The Cold Beyond – Interview

int_coldbeyond_headerU.S. Black Metal is finally starting to get some of the recognition it deserves in the Metal underground, and one of the bands ready to make their name known is The Cold Beyond from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Already known for their impressive live shows, the band are looking to punctuate their presence with some recorded material for everyone to consume. Bassist/vocalist Sithicus was kind enough to answer a few questions about the band. – Mike Bushur

Worm Gear: Hails Sithicus! First of all, why don’t you tell us the reason for the name change from Dead By Morning to The Cold Beyond. You have also trimmed down the lineup from a five piece to a three piece. Any specific reasons? What is the current situation in The Cold Beyond horde?

Sithicus: We changed the name because we felt that we needed a darker, more unique, and mysterious name. We feel that The Cold Beyond is more fitting with our style and concept, thus helping to create a more complete picture of our dark art. Concerning our lineup, there are now only 2 of us left. The others left for various reasons which are unimportant, and personal, therefore we feel that it is not open for discussion to the general public. As for the current events happening within the realms of The Cold Beyond. Asylum and myself are currently writing songs for our forthcoming debut mini CD, which we desire to unleash before the death of this year.

As of now, you have a four track rehearsal tape available. Of course the sound isn’t the best, but the quality of the songs really shine through. How many copies have you sent out now? Which way do you think was the best way of getting them out? What else looms on the horizon for The Cold Beyond?

int_coldbeyond_pic1There are 600+ in circulation currently. We have been poisoning the scene through the mail and at shows thus far. Both methods have proven to be extremely effective in spreading our disease throughout the underground very quickly. However, I can announce that once the MCD is unleashed, the demo shall be out of print, so get it while you can! Currently we are set to make an appearance on the forthcoming Lost Disciple Recs. comp. Visionaries of the Macabre 2. Also, as stated before, we are just working very hard on the mini CD, so that we shall be able to get it out this year. So far we have been very satisfied with how the songs are turning out. Once the MCD is out, we shall then begin the search for a new drummer for either session or full-time live work. As we have extremely high standards, and demands concerning the drums, this may prove to be a most difficult task to accomplish. Only time shall tell.

There is a slight death metal influence on the tape. Is this something that will continue? Besides that, the music is full of intense drumming, frozen atmospheres, melancholy, and pure darkness. Who or what has inspired such a concoction?

One may never know what to expect from us, for we shall create music that inspires and moves us. The only limitations are that our music shall always be possessed of a grim spirit, there shall be no light to be found within the realms of The Cold Beyond! The inspiration for our dark art is from ourselves. Our souls crave to create the darkest music possible in our ears. Obviously we are influenced by dark music, and the grim side of life in general, but to name any specific influences would be impossible as they are far too numerous to mention.

Since I don’t have lyrics, maybe you could let us in on your lyrical vision? Is there a certain theme you wish to spit forth?

My lyrics deal with many dark themes. Some of them are very personal to me, and some are just very hateful, but all are extremely [bleak] and apocalyptic. This is very cliché to say, but I do prefer for the listener to draw their own conclusion as to the actual meanings of my lyrical art. I feel that it helps to summon a stronger bond between the listener and the music if they can relate to the lyrics in their own way.

What do you wish to achieve with The Cold Beyond?

I cannot speak for Asylum, but my desire for TCB is to create music that moves me, and possesses me with a release for all of my negative energy and feelings. It is my way of expressing the hatred and darkness that dwells within my soul. The concept of TCB is very personal in my eyes. It is very deep and completely a part of my soul. Every aspect of the band has meaning and relates back to myself and Asylum as a part of ourselves. That is the best way I can describe TCB in words.

To back up the songs, The Cold Beyond (and also as Dead By Morning) has always put on quite an intense live show! Spectators at the Milwaukee Metalfest and March Metal Meltdown have been laid to waste witnessing the onslaught that is The Cold Beyond. Do you enjoy playing live and is it something you wish to continue?

Yes, we love to perform in the live arena. Considering that with all aspects of the band, we have extremely high standards, one may always expect a very intense and powerful live performance from us! I can tell you that what you have witnessed thus far is only the beginning.

Do you feel part of the US Black Metal scene? What are some of the bands you like from the US, black metal or whatever? It seems the US scene is up and coming.

int_coldbeyond_pic2There is so much I could say concerning the U.S. Black Metal scene, that I could write a book about it. In my opinion the majority of the scene is pure shit!! I feel that most of the bands are second rate versions of the European masters and have no identity of their own. Then you have bands that are being called black metal that have absolutely none of the grim spirit burning within them. For you see, in my opinion, black metal is a certain grim spirit. A dark hateful feeling. Not just a sound, look, or style, it is an atmosphere that possesses the music. This grim spirit is something that I feel most of the so called U.S. BM bands sorely lack. However, some of the U.S. BM bands I do support are Absu, Grand Belial’s Key, Thornspawn, and Azazel to name a few. I do believe that the scene has potential to be quite devastating, but there are still far too many worthless bands plaguing it right now.

As far as the whole cause of metal goes, what do you think must be done to restore its past glory? Can it even be done these days of media brainwashing? Why do you think metal is attacked like it is by the media?

I think that in order for the scene to grow strong again, there are certain things that need to happen. 1: New bands need to work at creating a style of their own. This can be achieved by summoning a focus and building from that. By pushing yourself further and further to expand on that initial focus, and by following the desires burning within your soul, no matter what they may be, then your own identity shall eventually begin to develop. For as we are all individuals, so then is our art when it comes purely from the heart. 2: Fans need to develop a much higher standard and demand more out of the bands in the scene. If it is harder to gain respect and support from the fans of the scene, then the bands shall be forced to be more creative in order to survive. Thus summoning a better, stronger, and much more interesting scene can be spawned. 3: We as a whole need to put an end to all of these genre wars. People just need to accept each others tastes and styles and keep a more open mind. I was always under the impression that the metal way of life was about being yourself, and not conforming to the ways of the herd. That we existed free of the foolish homogenized realms of the commercial world. However, it seems to me that a new herd has been born. Now in order to be considered true, one must look or act a certain way, like only certain styles of music, etc. I find this to be completely pathetic, and want nothing to do with this poisonous way of thinking. As for the media. They fear what they don’t understand and use us as a scapegoat to mask their own dark secrets, their fear of the chaos that is born from nonconformity and free thought (they wouldn’t want to lose control of us now would they!), failings in their social systems, and personal insecurities. It is really quite sad when you think about it.

Now that you are a rock star and have been on Mtv, has your life changed much haha?! (On a feature for the band In Extremo at the March Metal Meltdown, Sithicus was shown briefly giving the horns whilst being decked out in spikes etc!) Were you surprised to see that? I was when a friend showed me and I think others were too.

No my life has not changed at all. I would definitely not consider my self a rock star in any way. I was completely surprised when I heard about it for sure. I would have never even seen it had not our ex-drummer’s girlfriend caught it on tape by accident. My grim appearance must have given those trend worshipping robots a good case of explosive diarrhea to say the least! Haha!

Well that’s it. It is always a pleasure and I hope to meet up face to face again sometime! Any last words?

Yes, thanks for the excellent interview, and I do look forward to the next time that we shall meet face to face as well. I would also like to send hails to all who have supported us from the beginning, and to all of our fellow warriors out there. Check out the comp, and the MCD when they are unleashed. Keep the grim and hateful flames forever burning cold and black! -Sithicus

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~ by scottsplatter on January 4, 2009.

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