BATTLE WEBZINE (November 2005) (http://br.geocities.com/battle_zine/interviews/Darkness_Eternal/darkness_eternal.html)
Interview with George Velaetis /Darkness Eternal.
1. Heils, George!! Give us an update about Darkness Eternal news since our last interview [back when “Dawn Of The Suffering” was released], until now.
Hails Clay! Good to be back in Battle Webzine again! Well, from the last time we spoke (“Dawn Of The Suffering” era) until now, A LOT has happened with DARKNESS ETERNAL, since it has been almost five years since then. Basically, “D.O.T.S” went on to do quite well in the underground, gaining DE a reputation for being one of the darkest and one of the most uncompromising bands in the underground. In that time when “D.O.T.S” was out, I was creating what would be the next DE record, which ended up being “Satanchrist”. I recorded “Satanchrist” in September of 2001, and released it (on my own again as I did with “D.O.T.S”) in November of 2001. “Satanchrist” got incredible reviews and accolades, and did far better than I expected it to, and in fact many people referred to that record as a “classic”, so “Satanchrist” really took the band to levels I never thought it would, which was real good. I was doing a lot in those times; I was promoting the hell out of “Satanchrist” as well as doing metal activities outside of DE like playing session bass for OUROBOROS at the SOTNC IV fest in December 2001, and then later on playing session bass for the Mexican Deathcult THE CHASM in September 2003 and again in September 2005. So anyway, to go backwards a bit here, With “Satanchrist” done and out of the way, and some time elapsing, I started writing music for what would be the new record “Misanthropic Annihilation”. Of course as usual with my stupid miserable existence, some major things happened in my personal life over the past three years, and the recording and release of “Misanthropic Annihilation” was delayed numerous times because of them. Even though I didn’t want to do it, I ended up having to relocate to the USA from my homeland of Canada for the betterment of the band and my life in general, so after getting past a few more stupid circumstances and delays, I finally booked studio time to record the new record, which by April/May 2005 I had fully written to my satisfaction. Three weeks before I was to enter the studio, I got an offer from Autopsy Kitchen Records to release the new DE record, I agreed to the terms, went for the deal, and then entered the studio in late May 2005 to record. The record was officially released by AKR on September 13th, 2005, and so far it is doing real well, garnering excellent reviews, and getting the band even more recognition. So right now, things for DARKNESS ETERNAL couldn’t be better, I mean when you consider that the band went from its worst period (mainly in 2003-2004) to its best period now in 2005, entering 2006, so for that I’m definitely satisfied! If anyone wants more detail on the DE “journey” so to speak, the biography has more details in it on my new website http://www.darknesseternal.com.
2. Darkness Eternal returns with a new album, so, what has been the reception of “Misanthropic Annihilation” so far? Are you satisfied with the final result? How long did it take to conceive it?
The reception of “Misanthropic Annihilation” has been incredible so far, and the record has only been out for two months! Every review of the record has been very positive thus far, and I am getting many e-mails from people who have picked up the new one and have really been praising it, so I’m very grateful for that, because to be honest with you, I didn’t think the record would do near as well as it has been doing response wise. I am very satisfied with the final result of the record. I knew that I had to top “Satanchrist” in every conceivable way possible, from the music, to the lyrics, to the performance of each instrument, to the artwork, to the production, and most important was to make the DARKEST record that I possibly could, and I feel that I totally achieved this with “Misanthropic Annihilation”! It is easily the DARKEST stuff that I have ever conjured for sure! And speaking of the production, it is amazing on the new one. Production wise it crushes the last two, not to say that those sounded bad, not by any means, but this one sounds so fucking heavy and even more full than ever before, and I totally owe that to Mr. Bob Moore of Sound Lab Recording Studios, he did a stellar job of achieving the sound I was going for! As far as how long it took to actually conceive the record, that’s kind of hard to answer. If you go by calendar dates, then it took me three and a half years to write and arrange all the music, drum parts, lyrics, etc.., but the reason it took so long was countless amounts of delays due to things happening in my life at the time that for the most part I had absolutely no control over. The original plan was to have the album recorded and released by the end of 2003, but of course things happened that changed all of that, and then in that time I rearranged and re-wrote some of the material making it better and darker, and wrote some new songs as well, so by May 2005 I was finally ready, both musically and financially to finally go ahead and make the record. So really if you take all the bullshit out it took me about a year to a year and half to write everything, and then it took me over a span of 5 weeks to record everything, mix, and master it in the studio.
