PRELUDE TO DARKNESS WEBZINE (November 2000) (http://www.geocities.com/prelude666/castellano/entrevistas/entrevistas2003_2005/darkness.htm)
1. Greetings George, tell us a little bit how and why you decided to create Darkness Eternal.
I created Darkness Eternal with the main goal in mind being to create the darkest and most hateful music that I could. I decided to create Darkness Eternal so that I could unleash all of the depression, hatred, bitterness, and agony from within myself, and to do it in a form that I love best, extreme, unholy, and soul-filled dark death metal.
2. - You're the only member of the band, has it never came to your mind that you could incorporate some other member(s)? perhaps to play live or something?
Well, the idea has crossed my mind, but having members and having an actual band isn't a possibility for me right now, even if I wanted to expand DE to a band format, because of my personal life scenario currently. I'm not saying that it will never happen, but it won't happen in the near future. Having a band would be positive in many ways. To be able to unleash this unholy darkness live would be great. It would really help in promoting the CD a lot better, and people would get to hear the songs in live setting. Splitting costs on everything between other members would help me out financially as well! But, the positives for being on my own do in some ways over-rule the positives for having a live band. For one, the creative control I have with DE is very important to me, and it is something that I would like to retain a majority of if I ever do turn this into a live band. DE is my vision in every sense, from the music, to the lyrics, to the drum lines and bass, I know what I want when I hear it in my head. That is also another reason why it would be hard to make a band out of this, because it would be very difficult for me to find people who have the same vision, goals, passion, and attitude for DE. If I ever make DE a live band, the other members would have to be along the same lines as me, and would have to be 100% dedicated to DE and have a passion for playing DARK death metal! If not, things just wouldn't work out.
3. Darkness Eternal started in 97, had you already played in any other band before?
Yes, I played in two bands besides Darkness Eternal, my very first band I played in was called Grind, and the second one I played in was called RMC. Grind disbanded after personal and musical directional disagreements, and I just recently left RMC due to personal reasons. With Grind, we were all young and shit happened which I won't get into here, but that's the way it goes, I'm still friends with the guitar player from Grind, he is a fucking god on the guitar, and it was great to be able to play along his side. RMC was something where I was forced to leave due to shit happening in my personal life, and they are still going on and I wish them the best of luck in the future, they are great guys and great musicians. Evidently, the guitarist I played with in Grind will be taking my place for RMC, so congrats to you Mike, good luck my friend! It sucks for the RMC departure, because I may have seen my last live show, unless I do something with DE in the future, or something else goes down, but that's not too likely as now I will focus my attention and efforts 100% to DE, it was hard to do that before when I was playing for the other bands. But now I can do that and for the first time in my life I am 100% happy with my musical situation.
4. Tell us a bit about the album "Dawn of the Suffering" how much difficult was to record and produce it, and how long did you take to?
It was ok I guess, I went into the studio being well prepared on each instrument, especially the drums, because that is the most important one when you consider that they are the backbone of the music, so the drums had to be dead on and in time and everything, that was probably the hardest obstacle was getting through the drum tracks, but I actually pulled it off a lot better than I thought I would, so I was relieved for that! Guitars were a bit of struggle at first, because all I had in my head up until that point were the drums, and I had to get that the fuck out so I could concentrate on my guitar and really put my feeling and soul into my playing. Once I did that the guitar tracks went pretty smooth. After that, it was quite easy, the bass I whipped everything off in one take, and the same went for all the vocals and backing vocals. I put my heart and soul into every instrument on this CD! It took me a span of two weeks to record and mix the entire CD, it took four days to record everything, and one day to mix it. Again, producing the album wasn't too hard as I knew pretty much what I wanted when I went in the studio, and the engineer did I good job considering he hadn't heard death metal before, I basically explained to him what sound I wanted on each instrument and he did a pretty good job of achieving what I wanted, so it went pretty good overall. We both worked hard on the CD, and the end result came out good. Obviously there are things that aren't perfect, but that's the way it goes, I hope to have better production on the next record, but I am happy overall with the end result on "Dawn Of The Suffering".
