BRUTALISM WEBZINE (December 2001) (http://www.brutalism.com/darket.html)
1. Please give us a short introduction of yourself?
Demonic hails Twan! My name is George Velaetis and I am from the great white north in Edmonton AB, Canada. In 1997 I gave life to DARKNESS ETERNAL, with my main objective being to create the darkest, most depressing, most hateful, and most unholy dark death/doom metal that I possibly could, and I will continue to do so until death!
2. Why doing everything alone? Are you bossy, smelling etc?
Well, there are many reasons why I am doing everything on my own. One of them is that where I live here in Edmonton, it is a small metal scene, and it would be hard for me to find people that are 100% into dark death metal like I am, so finding the right people to form a permanent line up would be pretty hard here. Also, that last years of my personal life haven't allowed me time to pursue other members and turn this into a live unit, hopefully that will change one day. Another reason is that DE is the total expression of my utter most darkest thoughts and feelings, it is the first time that I am able to express myself 100% both musically and lyrically, and I have total control over everything. Me being bossy or a dick or whatever else has absolutely nothing to do with me not having a line up, if I ever did have a line up, I would make it very clear to everyone involved that DARKNESS ETERNAL is and always will be about creating and playing the darkest death metal the we can play and create, and they will have to be 100% into the sound and style of DE, because I can assure you that I will not change my sound and style for anyone, no matter what!
3. Where did you learn to play the instruments? A gift or just hard work?
I am self-taught on every instrument I play. I believe, in my case anyway, that it was more very hard work than anything for me to be at the musical level that I am at right now. I worked extremely hard to be able to do what I am doing right now and sacrificed a lot to be able to sit and to teach myself how to play drums, guitar, and bass, and it took many years of discipline, dedication and practice.
4. Why using two different guitars?
Well, anyone that knows me knows how fond I am of guitars, and the two that I use for the DARKNESS ETERNAL recordings are like my children to me, they are extremely special to me. When I write the music for each song, my guitars and myself become one, we become a force of total darkness and when we join forces, the end result is a holocaust of dark riffs and passages! The two guitars that I use on the recordings (both "Dawn Of The Suffering" and "Satanchrist") are the "Serpent", which is a customized BC Rich Warlock, and the "Demonaxe", which is a jet black BC Rich Mockingbird. I use the "Serpent" Warlock for all the leads on the records because it has a real good feel for certain lead riffs that I write, especially when it comes to high leads, solos and stuff like that, plus it has 24 frets, so I can do a little more with it, I can hit higher notes than on the "Demonaxe" Mockingbird, which has 22 frets. I use the "Demonaxe" for rhythm because, again, it feels better for me to use it for the rhythm riffs, and as I just mentioned, because it has less frets than the "Serpent", I can't hit certain notes on the "Demonaxe". As an example, on "To Save The Lost" (Track 6 on "Satanchrist"), on the solo at the end of the song, I hit the 24th fret of the 1st string, that wouldn't be possible with the "Demonaxe".
5. Do you have guys who can doing live shows with you?
No, I currently don't have any session members for DARKNESS ETERNAL. DE has always been just me since the very beginning, no one else has ever been involved. As I said before, maybe one day that will change, I would love to take DE to that next level and unleash this unholy darkness live, we'll see what the future holds.
6. Is DE a studio project or a live band?
As I mentioned in the previous question, DE isn't a live band right now, but I don't consider it a "studio project" either. In fact, I really don't like the use of the word "project" or "solo project" or "side band" or anything like that for DE, because to me DE is so much more than a "project". DE and metal in general is a way of life for me, plain and simple! DE is all that I have in my miserable life, it's all I really have to live for, so it's definitely NOT a "project", it is my total heart, soul, and pride for the darkest and most obscure metal that I like to both listen to and create.
7. Why is your URL not named after the band name?
Well, that's a question you should ask my webmaster, as he was the one that erected the website for me, and I am eternally grateful to him for that and everything else he has done for me. I could care less right now if I have a domain name for my website, the fact that I even have a website is good enough for me right now, I slowly hope to improve and expand everything about the band, but that will take time and money. Besides, having a domain name for a website costs quite a bit of money, and to switch to a "darknesseternal.com" server right now is something that isn't necessary. We just recently re-vamped the website, and it looks phenomenal, we used the artwork that I have on "Satanchrist" for it, and I'm very happy with the way it looks! The web address is www.deternal.darkgod.net, anyone that wants to check it out can, and can let me know what you think of it by e-mailing me at Darknesseternal666@hotmail.com or my webmaster at email@example.com.
