Interview with Dean Seddan (Vocals)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: August 7, 2003
Hailz! How is everyone?
Greetings! Everyone is good here; all are reasonably happy and content.
So, you are from England. I have a good friend who lives in Manchester. Where in England are you from and how is the metal scene in the area?
Well, four of us are from England, being myself and Rob (Manchester) and Andy and Daz (Liverpool). Dylan and Nige are from Wrexham in Wales. I'm not sure how the metal scene is here in Manchester. I don't have much interest, to be honest. Satyricon played here earlier this year and the turn out was reasonable, so I guess it's quite healthy.
I read about Dylan's mishap with his foot. Sorry this happened to you and how are you doing? Are you better now?
Haha, yeah! Dylan badly damaged his foot playing football two days before we were due to play in London. Shit happens, I guess! He's much better now and is able to get around although as this is a repeat injury, he says his footballing days are over. Poor lad!
What is going to happen with the next scheduled gig? Do you have a set time frame and a tour schedule at this point?
No, we have nothing at all booked. We have decided to concentrate on writing the next album and are taking some time from playing live.
I absolutely love your logo. Do you know how you got that design?
I think it was designed by our ex bassist and now Reign of Erebus guitarist, Paul. The baphomet is from the Church of Satan.
How is your new album coming along?
Quite well now. We have five songs that are totally finished, one song without vocals, and another three almost finished. Hopefully we'll have it finished within the next couple of months.
Can you tell us a little bit about it? Is it in the traditional Hecate Enthroned style or are you doing something new?
I'm not really sure what you mean by 'traditional Hecate Enthroned style'. We have covered a hell of a lot of styles over the years. The new songs are more in the vein of Kings of Chaos than any other release, perhaps more black metal, too. I think we did something new with Miasma. A lot of people had no idea how to take that EP. Perhaps we will tread down that particular path again sometime... who knows?
I think your album covers have been getting nicer, or maybe more creative. Do you have a new artist working of them or is it just new ideas that the band comes up with?
It's the in- house guy at PHD, along with ourselves who pretty much do all the artwork.
How important would you say is CD art?
I can see both sides of this debate. Personally, I buy a CD just for the music, nothing else. But I must admit I like to see nice art work and everything nicely presented, but if Altars of Madness had a pink cover, I'd still worship it!
How would you describe Hecate Enthroned to someone who's never heard your music before?
I really don't like to describe what we do. I leave that to the listeners. The word 'savage' springs to mind now, though.
It took the band a little while to get the first demo out, but after that you went out like wildfire and you have since produced several albums that have been met with great success. What made that happen for you?
I have no idea; probably the combination of many things over the years. Will, power, luck, desire, timing, ambition...
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
When it comes to creating riffs and beats we write what we'd like to hear. We have no rules here. It could be Northen style black metal or it could be Anathema type acoustic stuff. As long as we like it, we use it. When it comes to piecing the riffs together, we are a lot more critical and spend a lot of time finding the right riffs for the right songs. It would be easy to just throw a lot of riffs together, bridge them with some distortion, then go into the next riff...
How do you get the inspiration for your writing?
My lyrics come quite naturally, but I have to be in a certain kind of mood to write. Many things are inspiring to me; even something as simple as walking down the street can be inspiring. Certain moods too help. Cannabis and candlelight can also be a great inspiration.
There have been a few line-up changes over the years. How did this change of members affect the band as a whole?
I think it has made the band a lot stronger. This line up has been together almost five years now. I think that's amazing for any band, let alone this one!
There seems to have been a problem with Jon leaving and you entering the band and people I gather childishly misused the guest book to cause some uproar. How have you and the band been dealing with this?
Well, there were a lot of childish entries appearing in the guest book, a lot of really juvenile stuff. I probably let it get to me more than I should have, so I just had to set the record straight about why Jon is no longer a part of the band. I realised that I can shout loudest!
Speaking of guest books--I noticed you don't have one at the moment. I assume you are revising the way it's set up. What changes will you be making?
The guest book is now a forum, which is much better, I think. It gives everybody the chance to say what they want–even the people that hate us!
Thanks for putting a couple songs to be downloaded on your website. Why did you choose these particular songs?
I guess these two songs are the most representative of what Hecate Enthroned is doing musically.
