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On the eve of Mekigah's third release, 'Litost', we took the opportunity to find out a bit more about the eclectic Australian band. Sole remaining founder member Vis Ortis was kind enough to indulge our curiosity, in detail...

Interview with Mekigah.

(1) Greetings, and many thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for Doom-Metal.com. Could we start by introducing you to our readers?

Hi, I'm Vis Ortis, I write and play a bit of everything in Mekigah. I used to be one half of a duo in it but now steer the ship solo, although I still work with friends & collaborators on Mekigah tracks.

(2) You formed Mekigah in 2008, one of many projects you've been involved with over the years. How did this one start, and what was different about it?

Mekigah formed as an idea in my head in a time when I was living in a place I didn't want to be & all my live bands had folded & prospects of collaboration were pretty bleak. I knew people making music still but nothing that I was interested in being a part of.

I had kind of severed most of the ties I had around this time to any other bands or projects I had been involved in. I had long been a fan of various forms of heavy & dark music going back over 20 years but had never really found myself at the right place to make my own. The bands that I had been most connecting with for a while were all of more heavy serious nature & aside from a few mates whom I communicated with long distance, it was music that I pretty much enjoyed completely alone. It was stuff that spoke to me really strongly at that time which was not the best time in my life. Everything about what I was about to do felt different to anything else I had ever recorded or played in that it was expressing a side of myself that I never had musically or artistically before. An inner side that's always been there.

The actual writing and recording that became Mekigah did not start until I later moved states & began collaborating with Kryptus, whom I had previously discussed the idea with.

It's hard to compare to any of my previous music apart from the fact it's audible. It's different in almost every way, the sound, the art, the overall aesthetic and intention.


(3) Your debut album 'The Serpent's Kiss' came out in 2010, and nobody seemed quite sure how to classify it: Gothic Metal was the most common tag applied. Do you think that's accurate - and, if not, how would you describe it?

Hmmm I guess I could agree with that term. I see 'goth' more as things like Bauhaus, early Cure and bands like that but as for 'Goth Metal' I think that's a fair term based on what I know of other things labelled that (Having said that, I don't really know heaps of bands in that 'genre'). I enjoy a lot of music with a 'goth' vibe or angle to it but not so much the metal kind. I enjoy it for other 'dark' elements it presents.

I'm not sure we knew how to really classify it ourselves at the time. 'Dark Metal Musical' maybe? I guess if you used either of those terms you'd be giving people a fair rough description.

(4) It's an interesting concept - a narrated rock-opera parable of the exile of Eve from Eden - not to mention ambitious and technically challenging, particularly for a debut. Did you have the idea in mind when the band was originally formed, or is it simply what developed from the partnership? Were you daunted by the complexity of making it, with all the additional personnel and guest artists involved?

It definitely took twists along the way that shifted the sound of it overall, so we were never entirely sure of what it would be in the end. There was an influence from certain older stage rock musicals that emerged somewhere in there (even though I don't listen to them at all myself). I'm not sure it came out that much like the music that influenced it overall though. I envisioned it a lot heavier to begin with, with possibly less clean vocals but as it unfolded, those things came to the fore regardless. It is something that came about just purely through collaboration really. The amount of additional personnel did cause the process to be quite slow & often quite annoying, just tracking that many people down was hard enough, not to mention many original choices either not ending up doing it at all or trying but not going so well. It's not something I would do in hurry again but for that particular piece the idea of many 'voices' was kind of necessary. I tend to work very fast and much more spontaneously so there were many things I laid down pretty quickly & there was a lot of waiting. Not the way I would prefer to work but I do think it was a great learning experience to work that way & see the various options and modes of going about things.

It was definitely an ambitious debut but having both made quite a few albums in our time prior to Mekigah it seemed just a normal step to go for it and not to make demos or something half arsed.


(5) Was there any temptation to continue in that vein? What made you change direction towards the darker, heavier sound of 'The Necessary Evil'?

For myself, no temptation whatsoever! I am glad that that album was made as it was but if I were to ever go near something like it again...............it would be completely different!

