Summon: How did the band get started?
Ravenwood: I’ve been a musician since I was 12 years old and have always loved metal. When I was in my late teens I started collecting my own recording equipment and recording at home. Almost 10 years later Twilight Fauna is the result.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Ravenwood: I call it atmospheric metal. It’s Appalachian folk music combined with atmospheric black metal. Although, I think it’s fairly unique in that it doesn’t fit into any specific scene or genre. I’ve always tried to carve my own path. No one wants to hear the same rehashed types of songs. If I weren’t trying to create something different there wouldn’t be any point.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Ravenwood: It was mixed early on, but overwhelmingly positive as it’s progressed. My first few albums weren’t where they should have been recording/production wise and it turned a few people off. I hope those that have stuck with me since the early days have been rewarded. My albums are continually getting better and growing in a lot of ways with each release which people are starting recognize. I’ve really been satisfied with my last couple of releases. Although, to be honest, response really doesn’t factor into what I do all that much. There are small pockets of people that dig what I do and I’m grateful for that. They really are like family to me.
Summon: Where did the name Twilight Fauna come from?
Ravenwood: Twilight has always been considered a magical time dating back to early folklore, a time when old spirits roam. It’s certainly my favorite time to be outside in the mountains where I live. Fauna is simply animal. You could say I’m a twilight animal.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Ravenwood: Actually it’s just me. I am a multi-instrumentalist so I play around 8 instruments or so. I also do all the recording, mixing, and mastering. It’s my vision, no compromises. It also means I don’t and will never play live. Twilight Fauna only exists when I record and when people listen.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Ravenwood: They primarily come from the Appalachian Mountains where I live. Sometimes it’s about a specific part of the mountain culture, a lot of it is about the mountains themselves. If I’m not recording I’m usually out exploring the forests somewhere. There is no shortage of inspiration.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Ravenwood: I’ve never been into Satanism. I understand it in principle and certainly identify with carving your own path, taking care of those that deserve your love, that sort of thing but I don’t practice or prescribe to it. I’ve never been one for following anyone else’s rules whether that be humanity’s version of God or Satan. And as far as the occult, there are forces of nature that are much more than the pieces of dust that makes up humanity, that’s for sure. Looking at the universe and the natural world, that’s easy to see, but again I wouldn’t say I practice any sort of occult rituals. I don’t follow any sort of gods or deities. I’ve never been one to bow before anything. I merely see myself as a part of the natural cycle of the planet I find myself on. I feel a deep connection to the natural environment. It’s true home.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Ravenwood: My latest vinyl, Hymns of a Forgotten Homeland is my 4th full length release. I’ve also had a couple of splits, an EP, and have been on many compilations. I already have several released planned for the future.
Summon: Tell me about some of the songs on Hymns.
Ravenwood: Hymns of a Forgotten Homeland tells the story of the place I grew up. My family has been there for generations, there is a unique mountain culture in Southern Appalachia. It’s filled with beauty and sorrow. I try to show both sides, the good and bad. It’s an honest portrait of growing up in poverty, isolated in the mountains. For those that purchase the vinyl, there is an explanation of each song included on the insert.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Ravenwood: I have one other project that is very dear to me. A neofolk project called Green Elder. I’m not even sure I would call it a side project at this point as I split my time and energy evenly between both. So maybe I should say I have 2 projects. I’m lucky to have an amazing band-mate in Green Elder. Meghan Wood of the band Crown of Asteria is the other half of Green Elder.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences? Which current bands?
Ravenwood: I grew up on classic/southern rock and discovered metal when I was about 12 years old. I started really getting into black metal in the late 90s. Mostly the Norwegian stuff, but I get influenced by all sorts of things. I listen to a lot of traditional Appalachian music like Sarah Ogan Gunning and more recently Clifton Hicks. I’m lucky to be a part of a great community of musicians that support one another. As far as current bands, Crown of Asteria, Deafest, Evergreen Refuge. Then there is a handful of other Appalachian metal musicians I really respect. Nechochwen, Panopticon, Appalachian Winter, and Falls of Rauros are a part of that. Lately I’ve really been getting into the Denver sound as well. Bands like Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and anything Jay Munly is involved in.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal scene?
Ravenwood: I think the U.S. Black metal scene is starting to develop regionally which before was something only found in Europe. Now there are specific areas developing sounds. The Cascadian bands are pretty well known, but now bands like Deafest and Evergreen Refuge are writing about the Rocky Mountains, and the group of bands I mentioned earlier are covering the Appalachian Mountains. it’s a really exciting time to be a black metal fan.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Ravenwood: I can’t really speak much to those. I know the Europeans are doing their thing. I hear of bands from South American occasionally and it seems to be growing in Asia. Japan, China, and Malaysia especially.
Summon: When do you plan on writing any new material?
Ravenwood: I write constantly. It’s a part of my cycle of life at this point. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t writing. I need it to function. I have a lot of new material already recorded. I’m giving people time to digest the new vinyl LP but I hope to have at least another full length and split released in 2015.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Ravenwood: I hope people will continue on the path with me. I have amazing stories to tell. Thank you for taking the time and thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this and listen to my music. Keep the fires burning and stay on the path
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