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
I really have no idea. So many things have shaped and molded our sound. Lyrically, vocally, and vocal arrangement wise I have been inspired by such bands as Immolation, Deicide, Adam and the Ants, Morbid Angel, Emperor and Akercocke. Otherwise, the desire to create unholy music is our biggest inspiration.
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
My playlist over the past couple of days has been Akercocke 'The Goat of Mendes'; Judas Iscariot 'To Embrace the Corpses Bleeding'; Mayhem 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'; The Smiths 'The Singles'; Megadeth 'Rust in Peace'; Dark Throne 'A Blaze in the Northen Sky', and Iron Maiden 'The Number of the Beast'.
How would you describe your style of vocals? Who have been your role models?
I can mix black metal screaming with death metal growling along with spoken parts and whispers with ease. I must admit that my clean vocals need a lot of work on them. My role models? I don't know about role models, but Glen Benton has been quite an inspiration I think.
You have toured Europe with Enthroned and Usurper. Will there be a chance we may be seeing you in the United States?
I'd really like to think so. Things like this though are rarely in the bands of the bands, its more the tour promoters and labels.
What would you say has been one of the most memorable experiences while playing on tour?
There are so many! I could quite easily fill a page on it! One thing I wont forget is going through the Alps, under the influence of lots of drink and drugs, in pitch black, while watching the Beatles 'Yellow Submarine'. That was quite an experience...
Have you gotten any gifts from fans? Which would you say would be the coolest or weirdest?
Yeah, we occasionally get some gifts. We generally get tapes and CDs from fans, which we always appreciate. The best gift I receive was a Thor's hammer pendant from some guy in Leipzig. That was quite flattering, to say the least!
Which songs do you like most playing Live?
Personally, I really like "Silenced But For Their Cries" and "Perjurer." The new songs will be better in the live environment, though.
Do you feel that Death and Black Metal bands have it more difficult to gain recognition compared to those who play other types of metal?
Perhaps in some cases, yes. The main "problem" with death and black metal is that it's not supposed to be 'nice', so people shy away from it. I mean, some power metal like Iced Earth is a lot easier on the ear than Darkthrone is.
I have not too long ago heard some heavy criticism from a metal fan who finds that Black metal is no longer acceptable because the satanic content most albums have. As an atheist he sees this as a form of religion. What's your take on this?
Is satanism a religion? For me, no. It's more a life code and belief system. But this is only what I think, everybody is entitled to their own opinions. To me a religion is something you follow step by step. Satanism is anything but that.
Read an article (on anus.com) about boycotting Christian metal it made me think about metal in general. What are your feelings about that? What does "Metal" actually mean to you?
The idea of boycotting christian metal is far fetched, really. I don't care what a band's message is. If I don't like it, I ignore it. Easy as that. Metal to me is firstly a form of music. Secondly, it is part of my identity. I really don't think I could ever listen to any other type of music now on a regular basis like I do with metal.
How is the music and being Hecate Enthroned connected with the person you are?Is your band image a reflection of you or completely separate?
The image is a part of me; it's the part of me that likes to show off, the part that likes to be in the forefront for a while. If I wasn't happy doing it, I simply wouldn't.
Besides Metal, what other types of music do you listen to?
As long as it has quality I don't mind listening to it. The forms of music I despise are pop music and country and western.
Outside of playing Metal, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
I don't have much time for much, really, as I have a day job, too. I'm a big cannabis fan, though!
How much do you practice and are you self-taught or had you taken formal lessons?
As a band, we rehearse once a week. Nobody in the band has had any lessons of any kind. Individually, I guess, the rest of them practice their instruments when they feel the urge.
Any good books, movies, drinks, munchies or other stuff you can recommend?
Well, I think everybody should own a copy of The Satanic Bible. I like to read books on the dark arts, religion, and I also have an interest in serial killers. Some of my fave films are Clockwork Orange, Spinal Tap, Braindead, The Evil Dead and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I'm not a big drinker, but I like to drink vodka and coke or lager of some description. Munchies? Anything sweet, basically! I also recommend choosing misanthropy.
What do you hope for with the release of the next album and what are your plans for the future of Hecate Enthroned?
We hope the next album will show people that Hecate Enthroned is a band that is never going to go away. We are here to stay! The only future plans we have is writing...
Any last words of advise, greetings, curses, or any other words you have for fans or anyone else?
Thanks for the long interview!! Believe what you see; believe what you hear; don't believe what you see; don't believe what you hear. Who the fuck am I to tell people anything?
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