Lonegoat Unveils Secrets to his instrumental dark art
Lonegoat is the sole conductor of the keyboard-derived moods known as, Goatcraft. While he offered no argument against our saying his music has a sinister quality, there is a duality inherit in Goatcraft that properly reflects the human heart.
Instrumentals such as those found on his first recording, “All For Naught,” are best consumed in front of a fire while flames illuminate red-wine filled crystal. It's music that engages one's mind, as opposed to the manic energy released through a guitars-and-drums-metal band. However, Lonegoat gives a face, a bloody one, to his music.
The towering front man captivated audiences in the southern Texas area to the point that Corey Mitchell invited him to play the first ever Housecore Horror Film and Heavy Metal Festival. Sure, Goatcraft isn't a metal band, but neither is Goblin. Mitchell was so impressed with Lonegoat's performance at the pre-party show that he penciled in Goatcraft to perform on the last day of the festival before Goblin's onstage orchestrations of the Dario Argento film “Suspiria” enthralled over 1,500 fans.
Rex_84: You create all the music. There are no lyrics or other band mates, only Lonegoat behind the keyboards. What led to your decision to approach this group all by yourself without vocals?
Lonegoat: The beginning of Goatcraft was in its “discovery” stage; meaning that I didn’t have a completely clear picture of how to approach the project. After Pale Horse Recordings released a demo of some of my pieces, I then started to develop better compositions. My first full-length, “All for Naught,” was released earlier this year by Forbidden Records and has done rather well. I’m almost done composing the sophomore album, “The Blasphemer,” which will see an early 2014 release via I, Voidhanger Records based out of Italy. Luciano from I, Voidhanger has been great to work with these past few months.
I’ve found that working alone seems to suit me best. Originally, I had tried different ways to approach the project. I worked with the guys from Plutonian Shore briefly while attempting to do a full band, then I used a drummer, “Scapegoat”, but the end result has me living up to my stage name of “Lonegoat”. I work much better alone, and it will be even more apparent with my next release. It’ll show how much Goatcraft has grown and stands on its own feet without the accompaniment of other musicians being in the fold.
Rex_84: The keyboard sound you produce is akin to attending a 19th Century Hellfire club meeting. It has a sinister atmosphere. Does your band name give off the same impression? How did you conceive the name?
Lonegoat: I strive to create melodies that aren’t just dark, but somewhat epic in atmosphere. The name Goatcraft was conceived on the basis of an abstraction. It came to me rather quick and I didn’t spend time thinking of a band name. It perfectly suits the music that it banners.
Goat -> Left Hand Path -> Esotericism -> Abstraction
Craft -> Art -> Creation -> Abstraction
However, as many artists present their art to others, it’s open to interpretation. This is how I see the band name, but others may instill a deeper meaning to it, which in turn could hold weight as well.
I see the world almost through two lenses under the same exposition. One has me living my day-to-day life in mundanity; attributing much of my happenings the same way others do—daily routines and habits that benefit my life and keep me afloat in it. However, I’m a Realist/Nihilist in this regard. I look at sciences as our only interposition of what’s there, and what it’s like.
On the other hand, I’ve also found an abstraction in meditation. In this regard, I could be considered a Monist/Nondualist. Outside of meditation I revert back to being a Realist and base everything on a cause -> effect standpoint which proves to be the most beneficial way to walk through life.
Socrates may have been the most wise of all. He stated that he knew that he knew nothing, and he challenged everyone to prove that they knew more than that. He was not proven wrong. Perhaps we’ll never fully know more than nothing, and if someone did, they probably couldn’t communicate it.
Rex_84: Even though you present a dark vibe black metal fans can appreciate, Goatcraft is primarily a classical band. Were you trying to bring both genres together when you formed Goatcraft?
Lonegoat: Goatcraft has been lumped into more categories than it needs to be. Basically, it’s Neoclassical/Dark Ambient. It has its own unique sound that hasn’t been explored much by other bands or projects today. Some of the techniques go back to classical, and I personally call it “Necroclassical”, which also caters to the metal community in its mood. The next album will present a much more refined Goatcraft. I’m eager to see how people interpret it. Off the top of my head, it’s been labeled death metal, black metal, classical, neoclassical, dark ambient, soundtrack, neofolk, etc etc. I agree with people either calling it “Necroclassical”, or by its most accurate descriptive term, Neoclassical Dark Ambient.
Rex_84: Continuing with the motif of having a black metal aesthetic, how do you feel about black metal groups who employ full symphonies? Do you feel a sole keyboard lends enough to atmosphere of black metal music?
Lonegoat: Bands like Dimmu Borgir are a commercial product and don’t present their music as much more than that. It’s pop music for the masses. It has watered down esotericism to its most financially viable standpoint. It is populace music that equates to the lowest common denominator in order to be as accessible as possible. It’s for profit and nothing more. I wouldn’t even consider them black metal, honestly. I do like “For All Tid” and “Stormblast,” but they turned their backs on making narrative music and have become a product. Black Metal (much like Death Metal) challenges the tried-and-true, and implements challenge in ideology and in sound. True art takes something that is uncertain and presents it as certain. Early Emperor, Burzum, Mayhem, Beherit, Demoncy, etc have all done this. Goatcraft may appeal to the black metal aesthetics because it offers elements not found in conventional mainstream music. One newer black metal band that I enjoyed is Sorcier Des Glaces. My goal is to create music that infiltrates people to their core… Not surface traits that can be listened to as background music and cast aside as something that’s just “pleasant” and “fun”. Fuck fun. Create real art!
