Lords of Metal
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Matt Jarman: “An album like ours is so out there, so far from convention, that any metal label would consider it a risk.”

Er zullen weinig mensen zijn die Marlon Brando met metal associëren, maar toch… Op hun nieuwe album, ‘The Hollow Man’ put het Britse Void inspiratie uit Apocalypse Now, en uit wat op zijn beurt weer een grote inspiratiebron was voor die film, het gedicht ‘The Hollow Men’ van T.S. Eliot. Of dat klinkt als doorsnee leesvoer voor de gemiddelde black metalfan? Niet echt, maar achteraf gezien was de tag ‘black metal’ bij de albumreview ook niet echt de juiste. Zeker, het is een prominent deel van de sound van Void, maar na diep graven in het stijlboek kwam de term ‘different metal’ weer eens bovendrijven. Een betere omschrijving dan dat is er eigenlijk niet voor ‘The Hollow Man’. Deze metal is namelijk zo ‘different’ dat Void er zowaar in is geslaagd, in zekere zin althans, om Marlon Brando een slordige 16 jaar na zijn dood te rekruteren als leadzanger.
Martin Perescis Ι 25 maart 2021

Before we discuss the new Void album, I have to ask something slightly unrelated: Matt, you joined Dødheimsgard on stage in London, back in December 2019. That just sounds like a dream come true. Please tell us everything about that! How did that happen, and, more importantly, how did it feel to be on stage with such a legendary band? 
Matt: Legendary band indeed. I’m pleased that you share my views on Dødheimsgard. They have been a very important part of my life. In truth though, despite that, I did often feel like an imposter at that party. After all I’d only listened to ‘Kronet Til Konge’ and ‘Monumental Possession’ a few times, it’s not really my thing to be quite honest, and DHG shows are always as much about the past as the present, this one being no exception. Thankfully though it was a very ‘666 International’ heavy setlist, so there was plenty of material that was super close to my heart, and playing ‘Aphelion Void’ live? Wow. I’m still kicking myself that I pulled it off. Yusaf (Parvez, DHG main man) is quite humble about his guitar talents, but for me that performance was the absolute pinnacle of my technical ability. A dream come true indeed, but of course it was not one of divine providence, I had to work extremely hard to figure out the material, learn it, and raise my guitar playing standard to the level necessary to pull it off. No rehearsals, no tabs, nothing. Just an invite and a will of iron.

How I got involved was fairly cheeky I suppose. I heard from my friend Camille Giraudeau (Dreams Of The Drowned – and mix engineer for ‘The Hollow Man’) that whilst backstage at a Ved Buens Ende live show Yusaf had invited him to play live guitar for DHG on the night of the Paris show. I had been chatting to both Yusaf and Camille about production of The Hollow Man around that time and naturally pointed out to Yusaf how coooooool I thought it was that Camille was gonna play with them. I then cheekily added that I was gutted he hadn’t asked me… well… be careful what you joke about because he straight away invited me to play the London show! It was three months in advance of the night in question, I believe. I couldn’t think of a reasonable excuse not to do it and the rest is history. Sometime during the first month of practice I wavered, finding it quite beyond my reach, but on a rare night out in London with Mat McNerney (Kvohst), he set me straight, reassuring me that it was possible and that it would be a crying shame if I gave up the opportunity.

On stage I was in a sort of weird limbo of disbelief. I was actually there. The biggest gig of my life. Yusaf was being so larger than life on stage, dancing, grimacing, doing press ups on the monitors… he stood behind me and did that Kali arms thing. I opened my mouth in a savage snarl and maintained it for the entire show. Was that me? Did it really happen? Monumental Possession indeed.

I’m very pleased to add that the relationships I forged then with Lars Emil Måløy (Bass), Camille and George Anagnostopoulos (DHG live sound engineer) developed into another band, in which I am playing guitar and singing and that I’m looking forward to presenting to the world very soon. It kept me quite busy through lockdown I can tell you. Anyway, we are here to talk about Void so I’ll shut up about that for now.