Personally the tracks that began 'The Necessary Evil' were kind of an accurate reflection of where my head was at whilst the 'Serpent's Kiss' was still in the mixing stage. Removed from the writing and with only some extra overdub parts and mixing to go, I kind of buried myself in 'The Necessary Evil' material at this stage and honestly a lot of it came from influences I was listening to (which was around this time including more and more slower doom & less black & technical metal) but also from the fact that after a few years of doing 'The Serpent's Kiss' I really needed to explore sounds that were more 'aesthetically displeasing'. I have long been an experimental sound maker so also the idea that I had not included enough of that kind of stuff the first time around made me have a flood of ideas for more doom/metal meets random weirdness. Just stuff that was a little less obvious as to what instrument made it, things that were a bit more expressing the ugly, the uncertain & not paying as much attention to the songs overall structure, letting it flow in it's own direction a bit more. There were certain lyrics and ways of delivering them that I was keen to explore on 'The Necessary Evil' as well that 'The Serpent's Kiss' lacked. Vocal sounds according to mood and not always 'words'.

(6) That, when released in 2012, acquired the band a Gothic Doom label (despite the quite prevalent Dark Ambient and Black Metal influences). What do you consider the core elements of Doom to be? Did you intentionally pursue them here?

On quite a number of tracks for sure the driving force and influence was various 'doom' bands. The gothic thing is interesting. I hadn't really thought of it that way myself. I used to go to goth clubs in the mid 90s on acid where people danced to Joy Division & Skinny Puppy but that's about my only connection to it.............

Doom was an area I was really keen to express myself in being such a huge fan. I felt Mekigah could add it's own take to the genre. Having said that I don't limit the inclusion of anything I really like & think is good, even if it happens to not be as blatantly doom styled. If it feels like a part of the same album then it goes in, but much of what was around at this time just happened to go in that direction naturally.

'Doom' musically to me is, well ,slow, bottom end, heavy, often emotionally gut wrenching, sometimes a total feeling of nothingness - the unexplainable pain..... it's a cavernous dark space. Doom is sometimes to me the most accurate way to view life, it seems to often reflect a reality around me, the feeling it conjures. I include a fair number of completely different bands in what I consider 'doom'. I think it has a lot more scope than maybe some think. I can see how someone could see doom with a depressive lyrical bent & slow metal structure yet still see something with no words and just an experimental noise piece also as doom...... and many other variations.............

I can't tell you exactly what it's 'boundaries' are but when making Mekigah there are songs from the last album that I thought after recording them that it's definitely Mekigah in some form, but it doesn't really fit what I'm doing with this stuff right now & by that it wasn't really 'doom' in my ears. Or just not in the right vibe or headspace, whatever that may be right now.....slow and ugly and slightly off kilter, deep & slightly overwhelming.

I find it can be mournful & 'weak' or indeed powerful & full of strength yet still manage to classify both as 'doom' music.

(7) What's the underlying theme for 'The Necessary Evil'? Much of it deals with seemingly impulsive, or instinctive, acts rather than the sort of pragmatic 'means to ends' that the title might initially suggest.

As an overall album it does not have anything totally tying it together bar those words 'necessary evils' so most of the various songs lyrics were formed completely alone but with interpretations of what that could mean to various people. It obviously has no story theme like 'The Serpent's Kiss' so it's more loosely based on a theme each time but those are pretty different as to reflect the amount of ways people view 'evil' and in specific 'necessary' evils.

As far as lyrics and songs I had contributed to most heavily 'impulsive, or instinctive' is dead right. Two things I view as essential and in ways beautiful in a way but both things considered by others to be sinful and dangerous. It probably sways from things viewed as evil that I feel are laughable to things and acts that maybe even I think are pretty fucked up and twisted and wrong. Some certain so called 'evils' referred to on there are nothing more than interpretations on the ancient, secret and 'magical' based tribal lives of particular 'chosen' men. Some of it brings us right into the modern word, the now, and deals with things as basic as domestic relationships. In ways, you can tie it all together and in others, it is all over the place. It's assessing the idea of 'necessary evil' through multiple eyes and view points more than just any particular personal viewpoint.

(8) In similar vein, despite having retrodden a Biblical tale and addressed the Adversary directly, there appears to be no God, and limited salvation only through human spirit, in the vistas you present. Is that a valid observation, and does it bear any relation to how you see the world?

