In From The Funeral Fields: A Interview With Pylon …   1 comment

Right on the coat-tails of my review on Pylon’s Armoury Of God album comes this great interview sent in by Aleks Evdokimov. As is written on their official website; Doom: decay, loss, sorrow, ennui, depression, suicide / Life: the wheel of continuous approximation to the corporeal termination. A grand soil, hence, to indulge oneself in the depths of doom rock. Few bands capture the true essence of doom-metal like Pylon do so why they remain so underground is a mystery. Hope you enjoy this interview and thanks to Jan & Matt from Pylon and Aleks for putting this together.

Q: Salute comrades! I know that things are going very well and you have reaped a great harvest of positive reviews with your fresh CD “Armoury of God”, but there were a few ones with negative response. As you understand – I like your new stuff very much so I wonder what kind of blunders did these critics find in “Armory of God”?

Jan/Matt: Oh, the usual three: the voice, the production and that doom is sooooo boring. But, of course, it might also be that someone does not like the word ‘God’ and thus cannot like the band and its music in general. – Nothing we would worry about.

Q: Anyway, “Armory of God” is one of strongest doom-releases of this year and most of those who already have listened to it will surely agree with me. What is it? What makes Pÿlon one of most interesting doom-acts? Men, really – you know that here we listen a lot of Doom metal (I even play only  “Doom” on my PC for it’s true and evil!), but not every day do we can catch really good tunes and ideas in band’s stuff.

Jan: Wow, thank you very much, Aleks! It is an honour for us to darken your mood from time to time!

Matt: Thank you! It’s always cool to hear that people like our strange music… I don’t know what makes us so interesting, maybe that is it true? Not polished? It comes really from our hearts the sound we do! Jan and I use to put lots of emotions in our music!! Sometimes we nearly kill each other when it’s about how a song must sound!! Haha.

Q: “Armoury of God” is a third, closing, chapter of your doom-trilogy, but as I understand the only conception which binds your albums “Th’ Eternal Wedding Band”, “Doom” and the last one is Doom and Death in it selves! It’s said that Pÿlon is a Christian band, why didn’t you get some story from Bible for your songs?

Jan: Much has changed in the five years enveloping Th’ Eternal Wedding Band (2006), Doom (2009) and Armoury Of God (2011), in particular line-up changes, but also our carreers and families have changed. What remained was our endeavour to make doom albums we can be proud of, whether anyone else liked them or not. So the trilogy was also a way for ourselves to stay focused and have something to fall back on. The mere fact that we are or are seen as a Christian band was not enough to “cover” the Bible until now, but a few weeks ago, Matt brought along a song based on a Psalm.

Matt: Yeah, Jan makes the most of the lyrics. I will use some texts from the bible in the future. But it’s also important Jan can write texts from him to give more emotions in our songs. Thing that we feel!

Q: And what is your favorite story from Testaments? The one which really inspire you or help you?

Jan: As a young Maiden fan and impressionable person, Revelations was of utter importance to me for many years which shows in Wormwood falling again in “Hollow Sky”. And then, of course, there is my profound reverence of Milton which is exploited one more time in “In Serpent Tongues”.

Matt: John, Job, Isaiah, Psalms But actually most of them, there is a deep Mysticism in the whole bible about our Creator. And this is what fascinates me…

Q: I’ve read lyrics of the new songs and I see that you wrote it very carefully, there’re even rhymes in your poetry and it’s a rare thing for the modern metal scene… and the lyrics are great, “Hollow Sky” or “The Worm Within” for example… Who is an author of songs texts for this time? Do you like poetry?

Jan: You are very kind, Aleks! Indeed it was my love for Romantic poetry which made me want to study literature and got me through university where I was allowed to be acquainted with mediaeval and baroque poetry as well. Of course, songs can work very well without rhymes, but they are more fun to write … and they are a great excuse for a lame line, hahaha!

Q: What is the “First Church” lyrics about?

Jan: Oh, how forward to ask such things this directly! It might be about finding exactly what you are looking for if you are a believer. Although there is a bit of self-censorship in the lyric sheet, you might find that the three monotheistic revelatory religions are referred to – and one of them simply was first and spawned the others.

Q: You have an instrumental track “I lyki stin kardia mou”, what does it’s name mean?

Jan: It is Greek for ‘the wolves in my heart’. We are very grateful to have a group of fans and internet friends in Greece of whom we frequently think when we are in doubt about our music.

-Matt, who is your favorite doom-singer?

Matt: Robert Lowe and even if he isn’t actually a doom singer, Johan Langquist. But also Christian Linderson, Scott Reagers and of course Ozzy when he was young ?

Q: I’ve heard a few interesting solos in “Armory of God” which remind me about Iron Maiden (the one from “The Worm Within” for example), we will not speak about Saint Vitus or Black Sabbath, they are the ones who made doom roll on. Is it hard to avoid some certain influences in your songs?

