VOICES (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with VOICES?

Samuel: It’s a real busy time right now. We are weeks from the release of the record and things are really beginning to take off. We hope to mix things up with upcoming live shows and continue to constantly work on new and different ideas.

– First off, how did arise the idea of forming this musical project named VOICES? How did the band get together?

Samuel: We all knew each other from different thing. Obviously three of us played together in Akercocke. Really I think it was born out of a common interest in playing challenging music. Music that isn’t tied down to any creative rules. Through this commonality we decided to no longer wait around but just get together and play, and see what comes out. After a short while, it was clear there was a vibe between us. A communication that was worth being build upon.

 

– Your debut album will come out next March so, what are your expectations on it?

Samuel: We are not really sure how people are going to take it. It’s entirely out of our hands. The first responses have been overwhelmingly positive though. Of course the press people that get forwarded stuff early have given us feedback. They seem to love what they hear. And similarly, for what is out there for the general public and heavy metal aficionados to hear, the response is becoming more and more buzzing. People are getting interested and perhaps even seeing this as a worthy band. So, personally, my expectations have been exceeded and the record hasn’t even come out yet!

 

– Your line-up featured 3 members of AKERCOCKE (one live member), do you think this fact will make the fans of this disbnaded act give a chance to VOICES easily? Or maybe is a handicap as they will always compared both bands and expect more form you?

Samuel: I think I’m in a good position to answer this. I did join Akercocke, as live keyboardist for a time. Before this I was just friends of the band. And before that just an avid fan. I can say that I’d never want to fuck with the legacy that is Akercocke. And Voices have no interest in this. Akercocke will always be an innovative and exceptionally important band, to not only myself but to extreme metal. Voices are entirely different of course. It doesn’t take too much thought to work that out. But yes there are certain elements that remain. There is no getting away from that as the we are who we are , and we play the way we play! I think Voices should quench the Aker-fans thirst whilst also offering something new. If they’re more into the Akercocke records then do what I do and stick it on the CD player!

 

– Talking about such; what differences VOICES from AKERCOCKE? Do you have in this new band more creative freedom?

Samuel: I think Akercocke always had creative freedom. You just have to listen to that mad music to realize that. Voices main ethos is to be creatively free. Or more specifically, musically free. Anything goes, and if it falls within the realm of what Voices wants to hear then that piece of music goes into a song.

 

– VOICES explores different fields, melodies and textures, and it’s almost imossible to categorize your music style so, does VOICES have any limit?

Samuel: I find it difficult to class our music into a particular genre or style. The best way I have described it in other interviews is simply by calling it ‘extreme music’. Not even to talk about it in a ‘metal’ sense. We are not against a ‘metal’ sound but rather choose to keep all doors open and allow for our recorded work, live shows and so on to be consumed by the individual and they make up their mind what it all means! Its like being the in eye of the storm. We don’t really get to full understand the affects of it, we are looking out at the destruction. Its those in the storm that are judging it. We are in a kind of hypnosis in this regard.

 

– In fact you have a quite complex sound. Due to this I would like to know how do you work on the songwriting process.

Samuel: All of the songs in this record were born out of long and intense improvisations. The four of us get into our rehearsal space, The Goat of Mendes Studios in West London, and depending of the particular mood of the day, a sort of collective mash of emotion, we use our instruments to channel this strange beast. Sometimes these improvisations can last a long time, sometimes they are short, but within them are those moments of extremity that are pure and untouched by intellect or thought. The music just comes, and if we then remember these key moments they are placed together hopefully a song forms.

 

– Despite the aforementioned it seems like your musical basis is Black Metal but, what have been some of the most influential bands for VOICES?

Samuel: Black Metal is an influence yes but its really a very distant and background influence. That applies to music in general. And if its music that you’re asking about influence wise then I’d say we are less influenced by metal music than say the music of Joy Divison or early Killing Joke or Sonic Youth or Iggy Pop and so on… Just fucked up people making fucked up music. That is what inspires in terms of bands.

 

– And where do you draw inspiration from to create such intrinsic passages and creative yet deep atmospheres? And how important is the role atmosphere plays on your music?

Samuel: As I said before it isn’t so much music but other things that help the process, or kind of inspire, the extremity of this album. London is the main force here. Our surroundings, our personal traumas and social alienation all come under the umbrella of the harsh and unforgiving city of London. This is place shrouded in the false pretense of things such as glamour, wealth prosperity and so forth. And whilst I accept that is, widely speaking, true it is simply not OUR experience with this city. It’s oppressive, crowded and unhappy. The majority of people struggle and grapple with the day-to-day London life. Most people living in London want to move away, but for some reason feel like they have to stay. Fulfilling a type of masochistic yearning I guess!

 

– The production helps enhancing your powerful sound and all the details hidden in your music with a blasting and clear sound; was this what you were looking for? How were the recording sessions and the production process like? I’ve read you had an external producer, Dan Abela.

Samuel: Dan Abela is also our bass player. I have worked with him for years on various projects, including my other death metal band Diminished Fifth. He is fantastic at what he does, a good friend and very confident producer. He allowed for our sound be represented in a way that was right for this record. We look forward to building on a different take for the next record but Dan certainly has brought his own unique take on the Voices madness. We wanted to represent that vibe of improvisational music, allowing for human inconsistencies and natural feel of the performance to shine through. We had no interest in being set to a grid or metronome. That was one of the main differences. We refused to play to a click-track or metronome but rather allow for the tempos to pick-up and drop, as and when we feel they should. This is instead of over thinking every tempo change. I think this has added to the intensity of the sound.

 

– Leaving the musical part of the album aside, lyrics fit perfectly your music in the sense they aren’t conventional at all still dark and tough. Could you tell us what do they deal with and what did inspire you to write them?

Samuel: Personally, I contributed a small amount of lyrics to the record. Some of my stuff was used in the first song ‘Dnepropetrovsk’. I know that Peter and David reach to the very depths of their inner depravities and suffering, to then create something lyrical and thematic from these troubled thoughts.

 

– All this about «From The Human Forest Create A Fuge Of Imaginary Rain» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Samuel: Umm… I usually run questions like that into the ground! But let me see… Challenging. Cathartic. Bukkake!

 

– The albums you released with your previous band came out via labels such as Goat of Mendes, Earache or Peaceville. Now you are signed to Candlelight Record, maybe bigger than the previous ones so, how is everything going with them so far?

Samuel: Candlelight have been a great addition to this first chapter of Voices. They have helped greatly towards this first output and we are really happy to be on such a prestigious label.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans? What can we expect from VOICES from now on?

Samuel: We are hoping to land some of the festival this summer. Also looking to play more interesting and special shows. Other than that we have return to our rehearsal space and ensure the new material raises the game, pushes the boundaries of people might expect, go against that entirely and hopefully create a new form of infinite jealousy!

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it

Samuel: Approach with caution.

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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