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......::::LICREST (USA)::::......
Realized at: 14th, March 2014
(Answers by Armon Nicholson)

"...The only doom influence I really have is Type O Negative - and only some of their stuff was in the realms of doom. So this album quite literally came from my own personal interpretation of doom - low, slow, heavy, and dark..."

1. Since your inception in 2013, you've become with a great album on your hands. Delivering a astonishing and passionate sound. Let's start things off with the story about your past as a metal musician. How and when did you first get into this music?

I started playing guitar when I was 13, back in the 90s. I grew up on classic rock and early heavy metal, like a lot of other musicians my age. Initially I just played old Metallica songs all the time but years later, around 2006 or 2007, I really started listening to a lot of new music and taking my guitar playing seriously. From that I started playing a lot more, and eventually started writing a lot of music. I've been a fan of heavy metal since I was about 12 though. I just love the raw energy that's in it.

2. You are actually involved in several musical projects aside from LICREST. Could you tell us about this and how so you attain to keep your mind on a multifaceted experience?

If my memory serves me correctly, I currently have 10 different solo projects, all in different subgenres of metal. As my musical tastes expanded and I started writing lots of music, I ended up with a huge pile of songs. I decided to create bands - solo projects - for each genre that was represented. And sometimes I'll hear a new band from a new (to me) subgenre of heavy metal and I'll think to myself "I think I can do that", and I'll start writing music. I have different guitars and amps for each tuning, and that helps to create different sounds for each of my projects. I also try to just write what I feel. If I'm in a thrash metal mood, I write thrash metal, and so forth.

3. What stands behind the LICREST name? Is there any special meaning behind it? How did you get the idea to use that name for the band?

Licrest is Old English/Anglo Saxon for "Tomb." I felt it was an appropriate name for doom metal.

4. I am curious to know more things about your debut CD. Tell us something about the main idea of the 9 tracks. How did you record it? Did you have any problems during the process and all sorts of interesting details for our readers?

Well I'm going through a stressful period in my life right now, and I found that doom metal provided me with a great way to express those feelings. Plus I really enjoy slow, heavy songs sometimes. So that naturally formed in the Licrest sound.

Writing the album came very naturally and very quickly. It was a great album to write, and only took me about 2 months total. I recorded it in my studio using Reaper. The amp I used for all the guitars was my Firefly that I built - you can find the schematics on google for free. It's an all tube amp that puts out about 2 watts. I ran a tubescreamer into that, and put it through an old AlNiCo speaker from 1964. Seeing as Licrest is tuned down to Bb, I had to make sure the tone wasn't too bass heavy or muddy. For the drums I used drumcore 3. The rhythm guitars turned out a bit more raw sounding than I would have liked, but other than that I really like the way the album turned out. I aimed for a slightly bass and bass drum heavy sound - so it sounds good cranked up!

5. Can you explain the method of songwriting employed by LICREST? How long will it take to complete a song?

That really depends on the song. I can usually churn out music pretty quickly, but sometimes I get stuck for months on a song. There's songs on Devoid of Meaning that I wrote in just a few hours, and there's songs that I wrote during those writing sessions that I still haven't finished - roughly half a year later. It all depends on my inspiration and how much wine I've had, haha. But 95% of the time it's just me sitting around with a guitar in hand and if I write something I like, I immediately record it so I won't forget it. From that I'll build a song. Sometimes, like when I'm at work, a guitar riff will pop into my head so I scribble it down onto a piece of paper for later.

6. Why did you decide to play all the instruments, instead of forming a regular line up, let's say of about 4-5 musicians? Is it a matter of total control of your music?

I'm in the military so I move around a lot. This makes it very hard to form a proper band. I had a few bands when I was a teenager, but doing everything myself really just makes it more convenient. Since I wrote the first Licrest album I've done some work with other musicians in other projects of mine, but for some of my stuff - like Licrest and Only a Shadow Remains - there will never be any additional members, because the music is very personal, and I want every aspect of it to be completely me - for better for for worse.

7. Being a one-man-band means that you can't play live. Is this something you're missing? Do you think LICREST´s music is suitable for live appearance?

I would love to perform live one day, but as you said, I can't really do it unless I put together a band. I think doom metal - even death/doom like Licrest - can be tricky live. I personally wouldn't want to see a bunch of super depressing songs live, but I would enjoy something slow and heavy. So I'd just have to pick my songs carefully to keep the energy level high. I think there are some songs on Devoid of Meaning that would be fantastic live, though.

8. What are some of your interests, occupations and hobbies outside of composing sick music?

I'm big into fitness and health, vintage cars and guitars, and building anything I can think of, from guitars to amps to furniture. I also love travel, and I love good food.

9. How would you define doom metal? In your opinion, how much did the doom/death metal scene change compared to the late '80-s/early '90-s?

Well I'll be honest I'm just not very familiar with doom metal. The only doom influence I really have is Type O Negative - and only some of their stuff was in the realms of doom. So this album quite literally came from my own personal interpretation of doom - low, slow, heavy, and dark. Since I only know a couple doom bands I can't say too much beyond that - but I will say that I prefer death/doom to standard doom. I personally think low death growls can be much darker than clean vocals in many cases.

10. Let's talk about your technical skills. Are you a self-learner, or do you have some musical education? Do you think that musical education is important, when creating, or playing music? Or both?

I am entirely self taught on guitar. When I bought my first guitar, I learned how to read tabs and immediately started learning Metallica's first albums. I never learned how to do so many technical things back then - I didn't even know how to play an F chord for 2 years! But if you asked me to play a song, I could. I have since of course learned a lot on my own (thanks google!) but I am still self taught on guitar, bass, and drums. I did have a bit of vocal training back in high school, although that may not be obvious haha. I think musical education can be very helpful, but what is most important is that a person is comfortable with their instrument and knows how to express themselves through it.

11. - Well, that would be all for the moment...thanks very much for your time. If you have anything to add in the end to conclude this interview.

Thank you! Look for a new Licrest album out in early 2015. It'll be in the same vein as Devoid of Meaning, but it'll be heavier, meaner, darker, and longer.

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