December Destruction
CoC interviews December Wolves
by: Drew Snow
Good American black metal bands are somewhat of a rarity these days, as they always have been. With this in mind, it's reassuring to know that there -is- a possibility for quality bands to exist in North America, as proven by December Wolves. The Massachusetts act recently put out an independently financed mini-CD entitled _We Are Everywhere_, and, although it only clocks in at nine minutes and two songs, it serves as a promising glimpse into the future. Vocalist Devon gives us the lowdown.

CoC: Why do you think the U.S. scene has such a distinct lack of high quality bands such as December Wolves and Absu?

Devon: To put it quite simply, Americans, for the most part, are fucking idiots. The moral value of this country has been placed in the garbage. I'm not talking about Christian morals or any of that shit, because we couldn't care less about that, but people here are just lazy. I understand that's common knowledge around the world, and a lot of people think that it's a bunch of BS, but it's not. In most of the European countries, people are brought up to care for the things in the world that they do. Whether it be music or art, business, work, etc. They're taught at an early age to take pride in their work. That's something that people are not brought up with here. If we sound European, then I guess it's because we were raised with similar standards.

CoC: December Wolves are slightly unique in that you use riffs that are very folkish and almost Irish sounding. What do you think influences the band in such a direction?

D: It would be hard to say what would influence us in such a direction, because as far as I know, none of us are really into anything Irish or any of that stuff. We don't dislike it, but we're not into that stuff as a band. People like it, though, so I guess it's cool.

CoC: Have you been satisfied with the success of December Wolves so far? Is that even important to you?

D: Our success is fairly moderate, as far as I can tell. We've been really lucky, though, to play with some really good bands like Absu, Enslaved, and My Dying Bride. We've also got a lot of friends, and fans all over the world. All in all, I'd have to say that I'm reasonably pleased with our success, which is good because it definitely is important to us. Things are changing now, and I'm sure that our popularity will increase considerably in the near future.

CoC: How has the band been received by the European audience?

D: As I said before, we've been very lucky to have a lot of friends over in other areas of the world, who have helped us out with distributing our demo and our album, and people seem to like our music. Those who have heard it, that is. I visit friends over in Europe every year and most of the people I meet with over there know who we are.

CoC: How was the recent live show with My Dying Bride?

D: The show went fairly well, I guess. The crowd was a little lame, but what can ya' do about it? I guess one could say that the kind of music that we play is relatively new to the people in CT. We had a good time, though. We met with some friends and made some new friends there as well. My Dying Bride put on a great show, and they were very cool guys to hang out with. Cheers to them!

CoC: Are there any plans for a tour in the near future?

D: We're definitely looking to tour in the future, but I don't think we're ready for anything like that, yet. We just want to play some more shows in the area, and then we'll see what happens when we do another album. Hopefully, we'll be doing another album and have it released by the end of the year, and then we'll see what happens with a tour. First things first, you know what I mean?

CoC: Have you been approached by any labels since the release of _'Til Ten Years_, and the subsequent MCD?

D: I think a lot of people think that we are signed with Hammerheart Productions still, so people should realize that's absolutely not the case. We signed with him for that one album, and that was that with him. We kind of kept a low profile for awhile after the album was released, and we've just been working on new material for the next record. Any labels or zines or anybody should feel perfectly free to contact us if they have questions or interests.

CoC: Were you satisfied with Hammerheart's handling of the full-length's release?

D: We were satisfied with some things. It was packaged fairly well, and he was a fair person to work with, but as soon as the record was released, he wouldn't contact us anymore. We would fax him a thousand times, and he wouldn't respond. We have no knowledge of how the record is selling, where it's selling, what people think of it, etc. We're all individually, heavily involved in the underground scene and we don't know these things. To me, that says that he's not advertising it the way he should be. That's not a good way to deal with a label, or for a label to deal with a band, for that matter. That is one thing that we are all very UNHAPPY with. He wanted to sign us again for another album, because he liked the first one so much and then when it was released, he didn't seem to care what happened. His loss, I guess.

CoC: Why did the band move away from the keyboards, female vocals, and acoustic sections of the debut? Will they be present on the upcoming full-length?

D: I think we moved away from that kind of stuff because we shouldn't have been doing it to begin with. When we started this band, we wanted to do stuff like that because we wanted to make the band sound good. We thought that would help with the message that we wanted to put forth, and it took a long time, and a lot of self-analysis, on the parts of all members, to realize that we're not into that stuff, really, and this resulted in our music becoming more personal. That's what did it, I think. I'm not saying that our music will not have any atmosphere anymore, but it's not going to be because of synth and all of that shit. Our atmosphere is going to be a lot more demented than that. Years ago, we became December Wolves, and it's taken a long time, but now, December Wolves has become us! Our next album will be atmospheric, but it's not going to make people dream of landscapes, and woods, and trolls, and all of that shit, it's probably just going to make you wish that you weren't alive.

CoC: What are some other American bands that you respect and listen to, black metal or otherwise?

D: As far as bands that are affiliated with the black metal underground, the only bands that we respect, or associate with, in the United States are Sorrow Bequest (ex-Uller), Absu, Angel Corpse (ex-Order from Chaos), and maybe one or two others. We also listen to bands like Faith and the Muse, Mephisto Waltz, L.S.D. I'd have to say that most of the music we listen to, though, comes from overseas.

CoC: How do your parents and relatives feel about your music?

D: Personally, I try to keep my relatives out of it. They don't need to know what I do with my time. They're really not a big part of my life, and when the subject of my band comes up they'll act like they're interested, and I don't need their bullshit. My mother is pretty cool, though. She likes Anathema, Helloween, Ulver, Testament, and some of the other bands that I listen to. She's the only one, in my family at least, who could really give a good fuck about December Wolves. I could care less about support from any other relatives.

CoC: What's your relationship with Dark Symphonies?

D: Well, we're all good friends. We like to go over to Ted Tringo's house, eat his junk food, and pick on him when he gets shitty black metal CDs. Ha, ha! No, I'm just kidding (Well...). He does a lot for us in the way of pushing our material, and advertising for us, and stuff like that. He's been very supportive of us, steadily, for a couple of years now, and I must say kudos to him for being so cool on that end of things.

CoC: Is it difficult dealing with a label such as Hammerheart, which is halfway across the globe, in Korea?

D: Yeah, that was a fucking hassle. It was hard because we would have to fax him and then wait for another fax, and all this other bullshit. It was a pain in the ass! We asked him if we could call him or something to make things a little easier, and he said that he wouldn't be able to do that because he couldn't speak English, he could only write it. That sucked, because even his writing ability was significantly impaired. We got through it, hard as it was, but we hope that, in the future, we never have to play games like that again. It's not like there were any established labels around here or even closer to us, for that matter. If we signed with someone else, it would probably be a European label, anyway. It just would've been good if he spoke English. I can't possibly emphasize how much we sat and tried to figure out what the fuck he was talking about when he faxed us and told us what he wanted to do with the packaging of the CD. It was fucking hard.

CoC: That looks like about all I can muster up for now. End the interview with any words you wish. Good luck to the future of December Wolves!

D: Thanks for the interview. Like I said before, we should be able to do another album, and have it released by the end of the year, so everyone should be on the lookout for that. It won't be like the last album, it's going to be a lot heavier, and a lot faster, and, all around, just more EXTREME! Cheers to you, Drew, and good luck with the zine and all in the future.

(article submitted 7/6/1997)


ALBUMS
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 6 December Wolves - Blasterpiece Theatre
5/13/1997 D Schinzel 9 December Wolves - We Are Everywhere
1/2/1997 D Schinzel 8 December Wolves - Til Ten Years
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