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Devouring Star | Interview


With a mere two track demo available on Bandcamp, this one man Black Metal outfit from the ever-fertile Finnish underground has really captured Andy Cunningham’s imagination.

Devouring Star’s sound will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in UGBM, however, these two songs have set an incredibly strong foundation for mainman, JL, to build upon for the future.

For a band in its embryonic stage to sound so self-assured and developed is pretty astonishing and while not all aspects of the band have been fully nailed, what we have here is a near-complete picture of something truly magnificent/ vile to come.

Andy thought it only fair to catch up with JL for a few words.

***

Welcome. Please give a brief introduction to the band, its members and any previous or other currently active bands you play in.

Thank you. Devouring star consists of only one member. I don’t have any other bands nor previous bands.

So far you only have a couple of tracks online but they are highly advanced sounding. They are definitely part of the modern Orthodox Black Metal sound that could be likened to latter era Deathspell Omega, yet you have your own thing going on which is less liquid-sounding and more direct.

Tell us what inspires you to create such vicious music.

Deathspell Omega is often being referred to in interviews these days, but there is a reason to it and I can admit that they are one of my biggest influences. Still they are not the only influence and a lot of the work is inspired by very different music.

The inspiration comes through various things such as art and all of that happens around us. Creating music to me is seeing the music.

While the music is very aggressive sounding it also has a fairly measured quality that somehow sets it apart from a lot of the more raw and filthy Finnish bands that people will be familiar with.

Are you more ambitious than your countrymen or maybe you are aiming for a similar goal just through alternate means?

This is my work, so it has to be what I am fully satisfied with. I don’t want to sound like somebody else or do things simply because it is ‘black metal’. What I aim for is finding. I need to find the true sound of my thought.

It has to be something which is fully recognized to be the sound of Devouring Star.
This of course is at a very early phase as I only have released those two songs. To achieve what I aim for, I need to search and experience further. It really has nothing to do with where am I from. It is about individuality, about what I see.

What lyrical ideas do you explore with Devouring Star?

I know you seem to take a more philosophical approach so what is it about BM that you feel makes it the most appropriate conduit for conveying your message?

Black metal is the one genre these days which aims to think. It is not about simply listening to this music, but living it and understanding it.

I want to aim my music to those who see what it is about and who want to see it. It is about philosophy in its most original meaning, to experience by yourself.

It is about moral themes, faith, philosophy whatever I need to express the thought. It is the search.

We are born into certain bindings of present moral codes and faith. We need to see by ourselves.

Why is the most natural force in the universe, death, being feared and hid from your eyes? It is what is inevitable to everything, but our culture wants to deny death and demonize it. If it is not under our eyes, we can never accept it and truly see.

But still, death is just one of the themes that surround the music and lyrics of Devouring Star.

Your music is highly advanced sounding. It really is well developed and sounds like a lot of time and effort has been poured into its writing and recording so why just release it as a download?

Are we likely to ever see these songs get a physical release?

I hope there will be a physical format in the future. Maybe included on other releases. But the only true reason there is no physical release is financial issues. Nothing more to that.

A lot of time was consumed to create these two first songs, yes. I had to search and find what I wanted to create and what I wanted the others to hear and hopefully, see.

The artwork, what little of it there is, is one area that I think is weak at this point with the band. Do you intend to develop more of a unique visual identity or do you think that a band’s image is of secondary importance to the music?

Is there not a danger that in this era of downloads and immediate satisfaction that you could easily be overlooked?

Visual identity is important. The demo artwork process was much longer and well, more complicated than expected, and through many changes the serpent symbol was chosen to be the cover of the demo.

It was not originally intended, but there are already new plans in terms of artwork.

I do not think about ‘dangers’ when I am creating music. The only danger is that I would do something that I myself am not satisfied in. There will be physical releases in the future, which will have fully intended artwork as they should be.

I love the name Devouring Star. It is, perhaps ironically, a very visual name. It speaks of destruction, nature’s power, renewal and suggests a certain sense of nihilistic satisfaction. What is the idea behind it?

You are quite close to define the meaning with those words. It is about natural powers. Then again it is about just a simple theme, the black hole, which truly is a devouring star.

But it is also about eschatology. It is something which inevitably consumes you, but you must cherish it and succumb to it.

Do you intend to play live? The Death and Black Metal scenes of today seem intent on bringing back a sense of theatrics to their shows. Is this something you would ever consider for Devouring Star?

What bands would you like to play with?

Playing live is a possibility, but at this point it is far too soon to know what is ahead considering that topic.

Theatrical performing works for certain bands, for example Portal, but their music is very much about that. I have not considered this kind of things with Devouring Star yet, though.

If there were to be live shows I assume it would be very much about again finding what you want to be on the stage. If I would play live, I would wish to play with my influences and of course all the other great bands which share thought towards the devil’s philosophy and morals. With those who share the word.

What does the future hold for the band? Are there any more recordings in the pipeline?

There has been a lot of interest around the band, for my surprise with just two songs, so at the moment the future of creating bigger releases looks good. I constantly work on the next release and hopefully this time it might take me a little less time because of the major work I did do finding the musical style for the first two songs.

The last words are yours.

To see is to close your eyes.

Interview by Andy Cunningham ::: 17/01/14


12 Comments
  1. I lay claim to the scoop on this one.

  2. Eoin McLove Says:

    Indeed the scoop is yours. The more I listen to the songs the more a bit of a Svartidaudi influence is detectable. I think it’s mostly from the ultra aggressive pounding vocals. It’s cool. Very much looking forward to seeing JL develop these ideas into something truly his own as the guy can really write impressive riffs. Maybe a little bit more dirt in the mix would move it away from the immediate DSO comparisons.

  3. this is amazing stuff! especially considering it’s his first project. Very inspiring actually, great find!

  4. His vocals are definitely a strong point, with no previous band experience I wonder how long he has been at this project. Interested to see where this grows from here.

  5. Eoin McLove Says:

    Some interesting developments planned, actually. Not for me to say any more than that but keep your earballs peeled.

  6. Demo pre-orders: http://sarlaccproductions.bandcamp.com/album/demo

    (US release will be handled by Tridroid Records)

  7. Eoin McLove Says:

    Well that answers that then.

  8. That is deadly.

  9. DevouringDanny Says:

    Yeah impressive stuff good find thanks Matt/Andy. good interview as well Ill havta keep on eye on this guy!

  10. […] bloggen Metal Ireland har uppmärksammat och intervjuat finska one man-bandet Devouring Star. Intervjusvaren är mest […]

  11. […] Metalireland first came across Devouring Star in January of this year. Their massive sounding black metal inspired Andy Cunningham to hear what they had to say in this interview. […]

  12. Review of ‘Through Lung and Heart’: http://polymerpulpit.blogspot.ie/2015/04/the-gospel-of-slit-throat.html

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