CTHULUMINATI – A Talk With DEVI (Vocals/Guitar) & RAMI (Guitar)

Posted on September 07th. 2019

Questionnaire by Officer Nice on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM

Q: CTHULIMINATI is no common name for a Metal band. So please, tell our readers what the story is behind the name and introduce us to the musicians.

A: Cthuluminati is -as the name suggests- a balanced but not too subtle blend of imaginative worlds. The name was first uttered during an executive meeting, where we decided that we wanted to create a universe where we combine the illustrative influences from Lovecraft’s work with the broad repertoire of theories of conspiracy. All just to serve our overlords. To this end, we started writing stories filled with psychotic endeavors and psychedelic encounters with the dark. Around these stories we started to write music and lyrics, and also started collaborating with an artist who brought our ideas to life visually.

To introduce the band: Devi Hisgen; Eclectic soul, vocalist and guitar player. Responsible for impulsive in- and output.

Rami Wohl; Musical mastermind, guitar player. Intelligent force of creation and quality management.

Stefan Strausz; Employee of the month, bass guitar player. Works his ass off with both strings and pen.

Seth van de Loo; Seasoned veteran, drummer. Toured about twenty years with Severe Torture and joined Cthuluminati after sacrificing his soul to the old ones.


Q: Can you tell us, musical wise, what this band is all about and what the main influences were when you started writing the music.

A:  The music of Cthuluminati is -and always will be- a dynamic entity, and should never be limited by expectations from anyone. Every song is a piece on its own. We are very drawn towards the strange, the psychedelic, and both heaviness and atmosphere, but who knows how the next album will sound. Seldom are there any constants in the musical output, but the ability to translate stories to music should develop constantly. Although metal is not our only territory, it is likely our style will remain mostly dark and trippy for a while as our masters decreed this.

For both Reliqideus and the material we wrote since then, it is very hard to accurately list all the different influences that inspired it. Since the very beginning, we have tried to develop our own approach to writing music where we can combine as many genres as we want, but still keep our own “sound” or “style”. So we try to learn from and build on anything we appreciate in music. For every song, writing starts without many rules, and takes form as it is written with the Cthuluminati universe still in mind.


Q: What can you tell our readers about the music? Describe it in your own words and convince them why they should give this album a fair chance.

A: Reliqideus is many things. It is conceptual complexity. It is exploration. It is the result of aeons of slave labor. It was designed to leave you at a different place then where it found you. Whether the journey is joyful or not, we can guarantee that you have not heard this before. So if you do not fear the unknown, the strange and the complex, let us fix you up. The first one is for free…

Q: How important is the atmosphere in and on the album and how do you create it?

A: There is no story without atmosphere. With all the possibilities to adjust sound in ways that weren’t available years ago, we figured that there is a lot of experimentation to be done. Using atypical guitar tunings, weird effects, samples and sounds, and taking the time to build to heavy musical climax all helped us to create the sounds for Reliqideus. That, and paying attention to detail. Everything is discussed, any idea may live or die.


Q: Anyway, what can you tell us about the lyrics? What are the main messages behind the songs?

A: All lyrics are based on the stories we’ve written. They are not exact transcripts from the stories, but they are heavily inspired by them. Both the lyrics and the stories, together with the artwork and specific sound effects serve as an extra layer to the music, adding depth to the core experience. However, that doesn’t necessarily imply the need for a main message. In the end, the foundation for our music is still just a raw experience of dark psychedelic musical exploration, to be interpreted individually by any listener. Aside from any ‘message’ our music could or could not contain, the band does operate in synchrony with our overarching agenda. But we ourselves are only briefed on this on need to know basis, and whatever we do know is strictly classified.


Q: Did you read our review? Agrees and disagrees?

A: We did. There isn’t very much to agree or disagree on, for the review is mostly about how the music was experienced and understood. That’s where there is ultimate freedom of interpretation, or at least, that is what we like people to think. That aside, it was certainly pleasing to read that you experienced the music even darker than we intended it to be, although we do recommend seeing a psychiatrist for this. On the whole, we are honored by your words and are very pleased to see that the general concept is doing its work.


Q: What can you tell us about the front cover? Who’s the artist behind it?

A: The front cover and other artwork was made by Colin ßólger from Dabulga Design. He created the entire series of artwork for Reliqideus. We work really close together with everyone involved in our project and that counts double for the artwork designer. Colin read all our stories and listened to the music carefully, he took the time to inhale the complete concept behind Reliqideus. The front cover resembles the main idea behind Reliqideus, and the album itself is some kind of interlude for what is to come. You can see one of the story’s characters, surrounded by symbolism. For the curious eye, there is much detail to discover in every piece of art that comes with the album.


Q: How where the reviews worldwide?

A: We were very pleased with the responses from magazines and reviewers so far. The ability of the material to brainwash the listener into total compliance proved stronger then we could have hoped for. We ourselves had no idea whether a concoction such as this would in the end prove unstable or not, whether it would explode in the listeners face in the right way. So this reception is more fuel for the flames. We are thankful for the support and we promise to surprise everyone with an even stronger follow-up.

Q: The album was the first step, the second step is starting to play live? Is there a tour planned or are we able to see CTHULIMINATI on stage very soon?

A: Before Reliqideus was released, we have played many shows with that material with our session drummer, Rick. And since Seth joined we have continued playing live, although we now mostly play new material. We did a release show for Reliqideus in May and have played a few live shows since then. We have more coming up locally, and are taking our first steps to start performing internationally. It might take some time still before our tentacles truly reach worldwide, but then again, world dominance doesn’t come over night. Not for us mortals anyway.


Q: Do you follow the Metal scène (music scène in general) and did you hear some great recent albums? Tell us more about it.

A: We all follow different subsections of what the general music scene has to offer, and this is the same within metal. It would take too long to list all the personal inspirations we take with us, especially because there are none that stand out too much. Every individual musical piece that we ever listened to only accounts for so much of what we write. We also see this often in reactions and reviews of Reliqideus, as the list of bands we have been compared to so far is remarkably long. But in persona, do ask us about this, if you have some time to spare. However, one particular phenomenon that binds us and does deserve mention is Roadburn festival, where we can be found yearly. Each edition again, the collection of art on display never fails to bring some kind of new inspiration to the band.


Q: Is the album only available on CD? Or is there a vinyl version as well? Where can our readers find more information about the band anyway?

A: In this digital era we obediently invested in the online distribution of our music, but we are very glad to see that people still value a physical release as well. There is no vinyl yet, only the digipack, but if we see both sufficient desire and the opportunity to print it we will certainly do so. At the moment we are focusing on publishing the book with the stories behind Reliqideus, some of which can already be found on our website; www.cthuluminati.com. For further information, tune in to us in your dreams. You know the frequency.


Q: Any last words for our readers?

A: Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn