Interview: WinterusPosted 06/07/2011 08:20AM by Jake Oliver as Interview
First off, tell our readers who you are, and what you do in the band.
I’m the vocalist for Winterus (Christopher Erich Neu), and I manage the band also. I was born in Oakland, California and currently live in Detroit, Michigan.
In Carbon Mysticism is fucking awesome. Talk a little about it for us—how it was conceived, what went into making it, et cetera.
Thank you man! ICM was something we wrote and put together during the late winter of 2010. It is a collaboration of pummeling instrumentals separated by a few dark and chilling songs that we felt would express the pathetic state of oppression and sheer honesty that we as growing musicians face. It is almost impossible to do what we do with gas prices so high and the state of our current situation as Americans. We hate everything that America stands for and want to get the fuck out. The consumerism, the pseudo-science and pseudo-news that is fed to all. Making this album symbolizes what we have been through and the ground that we stand. It is a rough skeleton of what is about to come. We want to be known for giving people chills and also to have something nice to smoke down to.
Would you say Michigan is premium black metal territory? I’m from Maine, so I know a little about how brutal winter can be…I’m assuming your name has at least a little something to do with that season?
There is no ground for BM to stand, that’s why we decided to make it quite clear that the reign of breakdowns needs to end. Although lately we have been showing up to shows and finding one or two "BM" bands dressing up in corpse paint and calling themselves BM, it seems more like a side show than anything when you are concerned more about your image and not the music.
Piggy-backing slightly off the previous question: U.S. black metal—oxymoron? What would you say to someone who charged Americans playing this type of music are deluding themselves?
This type of thing has been happening for a long time, even when metalcore was ripped straight from Europe from bands like As I Lay Dying, and The Black Dahlia Murder. I was watching an interview with one of the drummers from TBDM running around Ozzfest and when the person asked him on camera who he was there to see, he flat out said, “Well In Flames… everyone here is playing their riffs anyways, just faster.”
We aren't doing any of that, and I understand why people would make that assumption. When we make our music we don't put on corpse paint and think its fucking cool, that had its time and had its place. We just write metal and fuck shit up as much as we can. We do not respect what is truly diluting our culture and music... Breakdowns and American Idiots.
Why don’t you guys wear corpse-paint and all that jazz?
We hate everyone that tries wearing corpse paint. It’s fucking stupid and they should all be blacklisted from every venue in my opinion. [Laughs] It's not and never was or will be for a fucking fashion statement for more likes on Facebook. Respect your elders.
I feel that there are clearly influences on In Carbon Mysticism that lie outside the realm of black metal. For example, I noticed a decided post-hardcore undercurrent. Am I just making this shit up, or am I on to something here?
You might be getting that from my mid range vocals, maybe the delivery sometimes. I knew people would expect some highs and lows. So I just saw where I could take mid range vocals throughout the album. The next album however will not be as such. We want to put out something different every time.
Does the term “blackgaze” hold any meaning to you at all?
Yeah, we don't really find too much interest in our writing with those bands in mind, but it is a good sound… not something I listen to everyday. Bands like Lantlos are great, but with our BM roots coming out into the next production I wouldn't even expect the term to sit aside what we have in store. We desire a more Vital Remains/Carpathian Forest for our next album. Like our song "Repulsive Continuum" meets Christ Reign.
Let’s step into the stream of history somewhat. Best metal album of all time.
In Flames - Whoracle.
Best non-metal album of all time—obviously much broader…
Any early Sun recordings from Johnny Cash.
So back to the present-day. What are some of the albums of this year you’ve been getting into?
Newer Gorgoroth and Burzum have been pretty good. But I don't really listen to much newer stuff. Still listening to a lot of Satanic Warmaster, Carpathian Forest, Behexen, and some Enslaved as usual. Been listening to some Fintroll and Watain also.
What’s going on with you guys at the moment?
Well right now we are rehearsing with a new line up. It consists of myself, Donovan Bates on bass, and Kollin on drums. They are from a band called Cemetery Deskrator in Jackson, Michigan. On guitars it's Dominic and Les now. Dominic has a lot of early In Flames and Enslaved influences, and our newest guitar player Les is more into atmospheric psychedelics. While we are still trying to find the right line-up as a new band, I'm quite content with the skills our new members and even faster drummer have.
Okay, so last question, and in keeping with this sort of loose chronology I’ve been throwing together, what does the future have in store for Winterus?
We will be touring and writing music that inspires people, look forward to a 3/3 split with a black metal band called WILT. You can hear their music here. We are writing new material already, and it will be faster and darker. We want to move from every album we create and give a different atmosphere so people don't feel like they are listening to the same shit every release. Music should be written as a challenge from the last so you can take pride in your hard work, which is what we will be doing: Becoming slightly more technical in parts and delivering the dark chilling atmosphere that people love about us.