Absolute Darkness – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

Ron Dorn: We as a band are all about the music. We enjoy what we are doing and are looking forward to playing this new music live. As an artist, it begins with the music, the music needs to be both brutal, but accessible. I write music for myself first and foremost and then hope people are able to be as into it as I am.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

Ron Dorn: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have lived here my entire life. I started playing guitar and bass in high school, and tried to get a project off the ground shortly after high school, but it never really came together. I later joined an early version of Impaled (Oakland, Ca based Death Metal band) as the bassist. We did demos and played shows for about 5 years. I then left the project, as at that time, I could not dedicate myself to the project at the level that they needed. I took a break from music for a while, and then started Absolute Darkness. This was a project that had a lot of firsts for me. This was the first project where I was the primary song writer and the first project where I was the singer. I have grown a lot as an artist since my days with Impaled. With Impaled I was there to play bass and did not contribute much to music and overall direction…which at the time was fine, as we had members who fulfilled those roles in spades. In my time away from playing in bands I learned to play drum, record and write music, and sing, and learning these skills lead to what Absolute Darkness has become. The lineup of Absolute Darkness has changed over the years and with the current group of musician the band is no longer just me, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next with our current lineup.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

Ron Dorn: Certain I have been influenced by the Bay Area thrash bands I grew up with. Vio-lence, Death Angel, Forbidden, Testament, Exodus where all local bands that have been a huge influence. My time in Impaled is also a huge influence, as they introduced me to the more extreme forms of metal that I have come to love. At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth, and many, many others

Lyrically it’s about what pisses me off. Absolute Darkness has become an outlet for me that lets me express my frustration at the world we find ourselves in today.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

Ron Dorn: My aspirations are to put out music that some people can get into. I am not writing music for everyone, that is not what metal is about. I want some people to be like FUCK yes..this speaks to me, and there will be people that won’t feel that way and that’s fine too.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

Ron Dorn: I would say releasing this album. We worked with a very good mixing/mastering engineer for this release (William Blackmon), we worked with a great videographer for the Mob Rule music video (Eddie Granillo). I am also very proud of lineup we have put together, Doug, Emad, and Orson have made significant contributes as well. The album artwork by Vladyslav Tsarenko came out awesome as well! So while I have done a lot of work on this album and this release, there were a lot of people who contributed to making this our best release yet.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

Ron Dorn: So far so good. We are early in the release process, but I am happy with the direction things are going.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

Ron Dorn: The Bay Area is good place for shows, with lots of venue and opportunities. We are planning a release show on 8/27 at the Elbo room in Oakland and will announce the final lineup for the show soon. We are hoping to do some festival dates (we’ll see what we can arrange), but do not plan any tour as of right now.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

Ron Dorn: I am a big fan, I am a huge technology guy and the convince and access to music is awesome. As an artist, I can also appreciate that that the money aspect of the industry has dramatically changed, and not in favor of the artists, but it is what it is. I see both sides of it.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

Ron Dorn: That’s an interesting question, but I am not sure I can answer that. I mean, do I which I would have written Master Of Puppets, sure…but I didn’t, this is the result of someone else’s creativity, and effort, not my own. It would have been much different song if I had somehow been in Metallica and wrote song with that title.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

Ron Dorn: I think making a living with music is very, very difficult today. It has always been difficult, even when the money was flowing in the industry, the deals always favored the labels over the artists. Now there is less money to go around, but labels are less important than they were back in the 80’s and 90’s. I don’t know what I would change exactly, but things are difficult and covid did not help.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

Ron Dorn: We are just preparing to play live, and working on promoting this release. We will probably start writing music in the next few months. This incarnation of the band has yet to write music together, but we are all looking forward to doing that. Doug, Emad, and Orson are all excellent musicians and we are looking forward to see what we can come up together.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

Ron Dorn: You can pre-order our new album Failure Of State on bandcamp right now. It will be released on 8/27. The album has been submitted for pre-release on all major digital platforms, and it should start showing up soon everywhere.

You can following the latest Absolute Darkness news via our Facebook page

Also we have some great perch available via T-Spring

Absolute Darkness links:
Band/Artist location – San Francisco, California USA
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