It was about time to bring a big name here of the English Black Metal , with a musical work for all who appreciate good music, made with passion and dedication that makes a difference in what it claims to do "Dagon". Since 1999 with Heathen Deity, through the front man in Hecate Enthroned until he reaches his newest project "FROSTWORK" with a new album which is to be released shortly. An interview with many news. Without further ado, I leave you below one Artwork done by the artist Regina Kozlik (Dina DarkArt) in homage to Dagon for his work and encouragement to continue to make us dream. Cheers Brother!
|Dagon by Regina Kozlik|
Nuno Ribeiro - Dagon was a Semitic God, an entity mentioned in the Old Testament devoted to farming and agriculture, of particular importance to the people known as Philistines. Of course, Dagon took a far more sinister side according to the mythology of Lovecraft. The entity nefarious figure in two classic stories: Dagon and The Shadow over Innsmouth. He is the Lord of the Deep Ones, a race of creatures half-man, half-fish. Creatures who worship the Great Cthulhu and living in the depths of the seas and have the annoying habit of kidnapping humans and submit females to miscegenation.
How did the name "Dagon" is related to the artist that you embody?
Dagon - I chose the name Dagon when I created HEATHEN DEITY back in the late 90s. I spent al lot of time studying demonology back in those days and read a lot of related text especially "The Goetia ". To me it’s all about invoking the inner demon with music, especially with live performances. That’s main reason why I decided to be a vocalist - to let out the inner voice.
I like the idea of relating the name to something else entirely, to make it my own, the pseudonym in which my connection with music was known by. Personally I think a Black Metal artist should use a pseudonym as it differentiates personal and public life.
You had/have the Bass, vocals and lyrics. The fate of the band was in your hands?
Dagon - I founded HEATHEN DEITY, so from the beginning I automatically adopted the role of “manager”. Being the vocalist, it makes sense to write the words you’re going to be singing.
When Azrael joined we then both shared the responsibly of organizing the band dynamics, music and everything else that’s involved. But I always felt responsible for the band.
Then later when I met Patricia Thomas, and she became our manager she took on most of the on line web presence of the band.
NR - Why did you stop at 2004? Tired of evoking demons?
Dagon - No not in the slightest, I never tire of evoking demons especially toying with my own personal ones.
Around that time two members of HEATHEN DEITY were going though some life changes and subsequently moved from England to Norway. It was just one of those things that happen with bands. We decided to put HD on hold for a while to see how things panned out.
Our drummer Sathan, who lives in Oslo joined PANTHEON I for a while and is now in FORTID and CURSE.
Azrael lives in Mysen, and is currently concentrating on his Dark Ambient work HOYLAND and session work.
We are always in touch, and lately we have been talking about finally recording a full length album with HEATHEN DEITY as soon as possible, I won’t say anymore regarding this matter at this time but you are yet to hear the best of the Heathen Horde.
NR - 2004 appears with some decisions in your career and took over the vocals in "Hecate Enthroned" instead of "Dean" who left the band during the recording of the album called "Redimus" (Latin for "We Return").
You have come to do some recording for this album? Or when Dean abandons the whole album was recorded?
Dagon - No unfortunately I didn’t appear on “Redimus” as the album was already finished by the time I joined, Dean had already recorded all of the vocal parts.
I knew the members of HECATE ENTHRONED from supporting slots with HEATHEN DEITY, so when I heard they were looking for a new vocalist I inquired and was asked if I was interested in auditioning for the position as the full time vocalist, firstly to perform live with the band and promote the new release and then for any new releases. The band offered me the position and I started rehearsing with them.
However the following year (2005) Dean returns and you left the band.
NR - This “visit” to the Hecate Enthroned was inglorious for you?
Dagon - Inglorious? Not at all ! My time with Hecate Enthroned was a very positive experience for me. I was a fan of the band ever since their first EP “Upon Promeathean Shores” back in 1996 so the chance of performing with them was a great honour for me. Unfortunately the financial implications of being in HECATE ENTHRONED at that time overshadowed my enthusiasm and I had to resign.
NR - Let's now talk of the recent past:
Frostwork appears as a solo project founded by you in 2007 as a way of personal expressionism.
Expressionism is often understood as the deformation of reality to express more subjectively the nature and the human, giving primacy to expression of feelings rather than objective description of reality. Understood in this way, expressionism is extrapolated at any time and geographical space.
I think we can fit perfectly the art made by you on this explanation!
What is your idea about...?
