1. Can you tell us a little bit about the musical project for those that have never heard you before?
Currently a (mostly) one man band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. It’s a style of music I’ve wanted to write for a while and it was summer 2013 was when I finally stopped being lazy.
2.How would you describe the musical sound on the album that you recently have recorded?
I guess the simplest label it would fall into is Progressive Black Metal, personally I was paying tribute to a lot of bands/influences, trying to balance interesting instrumental parts and keeping a focus on atmosphere throughout.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explored with the album?
Most of the lyrics deal with existentialism and morality, with a side dish of misanthropy and anti-theism haha. The lyrics were written pretty quickly and then the vocals were recorded straight afterwards, so sometimes I had to go back a re-record vocals because I realised the lyrics don’t make grammatical sense in any way. I’m happy with how they turned out, although I want to take more time over the concept/lyrics for the next album.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Patrons Of The Rotting Gate?
It’s a line from one of my favourite bands favourite songs haha - Orgone - Circulated Treason. I’m hugely inspired by Stephen Jarrett’s lyrics, if you’ve read Orgone’s lyrics and mine you might see some similarities. Although in context of their work it might mean something completely different, I’ve come to see “Patrons of the Eotting gate” as a reference to religious figureheads/leaders. I’m not very religious if you haven’t guessed already.
5.On the album most of the stuff was recorded solo, do you plan on adding a line up in the future?
I would love to and I do plan to, I haven’t really mentioned it to him but I’ll get Adam for 2nd guitar as he’s much better than me. Currently I’m super busy trying to get other projects off the ground (mostly also include him) and also going to University/working. It’ll definitely happen, I’m just not sure when yet.
6.The album came out on The Path Less Travelled Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
I just sort of threw the album up for free on bandcamp and posted around some forums, and got a lot of positive feedback which was amazing. Rennie from starkweather (check em’) and Doug from Pyrrhon/Invisible Oranges were definitely big helpers in getting the word out. I’m a big fan of Pyrrhon and Flourishing (both have ties to TPLTR). Sean seemed to dig the stuff and is in the “business” for the right reasons. It seems like a good fit.
7.The project was originally from Northern Ireland but relocated to England what was the decision behind the move?
It’s sort of related to the project as it’s related to music in general, but POTRG wasn’t really a factor in the move. In September 2013 I started a degree in music production in London, so I’ll be here for at least 3 years.
8.The album had covers of Gorguts and Orgone songs, what was it that made you want to do covers of these 2 songs?
Both bands are massive influences on me musically, so it was essentially paying tribute to them. Gorguts’ “Obscura”, Orgone’s “The Goliath” and “The Joyless Parson” (Still not officially released, come on labels get on that shit) are some of my favourite albums. Caress of Vines is such a cool track, especially in context of the album so I’ve wanted to learn/cover it pretty much since I first heard it. It also helps that it is the only track on the album that I could pull off on guitar haha. When I first heard Gorguts’“The Battle Of Chamdo” I though it was a really cool piece that breaks up the flow of the album up well. When I first thought of covering it with more traditional metal instrumentation I couldn’t stop listening to it without that in mind, and I was also really inspired by the band Means End’s cover of Eric Whitacre’s “Nox Aurumque”. I knew Whitacre’s original before I heard their version, but now I I can’t listen to it without hearing Robert Luciani’s lead vocal line. I highly recommend checking out Mean’s End’s “The Didact” by the way. They have some really interesting harmonic stuff going on and Luciani is definitely one of my favourite vocalists/lyricists at the minute. Rasmus’s bass playing is another highlight.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Everything has been extremely positive so far which I’m totally grateful for, although i’m not sure what black metal purists would really think of it. It’s funny, The Rose Coil was originally supposed to be a lot more straight up black metal, but I guess my listening background of tech death and progressive metal seeped into it a lot. I’m not sure If I could write a good “pure” black metal album if I really tried.
10.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Well at the time of The Rose Coil’s recording I had maybe 60% of the 2nd album already written and a vague concept in mind, I didn’t release that material first because I couldn’t play it properly on guitar. At the minute I think there is only one song left to “first draft” for the second album, it is shaping up to be a lot more technical, and a lot weirder/more dissonant in places. I think the challenge with it will be maintaing an atmosphere throughout the album, like I (personally) think I managed with The Rose Coil.
I also have a very vague musical/conceptual outline for the 3rd album which consists of 3 long songs to make up the entire album (hopefully around 45-50 minutes). I guess we’ll have to see if I can pull that off haha.
11.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
There are some more obvious influences which have been mentioned previously like Orgone, Latitudes, Deathspell Omega, Spawn of Possession, Gorguts and Meshuggah. Since moving to London I’ve been listening to a bit of Katatonia, Lost in the Trees, Tori Amos, Sikth, the new Queens Of The Stone Age, some classical stuff like Wagner, Eric Whitacre, Bach. I’ve also been listening to a lot of electronic stuff like BT, Burial, Nedry, The Glitch Mob and Kashiwa Daisuke.
12.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
I love reading although I’ve been struggling to find the time since I moved. Fitting it into a schedule of work, uni work and drinking has been tough haha. I also love the outdoors and camping, but I haven’t had the chance to do much of that recently either.
13.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Not too much other thanks thanks for the interview! It’s really cool/slightly surreal to get interest for this project. If you are interested, watch the POTRG Facebook page for upcoming Hierophant, Deathspell Omega, and Latitudes covers. They are all fully tracked bar the Latitudes cover, which has very sloppily played guitar parts and no vocals currently. Also hopefully Adam and I’s other projects will be releasing material soon. Cheers!