Summon: How did the band get started?
Wulv: I guess the idea was a brainchild of the guys a few days before I got the call in join. The band itself was started by Jeremy & Jason Yachimowski & Mictian in random conversation. Either that day or the next, I was called by Jeremy to join. I was asked to pick my instrument, so I went down the line: guitars, bass & vocals. All were taken, and that is then I said, “Okay I’ll do keyboards.” I guess it really took him off guard because he did really conceive of the idea of having a keyboardist in a metal band. He agreed a bit reluctantly & that was it. Later to me it seems the keyboard really helped shape the dynamic and unique individuality that Permanent Midnight has.
Barbarian: To be fair I was the last one to join, so my recollection may be speculative at best. From the stories I’ve heard, (and continue to hear today) it was Jeremy’s conception. The lineup was a bit different back then, as I think the guys were really just experimenting with the idea. When you’re a teenager filled with pent-up anger and rage, how else do you dispose of it without destroying everyone around you? You start a metal band.
Mictian: I had known Wulv for about 25 years now, having been close friends going back to grade school. While in high school, Wulv, myself, and the Yachimowski brothers wrote songs that would eventually become Wolf, Set in an Apocalyptic Sunrise, and They Feed in the Night.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Barbarian: Angry, extreme, abnormal, ear-piercing torture. The beauty and secret behind the band was that each member brought their own influences to the rehearsal room each week. There’s death metal, black metal, atmospheric doom. We can be fast and in your face. We also take great pride in slowing down a tune and really letting the listener get lost in the track. We tried, and I believe we succeeded, in setting the proper tone for what this beast really set out to do.
Wulv: I guess the style if you can call the shit I do music would be dark atmospheric soundscapes. At least that is the case for the style of the keyboards in Permanent Midnight. The vocals for the bands are straight-forward Black/Death Metal, Period.
Mictian: Our music is the sum of our parts. Wulv is big into black metal, Barbarian loves death metal, and I’m predominantly into doom metal. For better or worse, this is what you get.
Summon: How has the fan response been so far?
Wulv: Fan support has always been completely consistent and completely positive. From the 3 fans I’ve spoken with since the band’s inception in 1997, all have been really great… I’m joking of course… we have had 4 fans.
Barbarian: If we’re on the discussion of the album, it’s been really great so far. All positive remarks. And we appreciate all of it. I’ve never been involved in anything creatively that has garnished such a following as this band has. But it hasn’t always been like that. You know, when the band first started we practiced for many years without even playing a show. In our little town if you’re not on the radio then people just don’t pay attention. There was really only one place that we consistently played at because there was just no other venue around that would support metal acts. In many ways we were three guys fighting our own war. For me it was always about the music anyway. Playing live was just fun, but playing and creating music with my brothers was an eternal gift that can never be matched. If I could go back and relive that small span of my life I’d be perfectly content with practicing all the time and never playing in front of a live audience. It’s more majestic that way. Music and art are personal. Yes, you get it out into the world but the best part is the solitary act of creating it. With no one around but the warriors you create it with.
Mictian: It’s been a bit surprising to see how far the album’s getting as far as distribution is concerned. I’ve seen websites from several European countries carrying the album, and distribution going as far as Japan and Australia. What’s been much more surprising is that those copies of the album aren’t gathering dust and aren’t being used for beverage coasters. People are getting into what we’ve done.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Wulv: The band names have been a tricky thing. I love werewolves; it is a bit of an obsession of mine. I made the suggestion of calling the band Lycanthropy, or at least I think I did…a lot of drinking has happened since that day. Sadly a bit later we found that name to be taken by a Black Metal act from Georgia, so that was a bust. I remember being a bit disappointed as we went to Jeremy & Jason’s home. We randomly relayed the info to his mother which came back with the idea to call the band Permanent Midnight. I don’t know if it was fresh in her head from seeing an up & coming film trailer, since in 1998 there was a film released under the same name. But we really enjoy the name, and it stuck.
Mictian: Actually, back in the late 90’s, I think there was a band from California as well as Wisconsin with the name Lycanthropy, so we tried for a name that was a little more unique. I suppose that it’s not too terribly unique as the name we settled on came from that movie, but we were still able to establish our own identity.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do.
Wulv: Vocals and keyboards/Lycanthropic Screams & Choirs of Tortured Souls.
Mictian: Guitars and studio bass/Rumbling Discourse of Type O Fueled Destruction – I have known Wulv for nearly 30 years. We were best friends going back to grade school, started the band in high school, met up with Barbarian not long after graduating.
Barbarian: Drums/Violent Corrupter of Nuns & Slayer of Angels – I was the active drummer for Permanent Midnight from the years 2000-2007. I grew up with Wulv, and later met Mictian in the year 2000 upon my joining the band. I contributed to a number of Demos with the band and the full length album, Under a Blood Moon. My drum tracks for this album were recorded in July of 2006.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Wulv: Best said is, Permanent Midnight creates Permanent Midnight. We each write our own parts & work them through as a whole. I write the lyrics, sometimes first, and sometimes as the song comes together at the moment. Wolf was a very excellent time with lyric writing as it played out in my head as the song was played. After which, a bit of paper and fine tuning polished it into one of my favorite songs.
Barbarian: We had a very primitive approach during the writing process. We jammed everything out and took feedback from each another. Most of the songs were created and written by all three of us at the same time. We never wrote a musical note on paper nor did we care about the traditional way of writing music. We did it our own way and were very productive doing it that way.
Mictian: I kind of regret not having transcribed to paper some of the music that I had come up with on guitar. There are several songs that we once played that were never recorded, or at least aren’t documented anywhere that I know of. Those songs are now buried under the dust of history.
Summon: Where do the lyric ideas come from?
Wulv: Werewolves, Lycanthropy, Horror Movies, Satanic & Anti-Christian Ideas.
Barbarian: Wulv’s obsession with werewolves, necrophilia, Satan, horror, gore, and Anti-Christian ideas.
Summon: What is your view on Satanism and Occultism?
Wulv: In my view people seem to think Satanic & Satanism as one but they are, to me, very different. Satanic is being Christian yet on the opposite side of the field. You believe in Satan so by reason you believe in God. I do not believe in the Christian God. This was always been a strange idea for me. I consider myself a bit of a Spiritual Satanist if you will. I make my own path & everything I have done is by & for me alone. I do believe in the indefinable force of the universe & that origin answers are as vague in science as they are in all major religions. No one is going to judge me once I am gone & nothing is waiting for me. My energy will return from where it came, the cycle of life will continue. The Great Mystery will always remain a mystery. I have always found the ones who say they have it figured out are the ones who haven’t got a clue what they are talking about. I pull out a lot of anger from Christianity, a group that has killed more people and more cultures than the Nazis. How they talk about love & peace, though will not tolerate any that are not like them. And most will not except the fact that the religion they follow was never made for them. It is a Middle Eastern religion made for Jewish zealots, no one else. Though, most “Christians” won’t take the time to read front to back the very book that was “supposedly” written for mankind by their own God, which in its pages is riddled with racism, sexism, contradictions, genocide, murder & incest. Yet they have the audacity to claim to the world they are the say on enlightenment and salvation. What a steaming load of shit!
Barbarian: Satan is the opposite of God, therefore you must believe in both or your stance doesn’t hold water. Me, I’m a lost soul and always have been. We are born alone, and die alone, as it is the natural order of the universe. The first time man stood upright, he had no thoughts, no reason, nothing. Eventually as we evolved we started to question things. Millions of questions that human minds will never ever answer or comprehend. So what is the ultimate experience of the unknown and fear? Death. I believe God was created out of fear of the unknown.
Mictian: I generally have a problem with Christianity and its god who, despite his own infinite patience and wisdom, will damn his own creation to an eternity if hellfire and torment if we so much as step out of line once. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have thoughts on some other sort of intangible order to existence, as I have a difficult time believing that everything we ever encounter is a result of coincidence. I just don’t believe that the order of life or the cosmos is dictated by Jehovah or Yahweh.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Wulv: One demo – Lunar Hunger Cassette 2012 Wolf’s Lair Records (very small release), and one full length – Under the Blood Moon CD 2013 Paragon Records.
Summon: Tell me about the songs on the latest CD.
Track 1: Wolf
Wulv: A song about a man how under the light of the full moon transformers into a beast: half man & half wolf. Stalking under the bright moonlight, he hunts his prey. It is an excellent straight up death metal track. Brutal musical work by Mictian & Barbarian!
Barbarian: A song, written by the band somewhere around 2003, about a wolf tearing the shit out of helpless victims in the forest. It’s also the first time I’ve heard an audio transformation of a man turning into a wolf. The last few seconds I really believe Wulv is transforming while in the studio. Great vocal work: heavy, unforgiving guitars and simple, raw drums.
Mictian: Overall, this is my favorite track as far as Barbarian’s drums are concerned. It’s the perfect opening track to the album as well as the perfect song to start with live.
Track 2: Fallen From Grace
Wulv: Evil track about a dark place of fire and bones, where dead angels lie among the ashes of heaven. Black fucking metal!
