Dawn Of Ashes has gone through a lot of stylistic changes over the years. You have recently announced a return to including more Industrial elements into your sound, a remaster of your classic album "Sacred Ashes", and some throwback shows where you're playing nothing but old material. What has made now the time more than ever for a return to such a sound?
After the last DOA tour and recollecting myself, I ventured back home and deeply pondered on where Dawn of Ashes began and where this project is now. DOA was a pure Industrial / Dark-Electro group that was driven by influences from Extreme Metal to Black Metal to old school Industrial as well as Hardcore music. It drove me nuts over the years that we were a group with two keyboardists and me fronting the band. It drove me absolutely insane that there was those organic elements missing. I vomited every time I saw a "EBM" group faking their live performance with zero energy. I will always frown upon that specific paradigm in the Industrial movement. One word; BORING!
However, I can easily say I made a bad decision going full blow Extreme Metal , but I can also say we were signed to one of the biggest Metal labels and performed with some of the biggest Metal acts out there. Everything was meant to happen for DOA and each catastrophic event that I made created a new world for this project. The unfortunate side of this story is that it confuses our fans and I alienated our older fans.
Now we are in 2018 going slowly into 2019. I created Bornless Fire after many demands from fans and promoters. I started listening to the "Good" Industrial acts again and fucking love the power in tweaking synths. Once again; fully in control and have no one sticking their filthy noses into my alchemy lab.
Our booking agent Troy Hilton asked me and basically demanded that we book old school DOA sets and that I should write another Dark-Electro album again for DOA. I debated against this idea since I just released the Bornless Fire album. I don't know how many times I said no to the idea. Thanks Troy, for having these thoughts haunted me the following day after that conversation and finally I said fuck it and said why the fuck not. Dawn of Ashes is a nasty beast that has the capability to do Metal, Black Metal. Hardcore, Industrial, and Dark-Electro. DOA is a legion of many sounds poured into a cauldron. This story moves forward as a band / project that is angry, theoretical, philosophical, and has a rebellious nature that stands by the DOA fans, old and new.
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You have mentioned your new album is going to include both Industrial and Metal. What's the progress on your next release, and how do you feel this next release is going to evolve the sound of the band? Is this going to be done in a vein similar to how we heard in past albums like Anathema and parts of Theophany, or are you going to be tackling in it a completely different light?
Funny thing is that I wouldn't define it as 'evolving' but more like taking various worlds and uniting them together. The next album is titled "The Crypt Injection 2 (Non Servium). This is the 2nd chapter to our most popular album The Crypt Injection and Non Servium means " I will not serve" in Latin which follows my stance in the Luciferian Gnosticism knowledge. I go into more depth and meaning behind what a Crypt Injection is. Here a further elaboration of the meaning of the name of the album:
"The Crypt represents death which has various symbolic meanings; include subconscious transformation, unimaginable power, morbid fascinations, or a hex that you desire to be placed onto your victim. The Injection is when this part of psyche starts to fuel the fire. Humans need to not repress these emotions and feeling. Hate is as essential as love is. Darkness unifies with light which creates the perfect state of equilibrium."
The album is a blend of Metal and Dark Electro but is heavily structured based on how I wrote on first chapter of The Crypt Injection, so you can expect something that is in the realm of the first Crypt Injection and Theophany.
How was the production of the album like compared to previous albums? Who was the producer you worked with, and how did you feel he helped contribute to the overall sound of the album?
I am producing and mixing the album myself and It's been very liberating because I am in full control.
It's going back to the early stages of our writing which is just basically that I have full power, and I think that is what our fans want. The only thing I am not doing besides tracking guitars and reamping them is writing the guitars, which are being laid down by our live drummer Brandon Rage who has been awesome to work with. Both me and Brandon love heavy music and relate to a lot of musical interests; both coming from a background out of the Extreme Metal and Hardcore community. This has been such a blessing so far.
Best thing I love about this working environment is that I can make EVERYTHING exactly the way I want it to sound and not hit a wall trying to deliver my nit picking to another individual.
Esotericism has been a huge part of your lyricism and aesthetics since your time in Urilia, and restarting of Dawn Of Ashes. How did you discover the Left Hand Path, and what authors/books would you recommend to people as some of the most authentic or useful?
Actually I have been into the LHP prior to URILIA, I just had more knowledge around the time URILIA came out. I discovered the LHP from my interest in Horror and Black Metal. I read the Satanic Bible, The Necronomicon, and delved into the Lovecraft mythos. During the Genocide Chapters era, I connected with Michael W. Ford that introduced me to the Luciferian path. I heavily drowned myself in his work, Aleister Crowley's work, and other Dark Spirituality while studying the philosophy of the LHP. When URILIA came out, I was asked to join as an ambassador of the Greater Church Of Lucifer and was mentored by Michael W. Ford prior to my joining. After finding out that the former high priest named Jacob McKelvy stole from the GCOL and was exiled from the Church as well as using me to bring exposure to the Church, I left. I then joined the Temple of Set, became a student and was mentored by an amazing high priest of the order. In my year of being in the TOS, I practiced various forms of Black Magick, and worked the Setian philosophy. I am now working with Ford again and just recently joined two LHP sects; the Dragon Rouge and The Order Of Phosphorus. My life is extremely committed to the LHP and since music is my Magickal / artistic will, it goes hand in hand.
