Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview with The Wizard of Pilgrim!

Last night I had the huge honor of getting to hang out with Pilgrim and Windhand. Early in the night I got to sit down with The Wizard of Pilgrim. The bands mysterious singer and guitar player. In the interview we talked about their tour, their new record, and everything else in between!
If you don’t know Pilgrim already, be sure to check them out on Facebook!

So, how has the tour been going so far?
It’s good, it’s kind of boring. Windhand…they’re so old. Their oldest member is forty. So we spend a lot of time sleeping and stopping at rest stops. But asides from that, musically, it’s been pretty good.  Pilgrim had some problems in the beginning with me not being able to hear the monitors. We had some shaky shows a couple nights where we were just pissed off. We just dropped our instruments and left because we were so mad. But we’ve also had some really amazing shows. We get to meet up with all of our old friends who we got to see at Roadburn and at Heavy Days so it has kind of been like a reunion for us which is really cool.

What does the setlist look like?
It has two songs from Misery Wizard, maybe three if we have a long time. There’s about three songs from our new record, which is finished but is not out yet.

Pilgrim’s music is pretty unique, even in metal, what got you into making this kind of doom metal?
When I was younger I used to play a lot of video games and I used to love the music that was in a lot of the games. I used to love RPG games and I started to play the keyboard. Eventually I got into Nirvana and started playing guitar and all of these fantasy based songs and ideas. That started out as a project that I had, and it came out a little better than I thought it would so I decided to roll with it. Me and Nick (the drummer) have been playing in really shitty bands since we were 16 so I was like, I have a new idea so let’s do this. That’s why it has that fantasy vibe to it. We also really like doom metal, so it’s a mix. Its kind of like Daudi Baldrs by Burzum if it was super heavy and metalled out.  

You often speak of Astaroth in your music, what does he represent for you?
He’s pretty much become the deity of the band. I the band had a God it would be Astaroth. It is the guiding force. Hail Astaroth, that’s it. I was into occultism and demonology for a while and Astaroth just resonated well. We just kind of kept it and hung around with it. We always used to say ‘Hail Astaroth’ and that’s pretty much it?

So why did you name the band Pilgrim and not Astaroth?
Because if you go on the Encyclopaedia Metallum page there’s about thirteen bands called Astaroth. Astaroth was the original idea for the band name. There was also going to be Archmage, which I think is a way better name then Pilgrim. I actually don’t like the name Pilgrim.

Why not?
I’m not taking shit at all. It reminds me of bands like Elder. It’s with one word names. It instantly puts you in a category.  And it’s like ‘Dude, no…’ Hopefully people get into the band and realize it’s not just a trendy thing. There’s something more.  But this shit becomes cliché after a while.

So what is your general lyrical message then, is it purely fantasy or is there a greater ideology behind it?
There is no grand scheme or real ideology behind it but the way Nick always puts it is that we use fantasy as prose. It’s just like my life and the things we want to talk about it but I don’t say it directly. I would rather write a cool story about it.

You mentioned the new record, can you tell me more about that?
It’s fucking great first of all. It’s the best thing we’ve ever heard. The first record sucked. Me and Nick, we think with the first record the material is good but it came out so bad. The new one, is just wicked. We don’t really know what it’s called yet, it’s going to be called Void Worship or In the Masters Chamber but probably Void Worship. It’s fucking great. I don’t know what else to say. I think it’s far beyond Misery Wizard (the bands first record) in both songwriting and sound quality. Also, there is an actual base track you can hear throughout so that makes me happy.

What would the title Void Worship signify then?
Basking in absolute nothingness. It’s kind of a different way of saying boredom, or not doing anything. Just void worship. That was actually what a lot of the first record was about too.

Asides from the new record, what are your other future plans?
Right now our only future plans are to finish this tour and go back home and start getting ready for our record to come out which should be March or April. Until then we’re going to lay low and just kind of wait. Once that happens we hope we can go back on tour. Maybe go back to Europe. Touring the US kind of sucks. The rider over there is really nice, lots of baguettes and stuff. But after this tour we’re going to lay low for a little bit.

What has been your favorite memory with Pilgrim to date?
You’re talking to the wrong guy man. My memory is so bad. Maybe it was just the entire experience of Roadburn. Just because it was so surreal. We got to the compound and we were hanging out with the Wounded Kings who became really good friends for us. Just the good times that we had man. It was a really really happy happy time. The show was awesome, we met a thousand people who we still talk to all the time. I think the whole Roadburn 2013 was amazing.

What are some doom metal bands you’d recommend?
Windhand, obviously, they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. There’s this really cool band that’s also from Richmond, Virginia. Their lyrics style is really great. They’ve got that 90s style Dale Kroeger kind of sound. It’s like early Acid King with really good riffs. There’s a band from Boston called Ice Dragon they’re really obscure but they’re put out ten albums or something. We  did a split with them. They are amazing, I worship there first three records, they’re really good. Another one is Balam from Rhode Island. They’re from the same town as us. They’re just great dude! They’re like a doom metal Kyuss.

What do you love so much about music?
It just sounds good man. Sounds good, feels good. It’s more entertaining than reading in my opinion. I’d rather listen to a story through lyrics or vocals than have to read it. Something about the years that have built up to make a refined song structure. It’s really powerful and beautiful!

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