Interviews: Shroud Of Despondency

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Cosmic Black Metal/Black Metal band Shroud Of Despondency from the USA. Check out this band and follow them on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, did you plan it or come out just like that?

In the late 90’s I suffered the loss of a close friend to suicide. I was already getting into one-man black metal, and the late 90’s USBM scene, so I just kind of took the feelings of isolation and frustration I was having and combined them with the fact that I grew up surrounded by the beautiful rural scenery of Upper Michigan and just kind of laid the framework for everything that I wanted to stand for musically; individualism, frustration, but also a love of playing the guitar and writing. My lyrics have gone through several distinct phases, but each one can tie into the concept in that they deal primarily with frustration.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Something that still appeals to me about black metal is that there can be quite a bit of interplay between major and minor chords. I don’t like playing power chords, I like playing full chords, and something that still inspires me to this day is playing with that relationship between major and minor. However, as it relates to metal in general, I just love it. I had already been a metalhead for years before I started Shroud of Despondency. Before being a metalhead, I was simply into music, and I still have very eclectic tastes. That is why in Shroud, I never release the same album twice, and DEFINITELY am not afraid to stray from black metal. 

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Shroud of Despondency is my project, despite having been a live entity from 2011-2014. I enjoy writing at a manic pace. Ron has been a close friend and trusted contributor to the project basically since its inception. We met 20 some years ago and lived together in the late 90s, just manically consuming metal and going crazy in the woods.

4. Each band member's favourite band?

This is impossible. I worship King Crimson, personally. Listening to Lizard as I type this. But, also worship a multitude of metal, rock, and prog bands. Ron is the same way. We just consume and collect music. Music is our lifestyle.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Given that my writing is primarily an outlet, there is never a lack of frustration when dealing with human beings.

6. Where was your last gig?

Personally, my last gig was with my other black metal band Prezir. We played in Texas with Whore of Bethlehem. The last Shroud gig was in 2014 with, I believe, Inter Arma and Woe. I don’t really enjoy playing live. I view it as a distraction from writing.

7. Where would you like to act?

See above.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Sigh from Japan. Adrian Belew.

9. Whom not?

Because I grew up in a music scene that was very scattered and was one of maybe 5 actual metalheads around at the time, and because I’m pretty open-minded musically, I don’t really care who I am playing with as long as there is an audience who is potentially into my musical offering. Of course, this has primarily always been a more metal audience, but I recall many non-metal people attending our sets, particularly our acoustic set in 2011 or 2012, and recall sharing a stage with a variety of types of metal bands.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

I suppose my biggest fear, when I was playing live, was breaking a string. My advice, something I had to learn the hard way, is always to have a backup guitar handy and have it in tune before you take the stage.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

This is tricky because many bands across many genres have served as a muse to me. Sometimes just hearing a song that hits right makes me want to write. It can be from black metal bands(all the above mentioned), a good death metal band(Immolation, Morbid Angel, StarGazer), trad metal(Maiden, Dio, Priest), but also an absurd amount of progressive rock(King Crimson, Yes, Genesis/Hackett, Kate Bush, Talking Heads). Of course, we don’t sound like the vast majority of those bands, but they still inspire me to pick up an instrument and write.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

I had a fan take his son to his first metal show to see us and asked me to sign a CD. That was cool, not weird. I’m a pretty anti-social person, not ever looking too approachable I am told, so our fans didn’t really talk to me too much.

13. What do you think of your fans?

I am grateful that people choose to listen when they do. Shroud of Despondency is a very unpredictable and therefore inconsistent band, so anyone that has stayed the duration of this strange trip HAS to be cool.

14. What do you think of our site?

Despite the fact that you don’t cover a lot of bands I have heard, or seem interested in, I do like the idea that you ask artists to speak about individual songs that comprise an album. I tend to wish interviews and such weren’t done digitally, but at least you encourage the artist to address songs. That makes it seem a bit more genuine, I suppose.

15. Something to add?

Thank you for letting me ramble like a madman. I encourage anyone who made it this far into the interview to check out our music at or give us a like at .Play our acoustic music for your pets. Cheers!

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