Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
V: Vakaren has always been a puzzle. There has never been a solid lineup, this is by choice. Each release is uniquely its own due to the nature of this band’s revolving lineup. “Infernum” however, was written and recorded by a lineup that contains many of the original members of the band. Vakaren is at any given time, the sum of its parts.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
V: Vakaren is a collective made up of artists from a few parts of the world. Our music is simply a way to communicate with the beyond. Sometimes loss is what one needs to push them to this form of communication.
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?
V: Many members of Vakaren are influenced by bands from Ancient Records like Beketh Nexemhu. Our influences also expand into stranger realms such as bands like Arizmenda or She Past Away. Our music is an attempt to portray an existential dread that all sentient forms of life feel. We simply ask questions. The topics of our songs explore nihilism and the aether.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
V: Every piece of music that is recorded by this band is another step towards our perfect form.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
V: Infernum marks a monumental moment in the progression of Vakaren. This album combines all elements of previous albums and gets straight to the point. There is an atmosphere that is retained from the band’s previous works, it works alongside melodies and rhythms that focus on tension and release.
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?
V: The Black Metal underground has always decided its own course of direction. We simply do our best to allow this band to be discovered, but this is never a guarantee. We will always recognize those who have been here from the start as they are the ones who have spread the word.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
V: Vakaren will never perform live.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
V: Art is a means, the medium is the way. Some of Vakaren’s music is available to listen to online. Some of our music is only available physically and will never be available digitally. Vakaren began as an underground band, we pay our respects to those who seek out the dark underbelly of this project by providing our longtime supporters with opportunities to receive limited, physical-only releases.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
V: I could only hope to have as much passion and fire in my blood to have made some of the masterpieces that some of my peers have made. A track that I would consider a masterpiece would be Arizmenda’s “Scabbed Knees, Rope and Vaseline”.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
V: Profit is the antithesis of art, it erodes the freedom of expression for monetary gain. The search for wealth is something inherent in all forms of life. We cannot change this. New artists must recognize that the only path to true expression does not include wealth, in fact, I would argue the opposite. Create art though the world may perish.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
V: As an underground project, we write, record, and finance each recording that we do. Our circle is small, everything from the artwork to the album layouts are done by people close to us. This all takes time of course. That being said, I would be a liar if I said that there was not new music being written constantly.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
V: All special editions of our albums are available on our Bandcamp page. We also provide commentary on our music through instagram @vakaren_bm.