1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Luminous veil is black metal project made up of myself and William Wolfe that started sometime late 2018. Our tendency is toward post-black and atmospheric writing but we have stepped outside of those margins often enough. Veil’s aesthetic is very rarely the common fodder of the scene but we do touch upon occultism. With each release we have general themes we work with which have gone from nostalgic depression to occult tech-spiritualism to Wisconsin folklore.
2.You have a new album coming out in July, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released so far?
Vespers for the Loom and Lain is our most symphonic album. There was a conscious effort to layer as much orchestral elements as possible. In our discography, that is probably the most unique part about it though we’ve used various symphonic instruments before. Vespers, in some ways, is a return to some of the classic parts of Veil’s sound. To me, it’s a more polished sound that fits with earliest releases and the lyrical content even starts to drift more in line with those works. With all that said, all within 2021 we’ve released a raw, lo-fi atmospheric black metal full length, an atmospheric blackened death metal EP and now this, a cleaner, bombastic mix of symphonic black and post-black metal. So, it was really time for us to dig back into some things that brought us together.
3.Since 2019 you also have released 4 full length, 2 ep's and a split, do you spend a great amount of your time writing and creating music?
Its strange to me how much we’ve put out too. We usually only have a month or two between writing/recording that we just lull. There’s usually some spark of interest that just takes off and we move pretty quickly. We have the fortune of not being a live band. Our interest was always to just be prolific and do what we want.
Our typical MO is: William will write and record an entire albums worth of guitar and bass then I’ll take that for the vocals, programming, synths, sampling and mixing. Although, I feel William works pretty fast, I can’t speak for him but on my end, I know I work quickly. I’m the type of person that, when I’m in the midst of a piece of creation I’m obsessive about it. I might even lose sleep until I finish it in entirety. Then, when I finish an album, I have this weird low-state where I don’t know what to do with myself. That’s when I eventually turn back to my love of film and books which may inspire more LV work.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
As alluded to we have a pretty varied list of topics but the recurrent themes are dsbm or post-black based: melancholy, nostalgia, anxieties and traumas. Vespers fits into that realm but also speaks of acceptance of loss – loss of love, loss of life – the idea of crossing a personal event-horizon. More pointedly, “Clair” is about apocalyptic visions and the end of life, as in, a state of existence. “Neuroklesis.entelechy” similarly speaks of the time after life in terms of singularity but turning that into a new spiritualism (influenced by speculative realism or materialism) and “Bellow..” was entirely about Wisconsin folklore and history.
5.Both of the band members also work with other bands and musical projects, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Luminous Veil', that you are not able to do with your other groups?
For me, Veil was probably the first and only time that a more modern sense of melancholy along with that post-black element was at the forefront of the sound. I’ve done so many bands and projects but none of them have really captured a need for long term exploration. My first band was Shattered Soul, where I played drums. That would have been around 1999. And I’ve been recording black metal projects since early 2000s, so my skill set has been given time to mature. I think with Veil, the reason its successful for me is that we’ve been hyper focused on creating singular sounds for each album. We are never in the same room at the same time so we kind of have our lanes that we work in. It’s very collaborative but also solitary. That’s liberating.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Luminous Veil'?
William proposed that name and I think he just sort of stumbled upon it. I remember immediately searching for anything significant with that name already and I recall the first thing coming up was that it was the name of some form of suicide net. Not that that has any bearing on why we choose the name but I thought its still an interest angle. Rather than postulate things I’d rather let listeners bring their own experiences and thoughts to it.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
What you’re looking at is a piece of art cut from foam, arranged with some foraged natural items, lit with colored light and photographed by me. I had a different original concept but sometimes things take on their own shape so to speak. I liked the idea of overgrown, archaic ruin and the ever-present death drive but really, I just wanted a cover that was some piece of art but not drawn or painted.
8.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
We are a duo. I could foresee a guest spot or something but not much else.
9.Last year you where also a part of a split with 'Ramihrdus', what are your thoughts on the other solo project that had participated in the recording?
