Desolation By Phil Pendergast
We come from a variety of backgrounds and musical experiences, ranging from death and black metal to stoner rock to a brief stint in a Judas Priest cover band. We spent the last half of 2017 writing and demoing the material that eventually became the six songs on Desolation. The most trying part of it was the proximity of the recording sessions at Flatline Audio to the 2018 Decibel Tour. We essentially wrapped up recording, packed up, and headed out to Philadelphia to meet up with Enslaved, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Myrkur.
We strive to create music that is heavy in a visceral, emotional sense, so we often tap into our own experiences with pain, loss, and grief to produce songs that resonate with the listener. Literature and film both provide inspiration for us in this way; when a book or a movie hits you in the right direction, the connection is electric, and we strive to write music that is similarly compelling. We’re all big fans of David Lynch, for instance, and his work is unparalleled in its ability to disorient you, shake you out of your comfort zone, and force you to truly engage with the art in front of you.
A Khemmis show is a chance to exorcise your demons in the company of other beer drinkers and hell raisers. Metal brings together people. It offers us ways to make sense of our struggles, a reprieve from the frustrations and losses of everyday life. Heavy metal is real when you feel the music in every fibre of your being.
Last significant book I read was ‘A Feast of Snakes’ by Harry Crews. It is a reminder of our species’ proclivity for self-destruction as well as our incredible resilience and capacity for empathy even in the darkest times.
I believe in humanity’s capacity for greatness as well as its capacity for self-destruction. Existence is a burdensome experience, but it is a unique one that we should not take for granted. There is no grand reward, no palace in the skies, so we should do our best to better the world and empower those around us. The endless pursuit of wealth breeds collective blindness to our capabilities as a species, and we often waste our lives on narrow-minded pursuits and ephemeral rewards. But every song, every story, every shared experience in human history was created by someone who yearned for something greater than money. I believe the only way to make sense of the world is through trying to make it better.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2018 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.