Interview with Matt Coughlin
With the rise of black metal in the underground music industry we find many garage and bedroom bands on the rise that don’t hold up to the mastery of the pioneers in the genre. Even more so, as Varg Vikernes, the father of atmospheric black metal delved into the realms of the dark ambient genre, it created the pathway for unfortunately even more bedroom solo artists. With the thousands of acts releasing demos it seems more challenging for a music collector to find many prominent musicians without first having to listen through a lot of diamondless rough.
Fortunate for me I found a more inspired ambient artist in Bruno Duarte, the solo member of Immundus, a horror inspired act who reminds me of a cross between Brian Eno and Aghast, and while I must say the music isn’t my particular cup of tea as far as casual listening is concerned, I cannot deny the great artistic credibility each piece I have heard has to offer. It’s one of those acts that you find that is a true gem, yet seems special as you listen on occasion when the mood is just right. Recently I got to speak with Bruno to talk about his inspiration behind Immundus and what is in store for its future.
Underground Violence: First, let me say that I am honored to be able to interview an artist who has already had such a positive feedback in the press.
Bruno: The honor is mine.
UV: Upon researching your website www.immundus.net I noticed that you didn't start playing music until your mid teens. Could you let us know about your early musical history and what made you decide to pursue music?
B: Well, it all started after I bought my first instrument, it being a bass, after that, some friends and I decided to create a black metal band and well, evolution and progress took place since then. I played in different bands and projects a long time within the extreme music genres until me and two friends decided to found Necrokult of Kronos, a death metal band with black metal elements on which I was the bass player and vocalist, this one being the most accomplished to date. We released a demo (in conditions) and a full-length album.
After I moved to Norway in 2003 the band split up, and I decided it was about time to start something on my own, that I had in mind from some years back, and so Immundus, my ambient project finally saw the light of day coming in late 2006. It was atmospheric music focusing on haunting and ghostly soundscapes, based on my own concepts with influences of one of the subjects and matters in life that I find most interesting, “the other side."
UV: As I mentioned with the feedback you seem to have a fairly strong support in the independent music scene. Did you see yourself getting this far when you began writing for Immundus?
B: Well I do tend to aim a bit too high in my life goals, short term speaking I mean, some times, but to be honest when I first started to write for Immundus, I began writing for myself and decided to put some songs up on Myspace to share with some people. The feedback has been great since then. I guess it did escalated on a very fast tempo, so I’m positively surprised about it all and really pleased that so many relate to it and have been so supportive this far.
UV: With previous releases you seemed to have taken a conceptual approach to albums; themes in the past including the paranormal and mental institutes. Could you tell us what else seems to inspire you thematically and how you feel your music expresses these contents?
B: I really get most inspired by the moods that occur in our everyday lives. You know, when you’re all alone enjoying being by yourself, and at the same time absorbing all that goes on around you. Many people nowadays, in this stressful world don't have the time to sit back and relax, so I try to get my inspirations when I get those moments. I like to base my concepts on the paranormal and other subjects related to it.
The afterlife is something that I always had much interest in so I think it would make sense to create stories based on these themes, with a blend of suspense, horror and fiction sometimes taken from movies that I tend to watch on TV, DVD, etc.
UV: What would you say are your biggest influences musically speaking for Immundus along with your musically career in general?
B: Musically, I get inspired by many different artists, such as Lustmord, Midnight Syndicate, Vond, Mortiis, Northaunt, Nagual Art and Ulver among many other artists; too many to mention.
UV: Are there other genres of music you, while not fully being inspired by for your own compositions, tend to enjoy as well?
B: Yes, I mostly enjoy extreme metal, but I also enjoy listening to other alternative genres like gothic, darkwave, some oldies rock and traditional metal. I guess it goes with the mood. I’m open to most genres, and so I listen to it as I feel it.
UV: Are there any other musical outlets that you currently participate in, or are there any plans for projects in the near future?
B: Yes there are. I recently got invited to start on a new project, but unfortunately I cannot mention about it at the time being, it will be surprising to some and I am personally thrilled and honored to have been included on this project, but since it is so early in the process, no announcements can be made at this point. My advice is to keep posted.
UV: I noticed while listening to your work, as well as you mentioning your inspiration from television, that much of it seems like it would be suited well for a soundtrack of some sort. Do you have any ambitions for creating music along the lines of filmscores or for something like video games, or is this a coincidence?
B: Absolutely! Being able to have my music available, not only in the music industry but also available in the film and TV industries is something I’m currently aiming my music to as well. I have now submitted material for licensing and the links can be searched on the official site, where TV and film producers can get a hold of my music.
Although I’m still fresh in this area, I’m very positive about it, and also something I’m interested in making. If there would be any opportunities, I would create filmscores also, but like I mentioned I’m still fresh. Nevertheless, it is something I’m aiming for. The process has started; now I have to let the wheels go now.
UV: With Poemia coming out in mid-February as homage to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, I read on your site that you plan on releasing a new album later this year entitled, "Eye of the Serpent." Can you reveal how you plan on approaching this one?
B: "Eye of the Serpent," the album, will be based on different stories, mostly inspired by serial killers and their methods. The album will be based on fictional events mostly and past stories, reliving them from nowadays, if you know what I mean. It will have a more direct and bizarre approach comparing to the other releases, while still keeping the ghostly elements.
It will be more atmospheric, based on different perspectives; both the victim’s feelings, the killer’s and the surroundings. "Eye of the Serpent" works as a metaphor to describe what goes on inside these psychopaths’ minds; the voices that tell them to do things; the evil inside every human, some with more than others.
The release date is still not worked out as compositions are in progress and it is still a long way to go, so we will see. I’m hoping to have it release later in the year if all goes well.
UV: What would you say are you goals for Immundus over time?
B: I normally don't have long term goals, mostly because there tends to always be bumps in the road which complicate things. As for now, I’m really busy working on the new album and the new project and looking for opportunities in the television and film industries. So the main goal is to keep inspired and create music. Overtime we will see, but I don't plan on stopping music making.
UV: Outside of music, what would you say is a typical day for Bruno and what other things interest you?
B: Typical day? Oh boy… nah… I don't know. I have my family to take care of and my day job, which keeps me busy very much. So, I try to be as good of a dad as I can. Apart from the family life there are always events, concerts or some parties I try to catch as much as I can. I did try ice skating the other day. One week later the right side of my body is still hurting with a couple of bruises. Sounds like a good typical day, yes? Plus I do enjoy going skiing.
UV: Would you like to add anything else for the readers?
B: I would like to thank all who keep listening and following me and my music and showing the support. For the new listeners I hope you guys enjoy my music and keep in touch.
Don't forget to look out for new samples on myspace or visit the official site for all detailed info on Immundus. And last but not least, I would like to personally thank you for this great interview.
UV: No problem! And again thank you for your time.
Immundus’ official website can be found at www.immundus.net. Make sure to check out the latest releases and keep an eye out for “Eye of the Serpent.”