Very now and again we here talk of an asteroid about to hit earth. With their pending new album “Tenebrosum” New Jersey USA’s Windfaerer have assured our decimation back into cosmic dust. Lead vocalist and guitarist Mike took some time out to answer some questions regarding the new album (being released on September 22nd thru their Bandcamp page….windfaerer.bandcamp.com) plus some other questions regarding recording and touring….check it out…..
Jeff (folk-metal.nl): Mike, congratulations on your soul crushing new album “Tenebrosum”…..have you gotten some early feedback on it at this point (besides Folk-metal.nl’s review).
“Thanks a lotd. So far the only feedback has been from our closest comrades to whom we have shown our progress. We have had this music demoed out for quite some time, so inevitably we had played it in the presence of others. The feedback has been quite positive.”
I always have a hard time describing your style of music…..do you feel you
are more black metal than anything else? If not what genre do you feel is the closest?
“Windfaerer’s initial intent was to create something that honors the ancients. We take notes from a lot of genres and how certain emotions are evoked in their respective styles. Our template is most definitely black metal—taking notes from Enslaved, Burzum, Horna, Immortal, Dissection, Windir, etc. Folk metal is a varied genre that is open to interpretation. We fall into that realm because of the use of acoustic violin and our penchant for historical themes. As far as which subgenre does Windfaerer belong to as a musical entity? We can let everyone else talk about that and argue.
The Windfaerer Process
How does the Windfaerer writing process work? Do you start with some basic ideas that you all work on or do you bring finished compositions to the other members? Are riffs/ideas stored for use in future tracks?
“Since ‘Glorybound’, the process has usually been me writing the songs and working with JP on the drums. Ben (violin) usually writes his parts over the pre-production demos and we discuss the structure from there. Some parts are written collaboratively in person, but Ben and I usually compose our own pieces.”
Are there songs that you write that just are not Windfaerer songs that may appear in some form as a different project or do you write songs specifically geared towards being Windfaerer style tracks?
“Usually Windfaerer songs are intended as such from the start. There are some that have been written, but never recorded; those may show up in another project in the future.”
Lyrically, this album seems to be similar to your earlier works with dark, cosmic pulverizing subject matter featured in each one. Does the music come before the lyrics or vice versa? Where do the general ideas of the songs come from?
“Usually the music comes first and the lyrics result from the vibe of the song. I use lyrics to convey what the song means to me, not really the other way around, which I feel would be the traditional song-writing process. For me, the riff is the lyric to the song and my voice tries to guide the riffs. A lot of the lyrics deal with personal despair and sorrow. I try to relate the words to the theme of the album, whether it be ancient battles, seafaring, or spirituality. “Tenebrosum” is not exactly a concept album, but the lyrics tell a loose thematic narrative. Basically, the album is about the futility of life and the beating down of the human spirit; the album begins with the anthemic “Celestial Supremacy”, establishing a proud monument and it ends with “The Outer Darkness” which dismantles its existence.”
How did the recording process change or not from previous releases?
“The recording process has been the same for every release. We work from pre-production and sometimes change/add parts as we go along in the studio. We produce the album ourselves and Rob Torres does the engineering. We consume a lot of espresso.
The new album feature 7 tracks, 1 being an instrumental….do you feel that there is a “quota” on how many songs needed to be on this release? Was there a song or two that you may have left off that may appear later on a different release?
“I think it has more to do with running time and intent, not so much the quantity of the tracks. We originally had eight songs for this album, but one never made it past pre-production. We felt that the song was not in the vein of what we wanted to accomplish sonically, so we left it out; it also would have made the record far longer than what we desired it to be. “Santeria” was actually intended to have lyrics, but it served as a good break on the album for some fun. I was actually in favor of composing an acoustic piece reminiscent of “A Moura Encantada” (from “Solar”), but the way the songs flowed in and out of each other and the ups and downs each track had, we agreed that it was not needed. Curiously, “Solar” and “Tenebrosum” have the same number of tracks, but we consider “Solar” an EP, since it was originally going to be much shorter and it was never intended as a full length. Maybe it can now be considered a “de facto” full length.”
How do you feel you have progressed song wise with Windfaerer? Do you hear the differences in earlier work up to now? What do you feel are the major advancements?
“It is difficult for me to determine that because I might be too harsh on judging our earlier outputs. The music has always been heavy and always more metal than folk. All that remains true to this day. Major advancements were that we did not rush this time around. We made sure that we were 100% content with what were were listening to in the mixes.”
Jeff (folk-metal.nl) How are you able to practice/perform with everyone’s busy lives outside of the band?
“We set aside one evening a week to get together and rehearse the music. Everyone is busy, but it is all about priorities; if the band is a priority, you always find a way to make it work.”
How important is the live performance aspect of being in a band to Windfaerer? Do you feel it is a necessity to what you are trying to do?
“Our goal in a live performance is to channel the energy of the music. Nowadays, you can argue that playing live is not necessary, but when you have musicians that are willing to perform and are in close proximity to one another, then it is only proper that the band plays live.”
You choose to release all of your music thru Bandcamp as well as other merchandise…do you feel that is the best way to get your music out there?
“Bandcamp’s interface is the simplest to use and it has the cleanest look. There is really nothing more to it. People can purchase the music they want directly from the artist.”
Tons of people download music on the web….does it matter if you don’t get the revenue from this or doesn’t it matter as long as it is out there?
“I’m partial to the music getting out there efficiently. If people want to check out the music, it doesn’t bother me if they want to download it. If they become a fan, they will eventually purchase it, or buy a shirt, or tell someone else to check it out… The word gets spread and that is always great.”
Any fav music from 2015 so far?
“I am not paying attention to the year that we’re in specifically. I like rediscovering old albums. Albums that I know came out this year that are favorites: Kroda, Shining, Peste Noire, and Dystrophy.”
“Jeff, thank you for this outlet and your support. I just want to say that we’re looking forward to finally having “Tenebrosum” unleashed. It has been a long, difficult couple of years since we started tracking the album, but it is here. September 22, closing in on the autumnal equinox, will see the release of the new Windfaerer album!”