Coming Out From Under The Veil With Veil Of Thorns (2010)
Indescribable, undefined and really dream inducing is how I would describe P. Emerson Williams his project, Veil Of Thorns. He has a new release called Necrofuturist it is amazing in a lot of ways with elements of industrial, goth, and experimental but no in the conventional way. The focus are subtle and dreamlike in the tone. The instrumentation of programming is amazing and very technical approach. Each track is different and P. Emerson Williams is a true visionary we wanted to get an interview with him and peer inside Necrofuturist and his beliefs on certain matters. So we give unto you one of the most interesting interviews yet, I give you Veil Of Thorns.
COMING OUT FROM UNDER THE VEIL WITH VEIL OF THORNS
1.CAM: Welcome Mr. Williams and thank you for joining us it is an honor and a privilege. When did the inception of Veil Of Thorns come about and how has evolved?
Emerson: The band started in 1990 in Boston, starting from getting a jam room with a few Berklee guys. The first guys spread the four winds and I began hacking away muso habits to get at a core I couldn’t quite define. The first lineup was more guitar driven, and even flirted with Gothic Metal, (before such a thing existed). The second was similary arranged, at least in the beginning. This latest iteraation has some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to collabortate with. Adian McGoran, James Curcio and Pandora. There’s a lot more playing around with form and sonic colour now, though I do get the urge to do simple git-bass-drums, like I did with “Cognitive Dissonance”….
2.CAM: Who did the artwork for Necrofuturist and where was it recorded?
Emerson: The art was created using my drawings and photography. I had the main image years ago, and it was just as the album was coming together that I realized why the image came to mind in the first place.
The various elements of the album ere recorded in Florida, London, and Philadelphia. and brought together in Foamin’ South Studio and tweaked to with an inch of recognizably by Abulafia the Younger.
3.CAM: Is it a conceptual CD or a composite of ideas?
Emerson: Not only is Necrofuturist conceptual, but the concept is spread across Necrofoturist and Salon Apocalypse. More than that, both albums tie in with my work with FoolishPeople. Aspects of the world and the story behind the concept were articulated in the London theatrical production The Abbattoir Pages.
4.CAM: Have you every performed live and if so what is your stage show like?
Emerson: Both the first lineup with Jarrett Laitinen and Catherine Chenoweth and the second line with Christopher McClain and the occasional guest performed quite frequently, mostly around New England. Shows ranged from just me a Christopher McClain standing with loads of smoke issuing from the stage to lines of drummers, violinist, theatrical sets paintings and backdrops with projections.
5.CAM: What philosophies and or beliefs do you have and does it come across in your music?
Emerson: My general philosophy is that received wisdom can never be more than a starting point from which one can test and verify. This means each individual should formulate their own philosophy which leaves no room for belief. There is room for some level of assumption to do anything, like factoring in gravity when pondering a leap from a building, but these assumptions are subject to reality checks.
6.CAM: Are there any other projects toy happen to be involved with or is Veil Of Thorns your main focus?
Emerson: “Aurum Nostrum Non Est Aurum Vulgi”, the debut album from kkoagulaa has just been released along with a digital only EP “Impressions of Ardour”. These two releases are the culiminatioon of a tremendouis amount of work involving ccernn (Tor-Helge Sjei a.k.a. Cernumus) (MANES, ATROX) eemersonnn (me, CHORONZON, VEIL OF THORNS, SUBQTANEOUS) Vvindd (a.k.a. Eivind Fjoseide) (MANES, ATROX) Hatlen (a.k.a Tommy Sebastian Halseth) (MANES, GRIFFIN, ATROX, GODSEND, WATTAMEZZ) Hoemsnes (a.k.a. Run Hoemsnes (MANES, THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL) Trstn (a.k.a. Tortsein Parelius) (MANES, CHTON) as well as some vocals contributed by Kvaforth (SHINING).
I am also a core member of FoolishPeople, a London based theatrical company that produces, ritualistic Weaponized Art. Much of what I’m creating through Veil Of Thorns is woven in with what we’re creating with FoolishPeople.
And then there’s CHORONZON, which wandered the wastes of Black Industrial and Avantgarde Metal before there were other inhabitants there to speak of. Two releases are in the works from CHORONZON.
7.CAM: What are your thoughts about religion or politics being in the music arena do they serve a purpose?
Emerson: It’s kind of heard to keep one’s gaze affixed to the distant horizon with the corporate-owned government and its lapdog religious behemoths cramping the style of everyone on the planet. I don’t have a history of writing explicit political statements, but much of my work is about what I see on the horizon.
The Satanism in Blackmetal is largely religious in nature, which is where many in the early second wave had issues with LaVeyan Satanism.
8.CAM: What influences do you draw from to create the sound that is Veil Of Thorns?
Emerson: I’m not sure what shows through, especially in the later releases, each of which used a completely different approach. I always go back to Killing Joke, Controlled Bleeding, all things Roz Williams, and Sleep Chamber. In the last few years I’ve been finding a lot to inspire in the work of electronic artists like DODDODO, Hectate, and blarg. As far as I can recall, Salon Apocalypse and Necrofuturist mark the first release where my vocals haven’t been compared to Bowie, Peter Murphy, or Rozz.
9.CAM: How is Necrofuturist different from Salon Apocalypse?
Emerson: Necrofuturist is the other side of the arc begun with Salon Apocalypse. With Salon Apocalypse, I wanted to convey a sense of the world coming apart, like everything that is known and familiar can no longer be taken for granted. With Necrofuturist I wanted begin from the first step back out of chaos and give the feel of every possibility radiating forth from the center of a vortex.
10.CAM: What is an interesting fact about Veil Of Thorns that our readers don’t know?
Emerson: Until we signed with Inner-x-Musick, every label that showed interest folded just as the contract had been agreed upon. It does figure that it would take someone as well versed in Magick as John Zewizz to be able to break that curse.
11.CAM: How would our readers being able to find out more about Veil Of Thorns and about obtaining your materials?
Emerson: A good starting point would of course be veilofthorns.com, which is ever expanding and has not only the full discography but also tons of free music hidden all over the place. Besides that, one can find releases at Soleilmoon, Inner-X-Musick, and just about all digital download stores. Last.fm and Discogs searches will yield much to look over and listen to as well.
12. CAM: What was the process involved in the creation of Necrofuturist and was it a challenging process?
Emerson: I have to say the process of writing an album has never been this natural. I improvised all the keyboard parts, guitars, bass, and cellos first, chopped, looped and brought into the arrangements. Vocals were written and layered with improvised parts and lines. I let the material lead me and it basically wrote itself.
14.CAM: Any final words you’d like to impart on us?
Emerson: Thank you so much for the interview. We’ve been at this for a long time, but if feels like we’re just getting started.
Thank you P. Emerson Williams for talking with us about Veil Of thorns and Necrofuturist an incredible release. Veil Of Thorns are beyond anything you have experienced and combines so much to make quite a unique sound. This CD will take you on a journey unlike any other it is an intelligent release that captivates you. Veil Of Thorns is simply undefined as I stated above and I stand by those words. I can’t find anything wrong with the songs they are compositions of a genius. Hails to you P. Emerson Williams and keep creating an we’ll keep listening Culture Asylum supports all your projects past and future.