I think that is pretty spot on. I would say that for the most part, the 1st album would be best viewed as a story, albeit one with resemblances to aspects of some peoples 'truth'. I guess imagery and characters of the nature used in the 'The Serpent's Kiss' would only represent mostly metaphors to me personally. I see the world in so many ways, depends on what day! I don't really view the world through any kind of religious eyes on a day to day basis. I never stopped to think about that there was 'no God' in the music. I guess that's what I think about that in reality. Not something I think too much about one way or the other. I pursue knowledge of various kinds and some of that would be in the direction of the non physical, the 'spiritual' and a fair bit of tribal and ancient stories or law or myth or whatever people view them as. What I have interest in and what I wish to learn about and what I 'believe' 100% don't always have to match up. I guess sometimes when bands make an album with certain lyrical themes they maybe feel they are and act as an authority on the subject in some way but I'm just as open to laying down an interpretation of something how I see it even if I feel I'm no authority at all. I think too many bands and other artists to count have used the theme prevalent in 'The Serpent's Kiss' but it was still something fascinating for me to go through. The process of writing about and through the eyes of certain characters, great learning experience, even if to learn that you learned nothing.


'Litost' draft cover

(9) The third album, 'Litost' is due for imminent release, as a solo project. What happened to split the band? Were you happy to proceed with it alone?

"I felt like destroying something beautiful"

Well I was never entirely comfortable with the way we were working, doing so I was stepping outside my comfort zone and my way of working most effectively to get things done. I often felt that my natural spontaneousness and desire to do things in an unconventional manner were being stifled a bit. I guess that is just part of the compromise of collaboration. With 'The Necessary Evil', I had taken to recording stuff at home with no set time for anything, often getting out of bed at 3am and times like that because I couldn't sleep with some insane idea buzzing around my head. I had also taken to using not just the most decent mics and guitars etc around, but utilizing some other equipment that was considered 'junk' to others. I knew that certain things had various tones and sounds that were unique to them and also with slight ugliness and inconsistencies. I thought that vital to producing sounds that weren't just the same old thing again. So during mixing for 'The Necessary Evil' I had begun most of what has now become "Litost" and I was again trying to drag it in a more unique challenging kinda direction. I don't think I even got so far as to play these tracks to anyone else when I had a conversation by email about a potential 3rd album with Kryptus to which he pretty quickly said no. He didn't want to continue in the band & he really wasn't into the direction that I wanted to take it. He is much more a fan of conventional kinda production, musical structure & music as a commercial 'product'.

So I feel that it's a good thing in terms of Mekigah being free to take the paths it needs to take, which will be many and varied. I'm a big fan of many bands that use conventional methods but as a creator of music I have grown pretty tired and bored with doing things that way. I prefer to play with feel over worrying about notes and perfect takes etc I can prefer a take that isn't as perfect and has much more passion.

So I was not happy initially but after some time , thought & discussion with some people who are involved in some way with Mekigah and/or people who's advice I trust, I finally decided to proceed with the already half-written material under the same name. I had bandied the idea about of using a different name but not being a full 'band' at any time, the idea of Mekigah felt very much alive & the material ready to go next was very much intended to be that next step for Mekigah. So in the end it all sort of happened the way it should have I feel. I am at this stage definitely more satisfied with what has just been recorded and much more excited about the potential directions I can now take it in. I have several friends that collaborate with me in Mekigah, (all mentioned here elsewhere) even if just on the odd track here & there, who are pretty solid friends and people who's music I contribute to as a trade. So in a way more people still remain in the 'band' from 'The Necessary Evil' than have left.

(10) It's got a quite raw, experimental feel to it, and relies less on delivering vocals and lyrics than the previous albums. Are you concentrating more on inviting the listener to explore their own thoughts and draw their own conclusions from the soundscapes, this time around.

