Canada has always been an expert in extreme metal. But this time, the icy energy mixes with the evil and cruelty of Black Metal. This band marks our third short interview and also our Interview 886. The band in question is Svneatr. They show us their second album entitled Chinook. The band is formed by: Vitharr Monteith on Voice and Guitar, James Readman on Second Guitar, Shawn Hillman on Bass and Matt Logan on Drums. Vitharr answered our questions, which you follow up on in all your emotions. But before that, let’s go to the full album of these cruel Canadians.
TC 1:Talking about the composition work in Chinook?
Vitharr:Compositionally speaking, we wanted to make an album that was both memorable and interesting. We wanted to try not to do what every other black metal band does which is generally minor chords, trem picking and blastbeats for 40min. We really tried to experiment with different rhythms, chords, influences and write songs that sound both strong on their own and cohesive with each other.
TC 2:I don’t remember having talked to another band so minimalist. Why is this minimalism so strong in the band?
Vitharr:Some of the greatest songs and riffs of all time are quite simple. We never want to force something to be overly complicated for the sake of it. Having said that, the intricacies of the music are more nuanced than perhaps with other bands, note choices, chord progressions and so on.
TC 3:Although the band is anti-religious, you deal with mystical subjects. But for some people this is a form of religion. Isn’t that something contradictory?
Vitharr:I wouldn’t say we’re anti-religious. Anti-authority perhaps. Most of the lyrics are highly metaphorical and the subject matter deals with lots of different subjects; racism, depression, climate change, xenophobia, etc. I believe you are free to practice whatever religion you wish, provided you don’t impose those values on others.
TC 4: Why the band have this name?
Vitharr:The name comes from Ragnarok when the wolves Hati and Skoll devour the sun and moon, sometimes it’s Fenrir. This is a metaphor for the apocalypse we face with climate change. It’s pronounced like Sun Eater.
TC 5:What´s the idea behind artwork´s album?Vitharr:The artwork was done by a Canadian Indigenous artist, Jacquie Potvin Boucher. I found her through instagram and she paints all these beautiful landscapes. I really wanted to connect the album to the land we occupy and make it regionally specific to where we come from. This also ties into the title “Chinook” as well, which is a weather phenomenon that occurs near where I live. The artwork is beautiful but desolate and haunting.
TC 6:This album is conceptual?yes or no and why?
Vitharr:A lot of it is just about the times we live in and the struggles associated with being alive. I wouldn’t say it’s conceptual, no, but climate change is featured as a prominent theme throughout the record.
TC 7:The band feel differences between The Howl,The Whisper,The Hunt and now in Chinook?
Vitharr:The differences are huge to me. The oldest songs on THTWTH are from as far back as 2013-2014, so the lineup changed, we added a second guitarist, but most important, we opened ourselves up to being influenced by everything. I like the first record a lot but it feels restrained to a more typical black metal sound. At that point in time I wanted it to be like Wolves in the Throne Room or something. With “Chinook,” not only was it much more collaborative during the writing process but we allowed ourselves to do whatever we wanted to do to make each song as good as it could possibly be. You can definitely tell the difference with songs like “Lavender” and “Erasure.” This openness also led us to incorporating clean vocals and prog elements into the music.
TC 8:Message to the fans,guys.the interview is over!
Vitharr:Thanks for the support! We have big things planned for next year. Get vaccinated so we can make it happen.