1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?
Sure, if you could call it a solo project. Which you totally could, seeing as I am the only human member of Electromancy. But I have a number of bandmates, mostly robots who physically play the instruments and carved up mannikins who spiritually play them. We make music about disability, chronic illness, spirituality, and oppression. We play black metal and are distinctly antifascist, which is unfortunately a thing to note in the scene these days. That’s at least an intro :-)
2.You have a new ep coming out in April, musically how does it differ form the stuff you have released in the past?
Everything I’ve previously released with Electromancy has been a warm up & some playing around, gearing us up for the onslaught of releases i’ve been working on more quietly behind the scenes until now.
I’ve released an instrumental only demo track so far, and a really fun homage to Steve Reich’s experimental composition piano phase. And just recently a cover of Transilvanian Hunger!
While all of those have been fun, the real heart & sound of Electromancy’s music has yet to be released, but that’s all about to change! With the original track on our upcoming EP, and full album is soon to follow!
3.The earlier music was all instrumental while the newer ep has vocals, what was the decision behind goign into this direction?
i’m not a big vocals person; when listening to music I really focus on the music and almost never pay attention to what even my favorite bands are saying.
That being said, I always envisioned the bulk of my music having vocals in it. I just love the texture a good growl will add to a track, and I really do have a story to tell. Lyrics are a great way of helping tell a story and putting a finer point on the messages you’re trying to make.
And like I said I am much more a music person, focusing on composition, texture, and electronics. I’m not a vocalist at my core. And so it took me some time to find vocalists I wanted to collaborate with.
4.You lyrics also cover the disability you have went through in this life, can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting and what it is like being a musician with this condition?
The other day I was scrolling through Spotify, looking at all the musicians and thinking about how much easier it must be for all of them who have fully working hands and aren’t constantly overcome by waves of illness. I wanted to cry. But I don’t know their stories. I don’t know their struggles, and their silent triumphs. I can only look at myself, and do my best to live my life the way I can.
I have Lyme disease along with some other co-infections, etc. I spend weeks sick every month. I have long periods of time where I can barely use my hands, and even on good days I have challenges doing daily activities. And that’s just a few of my symptoms. Having music as an outlet to process these emotions has been invaluable.
The Spark, one of the tracks on my upcoming EP, was composed entirely with my feet. This was during a month when my hands were so bad I couldn’t cook myself dinner; I attached some copper tape to a micro controller and made a makeshift midi controller I could step on to play.
It was crazy, but it worked, and honestly it taught me a lot. I was such a perfectionist before with my music, which is why I probably never released anything. I didn’t have the physical ability or energy to be a perfectionist anymore, and because of that I actually started creating music I liked. A lot of the music I make now is composed this way, or with similarly weird tricks. Anything to keep playing music.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Electromancy'?
Think necromancy, pyromancy, etc. Electro = electricity. Mancy = magic. Electricity Magic. That’s a lot of what my band feels like to me.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?
definitely! That picture is actually just a snapshot of front of my robot guitar; the very guitar used to play and record the entire EP. You can see the circuitry & motors made to strike the strings, all screwed right into the face of the guitar. My own custom design.
7.With the exception of a few robots you record most of the music by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I’ve actually worked with a number of other musicians, primarily vocalists so far. You can hear a friend of mine Toefood on this next EP doing most of the vocals on The Spark. As I mentioned, while I can do some vocals I’m not a vocalist at my core, so I prefer to collaborate with other awesome vocalists when I can. But I would love to collaborate with more musicians of all sorts!
8.On the new ep you also done a cover of Darkthrone's 'Transilvanian Hunger', what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song and also do you feel this song has been covered enough?
It’s a fun track, having both raw awesome black metal darkness, and also a bit of silliness. And it’s a track everyone knows. So I thought people might enjoy seeing some robots play it as much as I would enjoy making it myself. I don’t really think about it as being covered too much or not enough. It’s all in good fun.
9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
If the right collaboration came up I would be very open to signing with a label. I’m hoping the few releases we have lined up these coming months turn a few heads in my direction. I just hope we can turn the right one our way!
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
I am only really just beginning to put a Electromancy‘s music out into the world, but so far reactions have been awesome. Black metal robots!? People have been stoked!
11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
A lot of my future really hinges on my health. If I can get a handle on my health conditions, I could see myself during tour is all over with the robots with a number of albums and collaborations with people all over. Oh and if I’m not granted that luxury, then I’ll just do fewer albums and what live shows I can hear and there. Either way, there’s going to be something good being made.
12.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 would count my biggest influences as Portal and Liturgy on the metal side, and Dan Deacon on the compositional side. Moritz Simon Geist was also a big influence on the robotics side of things as well. All phenomenal musicians in their unique ways.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks so much for everyone who’s interested in listening to my music and checking out Electromancy. It’s been a crazy journey so far and there’s still so much of a crazy journey to go. And to you for this great interview.
The first time I stood there with my crazy foot controller rig I threw together to try to make music without my hands, I thought if I can make anything at all that in itself is phenomenal. Being here with you today is more than phenomenal. Thank you.