Narrow House

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Summon: How did the band get started? 

Bewitched: All original members of Narrow House came from another band that fell apart back in 2009. We already had a material and some audience to play it to. However, it took us about 3 years to release our first album and by that time we have lost two of our original members. This led to change of our musical direction later on.



Summon: What kind of music do you play? 

Petro: We started as the ambient funeral doom band. But now it’s experimental doom with the elements of traditional doom, sludge accompanied by the different classical instruments, such as sax or cello. We call it “apocalyptic doom”.



Summon: How has the fan response been? 

Bewitched: So far so good. Most people are intrigued with our new sound and are eager to check out what we came up with.



Summon: Where did the band name come from?

Bewitched: We wanted the name to have some connection with the genre we were playing. I guess I found it in online dictionary of some sort. There were other options like “Metompiric” or “God’s Acre”, but eventually “Narrow House” won over them.

Petro: It’s an idiom that means “coffin”, not very well known though.



Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.

Bewitched: Currently I’m the only person who is the constant part of the band. However, to record “Thanathonaut” I have reached quite a few people including former members of Narrow House, my friends, who play in other bands, and some live musicians we had on our latest gigs. I even had to hire sessional musicians to reach all the goals I had for this album. Ekaterina Romanova plays keys and she is the only musician from the original Narrow House line up who participated in the latest live shows.  Petro Rogutskiy is the former member of the band, who composed all drum lines for some of the tracks (“A Sad Scream of Silver”) and improved others. Our live drummer was Artie who has also participated in recording of “Thanathonaut”.



Summon: Who writes the music?  Lyrics?

Bewitched: The music for “A Key to Panngrieb” was a collaborative effort of the band. Our former guitarist Oleg was always behind the structure of songs, the guitars themselves, sometimes keys and cellos, while all other members added something from themselves. On the other hand, “Thanathonaut” material was mostly created by me (including parts for cello, saxophone, guitars). Lyrics for both albums were written by me as well.   



Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?

Bewitched: All our songs explore factors which bring people to death: alcohol, drugs, depression, emotions etc. I always liked Saint Vitus lyrics in this regard and wanted to continue this tradition. 



Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?

Petro: We keep ourselves pretty neutral to all religions and occult philosophies. Our main topic is usually man, his existential doubts and feelings, death, war.

Bewitched: There are certainly some things in our world that we are not able to explain to ourselves and each other. Our ancestor knew much more about some of those things than we do now.



Summon: How many albums/CD’s  have you  released?

Petro: We have already released one LP back in 2012, and the second one will be out on 19th of May this year.



Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?

Bewitched: The funny thing is that I’ve started to write material for this album with the thought that there should be cellos and keys in there. The reason for that was still having musicians responsible for those instruments in the band. I was potentially preparing for live shows. After the departure of some of those musicians from the band  a whole new horizon opened for creating new tracks. This is why some of the songs have cellos etc. and some of them don’t. And yes, the opening track “Crossroads” is supposed to be a bridge between our funeral doom era and the new material.



Summon: Do you have any side projects?

Bewitched: Yes, I have a black metal project called Necrolatry which I wasn’t contributing to for about 8 years now. I have a plenty of material for an album but I’m still not sure if it’s really what I want to do next. Can’t work on Narrow House and other stuff at the same time.



Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?

Petro: Our first album was influenced by funeral doom bands such as Esoteric, Skepticism, Shape of Despair. But in the upcoming album we gained inspiration from more traditional scene as well as such bands as Eyehategod, Hyatari etc.

Bewitched: Thanathonaut” was strongly influenced by such bands as Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Virgin Black and Apocalyptica. It’s quite possible this is not that obvious but I was drawing the inspiration from these bands while working on the album.



Summon: Which current bands? 

Bewitched: I try to discover some new music from time to time, but mostly I prefer to come back to something old. Currently I mostly listen to non-metal bands like Acoustic Ladyland or even Kraftwerk.


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Summon: What is the band like when you play live? 

Petro: We used to compile our live program into one piece in the past. So pauses between our actual tracks were filled by ambient music, and as a result we had something like one hour long song. We even tried to arrive when the music was already playing. This was making very strong atmosphere, a lot of people in the crowd looked like put into the trance. Now we shifted from this approach to shorten songs and having explicit beginnings and ends between them, but we still use  video playbacks  taken from some art-house or apocalyptic movies.

Bewitched: When we played funeral doom we were all wearing that kind of clothes you would expect people to wear, well, on funerals: black shirts and trousers. However, our new material requires a bit different stage appearance. We always wanted to develop unique band image, but this yet to come, I suppose.



Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?

Bewitched: No, unfortunately, but definitely looking forward to do so.



Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?

Petro: Doom music scene is emerging and underground in Ukraine. So such concerts usually aren’t very crowded. From 50 to 150 people.

Bewitched: We are talking about our funeral doom era gigs, as we haven’t played most part of our new “Thanathonaut” material, so things might change in the future.



Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?

Bewitched: Funeral doom is obviously a slow tempo music that requires some time to get into. It means that most people who come to gigs to have some fun usually don’t get any (in a common sense) when we played our stuff. However there’s always a certain part of the prepared audience who tend to express their appreciation.   



Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?

Bewitched: I was strongly into black and death metal about 10 years ago. I’m not sure I’ve been listening much of black metal coming from US (I can recall Absu, though), but I’ve certainly appreciated American Death Metal scene. I haven’t explored much but at some point I was a really big fan of Chuck Schuldiner’s work.



Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?

Bewitched: It is much more developed than our scene is. Sure, there are much more bands and the competition is stronger but there are more opportunities for each and everyone as well. At least I always thought it is that way. More record labels, more studios, more gigs.



Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?

Bewitched: I don’t really follow new black or death metal bands, but I can name a few BM acts that I was really fond of: Summoning, Master’s Hammer, Wyrd, Drudkh, Nokturnal Mortum, Arckanum, Burzum, Darkthrone, Belenos, Bathory, Graveland etc. 

Petro: The same here. Talking about death metal bands – Kataklysm is very awesome; the growling of vocalist is so strong.



Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?

Bewitched: I already have a few things on my mind, but I will need some substantial feedback for “Thanathonaut” before starting a real work on the follow-up.



Summon: What does the future hold for the band??

Bewitched: New releases, gigs (hopefully), new experiments with music and world domination, of course. Thank you.

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