VAE SOLIS WEBZINE (January 2001) (http://www.rusmetal.ru/vae_solis/darknesseternal.html)

Band: DARKNESS ETERNAL
Country of origin: Canada
Style: "unholy dark death metal"
Questions by: Kai Mathias Stalhammar
Answers supplied by: George Velaetis (all vocals and instruments)

First of all, is it ok with you if I’d define DARKNESS ETERNAL as a black metal band?

- The best way for me to describe DARKNESS ETERNAL is to call it unholy dark death metal, if some people feel that it is black metal, then that is fine, I don't have a big problem with that, just as long as they know that when they hear DARKNESS ETERNAL, they will hear dark, depressing, and hateful blasphemy.

You was the only one behind DARKNESS ETERNAL since it’s very beginning, weren’t you? Have you thought about inviting supplementary musicians, thus enlarging the lineup? Is there such a possibility in the nearest future?

- Yes, that it is correct, I am and have always been the one and only member of DARKNESS ETERNAL, no one else has ever been i nvolved except me. The thought of bringing DE to a live format has crossed my mind, but that won't happen in the near future for a lot of reasons right now, the one and most important one being my personal life situation currently, so that makes it impossible for DE to become a live unit in the near future. That's not saying it will never happen, just not right away.

You contrived to do (almost) everything yourself this time, not excluding the drum tracks. Consequently, what is your opinion on those death (and mostly black) metal acts who, even having enough skillful drummer, prefer to incorporate a drum machine whilst in the studio? That’s disgusting, isn’t it?

- I agree with you 100%, personally I have never been a big fan of drum machines at all, and so because I am able to play drums I refused to go that route. Drum machines to me sound too fake and unnatural. On "Dawn Of The Suffering", my total heart and soul went into every instrument I played, every beat on the drums, every note on the guitars and bass, every last painful and agonizing scream and roar on my voice. It all had to be real and full of soul and feeling. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I guess it would be a different story if a band can't find a real drummer, and they forced to use a drum machine, then if that is the last case scenario, you can't really blame them, so I see why you would use a drum machine in that case, but when bands have that accessibility to a live drummer and would rather use a drum machine for speed's sake or extremities sake or whatever else, I feel that that is taking a piece of realism, and more importantly a piece of soul out of the music. To each his own I guess.

What about DE's merchandise and distribution?

- Currently for the distribution of "Dawn Of The Suffering", I am doing most of it myself, I am also working with a distro unit out of New Mexico, USA called The Sigil Distribution, they are also distributing the CD right now, their website is located at www.the-sigil.com. I am also currently working out some deals with some distro labels in Canada, as well as one in Europe. If those end up working out that will definitely have a positive impact on getting the CD out to more people and spreading the name of DARKNESS ETERNAL. Currently there is no DE merchandise other than the CD, but I hope to change all that soon. I hope to have a shirt design, stickers, and an official website up in the next six months, so hopefully if everything goes as planned, that will all materialize.

Did you have any musical background before starting DARKNESS ETERNAL? And what’s the reason for actually starting your own project? The metal market is already oversaturated with all these bands and projects (or whatever they call it), coming out from nowhere and ceasing to exist few years after. And since DARKNESS ETERNAL isn’t really a 100% original band, I’d be glad to find out the answer…

- If you mean if I had played in other bands before, then yes, I have played in two other bands. One thing I want to make very clear is that DARKNESS ETERNAL IS NOT a "project". It wasn't intended as a one time side deal or anything like that. I created DARKNESS ETERNAL for many reasons, but the most important one being that DARKNESS ETERNAL is the total expression of my most inner darkest feelings, it is the expression of my soul and passion for darkness and for metal. This is the first time in my life that I have been able to fully express these things from my very own point of view on all levels of the spectrum, from the creation and arrangement of the music and to the writing of the lyrics, DARKNESS ETERNAL is 100% my vision in every sense, and I have to admit that although I can't perform live right now and doing DE the way that I am is quite a burden, it is worth it for me because this is the only thing that brings me satisfaction in my decaying life. DARKNESS ETERNAL is the only thing that I have left in my life, so that is the reason for it's creation. I understand that there are many bands out there right now and that the scene is over saturated, but I stand high and proud in what I am doing, and I do it for myself first, and as long as I keep operating in that fashion, that is the only reason I need to do and to justify it, and I plan to keep DARKNESS ETERNAL going for as long as I can, for me this is not a one-time side project, it is a way of life.

