Because every day another band records another song. Because 83% of those songs are unlistenable and you can’t be bothered to sift through the dreck. Because metal is about not giving a shit and waking your own personal storm. Because music is universal, expression is boundless, and even indie labels (whatever that means these days) don’t know everything, Decibel brings you Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack.
Summer is festival season, a time for raucous death metal and the good times to be had by crackin’ a cold one and thrashin’ off your denim and patches. And right in the middle of all this hot-weather-related catharsis, Decibel‘s here to cool things down slow the pulse. Considerably. After some scorching temperatures in the mid-Atlantic region, a very real heavy mist has settled in to remind us that maybe we’re not so far removed… from Weeping Winter.
German depressive A.A.S. mimics funeral doom motifs on his project The Cold View, and has done a powerful job of it without recording with an abysmally tuned electric guitar. Weeping Winter is the sound of sinking slowly, without hope or even desire of salvation. Stark piano melodies hide behind buzzing drones while the saddest, most hateful 80-ton turtle growls its darkness over everything. After descending through several levels of consciousness and becoming slime, Decibel contacted A.A.S. to get his perspective on the bleak music he has made. Stream Weeping Winter here or from Bandcamp while you read his responses… until you’re too depressed to read anymore, that is.
Can you give us some background information about yourself?
There is nothing special to tell about my non-musical life. Music is the center of my life. I am mainly into different styles of Black Metal, Drone, Doom, Funeral Doom and so called Progressive and Post Metal stuff. Although I also like fast songs, solemn music is my favorite style.
How did you start working on Weeping Winter?
In 2005 a friend worked on a small Death/Doom project Bestial (bestial-metal.com) together with me. This was my very first experience of creating music. After a downtime of a couple of years, in November 2011 I was experimenting with some professional and semi-professional Linux audio software which led to the first The Cold View track, “Empty November”. I gave a raw mix to the mentioned friend who meanwhile runs the Berlin-based recording studio Blockstudio (blockstudio.de). He encouraged me to go on and so the concept album came into being. In the end he also did the final mixing and mastering.
Did you decide at the beginning to write one track per month, or did that happen on its own?
After I realized the potential in what I was doing I wanted to create a concept album dealing with the cold season. Part of the concept was to create one song per month and to capture the special emotions, nature and weather conditions I was experiencing in this time. It worked out very well. The time line was more a guideline than a barrier.
Can you speak specifically about the circumstances and natural influences that drove these songs?
The songs and their lyrics are very personal and intimate. They are influenced by the darker side of human life and my interpretation of occurrences of nature. The lyrics are not very philosophical but spontaneous emotional expressions. Personally I see more depth or intensity in melancholy and darkness than in cheerfulness and light. But the music was also a release for the creative pressure I had inside.
What instruments did you play on Weeping Winter? The absence of guitar seems very interesting for an album like this.
The album is created by sequencers, synthesizers and vocal recordings. I used single guitar chords as basis for many layers of synths and effects. In this way some of the drones and noisy ambient sceneries came into being. So it’s right to say that real guitar playing is absent.
What plans do you have for The Cold View? Is it a continuous project, or do you think you achieved its purpose with Weeping Winter?
In fact I think I achieved the purpose I wanted to. But nevertheless I want to go on with The Cold View. Eventually I will record another album with a quite different style. There is a possible concept already in my mind. I would like to mainly work with acoustic guitar. But it shall not get an acoustic album. I would also use many layers, filters and effects. This time with real guitar playing.
What are your favorite depressive artists/albums?
When it comes to Doom my favorites are Ahab, Esoteric, Shape of Despair and Pantheist. I also could mention bands like ColdWorld, Herbstnebel, Austere, Woods of Desolation or Katatonia.
What non-extreme music excites you?
I think I am quite open minded for different styles and influences. It excites me when a band is able to combine different styles into an eligible interplay. I love acoustic guitar so I also have a liking for non-political Neo Folk bands like Tenhi, Weh, Quellenthal or Nebelung.