Life and Art with BLAZE OF PERDITION
For the first time ever I am actually looking forward to Valentine’s Day. Care to guess why? On February 14th, Blaze of Perdition will release their new full-length, Harrowing of Hearts, via Metal Blade Records. Existing at the forefront of the Polish black metal movement the band is about to present their most urgent, refined, dynamic and accomplished work to date. Richly layered, it is also their most textured release, and they dive ever deeper into the themes they have been exploring since dropping their debut full-length in 2010, Towards The Blaze Of Perdition. All these made me hungry for art and a good talk about life. So here’s how that went:
- Let’s talk Band Psychology: This is the most collectively written effort so far, with every band member throwing something meaningful to the whole. How and why is that important? Is it to keep everyone feels engaged so that they give their 100% to the band or is it to enhance the different elements and textures of the album?
S: Between Conscious Darkness and The Harrowing of Hearts we had some significant line-up changes. Joining forces with the new drummer DQ and second guitar player MR. had its impact on the shape of the album, especially when it comes to drumming because DQs play style is rather different than Vizun’sm our previous drummer. We also wanted to open ourselves for new energies and ideas that might show up and come in handy when working with new people, to keep things fresh and interesting. Different minds bring different things to the whole after all. MR. contributed to the album with co-writing “With Madman’s Faith” and adding some guitar arrangements here and there.
- Let’s Talk Art: The artwork of the album is designed by Izabela Grabda (facebook.com/Koniec-Czasu-100131781332285 // instagram.com/koniec.czasu) which in this case was a perfect fit as she has a very dark, gothic flair to her work and you guys incorporated a few gothic elements to your sound in this album. I was wondering how do you guys pick the artists that you work with?
S: Since I’m the main lyrics guy, the second one being our guitarist XCIII, two of us usually discuss and share some ideas of what we’re planning to do and when lyrics start popping up we proceed with discussing the visuals as well and looking for someone who would express our vision the way we find the best. Then, after we find someone, both of us talk it all through with the artist and let him (her in that case) do his thing. With Izabela, it was pretty special cooperation since we’re close friends and share similar aesthetic taste. I made some rough sketches and wrote down my ideas, showed them to her and we started working on it together and discussing the details along the road.
- Let’s talk Lifestyle: You mentioned that ‘art isn’t about proving anything to anyone. Focusing on proving anything to anyone usually doesn’t do any good for artistic endeavors’ and I agree. But on the other hand, it made me think: do we have to prove anything at all to anyone? And if so in which areas of our lives?
S: Well, life is what it is, we sometimes have to prove ourselves in different aspects of it, be it job, interpersonal relations, and all that mundane stuff we all have to deal with no matter if we like it or not. And that’s where I believe art comes and throws it all into a trash can, allowing us to just express ourselves the way we can’t do it in different aspects of our lives. At least that what I should be because one might want to focus his artistic activity on satisfying the audience, but – in my opinion – such a way of thinking usually ends up as an absolute failure. Art shouldn’t be a servitude or merely a product and while on a certain level it’s hard to avoid the “commercial” aspect of it, albums have to sell anyway, being focused on satisfying the taste of the masses will never make the art better, but it sure might make things worse. Still, it depends on one’s goals and it might differ from one person to another. So, all in all, I consider art as a way of expression and inner growth, that’s why I think we should first and foremost focus on our own pursuits and people’s reactions are much less important from this perspective.
- Let’s talk Study of the Mind: What happens after a harrowing of hearts in real life? How do we heal from trauma?
S: That’s up to every one of us to decide for him or herself I guess. I can only speak for myself and I surely find inner peace and a whole lot of satisfaction and growth in an introspective catharsis that writing lyrics has become for me, then in expressing them with my voice while recording or singing live. It allows me to dive deeper into myself, collect my emotions and understand them better. And to simplify it all, that’s what The Harrowing of Hearts is all about. About a journey inwards and facing those darker aspects of our psyche that we hide and escape from in everyday life. It continues with the topics already started on Conscious Darkness, but takes them from a different perspective, with more religious and even social background thrown to the whole in contrast to a very personal, intimate viewpoint from the predecessor.
- Let’s Lighten Up: How do you unwind after a long day at the studio?
S: Actually I have this comfort of having a proper vocal recording equipment and fairly cool environment at home, so I record vocals there and I can easily unwind and relax after it with just about anything that comes to mind, be it a movie, a book or just a couple of beers with a friend or two when they have to listen to me getting overly excited or whining unimpressed by my own efforts.
Until the next one,