By the way, regarding originality… Do you consider it an important aspect? Personally I care about QUALITY in the first turn. That’s the main point. I mean, if the guy behind the band has enough guts to deliver astounding music in order to fascinate me, I don’t care about originality or tight performance or state-of-the-art production anymore, y’know.

- Yes, I consider originality an important aspect, especially with all the bands out there today, but quality is definitely important as well. My favorite bands are ones that are the most original and innovative bands out there, bands like IMMOLATION, THE CHASM, and INCANTATION. I understand that it is hard to be original, it's not something where you sit down and your creation will be 100% original just like that. I mean in a sense, it is virtually almost impossible to be 100% original because every musician has their influences, it is just a matter of how much your influences bleed through to the music you create. There is a big difference between originality and influence in my opinion, because no matter what every musician has an influence of some sort on them that acts as a blue print to what they are doing, it's just that some don't take the time to try to amalgamate their own style and feeling into it, thus not making it possible to create your own sound. This why many bands start off and then just die, because they take too much from their influences and that isn't good, and they come off as a rip-off band. You can see some of the influence in my music, but you can also see some new ideas that I have incorporated that I personally have never encountered anywhere else. This will only expand in further recordings and you will really see DARKNESS ETERNAL's sound come to form as I write more and more material. There are definitely some bands out there that aren't that original, but are still killer bands, to me production and tightness and all that isn't a primary concern, hell, sometimes crappy production makes some bands sound more sick and demented. As long as you are true to yourself and your visions, and you put your heart into it, that is all that matters to me, I mean good music is good music, and it is all in the eye of the beholder in the end.

If I’m not mistaken, you’re residing at Canada. Is DARKNESS ETERNAL a well-known name over there?

- Yes, I am currently residing in Canada, which is a country that is not given enough credit for some of the great bands it produces. DARKNESS ETERNAL has become pretty well known in Western Canada, which is where I am located, and its name is slowly spreading through out the whole country. Actually, DE is more known in Europe, Asia, and the USA more than anything, even more than Canada, and I live here! But that's fine, I mean I am thankful for all the support I get, whether it be from Canada, Russia or the USA.

How would you explain that often precisely those who possess non-humanitarian education (I doubt if one would ever reckon molecular immunology or physics to humanitarian sciences), manifest their talent in creative work’s compositional form? I mean, I have a lot of friends among musicians (mostly black / death metal and such), and no one (NO ONE) of them is a humanitarian!

- Well, I feel that humanitarian or not, if you have it inside you and your are a naturally creative being, you will most likely express yourself in an artistic form, be it music or art or whatever else. Speaking just for myself, I am not a humanitarian, but I have manifestations of darkness and depression, and the only way to release these feelings and emotions is through the music that I create. That is the only way I know how to unleash it. Others are naturally great artists and unleash their emotions and visions in that matter, Leonardo Da Vinci is good example of that. Also, a lot of the artists who do the covers for death / black metal artists, some that I've seen out there, fuck, they nailed the visuals of the music perfectly. Guys like Andreas Marschall, Joe Petango, and Miram Kim are amazing artists.

I’ve studied your lyrics quite carefully, and I really doubt if they have been composed in a half an hour, y’know. Provocative yet well thought out, they weren’t written “just to have something printed in a booklet”, at least that’s my opinion.