Rex_84: What is your musical background? How did you learn to play the keys? Who are some of your influences?
Lonegoat: I’m self-taught. For influences, I channel my mood into sound. My mood fluctuates as I’m put into different experiences. For the most part, I’m a fairly easy-going individual, but I’m disgruntled at what modern society has become. A lot of our problems derive from the French Revolution (the “Enlightenment”) and the Industrial Revolution for commercializing every aspect of our lives. Most people derive their joy from buying things, watching TV, small-talk about surface aspects of their lives (which actually could be artificial!), and bypass things that may make them feel uncomfortable and challenge their mindsets. The way I see it, I derive my inspiration from a dying civilization. We’re on borrowed time because we’ve overpopulated ourselves and we’re dysfunctional. So I’d rather create something that is my own with the most honest musical expression I can do with my abilities. It’s my peace in an insane world. Just turn on the news -- there is enough inspiration waiting to be tapped into with how horribly our world is being ran.
“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” -- Ernst Fischer
Rex_84: Goatcraft released "All For Naught" and I, Voidhanger Records will issue "The Blasphemer" early next year. Are you approaching the music in a similar fashion?
Lonegoat: “All For Naught” was released via Forbidden Records earlier this year. I’ve had time to contemplate the direction the music is going. There is less pounding on chords and more sublimity -- though, still aggressive in mood and aesthetic. It’s more well-rounded and I’m excited to be getting the material out to the public. It’s approaching the completion, then Luciano from I, Voidhanger Records and I will discuss how the William Blake concept will properly be presented. Each piece will coincide with a painting by William Blake. Originally, I was going to just write pieces for the four dragon paintings, but then we decided to include much more!
Rex_84: "The Blasphemer" pays tribute to one of the all-time great theological thinkers, William Blake. Blake's ideas and visuals were revolutionary for the times and remain important today. How does one properly convey his profound mind?
Lonegoat: Luciano confronted me earlier this year about the concept and I was in total agreement. For the most part, putting the visuals with sound may help make the paintings come to life. It’s my interpretation and I hope the end result does it much justice. I think it will -- it will be something very unique and truthful to the medium. We’re also talking about including excerpts of Blake’s poetry into the CD booklet since Goatcraft doesn’t have any lyrics. This will be my greatest release to date and I’m glad that I, Voidhanger Records is helping it materialize.
Rex_84: Goatcraft performed at the first annual Housecore Horror Film and Heavy Metal Festival. How do you feel about your show?
Lonegoat: Corey Mitchell invited me to play HHFF almost two years ago while it was still in the idea phase. I was the first project of the festival to perform. It went over well enough that I was asked to play on the last day of the festival as well. I played in between the bands during the awards ceremony (Rot-Scars). In all truth, it was the biggest event that I’ve ever been a part of. There were nearly 1,500 people there the last day. All of the organizers and staff were very hospitable and it all proved to be a great experience. Hopefully they turn it into an annual festival!
Rex_84: Did you stay in town for the weekend and catch any bands/movies? What was your favorite part of the weekend?
Lonegoat: I stayed with a friend in Round Rock during the weekend. I did attend much of the festival. I saw “Maniac” for the first time (what a demented movie!) and I saw many short films. One of the biggest highlights for me was being confronted by Attila from Mayhem, Tormentor, Aborym, etc. He expressed his appreciation for Goatcraft and took five “All For Naught” discs back with him from whence he came. I’ve been a fan of Mayhem since I was a youngster, so it was great to finally meet my favorite vocalist that was in that band! It caught me totally off guard. Goblin were also great to watch. They live-scored “Suspiria” and I was lucky enough to have a merch table that was positioned so I could watch.
Rex_84: The next time we speak, we will most likely have a copy of "The Blasphemer" in our hands. What can we expect from Goatcraft during this time? Have you booked any major shows?
Lonegoat: After ‘The Blasphemer’, I will have an upcoming split with the Neoclassical Dark Ambient project Khand. Labels are being discussed still, so I don’t know which one will release, or if it will be a combination of labels. Khand seems to have his head in the right place, and may bring some very interesting music to the split. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does. Shows are scarce in the near future. I have some gigs in Texas, and one festival ‘In the Valley of Death Fest’, which will also have some of my former band mates in Nocturnus AD headlining that show. The goal is much like my second performance at HHFF. I’ll play in between some of the bands there. It should be a good time to reunite with some of my old friends from back when I was 20-21 years old. Mike Browning from Morbid Angel/Nocturnus has been one of a few friends that have withstood the test of time.
For more information on Goatcraft, visit the band's Website.
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