Interview: Egregore (2022) | From The Bowels Of Perdition

Conversation with

Egregore

Is the ominous staring eye that graces the centre of the album’s front cover a threat of some sort, a reminder that someone or something is always watching and that we are never alone ˗ even though we are always alone, within ourselves ˗ or is the symbolism behind it of an entirely different kind?

E: Eye see that we’re opening hot and heavy today, and eye’m loathe to inform you that the process of expressing spiritual art, and then crudely reverse engineering it into an explanation is one that thisse band has policy against. This is indeed instinctive, less rational, and besides, we’ve only just met.

Why is the eye at the end of the stairway?

E: Stair into my eyes.

In the press release for this album, your music was deemed spiritual, mystical, clandestine, otherworldly, unorthodox, at one point even supernatural. Do you feel that some of those attributes perhaps may seem a bit too pretentious, or do you feel that they are entirely justified by the forward-thinking disposition of your music? What do those words mean exactly, in your case?

E: What words the big brains at the 20 Buck Spin and Earsplit promo desks use to describe our music are no business of ours. We’re more into Metallica, Morbid Angel, Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Angelcorpse.

Compared to the usual modus operandi for most bands that implies at least four musicians in the line-up, did the fact that Egregore is only a two-piece make the entire process of writing, rehearsing, and recording this album more difficult or actually easier?

E: Much easier. Have you tried getting along with three other people? It’s a nightmare. We have good chemistry and will probably have a rotating live line-up.

No less than three people were credited as vocalists on The Word Of His Law. Is that diversity something that should help the band to establish its identity or actually a hindrance to it?

E: It’s nothing so complex. The two of us did vocals and three close friends feature on it.

The Word Of His Law is apparently the first glimpse of a developing musical universe in a state of primeval expansion, to quote the album’s press release once again. Given that you have a few other musical universes in various states of expansion as well, what precisely is the significance of Egregore, why this band needed to happen? Would you say that Egregore serves some very particular purpose that Auroch and Mitochondrion don’t, or even can’t?

E: This band didn’t need to happen, but the dynamic is effortless and the musical results to our tastes. When you combine different elements you get different things. This band is a purer distillation of the two of us working closely, unhindered.

No art happens in a vacuum, and whatever is happening alongside the making of a certain record, in the lives of people who are making it, in most cases affects the music, in a sense that all the accumulated frustration tends to be played out through it. That said, what were some of those circumstances that influenced the process of making this particular record?

E: There was a pandemic and the two of us were willing and able to make music together.

Is the notion that the songs pass through you from some other sphere of existence, that your label obviously subscribes to, their own exclusive impression or sentiment shared by the band as well? Do you feel merely like mediums that are at some higher power’s service, or musicians with integrity who don’t need any help to make some divine, profound music? Does being a medium excludes artistic integrity by definition, or is it its ultimate confirmation?

E: You’re really caught up on that press release, hey? The sentiments expressed by the label are shared by the band, but you’ve gone into this with some intent, subconscious or otherwise, of proving that the band is a more secular entity than expressed in the promotional jargon. We’re we to be spoiled with answering to journalists at an artistic level equal to the band, we’d be able to fully express things in the way we’d prefer, but you’d have us come back down to earth and roll around in the mud with you. Let us make something clear, Egregore is pure ecstasy and instinct. Orgiastic delight. A fiesta atop Olympus. Everyone is invited, even the tabloidiæ at From The Bowels Of Perdition, and unless we’re again forced to answer such prerequisite questions, we can spend more time having the fun for which this species could be destined, or we can more in fruitless intellectualism.

Egregore Interview 2022 (The Word Of His Law)

Would you mind deconstructing the meaning behind the album title by explaining who is he, what kind of law is he the embodiment of, who should obey that law, and ultimately, what particular word of that law the title refers to?

E: Yes, we do mind.

The word Abraxas is the one with many meanings. Is your interpretation of the word perhaps a reference to Dictionnaire Infernal by Jacques Collin de Plancy, with Abraxas being a demon that rules over 365 skies and 365 virtues?

