1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Sombre is my solo post-black metal project, I, like many others, had a lot of time on my hands during the lockdown and wanted to see if I was capable of writing music I don't normally write. I'm a fan of shoegaze, black metal and post-black metal so I mashed them together and Sombre is what came out!
2.Recently you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
I wanted the EP to have blast beats, tremolo picking and black metal style vocals but combine with some acoustic interludes and more laid-back sections. I was really inspired by the band Dawn Ray'd and how they mixed some great riffs with some beautiful acoustic sections, and I wanted to do something similar.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
The EP's lyrics capture some of my thoughts and feelings about living with depression and the conflict of feelings that can come along with it. It's a horrible illness that often leaves me confused and miserable but it's cathartic to turn some of those thoughts into music that I and other people can enjoy. The second track reflects more of a view of optimism compared to the others, I felt like it was important to include that as a reminder that things are often more complicated than they appear.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sombre'?
I wanted something bleak sounding to reflect the music but I didn't want it to be a grim dark edgy generic black metal name (despite the logo!). I thought Sombre sounded pretty cool, it was either that or 'Solo Project #162315'.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?
The cover is a photo from Solbjerg cemetery taken by Eve in Denmark (@sombreshots). I just thought it looked cool to be honest, I like how old statues have a kind of decrepit look to them, it makes for good album art in my opinion. I found her photos through Instagram and she was kind enough to let me use this one for the cover! I felt like it perfectly suited the aesthetic, it was already in black and white and the fact her handle is the same as the name I chose for this project seemed like a perfect coincidence. Also, that horn the angel is holding was giving me some Filosofem vibes.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
Yes definitely! I'd love to perform Sombre as a live band but trying to find a drummer is a nightmare. I also have a hard time convincing other people to play music that's already written, I often feel they'd rather be playing something that they helped create rather than just what I've written previously. Regardless I'd totally be up for turning Sombre into a full band
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Realistically there's an endless supply of super high-quality bands and musicians who are far more talented than myself, so I don't see Sombre getting signed anytime soon. I wouldn't say no though!
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of post black metal?
I'm not sure in regards specifically to fans of post-black metal, it's a bit of a niche genre to begin with and I'm mostly relying on self-promotion at the moment, so reaching out to those fans is a challenge. But I got the seal of approval from my buddies Tom and James who like the same genre and bands I do and are far more talented musicians than I so that's good enough for me!
9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as musician during the future?
It depends if I feel inspired to write more, I have sludge band, Dreadbeggar, that performs live which is a much bigger motivation for me., playing on stage is my jam, especially once we're allowed to perform again. I suppose it depends if I manage to find anyone who wants to turn Sombre into a live act with me, that would probably give me motivation to do a full-length release. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll carry on writing and releasing stuff for Sombre as and when I feel the inspiration.
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?
Deafheaven are one of my favourites and a big inspiration for Sombre. I was blown away listening to Sunbather for the first time and I loved how the album art and the interludes and the quieter sections all contrast with the blast beats and black metal vocals. I wanted to make something like that, I enjoy black metal but I tend to steer clear of the 'True Kvlt' elitism that surrounds the genre, because I just don't care. I enjoy bands like Mayhem and Burzum, but I also enjoy bands whose members are massive hipsters who want to talk to you about their poetry over a spiced latte at Starbucks, but with blast beats, ya know? Alcest were another big influence, I wrote The Plight of Life about a year or two ago after listening to a lot of Alcest, the rest of the tracks came recently after I decided I wanted it to be a full EP.
11.What are your non musical interests?
I'm a bit of a video game/tech nerd, here's a cheeky shout-out to my Twitch channel where I live stream! Twitch.tv/trace6x. I love movies as well, especially horror movies, go figure!
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for taking the time to listen to my music, there's so much of it out there so it means a lot. I'll throw in my other sludge band Dreadbeggar whilst I'm here, and I play bass in Praetorian (sludge) and live bass in Lowen (doom), great bands check them out if you fancy!