5. Regarding to the songs, how was the process of making to those?
The way I go about writing songs is that I come up with all the riffs and general ideas of the song playing guitar. That how the songs get written first, on guitar, so I come up with a bunch of different riffs and then I keep the best ones, and then start to construct the skeleton of the songs, I use a TASCAM 4 track machine to write all my music, without it I would be completely lost! I arrange riffs that I feel fit together and I make sure that everything flows pretty well, and then when I'm happy with the core of what I've got, I start experimenting with lead guitar tracks, seeing if I can write a lead over top of a riff to make it better, or to add more atmosphere to a part of a song, or the whole song in general. The two guitars are absolutely vital in DE, I do so many parts where every instrument is doing something different, I like to give each instrument a life of its own sometimes, you can hear that in certain parts of the whole CD. I then write the bass tracks, which sometimes are based on the main rhythm riff, and them sometimes it just the bass doing its own thing underneath everything else, I feel that really helps in giving the music those different layers that it needs. Then after all that come the most enjoyable part(I'm being very sarcastic!!! haha!) writing the drum lines. This is the hardest and most tedious process of writing a song, but also in many ways the most important part, because the drums can make or break a certain part of a song. I try to come up with a variety of beats and styles, so that I'm not doing the exact same thing on ever song you know? That is why I don't like doing things like blasts all the time on every song, because, while it's not easy to that endurance wise, it makes things sound to repetitive for me. Sometimes the way the drums comes out alters the rhythm of the riff and makes it a lot better! I love it when that happens. So I come up with the drum lines, I memorize them and the order in which I have to do everything, and then I lay down the music on top and see how it comes out. If I like it, I keep it, and if not, I change what needs to be altered.
6. Did you get any kind of support in "Dawn of the Suffering"? If so, in what way?
No, unfortunately, I didn't get any support whatsoever on "Dawn Of The Suffering". Along with creating and recording the CD, I had to fund the whole thing, and I have to promote it all myself. No one has ever been in involved in DE except for me from the beginning. That is why I decided to create Dark Salvation Productions, because I am doing all the management, funding, and promoting for now anyway. It's a lot of hard work, but it just goes to show how dedicated I am to my cause, I do this because I love it, not to make money of it, if that happens then fine, but it most likely won't. Doing it this way however is good in the sense that I have full control from all angles of the spectrum, both on the music/lyric end, and the management/promotion end. So that is a plus. Funding it myself and finding the time to do all this is the shitty and hard part, but that is the sacrifice I am willing to make, for this is my passion!
7. What are the lyrics of your songs based on?
My lyrics are based on my life experiences and my utter hatred for this life, this tomb called earth, and Christianity and all organized religions in general. Each song has a different theme, but the whole CD deals with darkness, hatred, depression, suffering, and a strong anti-Christian sentiment. I just strove to get all of my darkest and most inner thoughts on this record, and to just have it be as demonic and unholy as I could. Each song has a personal meaning to it, like "The Burning Waters Of Acheron" is basically a song that for was written for revenge purposes, basically to let all the pieces of shit on this earth that crosses me know that their time is coming soon!
8. "Dawn of the Suffering" is really a good album in which we can find such excellent songs as "Jesus Bleeding", "Mass Suicide", "Dawn of the Suffering" and "Impeccable Doom", within the 10 songs that you present in it, which ones do you like the best and why?
That's a real hard question. I honestly can't say that I have a particular "favorite" song or songs on the CD, in one way or another, each song has a special meaning to me, and each song has something in it that really appeals to me. This album was so personal to me on so many different levels, both from a musical standpoint and a lyrical one, it was the first time that I was able to express myself and my dark feelings to the fullest extent. All the songs on the record have their own life, in the sense that there are different elements in each song that make it good, like "The Final Conquest" is probably the most well rounded DE song, because it includes all the elements I use for DE, dark brooding riffs, dissonant guitar harmonies, clean guitar, ultra brutality, and dark atmosphere all at the same time. "Jesus Bleeding" has some weird time changes in it, and some really dark riffs, especially at the end of the song. "Mass Suicide" shows the total doom side of DE, and songs like "Abandon Divinity" pick up the pace a bit. So for me it's to hard to say which ones are the best. I feel the album has a pretty smooth flow from beginning to end.
9. how old were you when you started to play your first music instrument? did you have any special motivation to it?
I was 16 or 17 when I first started to play my first instrument, and my first instruments were drums and bass. My motivation was just the inspiration and love for making and playing music that really drove me, and actually in a bit of a strange twist, in a way I was forced to learn to play my instruments. When I started up my the first band I played with, we had a drummer, a guitarist, and me on vocals. At that time I couldn't play anything, except for real shitty drums when I was just learning! We were searching for a bass player and couldn't find a suitable one, so we all got frustrated, especially me, so we had a bass that we borrowed to record 4 track demos of our songs, our guitarist and drummer played bass on those, and I picked up the bass one day and started to teach myself to play. Everyday before they would show up for rehearsal, I'd practice bass, and one day they happened to come to rehearsal early, and overheard me playing bass, and thought I was good, and they came to the jam space and told me "we have a new bass player!", and I said "who?", and they said that I was the new bass player. So I learned to play bass and sing at the same time, and that's basically how that came about. a couple of years later I taught myself how to play guitar, kept practicing hard on bass and drums, and the rest is history.
10. Are you already working in some new songs for a future production? at least we know that the next artwork will be designed by some one else (hehe)?
