Summon: How did the band get started?
William: The idea for the project has been brewing for many years but it wasn’t until late 2013 that the time felt right to convert my ideas into real songs and thus Arcane North was born.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
William: In simplest terms, atmospheric black metal. A mixture of hypnotic riffs and melodies with a heavy dose of synths and orchestration.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
William: The project is still very new, but the response I’ve received so far has been very positive. People seem to enjoy my material and I hope that continues as the project grows over the years.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
William: I live in the north east of England, so the northern part is very relevant to me. Arcane North relates to the secret, hidden and mysterious parts of the north that very few people know about. Places that I like to visit that give me a lot of inspiration to write music.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
William: The “band” consists of just me, William. I write and record all of the music.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
William: As well as composing all the music, I also write all of the lyrics for Arcane North.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
William: The lyrical aspect is harder to describe. Most of the lyrics can probably only be truly understood by myself. They focus on my dreams, on my nightmares, on my own personal thoughts and desires. The lyrics also focus at times on “the north” and particular places. Within the lyrics I like to combine elements of fantasy and reality.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
William: I am not a religious person at all. I do respect elements of Satanism and Occultism. I enjoy the themes and imagery used within metal music and particularly in black metal. I think they are fitting subjects, just as you would find in any good horror book or film. At the same time, it is a little different within black metal as there are those bands who truly believe and support what they preach. I also respect that, providing bands do it with conviction and intelligence.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
William: At present, just my debut EP ‘Enter the Arcane North’ which came out in June 2014. I’ve already started work on the next release.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
William: The EP has 3 tracks and is just shy of half an hour. All the songs I would say have an epic feel. The opening track ‘Ravenous and Cavernous’ has an almost DSBM and Burzumic vibe to it with hypnotic riffs and atmospheric keys before breaking into a more symphonic sound, heavily inspired by the likes of Summoning. The song to me is very positive despite its dark nature. It deals with my own escape from reality where the real world is represented as light and the world within my own head is represented as darkness. I’ll not go too much into the rest as I’d like people to discover it for themselves and form their own opinions.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
William: Arcane North itself is a side project. I have been in numerous live bands and studio projects over the last couple of decades. I tend to keep all projects and bands separate from one another, so that the music stands on its own. As such I’ll not go into detail about the other bands right now.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
William: So many to mention (and from many different musical genres) so I will focus on those that have more relevance to Arcane North. Summoning, Drudkh, Forteresse, Bathory, Burzum, Shining (Swe), Arcana, Abigor are some that spring to mind.
Summon: Which current bands?
William: Well, I believe all of those bands are still currently releasing new material. I suppose it’s hard to be influenced by new music, but not impossible, but nothing is springing to mind right now. That’s not to say there aren’t many current or new bands that I don’t enjoy.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
William: Whilst I haven’t taken the project live I would like to in the future. I have a number of friends who I believe would help out and play session. Shows would be extremely rare and may never happen. We’ll see what happens as time unfolds.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
William: I’m not a huge listener of death metal but I do love the old US scene. Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide etc were extremely important to the extreme metal scene and are still some of my favorite bands. I think US black metal is underrated. I’m a huge fan of Krieg, Leviathan, Nachtmystium, Xasthur, Lurker of Chalice, Weakling, Judas Iscariot and the like. I’m sure there is someone important I’ve missed but there is a lot of good black metal from the US which I think often gets overlooked in the UK and Europe.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
William: I think the Canadian and French black metal scenes have produced some amazing music the couple of decades. We all know how popular the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish scenes have proven to be, they probably still lead the genre in terms of the most successful acts.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
William: If I’m honest I can’t remember the last “new” band that truly amazed me. Check out ‘Nordland’ and ‘Abyssal’ from the UK. Both relatively knew and fairly unknown acts.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
William: Work on the next release has already started. I’m unsure when new material will surface but I hope either late this year or early next year.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
William: At the moment I’m just trying to build up a bit of momentum and spread the word with this EP. I hope for a couple of albums and perhaps some split releases over the next few years. Perhaps a live show or two in that period. I look forward to seeing where this project takes me and how it is received by music fans.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
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