Black Sea of Trees – Interview

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

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

BSOT: We are Progressive Dark Metal, a mix of melodic runs, breakdowns, acoustic sections and ambience. Striving for the darkest, creepiest, soul crushing enlightenment a person can experience in music.


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

BSOT: I put an ad up online and we got together in 2018. Most of the band members are European by origin, our drummer Jan is from Norway, bassist Francesco from Italy, lead guitarist Tanil from Turkey and I (Samuel) am Australian. So we’re an “Australian band” but multi-national (in pure Melbourne style), and fun fact – all of us are bilingual!


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?

BSOT: For our forthcoming album ‘The Spiritual Beast’ influences are Carl Jung’s philosophy, European folklore, the occult, mystisicm and a little bit of personal experience. I like to write concept albums that are an introspective journey, that the listener can put themselves in and relate to in their own way. The Spiritual Beast is a very dense story where a lot of things happen and the music reflects each part of the story and evolves as the narrative does.

I came across the story of an Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, which deeply spoke to me. The story and aesthetic is a huge inspiration for the next concept album I’m currently about half way through writing.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

BSOT: We’d love to tour internationally and play some festivals. There’s something about playing on a stage outside during the day that looks like a whole lot of fun.

Creatively, I’d like to experiment with a dark ambient album/EP similar to Jeff Bridges’ Sleeping Tapes (one of my favourite albums of all time). I’d also love to do an album and create an entire film alongside it, like one album length video clip.


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

BSOT: Completing our latest album ‘The Spiritual Beast’ with the accompanying films. The whole project turned out better than I

thought and we were able to do it all ourselves. It took years to write and years of hard work to complete it, the biggest payoff is finally getting to release it.


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?

BSOT: Releasing our first video in Dec 2022 really showed us that video is the best way to promote. We got 19k views and a whole bunch of interaction in a month just off the youtube algorithm alone. It’s probably as important or more important than the music itself. People just aren’t going to listen to your music unless it’s accompanied by a video.


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

BSOT: We’re still relatively new to live shows thanks to covid. I think we’ve only played 4 shows since we formed.

We’re currently working on booking our album launch show and I’d love to tour in the future but don’t see

it happening anytime soon, we’re still finding our feet live and doing everything independently.


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

BSOT: I have mixed feelings, a part of me wants easy and free access to all art but then of course, artists deserve to get paid properly for their work. Music has become a strange dichotomy, it’s worthless as a commodity but it means everything to people. We can’t live without it but we’re not interested in paying for it. The blame rests with corporations AND people using their services. All artists should just boycott Spotify and go to Bandcamp. I hate the new norm that a person’s love for creating is exploited to make money for someone else. I hope somehow, artists will be able to properly charge what they think is fair for their work.


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

BSOT: Bleak was the first song by Opeth I’d ever heard and it started the lifelong journey into the type of music I’m into.

It has it all, melodic riffs & choruses, drops into a clean jazz section then back to brutal death metal, while overall keeping a soul crushing darkness throughout. It’s an example of what I consider perfect songwriting and it’s what I strive to achieve in my songwriting.  


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

BSOT: I wouldn’t say that we’re involved enough in the industry to have an opinion on it. But if there was a chance that anything would affect the creative process in a negative way, we’d stay away from it. We’re on our own at the moment (we don’t even have a producer) and things are going well so if any third party wanted to get involved they’d have to offer something pretty huge.


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

BSOT: We’re finalising the merch for ‘The Spiritual Beast’ and close to finishing the second film which will come out with the album. And about halfway through writing the next album to start the process all over again! I’ve been putting the idea in our minds that we’ll start recording end of 2023 but we’ll see.


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

BSOT: All news and general info on instagram
Instagram –

You can buy our merch here when it’s available end of March 2023
Bandcamp –

All of our films and live sessions
Youtube –

Spotify –

FB –

Black Sea of Trees links:
Band/Artist location – Melbourne, Australia
Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Merch – 
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
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