Interview with Arcticcircle

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Arcticcircle’s latest album is the extremely tasty Where Ice Meets Ocean. This is a record I’d definitely recommend for any fan of earthy, underground metal that kicks ass and rocks out all over the shop.

Guitarist/vocalist Sean Vermentor filled me in on what Bush Metal is all about…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

We are Arcticcircle, lords of the back alley. Jon Cloud – drums and cymbals, Sean Vermentor – guitars of the night, vocals. Howard – bass.

Okay clear something up for me – is it Arcticcircle or Arctic Circle?

We spell it the first way, Arcticcircle. There’s a couple other Arctic Circle bands around the world so we figured if we changed the spelling it would be better? I don’t know.

What is Bush Metal, and how would you describe it?

Bush Metal is our sound we have here in our neck of the woods. We are kind of isolated as far being around a scene and playing regularly so that’s kind of enabled us to develop our own style without much distraction. Its more of a bunch of influences thrown together. Sabbath meets thrash meets the Flintstones…something with an earthy vibe that’s a reflection of our interests.

Give us a bit of background to Arcticcircle – I believe your early work sounded quite different to how you sound today?

We started as a live band in 2001. Originally we were called Fog Machine for one show. That didn’t really stick, haha. But yeah we were more of a grind band in very beginning then caught a black/thrash vibe for awhile. We were fast! But we always made sure to have a slow doom song on each album. As time wears on our Sabbath fixation is becoming more apparent and we are slowly adding more elements to the music. It’s becoming more musical is a good way to put it. We are Arcticcircle, we follow our hearts and embrace change as it naturally happens. We are exploring our corner of the sonic realms and implore everyone else to do the same! Also, our fan base is so small no one really cares what we do.

Arcticcircle Band

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

For heavy tunes I’ve been listening to the new Priest and then the new album from Winnipeg’s Wilt entitled Ruin, a depressive atmosphere with black metal tendencies. Their guitarist Brett Goodchild produced our new album so he made us listen to it! And the debut from local bush budz Hezrou which has a cool Emperor vibe I think. Very fast.

How do you feel that you fit into the wider Canadian metal scene?

I don’t know! We haven’t done any touring since 2007. Tech-Death seems like a huge scene nowadays…there’s a lot of new bands around that’s for sure. We fit into that Canadian scene somehow…we share that pure love for true Metal with all the brothers and sisters so that’s what unites us, I guess.

Give us a bit of background to Where Ice Meets Ocean

That was written during the last couple years. I had just moved back from Edmonton and had some riffs and some ideas I wanted to try out on drummer Mr. Cloud. We made a conscious decision to slow things down for this one. We were heading that way anyways with our last EP A Void of Blasts. Things moved along rather quick to where where we had 8 songs mapped out. We recorded it in Winnipeg at Boreal Recording with our good buddy Brett Goodchild of Wilt.

Tell us about the album artwork and how it relates to the music

We’ve had the album title kicking around for a number of years now. With this album we are finally able to use it. The artwork is a reflection of the title and suggests the meeting of two different forms of the same essence. It can be looked at metaphorically as separating ourselves from the Godhead for the sake of Union. The music is the ice slowly melting and returning to the eternal ocean of sound.

How were the songs written?

Everything is built around the riff, the riffs. At the very least I’ll present a string of riffs to drummer Mr. Cloud if not a completed song. He has free reign to play whatever he likes over the guitars. Sometimes I’ll have a pre-conceived idea of how I’d like the drums to go. Lots of times I don’t. And even if I do, it’s good to hear his interpretation as it is usually kick ass!


How did the recording process go?

The recording went pretty quick. Drums were done in a day, day and a half? Very non-eventful. Ate some good pizza.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

My personal fave is Big Heavy Door, it’s got some great riffing and the vocals sound great. It all came together nicely on that track I think. The epitome of Bush Metal thus far…haha!

What does the future hold for you?

Hopefully we will hit the road in some sort of capacity soon to support this album. We already have 2 new songs and a few written so we’d like to hammer out another EP as soon as possible I’m thinking.

Any final words?

Stay wild!!!! Live for Metal die for Vinyl!!

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