Everything is royally fucked – I don’t know if you’ve noticed? It’s a bit of a strange time at the moment. Social media has never been the place to go to cultivate a sense of hope about the future of humanity. But now, with social distancing all but killing the small amount of human interaction I ever had, it is my only window into the lives of others. I approached some of Clobber’s favourite artists in search of solace and a glimmer of light at the end of this rather dark tunnel that myself and the rest of the world has suddenly found ourselves plunged into.
So, what did I learn from my interactions?
1. The UK black metal scene is full of adaptable folks. Many have adjusted well to quarantine and have thrived.
“I have an introverted personality and therefore enjoy isolated periods to myself, so this situation has allowed me to recharge my batteries so to speak.” – Dean Lettice, The Infernal Sea.
Many were naturally introverted and enjoyed the time away from others. I don’t know if this says something about the scene as a whole or more about the type of people I get on with! And who can blame them?! Humans are, on the whole, fucking vile creatures to be avoided – virus or not.
2. Many have spent lockdown being creative. Or, if not creative, productive. We should expect amazing new music to come out of all of this.
“I’ve been able to fully write, record, edit, mix and master the whole thing, so that is now done. About six months ahead of schedule!” – Nre, And Now The Owls Are Smiling.
Everyone I spoke to had new music primed to release in 2021 or had spent all of lockdown releasing masterpieces to the world.
3. In the short–term, the devastating lack of gigs has been good for music sales.
“… the thought of a new record and some fresh content is welcome to someone stuck in the house all day.” – Chris Naughton, Winterfylleth/ Atavist.
We’ve found that here at Clobber too – business is booming. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself spending a bit more money on physical releases and merchandise now that I’m not spending so much trotting up and down the country for live shows.
4. Don’t tell anyone, because it would be bad for our kvlt street cred, but we’re generally quite hopeful about the future.
“I try to be hopeful about the future and would generally advocate that we are a resilient bunch of people as a nation, and that we will generally find a way through things together.” – Chris Naughton, Winterfylleth/ Atavist
Most of the people I spoke to are hopeful for their own lives, perhaps not the world as a whole.
“I feel we’re in a political hellscape at the moment.” – Matt IH, Argesk.
But if you really think about it, this is fertile territory for good extreme metal. We’ve been having to make this shit up for all these years! Now look at us, living in a proper dystopian nightmare. Those guys back in the 90’s were a bunch of fucking posers – the worst they had to deal with was the creation of Sunny Delight.
5. We’re resilient as shit. UK black metal isn’t going anywhere. Support it however you can.
“They should stand out on their doorsteps and clap.” – Naut, Necronautical
Venues will go under. We will lose festivals and promoters. But I genuinely think, regardless of losses, better things will rise up. Live music and black metal isn’t really going anywhere. Sometimes you’ve got to burn it all to the ground to clear a path for better things.
A huge thank you to Chris Naughton (Winterfylleth/Atavist), Dean Lettice (The Infernal Sea), Naut (Necronautical), Matt IH (Argesk) and Nre (And Now The Owls Are Smiling) for indulging me and providing some hope for the future. You can read the full interviews below. See you out there soon, my friends!