It began at the end of 2007 from a rather obsessive fascination for the unknown or hidden aspects of life, specifically the ones which most people prefer to avoid or suppress. Be it the inner struggles that we may experience at certain points as well as external factors which in turn can have a decisive impact on one's identity. Using music to express this strife seemed most appropriate, as Schopenhauer wrote: "Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything."
2. Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Strictly musically speaking, besides using a different gear as opposed to all other previous albums, I believe that there is a shift in regards to the compositions and their stylistic approach on the new album, although, as with every new album, I prefer to experiment instead of clinging to a particular formula or sound. Whether it's perceived as progress or not, that remains entirely subjective, though naturally, the goal is to achieve better results each time.
3. While this project is solo you usually only release an album once every few years, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Soon after releasing my previous album "LI_E" released in 2016, the new album came as a necessity to further explore the conflict and the contradictory nature of deception in our lives. Needless to say, each album requires an immense effort and that alone can be very time-consuming, without taking into account the mundane affairs of day-to-day life.
4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer album and also how would you describe your progress as a songwriter over the years?
The main concept for the new album is set to underline the paradoxical relationship between truth and deceit and how these notions have shaped our civilization. It's somewhat ironic since, without the implications of falsehood, our species would have never evolved to this extent. On the other hand, the truth remains untouched, out of our reach and thankfully so, since I consider that knowing it would lead to our imminent extinction sooner than we might expect. With every release, I always conclude that there is still so much room for improvement and all skills are either linked to each other or interfere with one another, thus, for one to "grow" it's not always enough to target only a specific domain. Art is not restricted to one area of expertise.
5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gravatus'?
Gravatus is Latin for sick, burdened or weighed down, which can be extrapolated as a reflection of our frail and fallacious world. Illnesses come in so many forms and they define our very essence. To keep it short, there's something terribly wrong with all of us.
6. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The idea behind the artwork is that of an opening towards the Abyss, constantly falling into its never-ending void. The name of the album as well can be translated as "And then foolishness has opened its mouth", referring to the lack of understanding for the world around us and the tragedy that emerges from this concept.
7. With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I have never been interested in collaborating with other musicians and it will remain like this when it comes to this project alone. Inspiration cannot arise at one's whim and working with others, at least in my case, would strip away the significance of my endeavor. This project will remain exclusively personal.
8. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
So far, all offers from record labels have been rejected as I am not interested in signing up. This project will remain independent without any appeal for the industry.
9. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
With the risk of falling into a somewhat counter-intuitive grounds, I have little to no interest concerning the reaction of other people, regardless of their musical background, as the main motivation for creating this music stems from a different context, one which is void of any egalitarian leaning. I focus more rather on reaching a larger audience, while opinions will always fall to last-place.
10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The future, like many other things, is just as uncertain, however, the "great plan" is to keep creating music and cross new boundaries.
11. 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 consider that any serious musician ought to expand on their musical preferences and seek to appreciate other styles that may appear exotic at a first listen. Generally, I listen to anything that simply sounds good to me, with total disregard to the music genre or the people creating said music. Of course, the impact of the early Norwegian black metal scene is undeniable, though the works of classical composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Erik Satie, Antonin Dvorak or Prokofiev have also marked a profound influence as well throughout my compositions. Recently I've found myself drawn to the vibes of dark jazz, for example, Bohren & der Club of Gore or Parov Stelaror. As for metal, some of the newer bands that I strongly recommend would be Psicosfera, The Clearing Path, Lunar Mantra or Dysylumn.
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Word — that invisible dagger. (E. Cioran)
Thank you for the interview.