My stab at a Q&A on the Soliloquium Facebook page went beyond all expectations. Thanks to everyone that sent in questions. Hope we can do this again! I like being interviewed and these questions are better than most of those I get in webzine interviews. Anyway, onward to the questions (and answers)! If you stumbled in here without previously hearing our music, head to over the Soliloquium Bandcamp for a taste.
You’ve shed light on several influences from within the metal and rock spheres but are there any bands or performers outside of these genres that have influenced your work?
Oh, definitely. I’ve broadened my musical horizons a lot over the past few years. Dark electronic artists have taken more and more room. The trip-hop stuff like Massive Attack and Portishead is in there since a long time. I think that along with shoegaze music like Slowdive, Klimt 1918 and Resplandor definitely sneaks in there.
Strangely, Moby is another artist I’m very attached to. I really love his latest album, some of the saddest music I’ve heard recently. There’s also the song “Porcelain” that’s been with me for a very long time. Would be interesting to make a strange cover version of that one at some point.
There are also several singer/songwriter type artists that influence the lighter part of Soliloquium. Nick Drake, Damien Jurado and Noah Gundersen are the prominent ones.
It’s hard to say what’s outside the metal and rock sphere, because I believe this singer/songwriter type stuff is heavily connected to what dark rock bands like Anathema and Antimatter do today.
I’m definitely hoping to expand the Soliloquium sound more and more in a crossover direction to keep challenging myself musically. In “22” (below) I think you can here some of these influences.
Since you are co-working with singers from other bands – which singer, clean and/or growl, would be an absolute perfect match for Soliloquium that you would love to work with?
Good question, there are so many! Mick Moss from Antimatter is probably the absolute dream guest to feature in a Soliloquium song. He’s got the ultimate darkness in his voice, and my love for Antimatter just went further through the roof after I heard “Black Market Enlightenment”.
The level of honesty and personality in his music is really what I’m reaching for myself. On top of that, the guest spots he has done in other bands have been unbelievable. Hit me up if you’re reading this, Mick!
A question from The Agony Column band, Belarus. How about visiting our country? There are so many fans of doom here! And maybe you’d like to give some gothic shades to your music and make a song together with us? Thank you! And hope to see you in Belarus one day!
Oh, I would love to! Sadly, Soliloquium doesn’t have a live line-up. If we’re talking live gigs we would love to visit with my death metal and Desolator, though. If the invite extends to tourism I’d love to visit and just hang out at some point. Belarus is definitely on my bucket list.
Making a song together is a definite yes! I especially love doing vocals for other people’s music, I’d love to put some growls on some music, as long as it fits my voice style-wise.
How do you approach creating new music, where do you draw inspiration from? And, would you say, that it gives you some sort of achievement that you can get anywhere else?
For Soliloquium it’s all about real-life things going on. It can my personal existential and mental stuff, and it can also be outside topics pertaining to society and humanity. For the last album “Contemplations” and the upcoming one it was really easy to find inspiration.
The last few years have been a crazy up-and-down spiral personally, and I also observe a world that’s growing colder and colder by the hour. Mental illness is on the rise, and the more I learn, the more I feel that something is just inherently horrible with people, society and humanity.
The achievement part is certainly like that. Soliloquium is a pure passion project. There’s no money involved and it’s entirely my own creation from nothing. It’s a way to express things that I don’t have the opportunity to say for several reasons. It’s also a place to get my thoughts together and conceptualize them. Very therapeutic.
On top of that there’s also the musical evolution itself; I want to write the best songs I’ve ever written every time I start making a new album. I’m usually satisfied for a few months, and then my mind starts figuring out ways to improve on it.
How do you find inspiration in such a decadent and rotten society?
I would say it’s the other way around. The negative parts of society and humanity are among the things that fuel me to write music. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have the fire to write music like this for Soliloquium, or Desolator for that part. The two Desolator songs I wrote for the last EP, in particular are filled with disgust for things I encounter in daily society. It’s a lot of about making the negatives into positives, best I can.
There are other things that kill the inspiration though. The problems for me are usually the practical constraints. It’s a constant time/money/energy equation that usually takes the best of me and delays the creation and promotion of music and other passion projects.
Making a living off music is extremely hard.. if that never happens, would it impact your view on making music, performing and writing, and would you consider other styles beside metal?
I don’t have any ambition to support myself financially from music. It’s really not worth going into an underground music genre like doom metal, or other types of extreme metal for that matter, with the intention to make enough money to support yourself. It’s a sad reality though, because many people in underground metal puts down a life of passion with no monetary result.
Naturally, it results in a lot of burnouts and mental issues, because many creative people wind up working shit jobs to support themselves financially, that diminishes the opportunity for the “real” stuff. It’s certainly among the things that cause me the most anxiety in life, and not something I expect ever working out in a satisfying way.
If I would make a turn in life towards making money, I think I would simply quit music and return to an office job. Music is really not profitable compared to how much work you put in, no matter the genre, and I care too much to make a compromised end product.
Do you think Soliloquium would ever turn into a live act?
Wow, that’s a tough one! It’s so circumstantial and there so many things for and against. The songs were never written with performing live in mind, and I would definitely have problems getting guitar parts and vocal parts together. Also, I am really not a fan of rehearsals or any of the practical stuff surrounding live music.
The thing that would make it happen is if we got a gig offer we couldn’t refuse. I do have talented people in mind which could fill the spots and make it doable playing-wise. The setup would probably have to be a three guitarist one, with me handling simple guitar parts and vocals.
For a short answer – I would say that it’s unlikely, but not impossible.
Once again, thank you so much for sending in your questions guys. Hope we can do it another time in the future!