Levi: Never head banged so hard in my life. The experience of witnessing a metal bro peak the fuck out was unreal and so super supremely well deserved.

Between releasing ‚The Unsearchable Riches Of Void’ and the upcoming album, many band pictures featured a sign that said ‘The End is nigh’. Also, even though you were already working on ‘The Hollow Man’ a few years ago, at the time of our previous interview, one can only feel a sense of dramatic irony considering that an album with such an apocalyptic theme is about to be released in the midst of a pandemic. Do you have any thoughts on that?
Gerardo: Around the time of the launch of the ‘Unsearchable Riches Of Void’ EP we created a character for each band member. We wore masks and costumes on stage, and we gave backstories to each of our characters. Mine was a plague doctor; a man from a different time who, running away from the epidemic killing his town, gets sucked without realising into a time portal and is catapulted into our present. There he sees a world that is so alien to him, that he can only make sense of it as a never-ending nightmarish vision, a prelude to the imminent end of the world. However, no one else seems to understand, or to see what he sees. So he makes it his only goal in life to share the burden of the truth that he alone seems to grasp, carrying that sign to spread awareness. Well, in retrospect none of this seems particularly well thought out. To cut a long story short, the ‘The End is Nigh’ placard was a prop for the plague doctor character. The cloak and the mask went (twice – the first when I forgot them on a train from London to Brighton, the second when we decided to stop wearing full costumes), the placard stayed. It was initially conceived as a homage to Walter Kovacs/Rorschach, my favourite character from Watchmen. When we were shooting the video for ‘Scumscrubber’, it was hilarious to stand outside Blackhorse Road tube station wearing the costume and carrying the sign, and observing people’s reactions to it. I wonder how different they would be if I did the same thing now…

Levi: Belonging to a band with several members The ‘End is Nigh’ philosophy or even writing this record to literally, an end of life as we know it, indeed may have been a sensitivity, then foresight into not so good days to come. We are all different folks & are extremely aware of our relative origins. The time building chemistry specifically with the additions of Elliott & Laura, the wisdom of the crowd prevailed in this instance.

‘Here lives a wealthy Man’ inspired somewhat to the elections in America between Donald Trump & Hilary Clinton. Whilst composing these songs the elections were still on. At a stage we had to go with someone so we chose Trump before he won, which was fun.

From history to politics there seems not a place that may escape the void… for sure at some point we knew a storm had been building and was approaching. Scariest thing, it is not here yet.

Matt: Of course we weren’t aware that our plan for a global pandemic would actually bear fruit but it has turned out to be rather ironic that an end of sorts was indeed on the cards. I suppose we could start standing around the tube station with a new placard reading “The beginning is imminent” now. Maybe we’ve unlocked a prophetic device. It was painted by my kids actually. I should ask them to do a few variations: “Bitcoin will crash!” – “Trump will get a sex change!” – “World economies to be replaced by barter system”… hmm, that last one would be a pretty large piece of cardboard, and we did have a lot of trouble with the old one blowing away in the wind. We chased it all around the reservoirs whilst shooting the ‘Scumscrubber’ DIY video on a particularly windy day. Anyway, all foolishness aside…

‘The Hollow Man’, like its near namesake muse ‘The Hollow Men’, despite all its apocalyptic rhetorical devices, is not about the End of the World at large at all really. It is about the complete collapse of an individual’s world. A personal apocalypse. A coming apart of the fabric of the mind. A descent into the Heart of Darkness. Sadly, this is probably even more apt than a literal apocalypse when held up to the reality of today’s events. We are likely experiencing a double whammy of pandemics, physical and mental, with many individuals, now cut off from their social lifelines, suffering a fate symbolically similar to that of our protagonist. So if your single male friends start behaving like they are trapped in a delusion of reincarnation as a battery hen, you’ll know you were warned by the Void.

I did wonder if it was uncouth to release the album at this time, but Gerardo surmised that metal fans will always go for this stuff.