3. What’s the lyrical concept around this album?
Well, there are many concepts/subjects that I write about on this one, but the main theme on this one is the total destruction of everyone and everything on this miserable graveland called earth, hence the album title “Misanthropic Annihilation”, which literally means to annihilate the pathetic human race, and everything surrounding and representing it in total hatred! But you can take that even further, as when I mean “Misanthropic Annihilation”, I mean the total and utter decimation of EVERYTHING, the planet, its inhabitants, and especially all religion, etc. Like the title track is a perfect example, in a way it’s a continuation on what I was taking about on “Satanchrist” (though this nor the previous two album are concept albums) about how everyone worships and bows to this feeble “savior” the Nazarene, only for he to reveal himself as the true darkness of the world, as the true hater and destroyer of everything, and thus the “Satanchrist” returns to decimate the entire planet and his very own creation this time. So really I haven’t strayed too far from what I have always been about with DE, I just took it to the ultimate extreme. So that would be the main issue, just my feeling and disgust towards this planet, its sheep-like hypocritical people, “God”, all organized religion, and many more. I also do dwell on other topics like depression, self destruction, suicide, and the constant inner war within. Songs like “Suicide Unto Infinite Euphoria (Descending Into Forever II)” and “Thy Will Be Done” are very personal, and are in most ways very autobiographical. Others like “For All The False Promises” and “Darkness Conquers All” deal with how Christianity and all organized religion continue to plague this planet and show how they are a catalyst to what will be the main reason of the termination of the planet. Then you have tracks like “Upon The Throne Of Eternal Blasphemy” and “Worship Us” which are just pure blasphemous and unholy in nature, and really expose the lies of religion and this so called savior “Jesus Christ” and God, and move forward where I left off on the other two records in regards to how after all this time, and after all the pain, misery and suffering the world still goes through, even though it is getting worse and worse, people just fail to see and realize that “God” is a lie and if he/she/it exists, that we are being lied to and let down over and over and over again. And the worst part is that this stupid race of humans deserves it because they accept this as “God’s will”, they challenge not at all, thus accepting defeat. The entire record has a real hopeless theme to it, that was truly how I felt when I wrote most of it, just void, depressed, and utter hopelessness, and I really feel that is the state of the world today. In the end this is about the end of the world, and how we ourselves will bring it, how we will kill ourselves, and for nothing on top of all that.
4. How did its sound evolve as compared with to the older material?
What I have always strived to do with DARKNESS ETERNAL ever since I started the band, was to always move forward in every way that I could, while maintaining my own style and originality. I always want to take everything to that next level so speak, you know, I want to improve and evolve, but without ever losing my roots. I never wanted to change, just simply to advance. I feel that from “D.O.T.S” to “Misanthropic Annihilation”, I completely achieved this. With “D.O.T.S”, you can see where my ideas are and what I want to achieve in terms of making the darkest, most unholy metal that I can, but my influences are apparent at times on that record (which isn’t a necessarily a bad thing). With “Satanchrist”, I think I really took that next big step of keeping all the core elements of what DE is about, but making a much more original and darker record. With “Misanthropic Annihilation”, I really feel I solidified and nailed what I have been aiming to do since all this began, and this is to make the DARKEST, most original, most unholy, most intense, and most hateful album that I possibly could and I feel confident that I did just that. With “Misanthropic Annihilation”, I truly took everything to the next logical step forward, I totally stretched all the extremes, the fast parts are faster, the slow parts are slower, the structures are better, the music is the most complex I have written to date, the lyrics are more extreme, the songs in general are more intense, and as I said before it is easily the darkest record I have ever written. However, all of the core elements that make DE what it is are still there, like the doom, the dark clean passages, the utter depressiveness, the blasphemy, the torment, hatred, and most importantly, the DARKNESS. So I went forward without ever losing or forgetting what truly makes this band what it is, total uncompromising DARKNESS created and played with heart and soul! The most important thing for me above everything is that everything I do must be darker and better than its predecessor. Another thing I feel I am evolving in is that with each record I am becoming angrier, more hateful, and darker. Out of the three records, the new one is the most hateful, most intense, and the DARKEST, no doubt about it!