E: Though I consider Jacques, Colin, and Tom Clancy to all be close friends, I can confirm that this is indeed not the case. Is this something you knew about going into the interview, or something you quickly slapped together off a Google search because you thought we’d be a certain way and you wanted to fact check us on classic works of occultism? We are men with day jobs, injuries, car insurance, food allergies, and our spirituality is a lamp in the endless night of Yaldabaoth, not some cheap faux-leather, hot topic wrist bracer stained with candle wax and house beer to be discarded when the show is over. If you want to poke holes in the dogma of a band that doesn’t really believe what they sing about, there’s no shortage of them out there. This question gets a three out of ten.

The complete, uncut version of this album’s title is The Word Of His Law: An address to Abraxas in his time and place, through his Grand Viseer, Thine Panpsycopompos. What sparked the idea for such a remarkably self-absorbed album title?

E: What makes the title self-absorbed? It’s his law, his Grand Viseer, and thine Panpsycopompos. We barely even factor into the equation any more than the operator of the projector at a movie theatre. This question gets a two out of ten.

To who or what would you attribute the band’s success when it comes to finding a common ground between harsh, cruel, at times even chaotic riffing and the exceptionally melodic, evocative, almost sentimental leads and solos? To a wide array of your influences perhaps?

E: Yes.

Is channelling the independent attitude and mindset of your influences more valid and dignifying than channelling their sound? When it comes to classic bands like Samael, Morbid Angel, Mortuary Drape, or Absu, would it be fair to say that Egregore aspires more to think like them rather than to sound like them? Or is it the other way around?

E: Yeah, for sure. You’re dead on. That’s a solid question. Eight out of ten.

The last two tracks on the album Libidinization Of Will Azothic and An Address To Abraxas feature some ritualistic chanting sequences and an unusual, almost neofolk aesthetics. Why it was important to end this album on a mellow note and to reach a tranquil climax rather than a ferocious one? Or should the sound of the whip at the end dispel that notion?

E: It’s not important! That’s the way the album ended, not the way the album must end.

As a band that is prone to experimentation, within certain boundaries of course, do you like to work with contradictions, both musically and aesthetically, and to put things upside down in a way?

E: There’s no thought given to what we’re doing. Intentionally trying to be adverse and experimental only comes off as pretentious. We are having fun.

Given the unconventional and eccentric complexion of your music and its tendency to branch out into various directions, do you feel predominantly defined by the traits of what black and death metal traditionally represent?

E: No.

Do you find it important to label your music?

E: No.

Do you feel that Egregore has the potential to overshadow your other projects at some point down the line and would you be at peace with the prospect of that taking place?

E: Only time will tell. We are equally at peace with Egregore becoming bigger than Beyoncé as we are with Egregore never putting out another record.

How, when, and how much do you listen to music these days?

E: Digitally on the computer while working, on headphones while working out, by CD in the car, and on vinyl LP in the house. We listen to lots of heavy metal, dark folk, classic hip-hop, world music, contemporary R&B, and soundtracks.

Would it be fair to say that all musicians are continuously in a state of both listening to music and working on their own, and that there is seldom a distinct separation between the two? If so, how difficult is it to prevent the former from having a pervasive influence over the latter?

E: I obviously couldn’t possibly tell you if it would be fair to say that or not. You’ll have to speak to all musicians and get back to me. Why would one want to prevent the music you listen to from having a pervasive influence over the music you write, especially in a genre where it’s so celebrated to sound identical to your predecessors?

Egregore Interview 2022 (Promo)

Humans are designed to neglect danger and live as if they will never get ill nor die. That kind of reasoning is essential for retaining sanity, since the opposite mindset inevitably leads to depression. That said, do you feel that excelling in art implies challenging that safe zone, where an artist cannot afford to be secure and comfortable?

