Voices from the underground
Interview with atmospheric black metal project
Great Cold Emptiness
It’s hard to don’t get impressed with Elksworth, the very young mind behind Great Cold Emptiness. I met him as just another fan of music, in FB, and then I was introduced to his ‘creative world’. To give you an idea, during our conversations he released his second book, release a new album of A Perfect Day, his post-rock/post-metal project, and pre-released a compilation and a brand new GCE album – now not alone, but with a band! So, take a time to seat around a campfire and hear some news about this great atmospheric black metal project: Great Cold Emptiness!
I strongly reccomend you to GCE page at Bandcamp and listen to Violet mist & infrared stars before continue reading
GM: Fuck, I’m listening to Father Elk and it’so good!
Elksworth: Thanks dude!
GM: New release of GCE too… you’re a machine, man!
Elksworth: I am haha. Im 17 so i have lots of freetime.
GM: Free time is not the point, do you have a criative urge wich is admirable!
Elksworth: Thanks man 🙂
But I didn’t like the result of Father Elk.
GM: Really? Why?
Elksworth: idk really. it just wasn’t me. I much prefer what I’m doing now.
GM: You have seventeen but works a lot – released various music titles and are about to publish your second book. Thath is something very admirable – how it is possible????
Elksworth: Hahah, well I’ve been creating music since I was 12, and I have over the years evolved myself to new genres and styles, and completely immersed myself in the aesthetics of them. Writing and Music are the two most natural things to me, and thus, It is expressed with my creative outpost.
GM: Well, to the the past now: can you share with us your first musical memory?
Then, what was your age when you started to enjoy music in a conscient level – and, if possible, tell us what was the first record you bougth.
Elksworth: My first musical memory was when I was I started to really enjoy Progressive Rock and Electronic music. The first album I bought was Rush’s Test for Echo.
What was your age when you started to make music? And what was your first musical release?
Elksworth: I was 12 when I released Love Poisoning, my first ever album on bandcamp. It is now lost, but I do recall it being extremely repetitive EDM/Techno pieces. The album was for a project called “Dark Hardware” which is the first project that I ever had.
How your musical taste changed? How do you came to BM?
Elksworth: My music taste changed overall when I was first introduced to Burzum + Windir, and the whole BM scene unfolded in front of me. It was all there, and at that same time, I loved the aesthetic of it, as well as Doom Metal. I was around 13 then.
GM: Inside the metal universe, what was your first project?
Elksworth: My first project was Lovedrown, a piano based Funeral Doom/Black Metal project with a lot of ties in with dark ambient and noise.
GM: And when you stated to work in Great Cold Emptiness?
Elksworth: Great Cold Emptiness started in 2014, actually as a band, but that ended abruptly and thus, I began to take it as a side project, and soon I wrote Violet Mist & Infrared Stars which received a lot of praise. I continued the efforts and soon it became a thing.
GM: A band with physical interaction or virtual?
Elksworth: The band was with virtual for a while, but now, has a full physical lineup.
GM: Yeah, I noticed! Looks nice!
Elksworth: Thanks dude!
GM: There’s some history behind the name?
Elksworth: At first, GCE was meant to be more of a standard funeral doom name, so the history speaks for itself, in that, the name of course symbolises the emptiness of the world as a whole. I was a very depressed person at the start of the project. Things would be recorded then never released. I’ve always had an obsession with Paganism so thus, I began exploring that sound under that name, which then turned into the debut EP.
GM: It’s a very powerful EP, really creative and interesting. Do you remastered it to 2016, right?
Elksworth: Thank you! And yes, there is a remastered version of the EP out now on my Bandcamp.
GM: Do you changed the artwork… in the first, it sound wise and plenty, the second shows some angry… would you like to coment?
Elksworth: The artist of the artwork, Ivan Shishkin, has two paintings that I admire, of the same person, so I used one for each of the albums.
GM: Tell us about you composition process. It’s DIY or do you uses studios?
Elksworth: All DIY. At first I usually have an idea on how the album should sound, then I begin composing the drums, then keys, then guitars then vocals. Then I master the file, export it and upload to Bandcamp.
People always ask where I get the ideas from. Great Cold Emptiness is an observant project, meaning that I get ideas from nature itself, and I replicate certain natural elements into the style.
GM: How many time do you spent in the first EP?
Elksworth: Almost 5 or 6 months. It was originally supposed to be a full-length but I had 3 -4 good tracks that I released, so it became what it is now.
GM: In 2015 do you released this EP, the Father Elk album and pre-resleased the remastered edition of the EP and Angel Outcasts & Idle Worshippers… It was a full year….
Elksworth: Father Elk, I do not associate with GCE at all. The EP is almost done, and the next album Miles Before I Sleep is in the writing stage so in the coming months I will be busy with recording.
Saturnine Despondencies is just a compilation of my old work, new demos, unreleased stuff, an anthology of sorts.
GM: Oh, this would be very nice!
Elksworth: Yes, I plan for a physical boxset release.
GM: You’ve posted [at FB] that you would like to assigne with Pest or some ‘major’ underground label. Do you have looked for labels?
Elksworth: I have, such as Solitude Productions and the like. But with Pest, they have not replied after 6 months and Solitude said they want “better quality music” so its basically as if my music is not to their standards.
GM: Have you tried Depressive Illusions?
Elksworth: Yes, and they dont offer me what I need due to limited promotion.
GM: Oh, I see…
How would you rate your experience with Bandcamp?
Elksworth: Bandcamp is great. They’re the reason where I am today.
GM: What about the public’s feedback?
Elksworth: With GCE I have more “fans” then APD, all because of bandcamp. It all revolves around change.
GM: Well, indeed… your projects have a very different sonority…
I hope you don’t take me bad, but I think that also GCE and Father Elk have fine roots on 90’s…
Elksworth: I like the music of the album, but it’s not GCE. Its for a new thing maybe. Not sure yet.
GM: With a new album and a compilation to be released, what more should we expect for 2016?
Elksworth: I have some new ideas for GCE, more oriented towards a rock approach, sort of like newer Green Carnation, and a temporary drift away from the metal side of things. So, with a slight style change after the 2nd album is what you and fans should expect.
GM: All right!
Well, lets talk about music now.
Whats the album you listened more in all your life? And what would you point, today, as your favorite of all times?
Elksworth: My favorite album of all time is Sigur Ros’s Valtari. That album has been through my life more than any other. It is the epitome of a perfect ambient, wintery, sweet and lively post-ambient album.
GM: What are listening now? What was the best album of 2015?
Elksworth: Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields is the #1 2015 album. Surprisingly, 2015 was THE year for Doom.
What underground means to you? Do you wanna to stay at underground or would you like to get bigger?
Elksworth: Depends on the project. I would love to become bigger absolutely, but all in various degrees.
GM: Would you like to recommend some small band or project, which deserves more attention?
Elksworth: City of Dawn, The Last Surrealist, Lectoblix, Carnivorous Forest and a lot of other bands in my circle of friends.
GM: Some mesage to your listeners???
Elksworth: Thank you for always listening, and thank you for the words of encouragement 🙂
GM: Well, it was a pleasure!
Elksworth: Cool, dude!
Follow Great Cold Emptiness at FB.
Listen and support GCE at Bancamp.