Art: Grant Hatfield

As a writer, you should be able to use anything as inspiration. If someone wants to write about something in a particular way, they should be able to, and freely. Some of the greatest literary works of the last few hundred years have had ties to what you could call ‘occult’ themes. It’s just another spice you can use in the kitchen while cooking, so to speak.

I’m not religious, and I can’t understand what draws people into the world of religion. I seem to be able to live perfectly fine without ever thinking about God, religion, or whatever. A dark side and many other problems are involved with organised religion that needs to be addressed.

When I listen to music, I’m not very focused on what the vocalist is doing or what the “message” of the band is. I’m more interested in how the band sounds musically. Are the riffs chunky and memorable? Do the drums crush? Lyrics dictate a band’s image when it should really be more about the music behind the lyrics. I’m sure you could have the heaviest music and then go sing about flowers or something on it, and nobody would even notice.. unless you’re singing really clean, like a pop star.

I smoke weed and write music all the time. It can help put you in a certain state where you’re more open to experimentation, which is very important during the writing process. It can open a creative door you would only sometimes go through in a sober mind. Do you need to do drugs to be a good musician? No.. but if you look back, you’ll find that most of the ‘greats’ throughout history were using some kind of illicit substance to alter their creativity and mindstate. There might be something to that.

I have a never-ending drive to create, which has stayed strong over the last 20 years. I could not go a day without making something. It’s just how I live, and it’s all I know and thinks about. Pain makes great art, and I agree. There’s definitely a certain degree of that going on here, but it was never the direct cause of my creativity.

Metal has always had close ties to the dark side. That’s just the way it is. This music should evoke feelings of dread and damnation. At least the good stuff does, anyway. For every good thing that happens, there’s something evil that happens too, and vice-versa. There’s a constant balance between the two, which is interesting. Some days it’s easy to think that the world is evil and out to get you, but other days seem a lot better in comparison and will remind you why you’re still here, and that life can be beautiful. You need to find that balance in your own life.
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