In fact, the album’s release was delayed considerably due to said pandemic. This is hardly unique given how this crisis has affected the music business, unfortunately. Still, it must be frustrating and scary to have an album finished and having to wait and see whether it can be released. Was it a close call?
Matt: It did feel like a close call a few times yes, for various reasons, but mostly nothing to do with the pandemic. We spent a whole year in lukewarm discussion with a label who had agreed to release it but eventually walked away when we queried the contract sent. At that point it felt like it was over, but Einar from Duplicate stepped in and saved the album. Basically we should have gone to him first. Then when the pandemic did arrive there was another delay as Duplicate Records struggled to find its feet, but Einar stuck to his promise and the release is now imminent and by the time this is published the digital version will already be out. We are still waiting on the vinyl, since the pressing plant itself had to close for a while, but it is being pressed as we speak. It has been a very long road. It feels like an age since we were working on the album. There was a real sense of achievement upon completion of the writing and recording, we believed we’d created our masterpiece, but it seemed like we couldn’t get any traction in the industry for a long time. I completely understand of course. An album like ours is so out there, so far from convention, that any metal label would consider it a risk. We kept trying increasingly obscure corners of the metal world to get it noticed, without much luck. Eventually I began to think of the thing as unreleasable – irredeemably flawed. Thankfully the reviews so far have exposed that as a momentary crisis of confidence. Press has been great. We are back on track, confident again in our art.

Levi: Collective patience & some Ghandi level understanding had to be reached during that challenging period. Time was provided to complete works we could be satisfied with. If it was still in peace time, we would have naturally been fulfilling live performance obligations. Energy would have been taken away from completing post editing, promotional aspects & publishing the thing which ended up being salubrious.

It seemed that Void was gaining quite a bit of momentum before COVID hit the world. You got signed to Duplicate Records, and you were playing live on regular basis. The latter is completely impossible for the time being. How has that affected the band?
Matt: We have been able to meet only once since the first lockdown, somewhere in those summer months when things looked like they would return to normal. It was bizarre, we ripped through the album like we’d be rehearsing solidly all year, one of the best renditions ever. I guess the time away from the material had allowed it to settle in our collective subconscious. It was exhilarating. But yeah, outside of that there has been no live band at all. Luckily the pandemic’s timing has been pretty good for us, since, with the album getting its release we have been able to concentrate more fully on the admin, press, promotion stuff, which when you are rehearsing and gigging regularly usually takes a backseat – I mean who wants to type out a boring old interview when you can be shredding riffs live on stage? Only kidding. I love spouting this narcissistic nonsense. hahahaha

There was some turmoil in the line-up at the time of our previous interview. Your vocalist had just left the band, or he hadn’t, and at the same time there was talk of a new vocalist. Also, a second guitarist was added to the line-up. I have to admit that I am a little bit confused by the vocalist situation, and listening to ‘The Hollow Man’ doesn’t make it much easier given that sometimes it sounds like there are 20 vocalists on it. So… Help! Who did what, how, and why?
Matt: We had to grow thirty-two vocal elves in chrome plated vats of gluten free ale, and trained them in the spiritus of Voidianism, but none of that worked out unfortunately. Their performances on the album were too gelatinous, and lacking in humanity, so we went with human vocalists instead.

In reality, it’s true there was turmoil and I’m not really the right person to ask as I barely understand what happened myself, but it’s clear that Levi felt swamped by commitments and wanted to leave. His own music was having to too often take a backseat to his commitments in Cythraul and Void and he decided to move on after the cassette EP. For this reason we searched and found a new vocalist in Laura. There was a transition period however, that featured some rather shaky gigs, bearing in mind we had also drafted in a new guitarist in order to execute the new material live, which required a lot of work, and I lost confidence in the future of the band. I think Levi felt that by leaving the band he was in some way responsible for this and ultimately found the resolve to stay. Of course we’d already found a replacement. This was also during the period when we were writing the third album, on which Levi had already appeared. His shrieking, screeching vocal style had become intrinsic to the sound of the material that was already down and we strongly felt that songs like ‘On Reading: The Hollow Men’ would suffer greatly without it. To cut a long story short both Levi, Laura and indeed myself performed vocals on the record. We ran with it, adding layers, mixing textures… All Styles, All the Time –  such is the way of the Void.

