Winterus Vocalist Christopher Neu Talks U.S. Black Metal, Zombies, And Christianity
Band Photo: Winterus (?)
A new addition to the U.S. black metal scene, Michigan's Winterus has just dropped it's debut through Lifeforce Records, a monument to frozen despair titled "In Carbon Mysticism." Winterus vocalist Christopher Neu recently corresponded with Metalunderground.com about the new release to explain the band's place in the black metal world and the album's strict anti-Christian lyrical stance.
"There is nothing wrong with acting 'Christ-like' but there is a lot wrong with Christianity. Thankfully it is coming to an end and I hope to help and support this in every possible way," stated Neu. He also goes onto discuss recording a music video on a snowy night with no recording budget and even to talk digital zombie slaying and car theft on the Xbox.
xFiruath: When did the band originally form and how do all the members know each other?
Chris: Late 2009, we formed in Albion Michigan, we knew this was it for Cody, Nathan, and I. We know each other from being in different local bands around the scene. Never really locked down a band that was our niche.
xFiruath: Tell me a bit about what Winterus sounds like. Beyond just being a black metal band, what defines the sound of your group?
Chris: USBM is expanding and it's important to note that we will not weaken what this truly stands for. We will make sure that everyone is educated with the un-arguable truth that the Americans religious agenda and pseudo science is detrimental to our advancement as people. Everything that is shown to you is a glimpse of a half-truth and if we can express that in our music then I can sleep at night knowing we are at least trying to inform and spit in every American Christian’s face.
There is another side to this story and it is absolute depression, the only feeling left by me to describe my pain and suffering is that of someone who's body wants to stop existing every day. It is something that I write about because I truly understand what it is to feel remorse and want to die every day. I will write what I feel in effort to dwell in the sanctity of what music is. Black metal is pain, beauty, suffering, darkness, and the fucking cold. We will always write by these standards.
xFiruath: Where was the new album “In Carbon Mysticism” recorded?
Chris: Battle Creek/Kalamazoo Michigan. We started the pre-prod on “Harmonious” shortly after signing with Lifeforce. We did not have much time to write and gather songs, we had no budget, and most importantly no fancy gear. It took forever to do the drums and we wasted a lot of time only because everyone kept getting sick, our drummer three times, and myself (which I never get sick) three times. We recorded it all and just got through it.
xFiruath: When did you write the songs for the album and how does the band write music?
Chris: We started writing shortly after signing. We mainly come up with a concept, I'll tell Nathan (guitarist) "I'm kind of feeling a ‘Whoracle’ riff here" or "a Bathory kind of feel here" and he knows exactly what I mean. When it gets to Cody’s (drummer) ears he just takes it completely to a new level and before we know it we usually end up with a pummeling end product.
xFiruath: Is there a particular meaning or story behind the album’s title?
Chris: The album is a take on sci-fi thinking, but mostly to deliver an image of brutal honesty in mysticism or paganistic/satanism traits. When you go through life I feel like it’s important to learn from things but also to remember to be noble and respectful. Some people do not deserve respect, and others will actually follow religious indulgence because it is what they need. There is nothing wrong with acting "Christ-like" but there is a lot wrong with Christianity. Thankfully it is coming to an end and I hope to help and support this in every possible way.
This band portrays an honest image, and while we are not perfect as humans, and never will be, we cannot and will not retain enough knowledge to understand our God complex. We are fucking pathetic as it is and to be insulted with borderline delusional teachings is a painful thorn I cannot bear as a human any longer. The album will show that clearly in songs such as "Christ Reign," which is about burning Christians and ending the reign of Christ.
The lyrics have two themes, killing Christians and giving them what they deserve. The other is about pain and seclusion. Growing up with no one, being with no one, wanting to die every single day and never finding a way to pull your head above water. Pain, disgust, sorrow, and suicide. Ending your life.
xFiruath: Where did you guys record the video for “Harmonius,” who did you work with, and what was the shooting like?
Chris: Open path with snow layed softly under an opening of trees. We found perfect refuge in a stage with this in the backyard of some one’s house we knew in Athens, Michigan. Pulled out some cameras, lights, and fog and blasted our track, all of a sudden it starts snowing and we just keep shooting and shooting. Two hours go by and we have nothing but perfect shots, it was incredible, we drank beer and fucked off all night. My buddy Stephen Richmond was the mastermind behind it all. We just collaborated and sat down editing it with zero budget. It was an experience to remember.
xFiruath: I saw you posted your gamertag on Facebook – what games are you guys playing lately? On the multiplayer front personally I’ve been all about the Left 4 Dead 2 these days.
Chris: Haha, fuck yeah man. We are all zombie dudes, but we have been playing Black Ops more lately. Honestly I am still playing GTA4, but I don’t really follow any missions, there is enough satisfaction in just tanking everyone in the chest with a shotgun and fucking cops up to follow some gay fucking story. I will have to pick up Left 4 Dead, I’m honestly not that inclined to Xbox live and just got into it. I wanted to get online so I could talk to fans and shoot the fuck out of people.
xFiruath: How is your local metal scene these days and do you get to play live shows often?
Chris: Back when we were in death metal bands we would play two shows every weekend and it was awesome. The scene in Michigan is dense with the East Coast hardcore sound, still dabbling in some deathcore. You've got influences like Pulling Teeth or Ceremony and all the Bridge Nine/Deathwish type bands. Which doesn't leave a bad taste in my mouth, growing up as a Jacob Bannon fan.
xFiruath: Will you be touring in support of the new album?
Chris: Yes we have booked a tour for the entire U.S. We will leave in two months, and will be out for two. Hoping to be touring for an extremely long duration. In all honesty we want to get the fuck out of the United States. We all want to move and be as far away from America and all its bullshit as much as possible.
xFiruath: Seen any really great or interesting shows lately?
Chris: I'm really not the type to go to shows in all honesty, I don’t like any of the music that comes through here and I would rather do other things. Sometimes I just feel like walking on the street and people watching is more interesting than seeing what stupid fucking bands are playing. I am very interested in playing with/seeing this band called Woods of Ypres from Canada. They have been in my playlist lately. We are playing with them in Detroit next week.
xFiruath: What bands/albums are you digging lately?
Chris: Besides afore mentioned Woods Of Ypres, another band I’ve been listening to is local Cemetery Deskrator, from Jackson Michigan. It is true satanic black metal and they scare the shit out of everyone. Also, Alcest, Blut aus Nord, Subrosa, and Nokturnal Mortum. Typing this email however, I'm listening to some older Bathory!
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?
Chris: I want to make sure that people understand USBM and what is stands for. I support the decimation of the Church 100%.
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