1. Hello. What could you tell our readers to introduce the sickened sounds of the band?
- Hi, Gabriel. Of Darkness is a Funeral Doom / Ambient / Ritual duo from Barcelona. Our main objective with the band is to explore the darkest corners of musical creation, understanding this as a whole process, from writing the music to designing the visual aspects of our works and recording. Of Darkness is an ongoing experiment.
2. I was surprised by your full-length album "Tribute to Krzysztof PendereckiÖ", the style is quite seriously extreme for the doom genre, and the content is also quite original. Perhaps I could say this album is even a bit too much for myself on a matter of darkness... Do you think the words "Music entertainment" still exist in these territories?
- Well, entertainment
is one of those empty words that can be filled with whatever anyone
finds important. Personally, I donít think our work pretends to
be entertaining, but I can perfectly understand someone who does,
from a nihilistic point of view. In the end, Of Darkness is a self
contradictory and constantly evolving concept which denies all kinds
of one dimensional explanations.
- PENDERECKI is an obvious influence, of course. Also XENAKIS or LIGETI are recurring sources of inspiration. Also SHOSTAKOVICH, STRAVINSKI, MAHLER, SIBELIUS and even the great baroque classics such as BACH, VIVALDI or TARTINI could be cited as having moved us in one way or another. We both in Of Darkness come from a pure Heavy Metal background but classical music has always been a rich source of knowledge.
4. How long did it take to compose the whole album? Was it quite fast as the inspiration came in a few months, or did it take the course of long years?
- In Of Darkness we donít write music the traditional way, as stated earlier. When we meet at the studio to record new material, the only thing we have is a general concept / idea of what it must be but all the real work is done at the studio. We never arrive with already written music, riffs, parts or whatever. Everything is created in one single session and recorded mostly in first takes. We might experiment with different arrangements and sounds but everything is improvised and created on the go, always under this driving concept that is the only thing we take to the studio. It is a very free way of doing things, but itís also very demanding and requires a lot of discipline in order to not lose focus of what must happen.
5. It is composed of two songs, each one longer than 21 minutes. One could wonder when composing such long songs, how do you know when the length is right, how are you able to have an overview of the whole music and not loose the idea of what is happening? Finally why not making a single 45 minutes track?
- As stated
before, the writing process in Of Darkness is very different from
the usual one so we donít have any preconceived ideas about the
music. We just let ourselves go and reach the end whenever we feel
like we have arrived to it. The important thing to bear in mind
is that once we start working on a composition, we try to remain
loyal to the original feeling and idea that started it, thatís why
our last work consists of two shorter pieces instead of a longer
6. What do the compositions deal with on a lyrical point of view? The album and track titles donít really seem to follow the uses of the metal lyrics we often cross... "Passio et mors Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam" seems to come from a classical music record, or even perhaps a religious music score.
- "Passio et mors Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam" is a work for chorus and orchestra written by Krzysztof Penderecki in 1966 and I have always been fascinated by it. It is mostly atonal but it also makes use of very advanced and groundbreaking music writing techniques. Lyrically, the work is an interpretation of the Gospel of St Luke and follows the classic guidelines. ďScorpiaceĒ, on the other hand, comes from the book of the same title by Tertullian, written around 200 AD. It is a most passionate attack to the gnostic interpretation of the christian faith that was becoming quite popular in those days. Maybe it is also relevant to point out that neither B not me are religious and only use these topics in a symbolic and allegorical way.
7. According to metal-archives again, the two musicians of the band are/ or were also active in a lot of other metal bands... One could wonder how someone could be as focused on so many at the same time... Could we say OF DARKNESS is too sick and tortured to be the subject of an every weekend practice, as it could catalyze your most extreme thoughts and feelings? Could it be seen as a subproject, or a "special event" in this way?
- Of Darkness is definitely a ďspecial eventĒ. B and I donít even talk about the band that often. We just agree on the dates to start working on new projects and follow the work process I explained earlier. It all comes very naturally and cannot be forced in any way. Thatís what makes Of Darkness special, first of all to us, but I want to think that it is for the listeners as well.
8. Did you already play gigs for OF DARKNESS? Do you believe regular metal bars would be the right conditions to experience this kind of darkened music? Wouldn't it be needed to try and reproduce your compositions in different conditions, something perhaps more formal and closer to some classical music events, or perhaps played by night in older constructions (Ruins or old factories could be a nice idea for example)
- We have never
played live though it is something we have already discussed many
times. I donít think it will never happen, though, it will require
lots of preparations and rehearsals, thus killing part of the spontaneous
spirit of the music. Also, being involved in so many other musical
projects leaves us with very little time to focus on facing such
a challenging situation as a Of Darkness live performance would
be. But as I said, we talk about it often, so things may change
in the future, who knowsÖ
9. Your album was released by Gradual Hate Records which is more focused on Neo-Classical, Dark Ambient or Industrial. While the approach can seem quite natural on a musical approach, it could also lead your music to be quite unnoticed in the metal world, which is not as open-minded as it used to be 10 years ago. Why did you choose this kind of label to unveil your album? Weren't there interesting offers from metal rooted labels somewhere?
- Well, it was a one time thing. The owner of GH Records was really interested in the band, so he offered us a deal for one album and we agreed. We donít have anything planned for the next release, but it will not be with GH Records, I can tell you that. As for the scope of the labels we work with? It is not something we think much about, if itís an interesting label with a honest and brave catalogue and work ethics, we are happy. I donít think big record labels will never be interested in a band such as ours.
10. Before the album, the band released a couple of demos and a split Ep. How did these releases sound compared to the album? I wasn't able to lay my hears on these recordings. Since some are older, especially the demos which date back to 2004 and 2005, we could wonder if the style perhaps was less extreme, perhaps closer to regular doom or old death metal?
- Our oldest
recordings shared most of the musical traits of our recents works,
but were far rawer and poorly recorded. Same musical intention with
less resources and technical knowledge. We still have some of those
old recordings available if someoneís interested.
11. Could you be held as responsible if a listener became totally demented after listening to your album repeatedly? (Isn't this album composed of a long suicidal subliminal message played in reverse? It seems the Beatles have lost the game lol)
- Not at all. Our music contains no subliminal messages. Better said, there is no specific message to transmit with our music, it is just a gate, a channel. We establish the path but you have to walk it. The symbolism is yours to interpret.
12. What could the listeners expect from the band in the future? Did you already begin to work on the next compositions, or feel there's no emergency? Thanks for the answers.
- We are planning a new recording for 2017 but it will depend on our schedules with work and other bands, but we really feel the craving for a new Of Darkness record. I canít tell you how will it sound or what will the lyric content be because I donít have the slightest idea myself, but the Pit will enlighten us as He has always done. Thanks a lot for your questions and my apologies again for the delay, Gabriel.