By now it should be clear to most readers that ‘The Hollow Man’ was heavily inspired by the poem ‘The Hollow Men’ by T.S. Elliot. A poem which in turn was a key inspiration to ‘Apocalypse Now’. Could you give a brief description of the underlying themes, and explain how you came to the decision to build an entire album around the concept?
Matt: It began with Gerardo stating a desire to do a T.S.Eliot concept album, half in jest I believe, and not an idea that anyone else cared for at the time. Surely we want to express our own original feelings through our music? Not pay lip service to an already over-quoted household name. Upon writing the lyrics for the last song however, which was actually written first, Gerardo sent over an extract from the Hollow Men. I set these words to the music but was curious about the rest of the poem and since I believe we had already started toying with the idea of thematically linking the first and last songs I believe we discussed a possibility of using the whole poem over the first song. Let’s listen to some famous readings of the poem and see where inspiration takes us. I began to trawl the internet and came across Marlon Brando’s recital of the poem on the set of Apocalypse Now. Whilst the discussion continued outside (or as Gerardo’s monologue continued at least) as an experiment, not expecting any success, I hit play simultaneously on the untitled first song and on the Marlon Brando video, and something happened –

Gerardo: I’m indeed a huge T.S. Eliot fan ahah. On the other hand, ‘The Hollow Men’ is only the starting point of a journey that draws from a wider range of literary references. Some of the lyrics I wrote are inspired by Philip K. Dick and Albert Camus – but there’s also a reference to John’s Gospel. Nor was this just a literary game, or a formal choice. The combination of literary references and samples from movies, ads, etc., says something essential about the album’s main theme. Indeed, the hollow man’s worldview is an incoherent collage of eschatological tropes, half-digested movies, literary references – as he finds himself crushed by his own existential despair and the secret desire to see the end of it all. The album is meant to describe this bleakness – a bleakness beyond any aesthetic and spiritual redemption – which exhausts its search for meaning in this act of regurgitation. 

There is a version of ‘On Reading – The Hollow Men’ on YouTube which is markedly different than the album version. Instead of vocals, this version features a voiceover of Marlon Brando, in character as Colonel Kurtz, reading from ‘The Hollow Men’. When comparing both versions of the song, one can only notice the similarity between Brando’s lines and the final vocals; it’s not just the same words, but in terms of rhythm and timing it’s very similar. Was the entire song written around Marlon Brando’s scene?
Matt: Yes and no. As I’ve explained above, the music for that track was already written, however something magical happened when playing back the poem over the top. Perhaps I should whip up some pretentious lie about labouring for days trying to get the two elements to work together, but no, there is a guardian angel that originates in the Void… the hand is somehow guided by this invisible force. Coincidence? Happenstance? Dare I say plagiarism? Call it what you will. When you hear something so glorious, both a sum of and yet more than its parts, it is not for us mortals, foolish, arrogant narcissists, to object. Of course it wasn’t perfect. There were a few elements that clashed, and the voice was occasionally buried, plus the potential copyright issues cannot be scoffed at. So we decided to create our own version, but make the original Marlon Brando version available as well. In fact it was uploaded on the 40th anniversary of the release of the film at Cannes. There are elements in that version, from the sound design behind the poem (released as an extra on the Apocalypse Now DVD, but in our case simply ripped from YouTube) that created some exciting and bizarre effects when contrasted with the guitar riffs – rising choirs, strange clanging sounds, we wanted them to be heard outside of the record, hence the YouTube version. And so began our exploration of the Apocalypse Now aspect of our influence, a reference that was yet to see the most bizarre of coincidences to occur in the making of this album.

