True Love, much like Convulsing, is another one man band that I have reviewed here on Esoterica Codex last year. Completely summoned forth by sole musician/creator Raii himself, True Love is a band that should be listened to with the lights off and a bottle of anti-psychotics within your grasp. Raii just released a killer split with Whitewurm on Canada’s very own Les Fleurs du Mal Productions. After not only being turned onto and intrigued by both of his two 2016 demos,(“Hate Through Meditation,” and “Pray For Perpetual Violence“) and currently being blown away by said same mentioned split, I decided to get in touch with this maniac and ask him a few questions, not even prepared for some of the bit of the off-the-padded-walls answers that they would receive. Read on!
- Give a brief description of what True Love is in your words. Why in particular the name True Love? Is there more meaning behind it or is the band name a “what you see/hear is what you get” type of statement?
True Love is my vehicle for draining the deepest, ugliest, most hate and fear filled caverns of my mind…a audible anxiety attack. I chose this name because in my mind it is the ultimate level of consciousness that the pain of man is created by trying to achieve…absolutely Nothing to do with romance but rather the holy grail that man may never get to, the death of the ego and the human experience. And the start of complete immortal euphoria.
- There are so many different types of black metal currently being played/performed/made as far as the genre goes, how would you describe your sound to a first time listener?
- People tend to associate you with other current one man black metal bands such as Mare Cognitum, Palace Of Worms, Ecferus etc. How do you feel about this? Do you feel you are in any sort of league with these other individuals of isolation?
They do? Well I enjoy Ecferus quite a bit so i will gladly take the compliment.
- Your music sounds like it’s very raw and very unorthodox. It doesn’t sound pre-thought of in a contrived notion. What kind of environment are you in when you are creating/writing music and lyrics?
Usually in the middle of the night, always alone and often whilst battling high anxiety or weird episodes of hallucinations to be honest… True Love has been a result of and also a continuous cause of strange personal situations and episodes.
- Being from Reno, Nevada and seeing how that is a bit isolated from the likes of other major music scenes, do you think being located there has added to the quality of your music?
Not at all to be honest, I mean I don’t play out anyway but I’m not huge fan of the music “scene” here or am really even apart of it at all anymore, there are a handful of bands here I’m a fan of but there’s quite a bit of bro metal and bar rock and EDM and just plain weird shit…but everyone’s on their own path who am I to say what’s good or not…not many touring bands come through either..I don’t think many people here have even heard of True Love…there’s a few guys here and there that I see from time to time kind of mention True Love which I am very grateful for but ultimately I’m nobody in this city nor do I really feel like I’m apart of it.
- Let’s go into a bit of your personal history; how did you get into Metal music and how did you discover black metal?
I got into metal and that mostly being Metallica when I was a really little kid because of my older family members getting me into it, it’s been the one constant obsession that’s lasted my entire life…as for kvlt, when I was 11 or 12 I was failing a math class at my school and a kid in my class would wear this long sleeve faded black shirt EVERY fucking day that had red pentagrams down the sleeves and these scary pro wrestling looking guys on it sticking their tongues out with weapons and shit that said Emperor on the front and back…I was so intrigued… I ended up asking about it and he gave to me and insisted that I read a copy of “Lords Of Chaos” and it was the coolest shit I ever saw…the quotes and clippings on the back “after the murder of a complete stranger,” “I had to knock the knife out of his head” etc… I was blown away…,these were the days of cd burning and Napster haha so I got to get a LITTLE bit of music in my hands here and there and it was so extreme, so terrifying, so important… I ended up buying a used copy of A metal blade comp cd called “Blackened” maybe volume 2 I think? that had “Thus Spake The Nightspirit” on it at a local venue store front and the obsession is still growing for me to this day.
- What are some of your personal influences?Musically I love classic Heavy Metal and NWOBHM and quite a bit of the second wave of kvlt, I love the Pest-era of Gorgoroth but I also love a lot of the shit from around the world especially the French Black Metal scene that has come out the last 10 to 15 years I’d say…. I haven’t come to close to achieving what I want yet but my personal fear and horror is something I try and want to put into True Love. I have an obsession with getting scared and I ultimately want to figure out how to make my music horrifying but like I said I’m no where near that yet.
- What led you to creating True Love and have you done anything musically prior to True Love?
