1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Phlefonyaar started many years ago back in the dark times for metal known as the mid nineties. we were a two piece back then as well literally the only two metalheads in this backwater town. Just 2 scraggy kids listening to godflesh and autopsy and black metal. I won't lie, it was mainly an excuse to hang out, drink and cause trouble but we recorded a demo and had some good times this lead onto shows. until recently we have been happy to just release primitive, lo fi, ltd run tape demos for a number of years but it's time to get serious.
2.In February you had released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
it's... slower. I imagine post apocalyptic arcane machinery springing into life. To me at least it's the logical progression from the sound we have been playing. there's always been a certain vibe, and that vibe has not changed. weather were playing primitive death sludge stuff recorded on a 4 track or hooking up three big muffs and a phaser in a row to a antique amp to play over a drum machine the idea has stayed the same. To make the most dirty, vile and wretched sound possible phlefonyaar has a certain universe it lives in. if people aren't asking "what's wrong with that guy?" Or "what the hell is that?" Im not doing my job properly. He he.
3.This is the first recording to be released in 9 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Other than attempting to stay out of trouble ive been in a number of bands, some mine some others. we did actually release a demo in the intervening time which had a few of the songs you can hear on the Bandcamp that we did for the Nachtmystium and dark fortress tour we were on. they were very much in the vein of the old style stuff but I wasn't happy with them. They sounded too clean. so I approached this new recording much differently.
4.According to the Metal Archives page the band is listed as death metal or grindcor but the music I have heard is more in the doom or sludge metal style, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?
I think that listing was pretty accurate for at least the 2nd demo. but bands evolve and metal archives can't update everything. Ive always enjoyed bands were it's just been one guy in the driving seat. I new that if I was going to do this I wanted the sound to be something that would and could be done live by 2 or even 1 person so I sat down and started writing. Also, without wanting to get too pretentious about it I had some personal stuff to work through and these songs let me drive the devils out.
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
I'm a big h.p. Lovecraft and Poe fan so I like my lyrics to be full of esoteric rhetoric and symbolism. I quite often fear for my sanity, so that subject is explored and the occasional sardonic nihilism that most functioning depressives soon learn as a coping mechanism is in there as well. It's not the most positive message but a bit of gallows humour helps to cut through the murk a bit. hell if you can't at least raise a laugh when the worlds crumbling down around your ears what's the point.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Phlefonyaar'?
there is s river of fire in hell called the phlegathon describes it as "a stream of fire, which coils round the earth and flows into the depths of Tartarus." In some books in hell there are tribes that live upon its banks. One of which is the phlefonyaar.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I would say the first shows were the most vicious. we had various ideas about how a band should be back then and there was some pretty bad behaviour some of which I look back on with a bit of embarrassment. one of my favourites was on the Nachtmystium tour in East Germany with dark fortress, we got told we had to leave the tour early after the next show... We were not happy, as is to be expected. so we decided we would have to make an example and we hit the stage like a nailbomb. I didn't even remove my patch vest and jacket just howled like a dog the whole way through. The front row took a big step back and I remember seeing my friend florian from dark fortress grinning at me from the back of the hall. it was a great night in the end.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
I hope so, it's important to play live and to tour even if your just in a van or your car. I plan to play live. Although we are a 2 piece dave works at a job that means he can't always tour or play shows so then we're back to the one man band option.
I have played as a one man band before and people told me I shouldn't do it as keyboards etc weren't "cool" but anyone who knows me knows not to say that as like most sociopaths it will just make me keener to do it all the more. some guys just like to watch the world burn n'all that stuff I guess.
Bottom line, im quite comfortable doing it but it does make touring very hard just on expense. and I will say some of the audience rely don't get it. Trust me, and if you don't mind me using an analogy, telling a guy in a black sabbath t shirt that your in a one man doom band and you do it with keyboards and samplers is like telling someone you write erotic fiction for pets... it's wildly unpopular. He he He he.
9.The new ep was self released, are you open toworking with another label again in the future?
actually we have literally just signed to a american label called "swamp metal records" and physical releases are on thee way. I just hope they know what there getting into.
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?
actually as far as the release goes so far it's been rely good on the reaction front. occasionally I have to tell people to listen past the first 30 seconds (there's that black sabbath t shirt again) as a few have had trouble with the ambient elements used but that's there bag and that's fine. this is extreme underground music. Not pop music. It's not for everyone y'know? that's kinda the point. but so far the reaction has been very positive and I'm very grateful.
11.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Dave mainly does a grind band called gagging order and another called the wound man
Ex members, Abel is in criminal minds. Mike plays in zompok.
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
hopefully we can expand on the universe we've set up with this new sound. I'd like to push it more make it even more frightening, darker And oppressive but also experiment a bit more as well. plus do a bigger show, hell.. I want video screens showing clips from mad max and morbidly obese dancing girls in gimp outfits. I wanna be the Mötley Crüe of Vaguely industrial Doom metal.
13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
This is Could be a long list if I'm not careful.., godflesh, early pitchshifter, thorns, ministry, sunn((o)), burning witch, nailbomb, dopethrone, buzxov'en, Abominable iron sloth, a perfect circle, pig destroyer, rameses, Leviathan/lurker of chalice, author and punisher, that's just on the top of my stack of CDs next to my stereo.
I also listen to alot of soundtrack music and also Tom waits and nick cave feature heavily.
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
It's a cliche, but films, rely bleak sci fi and westerns being my favourites.
I am not a people person. (Another cliche) I live out in the sticks so mainly I play with my animals and work on my car, I'm a bit of a gear head and love machines, Lift some weights and box when I can.
I write and read a LOT of books as well. also I should come clean... I'm a bit of a gamer with an obsession for robots which is rely counter productive for a musician.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
only to thank you and anyone who's shown any interests in phlefonyaar and say this... people will tell you that you can't do things. They are lying to you. live your art, enjoy your life, learn to kick against the pricks.