First there was Psychomanteum, then Shock Frontier and Apocryphos which for this moment seems to be Robert’s main project. He’s one of the most talented young artists in dark ambient genre and below are his thoughts on 2015.
Tell us your way for a succesful or happy life. Do you think that man is able to live free from religion? What do you think is the meaning of our existence?
Be modest, humble and take joy from small things. Success is only measured by the individual and I feel I have succeeded in many things and I’m quite content. The only things that keep me motivated in life is my music, nature, my family and friends. Truly this is all a person needs to live an enjoyable life. So as long as these things exist… I still have a bright shining star piercing through this darkness. Unfortunately, the human race is egocentric and religion only feeds this notion of self worth in the universe. I and many others are able to live free of religious indoctrination and it’s a liberating feeling. I always hear that being a good, kind person stems from religious teachings, but this is not true. I believe being a good person is already built within our psyche upon birth and it’s the corruption of the world around us that turns pepole into hardened sociopaths and religious fanatics. So as long as the human race exists, there will always be a need to believe in something, so unfortunately… religion is here to stay and more atrocites will be committed in its name. Ah. the quintessential question of our species… for me, there is no higher meaning. You give your own existence meaning and purpose. You give yourself reasons to keep on living in this realm. Then once you die, your energy changes form and your next journey begins, whereever or whatever that may be. I identify with atheism, but I strongly believe in the idea that energy never dies… it changes. Yes, human conciousness is lost in death, but the energy remains and is transferred elsewhere.
How would you sum up your musical activity in 2015?
The most active I’ve ever been. 2015 saw the debut release of Apocryphos, the Onyx collaboration with Kammarheit and Atrium Carceri and the massive Azathoth collaboration on Cryo Chamber, plus numerous appearances with other artists on their albums or compilations. This year also saw my first appearance in the live arena where I did a small run of dates through the midwestern US with Murderous Vision and The Vomit Arsonist. This doesn’t really count as my personal musical activity, but APEX Fest in New York is worth mentioning due to me finally meeting many of my label mates and Frederic Arbour himself. It was a very humbling experience and I’m glad I was able to make it. A huge shoutout to Lee Bartow amd all those involved for making that event happen.
How are you going to spend the upcoming holiday season?
Hopefully work on new music and prepare for my next live appearance which will take place this coming February in Cleveland, Ohio. My wife and I are going down to Delaware for New Years to visit my Aunt who lives near Rehoboth Beach. She has a really nice place and it’s secluded. I like to avoid typical New Years chaos if I can. Other than that… I don’t do much for the holidays. I’m kind of a grinch.
Is there any film / book / theatrical play / exhibition / computer game which made a particular impression on you in 2015?
I recently watched Beast of No Nation and it portrays a young African child named Agu who is forced to fight in a civil war in an unnamed African country. It was beautifully done. As for books, A Slow Death: 83 Days of Radiation Sickness stuck with me the most, which is about the horrible death of Hashashi Ouchi who suffered a radiation blast that destroyed his chromosomes while working in a uranium processing facility in Japan. As for games, I recently played Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Evil Within and Alien: Isolation.
Did this year change you in any way, changed your perception of the world, perhaps opened your eyes on something?
To be honest, working with Simon and Cryo Chamber has changed me in a way. He lit some fire within I never knew was there and working on the Onyx collaboration has brought Simon, Par and I very close together…which is something I’m thankful for. Aside from that, I’m fairly jaded and set in my ways, so nothing as of yet has shook the very foundation I stand on. No epiphanies to report…
Any moment of 2015 you’ll remember on your death bed?
Wandering through a Walgreens in Brooklyn at 4am drunk with the Karjalan Sissit boys and my good friends in Tribes of Medusa. We posed in front of the security camera and the cashier thought it was the funniest thing.
Your predictions for the world (in the political and cultural context) for 2016?
Not good. I forsee tumultuous times ahead. I have no hope for peace and prosperity on a massive scale. The majority of humanity fails to see their endeavors are meaningless on a macrocosmic level…so more shootings, more bombings, more legislation, more riots, more bullshit! I find it a funny coinidence…the middle east was the birthplace of civilization and it seems it will most likely be its demise, too.
Your personal plans, hopes, expectations for 2016?
Work on the follow up to Onyx with Simon and Par, which has already started. I also plan on recording a new Apocryphos album in a live setting called Lachrymose Nature, which will feature 4 long passages. I also have a collaboration locked in with Kave and we have two tracks so far. I believe it will be the perfect marriage of our styles in one cohesive album. Shock Frontier has been quiet lately, but Kyle and I are planning a new album for 2016, which the title is still being decided. More live shows, more collaborations…I find that the more I stack on my plate, the more focused I become. Being prolific was never my intention, but it seems to work for me. I hope everyone makes it another year in this turd existence…