For sure. As a fan I have big periods of not wanting lyrics to invade my brain space. I do this a lot when drawing and doing art. I tend to only take in either instrumental music or music of other languages that I cannot understand or just music that has vocals that are more just 'sounds' than any type of lyrical communication. I think there are maybe two or three songs on the whole album that threaten to break into almost something you can grasp too, as in, the message is a bit clearer and straight forward, but even then, probably not that obvious. Some of the lines were words or chants that emerged in my head for whatever reason that I had wrote down on scraps of paper in my room, some sitting around for years. Some of these I have no idea what I was thinking at the time but over time have made my own sense out of them. Other 'singing' on there was one take recordings with no words intended and just pressing record and letting go and seeing what primal noises emerged from me. Sometimes there were words amongst it, sometimes not. For a lot of it, whether I wrote it down first or did it on the spot, I was confused. Most of it is trying to make sense of my confusion about many many things in my life and my music. But overall there is a question mark hanging over most of the tracks. Some I know what I think I mean by it, but mostly I am very happy this time to not only give people time to think and not take in words but also to make whatever they will of what they hear. Some of the stuff does pertain to information taken from years of reading on a specialist subject, so I have no idea who will get those things and who will make what of it in their own head. I'd be intrigued to find out. I guess from my own perspective it's still just hinting at raw and experimental overall, but in terms of a 'Doom' record I for sure tried to up the level of that stuff blending in with more slow 'rock/metal' like structures. I really like stuff sometimes when I don't know what's making the sounds exactly and what it's 'about' exactly so I guess Litost was a version of me trying to do my own thing with approximately that head space.

(11) 'Litost' is generally considered an 'untranslatable' Czech word, though that simply means there's no direct single-word substitute for its meaning. What does it convey to you, and how did you shape it into the music?

There are a few reasons that this become the title. One reason I happened to be looking up Czech words is because some of my best mates are a Czech family over here & on a few occasions I have looked up words or sayings to send to them in emails, usually just playing around. They are also the family that introduced me to a number of musical genres and bands from an early age. They owned a store in the 90s which was the first of it's kind in Australia importing exclusive early black metal material and dark ambient & noise records. They also stocked other underground & obscure releases but the biggest impact on myself was the darker stuff. I had been into metal before that but not the stuff that that these guys were into which was at the time the more European based bands and labels & far more subgenres than I had imagined existing until that point. So when I found Litost, one motivation for it's use was purely to pay homage to the Cizek family as I feel their influence is why I do Mekigah today & a lot to do with why it started.

It seemed to me to sum up the confusion and anger and overall demented weird shit my head was going through following the breaking of the original duo and the decision to move forward. It felt like it said so much to me about all the bitter and negative feelings but also implied a certain slow burning strength, a torturous but meaningful patience.

It felt internal in that way but also seemed to express a lot of what I see and feel in others too, closer to me and also afar. In some ways it felt like there was a lot of Litost in the world. Initially the title had no impact on the music I was making but once it was chosen it served as some sort of metaphor in the background the whole time, not in any way that really makes sense but almost like as if I was trying to sculpt in sound what that word conjured up, even if what I was interpreting was wrong. It felt like a perfect vehicle for the abstract confusion that flowed over the whole project. One meaning I got from it was one of the song titles 'circuitous revenge' ('longer than the most direct way' 'a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance') and I'm still not sure if that refers to it being against myself, someone else in reality or just the listener, maybe all of them are correct in ways. I liked that even Czech native speakers seemed to argue about what the meaning of the word was so again, fitted the music and it's open interpretation.


'The Sole Dwelling' on YouTube

(12) You've put out a video for track 2, 'The Sole Dwelling'. Is that all your own work? What other media do you use or work in, and can we expect any of that to intersect with Mekigah?

