, I also have some non-metal favorites like Faun, Yanni, Blackmore's Night, Omnia, and Two Steps From Hell.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Art is one. I have a BS in game art/design, so I do a lot with sketching, Photoshop (how I do my album artwork) and CGI programs like Maya. Story writing is another, and I hope to write a fiction series one day. Other interests include pagan religions, polytheism and pantheism, 9/11 truth, sociopolitical happenings, and generally “esoteric” matters.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you so much for conducting the very first Phobous interview. I hope you enjoyed making it, as much as I enjoyed answering it. Good luck with your future endeavors.
For words of wisdom, seek truth, fuck trends. Arm yourself with knowledge, don't get blinded by your own biases. Be skeptical if you must, but never close your mind. Blessed be, Namaste.