- Thank you for the positive comments on my lyrics, I appreciate it. Yes, the lyrics were definitely not written just to fill space in the booklet, or just to have something to sing to, the lyrics to me are every bit as important as the music itself. A lot of energy and time went into the lyrics on "Dawn Of The Suffering". For me, it's really hard to explain where it comes from, I just use my heart to guide me and that is where the lyrics mainly come from, just the expression of my darkest most inner thoughts. I touch on everything on this record from my hatred of organized religion, to my hatred for this life, and my hatred for the human race in general. Whether it takes ten minutes or ten hours for me isn't the issue, sometimes lyrics come to me all at once and perfectly together, other times it takes more pondering and more time. It all depends, sometimes the mood I am in is a huge factor in how the lyrics take shape, when I am depressed I am at my best and most focused when writing lyrics, because that is when I can channel all of my hateful and dark energy from within. That goes with the music as well, as much as hate to admit it sometimes, my best stuff is written when I am ready to put a knife to my throat! That's just the way it is for me.

Is there anything you’d like to say regarding those writers, who, while performing experiments upon the textual form, deconstruct their own individualism (f.ex. such as William Burroughs or Cathy Acker… “Beat Generation”, you see)?

- Although I don't read much as much poetry as I use to when I was younger, yes, I feel that many of those writers, especially Burroughs are very good at doing this, and in a way I feel that is a form of genius for sure. Just the fact that they can tap into themselves like that, that's not an easy thing to do. Again, it goes back to a way of expressing ideas, and being creative, and everyone has their own way of doing that.

What is “black” to you? Is it only a color, a color lacking any metaphysical background as some assume?

- Well, you can look at this on many levels, I choose to look at it in a symbolic level. To me, black represents many things, it represents how I feel inside; my heart, my soul, my existence, it represents darkness in all forms: the darkness inside us all and the darkness of what this world is rapidly degenerating into. Black is like an infinite void, never ending darkness and decay. That is what black means to me, symbolically, it is the embodiment of who I am.

Furthermore, what color is a color that doesn’t exist? Just curious what kind of an answer will you suggest…

- Well, theoretically speaking, black and white aren't considered colors on the spectrum, but again symbolically, in my view, the color white is basically non-existent in this world, because white symbolizes purity, innocence, and goodness, and there is not much of this left in this hell called earth. Therefore, white represents lies and insecurity in the world today. White represents Christianity and most organized religion in a way, and white is the complete opposite of black, white is light, and black is total darkness.

Would you like to express any thoughts of yours regarding Russia, the country of mine? Anything regarding political situation (elections and, therefore, a new president) as well as our metal scene?

- Well, being on the other side of the world, and not being one to watch much television these days, I don't know too much about what is going on in Russia politically other than I know that Vladimir Putin was named your new Prime Minister in late 1999. You guys have definitely seen your ups and downs politically I'll say that much. As for the metal scene there, I've heard one band from there, their name escapes me at the moment, but they were really good, other than them, I don't know very much about your metal scene either, but people have told me it is really good there, people in the Russian metal scene are very dedicated, so that is good to know.

Would you like to tell us or anyone reading this interview anything else? Please do so.

- Thank you very much for the interview and for all of your support thus far Kai and Vae Solis Webzine, I appreciate it. You are doing a great job with zine, keep up the good work. Thanks to everyone who has supported DARKNESS ETERNAL and it's cause, and thanks to everyone who has been true and supported the underground, without you the underground would cease to exist. For anyone that doesn't have a copy of "Dawn Of The Suffering" and would like to own one, you can get it for $12.00 US (money order made out to George Velaetis or well concealed cash accepted, price includes Shipping and Handling) to George Velaetis, P.O. Box 5002, Spruce Grove AB, Canada, T7X 3A2, E-mail at: Darknesseternal666@hotmail.com. Be on the lookout for an official website in the coming months. Stay true and unholy!