Bleeding Raven is a musical experiment initiated by Dean Mason of “Gnostic Gorilla” to explore a more abrasive/aggrotech type of project. Some of the tracks could be called doom-tech while others almost have a trance feel with some noisecore sentiments here and there. Yeah, it’s very noisy and almost disturbing, but that was Mason’s plan all along.
For me personally, Bleeding Ravens musical style is so far out of my wheel house, that it provides an uncomfortable listening experience, albeit one that is so unique to me, that I somehow find comfort in the discomfort.. confused? Me too…
Here, we chat with the brains behind the Bleeding Raven Project, Dean Mason, about how the project came together, his goals and the future, as part of our ongoing “Introducing…” series of interviews.
Before we get to the interview though, you might be asking yourself “what exactly is Aggrotech?” Well, I asked myself the same question, so here’s the definition from Wikipedia… “Aggrotech (also known as hellektro) is a derivative form of electro-industrial with a strong influence from the hardstyle/hard tranceor other modern electronic music elements (straight technobassdrum and oscillator sounds, especially Supersawleads from Roland JP-8000) that first surfaced in the mid-late-1990s.”
What does the band name mean to you?
Bleeding Raven is first of all, not a band but a one man electronic/aggrotech/dark industrial project by Dean Mason. (Gnostic Gorilla) The reference to the Raven is multifaceted. It’s first of all, a nod to Indigenous Canadian spirituality which, depending on the community/tribe, is a symbol of different things. For some communities in the North, the Raven is a ‘trickster’ but with the goal of teaching. For other Indigenous communities, the Raven is seen as a Spiritual Guardian. Some communities see the Raven as warning of death. Other cultures see the Raven appear in mythology, even in the Old Testament for example. The idea of ‘bleeding raven’ however is more or less symbolic of a wounded or oppressed people.
Where are you based?
Bleeding Raven finds its home in between Montreal and Toronto.
How long have you been together?
I’m not feeling together these days. I’m falling apart. Hahahahahahaha. (joke there)
What style of music do you play?
Bleeding Raven is more or less aggrotech, if we must insist on choosing to label it, which is almost necessary. It’s dark, and ominous and perfect for driving on the 401 in the middle of the night and scaring the shit out of yourself. hahahahahaha.
Give us the story of how Bleeding Raven came together..
Well, Bleeding Raven is more or less an experiment in aggrotech. I was really impressed by such bands as Psyclon Nine and Die Sektor and Tactical Sekt etc. So, with my main project, “Gnostic Gorilla” I was flirting with this more abrasive genre but never quite fully embraced the insanity that one needs to embrace for good aggrotech or dark industrial. I decided to work on a project that was more in this genre, while still being true to my own creative style and that’s how “Bleeding Raven” came to be. It will either take off or be a one off “Dean Mason” project.
Tell us about your influences.
As I alluded to earlier, such bands like Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor and Tactical Sekt were quite influential in my approach to this project. Of course, I have to say that my earliest inspirations in music were artists like Gary Numan, Type O Negative, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Sabbath, The Doors, Korn…and the list is endless. Special ‘hats off’ to Mr. Numan because it needs to be said that were it not for him, despite the critics—much of what we see today in electronic music wouldn’t be what it is. I like, believe it or not, a band called Frost Like Ashes which is a Black Metal band of a non-diabolical bent.
Tell us about your latest release.
“Darkness Consumed” is quite dark and abrasive but also some tracks have some pretty catchy moments. Like “Pontiff’s Nightmare” and the remix is quite appropriate for the dance floor at a dark disco or a rave. Some of the tracks are slow and dirge like. (Blood of Mystics) “The Cry of Simeon” and both remixes are absolute kick ass! In fact, that song was what I was looking for when I first set out to do this album. It defines what I wanted to accomplish.
Where is your music available?
“Darkness Consumed” is available on most digital music outlets, including iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon etc. I’ve included links below.
What are your goals for the future?
Really not sure right now. This as I stated earlier, “Bleeding Raven” is an experiment and maybe this album, “Darkness Consumed” will be all there is. It’s difficult to say.
If you could share the stage with any other band or artist, who would you chose?
If I were a live band, I would love to open for Gary Numan. But that will never happen.
What do you think sets you apart from other artists?
I don’t believe in ‘unique’ or original anymore. That possibility went out the window sometime in the mid 90’s. It’s all been done. Nothing new under the sun. I know that pisses people off to hear that, but I’m sure you will agree it’s all been done. I’m just another punk sitting around the cyber space campfire doing gothic kum-bye-ya tunes with others like me.
Explain why you think a new listener should give your music a go.
Well, I DO think “Darkness Consumed” is a powerful album. Truly. In this digital world, what does it hurt to just check it out on whatever format you use and give it a spin. If you don’t like it, delete it. If you do like it…pass it on.
What has been your biggest achievement as a recording artist, so far?
Not being institutionalized for more than three days. Hahahahahaha. No. Just kidding. I don’t know. Honestly, I do all of this as an attempt to express my creative impulse…nothing more. I’m not a “rock star”. It’s all about fart. I mean, art. hahahahaha
What else do you hope to achieve?
I just hope in all honesty that I can achieve a small cult following…not in the “oh my God, you’re a star” sense but, “…I dig your art man…like what you do…”. That’s all I don’t plan on being on the Top of the Pops or a guest on Stephen Colbert or Bill Maher. hahahahaha.
Where can fans find you online?
If they find me, could they tell me where I am? Hahahahahaha. Just kidding. Hahahahahaha. But seriously, I’m usually found sitting at the local park feeding pigeons and squirrels dressed in bright purple jeans and green overcoat covered in bird shit. Hahahahaha.
Otherwise, they can check out these links. J
Thanks for your time today, and good luck for the future of Bleeding Raven.
Thanks for the interview mateys! Keep it real, and keep it going. J~