“An interview with Woods of Desolation, one hell of a band; as usual, I want to ask questions that are meant for those that aren’t still familiar with the bands work in order to gain more attention for the band, as well as some more detailed work for the older fans. Like always, I hope you enjoy it.”
01 – Hello there. As usual, I’d like to start by thanking you for taking your time to answer the MetalCast Show interview. It is an honour to feature such a respected band/ musician here on our website. Please, introduce yourself to our readers/ listeners.
Hello and thank you for your interest in my work. I am simply known as D. and have been doing Woods of Desolation for almost 10 years now. I have previously done Grey Waters and Forest Mysticism among others.
02 – I would like to congratulate you on the new album, As the Stars, I must say that it is an exquisite work of extreme art. How do you personally few about it, how satisfied are you with the album?
Thanks for the words. I am quite pleased to finally see “As The Stars” about to be released, after 3 years of relative silence.
03 – The songs are actually, in my modest view, beautiful. I don’t know if this was one of your goals, but, again, in my humble opinion, everything, especially the guitar work is elegant, especially the guitars. Tell us how you created the album, how long it took and what were your main goals when recording it.
In the 3 year interim a lot of material was written and lying around not being used, so in early 2013 I decided to simply pick the most interesting songs from this lot and record them. The album took several months to complete, but as Vlad, for example, was working on his drum parts on the other side of the world, this was to be expected – but I did not want to impose any strict deadlines. I wanted the album to evolve and all come together naturally. As for the actual production/material goals the general aim from the beginning was to create a much more natural, organic sounding album; so this involved using real amps, no studio tricks or shortcuts and so on.
04 – As for the lyrics, please, let us know what the lyrics are about, if there’s a concept for the album and I also would like to ask you what does inspire you when it comes to creating your music and writing lyrics. What is the driving force that leads you to create music?
The album theme generally centre’s around the idea of separation of body and spirit and the question of any possibility of the soul’s immortality.
Inspiration comes from daily life I guess, I’ve never really thought about or questioned what drives me to create music, it is almost some kind of innate ability that makes me not only be able to write music but also see it through to competition. At times I absolutely despise the frustration that comes with music, but at other times it has certainly been beneficial to me in some ways. Building boats with aceboater.com is another way to relax me.
05 – I found the art work for the album, as the album itself, exquisite (to use the same word). Please, tell us a bit about it, who is the person that created it, if there’s a meaning behind it as well as, and, for you, how important these things are; meaning, the artwork, a more complete booklet, digipack package, etc.
The album artwork was created by Lucas Ruggieri, and I agree, I think he did a fantastic job developing my idea. The idea was something I came up with to reflect the general album themes, as well as the ambiguity behind the album name. These were only rough guidelines, but Mr Ruggieri did the rest.
The album artwork should always be appropriate and fitting, but for me personally, the music is what comes first above all else.
06 – One of the many aspects of As the Stars that has pleased me very much is the vocals recorded by Old. If I’m not mistaken, Old has worked with Woods of Desolation before, right? I know this is very early to ask, but hey, let’s give it a shot, do you plan to have Old as a session vocalist for future releases?
Yeah, that’s correct. Old and I have known each other for almost a decade now and he has provided vocals on some of the earlier WoD material, as well as a Forest Mysticism demo in 2007. In my opinion, I think he is one of best vocalists I have ever seen live, as soon as I saw him perform back in 2006 (I think) I knew I wanted to have him perform on some of my material. We have worked together intermittently since. I’m quite pleased with how everything went with Old on As The Stars, so I can confirm that I have in fact offered him the position again if he wants it.
07 – As the Stars features Ukrainian drummer Vlad from the world wide well-recognized band Drudkh. How do you feel working with him? Could you also tell us how did you get to know Vlad and how did you get him to record Woods of Desolation new album?
I had been in contact with Roman Sayenko (Drudkh) for some time already, so when it came time to record again with WOD I asked Roman to propose to Vlad the idea of performing drums on the new album; and thankfully Vlad unhesitatingly agreed. Despite being at opposite ends of the world, the whole process ran very smoothly and efficiently; which is testament to Vlad’s professionalism, commitment and talent.
08 – Woods of Desolation is an one man band featuring session musicians. How hard is it to be in a one man band? What are the positive and negative aspects on being “alone” in a band?
Yeah, it can be both positive and negative at times. The positive aspect of it is that I have complete control and creative freedom with my music, and can work on music whenever I feel like it. The negatives are of course the frustration with over-analysing, lack of motivation at times etc. Not to mention, I guess if I make a shit record I have no one else to blame but myself, right?
09 – There are bands that make music that pleases their fans and there are bands making music they like, and then fingers crossed to see if the fans will like it too. How do you feel about that? Did you ever take certain advice/ criticism to heart to adapt your songs in the suggested manner? Be it about the sound or the content of the songs as well as be it from the fans or the session musicians?
Not at all, advice and criticism will never affect the way I create my music. It is of course great when people find an interest in my music, but I only create music for my own purposes first and foremost, everything else is simply a bonus.
10 – Some reviewers compare your music to (older) Alcest, Panopticon, Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room, all to some extent. I believe you know them all at least by name (as I’ve read you’re not interested on newer bands so much). What’s your opinion about this; Are there any of the mentioned bands that, somehow, has influenced, in any way, you?
I have heard a couple of albums from Alcest and Agalloch, but not the others. However, I don’t think I’ve listened to them enough to be able to say they are a direct influence.
11 – I also read on an older interview with you that you named Sigur Rós – _Takk_ one of your favorite albums from the last years. I have to add that this is my favorite Sigur Rós album. Speaking of non metal bands/ albums, I’ve also read on your official Facebook accout that you chose names like Nirvana, Sigur Rós, Slowdive, Ignite, Misfits, Tomaso Albinoni, Screaming Trees and others among your favorites. Connected to the previous question, have any of them influenced Woods of Desolation’s music in your opinion?
Well, these are basically all bands that I have listened to since a young age, or listen to intently still. Whilst I wouldn’t say any specific bands/composers are an influence to me, but if anything is going to influence me it would surely have to be these I guess; simply because of the amount of times I’ve heard them.
12 – Back to Woods of Desolation, I would like to ask you which album are you personally most proud of or that you believe that the best job was done on so far?
I think I would say “As The Stars”; from the production to the song structures/song aims, it was very much an album I wanted to create and one of the most “hands on” production wise. It was good to see it all come together and of course to finally see it completed.
13 – What is your view on illegal downloads? In your case, for example, and in many cases as well, the albums are fully streamed before the release date, but still, the numbers of sales are decreasing. What’s your opinion on that?
Good question. Personally I am against all illegal downloads. I understand its part of the music scene now, and yes, perhaps it helps promote your music worldwide, but it also invites a lot of people to simply download your music illegally – and how can that help an artist; especially a studio band like WoD? It is one thing to download for evaluation purposes then purchase a physical copy, but these places don’t even offer links for people to buy a copy. It is definitely important to use one of the many good CRM Platforms that are available to keep in close contact with your clients and ensure the least amount of illegal downloads. I think a lot of downloads are simply illegally spread under the guise of “promotion”. If you want to hear an album first or have a digital copy then you can do so via https://woodsofdesolation.bandcamp.com/
14 – Unfortunately (or fortunately, it’s all a matter or perspective) this interview has reached its end. One more time I’d like to thank you for your time and your answers. Do you have any last words for our readers/ listeners?
Thank you for the interview and interest in Woods of Desolation. Those interested in keeping up to date with my work can do so at: https://www.facebook.com/woodsofdesolationofficial – links to merch and releases can be found there also.