BLASPHEMER MAGAZINE (June 2006) (6-6-06)
1-Hailz and greetings from Brazil’s subterranean underground!!! How fuckin’ are you Mr. Velaetis?
Hails Helson and all at Blasphemer Zine! I’m doing fine, keeping very busy with DARKNESS ETERNAL, promoting the new record “Misanthropic Annihilation”, and just life in general.
2-Please, give us a pre-history of Darkness Eternal. For example, did you play in any other group or write Darkness Eternal material prior to the beginning?
Well, as far as bands before DE, there was only one band called GRIND, which was a band I co-founded and was my very first band. That band lasted three years, from 1995-1998 and had two releases, one EP and a full length, and I actually formed DE in 1997, while I was still in that band because by mid 1997 I was unhappy with a lot things relating to my first band, so I created DE so that I would have full creative control over MY music and what I was writing. I played in a few bands since then while continuing to DE full time and in fact I have spent most of my musical career in two bands or more.
3-It’s known, at least for a few true ones, that Darkness Eternal is only yourself on the vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. The way you handle your instruments is very well performed and unique, and create at most head banging segments and showing great techniques.
Thanks very much for the killer words, I really appreciate them! Yes, DE is and always has been only me on every instrument. From the very beginning I have always strived to be the best musician I could possibly be, on every single instrument I have ever played. I also always intended to have my own style, both in the way I write music and also in the way I play/deliver it. I’m definitely not the best guitarist in the world, but I have always felt that I did have a unique and unorthodox way of playing the guitar and formulating a lot of the riffs and structures that I compose, and it gets harder and harder each and every time believe me! But the most important thing for DE has always been to keep it as original as possible and also to keep it as utterly DARK as possible. As long as I can keep doing that, I will keep recording and releasing my dark hymns of death!
4-Why didn’t you look for other musicians and decide to do most things yourself? Aren’t there any Head bangers in Canada good enough to understand your blasphemy?
There are so many reasons as to why, I don’t even know if I can get into every single one of them here, but I’ll try my best to give a good explanation. It was a really a combination of so many things and elements. In the very beginning when I first created DE, I totally intended it for it to be only me, because as I mentioned before, I was just very frustrated with the way things were going in my first band at the time, I wasn’t happy with the direction it was going in, we had big problems with our drummer, and on top I was finding more and more near the end I was compromising almost all of my visions and ideas all the time, and I just became real sick and tired of that. So that was why DE started out as the ideology that it would purposely be only me, because I wanted to be able to unleash all of my ideas without anyone telling me that something didn’t fit, or it was too heavy, or too extreme, or this riff sucks etc, etc. So because I was already able to play every instrument, I figured I would work my ass off and write songs, and get ready and record them on my own and see how it would turn out. So I did DE’s debut record “Dawn Of The Suffering”, and I felt it turned out pretty good for a recording in which I played every instrument for the first time (professional recording that is). Then came the idea from a lot of people in my home town in Canada of getting members to make DE a live unit, but then other things got in the way of that, those being I worked a 60 hour a week job at the time, I was at one point or another playing with other bands live, and I was dealing with personal life bullshit, all of these things at the same time! Also, it was hard for me to find people in Edmonton who were into the style of dark death metal that I played, that was never (and still isn’t to this day) the most popular style to listen to/play, and I knew maybe one or two guys that were some what into what I was into. The scene back then in Edmonton was a little more trendy, the more technical death metal was a big thing, or black/war metal was a big thing, so a band like DE or its sound style just didn’t have that much appeal when compared to the other stuff I guess. So it was never about not being able to find the talent, because believe you me, to this day there is an abundance of talent in Edmonton, and the rest of Canada for the matter, it was more finding people who would be into it and gel with me, and combine that with the other issues I stated above, I just figured it would be a lot easier and less hassle to just do everything on my own since I already knew what I always wanted from DE.
5-Your first release was already the self-release “Dawn of the Suffering” CD in 2000. Are you still satisfied with the whole profanation?
