ETERNAL FROST WEBZINE (October 2000)

DARKNESS ETERNAL Interview

1. First, the background info. . .How long has Darkness Eternal existed? Did you record any demos prior to the CD? Why did you choose the name Darkness Eternal? Doesn't it strike you as being on the generic side?

I created Darkness Eternal in late 1997, with my main goal being to create the darkest music that I could. There were no demo's released prior to "Dawn Of The Suffering", only 4 track versions exist, which I used to construct and arrange the songs, but those were never intended for release. As for the name, Darkness Eternal was a very easy choice for me, because it defines my entire existence. It doesn't really strike me as generic. I wanted that name because it meant something very significant for me, not because it was a cool or brutal death metal name.

2. Tell me about the recently-released CD, Dawn of the Suffering. You basically did everything on it, right down to the artwork. I'm curious, since you're the sole member, how long it took to record the entire album. Are you satisfied with how it came out sounding?

"Dawn Of The Suffering" was recorded in April 2000, and yes I performed all the instuments. I recorded it over a span of two weeks, in total it took me four days to record everything, and one day to mix it. Overall, I'd say I'm satisfied with the outcome, there are some parts where I wish the lead guitar was louder, but overall I'm content with it. I'll never be 100% happy with any production, as I can be a stubborn prick when it comes to that! As for the artwork, I was forced to do it because I couldn't find anyone suitable that I could afford to do it for me. Unfortunately along with recording it all, I had to fund the entire thing myself as well, which sucked but I did it all for my passion for metal and darkness.

3. Something tells me Rabid Hunchback Monkey Studio isn't a professional recording studio. Am I wrong? The production on the CD is well-balanced for a non-pro studio.

Yeah, it's not a professional studio, but the guy who engineered and recorded it (Stew Kirkwood) has some good equipment, and I think he did a good job considering he doesn't know shit about death metal!! Because of that fact, I mixed the CD with him, and I described to him the sound I wanted on each instrument, and he did a pretty good job of acheiving it. Stew is a very good engineer, and is open-minded and is always improving at his craft, and is a real cool guy too. I find the production on this CD fitting for DE, as it is not too over-produced, but it's not too raw either.

4. I have to say, it's nice hearing a one-man band that doesn't use a fucking drum machine. How long have you been playing each instrument? Have you ever taken any lessons or are your talents self-taught?

Fuck yeah man!! I agree 100%, I fucking hate drum machines! For me, everything on this record had to be real, so that on each instrument my soul and hatred would come out. I've been playing drums (on and off) for about four years now, been playing bass for four years, and been playing guitar for three years, two years on a regular basis. I am self-taught on every instrument I play.

5. Dawn of the Suffering was totally self-released. Did you attempt acquiring the help of a label or was it your intent from the start to release it yourself? Are you shopping the CD to labels?

I intended to release and do everything on my own from the very beginning, which is why I created Dark Salvation Productions. It was fucking hell doing it that way, but it was worth it because nothing beats the pride and satisfaction that it gives me to work hard at something and earn it, plus it keeps the release totally underground, which is cool! No currently I'm not shipping to any labels, at this point I don't think I would be in a position to be signed, all though that may change as some labels have gotten a hold of me. If the deal is right and everything works out the way I want it to, then I will sign, but otherwise I am better off on my own. At this point, I doubt a label would want to sign me right now.

6. Being a one-man band, I would think it difficult for Darkness Eternal to play live - yet there are two live photos of you in the CD >booklet. Has DE played many gigs? Who are the musicians that fill out >DE in a live setting?

Well yeah, right now it is impossible for DE to play live, as I am the sole member from the start, and I never had any live players for DE, no one else has ever been involved. The photos are from a show I played with a live metal band I play guitar for here where I live called RMC. The only reason I included the photos actually, as stupid as this may sound to some reading this, is that in one photo I am playing my "Serpent" Warlock, and in the other I am using the "Demonaxe" Mockingbird, these are the guitars I used on this recording, they mean a lot to me and they represent my soul and what I put into every note on this album, so I more or less wanted a visual of my anger, and my passion for metal, plus that space would have been very barren with just the DE symbol HA HA!!

7. Do you ever see DE expanding its member base in the future? What would your requirements/standards for such additions be?

Well, right now that isn't an option for me even if I wanted it to be, because of my personal life situation with work etc. There are a lot of reasons why it would be hard, but never say never, it could happen one day, we'll see. As for requirements and standards? Well, I'll put it this way, generally when it comes to my own vision, I can be a stubborn dick, which is both good and bad. It sucks that I can't play live, it sucks that I have to record and arrange everything myself, as that does become a pain in the ass sometimes (especially the drums!), but the one thing that I think makes up for all that is that I have 100% control over everything, and that to me is very important. As a person, I an a visionary, which means I have this vision that I want to carry out, and I'm not going to let anyone stand in my way, and this way no one can tell me how to do this, or how to play this riff, or this song sucks we're not playing it, because I have that total control. If I were to have band members, I can say one requirement right now would be that they would have to be 100% into Darkness Eternal. They would have to have a soul and undying passion for metal and for playing DARK fucking music! If that is not the case then they can fuck off! This will never become a day job, I'm in it because it fills me with pride and satisfaction, so I'd have to find people with my attitude, that will prove to be a very difficult and undertaking task if and when the time comes, but by the same token, NO ONE will ever cause the demise of DE except me, I will always retain the majority of the control, so when I die, so does Darkness Eternal!