Matt: Well, I don’t care about if we do sound as others sounds before, my music is more a tribute to those bands and musicians I like, than to “reinvent” metal…

-“Hollow Sky” is a brilliant song (and one of my favorite ones indeed), tell me please how did you record this one?

Jan: We had already worked on an entirely different version during the sessions for Doom, but we were not satisfied with the result. It is also my favourite song on the album with Matt’s three great solos.

Matt: Hm, how we record it? Actually I can’t exactly remember… I think the same than the others, first the drums together with a guitar line then the bass guitar then the solos. I think this one was a tricky to record… some time we use lot of time to get the song as he has to be! The solo lines at the end came only when the song was finished, then I thought that something was missing and I made this sad melody at the end! I like it! It’s the best part of the whole album!!

Q: I did once a interview with the band from Switzerland – it was Zatokrev, so I would like to ask you about Swiss studios: where did you record “Armoury of God”? What kind of equipment did you use during record-sessions?

Matt: So actually I have my own little studio and record and mix all myself. I wanted first to have it mixed by others, but it didn’t happen, so I began to mix myself and I am very satisfied with the result, so we can use lots of time until we have our sound!

Jan: Working “at home” has many advantages, such as the relaxed atmosphere, we can take our time, and change things around as frequently as our nerves allow it. All hail Fredy of Zatokrev! – He is currently on tour with a solo acoustic set.

Q: Matt, you said that most of your songs were composed in 2006 or something about it, more than this – you said that there are few songs left for 4th album! So I have another question – do you write a new stuff for Pÿlon at all or you just blow away a dust from old demos which no one heard and re-record’em time to time?

Matt: Both! Actually! On the new album we will have more new songs because I had good ideas in the recent past… but we still have dozen of demos and unreleased tracks to make ? so (if God will) we will release some more albums in the future!! We have very cool new songs but also lost of cool old songs… sometimes it’s a dilemma witch ones we will rehearse and record, well we have time…

-Matt, as I know (from your another interview) you’re into metal-scene for very long time, what did you and Jan do all this time before Pÿlon appeared in 2002?

Matt: Well, I’m playing guitar since over 22 years and been in different bands in the past, no one (unfortunately) ever released something… so I had some experience and wanted to create a band to release my ideas I coulnd’ before! I began playing with 16 with my brother and our first Band was a grind/death metal act… nothing to do with what I am doing today!! Then I played in a gothic band, a grunge band, another doom band and here and there I played short times with friends in hard/heavy bands. But I was never satisfied with the sound from most of these bands. I also give it up many times to play guitar then began again and quit again and so on… When I founded Pylon I was determinate to do my own thing and not again the thing from someone different! So that’s why many musicians passed through the band!

Jan: Wait, were we not lurking in the depths of darkness and doom until the right time had come? – Ah, no, that was the Candlemass reunion.

-You recorded a bunch of releases with Pÿlon, did you mention how your professional musical level grow? Or you can say that you had enough experience when you started the band and the level is roughly at same point as before?

Matt: Well, we were getting better with the years, but we are not seeking to be “masters of metal” and we are just amateurs… we play once a week for about 3 hours! This is not a lot! And we make an album all 2 years, so, if we would play more, we probably would get better! But we don’t have enough time beside working and family… and all the time besides rehearsing I’m in the studio mixing our songs… ? It took lots of nights to have this album the way it is, haha.

Q: Correct me if I’m wrong but as I see into your official web-site you prepared two non-album tracks for “Armoury of God” – tell us about them please!

Jan: Yes, Matt found out that “Paranoid” could be a doom song as well. We are keeping it as a possible bonus song if a label were to release Armoury Of God on vinyl. “Ride The Pale Horse” was intended for the album, but we decided to give it as an exclusive song to Game Two Records for their great compilation. The decision was taken because it was the only song Matt played the drums on and we wanted to present Andrea 100% as our drummer.

-So “Pale Horse” was included into “Doom All Over the World” compilation, shame on me but I didn’t hear it – who was an author of this compilation? How did they distribute it?

Jan: It was released by Game Two Records in the States; you can still find it on ebay. The Game Two bosses are Conan and Paul who both play in the band Deer Creek. … There seems to be something about doom musicians and their own labels …!

Q: I see that you have a good promo for new album and I know why… Comrades, you both are core of Quam Libet Records team. How did you learn to work with the bands? How did you grow competently as the label’s owners?

Jan: Is it ok if I said ‘it looked like it would be fun’? At first, Matt simply wanted to have a label logo on our first “releases”. Then we had the idea of releasing a Swiss metal compilation – currently, we are preparing HEAVY METAL NATION VIII –, and we got into talks with other bands. Unfortunately, unless you are willing to take huge risks, you cannot make a living from it, but by releasing our own albums on Quam Libet Records, we could always check the quality of our services for our label bands. Currently, we are taking things a bit slower with the label to concentrate more on Pÿlon.

