Almost 2 years ago we have been working together with Mike McCoy of The Metal Detector. He brings a lot of the material then we review on this blog. Days ago, came the chance to do interviews with some of the bands that made us know. However, the list had a name I knew before that they released their first album, and I like from the first time I listened to in 2013: Temple of Void. As soon as Mike told me"they are available for interviews", I began to work on the questions. Questions wereanswered in a fast manner, and who responded to my questions was Alex Awn, one of theguitarists of this excellent band called Temple of Void. And, as it was to be expected,the interview turned out to be very good. Don't believe me? Come and read.
Puro Ruido: Hello. How is everything there? First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to the interview. Let me introduce myself: I am Manel, from the argentinian blog Puro Ruido (Pure Noise)
Alex Awn: Everything is great, Manel. Heading off to band practice. Working on some new tunes for our second album tonight. As well as drinking a little beer, of course.
PR: Last year you released your first full album, which was, in my opinion, one of the best albums of 2014. How good was the response of the fans and the press?
Alex Awn: Thanks! The response has been humbling and very much appreciated. A lot of people really understood where we were coming from. The underground has been very receptive to our mix of death and doom. At the end of the day we only write music for ourselves, but it's great when it really resonates with others, too.
PR: I was lucky to meet Temple of Void through MMXIII Demo. At that moment I thought they were a good band. With Of Terror & The Supernatural I confirmed: Temple of Void are a very good band. That was the premise from the beginning, to create a group that is truly good? That is, there are too many bands saturating the scene, and it's hard to stand out among so many groups. You managed to stand out from the beginning
Alex Awn: Death/doom is a relatively small scene. It's a sub-sub-genre. So I think when a new band enters the mix it doesn't take long for other death/doomers to check it out. Our goal will always be to write music for ourselves. Music that we fucking love. But Temple of Void the entity definitely exists within the confines of Death/Doom and we have to make sure we honor that tradition and that vision, while still putting our own stamp on the genre so we can move it forward in our own way. When the band was forming we hand-picked a bunch of guys that we knew were all strong talents. To me, I'm on a Detroit dream team of players and I'm very lucky to jam with these guys every week. We have a passion for death and doom and so you enter the Temple of Void.
PR: According I read, you have participated in the tribute to Celtic Frost called "Morbid Tales: A tribute to Celtic Frost". There is no doubt that you are fans of CF, but I wonder how you came to participate in the tribute.
Alex Awn: We've known Mark Rudolph for a long time now. Our singer, Mike, had a piece in Mark's previous book tribute to Mercyful Fate. And Mike also got asked to draw a piece for the Celtic Frost book. When Mark decided to partner with CorpseFlower Records (from Detroit) to do a vinyl accompaniment to the book, he asked us if we'd like to participate. He's been a fan of the band since the demo and we were excited to be on the comp. I think the Evoken track is going to be monstrous! We covered "Os Abysmi Vel Daath" from Monotheist and recorded it at the same place we did the demo. I think it sounds huge and it really suited our style. We didn't want to cover an 'obvious' choice.
PR: Have been on tour presenting the album? I know that some weeks ago played on the Shadow Kingdom Riot, with Iron Man, Coven, Tombstalker, among others. Still on tour?
Alex Awn: No extensive touring for ToV. We're all old bastards with careers outside of music. We're playing Chicago this week with Cattle Decapitation, but no full tours on the books. We'll see what we can line up for the winter. If you know someone in Argentina who can help bring us down, get in touch.
PR: What was it that inspired you to create a band like Temple of Void, something so damn heavy? Today, it is easy to access certain information due to social networks and the constant flow of information. But what interests me is not knowing when or where Temple of Void was born, but how and why this band formed
Alex Awn: My other band used to train in Krav Maga together once a week. It's a military fighting system that borrows from a bunch of martial arts. Anyway, one day Eric came to train with us. Then we started lifting together. And we just struck up a friendship. We'd lift, listen to metal, and eventually we decided the time was right to join forces. We're very different types of guitarists and that yin/yang is what created an initial, successful, seed for the band. Then we recruited friends that we knew would make for a killer line-up. Brent on bass, Jason on drums, and Mike on vocals. Each person has an integral impact on the sound and the vision of the band. It definitely would not be the same entity if it wasn't for each of the five of us. Our demo came out in May 2013 and we probably started rehearsing in late 2012. The album came out in late 2014 and here we are in 2015 writing for the second full-length.
PR: There is something I love about Temple of Void: the sound is terribly heavy. Many people think that sound so heavy it is something that is achieved with suitable equipment and instruments. But extent to which is that more important than the attitude with which you play this kind of music? So, you can have the right equipment, but if you don’t have the right attitude, you will not sound heavy even if you try. But you better tell me. What is it that impels you to sound so fucking brutal?
Alex Awn: Music is catharsis. It's heavy as fuck mentally, physically and sonically. Heavy music is visceral. And if the people playing it are 'real' then they can channel that heaviness into almost any music they play. I'm in a band with four other heavy fucking dudes. We spend weeks or months crafting each song. We put a a lot of ourselves into it and it shows when it's time to hit the studio or hit the stage. And it doesn't hurt that we bring a lot of amps, too.
PR: How is the creative process? Is anyone to provide more ideas than others?
Alex Awn: Eric and I write most of the riffs themselves, but the band as a whole does the arrangements. You can't fall in love with something because the band can change it at any time in the creative process. So you bring a riff into this world and let the band take it from there. Mike is the only one who writes lyrics.
PR: Ok, we're getting to the end. What follows from now on? Take a break? Create new material to record a new album to follow decapitating people?
Alex Awn: We're actively working on our second album. It takes time to write these songs, though. It'll be ready once it's ready. We'd like to play more out of state shows while we're working on the new record. So we'll be reaching out to promoters across the US to see what we can line up.
PR: Ok, that’s all. Of course, thank you very much for the interview. If you want to add anything else, feel free to do so
Alex Awn: Manel, thanks for the great questions. Shout out to Encoffined from Argentina! Hails!