Sunday, June 12, 2016

An Interview with Sun Worship

Berlin's Sun Worship are one of the more interesting bands to come out of Germany in the last few years, taking black metal into shoegazing territory without letting it lose its primal power. Their new album Pale Dawn is out now for anyone who likes their metal both unrelenting and atmospheric. Guitarist Lars Ennsen was kind enough to answer my questions over e-mail.

Dreams of Consciousness: What is Sun Worship?

L: A worthwhile struggle.

DoC: What was the genesis of Sun Worship? How did you choose to make the music you ended up making?

L: It chose us. We are willing slaves.

DoC: Metal is often characterized by its country of origin - bands from Norway, Brazil, and the American Northwest, for example, are thought to have a sound unique to those regions. Does Sun Worship's sound reflect your location/culture at all? Would you say that there is a unique style of "German black metal"?

L: German bands are/were always copycats at best and I wouldn't even exclude us. A notable exception would be Unru. I couldn't care less about our location and culture. Berlin is nice because the music scene (beyond metal/punk/hc) is diverse and interesting, but that's it.

DoC: Elder Giants is one of my favourite black metal albums of the past few years; I enjoy how it manages to be unrelenting and hypnotic at the same time. What was your approach to writing the album? How do you feel about it now, and is there anything you'd change about it?

L: We just wrote a bunch of songs and recorded them, and no, apart from maybe some minor sound issues maybe I wouldn't change a thing. The release was pretty much coincidental. It was planned as a demo but then things kind of got out of hand.

DoC: You were recently featured on Into The Vortex, a 4-way split with Voydn, Tooth Decay and Ancst. How did the collaboration come about? What would you say is the common ground that all four bands share?

L: We were asked to participate. The common ground is what you hear on the tape - an ambition to step outside boundaries.

DoC: Your contribution to the split is unique for Sun Worship, and very experimental in nature. How did you approach the song, and does it hint at a future direction?

L: We sat down for an improvised session. We have been doing this kind of thing in other projects so this ritual was familiar to us. Whether we are going to pursue this approach further remains to be seen. We hardly plan, and even if we do things tend to turn out different anyway.

DoC: I'm excited for your upcoming album Pale Dawn. How does it compare with your older material? What can we expect from the new songs?

L: This is really hard for me to judge. I think the new stuff explores the former fringes of our sound a bit more.

DoC: You teamed up with Golden Antenna Records for the release of Pale Dawn. How did you choose to work with them?

L: They asked, we complied. That was at a show together with Planks, even before Elder Giants was released.

DoC: Some of your members are also in the drone band Nada. Would you say Nada complements Sun Worship musically, or is it purely a separate project?

L: I dunno, but I can tell you how Nada was born: we were invited to play a show once and our drummer couldn't make it. So the rest of us recorded a minimalist drum beat unto a tape deck, we brought some small practice amps and played an early version of 'The Absolute is Becoming' for about 20 minutes. We did the same thing for a bunch of shows as Nada (which was on the shortlist of possible names for SW, hence that name) until we were bored shitless with playing the same riffs for 48+ bars to a synthetic drum beat. Then we abandoned structure.

DoC: What does the next 12 months hold for Sun Worship?

L: We're playing a bunch of shows, including a small tour with Ultha in October, that's about it.

Sun Worship on Facebook
Sun Worship on Bandcamp

Nada on Bandcamp

Pale Dawn is available through Golden Antenna Records