Tuesday, 18 May 2010
S(ermo) III: Lovecraftian ambient
Dark music influenced by H.P. Lovecraft’s writings is about as hard to find as gospel music influenced by the New Testament. But it’s not every day that someone releases a whole album based on Lovecraftian lore, especially not someone who is a good friend of us here at the Chronicles. But this has just happened, as Norwegian ambient outfit S(ermo) III have released their debut album Easy Listening for the Great Old Ones. It's available in an ultra-limited, handmade edition, at a S(ermo) III website near you.
We suspect that it was Lord Bassington-Bassington himself who suggested the idea of a whole record of background music for Lovecraftian reading. We’ve tried that out here at Bassington Manor, and must say that Easy Listening for the Great Old Ones really makes one want to dip into the works by the Gentleman of Providence - and stay there for a good while. So we thought it only fitting to bring you a short interview with the illustrious young man behind the project, Marius Huseby.
- You have a background in extreme metal and very confrontational noise. How did the idea to make dark ambient – which, as we know, is new age music for goths – come about? And what are you doing besides R’Lyehan lounge music?
- Extreme metal and noise was starting to give me migraines, and I wanted to make music I could actually enjoy listening to myself. That is, basically, it. But I have also in the last few years opened my ears to a lot of dark ambient and darkwave music, and I figured I'd try to see if I could make anything interesting.
- I am, however, still doing the extreme metal thing, in spite of my migraines. I'm such a glutton for punishment. Fantöft and Eliminate are my two main priorities at the moment.
- Your latest release is entirely based around Lovecraftian concepts. Why are you so attracted to the Lovecraftian, and has the Gentleman of Providence influenced the way you see the world? Has he affected your religious and political views?
- I discovered Lovecraft at a rather early age; I think I read The Call Of Cthulhu when I was thirteen, and it did something to me. Something Unclean, Other-Worldly and Eldritch took hold of my Soul and made me the Horror Fiend I am today. Lovecraft has influenced my religious views indirectly, as he was a huge influence on Herr Doktor Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan, an organisation that I am a proud member of.
- Politically, I am so near total schizophrenia, my influences so vastly tangled, that anyone trying to get to the bottom of it would end up lost in a maze of Non-Euclidean Horrors Beyond All Time.
(Satanic carny style, as interpreted by Coop.)
- On the subject of Satanism, you seem to be one of the few people from the black metal subculture in Norway with the guts to be influenced by La Vey’s ”carny” style instead of the hippie/transvestite-in-black look common with male metalheads. What are your experiences with this, and have you any thoughts on how your style will progress in the future?
- Actually, I did do the Black-Clad Hippie thing for quite some time in my teens/early twenties. It got old real quick. I prefer the really outrageous attire of the carny, using COOP's Satan drawings as inspiration. Lately, I have been finding some real gems in second-hand stores, and I have a feeling my style will develop more and more into early 20's/30's British aristocracy. I'm a sucker for tweed. And checkered jackets!
(Skrållan Huseby, guest vocalist - or perhaps "purrer" – on the track "Atal's Cat".)