1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Spider God is a raw black metal project I started in October 2020, at the tail end of a pretty productive year for me, musically. I’ve been a recording artist for many years, working in a wide range of genres, and I actually dabbled in black metal back in 2010-ish, although nothing came of it. It was only last year that I hit upon a sound for this genre that I thought warranted a bit more exploration, and it’s kinda snowballed from there.
2.So far you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
The first EP was written and recorded in a week. I had one riff from a previous project, which is the opening riff to Shipwreck’s Hull, and I built the sound around that. I wanted something that sounded strongly melodic, but that was offset by raw production and dissonant vocals, so that it didn’t become too saccharine. My influences are wide-ranging and people have mentioned nods to post-punk, hardcore and even Brit Rock in my songs, although none of this is intentional - I basically just try to write black metal and this is what comes out!
3.The lyrics are based upon Ingmar Bergman's classic film trilogy, can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting?
The lyrics are just as important as the music for me, and I knew I didn’t want to mine the same territory as other BM projects, so I thought about using films as reference points. Bergman’s films are so intense and full of despair that they seemed the perfect match for black metal, and the Faith Trilogy provided fertile ground for lyrical content, considering the themes of loneliness, psychological imbalance, and the silence of God. This first EP tells the story of the first film in the trilogy, Through a Glass Darkly, and each song is from a different character’s perspective. It’s liberating to write in the form of a dramatic monologue and lots of the lyrics are direct quotes from the screenplay.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Spider God'?
The main character of Through a Glass Darkly is a schizophrenic young woman who fantasises about God appearing to her in an empty room. Near the end of the film her fantasy becomes a reality (at least in her own mind), but the form God takes is that of a spider, and she becomes terrified as it takes over her body. However you wish to interpret this scene (Bergman doesn’t make it easy), for me the symbol of the ‘spider god’ represents the lurking darkness that threatens to rule us if we succumb to it, which is something I wanted to explore and express with this project.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?
This is a manipulated still from a scene in the film where Karin has an almost orgasmic experience as she imagines God climbing inside her. I liked the way the high contrast makes it look as if she’s been decapitated, when in fact it’s just her body contorting backwards.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
Like any bedroom project, working alone has its benefits and drawbacks, but it’s important to be able to communicate your vision to someone else and trust that they will elevate the project beyond what you can achieve on your own. Through a recent collaboration (which is yet to be announced) I formed a friendship with an insanely-talented American musician, and he has recently recorded drums from another upcoming record, which I’m very excited about. His work on the songs took them to another level and the whole experience was a lot of fun. I hope I’m able to work with others in the future, whether that be vocal/instrumental contributions, or full-blown writing collaborations. There are a few ideas in the works, but I’m not ready to reveal them yet. Also, I recently recorded an ambient intro/outro for a Mnhma full length, which was very rewarding as I was able to respond to another artist’s vision for once. It’s a hell of a record - I can’t wait for that one to be unleashed!
7.The ep was released through a variety of many different labels, can you tell us a little bit more about the labels you worked with on this release?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to work with three of my favourite labels for this first EP. Death Kvlt Productions are handling the vinyl and Dan has been particularly instrumental in driving the project forward, giving me the confidence to release more material. Phantom Lure, who released the tape edition, were originally known as a comfy synth label (I’m a big fan of that genre), but it’s great that Jurgen took a chance and made this his first official black metal release. Repose Records is home to some of my favourite current artists, such as The Suns Journey Through the Night and The Oracle, and Tom is one of the friendliest guys in the scene (and a big movie buff!) so it’s been a pleasure to work with him on the CD version.
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
Mostly very positive! I’m so grateful that people seem to accept the Spider God sound, despite it deviating somewhat from the established formula. The black metal fan-base can be very opinionated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my music rubs some people up the wrong way, but on the whole I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response.
9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I’ve just finished up demoing the full length album, which will contain 10 new tracks. However, I have a lot of releases stacked up before that, including two more demo EPs (to round out the trilogy), two splits and a four-way collaboration, so the full-length will most likely come out in 2022. I vowed to myself that I’d make as much music as possible before the creative energy ran out, but it’s still going, so that bodes well for the future!
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 appreciate minimalism in black metal, so projects like Nihil Invocation, Carved Cross and Borda’s Rope are immediate sonic references, although I am a also a huge fan of the triumphant French BM sound, especially Véhémence, so that gets thrown into the mix too. I come from a punk and hardcore background, so the punky attitude of Kommodus and Lamp of Murmuur are also touchstones, although my song structures are less intricate than their work and focus more on pop sensibilities, I would say. Outside of black metal I’m sure there are a host of other influences from a wide range of genres, as I mentioned earlier, but it’s hard to put my finger on particular reference points - if there’s a resonance to another genre or band, then it’s worked its way in subliminally.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I studied film at university and was an independent filmmaker for a number of years, so movies are a big part of my life - particularly the ‘slow cinema’ of Andrei Tarkovsky, Bruno Dumont, Bela Tarr and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. I also play a lot of Tomb Raider....!
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about my music - it’s much appreciated.