Ramihrdus is great. It’s just a one-man band also based in Wisconsin. I heard his “Midsummer’s Twilight” album and saw the cover art and just thought it looked like Wisconsin – I was right. So, I reached out to see about doing a split. Ramihrdus is pretty emotive but keeps it atmospheric so its within our wheelhouse. We like to experiment with our sound more on splits and Eps. I think the material on “Two Solaced the Soils” still works well together for dynamics’ sake. Anyway, watch for Ramihrdus’ forthcoming album, "The Sorrow of the Evergreens". From the song I’ve heard, it’s going to be fantastic.
10.The band members live in different parts of the country, have you ever met in person or has this project been strictly done through email and social networks?
William and I have never met. Our connection was by chance online as he was looking for someone to do vocals on a song he had written. That song later became “Blood Trauma Serene”. Beyond my vocals, I don’t think we’ve ever heard each other’s voices. We message each other pretty often though. We definitely keep in contact about what’s in our music rotations, among other things. It’s a strange relationship that the internet has afforded this world. Interesting to say the least.
11.So far you have worked with 'France d'Oil Productions' and 'BMC Productions', do you feel these labels have been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?
Honestly, the most spread of our music has probably been from Youtube channels which came naturally. I’m an old soul and don’t really do well with the marketing side of things but I try…sometimes. Our relationship with labels has primarily been about physical media production so I’ve never thought of it as being about the exposure though I’m sure they all have their own reach. We’ve worked with a different label for every release save for our EPs which are entirely digital self-releases. BMC Productions is relatively new but they spawned out of that Youtube existence. They genuinely seem to want to build long term relationships with bands which is pretty novel at this scale. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about my friends with France d’Oil Productions, Anthrazit Records and Red Door Records.
12.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of atmospheric black metal?
We like to think mostly positive. There’s plenty of people who sort of dishonestly engage with the scene so they might badmouth projects that aren’t meeting a certain level of grimness and that’s okay – to each their own. I think most people into the general type of music can see what we’re doing with some acceptance and it's appreciated. And don’t get me wrong, we’re both big fans of the raw stuff and have other projects that display such.
13.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?
William is in a blacked death metal band called Celestial Swarm that had an album drop in January. He’s done a few other things too that mostly seem to lean more into crunchy, heavier doom, death and sludge genres.
I’ve got my hands in a number of projects mostly black metal related. We just resurrected Bog Imp for a new full length which Staring into Darkness put out. A few of my projects from the early-mid 2000s are having tape releases this year it seems. I’m also in a band called Plaguespawn which is Aaron who is also a part of Celestial Swarm; so there’s some connective tissue across our projects too. That is more traditional black metal. There’s a new album in the works but not on my end yet.
13.Where do you see the project heading into musically during the future?
From the start we just wanted to prolifically record music. I don’t think either of us thought we’d experiment under this banner so much. That said, we’ve tossed around ideas for things to try out which includes shaking up our MO on the recording process too. In my eyes, as long as it’s the two of us, its luminous veil regardless of the sound.
14.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 listen to everything but my proclivity is anything black metal. I grew up on 80s thrash and 90s melodic death. I have a lot of love for symphonic stuff too - Lacrimosa and Therion are bands I always come back to. My favorite band is probably Satyricon but in terms of what we do I’m big on bands like Alcest and Lantlos. I’m also prone to thinking of arrangements in the way Emperor did things. I’m not great at catching all the new releases but some newer metal that I’ve really taken to is Tardigrada, Svrm, Grima, Unto Others, Obsequiae. William and I both really like Agalloch, WitTR, Sadness, Paysage D’Hiver, Mare Cognitum. If there’s one non-metal act that I frequently listen to its Soap&Skin. I recommend folks check out her live performances.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I’d like to implore and remind all readers to support the scene. There’s a ton of great artists, labels and zines/sites out here doing everything they can to keep up a scene and to push physical media. Every one of them is doing it out of love and often at their expense.