Barbarian: This is our black metal song. One that was conceived during a discussion Wulv and I had while hanging out and watching horror films. We talked about different ideas and how we wanted it to be structured. The next rehearsal we had Mictian play what we thought up and he exceeded our expectations and thus created a truly original black metal guitar piece. The song starts out fast and in your face. Mictian and I eventually slow it down in a few parts. A very diverse track.
Track 3: Carnivorous Lunar Activities
Wulv: A vicious black metal track about a werewolf tearing Christians to pieces with a brutal death metal break in the middle.
Barbarian: Black metal with slow, agonizing death metal breaks. A song that I personally get the most feedback on from fans. They really dig the speed, especially that of the guitar work.
Mictian: I’m always going to think of this track as “Cacophonous Lunar Activities,” because of my sloppy fucking guitar playing on the track. I guess the argument could be made that this is meant to be so, as the guitars resemble a blind rage. Regardless, it’s a track that deserves its place in our limited catalog.
Track 4: Evil in the Forest
Barbarian: A song that was created from a jam session Wulv and I had at his house one evening. We’d just get together and he’d start messing around with the keyboard and I would add drums to it. It really wasn’t meant to be anything serious, but when you add Mictian’s work it really turned into one of my favorites. I think Wulv’s keys are some of the finest he’s done with this track. So much atmosphere, wonder, and melancholy in one song. Another one that has to hearken back to the chemistry we had together.
Wulv: Starting with an ethereal synth opening, the brutal old school black/death metal vibe opens the gates to a world behind the light. Where creatures from the shadows of the forest call victims into their grasps!
Mictian: Because of my love for atmosphere, this track, along with Wolf, is among my favorites. When performing this track live, the most common responses by the fans were looks of enthrallment. It was mesmerizing to them.
Track 5: Sex and Gore
Wulv: Good old gore metal. Who doesn’t love the look of a gaping asshole on a gutted chick, right?
Barbarian: This is one of the tracks on the album that really gets me stoked when hearing it. This is such a simple song, that which was created during a party one night while half-drunk out of our minds. We wanted to make the goriest piece of sonically induced mayhem we could. Sex and Gore is what we created. A fast, insane track that can easily be put up there with one of the heaviest songs in existence. And I’m damn proud of that too!
Mictian: It’s a song to make love to…if the love-making process involves a jackhammer. Barbarian’s tom work on this one is a highlight for me.
Track 6: They Feed in the Night
Barbarian: The second song I ever played with the guys. It was also the second original song that we completed together. This song takes me back to the winter of 2000; freezing cold nights wailing away on the skins, while Wulv is screaming and Mictian fights off cramps from the cold. We were only fucking kids playing a song that would go on to be one of my favorites. A song that really helped us grow as musicians. It also got heads rolling live.
Wulv: One of our first written song, we step back into the light of the full moon where the howling starts again… Werewolves right and left tear through this track, pushed forward by brutal death & black metal screams and crushing riffs. Once you think it is going to stop a brutal old school breakdown explodes and tears you to pieces.
Mictian: I’ll be honest: I like this song much more than I did when we first started work on it many years ago. There are only fleeting semblances to the original version, a version that only we have access to via videotapes, and they serve to remind us how far we’ve truly come as a band.
Track 7: Set in an Apocalyptic Sunrise
Wulv: Fire burns in the sky as the riders of doom crush the Earth. Organs and choirs call forth doom, as the destroying blacken riffs and brutal drums end the world around you.
Barbarian: The song that introduced me to Wulv and Mictian. The very first song played with and created by all three of us. The guitar and keys were already completed when i joined, so I just threw in my drum work and there you have it. Another song that made us grow as musicians. Just based on nostalgia this is my favorite song. When I hear this, Mictian, Wulv and Barbarian reunite through time and space. Every time.
Mictian: I think this was the very first song Wulv and I started, back when the Yachimowskis were still amongst our ranks, as it was written in their basement back in late ‘97. Our then-bassist Jason and I were kind of staring at each other in bewilderment as we tried to think of what would be the first riff for our first song, and that’s when I came up with the opening riff.
Track 8: Saved by Darkness
Wulv: Our Magnum Opus of Doom; calling the riffs crushing wouldn’t do them justice. Unlike modern doom filled with tears and sorrow, Saved By Darkness dwells in fury & rage, heralding destruction over Christ’s kingdom.
Barbarian: A song that suffered many incarnations. But finally we smoothed out the edges and this is what you get. A truly great song to end an entirely dark album. The mood with the keyboards and drums alone is fantastic. Low guitars and the rumble of the bass compliment the rest of the song. Dark lyrics by Wulv, and some decent tom work on my part. I tried to put a lot of creativity into this one. Not saying we didn’t put everything we had into all the music, just this song was tweaked a little more than the others.