8. How is metal life in Canada? Wish you lived somewhere else?
The metal life in Canada is pretty good right now, a lot of people don't realize it, but we have so many great bands from here in Canada, AXIS OF ADVANCE for example, who just released their new CD "Strike" which is really good. Other great bands from Canada are RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE, OUROBOROS (whom I recently played session bass for in San Antonio TX, USA for the SOTNC black metal fest), LUST, REVENGE, DISCIPLES OF POWER, and THORAZINE, all of whom are from my native province of Alberta. Then you have BLASPHEMY, whom are considered legends by so many, they are from Vancouver BC. And out east we have bands like CRYPTOPSY, KATAKLYSM, and ROTTING, who are all very technical and brutal! No, I don't wish I lived somewhere else, despite some of the freezing cold weather that we get here, I love living here, I've been here my whole life and it's been great living here. I did try to move to the USA for personal and financial reasons, as the economy here is pretty fucked right now, but it never worked out, which in a way is good because I really missed it here.
9. How did you get in contact with Zig? Did you pay him with hard cash or a free copy?
Actually, my webmaster is the one that hooked me up with Zig. I went and saw some of Zig's samples to see if he would be right for me, and when I saw the cover for AVERSE SEFIRA'S "Homecoming's March" CD, I knew that Zig was the one for me, that album cover is so dark and has such an evil aura to it!! So I got in touch with Zig and the rest is history! I paid Zig for his dark and grim services, and he earned every last penny, it was definitely worth it, I am extremely happy with his work on "Satanchrist", and everyone that has seen the artwork has been blown away by it as well! I will most likely be using him again the future!
10. What does attract you in the darkness? Are you also nocturnal?
Well, I'll answer this question by quoting a lyrical passage from "Cursed To An Eternal Damnation": "Hateful torment, forever diseased, Cursed To An Eternal Damnation, Born to darkness, forever will be, Cursed To An Eternal Damnation". That pretty much sums it up. I've always been attracted to the dark side for as long as I can remember. Even as a young child, I was always into dark subjects, dark movies, dark sounding music, etc. And also from a very young age, my personal life has always been filled with utter turmoil, hatred, depression, and darkness, it's not something I ever asked for, that's just the way it's been for me. Yes, I am nocturnal, again, I have no idea why, it's not something that is purposely done. I always seem to be at my best in the night time.
11. Are you depressed or suicidal? Is it not a pity in this life?
Yes, my black heart and soul have always been filled with torment, hate, depression, and darkness. I am very fascinated with death and the concept of death, to me death makes much more sense than life ever will. I cannot wait for the day when I will enter the world of the dead, I anticipate this with great excitement, but it's not quite time yet, there are still some things that I wish to accomplish while I am here on this graveland called earth, when I am finished those things, then I will be free to take the real journey to the dark cosmos, and that time is coming soon... As for this life being a pity, well, I don't really know about that. Yes, we have so much terrible shit happen in this stupid life, some of the time, and in my case anyway, most of the time, we can't do much about it. I personally hate it when an event occurs in my life that I can't control, but unfortunately, that the way it works most of the time. I believe that for the most part, you can make your life what you want it to be if work hard enough and put your heart into what you are doing. Many times that means having to sacrifice a lot to achieve your goals and dreams, and believe me when I say that no one knows this better than I do. In the past few years I have lost basically everything I had, but I will keep fighting in the name of darkness and metal, fight until fucking death!!
12. How do you start writing the songs? What do record first?
I start writing my dark hymns with my guitars, which are the instruments of creation for me. When I am satisfied with the riffs that I've written, I will record them onto my TASCAM 4 track machine, without that machine I would be totally lost! Then I will arrange the riffs in way so that they flow smoothly, and when I am satisfied with that I will start trying to right the lead guitar lines over riffs that I feel need them. Once that is done and I have the main basis of the song, I will create and add bass lines to the dual guitar lines. Then the hardest and most frustrating part comes, and that is writing the drum lines for the song. As most people now by now, since I am capable of playing drums, I refuse to use a drum machine, so I sit and figure out drum lines to the riffs, and when I am satisfied with what I've come up with I will memorize the drum lines in the order that they should be played. Then I will write lyrics and the vocal lines to the completed music. When I record the songs, I always lay the drum tracks down first, then the rhythm guitars, then the leads, then solos, and in the case of "Satanchrist", there are some parts on the songs where I actually used triple guitars, two leads over a rhythm, like at the end of "Cross Of Lies" and "Dark Salvation" for example. Then I lay down the vocals on top of all of that, and that is how a DE is song is written and recorded from beginning to end.
13. What is the first BM band to you and why?
Hmmm, that's a very good question, which I'm sure has caused much debate over the years. Now different people have different definitions of the term "black metal" today, but in my opinion, I would have to call BATHORY the first black metal band. I say them because although VENOM coined the term "black metal", they sounded more heavy metal/rock 'n' roll style to me, even though they had satanic lyrics. To me, black metal is a combination of things, it is a combination of dark and unholy lyrics, mixed with the style of playing which is very fast all the time and the vocals being of the high-pitched style. BATHORY was the first band of their time to do this I believe, so I feel that they started the black metal movement, and then the bands like BEHERIT, ARCHGOAT, MAYHEM, and DARKTHRONE soon followed.