I have been making a bit of video for a few years now, starting with just learning to chop & edit live footage (old VHS tapes digitized & also footage shot at more recent local gigs). I also have a share house with 2 guys who have been making video clips, animation and projection art for years so they had slowly been imparting their knowledge to me after having made clips for some of my bands previously and currently. For the 'Sole Dwelling' clip I took the lead this time around (as we often will share video projects and take on various roles) and got a bit of footage shot by the guys (both of whom contribute musically to Mekigah as well, Axiam Ziltch & Adamor) to start off with. I had lots of footage I'd been collecting up for a year or two with a Mekigah clip in mind & added that to the stuff they gave me & then pretty much as soon as I had the final cut of the song, started chopping all that together. I made some other stuff along the way more on the fly with a camera as I saw parts I felt needed more or something different. I was trying I guess to make something which had some resemblance to the artwork for the album (some of the art appears in snippets in the clip) and also trying to make something which flowed to the different changes in the song but without being any kind of obvious band - playing - vocals - mimed thing. I saw it as a moving extension of the art for the booklet, or taking that idea and layering it further. Once again, confusion in what it is or what I was trying to do played a key role, I just tried not to fight the confusion and tried not to care about 'what's it about?'. I figured if there is any meaning in it, I might find it later or someone else might. Or if any of that even matters!

I work in video nowadays, be it stuff I've filmed or images to effect in various ways for clips & also still a pretty keen punter who records live bands.

I also dabble a fair bit these days in digital art and like to mess around with things in that fashion. I prefer to be kinda experimental with it but also have found the disciplined side of it very interesting as well. Even having to come up with little things for band promos etc is something I had no idea of before but am quite comfortable doing now, flyers for friends bands etc.

I have always drawn by hand and engaged in things like collages with glue & sticky tape. All my earliest band flyer stuff was usually some demented photocopied collage of some kind.

In the last 10 years I got far more serious and dedicated to my pen art and do almost as much of that as I do music, almost. I find drawing is like some kind of meditation for me when generally I find it hard to sit still. I like to incorporate some of the same themes into my pen art as I do Mekigah but you may not know that by looking at them. I had longed to use some of them for band artwork but the time and album never seemed quite right until now.

The new booklet is made up entirely of my pen drawings except they have been played with an layered over photos I took. I felt that the drawings as is were too clean and 'perfected' in a way so I wanted to take the imagery from them but have them over an uglier, crumbling more destroyed environment. So starting with that clip & the new booklet, I definitely plan to use a lot more of my own stuff image wise. It's much more personal and much more joined to me in what it is saying. I have long seen my pen art and Mekigah as a joined entity. 'Mekigart'!

(13) This will be the first time Mekigah have had a label release, through Aesthetic Death. I know you've had support from Stu in the past, but remained independent. What's different this time, and what's it been like working with AD?

Stu has been such a great person from day one. Mekigah has never been on his label but he has treated me so well & been so very generous in terms of distributing our stuff via trades & spreading the word to people about the band. Quite remarkable actually, I know people who are on labels who don't get treated as well as Stu treated us when we were still on our own and just a mate of his. He is one of the only people I've personally met (not to say there's not others) who kinda shares my exact philosophy on the music & the 'business' and what it means to him and why he does what he does. After talking about various things for a long time I knew I would have no hesitation in wanting to work with him, he has real values as far as I'm concerned & he also has some of my favorite bands on his label. So taste-wise I have been introduced to heaps of great stuff that I now cherish and am heavily influenced by, directly though him.

The process has been pretty much the same so far, as far as making the recording and artwork and getting it ready for press. It's only been different in that I have taken the helm for it all but also engaged outside mixers, Adrian Akkerman.& Leith Carnie.

As far as releasing it with Aesthetic Death, the main difference for me will be Stu's cool underground way of distribution and contacts in parts of the world & to people that I don't know. He works in a real underground fashion which is what I prefer. I love to trade and I also have no worries seeing Stu trade my stuff along, I think it's great. Working with A.D has been and always has been a pleasure, really relaxed and really about the passion we have for music only.

It's not really work at all. Even when it can be challenging etc it's still something we do because we are driven by it.

I think the only thing that makes it 'strange' in any way for me is that it's about my 15th album I've released or been a part of band wise and the 1st time I have not made, pressed, released, distributed & done everything myself.

(14) Perhaps it's a little early to ask, but what sort of reception has the new album had in prerelease?

