Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Coma Cluster Void Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Coma Cluster Void is a death metal quintet consisting of Mike DiSalvo and Austin Taylor as Vocalists, Chris Burrows on Drums as well as founders Sylvia Hinz on Bass and myself (John Strieder) on Guitars. We started around 2014 with some little demos which got a staggering incredible feedback within the metal community. Shortly after, Mike DiSalvo joined the band, and in 2015 the line-up was completed with Chris Burrows and Austin Taylor. The Intro, Interlude and Outro are performed by XelmYa, which consists of Sylvia Hinz on Double Bass Recorder (as well as singing into the Double Bass Recorder), Alexa Renger on Violin and for this time, I took the Violoncello-part in XelmYa. The enframing spoken words are performed by Genevieve DiSalvo.

2.Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

A twisted trip into insanity, sound and instrumentation-wise based on Death Metal but bending towards a lot of other genres while stylistically always being just Coma Cluster Void!

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

The lyrics are set into the world depicted on the album cover artwork and circle around the enigmatic Iron Empress, almost like a concept album. Like the music itself branches out in many different directions, so do the lyrics. Take for instance "Drowning Into Sorrow"; Mike's lyrics are heavily laden towards water based expressions, essentially a metaphor for anguish and a depressive state of mind. In fact, all the songs lyrically deal with deep distress, somber regret, and despondency.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Coma Cluster Void'?

It's based on the song title "Lux Aeterna Void" from a predecessing project of mine. It depicts a depressive image of the hoped eternal light being just a void, a black hole. The Coma Cluster of galaxies became a real-world meaning for "Lux Aeterna". Also, Cluster chords are my favourite kind of chords and are used throughout this record (and my music in general) in all different kinds.

5.The band members live in different parts of the world, how does this work out in the recording process?

Usually I write a complete song and then program drums and record guitars as a demo. I send this demo out to Mike DiSalvo, so he gets inspired to add his vocals and write the lyrics (and decides which parts are meant for Austin Taylor); and to Chris Burrows so he gets inspired to add his drums and drum ideas. When the drums are tracked, Sylvia and I retrack our instruments without metronome directly onto Chris' drums and often refine and enrich our parts further. We don't like to quantize drums or ignore the drummer's groove when tracking guitars and bass. We want to be a natural grooving unit. Oddly, our Drummer is the only person in the band using a Metronome and GuitarPro ;) We are constantly communicating during the whole recording process and shape the songs into perfection. Lastly, the vocals are tracked. Mike and Austin have an equal amount of vocals on the record, often backing each other up but also often dueling each other.

6.Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We had some cool offers, but none of them could release us in 2016. We didn't want to let the fans wait any longer! So we decided to go the entire way on our own. It was a hard decision, especially since our all-time-fave label was one of them. But for the next release, we'll have the luxury to choose more freely what to do.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of death metal and avant garde music?

What can I say, the reactions so far have been overwhelming! It's great to see, hear and read that people dig our music. It's also astonishing to feel being understood.

8.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

During writing this album, I neglected a bit my writing for classical musicians and ensembles ( https://www.facebook.com/john. strieder.composer.artist ), but now I'll focus again on many new works, some of them will be premiered this year. Our drummer's other band Thoren ( https://www.facebook.com/ ThorenDeath ), Austin's band Dimensionless ( https://www.facebook.com/ Dimensi0nless ) as well as Mike's band Akurion ( https://www.facebook.com/ AkurionOfficial/ ) are working on new releases. Sylvia ( https://www.facebook.com/ Sylvia.Hinz.Recorder ) has planned many concerts around the world, solo and with her ensembles. For example, in October she's with XelmYa ( https://www.facebook.com/ XelmYa ) in California, some of my pieces will see world- and US-premieres there. Of the many other project she's pursuing I like to mention her colaboration with the painter Carola Czempik. It's a kind of a feedback loop between paintings inspired by Sylvia's playing, and playing inspired by Carola's paintings. A cool ongoing project, it'll be documented on Sylvia's youtube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/user/ sylviahinzrecorder ).

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

There's a lot of undiscovered territory, and a lot of things we can build upon. We want to continue telling stories about the world of the Iron Empress. It'll be always dissonant, atonal, emotional and extreme - and without any compromises, that's for sure! ;)

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I grew up with bands like Pantera, Crowbar, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel; as well as composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and Gy├Ârgy Ligeti. I think one can find in one way or another some echoes of these. Nowadays, I still could listen for the thousandth time to classics like "Clandestine"! My two favourite composers these days are Rebecca Saunders and Brian Ferneyhough. But there are so many more ... in general, I have solely interest in music that is dissonant and extreme, and that's all i search for and listen to. Sylvia on the other hand is performing so much and is surrounded by music all the time, she rarely listens to music at all, haha!

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

When I don't fantasise music, I paint (in an "abstract" manner). I also create artworks for bands, the "Mind Cemeteries" artwork was created by me, too. Art in general interests me, at least such art that I see or hear as an outcry about the bad things in our world, because that is for me the "function" of art, if there has to be one. But other than that, really nothing ;)

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for the support and the interest in our creations! \m/


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