Challenging Definitions: An Interview with Goatcraft

What is metal? Is it worshipping the dark lord under a full moon? Shredding guitar lines and guttural vocals? Black clothes, spikes, patched battle vests and beer soaked nights? Of course it is! However, until you’ve seen a single man, drenched in blood, take the stage and tear the room a new one with dark and haunting piano lines that Dracula would be right at home chilling to, you haven’t really experienced it all. Enter Goatcraft, who through his keyboard proves that you don’t need to go up on stage and scream your lungs out to be metal. I was lucky enough to be able to pick the brain of Lonegoat, the man behind the keyboard recently. Read on to see what he has to say about the influence of William Blake, Burzum and ,of course, appropriate beverages for his brand of darkness. lonegoat1 Scotty Floronic: Let’s start this off for those not in the know. Who are you and what are you about? What was the impetus behind Goatcraft? Lonegoat: Howdy, Scotty! Thank you for taking the time to interview me for your webzine! Your first question could be either easy or difficult, depending on how it’s approached. From a musical standpoint, I am “Lonegoat”; pianist/keyboardist for the Necroclassical Minimalist/Dark Ambient sonic intensity known as “Goatcraft”. But these are all just labels! I am nobody. Music is a mirage of sound and I happen to be OK at molding different sceneries. Really, all music is is vibration — and information/ideas within those vibrations. I suppose that a composition itself is more real than the sound. Although, as I’ve come to learn, there’s always room for improvement; refininement of that information. There’s never a clear path to a plain mind because art is abstract and must be approached with abstract thinking. When it becomes too formulaic it’s time to reevaluate it to see where the spirit was lost. Sometimes I think that it takes a substantial lull in thought/emotion to be able to immerse myself so much that a narrative journey emerges — other times it flows naturally. I don’t think there’s a tried-and-true method to create honest music, but it does take something a bit more than just putting sound together. It takes ability and goal — paint and painter — a story and a story-teller. The end result should be something which cannot be recreated — if it were, then it’d be a copy. I believe a true artist is someone who’s never satisfied with their own work because those past experiences/compositions lie within the past; not the present — and new approaches must be taken to keep the feral fire burning in oneself. Those new approaches come in the form of challenges — like feeling the awe of nature and ridding ourselves of our mundane desires. There must be a substantial lull for someone to release an honest expression of art.

I don’t think there’s a tried-and-true method to create honest music, but it does take something a bit more than just putting sound together

Your audience seems to lie predominantly within the metal community and comparisons could be made to some of Burzums material (as well as Wolves in the Throne Rooms newest offering) but I feel there’s much more going on in your work. Did you court attention from the metal community or did that just happen naturally due to this similarity? My buddy Brett really likes the new Burzum. I like the old stuff though. You might know Brett Stevens. He runs the website Deathmetal.org — it’s truly an amazing website with the Heavy Metal FAQ and Dark Legions Archive reviews! Hails to the ANUS/DMU troops of doom! When I first met Brett I was amazed by how mighty he is. Imagine a modern Nietzschean philosopher, 6’9″ tall (which I’m 6’6″ — it’s weird to actually look up to someone; even if slightly), in his 40s but looks like he’s 24… The dude is a superhuman/overman. We went to a BBQ joint in Houston and he demanded his steak unprepared. Brett is paleo-male to the max. He ate 2 pounds of raw bovine. I have no idea how he maintains 4% body fat. All of the women who came in near proximity were immediately wet. Like I previously said, he’s an overman; both mentally and physically. His brain’s neurotransmitters/nerve impulses are much more active than anyone who I’ve ever met. As such, the world is his urinal. Thanks for stating that there’s much more going on in my music than Wolves in the Throne Room. I agree with that statement… I’ve been into death metal since I was 12. So, yeah, nothing new here— now I listen to a lot classical music. Metal is still frequent though — I love me that death metal and black metal. You played the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival last year. How was that experience? You know, there are a lot of Phil Anselmo shit-talkers, but when I met him he very hospitable. I was thinking that he would have a tough guy attitude, but he’s geniunely a nice person. Corey Mitchell was the one who invited me to play. They all treated me good at the festival. Highlights include seeing Goblin, meeting Attila from Mayhem, and the Mexican taco place next to Emos. One morning I woke up early and walked around some parks in Austin. There weren’t many people out and about — so it was nice to have some alone time. Fuck, I love being alone in nature.

when he painted religious paintings he often presented the sacred and profane on the same playing field; neither as better or worse

Your newest album Blasphemer was written ìUnder the influence of William Blakes painting and theological observationsî. Can you talk a little more about his influence on this particular album? Yes. Blake was an interesting and unique artist. He was taboo in his day, but he was just drunk with life. You can see it in his poetry where there’s a rather playful wordplay, but then he triggers some of the hardest existential questions for us humans… He talked about Heaven and Earth being the same –> he worshipped nature. So, when he painted religious paintings he often presented the sacred and profane on the same playing field; neither as better or worse. Of course, he was a little dark with some of his imagery. His paintings were the concept of the album, but then I dug a bit deeper into the meaning behind the paintings. lonegoat2 What do you have planned for the future of Goatcraft? Right now I’m putting the final touches on Yersinia Pestis. It’s an album that will be released later this year via I, Voidhanger Records. The concept is based on the Black Death — so Goatcraft is going back to darker realms. There are also some ambient tracks that’ll be on this album as well. So, it’ll be a bit different than The Blasphemer. One of my friends Daniel Valdez (Fulmenox, Gored, Throne of Anguish) has done the artwork for it — it’s truly perfect. I can’t wait for people to see and hear it! Of course, Francesco Gemelli will do the album layout again. It’s going to be great! It’s a worship of the plague! Woohoo! As you can probably guess from the name of our site, we believe that drinking and entertainment (be it horror movies or music) accompany each other very well. Following that train of thought, what would you suggest as a drink that would go well while listening to Goatcraft? MEAD!!! Pillage and conquer!!! Goatcraft!!! ARGHHGHGHGHGH!!! lonegoat3 Again, being a horror based site, we like to pick the brains of interviewees about what some of their favorite horror movies are. Any recommendations? I was just talking with a pretty lady about The Shining a couple of days ago. I think that’s a good flick. I don’t watch that many movies anymore, but when I was younger I loved the super cheesy stuff like Dead Alive, Evil Dead, etc — stuff with over-the-top gore. I thought that the new Evil Dead remake was pretty boring. I don’t like my horror movies serious — pretending to be serious day-to-day is horrible enough.

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