Pretoria, South Africa: check out the album artwork as Ruff Majik prepares to launch Seasons on Friday 20 April. Illustrated by Anni Buchner and Ale & Cake Illustration.
Moreover, the sludgy doom-rocker trio invites you as a www.metal4africa.com reader to an early premier of the entire Seasons on Thursday 19 April. Bookmark this site and visit us on Thursday for more!
Seasons: 20 April 2018
Ruff Majik chose an unusual manner in which to introduce Seasons to the masses, taking the form of a series of EPs released throughout 2017. At natures beckoning with the change of each season, Ruff Majik delivered one quarters worth of the Seasons album at three previous intervals. They are titled: The Hare and the Hollow; A Finch in a Cherry Tree, and; A Dragon and His Hoard.
The fourth and final chapter, The Stag in the leaves, will become available along with the full collection on Friday; furthermore, complete with its own artwork as well.
Mystical Worlds and Escapism through art
Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of Seasons specifically, we asked about the genre as a whole; what is it that’s causing stoner, sludge, psychedelic rock and other reinterpretations of this root of modern metal to pulse so strongly in the present day and age. This reply sets the stage perfectly for a deeper look into Seasons:
“It’s escapism. The world is fucking wrecked right now. It has been before, and every time it’s been wrecked it has squeezed out some of the best music and best art in history. When nuclear bombs are being discussed, doom just kinda makes sense as a genre, you know? You wanna get stoned and relax to forget about all these new age anxieties. You want to escape, and the music provides the chance to do just that.” ~ Johni Holiday (guitar/vocals, Ruff Majik)
On the album of Seasons, Johni tells us about a universe of philosophical intrigue.
“It’s all written from the perspective of travelers in a mystical world, where the realms of gods exist and druids walk the earth in search of greater truths and majik is very real; though not always on your side. Each story exists on its own, but in the same universe.” ~ Johni Holiday
Seasons: the album in context
Seasons will be attainable as one completed work as well as in its four chapters (for those who already have collected the first three). Why this approach? Johni elaborates a little on the thought process behind it, and the overall theme of the album:
“The idea came to us right after releasing our album ‘The Swan’, as it was released right on the changing of the seasons and we were feeling the cold. We decided we wanted to write an album titled ‘Seasons’; each season we’d write three new songs that would capture our moods and whatever was currently happening in our life; and that section would be released as the specific chapter – or season – that would later make up a full album. It had to be done in sections, ‘cause ya know; you can’t really fake seasonal depression, melancholy or even excitement. Can’t write a song about summer days in the winter, etc.” ~ Johni Holiday
Thematically, the four chapters are only connected through the over arching theme of the passing of seasons. However, lyrically, there exists a more pertinent common thread; that of death and rebirth.
“Whether it be the end of old relationships before the start of new ones; the end of life replaced by beautiful nostalgia and new passion for life, and; in many cases the end of innocence and ignorance to make way for a more aggressive, ‘taking no more shit from the universe’ type of attitude.” ~ Johni Holiday
Seasons: Ruffing the Majik
With the album recorded in four parts and having such an organic feeling, we wanted to know about its creation. How closely did Ruff Majik follow along the ethos of old school sensibilities? To the letter, it seems.
“Basically, each section on “Seasons” was recorded live. All three songs, back to back, in one take. We don’t do double takes, as we feel you lose the innitial emotion meant to be conveyed through the song. Also, that jittery feeling, right as you’re recording something for the first time, knowing this will be the one and only time you’ll get to turn your art into an immortal creation – that’s a cool feeling, we live for that feeling.” ~ Johni Holiday
Ruff Majik will take Seasons abroad in 2018, with tour dates already booked in Europe and more to be announced. In the interim, Spotify users can use this link to pre-bookmark the album to add to your library once it launches.