Montreal’s premier blackened death metallers are back with ‘UNUS’, the crushing and cinematic follow up to 2016’s ‘Advent of the Human God’. With each record NECRONOMICON has created in the span of their 31-year career, the band has steadily evolved in both sound and power; ‘UNUS’ is no exception to this. In 2019, NECRONOMICON was presented with a certificate of honor for over 30 years of service via H.S. production/Tommy Tremblay, and the people of Saguenay Lac St Jean, making them the second band after VOIVOD to ever receive this honor.
I had a chat with Rob “The Witch” to find out what it’s like to be in the music industry for over 3 decades and see if he has any words of wisdom to share.
Welcome to MHF magazine.
After a splendid career of 3 decades in the music industry what’s one piece of advice that you need to share with the world?
R: I would not call that splendid LOL! After all the only reason I’m still going its because its my destiny and nothing else. Everything cliché happened here, drug, girls’ story, instrument stolen, money stolen, rip off label, death threats, religious fanatic name it all happened, the list is endless.
The advice is if you want to do music you better have balls of steel and be sure you know the exact reason you want to do that because that isn’t easy , in fact its worst that most people imagine.
And what’s the funniest moment you’ve experienced so far?
R: That’s a hard one because there’s so much going on and of course after so many years and over a thousand shows is not easy to recall everything. But quick like that I recall once around 2003 a girl snuck up backstage and stole my stage underwear, I was getting our gear in the trailer at that time. When we came outside ready to leave some fans where waiting there for pics and autograph and suddenly, we saw that girl asking me to sigh my own undies with a silver sharpie. My jaw dropped literally since I spend 5 minutes looking for that back in the greenroom. Creepy.
Have you experienced any type of betrayal workwise? And if so, how do you overcome that?
R: Yes of course, from labels and band members alike. One label I won’t name here refuse us to go on tour saying it was too expensive and we said to not worry we would cover ourselves which we did, not only the prevent us to play some festivals we were already booked on but they charged us for the tour afterwards saying they provided tour support, which with paid entirely ourselves from scratch. To overcome that I simply work with better people. I know now that label has changed staff, but I’m still bitter at that because they did everything to mine us instead of pushing a band they had signed for 5 albums.
Do you ever run out of energy or inspiration?
R: Actually, not really since I never really force the inspiration or the composing process, I always let it come naturally, that’s way it should be. To force or over work music is not good from my point of view, its de-nature is true roots and vibe. And that’s why I always respect more the ones composing a simpler song that have feelings and soul than a technical empty one. Most of the time less is more.
Say you are having dinner with Lovecraft. You are cooking, he brings the booze. I’m tagging along, because hey, it was my idea after all. What are we having?
R: I’m the one cooking here no matter what. The problem is HPL was not eating well at all, basically Donuts, cheese and coffee, a lot of canned food and backed beans with pork or sausage. But he did also like Italian occasionally so I would go for that for sure. Any pasta with marinara sauce chicken meatballs in for him (not for me) and Romano or parmigiana. As for drinks, I will stick to my Perrier.
Your work has been described as high quality metal that’s just as dark and brutal as it is elegant. That’s a paradox that you mastered. We need to know how.
R: That’s people saying that of me, I just do what need to be done the way it comes to me, I don’t push it. I just transpose what I hear in my head. Everything gravitates in the energy around us, why force it when we just must listen, and it comes naturally to us. That’s one of the reason music these days is so sterile, especially the technical stuff, it’s like a pissing contest. I have nothing to prove, I’m here to play music.
Guitar/vocals/bass. You can only keep one. Which one?
R: The only reason I played bass on the album is that the bass player didn’t do his job, I wasn’t very happy about that, but the job needed to be done. And there’s a choice between guitar and vocal, that’s how it is so I don’t have to think of something that doesn’t exist.
Do you work with deadlines or you need creative freedom to be productive as a musician?
R: No, we never had really had to deal with deadlines, and hopefully it will never happen because like I said from my point of view you can’t force music. I need to feel calm and open to what’s coming to be able to do my music, so I don’t think stressing it would give results…. I don’t know, I don’t see that happening.
Could you describe UNUS in a single sentence?
When you are producing new music, do you feel confident or are you perhaps worried about getting something wrong and repeat the same thing over and over again?
R: Of course, there’s always a certain form of stress, especially when you work new people because some are not able to do the job but pretend and act differently until they hit a wall. A lot of big mouths. As for repeating myself, I don’t see what’s the problems with that, I don’t try to be original I just do what I want and what I hear in my head. Even so, I sometimes my previous work inspires me. Everything has been done in music, it is pretentious to try to reinvent the wheel, be yourself that’s it.
What would you like the band to be remembered for?
R: I don’t know, to be honest, I don’t think about that, the question should be do you think the band will be remembered …. if yes, what for? So, since I don’t think about that I really can’t answer lol.
Let’s finish up dark and strong by practicing some witchcraft together. We have the ability to cast a spell to enchant any musician alive or dead to perform with you. Who are we summoning?
R: No one, unfortunately, this not my kind of things. The only person I would like to play with is really doing good and alive and it’s Rob Halford and I don’t see why he would be interested to do something with me. There’re millions of guitarist out there, so.
Until we meet again,
Necronomicon_ca @ instagram