After so many long questions, let’s just go for a short and silly one: how important is ‘Apocalypse Now’ to you?
Matt: At this point I was eagerly looking forward to watching Apocalypse Now again. I hadn’t seen it for some years, although it’s the kind of film that never leaves you. I wasn’t sure how it would influence the album, if at all, but I was excited by the idea of a violent, steaming hot, intense atmosphere – so far removed from the trad, tired black metal tropes of snow-covered mountains and northern forests (yawn). I remember ordering the Blu-ray boxset with both original and redux edits. And yet, before it arrived, the film came to me in a much greater, more engrossing context. In my day job I work as a freelance audio description creator for cinema. For those who don’t know, audio description is a service that allows the visually impaired to enjoy film, television and other visual media through the application of voiceover that describes the visuals, in between lines of dialogue. My next commission was, you’ve already guessed it, Apocalypse Now – Final Cut, to be released in cinemas to coincide with the film’s 40th anniversary. Soon I was breaking down the film, analysing the visual content scene by scene. My voice was appearing around the frame of Willard’s voiceover. I was putting into words those iconic moments; Willard, drunk and desperate in his hotel room, the helicopters rising above the tree-line, the forest erupting with napalm. It was inevitable that this would influence ‘The Hollow Man’ and led to the inclusion of the spoken word elements that, through audio description, describe the plight of our protagonist, albeit transferred from the jungle into an urban setting. Earlier versions of the album included a voiceover intro that was quite different, describing a scene where the protagonist awkwardly purchases a book of poems and then returns home alone to get wasted, but once Apocalypse Now became a central theme, we ditched that in favour of “A helicopter scorches a black silhouette across a rust-coloured sky, shifting in and out of view between columns of oily black smoke.”

Musically, ‘The Hollow Man’ is probably your diverse album. There is still an abundance of blisteringly fast material on the record, but there’s just so much more than that, including some breakbeat elements that seem to be a little nod to the first album. Overall, it seems to be a pretty challenging album from a technical level. How did all of that happen in just 38 minutes?
Matt: At its core, the metal riffing on ‘The Hollow Man’ is nothing particularly progressive. I would think ‘Posthuman’ pushes the envelope further with regards to creating ‘new’ sounds on the guitar. Some of the most Void-sounding riffs on the album (‘IV: Black Iron Prison’) were actually composed by our drummer Joe Burwood. He kind of took over that progressive guitar element as I was writing more traditional sounding riffs. Once you reach a certain point in that guitar progression you realise you are altering something cool to make it more weird, but it doesn’t actually benefit the music. We were never going to come up with a body of riffs that could hope to rival Vicotnik’s work on ‘A Umbra Omega’, so why even try? We played the riffs that came naturally to us, that felt good beneath our fingers, and arranged them in such a way as to make a coherent journey from one to the next. The other elements, the orchestra, the synths and the electronic drums, were added, not to develop the music per se or to seek out a more modern sound, but simply because that is what I am into. I don’t listen to a lot of metal these days as I find it rather one dimensional. What you hear on the first track of an album tends to be how the whole thing will progress. I’m not dissing that. I have full respect. It’s just not what I’m into. I prefer the shuffle. Too much metal makes Matt a dull boy – or in extreme cases makes me puke my guts out, which has been known to occur several times at Joe’s house. Fun times.

Levi: Musically it was a real chance to stretch our … well musicality. Vocally it especially needed serious attention. With timing & importantly harmony as the severe sounds of life accompanied them. Trust in each other as well was an aspect I enjoyed as this was a journey of discovery with myself with the Void. As we practiced, rehearsed, recorded, listened back the tracks, organically changes would occur during this period until all would be satisfied. Reasonably. Lyrically? We had topics… wrote the lyrics! Easier with ‘The Hollow Man’ due to the words being credibly available. The conundrum would be where do they go.