Dagon - I needed a medium in which I could experiment with other musical ideas which I felt didn’t quite fit with any other projects I was working on at the time. Initially I had no intention of creating another project.
Through experimenting with music, and after a couple of recording sessions, a sound started to develop which encompassed the whole feeling of emptiness and coldness both in the natural sense and the physical, as well as audible mental aspects of nature and winter.
My mind started to conjure up imagery of vast forests entombed in snow, ghostly apparitions weaving their way though gnarled frost covered trees; all aspects of Black metal I hadn’t really had much involvement in or used in any projects with HEATHEN DEITY the lyrical content was purely Satanic and Anti Christian , FROSTWORK will not primarily involve any Satanic ideals or lyrics, though obviously I won’t be ruling it out due to my religious beliefs.
The overall sound and feeling for the first release “ The Rites of Winter “ evolved from those images , as did the lyrical content, and over time the name “FROSTWORK” was born.
NR - In 2008 Frostwork releases the first demo The Rites of Winter: The First Storm.
Although becoming more valuable to those who hold this edition of 50 copies seems to me clearly reduced, Why a release so small?
Dagon - As I have mentioned above FROSTWORK was never intended to be a full time project, thus I had no funding available to put into a full release.
The demo was purely to test the water and for my own curiosity. I had no preconceptions on how well it would be received. Incidentally the fifty copies sold out fairly quickly, thereby paving the way for further FROSTWORK releases.
NR - The Rites of Winter: The First Storm was released as a demo, but really did not need Dagon prove anything to anyone!
I like this quote from Ellen Simpson on April 12th, 2008 in this review work:
..."“The Rites of Winter” is the first outing for Frostwork, as indicated by the secondary title,”The First Storm”. Dagon’s other primary project is Heathen Deity, a rude and raw black metal act with bundles of religious hatred and plenty of inspirations from the ‘first wave’. I can understand why he wanted to separate the two in people’s minds; there isn’t a shadow of a doubt that Frostwork is black metal to its soulless core"...
That is, individual who have no feelings and do not care what the others think.
When you're impersonating Dagon that is how you face the final product?
Dagon - I consider myself a perfectionist. An ideal I try to apply to all aspects of my life, but most of all my music. I write music for me, pure and simple. You are correct in your statement , I don’t really care what others think, don’t get me wrong if others like my music then that’s good and I’m glad they enjoyed sharing in my vision. But any feedback given being it good or bad will have no effect on me or any future works in anyway shape or form.
I know there isn’t any money to be made in what I do; I never got into Blackmetal with the intention of going platinum. The most important part of music for me is that the creation of it fulfils the initial intention.
NR - What is your main concern when you are thinking / writing your music?
Dagon - I don’t really have any concern as long as I am personally content with how the music is progressing and the eventual finished article.
NR - "All the tracks have been recorded, mixed and mastered. I am very content with the outcome.
This release is a new era for Frostwork. The new material is a slightly darker adaptation of the sound and there is a more aggressive feel to the music.
The art work for the release is coming on very well and I feel it will compliment the music greatly, it is also near completion and when the cover is finalised, It will be uploaded on the relevant web sites.
Thank you to everyone involved so far with this chapter of Frostwork. The wait will be soon over.
“This is no imagery this is my reality, no ancient sorcery just primal ferocity!”
More updates soon
Dagon" in FaceBook
We can conclude here that this release is by day, now I ask you to enlighten us as much as possible.
First and most importantly, label, there are ideas, contacts to launch the new work?
Dagon - I am in touch with a few labels, but as of yet I have no news regarding a label for Frostwork.
Through past experience with labels as a rule they don’t like me ! Mostly because I work at my own pace and to suit myself, not them and not their deadlines.
If I could find a label who just lets me do my thing and sort the duplication and distribution that would be perfect ! but until that miracle materialises FROSTWORK will be self financed.
This release will be of similar quantity as before to start with, and then depending on the response other additions could be planned with added content.
NR - In your mind set already exists a track list and a name?
Dagon - As of yet I would like to keep some information regarding the track listing vague as it is not finalised, but I will disclose to you what I can.
The new release is entitled “Lore of Winter –Ealdspell”
The release will be split into three parts; the first part will be based on a concept of folklore I am developing about invoking the season of winter.
The first section will comprise four tracks as part of an introduction to that concept. “On White Carrion Wings” pays homage to the bringer of winter and rebirth.
The music for “Cast From His Wings” is written by Azrael, using an element of the main folklore that I described to him in the beginning. This track to me is one of the most memorable acoustic songs ive heard in a long time, a truly inspiring piece. He matched my vision perfectly.