I haven't really had any feedback yet in terms of anyone out there in the general public as only the clip/track is out there so far. Feedback at this stage has been limited to handful of people, of course the various mates who added guest parts, although not all of them have heard the full finished thing yet either. I have two very good mates in Tasmania who both play in bands of varying genres & metal and both have played in bands since the 90s when I first met them whilst touring in bands I was in. I played copies to those guys as from many perspectives I trust & respect their feedback more than most & got pretty good positive feedback from them, both who had only semi enjoyed the previous albums, felt this was 'much more me' and much more something they could personally relate to. Another person in this regard was Leith, who ended up singing on a few tracks and also mixing them. His feedback was pretty important to me. Aside from that, it was only really Stu who gave me feedback along the way of making this album and also when I first send him finished mixes of some. I knew I was going to make the album I was going to make regardless of what anyone thought but having people likes Stu's encouragement and support definitely really helped and helped me to be even more confident with the decisions I had made.

(15) Perhaps also a little premature, but do you have any visions for where Mekigah goes after this. I wouldn't exactly describe the sound as having settled into a particular niche, but 'Litost' does have more common atmosphere with the Black/Gothic/Doom of 'The Necessary Evil' than that had with 'The Serpent's Kiss' - is it an area you want to explore further?

Yes for sure, I felt things going in a certain direction with 'The Necessary Evil' or at least a good chunk of it & it all came out so easily for Litost, was a very natural easy step & one that I haven't done exploring just yet.

What became Litost came from 3 separate folders of music I was working on, just very vague descriptions but I looked at it as having 3 distinct 'camps' 'slow doom metal' 'percussive dark melodic' & 'abstract noise soundscapes'.

Of those batches of songs, there are another full album's worth of material still left after Litost was made. So very easily the next one could be made a lot quicker and whilst in a similar vein, would still be an entirely different bunch and vibe of songs. But they do have that distinct 3 'categories' going on that the latest album does. I wasn't sure when I first wrote some of them what I was doing, they could have ended up as 3 separate albums but once the decision was made to do it solo the idea of blending all of them became obvious to me.

(16) What about live performances. Is that something you'd want to do? Is it feasible, given the logistical difficulties of organising some sort of touring band?

Right now It's next to impossible. It's something that had been envisioned at the very beginning & again I thought about the idea during 'The Necessary Evil' as I felt the songs on there would have a much better chance of being performed live. 'The Serpent's Kiss' material I think would be close to impossible given the amount of people involved. It's not something I'd say never to though, but just gotta be realistic at this stage I guess. With the new album, given that I have performed about 50% initially myself and then a lot more even later once collaborators came on board, it would be an album that would be easier to perform than the previous ones even if it meant teaching parts to people. But it's still down to simply not knowing or having access to enough people that could commit to it for anything but a recording. Both Leith & t.k bollinger who added vocals are about the only 2 people from the record that might be able to commit to live stuff and even then both in a fairly limited capacity. There is a pretty strong underground metal scene in Australia though doom is massively under represented in that regard. Tends to be a lot more recording bands from over here that forgo the live gigs & touring.

I enjoy playing live & have done so with other acts since Mekigah began so only time will tell if Mekigah ends up on stage as well in some form.

(17) Come to that, where does Mekigah sit in your priorities? You're still part of all sorts of other projects - do they all get equal amounts of your attention?

Mekigah sits high on top of my priorities. I do many other bands and projects but Mekigah is my number one thing and my most personal serious thing I guess you could say. Some things I do only exclusively with certain other people and would not do that style without them, other things I do and may initiate or even do solo but I like to explore all sides of music making and will do so even if it's not that serious. I guess from some of my more 'side projects' I have learned and stumbled upon ideas which I can sometimes then utilize into Mekigah in another way. So a lot of the time other music I make can be purely for it's own sake and also kinda of 'research' for the main project.

I play drums for t.k bollinger (& that sinking feeling) who is a part of Mekigah but also a solo artist in his own right & that is a pretty serious band where we recorded and practice every week. Outside of that my other bands at this stage are all projects and or long distance collaborations. Dadirri is an ambient instrumental thing with Ken Clinger in the US who also contributed to the new Mekigah. So some of them I purely make the album, make some videos and then pretty much don't think about it again until I'm making the next one. Mekigah I wake up every day and live it, couldn't escape it if I wanted to!

(18) So what inspires you to actually sit down and compose? Is it a focused process, centered around completing one project at a time, or do you work on several different things at a time?