Mictian: I can’t say how many versions of this song there would’ve been if we had demoed everything we had done. This one took a couple years to finally get down to the point where we were happy with it. I remember at one point we had a very groove-centric middle part of the song that just never felt right, that ultimately made me say fuck it and come up with something simple and it finally worked.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Wulv: Funeral Dust – Black Metal
Forests of Old –Black Doom Metal
Old Serpent – Occult Death Metal
Necrosis – Gore Death Metal
Nightfolk – Acoustic Heathen Ambient / Black Metal
P.R. Electric Earth – Electronic Ambient Acoustic Music
Wir Sind Thule –Pagan Pride Black Death Metal
Projects I’ve helped with.
Frozen Mist – Dark Gothic Metal (Black Death Metal Lead / Baking Vocals)
Dead Mountain –Black Metal (Guest Vocals)
Pyramid of Man –Grind/Gore (Vocals)
Svarthjartad –Black Metal (Drums on The Old Goat)
Serpents Empire– Atmospheric Black Metal (Keyboards & Ambient Tracks)
Barbarian: Pig Blood Blues. It’s merely an idea at the moment. Brainstorming and brewing continues. I can say it’d be my homage to the great Autopsy!
Mictian: I have mostly done work behind the recording console since our album’s recording, having served most recently as engineer/co-producer for Neldöreth’s album, The Saints of Blasphemy – I: Baptized in Blasphemy, previous to that, I produced Killing Chapel’s second album, High on Homicide. There is a project I’ve been working on, a doom metal band called Hope is Dead; however, it’s taking an eternity to get anything done as reliable musicians are impossible to come by.
Summon: What are your musical influences?
Wulv: Old Cradle of Filth, old Dimmu Borgir, Deicide, Marduk, Cannibal Corpse, Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, Limbonic Art, old Arcturus, Dark Funeral, SvartSorg, Isengard, Nokturnal Mortum, Baphomet, Absurd, Arckanum, Judas Iscariot, Sargeist, and MoonBlood.
Barbarian: Autopsy, Murder Squad, Cannibal Corpse (Chris Barnes era), Deicide, Morbid Angel, Mortician, Type O Negative, Entombed, Grave, Marduk, Gorgoroth, Hecate Enthroned, Immortal, and Moonspell.
Mictian: Type O Negative, Moonspell, Sentenced, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Edge of Sanity, Amorphis, old Dimmu Borgir, Borknagar, Death, Dissection, Bathory, Enslaved, Unleashed, Immortal, Krisiun, Obituary, Carcass, Shape of Despair, Ajattara…a great mix of bands across many different styles.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Barbarian: Intense and rare. If you saw Permanent Midnight between the years of 2003-2005, you were pretty lucky because we didn’t play out much.
Wulv: The best way to hear Permanent Midnight!
Mictian: It wasn’t for the weak.
Summon: Have you ever played in another country?
Wulv: If we left the country, they wouldn’t let us back in.
Mictian: Seriously! Not to say we wouldn’t have liked to; we did get requests to play out from fans in Canada and Peru, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
Summon: How big of a crowd shows up at shows, usually?
Wulv: It was back in the day before all these damn fancy cell phones and tweets and whatever the hell you kids are into…so around 80 to 100, I’d say, sometimes a lot less. Metal wasn’t trendy like it seems to be now a days.
Mictian: For several years, there weren’t many venues that were willing to host us. The scant few bits of material we had recorded back then sounded like they were harvested, unprotected, from the brutal elements of a Norwegian forest. For those few shows we did play, they were very rarely with other metal bands; we usually played with piss-poor punk bands when we performed locally. Only near the end of our career were there other metal bands with whom we could play out, and were easily our best performances.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play live?
Wulv: EPIC! They loved it! As soon as the last note would stop they would explode. The best thing is I’m not making that up…
Mictian: They exploded at our last note because they knew we were leaving! Seriously though, I was told once that, if we were to have been performing any better, we’d be throwing lightening from our hands.
Barbarian: They’re just as intense in the crowd as we are on stage. We fed off each other. However, there were shows where we played in front of five people. It never mattered to us how big the crowd so as long as the people enjoyed our music.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Barbarian: I grew up on the east coast but was introduced to the Florida death metal scene early on in my teenage years. Obituary, Deicide, Morbid Angel…those sort of bands. My first real taste of death metal was with Cannibal Corpse at the age of 14. Eaten Back to Life is an album that will always blow my mind. Today I don’t follow or pay much attention to “scenes.” I get recommendations from friends, ‘zines, and just by browsing in local shops. YouTube is also a great place to find some cool music. I like what I like.
