Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with Dark Raven. An experiment initiated by Dean Mason of “Gnostic Gorilla” to explore a more abrasive/aggortech type project.
1. How did you get started in recording music?
As a lad I set out, with the help of my parents (they co-signed a loan) to record and release a single called “Dark Hallway/Golgotha”. I released the ’45 RPM (Vinyl) as “Dean Mason” on Lonely Ghost Productions. It was my own so called indie label. Just as an aside, I remember talking to “Nash the Slash” about this song (Dark Hallway only) from a payphone at my high school, asking him if he would work with me on this. He responded without hesitation “Sure”. Sadly, it never happened, not because he wasn’t willing but because I couldn’t follow through on getting to Toronto I think. Anyway, I revisited the idea of recording music (dark electronic) in 2012 on my days off as merely a hobby and eventually I released some singles (digital) as “The Lonely Ghost Project” and “Dean Mason”. Later I changed the name of the project to “Gnostic Gorilla” and released an album that was eventually rereleased by Cleopatra Records. (St. Basil’s Asylum) In May of this year I decided I wanted to pursue a more ‘aggrotech’ type project and initiated “Bleeding Raven” and released “Darkness Consumed” on Cleopatra Records in October.
2. How would you describe your sound?
Well, “Darkness Consumed” is quite dark and even in some ways haunting. Most of the tracks are fast paced but two tracks are more dirge like. I have to say that the remixes are quite excellent. There are 6 main songs and 4 remixes.
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
Initially, it was my father. He was in a band even before I was born so music is in my DNA. But later in life, as a lad, the first artist to really inspire me was Gary Numan. I mean, before that I was a complete KISS fanatic, but Numan truly inspired me to consider music. He broke new ground. He appealed to a certain audience…more loner types I guess. We didn’t call ourselves ‘Goth’ back then, but that’s what we were…sort of. But as time went on, I’ve been inspired by MANY artists. To name some: Type O Negative, Ozzy Osbourne and Sabbath, Dio, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor, Skinny Puppy, Japan and David Sylvian, Korn, Fear Incorporated, CRIX IIIX, Global Citizen, Zardonic, and the list is endless. I always mention that The Doors will always remain one of my favourite bands ever. The Doors and Gary Numan are at the top of my list.
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?
In some ways it’s amazing. (streaming) It’s practical and it gets your music out there easier…even without a label. But also, it has changed everything. Not just the streaming etc. but modern technology and the age of communication as it is today. I mean today, anyone can whip up some music, and promote it with easy to use programs that do graphics etc. and you can put it out there. So, thousands upon thousands of people just decide they are “little stars” and put their stuff out there and join the blizzard. It’s not a bad thing. It just is what it is. But it’s sort of like too much of anything makes that ‘something’ less unique, or special etc. AND…young people today have very little appreciation for the concept of ‘art’. They just see all the music as sort of free and there for the taking. So, in many ways, we are all just a bunch of hippies sitting around the cyberspace campfire singing kum-bye-ya and that’s it. Legends are no longer being made. We are at best recycling everything. Does it sound like I’m ranting? hahahahahaha
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
I have a career so, music is more or less my hobby. But that’s now changed.
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
I’m not a live act, so no tours obviously. As for the future, I regret to have to inform people that this is it for me as far as music goes. So, “Darkness Consumed” is the only “Bleeding Raven” release ever. There will be one more “Gnostic Gorilla” release on Cleopatra Records in the new year and that’s it. I lost my hearing completely in the left ear. I mean, not even a hearing aid will help. It’s dead. The other ear is at half capacity without a device and I’m scared as hell to lose that as well. I need to save what little hearing I have left so I can hear the more natural sounds in life. And in case someone wonders, the sudden hearing loss is NOT because of the music I’ve done. We just don’t know at this time what caused it. More tests on the way. So…that’s it.