While Dødheimsgard is still an influence on Void’s sound that simply cannot be missed, there seems to be something else going on on ‘The Hollow Man’. In a way, this could very well be Void’s most ‘English’ album. If you don’t understand what I am trying to say here, I cannot blame you, because I am not even sure I completely understand. Maybe it’s a sense of urban decay rather than, well… mountains of might. There seems to be a kind of bleak undertone that one somehow associates with English bands. Does that make some sense to you?
Matt: I don’t think I listen to enough UK bands to accurately comment on the scene but I think I know what you mean. We played with A Forest of Stars before Covid and they definitely express that same sense of… should I say… decadent pessimism? Adam Curtis in “Can’t get you out of my head” talks about how the Caribbean immigrants who were invited to this country thought they were coming to the promised land, Britannia, proud nation of the former empire, benevolent and powerful. But what they actually found when they got here was a nation of paranoid and scared, downtrodden people. Despite their invitation they found that they were unwanted, that the people were suspicious of “the others” and scared that they would lose their claim to their slice of the muck. Oh, if only, if only, we could call that the past. If only we had learned. When I was a kid I thought that integration in this country was a done deal, that we had achieved some kind of multi-racial harmony. But now, as an adult, living through these times, I see all too clearly that it isn’t the case at all. Maybe we are even going backwards: Brexit, the rise of the popular right, wide spread paranoia and conspiracy theories, an epidemic of mental health issues, universal alcoholism, consumerism before humanism. This is the land that birthed ‘The Hollow Man’. No mountains of might here. Only mountains of shite.

Gerardo: I’m not English – nor British – and that is why I get exactly what you mean! More importantly, I’m extremely pleased that you picked up on this aspect, which is crucial in my understanding of what Void is about. I find listening to black metal quite therapeutic. This is due in no small part to its capacity to evoke specific iconographies – before you know it, you imagine yourself in a forest, over a sea of fog, or losing yourself in some ancient ritual. All of this can be very cathartic. But what we had in mind – which is shared by other English bands (I think in particular of Akercocke and Voices)– is quite different. No forests, nor snowy cliffs – only the convulsions of the city’s rotten underbelly. Although we used very strong images to describe it, the despair underpinning it all pervades the realm of the ordinary. In our music there is no scope for the rediscovery of a sacred, or even mythical, past. The shrines described in the album are devoid of spiritual power, they are the assemblage of the debris of industrial processes.

How do you write a continuous concept album? The songs are all interconnected, so at times it’s difficult to pinpoint when one song stops and the next song starts. Did you write this material as separate songs that were fused together at some point, or was it one large, mapped out masterplan?
Matt: It was written as separate riffs on the guitar, that were then assembled in a coherent journey as described above. The interconnection came later, by taking themes from each of the songs and mutating them into melodic lines that harmonised or in some cases replaced other parts of the album. Every time I added a lead guitar line I referenced one of the main themes, deliberately ignoring rock music convention in favour of an older, more symphonic model. Gerardo and Joe continuously brought more riffs whilst this was happening, most of which were included in some context, bolstering sections that needed more metal with Joe’s stuff, adding melodic interludes wherever we needed to drop the dynamics with Gerardo’s, and vice versa (they are not just the metal guy and the interlude guy of the band haha). The only song that doesn’t reference any other is the acoustic “Babylonian Times” – written and recorded in one take and inserted before the end as a well needed break from intensity.

Levi: Working with tremendously creative people, it was not difficult creating such works, personally. Effort has to be put in no doubt. Not easy, just not that ‘complicated’. Not really work if you enjoy it perhaps. It is the other facets of life that are a bit more challenging whilst trying to peak out musically but then can become part of the process. As therapy or as inspiration so kind of a win/win again.

