“For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?”
1. We are a Canadian black metal band that plays music inspired by the barren and majestic landscapes that surround us.
“In September you got your first full length coming out, musically how does it differ from the ep you had released in 2017?”
2. Musically the full-length and the EP are very similar in many regards. One notable difference is that the full-length was recorded entirely using our personal gear. No sampled drums, no digital amp modelling, just our sound as it might be heard in a live environment. We’re really pleased with how that turned out; it’s a sound that is uniquely ours.
“What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?”
3. I think we are quite up front about a lot of our subject matter. Disillusionment, solitude, and misanthropy are themes that we explore often, and the full length deals with these, but there is a definite theme of mortality and it’s many faces. I think that as a society, we find ourselves at a strange juncture where it has become fully acceptable and feasible to simply check the boxes and merely exist. I don’t think enough people push themselves to deal with adversity or negativity head on and instead focus on finding the quick and easy solution to their problems. We see this all too often, and though people take this half-assed approach for a time and get by relatively consequence free, there will come a time when you will face a situation that has no easy solution, and your character will be found lacking. If nothing else, this album will hopefully encourage the listener to take control of their life’s path and to rise to meet the challenges that will be inevitably thrown at them.
“What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Arctos’?”
4. Arctos is a latin word that means, as we understand it, ‘bear’ or ‘Northern people.’ We found this to be quite fitting for us as we are heavily inspired by nature and our Northern habitat
“Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?”
5. The artwork is a photograph taken in the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies here in Alberta. I think that the image captures a beautiful face of our world that often people are not willing to see. Winter’s in Canada are harsh and cold, and many people will never push themselves to leave the warmth and security of their homes unless they absolutely have to. The wilderness has so much to offer, and to behold a mountain sunset in the middle of winter is an experience like no other. In the background of the cover you can see some low mountains. These mountains are a very recognizable feature from the town of Canmore, but this is a view of them that many will have never seen. That in itself reinforces the idea behind the album’s title.
“What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?”
6. We were fortunate enough to tour Western Canada with Wolfheart in 2018 and those shows were absolutely fantastic. Our approach to stage shows is quite simple; we put on a show that we would want to watch. If we aren’t sweating and sore at the end of a set, we haven’t done our audience justice. Too many bands half-ass it on stage and we aim to never be counted among those ranks.
“Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?”
7. Not many. Were playing a festival in Edmonton called Black Mourning Light in October, but after that, we likely won’t be playing too many local shows for a while. We have designs on playing in Europe, so we will like focus our efforts on getting there. Weve been deep underground for awhile, so things are starting to ramp up quickly.
“On the 2017 ep you had also done an 'Amon Amarth' cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their song?”
8. Amon Amarth was a gateway band for many of us from the world of Thrash into Death Metal and other extreme metal genres. It seemed fitting to pay homage to a band that had inspired us as young musicians.
“On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?”
9. The response has been excellent. With the EP, we ended up shipping a lot of albums to Japan, Australia, Europe, and every time I did I felt so connected to the world. Black Metal can be found everywhere and it feels fantastic to provide our art for so many people from all corners of the globe.
“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?”
10. Once Arctos started becoming more than just an idle ‘jam-space’ project, I began to quit all the other bands I was involved in. Our other guitarist Jeremy has a Melodic Death Metal band called Valyria that he is quite involved in. Jacob is involved in some secret death metal projects. Nick does his own writing that he doesn’t like sharing with people.
“Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?”
11. We have spent almost 5 years of writing and refining our songs, and I believe that we have developed our sound quite well. Up til now, myself, Nick, and Josh have been the primary contributors to songwriting, but moving forward I have no doubt that our music will be more a more collaborative effort with all the band members. We will continue to improve our craft and will do so by building upon the foundation of music that we have already set.
“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?”
12. Black Metal, Thrash Metal, and Classical music are probably the biggest styles of music that have influenced our sound. Dissection, Moonsorrow, Behemoth, Iced Earth, Winterfylleth, and Windir are all bands whose music has provided inspiration. Composers such as Rachmaninoff, Tchaicovksy, Wagner, and Beethoven are certainly drawn upon for inspiration as well. I find myself listening to a lot of Havukruunu, Bane, W.A.S.P., Bewitcher, and Helrunar these days. Also a bunch of ambient music like Endless Melancholy and Musicformessier, as well as some synthwave like Dynatron and Perturbator.
“Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?”
13. I certainly encourage anyone who picks up Beyond The Grasp of Mortal Hands to listen to it front to back in the correct order at least once, and pick a time and place where you can do so without interruption. In my opinion that is the ideal way to be introduced properly to an album. Music can very easily become simply ‘background static’ and I would like our listeners to make a decisive effort to become acquainted with our art in as intimate a way as possible. Also go hiking and get out into nature if able.