I'm pretty all over the place. I could probably answer 'both' to that as I tend to engage in all kinds of writing and recording and idea mulling over years. After so many years, bands and projects I don't think I could nail down any one method but more just what happens at the time. I can say that when I decided to 'finish off' the Mekigah tracks for Litost I pretty much shut down everything else, all my other musical ventures and no drawings etc and just went solely focused into that for a few months straight. When the tracks actually started was another matter, I started it as 3 different projects as I mentioned earlier so I had those 3 folders of stuff on the go, plus the live jamming with tk, plus was making the 2nd Dadirri album and I think released a couple of other things around that time and or was in the process of making them. Sometimes I get so out of hand with multiple recordings it can cripple me and I forget what the hell I'm doing and have to stop and scale it back. I usually can notice when this is happening or when I need to focus on less, but to me when the ideas are there, I take them! I don't choose when they arrive or how much they pile up but I do my best sometimes to try and capture a bit of everything that is coming to me creatively. I let it all overwhelm me to the point where outside of it I have very little 'life' but I don't care as I think sometimes, one day the ideas may not come so don't let them pass. Whilst I prioritize and make some projects more serious than others, I still see all this stuff as kinda equal and all important to me. All sides of myself for good or ill.

(19) And what would you consider the trademarks or hallmarks of your creativity? What is it that you most want people to take away, having listened to one of your albums?

Trademarks? Clearing pub gig audiences?! I've been pretty good at that over the years, getting seemingly enthusiastic crowds to suddenly put their fingers in their ears and head for the door whilst doing some noise set. Hmmm maybe that I use what some would say are way to many layers of 'stuff' in my songs & I'd agree that I use a lot but never too much in my own ears. I'd like to think that maybe it would take people more than a few listens to hear all the frequencies and subtle sounds that are in there, especially in regards to the latest stuff. I do enjoy people feeling a little challenged and not having necessarily an instant like & connection with the song, I think a good reaction would be 'I'm not sure, but I'm gunna listen again'.

I have always made an attempt to add something to any genre I work in, I try really hard not to ape others and not to go for something guaranteed to gel with a particular audience or scene. I think it's much more important to try and add a twist or spin to a pre existing sound & inject new ideas into it. I think if you give another creative person the trigger for an even better idea again, then that is a good reason to share the music alone.

But as a sensory thing, I'm not sure, I don't mind or know what I would want anyone to get out of it. If they get any reaction or feeling, good or bad , that's great, if they don't even notice it like it's not even playing, then so be it.

I'd prefer to try and make something that is engaging and and an experience someone can lose themselves in & forget what they were doing or thinking as opposed to something that is easy to move/dance/nod your head to. I always come back to the word 'challenging', some don't like that but my favorite type of music is never easily consumable. I'm not that interested personally in being all 'entertaining' with my music, if people feel it is 'entertaining' to them, that's great but it's not much to do with why I make sounds.

I'd like to think if nothing else a trademark might be making music for reasons others than 'entertaining' & money. I'm trying not to be so 'obvious' in the music or the art. I feel even the so called 'underground' is flooded with stuff that is just so much of a replica of other stuff, kinda makes me ill.

(20) To close, I hope we've given you the chance to present a good picture of the band, but if there is anything you'd like to add, the last words are yours.

It has been my pleasure to make some attempt to describe in words what Mekigah is, was , where it came from & what it may become. I still feel at this stage having released only 3 albums that the picture of what Mekigah is about is only still just starting to emerge. I waited a long time to express myself in this manner & as it stands have no plans to cease and have a lot of ideas for future Mekigah songs, albums & imagery.

(21) Then allow me to thank you once again for your time and the opportunity to talk with you. It has been a pleasure, and I wish you every success with the release of 'Litost'!

Thank you very much , it is much appreciated and enjoyable to discuss the music & band related matters, any time.

Anyone that thinks they may be interested in a copy of "Litost" or hearing more Mekigah in general, please get in contact with Stu at Aesthetic Death and if you're into the more experimental side of doom and dark music I would definitely recommend checking out all of the artists that have had releases with the label.


Aesthetic Death Records



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Interviewed on 2014-11-14 by Mike Liassides.
Rotten Copper
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