“DARK RITES” Interview by David Maloney
Hello Dark Rites Welcome to Metalheads Forever Magazine, thanks for taking some time to talk with us. How are you doing? Hope all is well. Can you tell us about the band and how you came together? Tell the readers about your origins.
Hi, David, were very well thank you. So much going on at the moment, our album is coming out shortly via SlipTrick Records, so our focus is on promotion at the moment, it keeps us well busy. And, yes thank you for taking your time to do this interview with DARK RITES.
Ok, Going back to the main question, It all started back in 2015, we knew each other for years now, we played together in few project before and in 2015, despite the fact that we are living on different continents at the moment, we decided to reactivate one of these bands. It was called Carnivorous, and it lasted for about 10 months due to the fact that other members could not fully commit to this. Randy and I, we wanted to go forward so we decided to suspend Carnivorous and start fresh, and this is how Dark Rites comes to life. We had few songs written already, it was decided that from this moment our band will be a trio, hence why I play guitars, bass and write the songs, Randy does all the drumming and the very important part which is management. Thanks to Randy, Oskar was appointed as a singer and the lineup was completed and fully committed to reaching our first milestone of recording and releasing an album.
You are described as being Thrash Heavy Tinged Melodic Death Metal, is that a fair Assessment? Or would you mind describing your sound in your own words?
Yes, I think it is fair. It is a combination of genres really and this is because I don’t want to restrict myself to a specific genre when writing songs, I know I won’t go Nu Metal or Djent with my riffs simply because it`s not my thing, Randy has pretty much the same music background like me, we grow up on Iron Maiden, Halloween, Judas Priest, Slayer and all the big bands of that time, plus maybe some of Randy`s favourite extreme death/black metal as an addition, which you can hear in his blast beats, and Oskar with his vocals is like a cherry on top making it all unique.
I don’t usually get into questions I’m sure you were asked a million times, I’m not a fan of generic questions but I must confess I love your band name and would like to know how you decided on it and is there any story behind it?
Well, you know the concept of the band was to play heavy music and we were looking for a name which will be an adequate to this style. It was important that it won’t be just a meaningless words but something little bit deeper. And that’s how this name was created. It will be probably disappointing when I say that the name DARK RITES has nothing to do directly with occultism, Satan and all that side of things. If you listen to our lyrics you`ll recognise that for example title song “Dark Rites” is about Bohemian Club and there some dark rites going on in this club, “Murder Capital” song about infamous Edmund Kemper or the song “John Frum” about Cargo Cult. You`ll find some pretty interesting things in Oskar`s lyrics.
Congratulations on your signing with Sliptrick Records, tell us how this came to pass? How has your journey with them been thus far?
As you know it is not easy to get into this music world, especially if you are a new band with no experience and knowledge how to start. Back in 2016, we had few songs written and we decided with Randy that it is a good time to start looking for a label to get it all published. Randy did an enormous job, He contacted many labels, sending our songs and band CV. To our surprise, we had a great response and we could pick what was best for us at that time. We decided to go for SlipTrick Records. Our album will be released shortly and we are hoping for a good promotion from STR to get us far and I hope it will happen.
I understand that you guys were founded by Randy from the US and Wojtek from the UK and also teamed up with Oskar from Sweden in early 2016, You are in the early stages of the band’s career? Despite living in different continents Technology helps the band overcome all geographical obstacles. Can you tell our readers the process of recording music when you are thousands of miles away from each other? Do you plan on getting together in the future to do some touring?
Yes, It sounds mad I know but we really wanted to do it this way. I mean, I know Randy for many years now and musically we understand each other with no words, and this was ou base to start it all. Obviously, to do something like this, it was clear that we have to have home recording studios, so we invested in equipment, software and comfy chairs to get it going. The whole process of writing and recording is quite simple. When I write the song, all the guitars and bass etc, I`ll pass it to Randy to get drums done, then back to me to adjust the instruments and when everything is ready it`s Oskar`s turn to write and record vocals. And in the end it will all go back to me again to mix and master. Regarding us playing live gigs, In December we had an offer to play WILD ESCALATION Tour in Europe and support some great bands, regretfully we had to refuse due to the fact that we are so dispersed around the world. It would be lovely to play gigs and promote our band, build up this special relation with the audience. You see, we have been there, we have done it in the past and the feeling when you are on stage in unbelievable, we`d love to do it but because of the distance, i would not count on it in the nearest future. We are not saying no, but we are not quite ready yet to take this step just yet.
What bands influenced you and your style? Does your beliefs, views Religious or political play a part in the writing or the concepts of your work?
We are listening to many different metal genres, sometimes entirely different to each other. I`m a fan of NWOBHM, I adore old school Thrash metal, Melodic Death Metal, modern Black Metal only because the sound is much better now, and this is what influencing me when I play, Randy’s musical taste is very close to mine with the addition of some extreme technical Death/Black metal sound. Oskar is into melodic/groove metal with some Djent etc, and by combining all of the above we try to create our own sound. Is it successful? I leave it to our audience to judge.
In terms of writing songs, I`m not influenced by any political or religious views, regarding lyrics this is something we leave to Oskar. He is a very open-minded individual with many interests and this is where you can find some political or religious accents, like for example “Hall of The Slain” which is influenced by Nordic Mythology and Gods or a bit more political in “Faces in the Crowd”.
What do you have in store for 2017 , when can we expect a new album? In closing do you have in final words for fans and for readers of our publication?
I can easily say that 2017 will be a very, very busy year for Dark Rites mainly with a promotion of our upcoming album, we have a plan to get some merchandise done. Regarding next album, we have the songs sketched so there is a big chance next LP will be fully recorded somewhere at the turn of 2017/2018 and then we will decide what will happen next. I`d like to thank our fans for all their support they are giving us every day, it would not happen without these guys. It could not happen without you guys, we are very grateful for all the support we are getting from MetalHeads Forever, you are doing a great job, much appreciated. And to the readers of this article, thank you for taking your time and stopping by to learn more about DARK RITES, please visit and like our Facebook page @darkritesband and also please subscribe to our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/c/darkrites where you find our videos. Have a full of Heavy Metal 2017.
I would like to thank you once again for taking the time to talk with us today and I wish Dark rites the best of luck with your future endeavours.
David Maloney / MHF