SL: Hello Matthew, welcome to “The Somber Lane”. Thanks for giving us the opportunity for this interview. First of all could you please introduce yourself to our readers and to who doesn’t know about you? What’s the meaning behind the “Terra Deep” moniker?
ME: The name “Terra Deep” has no meaning by itself. I chose the name because I liked the sound it made as I spoke it, I liked the shape of the words, and I enjoyed the images and feeling it evoked in me. There is no objective meaning. It was chosen purely for my own subjective response to it. Musically, Terra Deep is black metal, but I wonder how accurate that title is as time goes by.
SL: I know that you’ve been quite productive in 2014, releasing a full length and two split albums. Would you please tell us something about these records? Which is the one that you enjoyed the most playing and recording? And the one you are most proud of?
ME: The “Inamorata” full-length was released in February, and was my attempt at something more atmospheric and post-black. It was the culmination of months of writing and recording. On the other hand the two splits, “Mariposa”, and “Terra Deep/Nyarlathotep” were both written and recorded in a matter of days. In the case of most of the split with Nyarlathotep, all of “Nearer to the Sky” was improvised, and the others were written and recorded in the same day. Where “Inamorata” was bigger and more grandiose, the splits were my way of experimenting with a more raw and gritty approach more in line with traditional black metal. I’m proud of all three, but “Inamorata” represents a much larger investment of time and emotion, so if I had to choose that would be the one I’m most proud of.
SL: So what can we expect from the next Terra Deep’s release? Are you going to experiment new sounds? Is there something you can unveil?
ME: The next album is called “Part of this World, Part of Another,” and it should be coming out in the next few months on Dusktone Records out of Italy, and I’m excited to be working with them on this one. It’s definitely a departure from “Inamorata” in that I’m playing around with some new ideas musically. It’s hard to describe really, but I expect to alienate at least a couple of fans… I guess you’ll just have to wait until it’s out to see what I mean!
SL: What bands and artists influenced the most this latest album and Terra Deep’s sound more generally? And what artists are you listening at the moment?
ME: Opeth was a big influence on this one, and it will definitely show on a couple tracks. As far as other direct influences, it’s hard to say. I have a pretty broad taste in in music, and I think that we are all to some extent influenced by EVERYTHING we hear, whether or not it is through conscious adoption, or subconscious. This album is definitely more varied and spastic in terms of sounds that my previous work, and probably reflects a recent broadening of my listening spectrum. Currently I’ve been listening to Son of Aurelius, Thantifaxath, Stoned Jesus, and for some reason a lot of Frank Sinatra.
SL: Well Opeth are one of my all-time favourite bands so I’m pretty curious to listen to your new record. Anyway, I noticed that all your stuff is available for free-download on your Bandcamp page. Why did you decide to do so? Do you think that it’s a smart move to suit todays music business?
ME:Just starting out as a solo project that wasn’t playing live, the music was my only promotion. I wanted as few barriers between the music and listeners as possible, so I decided to take out the monetary barrier. The first demos and album were recorded either free or very cheap and released digitally so I had nothing to try to recoup by charging for it. If people wanted to pay for it, I just saw that as a nice bonus. Getting the music to the greatest number of people was the most important thing at the time, which seems to have worked as I’ve just signed a contract with Dusktone Records out of Italy for two albums. The costs of production are going up, so the next albums won’t be free, but it’s not like it’s difficult to download music for free. I don’t have a problem with people downloading music, because every person who can listen to the music is a person who can share it. Serious music fans will support artists they enjoy. It’s just a matter of creating awareness of the music.
SL: Beside Terra Deep do you have any other side projects? And what do you do in your everyday life when you’re not doing stuff for your band? Any other hobby?
ME: Side projects? Yes. Too many, actually. I have Amzamiviram (Noise), The Codex Seraphinianus (Funeral Doom), Crystal Shyps (Electronic), The Danger (Rock), E.V. Tooms (Acoustic), Eldritch Flamethrower (Thrash), Kingdom of the Sun (Stoner Doom), Pagan Dawn (Raw BM), Tapeworm Tampon (Grind). So, yeah, I keep pretty busy with music. Music is a big part of my life, but the other half is school. I’m working on a physics degree at the moment, so that takes up most of the rest of my time.
(Here are links to the other projects)
The Codex Seraphinianus
Kingdom of the Sun
SL: Sadly we have come to the end of our chat. But before we wrap this up you can add whatever you want. If there’s something you’d like to say to your fans and our readers this space is all yours. Many thanks for your time.
ME: I suppose all I need to say is prepare yourselves for the new album. It won’t be what people expect, but in a good way!