5. Who thought up the concept for the artwork of “Misanthropic Annihilation”?
I came up with the concept for the artwork of the album, but Jonzig (www.jonzig.com) was the one the brought my dark and bleak vision to life, in a way I never ever thought he would, so he deserves infinite respect and credit for doing that. I honestly didn’t think he could top the artwork that he did on “Satanchrist”, I mean he really blew my mind with that one, he took every idea I had and nailed it perfectly! With “Misanthropic Annihilation”, not only did he do it again, but even more beyond my wildest and darkest dreams! It was literally like he was able to go inside my head and just pull this out, but with also adding his own take to my dark visions, and he did one hell of a job! The best part about all this was when I signed with AKR, I told them that I had planned to do a twelve page, full color booklet this time around, and I had the idea to have Jonzig do a real elaborate piece(s) so that I could use it for the front cover, and then use pieces of it and the second piece he did for me for each song in the lyrics part of the book, and it couldn’t have come out better. Every image that is used for each specific song is used purposefully, and each one represents the theme of the song. So definitely the best artwork I have had to date! Also, I have to mention that my great friend Daniel Corchado (THE CHASM/Lux Inframundis Productions) had just as big a role as well as he was the one that did the layout/graphic design for the entire CD, and he far exceeded my expectations in every way, so I have to give him a huge thanks as well for his incredible work! Daniel also designed my new website, and did a killer job with that as well. So as you can see, I was very fortunate to work with such amazing talents for this new record, it was a total honor for sure!
6. Which movie could you imagine Darkness Eternal’s music being a soundtrack for?
Wow, that’s a pretty thought provoking question. It’s actually ironic that you ask this because a friend of mine told me when he first got the new record and really listened to and absorbed it, he got two things out of it; the first being it was one of the darkest things he had ever heard, and two, that the new one is the soundtrack to the end of the world! I guess the simple answer to that would be that that movie hasn’t been made yet, and I guess only someone with as dark, twisted, and sick a mind as myself would be the only one to create it haha!! The main problem with movies today is that 99% of them end with a “happy” ending where good usually prevails over evil, which is why it is so hard to pick one, because my music is totally based on reality, where in real life, good prevailing over evil is hardly ever the case. And as I said before there is such darkness and hopelessness occurring in this new record. But I guess if I HAD to pick a movie, I guess the closest one would have to be any of the OMEN movies, simply because of how dark they are and the whole theme of the son of Satan being born to earth in human form to take over the planet and ultimately destroy it and God along with it. I think for the music alone, any truly DARK horror movie could be represented, and any dark movie dealing with a lot of death, destruction, and suicide would fit as well.
7. A soldier once remarked, “we had to destroy the town to save it.” F.W. Nietzsche once offhandedly said that if Christianity had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent it. Do you think all things on planet earth are bound up in their opposites?
For the most part, yes, I do think that all things on this miserable graveland are bound up in their opposites, though I feel there are a few exceptions. Once again, it is ironic that you bring up the first quote of “we had to destroy the town to save it.” as I make a very similar reference in the song “Misanthropic Annihilation” but on a much larger scale, which I quote; “All the pillars they’ll come crashing down, billions screaming, he hears not a sound, now the only way to save the world is to kill it”. And that basically just says that the world has come to such a desperate and hopeless point, and everyone is talking about and asking how we can “save the world” and praying to and relying on a “God” that does nothing at all, and for all intent purposes, if he/she/it does is exist, is probably responsible for our demise in the first place. Well, I have news for them, I don’t believe there is anyway to save it at this point, we are way too far gone, as a race 99% of us are total disgraces, hypocrites, and failures. So the only way I can see to save the world at this point IS to kill it, to end everyone and everything. As for the Nietzsche quote, I agree and disagree with it at the same time. In my opinion, Christianity, and all organized religion in general is the main reason why we as a people and race are in the position we are in today. I believe that is and always has been the main catalyst to our imminent demise, and the fact that so many people on this planet are so fucking fearful, stupid, and ignorant to even see that everything they believe is a lie and is hurting us instead of helping us, makes me laugh at them all, and definitely leaves me to believe that they deserve everything that is happening, and when we are all dying and suffering and burning together, we will deserve it. On the other hand, as much as I normally don’t look at the “positive” aspects of things, I guess if there was no Christianity or organized religion, then we, the open-minded would have nothing to fight against. Then again, I don’t know if this a fight worth fighting for anymore either. So I guess in the end, fuck 99% of the human race, fuck the planet, fuck all organized religion, and fuck God!