I wanted to do something solo in black metal since I was about 15 …infact on my first demo there is a song called the final drought and I actually wrote the first riff when I was 15…I just never knew how to record and it was always an ambition in the back of my mind… I worked in a funeral home a few years back as a crematory operator and body removal specialist and I would often fantasize in those days about putting what my mind was comprehending of those experiences onto tape and into music and one day back in 2014 I just decided that the band I was in at the time just wasn’t doing enough for my expressions needs and I wanted to make something darker and more extreme so I finally started writing with the idea of doing everything myself.
- What are some of the general themes that your lyrics touch upon? Are they based on personal experiences or are they based on personal beliefs meaning those who follow a more left hand path?
Supernatural experiences both positive and negative, complete paralyzing fear, hate, and the positivity of self reliance and the strength of being an outsider, the power of LSD, the immortality of a spirit.
- Is there any sort of ideology that you personally hold and try to convey within your music and lyrics?
I believe that the worship of anything is self dooming, and that this human experience is a mere fragment of reality…”time” is a complete illusion and everyone and everything is one single entity that has been masked as separation to control true barbaric and heathen freedom… it’s complicated obviously…I don’t think I have it all figured out or anything but I don’t tend to share this mindset with many people… infact I think I’ll always be confused as long as I’m a human haha.
- You just recently put out a split with another one-man USBM band, Whitewurm, which was released through Les Fleurs du Mal Productions. Your song features a rather pulse-y noise-esque intro. Is this something that you are going to be bringing more to the table with your music as far as adding more textures to your already evolving sound as an artist?
Ahh yeah the Cliff Burton “Orion” intro worship…absolutely. I have many ambitions to fuck around with as many sounds and new instruments I can get my hands on.
- How did you get in touch with Les Feurs du Mal Productions and how was it like working with them?
I reached out to them after I heard the Olkoth tape… and it has been excellent working with LFDM….they have brought True Love over seas and I encourage any up and coming black or death metal bands to reach out to them!
- Speaking of evolution, looking in hindsight from your perspective, how well do you see yourself in terms of just putting out 2 demos from last year in terms of the riffs? I noticed on some of the riffs on “To Pray for Perpetual Violence” that they tend to have a very subtle progressive edge to them whereas “Meditating Through Illusion” comes across as a very straight-forward style of black metal. How far do you see yourself in taking your music and progressing with it while still keeping it pretty unorthodox and raw?Well first off thank you for taking your time to listen to those demos… I would love to push True Love into many types of song writings and arrangements and I suppose as I progress as a musician I’ll do what I can with what skill I do or do not have… but for me the stranger or more abrasive the better.
- How has the reaction been so far as far as your music goes and in such short of a time? I know Cvltnation.com covering your releases must have added to the online traffic and attention.
Yes Cvltnation has absolutely helped me get my music heard, as for reaction I really don’t know you know…being that I don’t play live and not too many people know who I am it’s kind of mysterious… there’s so much music being pushed out daily that I’m just happy someone somewhere has listened at all to my music, but I started out just recording these songs and not even telling anyone for the first year and a half…it was just a means of an outlet so I’ll continue to kind of do this for my own psyche and if anyone cares that’s great.
- Are there any other artists that you would like to collaborate with in the future as far as splits go? Are there any other current artists that you give praise to and would like to urge the listener to go out and seek?
Dude there are tons of bands I’d love to work with on a split release, very happy to have this Whitewurm split coming out, got a release with Hag Graef from Florida coming next and I recorded a set of songs for a split with a band from the U.K. Called Thy Dying Light last year that will hopefully see a release sometime this year… and as for current artists I would encourage people to right now go out there and buy the first thing you see at your record store that you’ve either never heard of that simply looks cool or check out a band you’ve been hearing other people freak out about or go back and try to listen to every release you can from Sabbath to now… that’s what I’m doing anyway… there’s so much fucking music out there, I want to completely drown myself in it. I’m obsessed. And I love hearing new bands and I freak out when I finally get around to checking out older bands that I’ve heard of for years and they blow my mind…. right now I’m really into Whoredome Rife from Norway and Tod Huetet Uebel from Portugal and Necropole, Curved Blade, Ordinance… I could go on and on… I feel like North America is doing really strongly right now too.
- Are there any plans yet for a full length yet?
Oh yes, there are some things to get out of me first but my mind is set on it.
- What else do you have in store for those that listen to your music?
Much more hallucinations.
- If you had one word to describe the future of True Love, what would it be?