Immundus Interview with Voltage Media

Posted by Nick Skog on Monday, January 4, 2010

Interview with Anna from Voltage Media

Do you ever get the feeling of being watched? That feeling that someone is always there? Even when you are all alone?
Exploring that which haunts us, making the paranormal and the unknown tangible. Immundus brings forth these reflections, and leaves us to mirror our own stories through his music. Coming under a moniker that translates to ruin and impurity, the mind behind Immundus, Bruno Duarte, revealed his inspirations, influences, atmospheric changes and the narrative behind the concepts within his Dark Ambient music.

When did Immundus begin, and out of what did it come to life?

Duarte; Immundus began in late 2006, 3 years after the band where I played split up and also after moving to Norway in 2003. During these 3 years, the opportunity to start creating the music I had much interest in creating came along and so, all progress started and been developing until this day.

How did the name Immundus come to life, and what is its meaning?

Duarte; Immundus came to life sometime in the 90s as a pseudonym used on all music projects and after this ambient project was created I didn't see why not keep using it, not only as pseudonym but also the project’s name itself. The name itself means impure among others and in one way it reflects a bit of ourselves and what we are inside, even for those who do not admit these things, if anyone looks deep inside we’ll always find it, no matter what. It is a sense of another type of reality, so to speak.

Immundus focuses on Haunting and Ghostly Atmospheres; what are your personal inspirations to convey these feelings?

Duarte; I get mostly inspired by the Paranormal, the Unknown, the mysterious side of life, different moods and the atmospheric changes in the daily environment, spiritual wise. …And so to re-create those events and feelings by adding them into music.

What is the message you are sending through your music?

Duarte; I am not sending any message in particular, really, I write most of what I like and have interest in. I then like to share it with the world, because there are many people that can relate to all these themes, so it ends up also being a good experience not for them that can listen to an artist who writes music based on what the go through and feel, and for me knowing that my music can affect so many is also quite amazing.

How has your music changed from its beginning to this point in time?

Duarte; Like all in music, progress and evolution takes a big part, also in my music, you can listen since "Torments" until the latest release, the sound itself is getting better, quality and also the concepts on which these releases are based on. Also from composition techniques and possibility to experiment with new sounds and effects among others, all of this contributes to new changes. I can proudly say it has been a great progress and my music has been changing only for the better thus far and I hope it continues this way on my future releases.

Is Immundus looking in altering its direction, or do your changes come from pure instinct rather than force?

Duarte; Changes in direction, all come very naturally, I don't make it with intent, sometimes it just comes out the way it is. My music is ambient music, and ambient has many different ways of approach, I like to write mostly about haunting stories, but of course depending on the concepts I create, all things always change. I see it in a very good way; it means I don't repeat myself in each release, which is nice…to bring something fresh and new overtime.

Your latest release ‚The Method Learned II‚ opens with an ambient experimental‚ Decoy‚ and yet continues with pieces that hold pure sadness and solitude. Does this translate to your own views upon this world and society?

Duarte; No, not at all, this release was based solely on the Method Learned II, which is an ongoing project which involves, not only musicians, but also film and photography, all based on the written works of G. James Wyrick. These works attempt to highlight slices of the human experience, experiences that connect us together and that may serve as a catalyst for the sublime revelation of being alive to be realized. I had on this releases the opportunity to work along other great musicians such as Fredrik Klingwall, NauseA, Sphere-Sounds and InsCissorS. I’m hoping to have another opportunity like this one in the near future. [Method Learned II] Was a really great release which also has gotten very good reviews from the media as well as very positive feedback from the masses.

What music influences and/or inspires you?

Duarte; I am mostly inspired by dark ambient artists such as Lustmord, Northaunt, Nagual Art, Mortiis (era 1) also Vond… among many other artists, but also other type of music can be very inspirational for what I create, either is ambient, experimental, noise, as well as gothic.

I believe that you are currently working on a new record, what has been the focus of its music thus far, and how is its progress?

Duarte; Yes I am currently working on a small free single release (3 songs) to kick start the year (hopefully) and will be based on Edgar A. Poe poems, on which one of the songs, "Spirits Of The Dead" will be submitted for a tribute compilation based on his poems as well. I will wait for the release of this compilation before I release my own single, which by the way, will be available for free. In the meantime I am also working on my next full-length album and is still too early on the progress, considering I spent the last few months promoting my Haunted Memories and The Method Learned II releases, only recently I started working on it, but I can tell you it has started great and is going very well so far. The album concept has been made and also the compositions are going really well.

What will be its title, and when are you planning on a release?

Duarte; The album will be entitled "Eye of the Serpent" but as far as it goes for a release date nothing is settled yet, since all the work just started. I still think it would be nice to have it release after the summer, but is still too soon to tell, so I guess we will just have to wait and see how it goes.

Tracks such as ‚Candles‚ off the album‚ Torments‚ create a very haunting atmosphere, a sense of unease and yet one becomes transfixed by this ambience. What horror themes are the inspirations behind this?

Duarte; "Torments" was an album based on afterlife experience, it is a story about two subjects, one here on our side of life and another who died but doesn't really know that. This album varies through feelings and follows the different paths of these subjects in both life and death, and how they face the challenges that are thrown upon them, in the end connecting all the pieces together.

Furthermore, this eeriness reminds one of being a child; scared, and alone in the dark, and yet these emotions tend to follow us into adulthood in varying light. Do you find that this has been the case for you also?