8. I'm a big fan of old-school doom/death (Winter, Thergothon, Sorrow ) and was floored with all the doomy sections on the CD. Do you listen to much doom metal yourself? The doom scene's gone down the toilet lately, thanks to the invasion of gothic influences. . .

Hell yes, I listen to lots of doom!! I fucking love that feeling you get when you're listening to a doom passage, a perfect example would be the last riff on "Charred Remains" (Severed Survival) by the sick dark gods Autopsy! The first time I heard that riff, I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach... it's hard for me to explain but I think you know what I'm getting at. It's like you hear this riff, and your first impression is "Fuck!!! The Apocalypse has arrived!". Shit like that really inspires me! Infact, the last riff on the song "Dawn Of The Suffering" is riff like that, total doom, darkness and utter despair. There aren't very many bands that play this style of death metal, and it's mainly because they have this mentality where "oh it's slow and boring and only three notes and blah blah blah", and I'm like FUCK YOU!! That's the whole point!! That's what seperates a musician with soul, and a musician that wants to play a certain way just for the sake of speed or brutality or whatever else. I don't care about fast, slow, technical, simple, I care about mood and atmosphere. I want the listener to hear fast climaxing blasphemy, and then out of nowhere, you are at the end of the cliff, and you fall to your demise when the doom riff devastates you! I agree that the gothic scene has has affected this movement in a negative way, and that's too bad, to each his own I guess. If you are going to do something because your heart is there, even if I don't like it, I'll still have respect for you because you are doing your thing. But that isn't the case with many of these bands. They just jumped the trend-fag wagon, and they'll jump right off when the trend is pronounced dead. It won't fucking happen with DE that is for sure!! The people who go all gay and gothic and use flutes, recorders, violins, keyboards and shit like that, I could care less about anyway because their CD's will never be in my stereo anyway!

9. What are some of your current and all-time favorite bands/albums? I would assume Incantation fits in somewhere. Have you heard their latest? What's your fave Incantation album? What other new stuff have you been playing a lot?

Now we're getting to the real hard questions!! Immolation: All albums, The Chasm: Procession To The Infraword, Deathcult, Autopsy: All albums, Deicide: Deicide, Legion, Once Upon The Cross, Morbid Angel: Altars Of Madness, and more. You definetely assumed right in saying Incantation, they are gods and masters when it comes to dark demonic brutality! I have heard the Infernal Storm, and I think it rules! As for my favorite Incantation album, that's very hard to say, every album they've put out has been strong, and while they have maintained there style, there is something new on each record. That is what I'm going to strive for with DE as well. I will keep the general style, but I hope to advance with each release, and offer something new on each record. I do have to say that "Mortal Throne Of Nazarene" is one of the darkest CD's ever! The last song on "Diabolical Conquest" is one of the darkest songs ever! Daniel Corchado kicked ass on that CD! Speaking of which, The Chasm is definetely on my all time favortie band list, and will remain there forever! They are just so fucking amazing! When I first heard "Deathcult For Eternity", it totally affected me in a way which I've never been affected before. Then they put out "Procession To The Infraworld", and it took everything to this whole new level. It's one of the best records ever in my opinion. It's hard for me to explain what goes through me when I listen to The Chasm, I can relate so much to their music, because it is filled with soul, feeling, and passion, you can hear it in the drumming, the bass, in the guitaring, and especially the solos, and Daniel's voice just erupts of despair, hatred, and emotion. I'm in contact with Daniel, and he is one of the most metal people on this fucking planet, and I have a ton of respect for him. The Chasm is one of the most original bands I've ever heard, and they deserve all the support and respect in the world, if you haven't heard them, I recommend you check them out! Immolation are also pioneers and masters of darkness. As I mentioned before, Autopsy, whom I believe started the whole doom/dark death metal movement. They fucking rule! As for current favorites, Thornspawn's new one is great, they are probably my favorite black metal band, the Conqueror/Black Witchery split is awesome. I just picked up the new Nile the other day (Black Seeds Of Vengeance), and that record blew me away! It's unfucking real how good these guys are at what they do. I find it to be not just very brutal, but real dark too.

10. On the personal side, has living in darkness made your life more or less difficult? Have you encountered many obstacles in your path? >Explain your beliefs, if you don't mind. Do you consider yourself a Satanist?

