With the name Spectral Realm popping up on gig guides thoughout Gauteng, I thought it would be a great idea to do an interview with this unique ‘Beast from the East’. The concept for the band was spawned in 2006 by Lord Onyr, the lead guitarist and composer, and was greatly influenced by bands such as Old Man’s Child, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and additional elements from different genres (progressive metal and classical).
Septic Septre, brother of Lord Onyr, has always been an integral part of his brother’s musical endeavors and was the first member to join the project, making him the howling and posessed vocalist of Spectral Realm. As with any band they had quite a few difficulties in finding suitable members, but they eventually found the right drummer for their musical tastes.
From the moment that Craig Tuner started jamming with them, the structure of the songs started forming. Soon after Craig had joined the band, they became a rhythm guitarist (Marco), keyboardist (Shelby Maelanthe) and bassist (Gareth ‘Rei Rei’ Anderson) richer. After Marco left the band in May 2011, they did quite a few gigs sans rhythm section, but eventually found a pillar of rythmic strength in Jacey Cronje. Lord Onyr is the sole composer, and instructs the band on what to play. The band’s name Spectral Realm was inspired by the after life and the unexplored and they were complete as a full 6 piece band by June / July 2010.
The band had a few things to say about their sound, concept and beliefs:
When you write songs, do you conceptualize the song through the lyrics first and then write the music or write music first and write lyrics that would suit the mood of the music?
In our case, the music was written long before the concept was spawned so we thought about the music longer. As the music progressed, so did the concept.
What distinguishes art from entertainment? Following this answer, what part of your performance do you see as entertainment?
Art is in a way more private, what we create by ourselves, in our own time. Entertainment is more about the way you express the art, being it on stage or through an album. Art is the creation and definition. Entertainment is the execution.
Do you as a band share a world view and if so, what is it?
We don’t really share any particular views as a band, each person has their own personal outlook. The one thing we do agree with is our passion for music.
Would you collaborate with another African band/artist, who would it be and why?
No particular band as such but with people that we share similar views on music. Its all about feeling comfortable with those musicians and respecting their views.
How important is family to you seeing as we have two brothers in the band, a romantic relationship and a musical brotherhood?
It’s easier to work with the people you are close with. We share a strong bond which helps form a solid foundation.
Apart from music, what else inspires your music?
We are inspired by the afterlife, the unknown. We are all facing the same fate. How we as people look at the inevitability of the death.
Why did you feel having a keyboard in your music is important?
It is about counteracting the emotions in music; beauty meets beast. Keyboards also add different dimensions to our music. Creating a dreamlike atmosphere.
What is the most challenging thing about being in a band?
Every member has their own views and ideas. It is challenging to express yourself and to equally let the other members express themselves too. To put the consistent work and dedication into Spectral Realm.
No particular musician can be chosen, but it would be a musician that always progresses and reaches higher standards.
Why do you wear corpse paint?
For us, wearing corpse paint goes hand in hand with our music. Painting the picture with color. Making the story more “real”.
Where do you see Spectral Realm going and what do you hope to achieve as a band?
We hope to reach perfection in our music; recording proper albums and making music that will please us and our fans. We would like to play all over South Africa. To play with all the awesome local bands all over.
When will your CD be finished?
We are in the process of recording demos. As a relatively new band, our goal at the moment is to play a lot of live shows. Hopefully soon, we would be able to produce the album we have in mind.
Being a relatively new band, where do you fit into in the South African scene, and where do you see metal in South Africa heading?
We don’t like to compare ourselves to other bands. In our experience of playing with other bands, we feel at home with the local scene. There are a lot of upcoming bands and experienced bands sharing the scene which makes the future of South African metal scene prominent.
Care to share a communal band view on the afterlife?
It is something personal to every member in the band and would take some time to define and express.
Do you believe in conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy theories have been proven. So yes. We do believe…
Stream “Cursed Wonders of the Beyond” by Spectral Realm below: