Q.1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?
A.1.Hey There, It's great to be with occultblackmetalzine, I want to thank you for the outstanding review on the self titled. These days have been very odd to say the least. Wrapping up the final stages of the new release. Things get a bit serious at this point for sure. Mostly getting a feel for how this all works with so many people involved. As far as production goes.
Q.2.You have a new album coming out soon, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
A.2. Good one, well honestly, its quite different, again as far as production goes as in the first album was sort of a compilation of all the songs that I had faith in up until that point. I made mortal vail up winter of 2011 and made a little demo with 3 tracks. Then life's passions pushed me in different directions. So ultimately I had a rawer outlook on things, so when we started back up late summer 2019 I compiled this list of different tracks I wanted to give to the world. So I just sort of soon as I thought they were complete I put them out September 2nd 2020 under the harvest moon. After reflection for a few months I gained a new level of seriousness and Mortal Vail was reanimated inside of a circle and through the black arts became, well what it is. Now the music still holds the dark eerie quality but the production, everywhere from the female voice is now replaced by what I call the Coven, its a duo of very talented female opera singers. There combined name is december. So, its differs in the fact that Mortal Vail has matured quite a bit since the last release.
Q.3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the new album and how would you describe your progress as a songwriter over both of the releases?
A.3. The new albums topics are taken directly from a shade of my existence. Mainly since the last release like I said I feel I've matured, as far as really focusing on what I want to say, and now that we've grown in popularity and Ive become friends with other musicians that are simply amazing at what they do. I take it very seriously now to show them, "Hey check this out." And of course the music is half as important but lyrics, lyrics is what pushes the ideas into faces and saying "look this is who I am." So i feel I've definitely grown with these new tracks and so have my lyrics from the last release.
Q.4.The lyrics on the first recording where a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the story you explored with the release?
A.4. Oh yes the self titled or as some call it, "The Dream." Well first of all its supposed to only appeal to people who are already into the Imagery and type of music it is because you know as well as I do Black Metal is an acquired taste, though also like any fine wine the rewards are 10 fold. So, it was made for people who are already into this stuff so as they listen to it and read the lyrics, they can relate. So its meant for a good stereo system or earphones, a phone sounds a bit off but with the former, it starts off with the character falling asleep, that what the heartbeat and then some of the drums between tracks is. Then you can hear December giving little hints to the lyrics she will say later, there's laughing all of the actions of an anxious mind falling asleep. Then the tracks sort of tell who this guy is and what his world is like. Religion, Inner Politics, and love & hate. And even things this semi average guy is into such as "Dark Portrait" is about his explorations into The 16th century blood countess. He sees a painting of her and is drawn in and spit out at the end of the track. Then there's what happens at the end. That dark thing. Then he delves into even darker themes. Then he awakes at the end. And all of us who can relate to this stuff can reflect upon the moral side and usually draw positive conclusions from each track.
Q.5.You also mentioned some interest in the works of Nickola Tesla, do you feel he was ahead of his time and ripped off by plenty of corporations to cover up the fact he was exploring technology that most people where not ready for at the time?
A.6. Well I haven't delved to deeply into Tesla, though I do feel that Thomas Edison took his alternate current Idea because his D.C. was setting complete blocks on fire. Then Tesla died broke and was sort of forgotten about for several decades. The Manhattan project is a crazy story in itself. Like I said I don't know enough about it to make a judgment though your question is quite interesting, I will look into those things. I mostly mentioned him because on that album the songs are laid out in 3 acts of 3 songs each, a magical 9th gate if you will and wanted people to know there are so many hidden cryptic within the #1.Music #2.Lyrics #3.Artwork, all combined create a portal for one to step into.
Q.6.You also cover some occult themes with your lyrics, what eras of the occult do you have an interest in and what are some of the ancient grimoires and authors you have explored so far?
A.6. Recently I've had a special vested interest for the Golden Dawn. Though at current that is all I can say on that. And you completely right we are almost brimming over with Occult themes. They mostly covered a Leveyan outlook, though today the Satanic church and the whole movement has become something that it wasn't in the beginning. Now there Extra political. And that's not something were particularly concerned creatively with at present. Now ancient Grimoires, now that is something we are completely consumed with. Particular lately "The Clavicula Salomonis Regis", has been invaluable to us and has opened so many gateways and doors of understanding. That is the translation by by S. L. MacGregor Mathers in 1889. Not the Joseph Peterson version, that sadly cost ten times more, though omits half. The Omitted "Sixth and Seventh books of Mosses" dark witchcraft. Which mirrors Solomons. The Egyptian book of the Dead and how to travel the duat. One of my new tracks is called "Psuedomonarchia Daemonium" which is named after a book by Johann Weyer. Its a book of dead spirit names and my song is about the same but more of we all have dead names written all over us symbolically, from our inner past. It mirrors the book "Ars Goetia" which is the first chapter of the "Lemegeton" and many more but mostly I've been consumed in those titles lately and they mirror in my new lyrics.
Q.7.You have also mentioned an interest in horror and dark fantasy, what are some of the movies or literature from these genres that have had an influence on your songwriting?
A.7. Well Everything from Tolken, to R.A. Salvators Drizzt books, especially the first 3. There so dark and mirror our everyday world to such a degree it is hard to tell the 2 apart. Clive Barkers Dark horror has been invaluable and I correspond with him frequently. Theres a new track called The Unconsumed that has themes from 'The ScarletGospels.' H.P .Lovecraft is a nicessity.Tanith Lee R.I.P. holds a special place for us, her "Secret books of Paradys,' are simply amazing. In face The first story out of the trilogy is called, "Malice in Saffron." Though the song was written long before I read that book or recorded A tale of Revenge. It was simply titled "Malice" in its first incarnation. There's so many that have contributed to my song writing outlook that I'm sure I'm forgetting some but these I highly recommend.
Q.8.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
A.8. On the new album cover is an incarnation of our female singers , "December," Basically a woman starring in contemplation and being haunted by something in the direction the photos being taken. You can see it in her eyes. And just behind her through the curtains you can see the dawn is approaching and reality is setting in and the endless possibility's of the night are shattered. It basically captures that moment. Sort of at the last super when jesus is supposed to have said, "one of you will betray me." Strictly metaphorically speaking.
Q.9.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
A.9. Well live yes, I have a couple session drummers I work with and bassist and sound engineer. But as far as recording and the writing process "Mortal Vail" is a very personal entity. And has become something more, that's why I speak in third person about it. Although there are some aspects I simply could not do, That's where ''The coven of December' came from, and also Italy. So full time just her. Though I do have 100% plans in the feature for other artist of the same genre to feature parts of various nature. When the stars align correctly, Cuthulu shall awake, so to speak.
Q.10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
A.10. Hard to say at this early stage. Im still getting my foot in the door as far as advertising. And this is a very touchy type of music, you either love it or hate it. You either like raw or better production level. So were still trying to make the world aware, well black metal fans. That's strictly who we make it for. So I think after the second album is out and the right people hear it and then find that the first one is rawer, it will please most. But at this early stage we have a bit over 1k fallowers on our fb band page. I have 100% faith we will flow in popularity over the next few years, we just have to expose it to the right people because it's not for everyone.
Q.11.Currently you are signed to 'Horrorscope Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
A.11. Horroscope Records is a small and humble label that are 2 brothers. Jacob Collins is who approached us, and though he's just getting started we have faith in him as well. He started his company in 2018. With a some Death Metal projects. We will be happy to see them again soon.
Q.12.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
A.12. Exploring the full ideas of the concept album or Dark opera if you will. Being crystal clear on my ideas and how to portray them and still keep what makes 'Mortal Vail' what its is. fine tuning my composing.
Q.13.What are you listening to nowadays?
A.13. Lately Ive been listening to "Death" a lot especially the last album. "Darkend" from Italy. "Darkend Nocturn Slaughtercult." Vivaldis four seasons, especially the 3rd act of Summer. "Morgul." Also Bathorys,"The Return."
Q.14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A.14. I am eagerly anticipating for all black metal fans to hear the new stuff. I have been setting on some of it for close to a year and will be happy to see everyone's reaction on how much Ive put into it, simply for them. So they can reflect upon these songs and gain a new profound understanding of themselves. Which is what its all about. I want to thank you and your platform for your time and patience and hopefully we can chat again soon. ty. And has become something more, that's why I speak in third person about it. Although there are some aspects I simply could not do, That's where 'The coven of December' came from, and also Italy. So full time just her. Though I do have 100% plans in the feature for other artist of the same genre to feature parts of various nature. When the stars align correctly, Cuthulu shall awake, so to speak.