Well, to answer your first question, I'd have to say both. Overall, it has made my life a lot more difficult than easy, because people don't understand me at all, and generally judge me for my beliefs, the music I listen to, my long hair and the way I look etc., but personally it doesn't bother me because I don't give a fuck what people think of me. If they judge a book by its cover, then I'd rather have them hate and fear me, so that they stay the fuck out of my way! But the one good thing about living in darkness is that it has allowed me to be a free thinking individual, and always be true to myself mo matter what, and 99% of humanity can't say that. They are mainly robots that follow societies rules and do things because it is right or wrong according to society. They can't think for themselves, and thus trends were sadly born. I have encountered what seems to be an eternity of obstacles in my short lifespan. I don't want to dwell too much into my personal life, as it isn't exactly my favorite topic to talk about, so I'll be very staright forward with my answer: My life in general sucks! I just have to try and deal with it the best I can with each passing day, until the time comes when I no longer need to be here anymore. That is the day I anxiously anticipate. Death is very fascinating to me. Lately, waking up has been an obstacle, but like I said before, I just try my best to go on for as long as I need to. As for my beliefs, yeah, it's quite obvious that I am very anti-Christian, and very anti-organized religion in general. To me it's all one big fabrication after the next. I'm not a Satanist, though at least their lifestyle and beliefs are based on logic, and not some fairy-tales and lies. I try to be as open-minded as I can be, and I really can't say if a "God" exists or not, no one can, but I will say this, if "Jesus Christ" or "God" does exist, I would salivate at the opportunity to crucify, lacerate, rape, and shit down his throat and give him all the pain and suffering that he has allowed on this earth. That's basically what the song "Unrepenting Malice" is about. In the lyrics, I mention the word "Satanchrist", which is a concept I created. This has symbolic meaning, and it's a topic that I will elaborate more on in future songs, but basically the way I see it is that the majority of the population glorifies and worships a "God" of some sort, a higher power, and this "God" is supposed to be all mighty and full of love and joy for the world, but all I fucking see is pain, torment, and agony on this tomb called earth. I see the complete opposite of what they see and tell me. So therefore, this "Christ" is not good and perfect, he is evil and imperfect, and the world to him is four billion puppets and he controls the strings and torments us for his own personal satisifaction, and this pathetic human race look up to him and prey to him. This in my opinion is what will crush mankind in they end. They will obliterate themselves, hopefully in the process they'll realize how pathetic and hopeless they are.

11. Where do you derive your inspiration for writing Darkness Eternal's music and lyrics? As the lyrics reveal, you have an obvious distaste for Christianity and religion. Where does that stem from? Were you raised >in a religious household?

All my lyrics are based solely on my personal life experiences, and my total disgust for Christianity and all religion. The music emanates from my black heart and my dark soul. I'd say my musical influences would be Incantation, Immolation, Autopsy, and even a bit of The Chasm creeped in on the newer songs. The fact that I realized that "God" and religion was one big lie at a very young age is what solidified my hatred for it. There was always darkness inside me, but this is what led me on the road to hell. Ironically, I was born on October 31st, so I guess I was destined for the dark path from day one! I guess you could say I was raised in a religious household. My parents weren't hardcore or anything like that, they didn't shove it down my throat, but nonetheless they are religious and do believe in God. They were very good parents though, they raised my brother and I the best that they could, and for that one thing I am thankful. They don't support my beliefs or my music, but they let me do what I wanted and I respect them for that. I can't really blame them for being the way they are, because they were brought up that way by their parents, and they had that influence on them as every other kid did in the old days. I just really strove to think for myself and form my own opinions based on my life experiences. I have shit happen to me all the time that is beyond my control and that is what frustrates me and makes me so bitter. At least when I'm the cause of my own misery, I blame myself and learn from my mistakes, but when it's some freak thing and you can't do a damn thing about it, it gets very distressing.

12. So what's next for Darkness Eternal? Have any songs for your next release been written yet? Are you planning to release your next album yourself?

Well, so far I plan to write more songs for the next Darkness Eternal record. I currently have one new song fully written and arranged musically, with the exception of the drum lines, that song will be called "Cursed To An Eternal Damnation", and I can say with great pride that it is currently the darkest song I've ever written! I have some real good riffs written, but nothing really constructed yet other than this song. Whether I release the next CD on my own or not really relies on what happens in the future, so I can't say for sure yet, but if I have to, I will do the next DE record just like "Dawn Of The Suffering". What I plan and what actually happens is a different story, that's the way it goes in this hell called life I guess, but rest assured Darkness Eternal will forge on until I die!

13. Well, George, thanks a million for doing the interview and best of luck with the CD! It's fucking awesome! Parting comments/plugs are yours. . .

Thank you very much for the interview, I really enjoyed doing it, and thanks for all of your positive support, I truly appreciate that, so 666 hails to you Goden and Eternal Frost Webzine! Keep up the the excellent work on your zine! Hails also to the underground for accepting Darkness Eternal with open arms. Without out you, true metal would cease to exist. Thanks to everyone that has bought "Dawn Of The Suffering" and has supported me and my cause. If you don't have the CD yet, and would like to own a copy, you can get it for $12 USD (USA and World), or $15 Canadian funds (those in Canada)money order (make payable to George Velaetis) or well concealed cash accepted to: George Velaetis, P.O. Box 5002, Spruce Grove AB, Canada, T7X 3A2, E-mail at: Darknesseternal666@hotmail.com. Look for a website in the coming months as well.

DARKNESS ETERNAL,

George