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"Following the release of The Cold View's third full-length album, we wanted to investigate the concept a little further..."

Interview with The Cold View.
"Having covered a couple of releases by German Funeral Doom project The Cold View - including the latest album, 'Wounds', which completes a trilogy of perspectives based around the concept behind the band name - I was interested to learn a little more about the background and history involved. A.A.S., the founder and sole full member of the band, was kind enough to indulge my curiosity and answer my questions."

In the hot seat today: A.A.S. of The Cold View.

(1) Greetings, and thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for Doom-Metal.com. Could we start with a formal introduction to our readers: who are you and where are you from?

Thank you, too, for the opportunity to speak with you about my music! For those that do not know me, I am a solo artist from Germany and the person behind the funeral doom project The Cold View. I grow up in the former German Democratic Republic and I’m now living near Frankfurt/Main. At this place all The Cold View records got created.

(2) So, you started the project in 2011, as a solo venture. What sort of musical background did you have, both in terms of education and influences?

One of my first Extreme Metal records were Into Darkness by Winter and Epistemological Despondency by Esoteric. I was fascinated by the bleak sound and slow rhythms. Besides Funeral Doom I also like Atmospheric Black Metal and other types of music.

I was always interested in experimenting with sounds. Back in the time of my schooldays I have created audio plays and even made an experimental electronic album. During my studies of Applied Media Science I came in touch with my mate Johannes, who is now running Blockstudio in Berlin and who was mixing and mastering my records. He introduced me to more serious music production and we recorded a three track demo of Death Doom Metal. At university I got in touch with all kinds of media production so I gained the necessary knowledge for recording and producing my own music and artwork.

(3) Have you ever considered adding other members to The Cold View - or forming/joining another band - or do you prefer to work alone?

Actually I prefer to work alone because I see my creations as a very personal expression. But as The Cold View was moving on I realised that I needed a more professional setting. I am not able to play drums and didn’t wanted to solely rely on programmed beats. So Christian of Blockstudio became a supporting part playing the drums on “Wounds”. But The Cold View in its core will stay a solo project.

Another band would be great, for sure. As I like atmospheric Black Metal very much, this genre would be something I would enjoy. I would also love to make some Industrial and Noise. But my work life balance isn’t giving me the room for it. I could reduce the work part, but well, we all know the trouble.

(4) In popular view, Nietzsche has been somewhat tarnished by association with the Nazi movement. Is that an an unfair dismissal of his work, and was it a problematic choice naming the band after a Nietzschean observation?

I do think that is an unfair dismissal of his work. Although German media and society is very cautious when it comes to National Socialism and Neo Nazi movement they do not connect Nietzsche to it. The Nazis did abuse some thoughts of Nietzsche and misused them for their ideology, that's true. But it is known from his biography that he was an opponent of narrow mindedness in general and racism in particular. So he quit his friendship with Wagner as the composer became a supporter of an anti-semitic worldview.

(5) So, what do you consider to be the key aspects of his 'cold view', and how they can be translated into musical terms?

The “cold view” was taking just a small part of the philosophy of Nietzsche. The core of the concept of the “cold view” is pure realism, the reject of moral and judgement, the chance to see the absolute truth without all the emotional human limitations. But Nietzsche admits that humans are just able to do so for some moments. The human constitution can not deal with the “cold view” very long, it needs the warmth.

I think all these aspects can be found in my music. The coldness and bleakness that gets interrupted by some warm moments of hope. The strain that is connected with taking the “cold view”. My music definitely is no easy listening.

(6) As a solo project, you obviously have some freedom in how you approach compositions: do you have a particular process that you stick to, or do your songs come from more of an informal evolution?

The core of my process of creation is of an experimental and improvising kind. That's the part of the emotional human nature, the warmth. Than I go a step behind to formalise my ideas. That’s the “cold view”. Maybe such a process could be difficult within a collective like a band.

The Cold View - 'Empty November':

(7) Your debut release was the 2011 concept of the 'winter album, taken month by month'. What made you decide to work with that particular format?

The first song of “Weeping Winter” arose from experimenting with the sound creation possibilities of Linux operating systems. I finished the first song in November. Then I had the idea to have a cold view onto my experiences of the particular winter months and to put them onto record. Winter of course is a good fit with the metaphor of coldness.

(8) And did you intend the first three albums ('Weeping Winter', 'Wires Of Woe, Ways Of Waste' and 'Wounds') to be a trilogy - representing a cold view of the personal, the world in general, and other people, respectively - from the outset?

