I Am the One
CoC interviews Proscriptor
by: Adam Wasylyk
One of the American black metal scene's most prolific artists, Absu's vocalist/percussionist Sir Proscriptor McGovern, is also responsible for one of the better darkwave/ambient acts I've had the pleasure to hear -- named Proscriptor. Making its debut with _The Venus Bellona_ (Cruel Moon), the occultic/atmospheric flavour which revolves around the ancestral bloodlines of Proscriptor's Scottish roots proved not only to be an invigorating and an almost magical listen, but also served as a truly original recording. Twenty songs (or "acts") immersed the listener into the mystical world of this most fascinating musician, one in which dedicated fans, such as myself and the editor of this fine publication, are quite grateful for. Despite delays and unforeseen circumstances, a follow up has been released in the form of _The Serpentine Has Risen_ (Dark Age Productions). Taking off from where _TVB_ left off, the newest Proscriptor recording sees more concentration being placed on songwriting (eight tracks grace _The Serpentine..._ compared to twenty on its predecessor) and, as a nice surprise, features some echoes from the past (who could forget the immortal line, "My Words are the Flames for you..."). There's no question that Proscriptor are a cult band, one whose recordings will always be relished by its dedicated fan base. The prerequisite to have a few questions answered was gladly accepted by Proscriptor McGovern, so hopefully those unfamiliar with this most special band will find the following informative and enlightening. Onward!

CoC: I'm sure that there are those who are unfamiliar with Proscriptor, so perhaps you can detail how it differs from your work in Absu. Do you see any similarities between the two bands?

Proscriptor McGovern: Absu can be classified as "mythological occult metal", as Proscriptor can be classified as "Allaxitonian/Glenorchy Fantasy Musick" or "Scotch Folkwave". Absu has the set mind to execute the most baneful fashion of metal projected towards mankind, as Proscriptor does not have a set mind; I personally execute whatever I ethereally feel when writing that style of music. The only similarity that Absu and Proscriptor share are two things: the inner domains of immortality and some Celtic themes, but not too many.

CoC: I read that _The Serpentine Has Risen_ was recorded in 1997... what were the causes for its delay?

PM: In 1997, my initial idea was to release _The Serpentine Has Risen_ as a picture-disque 7" EP. After I kept writing more songs and collaborating various ideologies, it turned into a mini CD and then eventually it became a full-length opus. The Cold Meat Industry subsidiary label for Dark Age Productions, Cruel Moon International, decided to follow up with a second release off-shooting from _The Venus Bellona_. After the album was recorded, I planned on releasing _The Serpentine Has Risen_ on both Cruel Moon as well as Dark Age. After I sent all of the master materials to Roger Karmanik (Cold Meat's label manager), I did not hear any feedback from him in almost three months. I was rather curious to know what his reaction was towards the new album, yet I knew he'd have different notions regarding it. In an e-mail he replied back to me, he told me that it was completely horrendous and there was no way he would release it. His opinion did not affect me at all, so I simply asked for the master materials back from him. I received them from Sweden five days later. Afterwards, I sent the album to roughly 50 labels (most of them non-metal) and they refused it by saying that it was "too diverse" and "not directed towards a certain market". I realize this because every song I wrote for it came from a spontaneous thought in my mind and whatever style best fits its ideology is the way it will come out to be. Most humans that have been indulged by the "personal" music of Proscriptor ever love it or hate it. It's not black metal, nor is it hardly metal at all, but a concoction of styles, such as pre/post wave rock, art rock, oscillation/experimental, and Allaxtonian folklore. Finally, a breakthrough arrived in the latter portion of 1999 when a company here in Dallas called Reality Music assisted me in the biggest way. The founder of Reality Music, Cristal Clopton (a.k.a. Tiamatsu McGovern), decided that she would help me release the _Serpentine..._ album and help promote it for me as well. So with her facilitation, she was able to release it with me through both Dark Age and Reality Music. Well last year, a Greek record label called In Vision Musick decided that they wanted to license it from me and release it on a worldwide basis. However, it is still not out yet and I am presently being ripped off by a particular, deceiving mortal from that enterprise! In hindsight and in conclusion, _The Serpentine Has Risen_ has not been crowned with too much success, but ironically speaking, I think it's my best solo work up to date.

CoC: Does Proscriptor have ambitions to play in a live setting, or does the complexity of the music render this impossible?

PM: It is possible that I could perform in a concert atmosphere, but not in the near future. I have three other live acts to be concerned with at the moment.

CoC: Do you take influences from other ambient/atmospheric bands, who therefore influence the music of Proscriptor?

PM: The chief inspiration of Proscriptor really comes from dogmas of Thoth, metaphysical expeditions concerning my past immortality, yet my deathless spirit throughout the Glenorchy District of Central-Western Alba (Scotland). Of course, occultic lifestyles inspire me; however, I can say that there are many influences of music that interest me and my solo efforts, such as the Art Bears, Henry Cow, Magma, Granada, Holy Toy, Tangerine Dream, Captain Beefheart, The Tubes, Mellow Candle, Lucifer, Blondie, Human League, A Flock of Seagulls, Sparks, Plasma Pool, Devo, Kraftwerk, Popol Vuh, King Crimson, Genesis, Soft Machine, Ween, M, Joe Jackson, Pat Benatar, Styx, Dan Fogelberg, ABC, Split Enz, Romeo Void, Yello, and Aphrodite's Child.

CoC: The tracks on _The Serpentine..._ are lengthier and sound much more epic than those on _The Venus Bellona_. Was it a preconceived idea to write lengthier pieces of music as opposed to the numerous tracks on The Venus Bellona, or did this just occur naturally?

PM: Yes, it was intentional to write longer and more abstruse-like songs and I'll tell you why. _The Venus Bellona_ is an actual past life experience I have dealt with in the 13th Century, [while] _The Serpentine Has Risen_ is a collection of dreams and subconscious realms I have encountered directly after the debut opus. What more can I say?

CoC: Will Proscriptor continue to release recordings (or has new material been written since the recording of the new album)?

PM: Yes, my first project I will be working on is a seven-inch EP called _Thoth Music(k)_ and I shall follow up with my third full-length nightmare called _726: The Sign of My Number_. And always recall this equation: 726=6x11 (ii) / 33x22 (Vitriolistic Nous). "The sign of my number is the arithmetical formula to the Universal Solvent, which lies beneath the soil you are currently standing on. The abyss: it's right below you."

Contact: Dark Age Productions (Southern Tower), c/o Cristal Clopton, P.O. Box 743307, Dallas, TX 75374-3307, USA http://www.realitymusic.com

(article submitted 13/5/2001)


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