Hi Roger, thanks for taking the time to do an interview for “The Metal Observer”.
First tell me about the band, who's who and how you all got together.
Well BLACK HARVEST formed a little under two years ago. Kishor (Guitars/Vox), Kirsten (Bass) and Eric (Drums) got together when Kishor decided to get a band going again. He had been doing some other projects by himself and I think was just needing something new (or old for that matter) The summer of 2002 I met Kishor when I was visiting friends in New York City, we hit it off talking about Metal and music in general and became fast friends. Luck would have it that I wound up moving to NYC a few months later and so we decided to get together and so, after a few name changes, BLACK HARVEST was born
There's really an eclectic mix of styles on the debut "Shrine Of Hours", does everyone bring something to the band writing wise?
Yes and no. Some of the material on “Shrine Of Hours” was written before we all got together as a band, songs Kishor had done on his own. During the Spring of 2003 Kishor went on a writing binge and literally just dropped all of this great material into our laps. I had written a couple songs as well that we played live but for the most part SHRINE OF HOURS was all Kishor's baby. Kirsten and Eric contributed to a couple of the older songs and I had one track that we recorded for the album (“The Grey Hours”) but for the most part it was all Kishor, we felt his material was just too damn good so we recorded it all in a flash at the end of August and there it was. As far as the differences in music we all have our tastes, some broader than others, but that's just the way it all comes out in BLACK HARVEST. We have no intention of sticking to one particular sound or vibe, we like music too much
What would you say are your personal influences, and influences for the band in general?
The band's influences, I feel, are fairly simple. The main reason Kishor and I hooked up was a common love for KATATONIA, also OPETH and SWANS are a huge influence over the music, with of course nods to AT THE GATES, SATYRICON, and other greats. I believe JOY DIVISION is even listed as an influence in our bio. Me, personally, I feel my music tastes are erratic at best. NEVERMORE is a huge influence on me as is PINK FLOYD and DARKTHRONE, GRAVE, IMMORTAL, DAWN, HYPOCRISY, and even Elvis are huge for me. Hell BEACH BOYS' "PET SOUNDS" album is always in steady rotation for me
What track do you find best represents the band, or what one track would you recommend someone listen to get an idea of that you're like?
Oh that's tough. I still feel “Shrine Of Hours” to be a starting point for us we recently finished an EP and are beginning work on a second album and there are tracks off those that are very different from the album, yet I feel they represent us a lot closer “Funeral Feast” is a great one to introduce us, as is “Lamb's Revenge”.
What one track would you take of the album, or take back into the studio to redo?
That's really funny, we took off two tracks from the original recordings to redo them, they are now on the EP.
“Lamentation” and “Harvest Of Souls”.
What changes did you make to them?
“Lamentation” needed serious work on the guitars, they just did not come out right in the final mix and HARVEST OF SOULS we took off so Kishor could rework the vocals make it more Death Metal.
Tell me a bit about the lyrical side of the band, who writes them, what are they about, etc...
So far Kishor has definitely had the main role in the lyrics department. I can't speak for him exclusively being as he is not here with me right now but I know that he tends to write what he knows all of his songs stem from the same places as most people. He writes about his life, what he's seen, what he's going through, what he sees going on around him, things he hates, things he believes in or disbelieves for that matter
What one Metal and one non Metal song would you like to cover in BLACK HARVEST?
Ah the eternal "cover" question. We have tossed around ideas, we always felt if you are going to cover something than you have to kind of make it your own so all of the standards are out. The two that stick out was a cover of “Spiritual Healing” [by DEATH] which I was really pushing for, can't get much more Metal than that, and as for a "non-Metal" Kishor and I are huge DEFTONES fans and were considering a cover off of their “White Pony” album.
You mentioned you have a new EP finished, and that you're working on a new album, tell me about them.
“Lamentation” is the title of the EP, we just finished artwork for it and haven't had any plans to put it out yet we are still pushing “Shrine Of Hours” right now and we're just writing too many damn songs to keep up is all. “Lamentation” is a 5 song EP very much showing the diversity of the band, we go to both extremes on it; from dissonant Black Metal to an almost entirely acoustic track, with everything in-between. The new album is still very much in the works. I am definitely having a more active role in songwriting for the new stuff, which is really cool. Kishor and I balance each other well when it comes to songwriting and I am excited to hear where the new recordings will take us. Kishor and I are both very into grand imagery so we have decided to try a "concept" album of sorts, can't divulge too much though, would ruin the surprise.
Are you an active band touring wise?
Touring would be great but unfortunately no, Kishor and Kirsten finish up college this year and up until now it hasn't really been an option. Mostly we just play in and around the NYC area
Thanks a lot for the interview Roger, I'll let you end of with anything you'd like to say.
Thanks for giving me the time to ramble. We are working hard to get our music out to as many people as possible, as rabid Metal fans we feel our contributions are definitely worth being heard, and we like talking with other Metal heads. Feel free to contact us if you want to check out the band, already like us and want to chat, or friggin hate us and want to tell us so...we love you all. Thank again Mark.
2003: Shrine Of Hours (CD, Self-production)
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