Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Three of us, Devi, Strausz and me, had collaborated before in psychedelic black ‘n roll ensemble Marquis. As we evolved, our vision of what our music should be grew with us. A decision was made to expand the limits of songwriting under a new flag, one that unified us in the themes and symbolism that fascinated us most. Thus, Cthuluminati was born, and it did not take long before the first album was written. We initially hired Rick to do drums for us just to record the first album, but he stuck around a lot longer than planned. While the different concepts on the album underwent many steps of refinement, we played shows across the country for about a year and a half. Eventually, Rick’s schedule still forced him to depart from the band. Although the creative part of the band kept developing, this did mean we had to refrain from performing live for a while. Seth joined us on drums about a year ago, ending the long search for a skilled and creative musician to complete our line-up.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
When we were first asked this question, we dubbed it ‘avant garde psychedelic blackened stoner doom’, mainly as a joke. But so far, nobody who has heard our music has objected to that description, aside from frequent comments that more subgenres need to be added to make it fully fit the music. We ourselves prefer not to call it anything really, but if we have to, just ‘psychedelic metal’ will suffice. Those that know the psychedelic experience know its unpredictable nature, the extremes to which it can take you, and the fact that no two of these experiences will ever quite be the same. Our music will always be best described by this principle. No two albums or even any two songs will be really alike, but they will all be weird and take you from moment to moment. Listing all the individual artists that inspired us to make our music would take much too long, as our influences come from many different forms of music. Aside from metal, we draw inspiration from psychedelic rock, blues, jazz, classical music, various forms of electronic music, tribal music, and many more genres. But the list would probably start with bands like Oranssi Pazuzu, Swans, Deathspell Omega, Cult of Luna, Leprous, Meshuggah, Queens of the Stone Age, Dødheimsgard, Schammasch, and so on.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
First of all, it is in accordance with contemporary custom that our music is available online at low to no cost. This means that whatever product is put out there should be worthy of inclusion in any collection of quality. We take this very seriously. For Reliqideus, we collaborated with Irish artist Colin ßólger from Dabulga Design, who made not just an excellent front cover for the album, but a unique piece of artwork for each individual song. All of the art is enclosed with the physical copy of the album, which itself is a digipack that was designed to resonate with the band’s atmosphere and themes. So for any free thinking metalhead out there that takes pride in building a collection, we made sure this will fit the shelf just fine.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
Although Reliqideus has been our sole major release as for now, we have also released a video for El Lizard Birth, and some of the stories behind the songs on the album. At first, we were unsure how people would react to material with this specific blend of influences, as we couldn’t really find something to compare it with. But the reactions until now have been far beyond our expectations, both from the public and in the media. We are especially pleased that aside from just enjoying the music, people are recognizing the psychedelic storytelling intent behind the songs.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
Oh yes, we most certainly do play live. As rewarding as it is to complete an iteration of the writing-recording cycle, the experience is not complete until we witness that material melt faces in person. It gives us the opportunity to incorporate our songs into one long psychedelic voyage, ending up in another place then from where we started, and taking the audience along for the ride. For that matter, even though we are very pleased with the results so far, the sky is the limit as far as our future plans for how our music could and should be presented. The ultimate goal is nothing short of being able to deliver a multisensory life-changing experience, and we will keep learning and growing until we have achieved exactly that. Concerning our current live activity, business is good, although it took us quite a while to get it back there again after misfortune had been upon. First of all, finding a suitable replacement after our first drummer left the band wasn’t easy, and took us over a year. Then, when we finally did find one, he quickly managed to have a way too close encounter with death. Although he emerged relatively unscathed in the end, it still was not the best of ideas for him to perform too shorty after his skull had been opened and closed for maintenance purposes. Still, it was nothing but a delay, and now we play on as the fields of oblivion keep on waiting for our arrival.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
The primary force that forms the foundation for Cthuluminati is a deep collective fascination for the strange and the unexpected, but the engine that drives us forward is a strong ambition to transcend the traditional limits of a band or musical group. We do not want to create songs, we want to create worlds. To this end, we strive to maximize the potential of not just the music, but the stories, the artwork, videos and the live experience. We promise you, you have not heard, neither seen, anything like this.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
It’s a good thing the question specifies the ‘near’ future, or this could turn in an unpleasantly lengthy answer. For now, we have almost completed writing all the stories for Reliqideus, as well as the music for our second album. Studio dates will be set very soon, as we decided to once again work with Bas de Rooy, who masterfully produced our last album. We’ve also started the creative process for another video that will be made for one of the tracks on the second album. Finally, we intend to play as many shows as our Overlord allows us to play, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
You can find us on most common platforms, Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube, Apple Music, etc. The Reliqideus digipack, as well as other merch, is available at the webstore on our official webpage, www.cthuluminati.com. Some of the stories of the album are already available on our site as well, and the rest of them will be uploaded throughout the remainder of 2019. The best place, however, to buy our stuff is still in person after we ate your soul at a live ritual. Follow us on our Facebook page for updates on all of the above. Praise Cthulu.