It seems the album was once again recorded by yourselves, but mixing and mastering duties were handled by Camille Giraudeau and Greg Chandler, respectively. Can you elaborate on the whole production process?
Matt: Camille stepped in at the point where I was beginning to lose my mind. The whole album was created and assembled as one project, or orchestra, synths and all. I had to record it all at 44.1k for fear that the computer simply wouldn’t be able to handle it, and there were a few times when it corrupted, or things fell out of sync, and some very stressful moments trying to put it all back together again. The album was actually recorded into and over the demo version as well, which put even more strain on the processor. We ended up with 156 tracks, but at times there were many, many more. I don’t regret doing it like that though as at times we felt we had lost some of the magic of the demo, and were able to bring a bit of it back by digging in the ruins and unearthing old treasures. Of course with the entire thing functioning as one track, it was difficult to split the mix process up into smaller chunks. I was listening to the entire thing from start to finish over and over ad infinitum. At some point I put my hands up and said I can’t do this anymore; I don’t understand what it even sounds like. This is when Camille took over. Of course it was a massive ask for him to get to grips with and it took a long time for him to be able to reassemble the mix in such a way that it could sound as good as it had in demo form, but he was extremely patient and through the application of his own mixing style and his own choice plugins, and pages and pages of Excel typed notes, we eventually arrived at what you hear today. If I could do it again I would insist that we worked together in person, to cut down those weeks of confusion, and I would take a lot more care in trying to get a good guitar sound at the recording stage, but given the circumstances we made it work. Unfortunately to me the album was still suffering from having been both recorded and mixed 100% digital, so we went to Greg Chandler with the specific request to breathe some analogue warmth back into it during the mastering phase. As such he mastered it in stems to get more analogue compression going, which took a while but was definitely worth it.

The artwork is just… wow! How did that happen?
Matt: It was Kvohst again who suggested Metastazis as an artist who would be able to get our outside-of-the-box vision. We had been a very DIY band for the last few years, doing everything on the cheap, but Mat wanted to express to me how he felt we were holding ourselves back and that by delegating these jobs to professionals, we would benefit in the end. We collectively set aside some money and did just that. Valnoir at Metastazis started sending sketches: a man trapped in a cage, then some open headed skulls set against a psychedelic background. We asked “can you change these hands into antennas? Can one skull be chicken? Can it have more blue?” It specifically says on his website NOT to do this. He said “NO… I’ll try something different”, and soon came back with this iconic piece of art, instantly recognisable and expertly capturing the essence of what the album was about. As mad as a cage full of chickens.

I tend to ask some questions about future live shows at this stage, but that seems a bit pointless now. I guess we will all have to see what the future brings. Are there any other plans you are currently working on? Writing new material? Rehearsing? Is the latter even possible right now?
Matt: We are all keeping busy with our side projects at the moment so we aren’t writing much material for Void right now, but you may be pleased to know that we have already formulated a concept of what the album might end up being about. It is an idea that tells a story but also dictates the structure of how the album is to be put together, with four contrasting elements that eventually come together through ‘the great event’ to be merged as one. I’ll say no more in case I give the game away, or we change our minds. Oh I nearly forgot, we have in fact been creating bonus tracks for ‘The Hollow Man’: remixes, reversions, reimagining the themes and ideas. CreaTivity completely unrestrained. It’s not very metal, or coherent, but there’s some good stuff in there that may see the light of day on a CD version. We are still in lockdown and venues are set to be closed for some time so there’s no chance of performing any time soon, but we did have good news from the Prime minister last night about the relaxation of restrictions so hope is beginning to re-enter the picture. It would be great to make it onto some festival bills next year, if possible, so with any luck we’ll secure a booking agent who can make that happen.

Thank you for answering these questions! Would you like to add anything?
Matt: I’d like to thank you for your continuing support of our band over the years Martin. From reading your review of our 2011 eponymous sophomore album to your articles supporting ‘The Unsearchable Riches’, to the work you have put in getting exposure for ‘The Hollow Man’. It has been great to make your acquaintance and the band has benefitted immensely. Thank you.

Levi: Hailz Eternally to you Martin breu! You Rock Hardcore with the Midas Touch! Best to you Endeavours Homz!

Give the biggest respects to my band bros & sis for this unique of experiences. Despite ALL THE MADNESS… We were still able to do what we hath done so forever more I love ya’ll