Interview With The Voyager By The Grim Lord
Without a doubt, this interview with Flames Of Genesis would classify as the first that I’ve ever done with an ambient/darkwave musician. Hailing from the UK, this mix of cinematic fare coupled with soundscape rolls all of the way back to Steve Roach and perhaps even Wagner in some areas. This is also may very well be the last interview that I will be able to post here at The Grim Tower, due to time restraints. It was originally setup for March, but that never happened. I didn’t want it to become lost, because that would have been a waste of the artist’s time, so it will be left here for a while to come or at least until I can start doing interviews again.
TGL: I have to say, Voyager; you might be the very first ambient musician that I’ve ever interviewed in the seven year history of this site. I’ve always covered this kind of music, but was never requested interviews for it. So yes, congratulations. In any case, can you tell me about the history of this project and it’s desired goal?
TV: I’m honored to be the first artist of this style to be interviewed by the site! Thank you. The concept for Flames Of Genesis began back in ‘16 – it grew out of some music I was writing for my Dreamfire (http://www.dreamfiremusic.co.uk/) project. As things took shape it became clear it was manifesting in a way that didn’t really fit into the Dreamfire style or concept for what I was trying to achieve at that time, but the images and feelings began to grow strongly in my mind. Over time it continued to expand and develop and eventually the whole concept of Flames Of Genesis was born. The debut album (A Bridge To Further Realms) is the first release in the Interstellar Transmigration trilogy, so you can expect further parts of this particular journey to follow – though not for a while yet…
TGL: Make no mistake, I am a modern day occultist of sorts. I’ve studied more of the modern work of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Crowley and Spare who influenced them. I’m even finding myself interested in newer occultists like Tommie Kelly, for instance. Is there anything in this project that one might consider an occult experience in the metaphysical sense, or is it something even deeper?
TV: Although I don’t seek to tell people how they should experience the journey, there is a gate within the music that will be personal for each listener. How they choose to use this gate is up to them. Some may use it more as a portal to look into another realm; some may choose to completely step through into another world. Some may just want to enjoy the music and let it wash over them. Flames Of Genesis can most definitely be enjoyed and experienced on many different levels. New dimensions can be made to unfold.
TGL: As I’ve never asked this to an ambient musician and am really curious, how do you go about making this kind of recording? What is is like working in the studio with this kind of thing, and do you do it while completely sober or while under the effects of a mind altering substance?
TV: Writing for me is a case of waiting until the personal alignment with the journey manifests within me, and from there I translate it into a musical soundscape and arrangement. It requires a great deal of patience, the attuning to the external inspiration and transposing into a musical and tonal format isn’t something that can be turned on like a tap. I have my own studio that I work from, so I am not hindered by the constraints of having (for example) two weeks paid time in a commercial studio during which everything needs to be completed. That just wouldn’t work for what I do. And in terms of writing I don’t use any form of substances to try to artificially manufacture an altered state of awareness; everything is pure and unadulterated.
TGL: Explain to me, your philosophy behind this project. I feel as though I’m going into a trance, simply by listening to it. That to me, means that it is quite potent and quite effective. Morrison says that “only results matter” and I feel you’ve achieved that. You’ve taken me on a journey with you.
TV: I’m glad you have found your gate within the music. For those more used to opening themselves to external experiences it can have something of an immediate effect. I would generally disagree that “Only results matter” as a maxim however, because unless you understand the journey to the conclusion then the result is just an answer with no structure, reasoning or true understanding behind it. Speaking personally about Flames Of Genesis all I ask for those that walk the path is that they are open to a new experience and open themselves to embrace it. How that works for them is as it should be for them at that point in time. So in some ways that can be just a result and it does indeed matter. But for me personally… I seek more than a result, I also seek a question and all that lies in between.
TGL: What are some of your influences in this project? I’d be a fool to tell you that I wasn’t hearing a great deal of Steve Roach, which is never a bad thing. I feel that he laid the template for a great deal of this music.
Steve Roach can definitely be seen as some sort of godfather to this whole, rich area of the musical ether. Brian Williams also has had a great deal of influence on this side of art, but I would also include Vangelis, Hans Zimmer, Wagner etc… I also draw on a lifetime of being a heavy metal fan. So, I have a rich and varied musical background fused to a more magical framework to draw upon when the process of creating for Flames Of Genesis is open.
TGL: As The Grim Tower combines music and geek culture, we would like to know what kinds of things that you geek out on. They don’t have to necessarily be books, movies, games or television per se; they can be anything that you find yourself devoting a lot of time to, outside of music.
TV: I guess Star Wars was my first real geek thing as it changed the world of cinema back in the day. I’m a huge fan of movies such as Blade Runner (I also really enjoyed the recent 2049 movie too), 2001, classic Hammer Horror (particularly The Devil Rides Out and To The Devil A Daughter), Apocalypse Now, The Godfather etc… TV wise (predictably) Game Of Thrones has been essential viewing. Book wise, Lovecraft and Robert E Howard are firm favourites. I do enjoy video games too, though don’t have so much time to partake. The one that stands out from the last year or two would be The Witcher 3.