Not too long ago, I reviewed Sacred Son’s debut s/t record, an album that stirred up as much admiration as it did controversy. None of this stir in the metal community would of occurred had it not been for the provocative artwork of what seemed like a really basic Instagram vacation selfie, featuring the artist behind it all. Well, I thought it would be best to clear the mist and talk to the man himself to find out what’s going on behind the scenes. I bring to you an exclusive interview I had with Sacred Son’s only member and founding creator, Dane Cross from London, UK!
Before we get into Sacred Son as a project, I have a few questions about you. What drove you to create black metal, and how long have been listening to it?
I’ve been listening to black metal since I first began discovering heavy music in my teens. Over the past few years I found that BM riffs were starting to pervade my thoughts on a regular basis, so I decided to write them down with the intention of creating an album out of them one day.
What other music do you like? Any favorite records from this year?
My favorites from this year so far have been Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory, Oxbow – Thin Black Duke and Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Is there a specific reason or inspiration you went with the one-man-band approach?
Although I’ve played in bands in the past, I think I just fancied doing something where I had full creative control and no compromises to make with fellow band members.
How long have you played each instrument, and how much did you have to practice to get the hang of them all? Also, do play any others that we didn’t hear on the album?
I’ve been playing them for around 10 years or so, although in true ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ fashion, I can play the instruments you hear on the album but not to a particularly high standard.
Let’s get into the elephant in the room…what’s with that cover? It’s very unconventional for the type of music you play.
There is a story behind the cover, but if I reveal what it is it’ll effectively put an end to the conjecture and speculation which has been been very interesting to read.
Any thoughts on the reaction to it in the metal community?
From what I’ve read, a significant percentage of the feedback has been fairly positive. Truthfully, I never expected the album to be heard by anyone bar a couple of friends, but I was pretty confident that if it ever did end up being discovered by the BM community, then it would likely not go down very well at all on account of the cover. The fact that so many have responded positively is a very pleasant surprise indeed.
Would you say having this kind of artwork was intentional i.e. getting more recognition or infamy to stand out among the hundreds of other black metal projects out there?
Definitely not – I wrote this record for my own creative fulfillment and I always said to my myself that if anything else that came of it would be a bonus. I’m obviously pleased that the cover has caught people’s eye, but hat certainly wasn’t the reason I chose it.
What are your thoughts on humor in metal? Do you think it’s important to be able to make fun of or challenge certain things in music that take themselves so seriously?
Personally, I don’t think metal and comedy have ever being mutually exclusive. For example, if you look up some of Deicide’s live shows, you’ll see that Glen Benton comes out with some really funny stuff when he’s speaking to the audience. There’s also that ‘please don’t vote for me’ picture Fenriz posted of him with his cat, and that Dillinger Escape Plan press photo where they’re all holding puppies, and Corey Taylor covering the Spongebob Squarepants theme – there are many examples of humor in metal.
Where was the picture taken? Looks like a nice place.
It was taken atop Table Mountain in Cape Town.
Was it intended to be the album artwork, or did that idea come later?
I knew all along that I wanted a specific type of scenery in the artwork, so when I got to the top of the mountain, I concluded fairly quickly that it was going to be the spot.
How long did the recording of the record take?
It took 4 days in total.
Musically, Sacred Son has a specific atmosphere and tone, could you describe what the music is trying to convey?
Many reviews have stated that the album evokes imagery of snowstorms and mountains, which I think is a fairly accurate assessment. The tom roll section at the heart of Cleave the Alicorn for instance, ought to conjure images of feral equines thundering through vast frostbitten plains; the ensuing solo as a perceptible composite of moonlight filtering through the canopy of a dense forest.
What are some of the themes or concepts that you feel are most important about Sacred Son?
Hopelessness, misanthropic despair, existential terror, and the land and the sea.
How do you feel about elitism in metal? A lot of black metal “purists”, so to speak, got pretty pissed off at you!
As I eluded to earlier, I fully expected there to be some sort of negative reaction were the album to ever be picked up by the BM community because the cover can be interpreted as a show of disrespect towards the conventional aesthetics of black metal. In a way, I can’t really blame them, but it’s not like anything will change long term because of a dumb album cover.
There was a lot of praise as well, so perhaps it balances out.
I think many were surprised that I do take black metal seriously despite any scepticism they may have felt upon seeing the cover.
Tell us about the future of Sacred Son. Are you planning on any new releases soon?
The album will be out on cassette in October and I’m hoping for a vinyl release some time in the near future. I’m also hoping to play shows soon once I’ve got a band together.
What can fans expect in the next Sacred Son album?
I’ve yet to begin writing it, but it’ll sound pretty different from the first.
As of now you release music independently. Do you have any plans of signing with a label or would you rather continue with the unsigned approach?
If the right label came knocking then I’d certainly have to consider it, but for now I’m very happy doing it independently.
Anybody you’d like to shout out for helping you out with the record?
Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse Studios, for his unwavering patience and fixing my many mistakes.
I think that wraps this up! Any final remarks for the viewers of Angelus Mortem?
Thanks for listening!
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