Interview by John Wisniewski for Damned by Light. Original posting here.
Why is the band called "Botanist" - could you tell us about this?
The songs of Botanist are told from the perspective of The Botanist, a crazed man of science who lives in self-imposed exile, as far away from Humanity and its crimes against Nature as possible. In his sanctuary of fantasy and wonder, which he calls the Verdant Realm, he surrounds himself with plants and flowers, finding solace in the company of the Natural world, and envisioning the destruction of man. There, seated upon his throne of Veltheimia, The Botanist awaits the time of humanity's self-eradication, which will allow plants to make the Earth green once again.
Why did you decide to play all of the instruments yourself?
The pool of potential candidates to make a proper, functioning band, the pool of candidates that were both real and potential, was unable to step up in the necessary way to make any project happen. Instead of being frustrated at others’ shortcomings, I did it myself.
Would you consider your music to be avante-garde black metal, or do you prefer another term?
I prefer the term “pre-jamp.”
Will you be playing any live venues this year?
If Botanist does, will you attend, John?
Do you know exactly what you are looking for in sound when recording?
Sure. But creation is also at its most potentially powerful when things are allowed to happen.
Could you name some of your influences in metal music and other genres?
To give you some new content, I very much enjoy the music of Zombi, and particularly the Zombi spin-offs, namely Majeure and Steve Moore’s 2012 album, “Light Echoes.” It’s kind of amusing to me when people make a certain kind of music together, and then form side projects to make something else, but that something else ends up sounding essentially the same as the stuff they were making together; but since I like A.E. Paterra and Steve Moore’s music so much, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Could you tell us about recording your latest album? Was this a difficult task?
It being difficult or easy is not something that ever occurs to me. The process is monumental in its being utterly engrossing and fulfilling.
The next album, “IV: Mandragora,” is largely a concept record about the alchemical creation of a mandrake, a mythical homunculus that screams when pulled out of the ground, killing all living things within ear shot. Azalea, the entity in Botanist’s pantheon, the perceived source of the voices within The Botanist’s head, directs him to raise an army of mandrakes to wipe out humanity. The album is scheduled to be released February 19, 2013 by The Flenser.
What plans do you have for the future?
Officially, albums are being released, other albums are being made. The concept is becoming more specific, clearer, resonating in a more meaningful way with what I believe is fundamentally important. The next few years are clearly outlined as far as Botanist’s creative progression is concerned. Wait and hear.
Your music seems to be cinematic in its sound, any films that may inspire your music?
None at all.