Wulv: The old scene is dying in a hospital bed somewhere; the new scene is pretentious. They make me sick. Black metal has always had the nose up the air scene, which is nice because they never noticed you right before you kicked them in the nuts… The death metal scene was truly brutal in a lot of places. Some really epically overlooked bands have come out. Now half of them out there are spoiled kids who wear their new leather vest their mom bought them covered with patches of band they don’t know but were told they need to like. Fuck clicks…fuck them. People like me don’t fit into a group. Most metal people don’t. Metal people shouldn’t need to make groups with vest & badges to feel better about themselves. I don’t need acceptance to feel good about myself & I generally hate any group or band out there that everyone loves. I had a group once of like minded people, of brothers…it was a shitty band from Berwick PA called Permanent Midnight. They were real brothers; people I would die for & even though we don’t play anymore & all the things we’ve gone through I think collectively, that hasn’t changed.
Mictian: Agreed. I never took an interest in scenes or trends, instead focusing more on the trendsetters. Focusing on those who push to do something just a little different. Still, as far as scenes go, I wish it was stronger here in the US, just so we could have festivals that rival those in Europe.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Barbarian: Swedish death metal all day!
Mictian: I love a lot of metal bands out of Finland, especially doom metal bands. I enjoy the UK doom as well. Compared to the US scenes, Europe’s metal scene appears to be quite healthy, and for that I’m envious.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Wulv: Spirit of the Forest , Forest dome, Ildra, Bustum, Elderblood, Serpent Empire, Sacrilegious Blood, Dimentianon, Sectioned & Blutklinge are a few… I find new great bands on Paragon Records distro everyday it seems… www.themetalunderground.com
Mictian: I can’t say that I follow any new black metal bands save for maybe Elderblood, but as for new death metal, possibly Ade, Grand Supreme Blood Court, and Hail of Bullets.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing new material?
Barbarian: Not sure. Never. Maybe. Yes. No. Who knows anything for sure?
Wulv: It seems that the epic of Permanent Midnight has written its final chapter.
Mictian: There’s one track we had recorded for the album that wasn’t finalized, thanks to the inept engineer we had at the time. Maybe someday, I can have Wulv come down to my studio, where we can track the vocals that are missing and get it posted somewhere.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band?
Wulv: Aging ungracefully, liver failure, sterility, senility & death.
Barbarian: That’s a great question with more than one answer depending on which member you ask. I’ve heard recently that the guys got together with another drummer and jammed back in January ’13. I’m not sure if they were hoping to gel with this particular person or just plain jam for nostalgic reasons. Whatever the case may be, I was not told nor invited to these sessions. If they asked me to play tomorrow I’d be forced to decline because of my current location. I’m in NY while they’re in PA. I would not be able to give 100% which isn’t fair to the band or the members. I know Wulv is really busy with Funeral Dust and 8,000 other projects. Mictian, for the past ten or so years, has been trying to get his project, Hope is Dead, off the ground. Plus he’s planning on a move out west eventually. He wants to produce and may have other opportunities with another band out there. You can never say never to anything. Life just doesn’t work that way. Permanent Midnight means absolute darkness. A definitive end. For now, that is the most accurate answer that I can give.
Mictian: Wulv and I had a very impromptu jam session back in January, just for shits and giggles, during a Funeral Dust rehearsal. He and his drummer were taking a breather from their material, and Wulv pretty much just gave me the guitar and wanted to see what I could remember. It wasn’t much. (laughs) I have actually received some heat from some fans about our disbanding, damning us for having our heads up our asses, because of whatever it was that we had when we were active and effectively ending it. We were damned for only having put out one release, and for having not done enough to continue and grow. I can’t say I blame them, especially now. I feel like there are a lot of songs that remain unwritten. Wulv and I both have grown considerably within the realm of metal, and I think we would be able to do some fucking killer things in a studio setting. Permanent Midnight are still getting inquiries about performing live, seven years after our last performance, so there’s still an interest. Plus, we never even had a chance to make a proper promo video for one of our songs; Barbarian now has experience with making films, so I believe we could do some great things there as well. Ultimately, as it stands right now, it’s just not possible. Schedules and logistics required to reconvene are extremely unforgiving. However, should such an opportunity arise that would enable us to come back together, even if it’s just to do a promo video, I’d be all too eager to do so. I miss my brothers in arms, I miss rehearsing our old creations, and especially miss the exploratory feeling I had when working on new stuff with these two. These wolves have retired to their respective dens, but the night may come when a sanguineous hunger becomes too much to ignore. I hope it does.
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