You previously were working with the Greater Church Of Lucifer. Have you kept in contact/association with the order since their rebranding as The Assembly Of Lightbringers, and would you consider yourself still a member or adhering to their ideology?
Again, I still work with Michael W. Ford and actually am starting a Dark Ambient project with him. There are amazing people still in the GCOL and it's terrible that one rotting apple made me walk away. Lucifer and Set, as well as other entities, are my sources of power that I work with. It would take me too much time to go into full depth behind my pantheistic energy work.
Your last video "Poisoning The Steps Of Babel" was an intense and visual affair, feeding off of one of your previous primary inspirations of horror movies. You've mentioned in some post on social networking that a new music video is in the works. Is this still the case, and if so will it touch on your new primary musical theme of esotericism / magick?
The new video and album will use the aesthetics of Horror with symbolism that will go deep within human nature / society. So, the real shock value will be a way to articulate the process of awakening the rebellion of the human soul.
When it comes to your musical self and your real-world self, would you say that there is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
Magickal work is like being on stage. You have to have some sort of inspiration, imagination, energy, and symbolism. In this era and stage of my life, I feel that my character is both the musical self and the real self. I'm just more anti-social in the real-world now. Magick is a part of everything in my life and should be within others. Magick makes you see further, hear more in depth, feel unfamiliar sources of energy, and taste the temptations in the darkness.
Regarding the musical creation process of the band, how do the songs take shape? When you write music there is a lot of trial and error. Would you consider yourself a person who goes into production with a defined sound in mind, and you work at it until you achieve the closest to the results in your head? Or would you consider yourself more of a person who feels and grooves music, letting songs progressively evolve and define themselves throughout the creation?
I feel like I have more ideas in my subconscious mind and the conscious realm executes the ideas. In a metaphorical sense; I put pen to paper and let my mind do the rest. However; Most of the time I create a simple part and the spider web effect work it's course. Evolution or challenging yourself is all part of the game of progression.
Do you usually start something and then send it out to the other band members to flesh out, or do you create things as a group? How does the band dynamic of music change the process of creation compared to the more solo / independent processes of the earlier electronic sound?
Well, this idea that you are asking about is currently obsolete now that I'm back in control again. If anyone did place their parts in the past, I still would dictate the direction of each part.
Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What're your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?
It all depends. I craft sounds, I alter factory sounds and sometimes I simply like the factory presents. I love hardware and software. At the end of the day, the pilot controls the aircraft.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feels that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
Lately it all comes from within and what I have learned from. I write what I write and let the fans articulate the work for themselves. My lyrics are deep from the core.
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
Always a tough one. I'll list a few artists: Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Wumpscut, Suicide Commando, Hocico, Hatebreed, Bleeding Through, Behemoth, SepticFlesh, Watain, Gary Numan, Fear Factory, and other various bands in the Extreme Metal, Industrial, Hardcore genres. I also listen to bands that are completely not in the aggressive music realm because I love all types of music. All of my knowledge in the LHP, Black Magick, Sorcery, Dark Magick and Dark Witchcraft along with Horror is my main source of inspiration.
When it comes to fan and critic feedback, how much do you take it to heart, and how much do you feel it evolves, pushes, or holds your sound in place? Do you feel that the personal response and interaction in the live environment, and the subsequent positive press you've regarding both your live and recorded music has consciously encouraged you to do things a certain way?
I used to take it to heart in the past but I have learned that we are living in an era where everyone has a nasty opinion to share on the internet and it just shows the ugly face of envy so I could give a shit to be honest. People are going to hate and people are going to love. I'm happy either way as long as they are talking about us.
You've released music on several different record labels over the years. Metropolis is your most recent one and is pretty well known for giving their support to a wide variety of well known Industrial acts. What's it like working with Metropolis compared to other record labels you've worked with in the past?
They are a good supporting label for being a record label. That's all I can really say about the topic.
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path? What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
This era in the music industry as a whole is one big challenge. People don't buy music, labels don't want to fork out enough money to bands, touring is getting to be harder, and the support that artists got in the 80s and 90s doesn't exist anymore. It's rough and it's up to the bands to help the bands to survive.
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience-driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
Lots of aggression, energy and theatrics. It's never a dull moment.
You are currently working on several different projects, mainly "Dawn Of Ashes" and "Bornless Fire". You have also mentioned a collaboration of magickal oriented ambient music with founder of the Assembly Of The Lightbringers founder Michael Ford. How do you manage to balance the time and creative energy across all the different projects? How do you separate your creative work between each project? With Dawn Of Ashes incorporating more Industrial sounds are we going to see more Bornless Fire in the future or is that sound being entirely morphed into DoA.
I have a great talent of multi-tasking and separating ideas. Everyone will definitely see more from all of my projects. Stay tuned and keep up to date on all of my social media pages.
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