11PARANOIAS – what kind of mental journey do you want the listener to embark on as they blast your new record Asterismal?
A: Once upon a time there were three black stars (astral projections) and they thrived in perpetual all-encompassing and living darkness. One day one of the dark stars (bright sparks) began to imagine a new experience. He tried to imagine a new way of thinking – of reaching out to other distant stars (if indeed there were any other stars). The colossal mental effort and psychic strain on the star soon caused its death by implosion which left space for a beautiful Neutron Start.
Why did you choose to call the album Asterismal?
A: Asterismal is ‘of the stars’ and we are all of the stars. Asterismal is universal and omniversal. Asterismal suits the sound and look of our fifth record for Ritual Productions and marks the final instalment of an instrument themed trilogy which started with Stealing Fire From Heaven – the drum record, Reliquary For a Dreamed of World – the bass record and now it’s the time for the guitars to take over with Asterismal.
Does 11PARANOIAS use visuals for performances?
A: We do now! We have a new light and projection show that we are hoping to initialise for our upcoming rituals, the first of which is next month – 7th March at The Black Heart, Camden, London.
Do you feel that performing in bars holds you back from getting creative with your live experience?
A: Gods no! If it did, we would be out of business!
N: Each time we perform, it is a unique experience. The tone and sound of our instruments and the relationship we have with them varies from bigger rooms to small bars, and the directness of sound when playing purely with our amps on 11 and un-mic’d drums has its own brutal appeal; free from the treatment of a huge PA and soundboard, which is wholly different from festivals and larger rooms. We love working in each of those environments but are never shy about destroying a small room with no bells and whistles. The directness of connection with the audience in small rooms is another huge difference and one that makes such occasions memorable for us and them.
I am amazed by the meditative quality of your soundscapes – can you expand on that for us?
A: We are the blood and bones of you and of everything. We are the children of the stars. We are how you breathe. We are no light, we are the darkness. We sound your mind, we echo your mind. We are waves of unconsciousness and thought. We are a conduit of the cosmos. We radiate energy from our sonic recordings that reverberate with all existence. I could go on…
What was the creative process behind the ‘Bloodless Crush’ video?
A: We were going to make a brutal short road movie but the cult of octopus took over with penetrating tentacular relentlessness and that was that courtesy of the tentacle master Joe Shearsby.
Label: Ritual Productions
Talk to us about the experience you had working with Toby Ziegler on the artistic inspiration behind Asterismal?
A: I have known Toby Ziegler for years and admired his work from the off. We share a similar aesthetic and share many cultural reference points. Despite its almost futuristic initial appearance the artwork is drenched in ancient doom as well as sacred geometry. The paintings are beautiful re-renderings in oil on aluminium sheets of Georges de La Tour’s famous vanitas paintings of ‘The Flea Catcher’ and ‘Magdalen with Flame’. Toby has then effaced these with industrial grinding tools to reveal the raw brushed texture of the metal symbolising re-instigating and decaying doom, stripped of vitality and forced to contemplate your own demise…forever. The nearly-neon red flowering pentagram grid is eternal and is super-imposed onto the bright new doom we see for all. I went to Toby’s studio and we thrashed out the cover in no time. We were both buzzing when I left the studio. I am greatly looking forward to the limited screen-printed editions we will be doing together soon. It is satisfying to maintain our forced art history lessons via collaborations with amazing and critically acclaimed artists of all types and from all ages – both dead and alive.
Ritual Productions is known for next level packaging when it comes to its releases…What can we expect from the vinyl version of Asterismal?
A: You can expect a visually arresting LP package featuring Toby’s stunning artwork. I will also hand silk-screen a limited-edition run. Your MPV keys from Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World will serve to obfuscate or intensify the images of the production run and the silk-screened versions. Ritual Productions will also be releasing their classic and beautiful hand-printed and embossed RitePak CD version in numbered editions of 50.
Any plans for 11PARANOIAS to tour North America?
A: We would like nothing more than to be planning a North American tour but that is not on the cards, I’m afraid.
N: If a force out there can make it work, we will come. Up to now no-one has approached with a feasible offer.