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Voidceremony's Garrett Johnson: "… It is the continuously degrading effect of the reflections of our human consciousness, unravelling and eventually diminishing into oblivion"

Interview with Garrett Johnson from Voidceremony
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 23 October 2020, 10:55 PM

Being cryptic, whether through music and lyrics, may be considered as a turn off, yet why would it be? Of course everything is about the opinion, what goes through people's minds, like why should one, after a busy day, would become submissive to try to understand a piece of musicality? Well, that is the idea, to take a different journey, not like a detective, but like a traveler, seeking to see the world. Listening to Voidceremony's "Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel" raises up wonderings, and due to that, Steinmetal talked with Garrett Johnson, one of the band's architects, about what is going on within the album, signing to a new label, musical experience and more…

Hello Garrett, I am very pleased to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing mate?

Quite well, having finally released "Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel". Hope you're well.

Out of the darkness, into the light and back to the darkness we go. Is this where we are getting at with this pandemic re-spreading outside our door step? How do you think this all ends? Can you see a spark of a foreseeable ending?

We focus on what pertains to ourselves, which is so far not obstructed, and as long as we still have that, we'll continue waiting it out. What has happened has certainly done strange things to society, interactions among people. The effects are drastic, but ultimately, it does not disrupt VoidCeremony's progression…

I think the first time I heard your band, Voidceremony, was back in 2017, when you guys released your third EP, “Foul Origins of Humanity”, through Blood Harvest Records. And now with “Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel”, it really came out of nowhere for me, and as a full length release. After being rather constant with those EPs, why suddenly go for a full length? Did you feel ready to go for the long haul?

We had the time and material for it. Some ideas waited for years, others were brand new. It was never a direct intention to have EP length or full length in the release order. It only manifested that way. Charlie and I planned to do the 2018 Binded to Unusual Existence Tour, then record our full length. It was successful. You will be surprised again when another release suddenly appears. There is no schedule or formula.

20 Buck Spin became the band’s new home for “Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel”, and I have the feeling that you will remain there for several years. How did that relationship start in the first place? What would you say the label found in you that it made the people over there to close you?

Having the raw tracks for "Entropic Reflections Continuum" for half a year or more, we were seeking a label, and we were recommended to 20 Buck Spin, a label which is based out of Pennsylvania…. I got in contact with them and I think we impressed them amongst the onslaught of bands they receive… Dave saw the potential in VoidCeremony's sound, and I think he digs what we create…. It's as simple as that.

With “Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel”, how have been the reactions towards it from the media? And let’s go to you as well, what is your general appreciation of this monstrosity?

Our reactions seem great so far. A lot of people are impressed with the chaotic, indeterminable path of the songwriting. Particularly the performances by Charlie and Damon, on drums and bass respectively- are what people are really into. That's what I'm about, as well. I think it turned out well but I'm looking forward to the new material.

If there is one thing that I like about progressive oriented bands is that most of them come up with those celestial, over the top, larger than the human mind sort of release titles. What ran through your head while thinking of a name for this album? Most importantly, please share what did you mean by this cryptic phrase?

Everything ran through my head. And what I mean is what you see. We spent months- literally over 6 months deciding on a title. It is the continuously degrading effect of the reflections of our human consciousness, unravelling and eventually diminishing into oblivion.

Deep within the lines, no matter how hard I tried, it felt foggy when it comes to attempting to interpret the lyricism. What do you reckon is the main philosophical wave the sweeps the album?

The main focus should be the instruments. That being said. Some of the songs, like "Desiccated Whispers and Abandoned Reality" are personal to me, so they may not make sense to anyone! "Sacrosanct Delusions", "Empty", "Grand Majesty", and "Solemn Reflections of the Void", on the other hand, are in particular more graspable and meant to allow the read easier into them. Give those a read again. Then get back to me!

Talking about the lyrics, and you can’t really escape this astonishing artwork that would make a person’s mind go wild with trying to comprehend what burned through one’s mind while creating such a magnificence. Can you assist please? What was the vision for this art?

I told Ivory Crux my ideas and through a few ideas of her own, we manifested what you see, collaboratively. What we see is her lovely interpretation of the ultimate form- the ancient vulva, a presence beyond space and time, the true source of all human consciousness. And what it holds is the origin of life. We see the menstrual blood in which all life flows…

 “Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel” returns the true nature of technical / progressive Death Metal, upon its rather oldest form of the late 80s and early 90s. While most bands that are going technical are pretty much a showcase of abilities, even though high calibre, yet without a soul in the material, Voidceremony is an odd kind of beast in the horizon of the present. What is your take on that? What motivated you to head against the grain with your music?

It's what we all naturally listen to and are drawn to are some of these sounds. I never intended heading against any grain. A lot of bands could do better in a myriad of ways. But what is important to me is creating unique music.

“Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel” is a sure complexity export of Death Metal music, needless to say for Metal music in overall. While writing the music and the songs, what do you think were your main challenges in this process?

Some of the main challenges for me were unrelated to the music. As a band, it was perhaps the limit of time we had together. But honestly, there are new challenges that are posed entirely different than ever before, for VoidCeremony. We rehearsed primarily through shows and even then, we had never played two of the songs as a band for example.

Observing the album in contrast to your past, how do you see the progress made by the band? Is there anywhere to go from here?

This is one single step forward in the true vision I'd like to achieve. I think once you feel truly satisfied, it's all over anyways. I've never felt that way, but again, every release from the past including the album now is a point of progress achieved for myself. To obviously improve the sound.

“Empty, Grand Majesty (Cyclical Descent Of Causality)” left me even more puzzled than trying to figure out the entire album. However, while not necessarily because of the album’s longest tune, it harbors the worlds and dimensions that are within the album. The range of influences and directions on this one are highly varied. Probably playing it live is quite a task. What can you tell about this ever mood swinging tune?

People seem pretty into this one. If it's too puzzling, consider a few listen. We have jazz fusion influence in here quite heavily.

Although I am positive that it will be tough on you, which of the album’s tunes do you favor the most, yet with a deep meaning of why exactly?

It's a tough decision for me, but perhaps "Abandoned Reality". The way the music sounds holds a lot of unexpected moments. The lyrics would never make sense to you or anyone, but believe me when I say, it's the one I enjoy. People typically favor "Sacrosanct Delusions" and "Empty", "Grand Majesty", which are some of my other favorites, but at this point. the whole album is interesting overall and that is what I favor about it.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, did you guys have any plans to go promote this album in a lengthy tour schedule or going minimalistic? Have you started thinking of 2021, perhaps even head over to Europe?

We would have performed at Migration Fest in late July and played a string of US shows. We have plans to head to Europe. Patiently waiting for the future. Anyone interested, keep an eye on our website voidceremony.com

How do you intend to prompt the new album nowadays? What about this whole live stream business, do you think that it would work?

It's something cool and perhaps worth trying. VoidCeremony will be around when this finally clears, even if it takes a few years.

Garrett, plenty of thanks and best wishes, I appreciate your time and effort for this interview. All the best!

Thanks.


 



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