The second part concentrates more on the bleak anguish, magic and mysticism as far as I regard to be the essence of winter. “Frozen Veins Shed No Blood” is song about dying alone in the forest, the process of death and the woods reclaiming the corpse and spirit.
“The Essence of Darkest Winter” is a spirit wraith, a demonic apparition that dwells deep within the woods during the winter months.
And the third part is a concept I’ve adapted from one of my favourite films “The Company of Wolves”. The two songs in this section are about lycanthropy and are both based on the she wolf.
All the sections of the CD and the concepts will have its own place and continuation within the lore of winter, and further development within FROSTWORKs future.
NR - Any idea for the artwork?
Dagon - The artwork will be based around the three parts to the CD, directly referencing the songs in each section. Some images will be taken from photographs for example the front cover, other parts of it will be hand drawn by Damien, who is a good friend of mine and his art will give the thing a more personal representation.
The artwork will serve to reflect the imagery that was invoked in my mind during the writing period of this album.
NR - Hope I'm not doing any disloyalty.... The sound that you sent me on to preview "The Essence of Darkest Winter"; you defined it as "One of the faster tracks and one of the more diverse ones on the CD ..."
And my feedback was: Never was the winter so well designed, careful not to burn your hands, this CD is pure ice!
Are you satisfied with the end result?
Dagon - I am. The new harsher sound and the birth of the concept is the true intention of the album . I can truly say this is my best work to date. In no way have I reached my musical peak yet. I feel I have a lot more to offer and many more ideas that are yet to materialize.
I am never fully satisfied if I’m being truly honest, I am happy with that as I find that makes me work harder. I will always find something that I would have liked to have changed, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
Writing and recording solo with FROSTWORK is all a learning curve for me. This time around, Damien helped me record the vocals so I could concentrate on the actual vocal parts.
The concept which this release will start is only the beginning.
NR - Without modesty, what feedback you would like to see after the launch?
Dagon - Honest constructive criticism, I really don’t mind at all.
NR - "Dagon as a God" sitting on the throne and with visibility for all, as sees the contemporary world
Dagon - Gods forbid that this Dagon ever becomes a God.
NR - Explain to us in detail in your own words what can we expect this work?
Dagon - Well I don’t wish to divulge too much too soon, as I would rather let the listener come to their own conclusions.
“Lore of Winter- Ealdspell” I feel is more diverse then the previous work, I have been experimenting more on creating sound scapes, building an atmosphere and a story for each song.
Each section has a slightly different feeling, through aggression, desperation and sorrow. I have partly done this with the intensity of the music, using guitars to make a more raw empty feel to the music .
Most of the work has been with the vocals, using varied amounts of reverberation and vocal tone and different vocal techniques, as well as changing how the vocals sit in the mix of each of the songs adding and changing the texture and depth, almost giving the illusion of the voice weaving in and out of the music.
NR - You make music for a "vast minority"?
Dagon - As I have mentioned before I make music for me, to vent and pacify my inner demon so to speak. I much prefer to perform live then record, I’m sure this is the same for a lot of musicians.
I would rather play a live show with ten people in the crowd who have come to see FrostWork then be carried on the back of a “big” band doing a show with thousands of people who just don’t give a damn or even know who’s on stage supporting the main act.
NR - Comments on the sentences below:
Dagon is part of the " Patricia bands official page ", one of the most renowned and respected people in the Black Metal scene.
Dagon - I have known Patricia Thomas for a number of years now, both as manager and more importantly as a friend. I respect Patricia’s opinion and applaud her continual efforts and contributions to the Extreme metal scene.
Many of the bands under her wing would not be half as successful as they are without her guidance and advice over the years.
NR - "A friend Azrael Hoyland"
Dagon - I have known Azrael since before the creation of HEATHEN DEITY and he is like a brother to me, we have been though a hell of a lot over the years, both on stage and socially . Without him, in a way only he and myself will know, FROSTWORK may have never happened.
NR - “Hand drawn by Damien”
Dagon - I have known Damien since he joined HEATHEN DEITY. he is one of my closest friends and is a very talented digital artist, musician and sound engineer . My eternal gratitude goes out to him for his continual support and contributions to Frostwork. I would not have been able to produce this release without his help.
Ave Brother !
NR - I can only thank you for your availability, expect the best for the future, you need not knock, these doors are always open for you!
Dagon - Not a problem. Thank you for the opportunity of this interview and I shall call in from time to time !