E: This is your best question, or at least the one that speaks to me the most. At the time of writing, I am at the end of a deeply scarring event. I often thought of myself above mental health struggles, but I learned that this is very much not the case, and find myself struggling hard with classic post-traumatic stress disorder. How foolish, of course, to have thought that such struggles were exclusive to others. I find the days pass at an alarming speed, and my perception of the pace of life has been altered severely. Everything seems so ephemeral and fleeting, and I have a tough time bringing myself to care about many things that previously seemed important. Thoughts about my own mortality are constant and death often feels like the only escape. Accompanying this is a state of hyper vigilance that makes it often annoying to be in my own head. It is only my certainty in a oneness being with the universe that provides any contextual relief from a dynamic that sometimes seems like more than I can bear. This path toward unity is the driving force behind the creation of our music.

 

Per request by E. the email correspondence that ensued is being published as an appendix to the interview.

I don’t mind the antagonistic tone of your answers and I don’t mind the disrespect, but I do mind the fact that the arrogance and irony were mostly an excuse for not putting an effort. Which leaves a bad taste in my mouth, given the effort, time, and energy I put into these questions. I expected some more elaborate abuse ˗ it’s convenient to answer one third of the questions with yes or no and come across as smart, but the truth is that if you didn’t want to roll in the mud with me, you shouldn’t have even responded to the invite in the first place. All in all, apart from the last answer, very underwhelming experience and a waste of energy on my end. Wish I could turn back time, and save some. Thank you for the interview.

E: I found your questions both glib and fact-checky, hoping to either make a mockery of the over the top artistic presentation of the band or to somehow catch us in a lie regarding the sincerity of our expression. You called the record both pretentious and remarkably self-absorbed and these seem surprised or bothered that you’d hit a nerve. Your other questions are full of journalistic interference where your questions have the answer that you know I’m going to give you tied into it, and then you’re surprised I gave you a short answer. You’re incessantly referencing the press release and asking us if we believe it, and then you suddenly switch tone, asking us a handful of dollar store bargain bin questions before polishing it off with a powerful query on the human survival instinct. I think that your questions are long, and show that you’re capable of writing, but you didn’t enter the interview with the goal of presenting us respectfully, and then you disliked it when I met you in kind. Overall, I give the interview about a five out of ten, but there were flashes of seven, and even eight in there.

That state of hiper vigilance you referred to in the last answer explains your attitude towards my questions quite a bit. Why would I ask for an interview if I wasn’t thoroughly impressed with the album? I try to choose my interviews carefully, as there’s only so much time to dedicate to music and this website. It goes without saying that I didn’t want to make a mockery of the band or catch you in a lie of any kind. The fact I referred to the press release so much is because, alongside music, that press release is the only thing I know, or could possibly know about the band. Furthermore, regarding the pretentious comment, I was merely curious to hear your stance on how the forward-thinking disposition of your music justifies some rather unorthodox qualities like supernatural that had been attributed to it, which is a compliment if anything. You may be right about the self-absorbed question though, probably wasn’t the most appropriate nor fortunate of wording. However, there’s nothing antagonistic about that one either, or any other question for that matter, the interview was never meant to succumb to a verbal confrontation. Overall, the grading is pretty much the same, I’d give your answers a four out of ten, with the last answer being a ten out of ten. Can’t escape the impression that some other questions could have triggered similar honesty and in-depth introspection on your end, but perhaps I’m too subjective and remarkably self-absorbed thinking that, maybe the questions indeed weren’t good enough. Anyhow, it’s kind of underwhelming the whole affair ended this way, as I’d hate this experience to taint the future listens of the album that I still feel is outstanding.

E: Despite your implication that my feelings toward your questions are somehow influenced by mental issues, I actually answered them calmly and honestly. I’m hardly bothered, but there isn’t much context that you enjoy the album, which isn’t actually even a prerequisite for an interview, as I’m fine with us having an argument. At least it sets the thing apart. I can’t help but feel that perhaps the text format has dampened some of the humour of our answers, and perhaps it confused the intended tone of your questions. In any event, I don’t think this ended poorly. I think you should include our disagreement in the interview, as I think it’s thought provoking in regards to what is acceptable in the interview format. It wasn’t the friendliest interaction, but I’m sure neither one of us has chats like this too often. An argument with Egregore, perhaps?

 

Copyright © 2022 by From The Bowels Of Perdition. All rights reserved.