– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. How is everything going right now with OCCULTATION? What are you currently up to?
Viveca: We are currently getting ready to record a new song for a cool compilation. Otherwise, we are envisioning new structures and ideas as always.
– First off, instead of asking the usual uninteresting question about how did the band get together, what prompted you forming OCCULTATION and what was back then the main purpose behind forming it?
There was no purpose. I started writing riffs on the bass and Annu and Ed liked them and helped me record them. I decided to sing because no one else wanted to. We ended up with a demo I recorded with the mighty garageband and this demo caught the attention of Invictus Productions. Originally, Darragh from Invictus had no idea that it had members of Negative Plane.
– And, if you don’t mind I would like you to elaborate a little bit on the band’s name; what meaning does it hold to you and how did you come up with it, as I think it really fits with your lyrics, music, and what the band itself is. Was this your idea? To have something that could fit your personality?
An occultation is an astronomy term. It explains the act of one celestial body passing in front of another and thereby occulting it. We liked this concept a lot. Unfortunately for most people who ask, it is not related to “occult arts”.
– Your first release was the «Somber Dawn» demo. A Doom Metal release which already got a really positive feedback. You released this demo the same year the band was formed, in 2010. When you started to write that material, did you already have a clear idea in mind of how you wanted to sound or just went with the flow?
Going with the flow is all we ever do. I wrote this material based on what inspired me at the time. In 2010 I was listening a lot to the early Cure albums like Faith and Pornography as well as Black Hole demos and Land of Mystery.
– Then your debut album, «Three and Seven», came out. I guess a first album is always like an exploratory journey and a teaching experience, the first step in the quest to your own sound. Was this your case?
I guess. We just wrote it. When Ed started writing songs it was cool because we were able to combine our different ideas and perspectives. He is more into heavy metal and black metal, I am more into punk, britpop and 60’s music, but we both listen to classic rock’n’roll bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
– And now you have just released your second full-length, «Silence in the Ancestral House». How could you say has OCCULTATION evolved since your first album was unleashed?
I think it has taken a more rocking direction. Our NWOBHM influences are more apparent. But again, we don’t have a plan, we just write and keep what sounds good to us.
– I personally think you are broading even more your horizon, your own take on Metal, making it even more unique and mixing more different elements. Is this just a natural evolution or a planned direction?
– You blend elements from different styles, but I could say you are always rooted in te 60’s, 70’s and 80’s so, what have been some of the most influential bands for the sound of OCCULTATION and this new «Silence in the Ancestral House»?
I would say Pink Floyd, especially early records like A Saucerful of Secrets. And then all the usual ones like Mercyful Fate, Black Hole, Black Sabbath etc.
– In fact you’ve got a quite 60’s production I could say, giving enough space to breathe and sounding really organic and with a live vibe. How did you record the album? What kind of production did you go for?
Kurt Ballou just asked us how committed we were to sounding like an old band. Our answer was: very. The rest was really up to him!
– As I said earlier, in a first album most bands tend to explore and start to know the band. Could you say in this sohpomore release you have found your ultimate sound or is this kind of evolution a constant process?
I do not believe in reaching an “ultimate” level because it’s all downhill from there. Every album is different and we are in constant evolution. I definitely do not plan on being stuck anywhere with this band.
– As mentioned above, you mix different elements and styles, you have a sound of your own since the demo. How important is for OCCULTATION to let all your creativity flow without limits? And talking about such, what are your musical limits?
None. Why would anyone impose limits of something creative??
– A singular trademark of the band is the contrast between the heavy music and the atmospheric vocals. Did you have this clear when you started the band? And what do you think contrasts bring to your music?
The contrast happened on it’s own. The way I sing is not forced and natural. Again, we are just going with the flow.
– Is curious how even with slow, atmospheric tunes you almost always sound fierce, it seems this is just a force coming straight from your inner self. Due to this I would like to know what is your music for you. Maybe a way to channel your thoughts and emotions?
Definitely music SHOULD be a way to channel thoughts and emotions. I can’t imagine faking it, even though many people sadly probably do. One thing about our music is that it is honest and from the heart.
– In fact there’s a big focus on atmospheres I believe. What do you want to convey with the overall haunted ambience on the album?
We are not intentionally conveying anything and it is open to interpretation.
– I also think the music has a certain gothic aesthetic. Would you agree or is it just my perception? That’s why I would like to know what are some of your non-musical inspirations.
Gothic secular architecture is definitely an inspiration. When we were in France, we drew inspiration from the ancient churches and cathedrals.
– Anyway several things on the album I think may differ from who listens, as the lyrics, which I think are open to different interpretations but, what does its general theme mean to you? Is having lyrics open to different interpretations (always with a dark mood)something you aim for? It that sense it has a little bit of a literary feeling.
We have a few concepts such as the mysteries of time, the passage from the world of the living to the other side, which is metaphorically expressed by the passage from summer into fall. We both read and I am personally very inspired by poets such as John Keats or Coleridge, for example. Ed has always been inspired by HP Lovecraft.
– Finishing to talk about the album, what does its title refers to? Which is that «ancestral house»?
That is secret and up to interpretation.
– And all this about «Silence in the Ancestral House» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Dark, Heavy, Nostalgic
– I think just by the fact you happen to have two women in the band, you are usually compared to bands as JEX THOTH and put non-sense the tag of «Occult Rock». How do you feel about it? Do you really think it fits you?
No, not at all. It does not fit anyone but these people want to put everything in boxes. The trend setters and followers are not who we make music for. We do this for ourselves.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
We are writing new material and trying to get over to Europe.