The Other Shades of Black. Interview Tilen Šimon/T.Š. (Veldes, Nephrolith)

Baldo, Cultartes: We already had the opportunity to listen to “Watcher Of Fading Light”, a song that will be part of “Descent”, the upcoming album by Veldes. Frankly, I’m very attached to the sound of this song and I would like to find as many as possible on this material, too. Tell us, please, what should we expect? Is there any collaboration on this material? When will it be released?

Tilen Šimon: While a “Watcher Of Fading Light” is composed in this calming, dreamy, yet melancholic mood, the rest of the new material is on the other hand quite dark, gloomy but the at the same time also glorious with some beautiful, melodic tunes. And yes, I collaborated on this new stuff with R. Rupnik who “lent” me his vocal skills and E. Bešič, a guest (acoustic) guitarist. Both are friends of mine and in the past I was a bass player in their band with whom we had some good gigs over our country. About the release date I can’t unfortunately give any details just yet, but let’s say during the summer sometime…

Do you think black-metal, by the way you approach this kind of music, can have sensitive sides? For instance, can this give dreaminess, along with the other states which joined this genre?

I’d say yes, because I think black metal is quite about any kind of emotions. It’s based on those negative ones, but I think emotions like nostalgia, dreaminess are positive emotions, because people with those emotions remember something good (or also bad) and they yearn for that from the past (or the future). But of course on the contrary, this dreaming and yearning can also lead to the opposite side of emotions, so it’s some kind of a loop and there’s no escaping the “bad side”.

@Nephrolith
@Nephrolith

Nephrolith is the name of another project you belong to. It is, however, about a different kind of approach to black-metal. Which of these two current projects you feel more attached or represents you the most?

Yes, Nephrolith is more based on aggressive and fast kind of black metal, while Veldes is different as you may hear. I’m in Nephrolith from the start (2008) and I am a co-founder and also composer for some of the tracks, so it’s really hard to choose which band/project has a priority. I think both are on the same level, each on its own way.

Do you prepare something for the future with Nephrolith? A new album or a concert?

As a matter of fact, yes. We have been writing new material since 2011 and we have finally managed to completely record it lately. There are some details left to be edited, but it’s nearly finished. I think somewhere in this year it should be released.

Did you ever consider in collaborating with Nachtzeit (Lustre), for example, or with other artists who see black-metal with the same eyes you see through Veldes?

Not really until now, but I think mine and his music would really made a fine split release or maybe if our composing skills could be joined in a new project etc., the music itself would be surely extraordinary.

Is Bled the place where you find the needed inspiration to create your music or there are other places you go searching for it?

Bled itself and its surroundings, like woods beneath the mountains (which are a part of the Eastern Julian Alps) are beyond words, it’s really hard to describe, you just have to see and feel it. So, yes, this place is really inspiring and it’s a huge influence on Veldes’ music and image.

@Veldes
@Veldes

You’ve probably heard a lot about our country, legends and myths. Or maybe not. However, would you like to visit Romania? Are there any places you would like to see here?

I believe there isn’t a person who hasn’t heard about Transylvania and Dracula’s legend. I hope one day I’ll have a chance to visit your country, especially to see the landscapes (what I’ve seen from the pictures, they’re astonishing).

Is there a Romanian band that caught your attention or any artist that you would like to collaborate with?

The only Romanian band I’ve heard about is Negură Bunget (and its sub-band, like Din Brad) and Dordeduh. Sure, I’d love to collaborate if there would be a chance, they are original and have their own approach in this black metal sub-genre and this is what makes them unique.

If you write a book what would be the main subject and, especially, what type it would be?

I think I would write something with post-apocalyptic theme, something like the movie/book “The Road” or even “The Walking Dead” but likely without zombies. The main subject would be surviving and struggling through life in this (unfortunately) dying world, a daily fight for existence where those who are trying to survive have been losing so much hope during their “journey”, yet they’re still struggling and clinging on hope, a will to live and to believe in meaningful purpose.

Let’s assume time travel would be possible. Where would you return and why? In addition, what job would you have back then?

That’s really interesting and quite hard question. Perhaps I’d return to some events where I could change the history, so therefore wouldn’t be misery, poverty, war in the future, but I can’t say how I would do that. Along with that I would have a job possibly connected to music, poetry.

Do you think black-metal should change just a little bit its face? Should it start somehow, to treat other topics and have other worldviews than the eternal struggle with God and religion? I am talking about the strict meaning of the genre, considering that there many different bands.

Honestly I don’t know, all I can say is that black metal itself has already different themes, topics, but somehow they’re quite similar. Many of them want to change and to believe in something that is not at the moment present, even those orthodox black metal bands who sing about “freedom” and cleansing of a human mind from the “religious enslavement”, the similar goes for let’s say atmospheric black metal bands, who seek peaceful shelter in nature and yearn for better times, away from various “enslavements” which are often caused by certain cause – humanity.

@Veldes
@Veldes

What ‘’Skyward’’ meant for you?

“Skyward” was about what I mentioned in previous question, about hoping for integrity, calm times, harmony (through nature), but there is this weight that doesn’t let go and this weight is very often the humanity itself, the human negative aspects which lead to (self-) destroying of all what was once created by everything that is good.

Would you like if your descendants would take further Veldes music?

I think that would be a wish for any kind of musician and artist.

Thank you very much for this opportunity! I wish you all the best!

Thanks to you for giving me this interview chance and wishes!

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