Yes, I'm working on material for the next DE record. Currently I have one new song fully written and arranged, with the exception of the drum lines, and that song will be called "Cursed To An Eternal Damnation", and it is currently the darkest song I've ever written to date! Other than this song, I don't have anything really constructed, just some really good dark and brooding riffs that I'm sure will make their way onto the next record. I'm going through the worst period in my life right now, so I expect that to reveal itself on the next record, making it the darkest, most depressing record in a while! Yeah, I plan to make everything better on the next record, including the artwork! This time around, money was a bit of a problem, as I didn't have the full resources that I wanted, but it is the music that is the most important in the end. Hopefully if "Dawn Of The Suffering" sells ok I can put some of that money into the next CD, but if not that's fine, I just care about making dark music.
11. What's your ideology?, it's obviously oriented to the anti-religious path as we can see, could you give us a wider vision of your way of thinking or seeing the world?
Yeah, it's definitely geared towards anti-christianity and anti-organized religion. The best way I can describe my vision and beliefs are like this; I try to be as open-minded as I can be, I base my life on the experiences I have had. I can't say if a "God" exists, no one can because they haven't seen it, but if a "God" does exist, then I hate him because he is liar and a false prophet and allowing all the pain and suffering that he allowed. I started a concept on "Dawn Of The Suffering" called the "Satanchrist", which I mentioned in the song "Unrepenting Malice". This is a subject I will elaborate on more in the next record, but basically, it tells how the majority of the population praises and worships this "God", this higher-power of some sort, and this "God" is supposed to be our savior, and he is supposed to love the world and give salvation to mankind, but I that is a pathetic and disgusting lie. All I see in this world is pain, torment, agony, and destruction, I don't see this paradise everyone is talking about, I see total hell. I see the opposite of what they tell me, so to me this "Jesus" isn't good, loving, and caring, he is sick and selfish and evil, and the world to him is a mass of stupid, unthinking, moronic puppets that he controls at his whim and torments and agonizes them, and he strikes fear in their hearts. This pathetic race called "humans" look up to this fool, and believe they will be saved, but they will be the first to burn, they will destroy themselves, and I hope that I will at least get to see this before I go so I can enjoy the darkness and laugh at them while they are crying and praying, maybe then they'll realize how foolish and pathetic they are.
12. Tell us about the original influences of your music and the bands you listen nowadays.
My original influences I'd say would be Incantation, Immolation, Autopsy, and The Chasm. As for the bands I listen to nowadays, you got me started on the wrong topic, because I could go on forever here!! Um, right now I am listening to The Chasm, who are one of the most amazing, authentic and original bands I've ever heard, Immolation's new CD (Close To A World Below) is just awesome, Incantation (the masters of unholy darkness), Thornspawn, the Conqueror/Black Witchery split rules, Disciples Of Mockery, Autopsy, Cryptopsy, Nile, Angel Corpse, Bulldozer, and many more.
13.- "Dawn of the Suffering" really got good reviews after it was released, all of them have been positive, then, is there already any label interested in Darkness Eternal?
Yeah, actually the response to "Dawn Of The Suffering" was a lot better than I thought it would be, I'm glad everyone that has heard it so far likes it so much! Two labels got a hold of me so far, which is definitely something I didn't imagine happening, so that in itself is something, nothing worked out with either one of them, which is actually better for me right now because I don't think I'm in a position to be signed right now. If the right deal comes along and it really works in my favor, then I'll consider signing, but otherwise I feel I am better off on my own. But until that happens I'll keep doing things the way I am doing them now.
14.- Tell us a bit about the underground scene in Canada, there are many good bands over there too.
Yes there are many good bands from Canada, I don't think we are given enough credit and recognition for the quality of bands this country has produced, both in the past and in the present. In the area where I live (Edmonton, AB), we have great bands like Lust, Ouroboros, Axis Of Advance, Disciples Of Power(these metal veterans are considered legends by many), Rites Of Thy Degringolade, and Dead Jesus. Then you have bands from B.C. like Conqueror, Blasphemy and some more I can't think of right now, and in the east there are quality bands like Cryptopsy (whom are one the most talented musicians in death metal) and Rotting (whom are just pure brutal!). And then of course the greats like the legendary Voivod, Cremation, Sacrifice, Razor, and Possessed, whom I'm pretty sure were all Canadian. The scene here in Edmonton is pretty good, it's a small scene, but basically everyone in it is totally metal, true, and dedicated, which is so important, because I know that the US has some big metal scenes, but I'd rather have a scene of 10 true metal warriors, than 1000 false ones. So I'm quite pleased with the scene here lately.
15.- Do you have any final comments or words you'd like to add?
Yes, thank you very much for the interview Jose and Alonso, it was great doing it, and thank you also for the great support you have given me on your website, I really appreciate it, keep up the excellent work on the site! Thanks and 666 hails to the underground, always stay true to real metal, and support it until death! Thanks to all everyone world-wide that has purchased "Dawn Of The Suffering" and supported my cause. If you don't have a copy of the CD, and you would like one, you can get it for $12 (USD: for USA and World) or $15 (Canadian funds: for 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. You can E-mail me at: Darknesseternal666@hotmail.com. Look for a website in the future as well.