Overall I would have to say that yes, I am definitely satisfied with “Dawn Of The Suffering”, six years after its release. I think that really says something about an album you create when you can listen to it years later and still be proud of it, I can’t 100% say that about any other record I did before that one, and I can definitely say it about “Dawn Of The Suffering”. After that record was recorded and released, that was when I truly knew that I had made the right decision about being serious about DE and doing everything myself, because even if it isn’t the tightest sounding record out there, everything came out pretty much how I had envisioned it to. Musically, I wouldn’t change anything on that record. Back then it was such a creative time for me, and when I finally broke free from the numerous things holding me back, I really got to explore my writing skills and at that time it was by far the best stuff I had ever written for any band I ever played in or was a part of. That record was what started it all for DE, and it really helped make me what I am today in terms of really striving to be the best musician I can be, and to continue to write the darkest, most depressing, and most twisted music that I can. I have a few issues with the production on “D.O.T.S”, mainly the drums, I wish the kicks were a lot more present, and that was what inevitably led me to be real anal about the drum sound on “Satanchrist” and “Misanthropic Annihilation” as well, and anyone who has heard all three records can hear a big difference in the drum sound on those records. But everything else is great I think. It is definitely the rawest sounding DE album, and in my opinion that rawness really helps achieve the dark and old school vibe that is present on that record.
6-Soon after, in ’01 you also self-released the 2nd album “Satanchrist”. How many copies were unleashed and what kind of responses you got from the Die-Hard Head bangers from all over the world?
Yeah, “Satanchrist” was released a year and half after “D.O.T.S.”. 1500 copies of “Satanchrist” were unleashed to the masses, and I don’t have very many left of the original copies at all! “Satanchrist” got an absolutely incredible response from the underground, very much to my surprise I must say. At the time I was creating that record, I was really in love with it, I mean to me it was dark and depressive, and I totally took what I did on “D.O.T.S.” to the next level for sure. So personally I was real happy with “Satanchrist”, but I remember thinking that when I released it, that everyone would hate it, that they wouldn’t understand it at all and that it was way too dark and over the top for what I perceived a lot of the “underground metal” audience was into at the time. But the reviews kept coming in, and kept getting better and better, and I kept getting more and more letters and e-mail, and about after a year passed, I had sold a lot more copies than I thought I would and got it into all kinds of different distro’s. It got to a point with “Satanchrist” where a few people said it was their favorite record of all time and called the album a classic, and that was the ultimate for me, I mean I just couldn’t believe it you know! So “Satanchrist” was definitely a critical chapter in DE’s history, because that was the record that catapulted DE to much higher levels and recognition. Most importantly though above all that, “Satanchrist” is really where I found my niche as a song writer and really solidified my own dark, twisted, and original style, and I think to this day you can listen to that record and say it sounds like DARKNESS ETERNAL, even if you can hear the influences here and there, it was more original than the previous record “D.O.T.S.”, and to this day that is something I am real proud of, because I always strove to make something unique while being as dark and twisted as possible at the same time. With “Satanchrist” (as well as with all of DE’s records) I made the record that I wanted to make, so even if everyone did end up hating it, I still would have been proud of it no matter what, and to me that is always the most important part of being a true artist in the end anyway.
7-I guess you had a kind of broken in your career, because your next release was only in ’05 with the 3rd album “Misanthropic Annihilation”. This time on Autopsy Kitchen Recs. If I’m right this label belongs to your country-mate Dale Roy of Canadian Assault ‘zine. How went the deal?
Yeah, there was a three and half year gap between “Satanchrist” and its follow up “Misanthropic Annihilation”. There are many reasons for this big delay, but the big issues that kept me from being able to create, record, and release “Misanthropic Annihilation” so late were due to my various personal life situations during those years, and also my financial situation as well. Yes, that is correct, Dale co-owns AKR along with Jeffrey Kusbel. As far as how I got the deal, it’s a bit of a funny story, as I had originally planned to release “Misanthropic Annihialtion” completely on my own like I did the previous two DE records. I had all the music already written and ready to record, and I in fact already booked the studio time to record the new record before AKR even got in touch with me. So what had happened was three weeks before I was to enter the studio to commence the recording of “Misanthropic Annihilation”, Dale got a hold of me out of nowhere and made me the offer. I took about a week to talk all the details over with both Jeffrey and Dale, and I really liked the offer they made me and more importantly the commitment they were willing to give the band, which in the end was the most important factor by far. I already knew that Dale was a long time fan of DE, since the very beginning dating back to the “D.O.T.S.” days, he always gave DE a lot of praise and gave both records, especially “Satanchrist” amazing reviews in his cult zine Canadian Assault, plus gave me an interview in issue #6 of CA, so Dale has always been praising DE, and I really am grateful to him for that, he is such a true metal warrior! I guess it was a matter of making sure Jeffrey was into the band as well, and sure enough, I guess when he heard “Satanchrist”, he really liked it, they made me the offer, I accepted, and the rest is history.