8. What merchandise do you have available?
I currently have quite a bit of merchandise available right now, more than I have ever had. I have all three albums available right now on CD (“Dawn Of The Suffering”, “Satanchrist”, and “Misanthropic Annihilation”) for $10.00 US (USA and Canada), $12.00 US (World), and I must note that both “D.O.T.S” and “Satanchrist” are down to about their final 50-60 copies, I have VERY limited amounts of the Project Infinity II compilation CD that DE was a part of (along with great western Canadian acts such as RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE, REVENGE, AXIS OF ADVANCE, DISCIPLES OF POWER, LUST, and more) for $8.00 US (USA and Canada), $10.00 US (World), I have the Eternal Frost “Underground Eternal” compilation that DE was a part of (with ENCABULOS, COUNCIL OF THE FALLEN, SIGNS OF DYING, FUNEBRARUM, and more) for $5.00 US (USA and Canada) and $7.00 US (World). I also want to point out that with any order over $20.00 US, I will include the Eternal Frost compilation for free with the order. I also have new shirts in support of the new one “Misanthropic Annihilation”, two-sided, full color front (with the album cover artwork on the front) and B&W on the back, those are going for $15.00 US (USA and Canada) and $18.00 US (World) and are available in sizes S, M, and L (XL sold out). All the prices listed INCLUDE Shipping and Handling. For more information on all the merchandise, you can go to my new website at http://www.darknesseternal.com and click on the “Merch” link for pictures and details of everything. I should have stickers in a few months, and I am already working on a new shirt design, so keep checking the website for updates on these things.
9. Plans to the future?
The plans for the future are to continue to keep DARKNESS ETERNAL a strong force in the underground for as long as I can. I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can to promote the new CD “Misanthropic Annihilation”, and hopefully the support will remain as strong as it has been for the short time the CD has been out. Beyond that, I really don’t know, I don’t really like to make any set or concrete plans anymore as every time I do that, they seem to get fucked up for one reason or the other, but everyone should know that even though a lot has changed for me in the eight years that I have been doing DE, my vision and stance has NEVER changed, not for a second, and I will continue to do and live for DARKNESS ETERNAL until the day I depart this hell-hole earth. But until that day, I will keep the passion and the flame burning, not only for DE, but for TRUE fucking metal as well!
10. Thanks for this interview, George. Your final bullets...
I thank you Clay for the support and for giving me the opportunity to be in your zine again, it was a pleasure. I broke almost a three year silence with this interview, as this is the first interview I have done since late 2002. 666 unholy hails to all in the underground that have and continue to support DE and its cause, especially in the shitty times, it really means a lot and I appreciate it very much! For all the updates/news on DE, MP3’s of the new songs, and other relevant information, please visit the new website at http://www.darknesseternal.com and anyone out there that doesn’t have a copy of “Misanthropic Annihilation”, you can get straight through me at the DE website, through my current label Autopsy Kitchen Records (http://www.autopsykitchen.com), or through various distro’s world wide. I also want to mention that I will be playing session bass with the Aztec Deathcult known as THE CHASM once more, this time for the Heathen Crusade Metalfest on January 21st, 2006 in Minneapolis, MN USA. For more info on the fest please visit http://www.enterthedeathcult.com or http://www.heathencrusade.com. I stayed silent for a long time, but with “Misanthropic Annihilation” now unleashed, I am silent no more! Prepare for the end, prepare for Misanthropic Annihilation!!!