After finishing “Weeping Winter” I felt the creative need to go on with my Funeral Doom project and I kind of had the long term goal to create an album trilogy. But as my general acting is always step by step it was never certain. I have enough ideas for several albums more to come. But when I was working on “Wires…” I just concentrated on this album and did not think on “Wounds”.

The Cold View - 'Wires':

(9) Looking back on that, how effectively do you feel you represented each of those perspectives, in the end? Is there anything that you would have liked to have done differently, looking back from where you are now?

I do think the trilogy represents the perspective movement “from the inside to the outside to the others” quite well. Looking back musically I would change the decision to work with programmed drums. But in the end it all was right at the time of creation, so I am fine with it.

(10) 'Wounds', obviously, is a very recent addition to the discography, though it was recorded in 2015/16. How has that been received, in general?

In terms of reviews it was received very well, like all the other records. I am happy that all the reviewers did notice the progress that my music is taking. With regards to the whole Doom Metal and Funeral Doom scene I can not tell you how it is received. At least I got some nice feedback from musicians and friends.

(11) We reviewed it: it's always nice to give people the chance to respond to criticism 'on the record', as it were, so are there any comments you'd like to make on that, good or bad?

I am very happy with the review. It got the meaning of the album, there was approval of the musical execution and a deep understanding of my music in general. After reading I just was wondering why I didn’t get full points after all this praise I got, hahaha!

The Cold View - 'Hemostasis':

(12) Out of curiosity, is the theme of 'Wounds' a general observation - in that all interactions with others can be painful - or relating a more specific single story?

The general observation is the core concept, but as you may have noticed I have dedicated the album to someone who has inspired me for the particular metaphor.

(13) Outside of the trilogy of full-lengths, you also worked on a split release with Abysmal Growls Of Despair. How did that come about, and did you each produce your contributions separately or with some degree of cooperation?

Hangsvart of Abysmal Growls of Despair contacted me because he liked my style of Funeral Doom and as I also liked his music the same we started the collaboration. We decided to put the theme “sky” into the initial point of our creations, but did work on our contributions separately.

The Cold View - 'Sky Of Sorrow':

(14) And where does the track 'Sky Of Sorrow' fit into the rest of The Cold View's catalogue? Should it be seen as an entirely standalone piece?

Considering it is not part of the trilogy it could be seen as an standalone piece. But musically it builds a bridge between “Wires…” and “Wounds” and also combines styles of the first two albums.

(15) You've worked with a number of different labels now - all, I believe, Russian. Was that by choice, or were there no offers nearer to home? And how well have those relationships worked?

To be honest I think my style of extreme Funeral Doom is just a very small niche within the general genre of Metal. So you need people that do devote their life in supporting such a kind of music and artists like me. The people behind GS Productions, Endless Winter and Frozen Light are very nice and supportive. I am eternally grateful for their effort.

(16) Maybe it's a little early to be asking, but recording for 'Wounds' was finished almost a year ago, so have you any plans for the band right now? Any further recording in the pipeline?

I am working on finishing my fourth album. So you should hear more of The Cold View sooner or later.

(17) What do you think about live performances? Is that something you'd ever like to consider?

Actually I do consider it from time to time. But I am much too introvert when it come to be on stage. I also would have to put a live line-up together. So this is definitely will not happen in the near future.

The Cold View discography so far.

(18) One question I always ask: what do you consider to be the essential qualities of Doom, and how do you go about realising them in your music?

Low and slow music generally fits my personal taste. I like the experimental aspects and the difference to the purity and vacuity of pop music. A bit more objectively it is great that there’s the creational room to develop sounds, that there are no borders. In my view it is a very thoughtful kind of music that is very opposite to our modern life.

(19) And do you have any recommendations - art, music, philosophy, or other - that you would suggest people who appreciate your music could find worth investigating?

I don’t know if I am in the right position to give suggestions to our readers. But I would suggest to watch out for all the small bands and projects that can be found on Bandcamp. It is a very interesting source for musical expression in many different aspects.

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

The Cold View may be a small Funeral Doom project but I am positively surprised and thankful for all the support I have received, by music magazines, labels, fellow musicians and of course by the listeners. I just hope you all keep on supporting individualistic music, like I do myself. In the end I am also just a music lover. Thanks also to Doom-metal.com for all the time and work in the name of our beloved Metal genre. Cheers!

(-) Then it only remains for me to thank you again for your time and participation, and hope that we'll be hearing more from The Cold View in the near future!

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the The Cold View bandpage.

Interviewed on 2017-04-04 by Mike Liassides.
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