January 2008 - PALE DIVINE
One of the musical highlights of 2007 was definitely the third album of PALE DIVINE. It really shows in a refreshing way, how geniously one can combine Doom Metal with classic Hardrock and influences of the NWOBHM. All this is played in very emotional and soulful manner, and there's no doubt about the band's authenticity. The band's capabilities in writing remarkable anthems is impressive, and so I decided to contact drummer Darin at the end of 2007. Here's a highly interesting insight in amazing world of PALE DIVINE.
Greetings, Darin. Let's start with a few questions about PALE DIVINE's new album 'Cemetary Earth'. Firstly, I send over a big praise for it, because it's definitely an excellent release, and maybe the best in the band's history until this day. What do you think about 'Cemetary Earth'?
I like it a lot, probably best of all our releases. I guess though that's a normal thing to say since it's our latest and the songs are still relatively new to us but I think there's a lot of things on Cemetery Earth that came together the way we had intended previous releases to sound but somehow missed the mark. That's not to put down our previous stuff but until Cemetery Earth I had never been pleased with the overall production value of our recordings. I think Cemetery Earth is as close as we've come to having things sound the way we had envisioned...so in that sense I'm very fond of it.
It has been the first time, that you recorded the album at Chris Kozlowski's Polar Bear Lair Studio. How did you get together with him?
No, we've recorded with Chris K. on Eternity Revealed from 2004 and he mixed and mastered our first Cd Thunder Perfect Mind. Cemetery Earth may be the most significant release we've done with Chris since it's the one we're most pleased with...as far as production. We went into the studio with a pretty clear idea of how we wanted things to sound so we definitely had a lot more input with regard to mixing and what we wanted the final product to sound like.
As far as getting together with Chris, I guess that started around 2000 or 2001 when when we wanted to do the song Dark Knight with Bobby Leibling. Chris had come recormmended to me by Adam Heinzman from Internal Void, and since we were working with Bobby it seemed to make sense to work with somone who was close to where Bobby lived but moreover his body of work during that time was pretty well known in this genre of music and he had already begun working with Pentagram (Joe and Bobby) just prior to working with us on Thunder Perfect Mind.
I noticed in the press info, that you enlarged the band's line-up with a fourth member. Please, introduce him to the uninformed reader and did he join PALE DIVINE after or before you entered the studio to record the new album?
Yep, we have a second guitarist now and his name is John Klein. He joined us back in the spring of 2007, which unfortunately was about a month or two after we finished up working on Cemetery Earth. It would've been great to have had him play on the album but he'll be on the next one for sure.
One of the included tracks of 'Cemetary Earth' is named 'The Conquerer Worm', which is also an altenative title for the legendary witch-ploitation film with Vincent Price. Is the song influenced by this movie and do you like obscure horror flics?
Yeah, and that's a great movie - it has nothing to do with the song though. 'The Conquerer Worm' was taken directly from the poem by Edgar Allen Poe (which was also where the movie title derived from incidentally) and it pretty much follows the theme of the poem...'The Conquerer Worm' or death if you will, is the protagonist in this theater of life and in the end he always takes center stage. It's a really interesting poem and one of Poe's most colorful in my opinion.
In opposite to a few other Doom Metal bands, PALE DIVINE draw also a strong influence from the legendary period, which we all know as the NWOBHM. Your blend is truly magic and it works extremely good. It's honest and authentic, and the result is the band's typical style. What do you think is the reason for this well-working chemistry?
Thanks Well, I don't know what makes the combination of influences work so well for us... it just comes natural I guess. People have said that we bring in a variety of styles that blend together. People mention heavy 70's, NWOBHM and traditional DOOM metal...I guess I never thought of us as blending styles or influences more over just playing music in the style that initially inspired us to pick up instruments in the first place. This is the music we feel and if it sounds "honest" and "authentic" it's because it is.
PALE DIVINE recorded three albums, which have been released thru three different labels. I Hate Records is the one, that is up-to-date. What is the reason for this changes? Have you never been satisfied with the label's promotion and will you record further albums for I Hate Records?
The reason is pretty simple basically every label we've been on seems to fold shortly after they release our CD. Game Two records initially released Thunder Perfect Mind but never got around to repressing it because they decided to scale down and only release 7"s and stuff when they felt like it. After a couple years...and some demand, they decided to turn the rights over to
PsycheDOOMelic rrecords in Austria, because they expressed interest. The deal with Martyr records started off really well, the distribution was good and we sold out of the first pressing in about a month or so. Shortly there after they lost their distribution and were having a harder time getting their product out there. So they also decided to fold and only deal in licensing downloads which is why you'll see Eternity Revealed on iTunes and Emusic.com.
So far things have gone well with I HATE they seem to promote really well as far as running adverts in major Metal magazines and getting their releases reviewed by major publications as well as a myriad of online webzines and stuff. As far as promotion I'd honestly have to say that I HATE have been the best so far...no complaints. We're not under contract to record any more releases for I HATE but when we have new material demoed we'll certainly send it to them and see if they're interested in working with us again. I think that's a pretty cool way to go...no pressure to anyone on either side.
Apart of the music, I really like the title 'Cemetary Earth', because it's a damn good description for the current state of mankind. What do you think is more responsible for mankind's way into the grave: religion or politics? Or do you have a complete different point of view?
That's a tough question because it really depends on your perspective. There's lots of places you can look and find things that are causing problems in society. Certainly you can blame politics and religion chiefly as they're the most obvious place to start but realistically it just comes down to how people simply interact with one another.
I think people to often look to other people to guide them through life without making decisions for themselves. I think if someone tells a certain group of people that "this is Gods will" or that a certain violent type of action is the "correct" means to resolve a conflict then they do what they're told. A lot of people are raised to never question authority. It's important to always remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Maybe some of the readers will remember that you worked together with Bobby Liebling on PALE DIVINE's debut full-length 'Thunder Perfect Mind'. This is some years ago, and Bobby Liebling is constantly working on his downward spiral. How do you remember the recording sessions with him?
I saw Bobby at the Doom or be Doomed festival in Baltimore Maryland in April. He looked a little worse for wear but considering what I know about his lifestyle it's really no wonder. That's his business though and it's not my place to judge him so we'll just leave it at that. As far as my memories of the recording session of Dark Knight and 20 Buck Spin all I can say is, wow, what a day! Greg and I picked Bobby up at his house and took him to Chris Kozlowski's studio to record his vocal tracks.
He did everything perfect in one take and we got to spend the day with one of our heroes and ask him every question we could think of about the mighty Pentagram and converse with him about 70's hard rock and heavy metal...he's a walking encyclopedia of music. It was a real treat to work with Bobby that day. He was clean and in good health - really a very cool, friendly down to earth sort of guy. It's really a shame that his health started to diminish shortly after. Such a waste of amazing talent.
What going on with FALCON, the other band where you playing in?
Well, for those who don't know Falcon consists of Perry Grayson (Destiny End, Artisan, Isen Torr) on guitar and vocals, Greg Lindstrom (from legendary epic heavy Metal band Cirith Ungol) on bass guitar and yours truly on drums. We recorded our second full length CD titled 'Die Woncha' which was Perry's clever twist of the famous album title by West, Bruce and Lange 'Why Doncha'. Anyway we recorded that last fall at the Polar Bear Lair with Chris K. as well. Shortly there after Perry moved away to Australia and got married so things sort of got put on an indefinite hold for a while. As it stands now everything is finished except for the artwork so it shouldn't be long now.
When did you start playing drums, and in which bands have you played before you founded PALE DIVINE?
Oh, I began playing drums in grade school but put it aside for a few years and didn't start playing seriously again until the late 80's. Of course I jammed with several people over the years and tried to form bands but things never really seemed to click. I really have a hard time playing music that doesn't inspire me...you'll never see me playing in some hard rock cover band in a local bar or anything, it's just not going to happen.
Music is an art and I'm very selective about the type of music I'll be involved with. Having said that, Pale Divine is really the first band that I can honestly say I've been with. Greg and I formed Pale Divine because we were tired of playing with people in bands that we didn't see eye to eye with and wanted to play a particular style of music that I don't think most musicians around us were interested in playing. We've been going ten plus years strong now and still very into what we're doing.
It's no secret, that Doom Metal isn't the music to become rich and famous, and in general this shouldn't be the reason to start with a band, with exception of some spineless creatures who would sell their mother just to see their faces in some magazines. How do you earn your money, Darin or are you currently without any employment?
No, I have a full time job, we all do. We don't make a living from Pale Divine. It's very difficult to do that...sometimes things progress and many musicians do become rich and famous after some time. It doesn't happen often but if the stars are aligned and the earth is in proper rotation and the crickets are churping in unison then MAYBE you'll become rich and famous playing and performing original music. As you said though, "Doom Metal isn't the music to become rich and famous, and in general this shouldn't be the reason to start with a band". That's 100% accurate! Music is an art and art should be personal expression that can not and should not be compromised by dollars and cents.
What are PALE DIVINE's plans for 2008?
We'd like to release the follow up to Cemetery Earth. We've been working on new material and things are rolling along pretty smooth. We'd also like to tour Europe again, this time hitting more places than the last time we were there. I don't know if we'll be able to do that but that's what we'd like to do. We didn't tour at all for Cemetery Earth so when the next CD comes out we really should hit the road for a little while.
Okay, we have reached the end of our interview. Thanks a lot for spending your time in answering my questions. As usual, the last word shall be yours...
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to speak to the readers of Cosmic Lava Klaus...your support is really appreciated. Keep checking out our myspace site www.myspace.com/paledivine and our official home page www.paledivine.com for updates. Thanks again!