Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sylvus Interview By Wheeling Rampage Productions

All photo credited to Voldamares

What is the name of your band? Is there any origin around that name?

We're called Sylvus, which was derived from the Latin word 'silvus' meaning 'of the forest.' Our music and lyrics are heavily inspired by the darker side of nature and the mystery it contains.

Who is in your band and what do they play?

I am Darcy and I sing and play guitar. Anastasia is also the guitarist. Luke sings as well and plays bass. Zakk is the drummer.

How did the band form?

Sylvus came out of our previous band O'Faolain, which Ana, Zakk and I were in, but I would say the band really started to become itself when we lost a couple of our early members and began to focus more on the black metal element to our sound. Before there was a heavy folk/pagan metal influence, but it ceased to be inspiring for us as a group to write and play that kind of music. Luke was a friend of Zakk's who happened to be looking for a band to play in when we needed him, and ended up being a really excellent choice. We had planned to try out a few different bassists, but we found everything we wanted in Luke.

What genre do you consider your band to be? Who are some of your major influences?

I would say at this point we play black metal. I will leave it to our listeners to sub-categorize us from there. As I mentioned there was a time when it was much more of a black/pagan metal sort of thing, with keyboards and so on, but all that was shed during an extensive period of hibernation and self-evaluation. As for influences, it's tough to say overall, everyone in the band writes riffs and takes part in the writing so ultimately it is our four combined tastes, experiences and inspirations. Our new album demonstrates a bit of influence from groups like Drudkh and other more melancholic, atmospheric black metal bands, but I would say since then we have been feeling a bit more aggressive in our writing and less interested in extensive introspection. It's tough to say from one day to the next what we may find interesting, but in lately it's been lots of Finnish, Ukrainian, British and West Coast US black metal. We also share an appreciation for second-wave Norwegian BM and Celtic Frost.

What kind of gear do you use? Are you loyal to any one brand?

I don't feel any of us are particularly brand-loyal. Zakk is probably the least gear-oriented drummer I have ever met. Ana prefers more classic high-gain amps and slimmer guitars while I prefer modern amps and very thick, heavy guitars. Luke recently got a Rickenbacker bass that everyone is quite happy about. In any case, we use what works, what individual pieces we like, not what has the right name or logo on it.

Who writes the lyrics and is there any main themes?

I write most of the lyrics, and Zakk recently wrote one song. I would say the main themes in our music are nature and man's treatment of it, and the hostile elements of nature returning him in kind. In a broader sense it deals with our disgust with humanity in general. On an individual basis, that's one thing, I have met many excellent and worthy people in my life, but as a whole I think we as a species have followed a regrettable path.

Where have you performed? Have you played with any major headlining bands?

We've played mainly in Toronto and the surrounding area, we have been to London, Hamilton, a few odd other places. Our personal lives make any sort of touring quite difficult. Here at home we've had some good opportunities to play for some larger crowds, most significantly with Triptykon last October. It was an excellent experience and Tom Warrior had some good advice for us after the show.

What is in mind for the band this year?

We hope to have another recording underway before too long, we have a few more songs nearing completion and we hope to do an EP or a split album. We'd like to find a more interesting way to release it though, rather than just give out mp3's and burnt CD's. Maybe vinyl or tape. There are some other projects on the go, Anastasia has been cooking up some amazing things on her own and I'm hoping to complete work on the next Misthelm release, but no promises there...

Any last comments?

Support Thantifaxath, Adversarial, Kosmograd, Battlesoul and Bolero. 

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