Interview conducted by: The Voiceless Apparition
Some of you may be familiar with the name Blackwater Holylight, but some of you may not. For those uninitiated I will fill you in. Blackwater Holylight are a Heavy Psych/doom metal band from Portland, Oregon. They play a beautiful and melodious, but also heavy and doomy blend of psychedelic rock, shoegaze, dream pop, and doom metal. They are currently signed to the always incomparable Riding Easy Records, and have released two stellar albums so far. Their latest, Veils of Winter, was, in my opinion, one of the best albums of the past 5-10 years: an utter masterpiece. Go check out that album if you haven't already.
I had the absolute privilege of speaking with founder and main songwriter Sunny Faris. We talked metal, the beauty of emotional music, their upcoming 3rd album, and so much more. I hope you all enjoy this interview. Cheers!
Voiceless Apparition: First off I hope you are doing well. How has 2021 gone so far for yourself and Blackwater Holylight?
Sunny Faris: So far so good! Easing our way into it like everyone else I am sure.
VA: Music is such a great gift to us, especially during stressful times. What have you been listening to to keep your spirits high?
SF: Oh man. I listen to so much.. mostly metal but I am really all over the place as well. Been listening to a lot of Mizmor, Nothing, Thou, Chokehold, Rainbow, Chtonic Diety, Living Gate...
VA: At what age did you discover that music was a place of salvation for you?
SF: I have been a lover of music for my whole life, as far as I can remember it's been a huge part of my identity. I didn't start playing music until my early 20's but I've definitely always loved it.
VA: When did you initially pick up the bass and what inspired you to do so?
SF: I started playing bass seriously in 2012 when the bassist of my band at the time left. My bandmate and very good friend Dylan handed it to me and said "here, we are going to teach you how to play this." Before that I was just singing in that group.
VA: A bit of an abstract question, but what compels you to write such emotional music? I personally think it's really brave to have the courage to pour your heart and soul into art.
SF: Simple. I am an emotional person. Music is a vessel in which to show and appreciate the ways I feel vulnerable. What is art if you're not pouring your heart and soul into it?
VA: Now to switch gears, your upcoming third album is highly anticipated by me (and a host of other Villagers!) Each album takes on a different sound. How does LP #3 differ from the first two?
SF: Tonally it's a bit different, although I think all three are different in that regard. There are some more synth focused moments, there are some nice moments of duality between soft and heavy that we captured in a very tender way. Not as many vocal harmonies as before but I guess you will have to tell me how it's different!
VA: Do you foresee the second guitar player position being filled in the future or do you plan to continue as a four-piece?
SF: If we are ever able to play a show again we will perform as a five-piece for sure.
VA: Now to switch gears once again: Blackwater Holylight, while not entirely a metal band, has found a lot of love within the community. While there is certainly a small sect that are staunch elitists, I find that we've been so much more inviting and accepting of diversity lately, do you agree?
SF: Oh definitely, it's been really amazing the way we have been welcomed into the heavy scene. It's good to get some different flavors in the mix.
VA: What is your relationship with heavy music like currently?
VA: This past year has been quite a struggle for everyone, especially musicians. What do you hope for in the near future?
SF: That we can all safely travel and perform again.
VA: Music is a utopia for everybody, it heals so many wounds we all have. Any words for anybody out there struggling right now?
SF: You ain't alone and there is beauty in the darkness. If you need something, ask for it, you are loved and you have value.
VA: Mental health has been a topic of great discussion lately, something I'm very happy to see being discussed, I myself suffer from depression as well. What tips do you have for staying positive in this world and why do you feel it is so important?
SF: I think we are all hanging on by a thread here. I don't have tips for staying positive but I think that moving and exercising your body and creativity is one of the most responsible acts of love we can give to ourselves, now and always.
VA: And lastly, if there was one thing you could change in the music or art scene what would it be?
VA: Is there anything you would like to add as final words for the wonderful supporters out there?
SF: Thank you to each and every person that supports this project, we love you all much more than you will ever understand!
Thank you so much to Sunny for taking the time to do this interview with me, it was an absolute honor. Thank you to Blackwater Holylight for existing, and thank you to Riding Easy Records for having them on your roster. Be on the lookout for their upcoming third album, due out sometime soon! - The Voiceless Apparition
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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