8-How did react the Head bangers who have followed your blasphemous path with this new dark material?
“Misanthropic Annihilation” has been getting rave reviews thus far, and so far all of the old DE fans really love the new record, almost all of the older followers that have gotten in touch with have told me that this is easily the DARKEST material I have ever written (which is definitely true!) and also their favorite DE release, so I am definitely pleased to hear that kind of response from the TRUE DE followers!
9-What kind of promo activities are planned in support of “Misanthropic Annihilation”? Some chance to be on the road for shows?
Well, AKR has put ad’s in various magazines in support of the new album thus far, flyers have been released, and some songs of the new record will be featured on various compilation CD’s like the upcoming issue of Brutallica Magazine. Also, a brand new DE website had been designed and is up and running now at http://www.darknesseternal.com and that has all the relevant and up to date information on the band and its happenings. As well, new shirts in support of the new record have also been made and are going pretty fast, so if anyone wants to get one they can do so via the DE website. Also I am doing a ton of interviews in support of the new record, in fact I have almost done more interviews for this record this record that the last two combined, so I am very hard at work along with AKR in support of the new one, and it is really showing as the CD has done real well thus far. As far as road shows/touring with DE goes, unfortunately I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon, as at this point in the band I would have to have a real good tour offer to go through with finding other people to help me out in a live situation. With the way my life is right now and the responsibilities I have outside of the band, it would be futile for me to form a live line up just to play some local shows here and there, not that there is anything wrong with that at all, but I’m just stating that for that purpose it wouldn’t be feasible for me to do it. So while I say never say never, it doesn’t look like DE will be playing live anytime soon.
10-I know you are living right now in the USA and are now the session bass player for The Chasm. Tell us about the co-operation and the gigs you played together so far. Are you supposed to be a permanent member or just a session musician, and what can you say about the death cult called The Chasm?
Yes that is correct; I am currently residing in the USA right now. Playing with THE CHASM has been completely amazing, it is beyond a dream come true for me and anyone that knows me know how much I love THE CHASM, they are my favorite band in the world and are all great metal brothers and friends of mine and I have nothing but total respect for them! I have been a session member of the band thus far and that’s it, I was never permanent as Daniel has stated several times that he wants to keep the core of THE CHASM as the three of them right now (Corchado/Viterbo/Leon), so if and when he decides to change his mind on that, that is the way I assume that it will remain. As I said already, I am just honored and grateful that I have had the opportunity to play along side with them, it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and I don’t think that I would the time I have had with them thus far for anything! The shows I have played with them include the Aztec Underground Legions min-tour in September 2003 with ANCIENT GODS, INFINITUM OBSCURE, and OBEISANCE, I then joined them on stage again for the tour with the mighty Japanese thrash legends SABBAT in September 2005, and finally I played the Heathen Crusade Metal Festival in Minneapolis, MN USA with them in January 2006.
11-You are based in Chicago, right? Have you ever met some Die-Hard like the guys of Cianide or Scepter? For sure they are one of the Chicago masters.
No, I am based in Greenville, South Carolina right now, so each time I go to play with THE CHASM I fly to Chicago from Greenville, which is about a two hour flight, so via plane it’s not too far. I have met some of the warriors from CIANIDE, real cool guys, especially Scott. Yes, CIANIDE definitely rule, “Divide and Conquer” was a kick ass record! While on the subject of CIANIDE, I should mention that a split with THE CHASM is planned for the future, hopefully that will come to pass. I don’t recall ever running into any of the members of SCEPTER, although I may have since I have run into so many cult people in Chicago, it is one of my favorite cities in the US and definitely has one of the best metal scenes in the country, if not the best! I have had countless great experiences in Chicago and I always consider it my second home in the US.
12-Ok Velaetis. I guess that’s all from my side for now... All the best for your cult!!!
Thanks Helson and all at Blasphemer Magazine for the interview and for all the support for DE, I truly appreciate it!! Eternal underground hails to all that have sent me countless praise on the new record “Misanthropic Annihilation” and all who have followed this dark journey with me and DE since the very beginning, your support is truly appreciated! For all the updates/news on DE, MP3’s of the new songs, and other relevant information, please visit the DE 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. You can also get DE shirts in support of the new album and more merchandise straight through me via the DE website as well. All the currently available DE merchandise can be found directly here: http://www.darknesseternal.com/DE-Merchandise.htm. DARKNESS ETERNAL has returned with a dark vengeance, massacre all the weak!