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SCHOLOMANCE INTERVIEW | Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum

Scott: Hey Melissa. This is Scott.

Sibilla: Hi, How are you?

Sc: I'm good. How are you?

S: fine, thanks

Sc: Great. Are we ready to get underway?

S: yeah, sure

Sc: I'm browsing through your site right now.

S: great, ok, so your music seems to have allot of different elements, different styles. Who are your biggest influences?

Sc: We listen to a lot of different stuff ranging from classical to pure death & grind metal. Some favorites would be Cynic, Death, Dream Theater, Gorguts, old Swedish death metal, Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Rachmaninoff, Ravel. The list goes on.

S: I heard that only very few people could play Rachmaninoff

Sc: True. He wrote some extremely challenging music, as did many of the Russian composers. Scriabin is a lesser known composer and he wrote some stuff that has yet to be played due to its extreme difficulty.

S: I think I learned about him in music class.. So, do you believe in the Scholomance? I mean do you think it ever existed, or does?

Sc: I think its highly possible something like it existed, if it didn't literally exist. There are still a number of secret sects of similar nature.

S: I've been planning a field trip to the Carpathians for a while now..

Sc: I would love to go over there. I had a friend who got to spend some time in Romania a few years ago and she said it was really amazing.

S: Yeah, I've heard similar things too

Sc: It would be awesome to tour Eastern Europe.

S: yeah, So, the music is pretty complex, you definitely cant imagine only three people in the band. How do you manage live? Do the songs change?

Sc: Well, I'm used to being in smaller bands since I started playing. My first band was a 3 piece, and Scholomance was just Jimmy and myself for a good while. When we write this stuff, we try to keep in mind that we need to be able to pull it off live. We practice quite a lot. The only real change live is that there aren't 2 guitars but I compensate for a lot of that by thickening up my chords and riffs. Jerry plays some pretty intense bass stuff too so it fills in a lot of the spots left empty by not having the 2nd guitar.

S: But you play guitar and percussion, that's not very practical when plating live. Who plays drums?

Sc:We run sequencers when we play live, so basically we have everything recorded onto disc. We run a lot of extra keyboard tracks as well. On average we probably have about 10 digital tracks per song, then the live guitar, bass, vocals, and more live keyboards that Jimmy plays.

S:That sounds interesting.. I mean Id love to see you guys live. Are there any touring plans?

Sc:Not right now. With the last cd we had to refuse a lot of shows due to college and job obligations. We sometimes play locally right now.

S: Are you in college? Where is locally?

Sc:Yeah, constantly. I've got a major in computer programming but I'm probably looking at switching and going back to finish my art degree so I can teach. Locally is Southwestern Missouri.

S:Ooh that's interesting , what kind of art do you focus on?

Sc:A little of everything really. I switch around between acrylic painting, charcoal drawings, fine detailed ink drawing, and often combine all that into collage work. Then I can further enhance it with computer graphics now. I'm a bit of a photoshop addict.

S:Acrylics are kind of tricky, I like collages and charcoal..

Sc:Acrylic is definitely kind of difficult because it dries so quickly.

S:yeah, but the oils are sooo slow

Sc:I can't do oils because I have this thing where I rest my hand on whatever I'm painting, and I smudge oils too easily.

S:charcoal is not exactly a "clean" medium

Sc:No, but it's made for smudging and blending and it's damn great for getting out frustrations.

S:yes, and then you scratch you eye and its sore and red for a week..

Sc:Yeah, I've done that. I think my eyes are pretty used to getting paint and charcoal in them at this point.

S:So do you have anything on the internet?

Sc:I have stuff here and there. I can send you some files if you like.

S:yeah, that would be nice. How has this new album being doing?

Sc:The album is doing pretty well I guess. It's been strange lately because suddenly there are a bunch of new reviews and interviews. The album has been out for something like 9 months. This happened with our first cd too. It's very cool because we try to make this music have longevity.

S:that's great, I bought it when it came out, but I only recently started writing for harm so I really didn't have any good reason for an interview until a couple of weeks ago..

Sc:That's cool.

S: The album has allot of religious images in it, why is that? It was weird seeing the infant of Prague in there..

Sc:We all have an interest in religion and spirituality. It's always been a subject in our lyrics and it plays a huge part in the concept being played out in this album. I would say we're spiritual people, but certainly not into any mainstream religions.

S:What kind of religions?

Sc:christianity, catholicism... anything that doesn't let people think for themselves.

S:oh ok, i meant what kind of religions are you into?

Sc:Oh, I would say we probably have most in common with very old religions and people like the Druids and Celts, religions were nature and natural law play an important part. There isn't any one thing any of us have read that we would say, "That's the one. That's what I am."

S:There are things to be learned from all religions.You sort of make up your own theory or philosophy taking something from each

Sc:Basically. Foremost we're about creating our own ideas first. If we read something that is along similar theories, that's great too. I'm a big advocate of doing your own thing and being yourself.

