Sylvan, hi and thanks for taking time out to answer a few questions for MetalTalk.
You were a solo project as Reverie for many years and with Sylvan Realm you have expanded to a three piece outfit. How has this affected your approach to creating music? Is it a creative collaboration or still all your project with guest musicians?
"Reverie consisted of me and a session drummer and after that album I decided to change the band's name, evolve as a musician, and seek
different musicians to work with. I try to make Sylvan Realm both my project with guest musicians and a creative collaboration.
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"The musicians I work with come up with their own parts to the songs and I like to let them have as much creative input as possible. If there is a part that changes my musical vision for a song or simply changes the vibe of a song too much then I ask the musicians if they have some other ideas and work with them until they create a part that better suits the song.
"I write the entire songs alone on guitar first, and then after the rhythm guitars, drums and bass are done then I go back into writing mode for the leads, solos, and lyrics/vocals."
I know you find the description of your sound as black Metal limiting, your music going beyond that genre, so how would you describe the music you create?
"A loose fitting description I came up with is eclectic dark Metal for the music of Sylvan Realm, however Sylvan Realm has been called black Metal by most people. A lot of Sylvan Realm's music is indeed inspired by black Metal and has a black Metal feel, yet I mix in a lot of other musical styles and don't like to limit the style of the band to just black Metal.
"I try to incorporate every style of music that I listen to inside of Sylvan Realm's music. So it ends up being dark intense Metal with traces of doom, thrash, blues, progressive, gothic, avant-garde, folk, and so on.
"The goal was to create a unique original sound and blend unlike anyone else that has endless horizons of growth and no boundaries."
Sylvan Realm are very much an underground outfit, so much so they slipped under my radar until recently. How has 'The Lodge Of Transcendence, as an independent release, been received by the public and has it had the attention you had hoped for?
"Working today as a newer independent band with one album out in an overly saturated market generally keeps all but the all star bands
very underground. The album has received many great reviews. Personally I love the album and achieved all my dreams as a musician
on it. However the album and band still remains very underground and unheard of by most people."
What was the inspiration or influence behind the creation of 'The Lodge Of Transcendence'?
"A lot of the inspiration from the album is from spiritually enlightening experiences I had living out in the wilderness of the
Rocky Mountains. Connecting to the cosmos through the arms of nature and reaching higher levels of spiritual awareness. It was this new
growth and the shedding of old skins that rendered a lot of inspiration for the album. And oddly enough during this time I was
deeply into David Lynch's Twin Peaks and would watch the series over and over. So I also got a lot of inspiration and ideas from that
I have heard rumours you are working on a new album, is this correct and if so what can you tell MetalTalk about it?
"The rumours are all indeed true! So far the drums and rhythm guitars are all recorded. Evan Madden returned behind the drum kit, and Jason Eckert will join the fold once again on bass.
"The new album will be very different, much more lush and mellow focusing on neo folk, doom, gothic, and dark Metal styles. The songs will be more focused and hypnotic and will be written so each song blends together and makes up one long song."
What other artists' music do you enjoy or find inspiring?
"All kinds of stuff, Agalloch, Fields Of The Nephilim, Porcupine Tree, Ulver, Uriah Heep, Robin Trower, Deep Purple, Captain Beyond, Godspeed, Black Emperor, Merciful Fate, King Diamond, ZZ Top, Tenhi, Empyrium, Judas Priest, Anathema, Dan Swano, Testament, Opeth, In The Woods... I could go on forever!"
Any thoughts about touring?
"One day I'd like to do some small tours or festivals but nothing is being planned. Creating albums is my main priority."
I look forward to hearing the next album and hopefully getting the opportunity to review it. Thank you for taking the time to speak to MetalTalk. Any final comments?
"Stay tuned for the new album which should be out in spring of 2013, you can follow Sylvan Realm at www.facebook.com/sylvanrealm