World of Ruin
CoC speaks with D of Australia's Woods of Desolation
by: Johnathan A. Carbon
Johnathan Carbon speaks to the very stoic creator of Woods of Desolation -- one of Australia's more intriguing black metal acts. Multi-instrumentalist D discusses the new album, views on the current black metal climate, and makes a very strong declaration on perceived side projects.

CoC: Ive been hearing more and more coming out of Australia. What is the metal climate like there? Has it changed at all since the short time since your inception?

D: I guess bands here (especially black metal bands) over the past few years are actually finally starting to get their work released on overseas labels and having distribution overseas, so I suppose more people outside of this isolated country are now starting to take notice. Whereas, say, ten years ago, many of us were content just to have self-released tapes handed out to friends.

CoC: Can you talk more about your lyrical choices? Did you feel the internal themes to be more important than black metal's tradition in theism and nature?

D: Like with the music I write, lyrics are just another personal expressive outlet. I don't strive to write anything with specific themes / ideas in mind; whatever comes out, comes out. I have no desire to purposely try and fit in with typical black metal "traditions", I'm just doing what comes naturally to me.

CoC: _Torn Beyond Reason_ is your second full-length, after a few demos, EPs and splits. Was this recording any different than your first release?

D: Yes, very different. Instead of recording at home by myself on shitty equipment that I had no knowledge about, I decided to pay the money and use a proper professional studio in order to fully achieve what I had in mind for this album. I think it was a wise decision.

CoC: I've noticed the new album having a deeper, more dynamic sound. Was this intentional?

D: For the past few years I've had this vision in my mind about how I want my work to sound, and I believe with _Torn Beyond Reason_ I have come pretty close to that vision. It took a couple of years to have enough material I liked, but I believe it was worth taking my time. I've always been of the belief that each successive release should be better then the previous, and that is what I somewhat aim for. I don't think there is any point going backwards or doing the same thing twice.

CoC: Austere seems is commonly referred to as a side project comprised of your current drummer (Tim) and former vocalist (Desolate). Is there any overlap with the creation process between bands?

D: Austere is not a side-project of Woods of Desolation, we just happened to share common members at various times. I formed WoD in 2005 and it wasn't until recently that I got Desolate (around 2008 or 2009, I think?) and then later Tim involved in the band; both members of Austere and both people I have known for many years now. It seems still to this day that people get confused about WoD and Austere, some believe Austere broke up to form WoD, etc. How would that work when I formed WoD years before Austere even started? I'm actually getting pretty tired of seeing reviews from people misunderstanding the band's history and line-up information and then spreading it in their reviews as fact. All people need to do is take a few seconds and check metal-archives for example, or read an interview and you will see the answers.

CoC: Not to dredge up quotes from the past, but I read your 2006 demo supposedly had the inscription: "Woods of Desolation will exist with or without you". Do you still hold true to this autonomous, slightly negative approach to making music? Has anything changed in five years?

D: No, I guess this comment still stands. Although some may view this as a negative / rude / arrogant approach, it wasn't really intended to be. Basically when it comes to my music, I do it for myself, not to please anyone else, nor will my work ever be swayed by anyone else's opinion. This is my music and I will continue to do whatever I want with it, and this sentiment will continue until the day I decide to end WoD.

CoC: Do you keep up to date on what is happening with black metal in any particular country besides Australia?

D: Not really anymore. I lost interest in checking out new bands some years ago now. I'm sure there are of course great bands still around, but I just got disappointed with constantly hearing black metal that was "just OK", you know what I mean? I think it's just all too easy these days to create a black metal recording in a few days and have it released on a label on any format, which sadly results in a lot of sub-standard releases being made and distributed. I will always have the old "classic" releases to satisfy my black metal desire, which I think will forever be unmatched in all aspects.

CoC: What would be your favorite metal record from 2010?

D: To be honest, I actually don't have one. I didn't really bother to listen to many metal albums last year.

CoC: What about your favorite non-metal release from the past five years?

D: Tough question, I can't really narrow it down to one single favorite. But I would probably say Ignite - _Our Darkest Days_, Sigur Ros - _Takk_ and Anathema - _Hindsight_ would be right up there.

CoC: What about film? I know Australia has a particularly funny history in grindhouse films. I believe hip people in the states call it "Ozploitation".

D: I unfortunately have little time or interest in checking out films these days. I'm much more interested in documentaries.

CoC: Alright, then what about documentaries, did you happen to see "Until the Light Takes Us?"

D: I have actually yet to see that movie, but I've seen a few clips of it, I guess I would probably take the time to sit down and watch it. I generally enjoy most documentaries on the paranormal, cryptozoology, the human mind and psyche, murder and forensic science, etc.

CoC: What are your plans for 2011?

D: I don't have any plans for WoD this year, because I don't really intentionally make any. When the time feels right I may begin writing again for another album, but I have no idea when this will occur; it could be this year, who knows.

(article submitted 28/3/2011)

6/26/2011 J Carbon 8.5 Woods of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
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