CVLT Nation Interviews A Pregnant Light
Label: Colloquial Sound Recordings
Hi Damian, for who is not familiar with you, can you give us a rundown of who you are, and how you started playing music?
Unlike many others, all the answers to who I am are in my music. Nothing is hidden. Everything is honest. If you want to know, listen and read! And just like many others, I started playing music when I saw Nirvana on MTV.
How was A Pregnant Light born? Can you tell us the genesis of this project?
I used to play in a lot of bands, but they broke up or slowed down, so I decided that I was sick of working with other peoples’ schedules and their general flakiness. I still play in a lot of bands, and now some people are dickriding me because APL has some small buzz. I started this project partly out of frustration of working with others, so now, I keep it even closer.
Photo: Ashley Sheridan
What are you trying to achieve with your music?
I want to make music that I want to listen to. I want APL to speak to people in clear, and beautiful words and sound.
Can you tell us about your label Colloquial Sound Recordings?
I grew up idolizing labels like Dischord, Touch & Go and K Records. So, I just emulate those labels. I wish I would have picked a different name.
Will you ever sign to a big label if you get an good offer you deem appealing?
Of course. But the list of labels I desire to work is very small.
You have definitely taken black metal into a new territory in comparison to its usual standards, how do you feel about this? Please explain?
It wasn’t my intention to break any boundaries. When I play guitar, this is the music that comes out. In that sense, it’s very pure – just like the originators of the sound. I didn’t mean to change the vocabulary of something I respect so highly. I also think that freedom of expression in music is nearly non-existent in music today. Bands either just copy a style of a band they admire, or jumble every style and sound together until it’s a big, embarrassing mess.
Not many people would have guessed that black metal would become a vessel for romanticism, sensuality and sentimentalism one day. Can you elaborate more on this?
I try not to think about what people think – I just write about what I feel, and try to capture that as purely as possible. I romanticize most things, past and present, and I have a strange view of sentimentality. I like it, but it often becomes too much for me to bear. Maybe I just have a one track mind, but with most things – I think about them sensually. I am bad at suppressing my many appetites. I feel like a wild animal most days, and isn’t that the most extreme? What are other band singing about? Dragons? Satan? Hell? Listening to these bands is my idea of Hell.
What is A Pregnant Light’s music about specifically, and what are you trying to achieve through it?
APL’s music is about me. Everything has to do with how I feel, or how I process a feeling or event. I just want to write a perfect song, or riff. I’ve done it a couple of times, and I’ll keep trying to pull those jewels from the sky. Perfection can exist in a single recorded moment, and live on. It doesn’t guarantee fame, money, or success, but it’s hard to not say “Fertility Cult” is not a perfect song. I guess if I want to achieve something… it would be: dark paradise.
We’ve noticed some Elvis revivalism in your image and artistic aesthetic – are we totally off track?
Elvis is the king of rock and roll, and I play a form of rock and roll. Elvis was the coolest guy on the planet for a long time. I love Elvis. I love his mythology, his style, his swagger, his appearance, his music. He became something larger than himself. God bless Elvis Presley.
Tell us a bit of how you write and record your music?
Sometimes the whole song comes to me at once, or sometimes I listen to recorded ideas that I have, and piece them together like a puzzle. Both are rewarding, and I am always streamlining how I write to make it better and more efficient. I want to be able to express more ideas with fewer parts. Talking about recording is boring and I don’t care.
Any plans for live shows or tours?
As soon as someone asks me to play a show or tour, I’ll make it happen. I’ll keep writing until then.
How do you see the project evolving, and where do you think it’s headed?
The good thing about APL is that it’s myself, and myself alone, and will always be that. It will get better and better until it, or I, die, whichever comes first. APL and I are like Siamese twins. If one of us dies, the other will follow shortly.
Who are you biggest influences that shaped your sound and songwriting?
At this point, my influences are so deeply ingrained in me, I can’t even pick them out any more. I find myself being inspired more by moods and atmospheres that bands create, rather than their actual music. I like bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, Lungfish, The Smiths and Strongarm. I listen to a lot of electronic music and hip hop as well as of late.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year music-wise?
I never kiss and tell. I kiss and then show explicitly. You’ll have to wait. xoxo
Tell us about everyday Damian. Do you have a day job? How do you spend your days when not working on music?
Heaven knows I’m miserable now.