Last month found The Round Up Tapes exploring Devouring Star’s The Arteries of Heresy and further to that study a conversation with Devouring Star’s founder, JL, was had. Below are the results of that conversation which was conducted via email.
What was the driving force behind creating Devouring Star? What does the name mean to you?
The driving force on creating Devouring Star was the necessity for a creative platform for my concepts, it comes down to the simple fact that music was the only way of expressing these things for me and metal music in particular due to the fact that I am and was fond with it.
The name ‘Devouring Star’ is a reference to a black hole, yet it is also a metaphor for something that consumes yourself ultimately.
Do you see Devouring Star becoming an all-consuming part of your life or are you able to separate that side of yourself from the world?
No matter what, life itself is as boring as it is for everyone else, no mysticism required here. We eat, we shit, we sleep. So naturally Devouring Star isn’t a part of the daily routines. However the concepts in Devouring Star present my personal beliefs in such a way, that it is always a part of me and it is something that is separated from me unto music. Back in 2013 when Devouring Star started, has however affected my life dramatically.
Where do you see Devouring Star within the modern black metal world? How do you view that scene in general?
Well I don’t particularly compare Devouring Star to the modern black metal world or black metal world in general, as scene matters very little to me; it is individual artists who interest me and what their output is. So I see Devouring Star as an individual act that doesn’t hold a necessity to be grouped with anything, because it is irrelevant for the music and for anything that I create.
If I had anything to say about the scene, it would be that there is a lot of music out there today; a lot of it is crap like usual, but there are diamonds amongst the pile of shit. I personally consider that the genre in general has developed into a further level with far more branches than what it was in the past. I personally welcome the more “serious” or “orthodox” side of BM as more people base their music on something which they are for more genuinely invested in, yet there are several different kinds of variations and even the primitive side is a piece of the puzzle. I then again have grown tired of speculating about Black metal itself as it has been done more than enough times and it leads to nothing. What matters is the individuals behind the music and their art.
Clearly, to you, a band meaning what they put forward in their music is extremely important (I would say for 90% of the music I listen to, I also feel this way) – how much emotion do you then inject into Devouring Star? The concepts are one thing but the “feeling” is another?
The concepts of course require a lot of feeling to them and “channelling” the music is something that has to come through passion, or else it will sound like plastic. When writing music, it is very important to get in a sort of a flow state, or whichever term whoever chooses to use, in order for myself to write.
You’ve said about this album that it represents mankind as the ultimate sin – why is that your interpretation?
Well if we simply take a look around us and the condition of mankind, and how primitive we are as beings even though we consider ourselves very sentient and often as the whole centre of the Universe, you start to understand that Sin itself is a concept bound to our very nature. An image of God would present something that would aim for a higher enlightenment of some sort or salvation perhaps, but our kind rather acts like a hedonistic bacteria, eating its way through its existence with gluttony, killing, breeding… There is far more evidence that truly the whore and beast of revelation have settled themselves here strongly, than that what is the touch of divinity.
Do you then feel that mankind is inherently doomed, as many place so much faith in ideas that are beyond our physical reach?
I consider that everything is inherently doomed, if we approach it from a materialistic view. If we however continue the concept of a singular universe where everything is bound to each other by standard, there is no need for salvation there is no need for faith in salvation either, you will always be a part of this whole for an eternity. Being doomed loses its meaning in this concept, since existence (in any sort of way, divine or carnal) has cycled forever already and it will continue to do so. We might as well have had this interview in a billion ways already in alternative timelines or dimensions, or whatever.
Devouring Star’s music feels almost meditative at times which riffs that cycle and draw you in to another world – is meditation something you practice and if so, what is your experience and how does that relate to creation for you?
Of course meditative experience is in the ears of the receiver at this point, but I do practice meditation.
My experience of meditation is an aim of capturing the external into a subjective experience by invoking the subconscious. We constantly receive unwillingly a lot of information and it is put aside and not processed, also sometimes it is better to dedicate a moment to open yourself to suck anything external in and certain methods amplify this. Meditation is a tool for this and so I consider any practice that holds subjective value to yourself or what you have deemed potent by experience.
In creation it relates to me so, that I constantly try to ponder these things and Meditation can also be used as a tool to make these thoughts more coherent. When I create my concepts they are essentially formed by the daily process of processing thoughts. Philosophy basically.
How do you go about finding concepts for Devouring Star? Are they based on experience, meditative reflections, reading, previous DS work that you want to explore further?
All of those combined. By exploring different ideas. It is a normal routine that is bound to my way of living.
Would you say you were a spiritual person? Maybe not so much believing in god/satan but believing in a path and trying to follow that path? How then do you correlate that with Devouring Star? How do you practice that spiritual side of yourself?
I consider myself as a spiritual person in a sense, but not in the way of following any certain path, no. There is one truth behind everything and in order to even remotely aim towards that, you must aim towards an objective sense of things, one of the main processes is understanding the stepping stone that is being a human person and your backgrounds. In esoterica or occultism, often the person who practices welcomes all knowledge, not shutting any direction out. Believing in God/Satan is trivial to me, but first of all, you should define from which perspective? Christian? Then I would answer no, these concepts are far bigger and more complex than that what is presented in our Western culture. I believe in a certain singularity.
If the concepts are bigger than what Western religious culture believes, then do you look to other religions to help you understand the world? Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, for example?
Into everything I can. The esoteric side of Abrahamic religions already provides far different (and often more sober) ideas than the esoteric side. In order to understand existence itself you have to be open for everything, yet with a critical approach, while keeping in mind how the effect of culture and being a human being affect your own conclusions. I consider that all of the concepts for reality are based behind one truth, but the interpretations and philosophy is different. Generally speaking, Hinduism and Buddhism for example offer a far better basis for an esoteric approach due to their sheer difference in ideology, than Abrahamic religions. They encourage a more individualistic path for a person, which is very Luciferian in its essence.
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