14. Who will judge your songs when ready? Is his/her opinion important?
I always judge when a song is ready and whether or not I will use or record a riff or a song, since I am the sole member of DE, it has always been this way, and in a way I am glad. I'm not saying that input from other people isn't good, because that's just not the case, but in my previous experiences playing with other people, I got sick and tired of arguing over stupid and trivial shit, and always arguing over "this riff sucks, and that part sucks" etc. So with DE being my total dark vision and creation, I make the final call on everything. When I jam with other bands, I am aware of my role with them, and I do exactly that, do what I'm supposed to do and nothing more unless it is asked of me. Well, to be honest, in the end, my opinion is what matters first and foremost. I write this dark music for myself first, and it just happens that there are dark souls out there that like what I'm doing and I think that is so great and I am grateful to everyone that has shown their support to me. I release CD's on this scale to the public because they show me that they appreciate what I'm doing, and I will always continue to do my best to not disappoint my fans. If I like what I write, I'm sure the fans will always like what I write as well, as I will never wimp out and become gay like so many other bands have done before me. DARKNESS ETERNAL will always be about the darkest, most depressing, most hateful, and most blasphemous music that I can create!!
15. Do you have any mentors or people you admire in the music business?
Oh yeah definitely. One of them would definitely be Daniel Corchado and THE CHASM. I can't even begin to tell you how much he inspires me, he is the most metal being that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and being friends with, he so fucking dedicated to what he does. The guy lives, breathes, and sleeps fucking metal, and he would fucking die for it as well, and anyone else that knows him will tell you the exact same thing, and I have an endless amount of respect for him and all of the guys in THE CHASM, Alfonso, Julio, and Antonio, all those guys are simply about 110% metal of death, it doesn't get more dedicated than that!! Those guys have been through a lot of shit over the years, they are the most underrated band ever in my opinion, but their time will come soon, believe me there! I also have great respect for the guys in IMMOLATION, INCANTATION, AUTOPSY, bands like that have really inspired me, they all write the most original and darkest music that I've heard. I recently came back from San Antonio TX, where I played the 4th SOTNC black metal fest as session bassist for OUROBOROS, and I met Blackthorn and all the guys in THORNSPAWN there, and I have a lot of admiration and respect for them as well, especially Blackthorn, he is the one that puts the fest together every year. It is a lot of work and stress for him, but he does it in the name of metal! He also plays in THORNSPAWN and is the main writer for Bestial Assault Zine, which is one of the best zines in the underground today! I admire the bands of the old days for giving birth to and starting what metal has grown to be today, you know, the bands like POSSESSED, SACRIFICE, BULLDOZER, etc. I admire anyone that loves metal to the extent that they would do whatever they could for it, and I also admire and respect anyone that is true to themselves and doesn't follow any stupid gay trends, or what the "mainstream" society tells us is cool or not cool and what is right or wrong.
16. Is DE a part of your life? Living DE for 24-7?
DE isn't just part of my life, IT IS my life. As I stated before, DE is really all I have to live for in my life, DE and metal in general that is, and so I will dedicate the rest of my days on this stupid planet to metal and DE. I really wish I could be living for DE 24-7, in my heart and soul, yes, I am living for DE 24-7, but financially that's just not possible though, as with any other band/musicians in this extreme genre of music, it usually isn't enough to pay the bills, so I have to work a full time job and do DE full time as well.
17. Is there a message people can find in DE?
Well, I'll put it like this, DE's music and lyrics can mean to you what you want them to mean, they are open to some interpretation. But at the same time all the music and lyrics are written from a very personal point of view, and each song to me has great personal meaning, which is one of the main reasons for DE's existence, for me to unleash my darkest, most inner feelings in the form of dark death metal.
18. Is the Satanchrist a concept or 9 individual bombs?
"Satanchrist" is not a concept album, it is as you stated "9 individual bombs" of total uncompromising darkness, depression, bitterness, and unholy hatred!! Both "Dawn Of The Suffering" and "Satanchrist" were very personal records for me, I think you can hear that in the music, especially on all of the tracks on "Satanchrist". When you listen to "Satanchrist", or anything that DE has recorded for that matter, you will always hear total darkness played with pride, heart, and soul, always!!
19. What do you do in normal daily life?
Well, I work a job in order to pay my bills, but right now I'm concentrating very hard on DARKNESS ETERNAL and the newly released CD "Satanchrist". I spend about 6-8 hours everyday on DE right now, be it promoting the band through interviews, sending out promo's, sending out orders, trying to keep my website updated as frequently as I can, running Dark Salvation Productions, and answering both my e-mail and snail mail on a regular basis. It's a lot of work for just one person to do and gets extremely stressful at times, especially when you combine that with working full time and the everyday bullshit of life in general, but I enjoy doing it, I live for metal 24-7 all the time, and I do whatever I can to let people know about DE and other great bands, zines, and websites in the underground. As I mentioned before, I also just recently came back from San Antonio TX where I played session bass for OUROBOROS, so metal has been keeping me extremely busy as of late!
