NOMEN EST OMEN
CULT BURIAL: what’s in a name? Could you tell us more about what the band name signifies?
Literally nothing. There’s nothing behind it and there’s no meaning at all. It just seemed to fit the music I had written and just seemed to work.
Consisting of only 3 members, does CULT BURIAL feel complete? Simon takes care of both guitars and drums. Will you always be using session musicians during live performances? Or are you searching for an extra force? How about Felipe Grüber who seems to take care of additional guitars?
It’s purely a studio project, so this sort of setup works for me. There’s no live playing and I don’t plan to, so there wouldn’t be the need for studio musicians. Felipe plays bits of guitar that I can’t, he’s way better than I am! Does it feel complete? It feels as complete as it needs to.
CULT BURIAL seems quite productive with 2 EPs (‘Sorrow’ & ‘Oblivion’) and 1 full-length in 2 years. Is there any positive impact coming from the pandemic in that sense? Is creativity something that is coming naturally, continuously, and smoothly? Or do you ever face writer’s block?
The first releases were written very quickly. It was the first Metal record I made, so ideas came out fast. There wasn’t much thought or delving deep to find ideas, it just came out, then vocals went down, then I mixed it and done, on to the next track. The pandemic gave me more time to work on the record ,that’s for sure. Writer’s block? Yeah, now I do. I want the next record to be grander and more elaborate, and it’s taking time.
Your self-titled debut full-length album was received very well. Some even called it the debut album of the year. Did you expect this kind of response? Which goals did you set yourself when unleashing your brainchild to the outer world? How did you get the word out, and how did you promote your work?
No, I didn’t expect that kind of response at all. There weren’t any goals at the start, I just wanted to release a record. The reviews were great, and the metal community is amazing when it comes to searching for new music, taking the time to listen to it, and then sharing it with people. That really helped promote the record. I worked with a PR company who specialise in underground Metal, and they did an amazing job of getting the record reviewed.
So far, CULT BURIAL did not sign to any label yet. Which record companies did you share your material with? How was the response? Which label would be your ultimate dream? How about SEASON OF MIST (Underground Activists)? Would you be interested in signing to a major label and increasing your reach or would you prefer to keep it more underground?
At first, I thought it would be interesting to see if a label would be interested in the record. I sent the record to 15 or so underground Metal labels, but I didn’t get any responses. In hindsight, I’m pretty happy about that. CULT BURIAL is a studio project and I guess that makes it pretty uninteresting to labels, but really I am comfortable working entirely as I want without other people being involved. SEASON OF MIST is an amazing label, they have released so much music that I truly love, so to release a record with them would be incredible, but I am not sure that would ever happen. They put quite a few CULT BURIAL on their Spotify playlist, that was a good moment.
How do we need to imagine the London Metal/underground scene? Is it alive and kicking? Which local bands do we need to look out for? Do you consider it a network?
I don’t really know. I’m not a ‘traditionally’ Metal person and don’t have any ideas on the network. I love finding new bands and searching out new albums though, but I don’t do that in London.
Encyclopaedia Metallum aka The Metal Archives describes your style as Black/Death/Doom Metal and lists BELPHEGOR as a similar artist. On Spotify, CULT BURIAL fans also like ASHEN, ABSCESSION, BURIAL, DESCENT, FIAT NOX, HELSLAVE, and SULPHUROUS. Can you relate to any of these comparisons? Which bands are your real sources of inspiration? How would you describe your sound yourself?
I’ve never heard a BELPHEGOR track before, so any similarity is purely coincidental. Same thing on Spotify, I’ve never heard any of those bands before, but I will take a listen. My heavy inspiration is early SEPULTURA, I love that band. I am more inspired by particular guitars I play rather than any other bands, and the recording process itself.
You released videos for ‘Sorrow’, ‘Dethroner’, and ‘Disorder’. They look professional and occult. Who are you working with? Which stories would you like to bring with these videos? Also, the art which accompanies your albums and singles is dark yet appealing. How important are these aesthetics? LEGERDEMAIN took care of the artwork of the full-length. How did that take shape? Who did the cover for the Oblivion EP and the Disorder single? Is it a conscious decision to have a logo that is legible?
The LEGERDEMAIN collaboration was awesome. I wanted to get someone ‘proper’ to do the album cover and stumbled across work he had done for other bands. I loved it. To me, it was the image on the sound if that makes sense. I sent him a message and he was happy to do an image for the album. After that, it was his ideas purely and he delivered an incredible image to use for the record. Actually, it was LEGERDEMAIN that came up with the text/logo for the band as well, before that I was experimenting with different ideas, but now have stuck with what he came up with. It was a very conscious decision to have a legible logo, Illegible logos are cool, but not for this band.
Simon composes the songs. How does this start? How do other members contribute? Is collaboration happening online or in a rehearsal room? How does the writing process go?
Everything starts with some guitars, either a progression or a riff, but only if it can match to some drums in a way that really makes sense to me. If that works, I’ll build the rest of the track around it. There’s nothing written or planned, and I’ve got no musical knowledge beyond “that sounds good”, so it’s all very impromptu and on the spot. It’s very free-flowing, and if it just doesn’t work, the idea gets binned.
Are CULT BURIAL‘s live shows in line with that same identity? How do we need to imagine such a performance? Which visual aids do you apply? What are the tour plans? Which countries will or would you like to pay a visit? Which bands will/should share the bill?
There’s no plans to play live. That won’t ever happen.
CULT BURIAL appeared in the books MONOCHROMES and RIPPING TONGUES. What kind of coverage is featured?
That’s all down to LEGERDEMAIN, the guy who puts those books together asked if we’d like to be included and of course I said yes. It’s about the album artwork and includes some quotes from LEGERDEMAIN, talking about his views on the piece.
César is also in ENBLOOD. What do we need to know about ENBLOOD?
All you need to know is: they’re great, check them out. Brutal stuff.
What are CULT BURIAL‘s plans & ambitions?
I’m working on a new album. Slowly, but I am doing it. I was planning for a 2022 release but that doesn’t look likely, so there’s going to be a single of 2 along the way, and I’ll aim to release it mid-2023, with a limited edition vinyl release.
Thanks Simon & CULT BURIAL!