S:can I ask how old r u?

Sc:I turn 28 tomorrow.

S:well happy birthday then, its almost twelve here

Sc:Yeah, I was born at about 7 in the morning. I'm a proud Virgo.

S:DId you do the site?

Sc:Yeah, I've done our website since day one when I barely knew more than one line of html. I still don't feel its complete but its hard to find enough time to get everything on it that I want.

S:well, looks like you have learned allot. I like the main menu, with the lobes.. its an interesting idea, makes allot of sense

Sc:Thanks. I thought it was a good idea anyway. I do a site for the artist, Dan Seagrave, too. That's at www.geocities.com/danseagrave It's in need of some major updates though.

S:I think the site is good,

Sc:I just got our band site updated last week, so I haven't had much feedback yet.

S:well, I posted it on the site so hopefully more people will see it.

Sc:Thanks.

S: Did you also do the photography on the album?

Sc:Yeah, I did some of it and did the layout for it all. Some of the photos are much older than me and were taken by my grandmother, and a few others by a friend.

S:you have some good pictures there.. Who is the girl in the cover?

Sc:A close friend of mine who allowed me to use the pics.

S:so the cuts are real?

Sc:Some are, some aren't. The whole layout was a really long process. I knew I wanted to use some of the photos way back when our first cd was out.

S:It's good, i like the railroad bridge with the angel

Sc:Yeah, I like that one too.

S:I saw in your site that you guys have a lot of literary interests. Who are your favorite authors?

Sc:I'm kind of stuck on the classics - Dante, Ovid. I like a lot of poets like Rimbaud and Baudellaire. I actually like a bit of Emily Dickinson too because she wrote a lot of brilliant poems about death and dying that are extremely in tune... Jimmy reads a lot about composers and music theory. Both Jimmy and I are into Anne Rice. Jerry reads all kinds of cool stuff. I never know what he'll come up.

S: ever read the death of ivan ilych? by tolstoy.. its the best piece on death ive ever read

Sc: Not yet, but I'll make a note of it.

S: I like Anne Rice.. she has good stuff

Sc: Anne Rice is great reading for musicians and artists in particular.

S: yes, i agree, there is just something about lestat and vittorio..

Sc: I just love the fact that she's able to describe art and music so accurately, and detail the various time periods. The vampires are of little importance when it comes to the pictures she describes.

S: Its like a history lesson, but i do enjoy her vampires...

Sc: Yeah, and it's great because it isn't history that's forced down your throat.

S: No. Could you briefly describe the bands song writing process?

Sc: The writing process is different for Jimmy and I. He will go off and write an entire song in one long sitting, then give it to me to write guitars for. I usually write one or two riffs at a time, then just sort of wait till I have enough and piece them together. Once everything is arranged, it's just a long process of practicing to get them right. It probably takes at least 3 months before one of our songs is what we'd consider fairly tight. Writing lyrics is the opposite for me though because I write a set of lyrics all at once. I wrote the first four songs' lyrics of The Immortality Murder in one night.

S: Well its not hard to imagine, the songs seem to have a very progressive flow, which takes more time to accomplish.

Sc: It's probably somewhat unorthodox. We never see each other except when a song is done. We go weeks without speaking to each other.

S: So, are you writing any new material?

Sc: Yeah, I'm working on 3 songs right now. Once I get them together we'll begin regular rehearsals again.

S: How long did it take the band to record the Immortality Murder?

Sc: We recorded and mixed the whole thing in a week. It was ridiculous to do it that quickly, but that's all the money we were allowed.

S: oh ok, and how about the writing?

Sc: Something like 2.5 years I think.

S: So it will be a while before we see anything new

Sc: Yeah, you're looking at a pretty good wait. This one might even take longer than the last one. I want it to be bigger and better and much more detailed. It's going to be a full concept album, so there's a lot of more careful calculation that has to be done.

S: i think that's the best way to go, most bands these days seem to go from good to ok to horrible

Sc: A year is too short a time to write and record a whole album. That's why most of the stuff coming out, it all sounds the same from cd to cd. A band needs time to think and progress.

S: Ill be waiting then, sounds very good

Sc: We're not the kind of band that has such a massive following that we need to put out anything less than our absolute best. Our fans are highly important to me and I want to give them my best.

S: oh ok, great, so Im out of questions.. is there anything youÂ’d like to add, or say, or i don't know, anything else..

Sc: I'd just encourage your readers to check out our music. If you're looking for something epic, technically complex and highly involving, then we're for you. People can buy the cds from The End Records and most other major metal sellers around.

S: Ok, so thanks allot,

Sc: Thanks to you as well. Nice talking with you Melissa.

S: it was great talking to you too,

Sc: Goodnight.

S: good night

October 7, 2002
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