20. What profession did you want to do when you were a kid?
To be totally honest, I always wanted to be a musician at a very young age, way before I even held an instrument in my hands. I've always been a creative person and I've always had this immense drive to express myself through an art form of some sort, be it drawing, painting, or playing music. I've always had so many feelings to get out of my system, especially when I reached the age of 12-13, when I was really starting to become an angry and depressed dark soul, I really felt the urge to get all those emotions out, but I didn't do anything about it until I reached the age of 16, where I kind of exploded and started getting my emotions out through poetry and drawing. It was then that I first gained the confidence to try to play and learn each instrument, and slowly over the years I started to teach myself to play drums, bass, guitar, and vocals.
21. How do you see your future in 5 years?
That's a good question, I really can't say. It would be nice to see DE get to a higher level because doing absolutely everything on my own (writing, arranging, recording, selling, promoting, funding, etc) has really taken its toll on me, especially with the release of "Satanchrist" as I have worked so hard on everything for this record, but if it doesn't happen that is ok because I do this because I love it so much and as long as I maintain that attitude, no matter how many negative things happen in my tormenting life, then I will be proud of myself. I would like to just keep releasing albums the way I am doing now on this scale, that's all I really ask for, to keep creating the darkest, most obscure, and most depressive hymns that I can, and to always advance and move forward, yet to maintain my original concepts and style. At this point it is somewhat of an unattainable goal, but I would love the opportunity to play live with DE or even tour, that would be a dream come true! Of course with the way things go for me, I don't even know if I will be here in 5 years from now, but like I said, no matter what, I will go out always knowing that I tried my best and everything that I did, I did because it was in my heart, no matter if people liked what I was doing or not, I will always have my pride and integrity intact.
22. Why do you hate religion? And why calling this earth a graveyard?
I have an utter hatred and vile disgust for all organized religion in general, because I believe that it is the biggest lie that has ever infested the planet earth! All I ever heard as a child was how "God" loves us all and is our savior, and all that bullshit, and I finally just got sick and tired of hearing about a "God" that wasn't what I was told he was. I was tired of being angry and depressed as a child and being told to put my hands in the lord, only to find out that the faggot did absolutely nothing to sooth me or anyone else for that matter. I was tired of seeing this planet being destroyed by its own weak pathetic race, while this "God" sat idly by and watched and did nothing to punish the guilty as I was always told he would. That is why I refer to this planet as a "graveyard" or "graveland", because that is what it is in my opinion, I rotting, decaying mass of water and land. I always try to keep an open mind about everything, so I will say this, if a "God" does exist, I have such an intense hatred towards him/her/it because instead of "saving" this graveland called earth, he allows it to decay. He allows torment, pain, and suffering upon the innocent. To me, this kind of a "God", is not good, he is vile, conceited, and evil, and has us all on his strings like puppets and mocks and laughs at us all. Hence the title "Satanchrist" for the new album, the CD deals with this subject of a false God and a weak pathetic race called humans, that will all perish into oblivion, I would love to see the downfall of the graveland and laugh as they fall prey to their so called savior!
23. What would you put on this earth if you were the Creator?
Hehe, I don't think you want to know the answer to that one my friend...
24. Is there something I forgot to ask?
I don't think so, man you asked a lot of questions already, this was one long interview!!!
25. Last rites?
Thank you Twan and Brutalism for the interview, I had fun doing it! Thanks also for your great support, keep up the great work! "Satanchrist" is here and ready to fucking destroy!! If you don't have a copy and would like to order one, you can by sending $12 US (World), $15 CAN (Canada), well concealed cash or money order (make payable to George Velaetis) to: George Velaetis, P.O. Box 5002, Spruce Grove AB, Canada, T7X 3A2. Shipping and Handling is included in the prices, and "Dawn Of The Suffering" is also still available for the same prices as above. To get in contact with me, e-mail me at Darknesseternal666@hotmail.com. The official DE website address is located at www.deternal.darkgod.net, the website was recently given a new look and it looks killer! There you will find all the info you need on DE including news updates, history, links, MP3's and more. I want to say a quick special thanks to my brothers in OUROBOROS for asking me to join them in their Canadian Assault at the SOTNC black metal fest in San Antonio TX, it was a pleasure sharing the stage with you guys! Also hails to everyone I met in TX, thanks for the great time, I hope to see you all very soon!! Thanks to all the DE fans for their undying support, Dark Salvation is upon us!!!