Q: How does the situation with sales differ with the years? You started in 2003 and I bet that the level of selling was higher in that time.

Jan: Actually, it is quite the opposite. You see, back then, we were entirely unknown and did not play any concerts. In the meantime, we still do not play any concerts, but people have gotten to know us a bit better, and some are even so kind to wait for our new albums to come out!

Q: Next album “The Harrowing of Hell” will be released on vinyl only, what kind of design would you prefer for it? I must admit that “Armoury of God” has best design you ever had, who did decorate this CD?

Matt: Thanks… the artwork was made by me ? as usual. Under my “graphist name”. the next album should have a cover by Gustave Doré… but we are not sure for 100%. I’m already working on the artwork and it’s even more difficult because everything is bigger! But I hope to create something that is in the pylon vein! Even if the color will be definitely different! We used this strange green coloration for our trilogy. That it fits together also for the optic.

Q: Men, you have no constant second guitarist therefore I would like to ask you about difficulties which you may have when you’re going to play live… How often do you play gigs? Do you feel a need to play live? Do you feel that live performances are demanded by listeners?

Matt: Hm.. actually we didn’t play live since 5 years I think. But back then it was no problem, the song we had where written for 3 people (TEWB), more basic stuff. We never played songs live from “doom” or “armoury of god”. And right now we have a second guitar player who helps us with the new album. Andre LaMorte. Maybe (but only maybe) we will play live with him and the lead guitar player vale… we’ll see. I don’t feel a need to pay live, because it took lots of time that I don’t have. (for rehearsing, travelling, and so on) but yes we have lots of people wanting to see pylon live. I Know. I don’t want to disappoint them, but I have to look for myself and my family. (I have 2 children) This is more important than gigs.

Q: Didn’t you ever think to gather a Christian doom-metal gig? Playing with Griftegard and Place of Skulls – it would be interesting show, ha… missionaries of Doom if you do not mind :-). If you’ll be ready to organize such gig… dare I remind you about Russian doom-band Ekklesiast, check them too!

That would be indeed a very cool thing** yeah, ? but as mentioned before, not yet… ?

Q: By the way, I heard that long ago Megadeth canceled their show in Greece for they had to share a stage with Rotting Christ and Dave Mustain as pious Christian was against it. What would you do in such a situation?

Matt: I would also refuse to play with such a band. They are enough other bands to play with.

Jan: I know it is easy to say such an action is silly, but if you have a belief, if you have a conviction and do not stand up for it, you deceive both yourself and your ideals. “See no evil, hear no evil” is indeed a valuable strategy which works in some aspects of life. In this specific case, faith was esteemed more highly than rock’n’roll. Or was it the scandal?

Q: Will you write a song about “witch burning process”? You do not plat true doom if you have no such song, but I guess that this theme doesn’t fit Pÿlon conception! What kind of lyrics themes in metal-music you do not like?

Jan: I am not interested in ‘I hate you’ songs and in lyric sheets which are littered with four-letter cuss words. A grand ‘may your offspring be curst into its seventh generation’ simply does more for me than a sentence beginning with ‘f’. Witchery is not such a sorry topic at all, after all, one of Europe’s last – official – witch trials was in Switzerland in the 18th century. And by sheer coincidence, the last lyric I wrote last week was a fun little thing called “The Way Of The Witch” and, as you say indeed, Aleks, it would not fit Pÿlon at all, haha!

Q: My wife’s mother visited Switzerland this April and she told us that it’s a VERY clean country. Is it true? What are other most distinctive features of Switzerland?

Jan: Well, you know what it is like – the longer you are in a sunny place, the more you see the shadows as well. It is like saying that ?????? is a particular elegant city – yes, there are mind-bogglingly refined areas, but one street further you fear for your life. But make no mistake: we are very lucky and grateful to have been born and to live here. Life is not too hectic, crime rates could be much worse, so if only the hordes of drunken sports fans disappeared, we would need to find something else to complain about!

Matt: Haha!

Q: Okay, that’s all men. I hope that you didn’t fall asleep answering my questions – say something for our readers to prove this! Thank you for your time and your music, God speed on you comrades!

Jan: Aleks, it was both an honour and a pleasure that you, Doommantia and you, kind reader, all invested so much time into researching our little band so disturbingly much. Although the last hour passed swiftly, visitors to our website will find that Russian is never far from our minds!

Matt: Aleks, many thanks for your interview!! And your interest in Pylon, maybe we see you on day?

-There’s nothing impossible! So I bet we have a chance 😉
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov
The Official Homepage of Pylon
Pylon @ Myspace.com

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Posted May 14, 2011 by doommantia in Pylon

One response to “In From The Funeral Fields: A Interview With Pylon …

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  1. I recently got wind of this band, and I gotta say, amazing interview. I'll be taking notes on how to do interviews, yes.

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