Duarte; It depends, as I wrote the concept and the story, something like this was actually not included, but like you asked, if it was my case…people who listen to my music, have their own perception and visions of my music, and I think is great the they keep on doing that and creating their own stories on their minds. I personally like that a lot, and when you mention it I can relate to it as well and very well know what you mean, but in my case – it was actually a widow and not a child, nevertheless, it seems we’re not so apart after all. Sometimes, you might have exactly the same concept on your head and just changing the characters or events and yet, you stick to the concept as it was intended. Awesome you mentioned this!

Other atmospheres that Immundus brings to life are the feelings of darkness, coldness, and an aesthetic of a forest in winter. Does nature play a big part in your creations?

Duarte; Yes, it has played and will keep on playing a part in my music, since my music is based on atmospheric elements as well, nature will always be a part of it, depending on the concepts created in the music, sometimes these will be more noticed than others.

Do you find yourself in a meditative state as you write and perform your music?

Duarte; Yes and no. I do have a good relaxing almost meditative state, before I write music, almost as dreaming awake and create these stories or just feeling the environment around me…other times, I can just be watching something on TV, or eating… doesn’t matter, and suddenly I have a great idea for a song for example, and of course - how inappropriate to come such sudden motivation and I cant do anything about it. I guess all goes up to my mind and what it is set up to. But no, I don't just feel like writing music and make it happen, doesn't work like that for me, I’ve tried, yes and nothing came out from it besides a huge headache.

Do you possess spiritual beliefs, and if so how does this translate in your music?

Duarte; It doesn't. Like I have mentioned before on another prior interview, my music will never have a reflection on how I see the world, not political or religious points of views. I have them yes, but I won’t add them into music. There are already a million bands using these concepts, and what I create is mostly for self- reflection of the mind and with a very direct approach on what goes around us all the time. Mostly moods and the unseen subjects.

What process do you undergo when you write a new piece, or album? Do you stick to one theme through out as to tell a story?

Duarte; I normally create first the concept, start writing some pieces on acoustic guitar passing it then to keyboard, including also new sounds, effects and atmospheric elements surrounding it - but it doesn't really have to work in this direction all the time. It really depends what the mind is set to and how I can work with what I have. Right now, as I write for the new album, I’m not using guitar to compose at all, and rather experimenting much more with new sounds, effects, also using field recordings. I don't stick to one theme, what I do is normally create a concept, what kind of atmosphere I would like created, based on my daily experiences and then create a story based on that.

From the back catalogue of Immundus, what has been your favorite album and why?

Duarte; Well, I can say that I like them all of course, but "Haunted Memories" was the one I had more effort on composing, also the concept was great, from all this to final mastering and sound quality not to mention the artwork created by Depraved Designs, it all fitted just perfectly. There is nothing on this album I ever would want to change. This one is so far the most professional album I have released and to be honest, I am really proud of it.

What is the response to Immundus from its international audience, and also from your home of Trondheim in Norway?

Duarte; Internationally it has been great, I have people from all over [the world] viewing and /or listening to my music samples on MySpace as well as on the official site among many other places I am on, and their feedback has just been outstanding. I have recently joined Record Union as well for the digital releases and they have been great, I am really happy with the response I‚Äôm getting nowadays. Locally, is a bit harder, but I guess that is just how it works, you are more appreciated from others than from the place where you live. I guess this goes for most artists, but I‚Äôm very ok with it. I remember, when I lived in Portugal, many of the national bands didn't have much attention from their own country, then I moved to Norway and they are almost like icons here‚also, to be honest‚it is quite confusing but makes sense in a way.

What is the underground scene like in Trondheim?

Duarte; I think it is great here. Norway as a country and Trondheim as a town, the way I see it, they provide many possibilities for bands and artists to expose their music; bars, pubs, concert halls, I think people are very open minded to all kinds of music here, which is great. They even provide rehearsal places for the musicians to practice their music for great pricing. Where I lived in Portugal… that kind of support you can only dream of.

What is your opinion on the ambient scene, it seems to be very intricate and "tight-knit"?

Duarte; I know also that Dark Ambient is getting more noticed here in Trondheim, more and more, considering the artists that come from here have also great international exposure, and it is great for this place. The person behind Svartsinn (Dark Ambient project) has been developing opportunities as well; for ambient artists to expose their music through life performances, locally and hopefully national, including not only local but also international artists, so things are greatly changing when it comes to this musical genre. We just have to see what the future has reserved to us, ambient artists. I am personally looking forward to this.

You are signed to Hypnotic Dirge Records – which bands to you enjoy that are also signed to this label, and how is your relationship with Skog [owner]?

Duarte; I’m personally a big fan of Astral Luminous, I really like the way he approaches his music concept, based on inner self reflection, astrology subjects and other related, rather than the usual antichrist music and so on….there are just too many bands which use the same [concept]. As I see it, this band is unique. As for HDR and Nick [Skog], I met Nick some years ago; I guess we started at the same time and have also been released under the same record label. But things didn't go so well with that and that is how Nick decided to create HDR, I think he did great and as far as I know he’s doing great with the label, climbing more and more…we have a good relationship as musician / label and a good friendship, so things are great on our side.

What has been the highest peak thus far in your musical career?

Duarte; The highest peak? Wow! That was difficult…I think I’m having it right now!!! This year has just been crazy with lots of things happening from signing to Hypnotic Dirge, having released both an album and an EP, getting new promoters and services helping to expose my music, and recently just signed up my music to The Peoples Music Awards, never really participated in anything, so I though…Why not? Now is better than never! So…I don't know…choose one! Including this interview!

Last words?

Duarte; I would first like to thank you for this interview opportunity and all the people who have been and keep on supporting my music.

IMMUNDUS' latest release The Method Learned II, released through Hypnotic Dirge Records, is available for free download from his official website: www. immundus. net. Here you can find the complete discography, biography, as well as music samples, latest news and a multitude of other curiosities regarding the project.