The album marks the fourth full length offering from my Black Owl's voice and this release will be offered in Digital, Compact Disc and Double Vinyl Gate fold formats in due time.
The Digital download will be an exclusive release through the Glass Throat Recordings Digital Store and will not be made available for purchase till sometime after the release of the CD version. Both Glass Throat Recordings and Bindrune Recordings will co-release said CD version of this album and will feature the exclusive Glass Throat deluxe 6"x 6" six panel gate fold packaging most of you have come to know. We expect an official release date in the coming weeks for the CD as it heads to press now. However I'm still looking for an appropriate home regarding the 2xLP vinyl version.
For now, please enjoy listening to the album that has taken a bit longer to release than expected. My warmth to all for your patience and support and I hope you find a connection within what you hear...Enjoy the journey folks.
Also, below you'll see the first T-Shirt design to coincide with the release of "Light the Fires!" There are plans for at least one other design, including zip-up hoodies for the fall/winter seasons.
With permission, I've also included a recently published interview under the Blood of the Black Owl sigil conducted by Germany's Black on-line publication. There are many wonderful and amazing interviews within their archives and I'm deeply humbled and quite honored to have been asked to be a part of that. Thanks so much for taking the time to read folks.
--Chet W. Scott
"Binding together something wonderful that shows a superb style and tactic, Chet W. Scott is a talented artist in many terms. With projects such as Ruhr Hunter (now known as Cycle of the Raven Talons), Blood of the Black Owl and The Elemental Chrysalis, the more difficult the path for others, is the path that Chet takes. He always has his spiritual equipment at the ready within his luggage. It may be apparent that all these factors are responsible allowing his musical offerings to showcase with such grandeur. With this, Chet grants fans a seldom look into his world. How it corresponds within its self, which rolls, themes, such as spirituality and seeking, or even Neurosis play. It shows only that they are strong and undivided to move one's nerves..."
--Black Online Germany (MMXII)
What was the initial motivation to begin your project as BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL? What lead you to choose the name?
In my younger years, I’ll specifically point out that I devoured the sounds of Switzerland’s Celtic Frost. Then in 1991, everything changed when I discovered Winter’s “Into Darkness”. That album took all I adored and felt from Frost’s sound and slowed it all down. An album, a breakthrough discovery that to this day, in my humble opinion, is vastly ahead of its time! It is a sound and a feeling that I’ll continue to be obsessed with till my passing.
I’m not sure if anyone even knows of this, nor would really care for that matter, as I’ve never found it relevant to speak of until now. However, the vast majority of the now juvenile self titled debut, as well as the 3 song demo that came before it, were actually conceived and written back in 1995 while living in NYC and listening to nothing but Neurosis, Darkthrone’s “Panzerfaust” and of course Winter’s “Into Darkness.” I never had the option of recording this music back then, as I didn’t have my own gear or studio space, nor was I able to step into a “professional” recording studio financially at the time. I also had no interest in forming a band, thus never shared the work with others. However, straight through the years to follow, finding myself exploring vastly different musical paths, which often fell into this deliriant sort of apocalyptic noise art and ritual ambient sound scape. My desire to explore those “initial riffs” and a heavier more structural musical themes, have always been locked within and never forgotten.
Years came and went, then within the early season of 2004, having some of the tools in place and the desire to unlock and explore these older riffs, this inspired sound I’ve mentioned, became a reality with the horribly produced and self released “Svart Ugle” 3 song Demo. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to establish a decent studio and the gear I’ve needed to see it through. The intent grew tremendously richer, as I began to journey this sound as a conduit of personal ritual and growth, spiritually woven within this artistic expression. Thus, the debut “Self Titled” full-length was offered in 2006, along with a vital and deeply more inspirational name change.
The name change was derived from a totemic awareness through my own spiritual values. However, the moniker was inspired through intense dream scape, perhaps a sigillum of sorts, as I’ve had a few more years to digest said vision, through deepening experiential study and ritual practice. In short, the role of this “Black Owl” or Strix Nebulosa was the spirit of a beloved old friend, making his way back to me after many years of distance and sickness. This beautiful old friend by the name of Daniel Ellis Smith Harrod, is a man I hold in the highest regard within my life. A man, whom offered his deepest and most personal spirit, reflecting on these years lost through the art of written word, thus inspiring the two albums to follow: “A Feral Spirit” and “A Banishing Ritual (Into White)”. This spirit brother, whom I felt came to me in need, flew to a branch just above my reach. As I looked in honor of this spirit, feathers began pulling away from the skin, floating off to the six directions, carried upon the breath of Father Sky. The flesh turned to ash and flaked, falling downward within a whorl. As each cinder skin reached my spirit, they lay like spittle’s of blood upon my being.
The Owl is a central role for you to play, what excites you about it?
The Strix Nebulosa, or common name Great Grey Owl, is an inspiring rich spirit that offers intense magical understanding to those very few, whom truly work within shadow of the spirit world. The Owl holds a totemic value, seeded deeply within the elder Northern and Southern tribal teachings. Teachings of a spiritual path, I myself seek and forever walk steadfast. This totem is one of many keepers upon this path.
Could you briefly point out your working process? How do you find concepts, ideas and how do you realize them?
The Blood of the Black Owl craft has grown to focus upon lifting the spirit’s veil, through the spiritual teachings of the six directions and the sacred breath within us all. It is a voice to help expose, understand and heal an increasingly egoic nature of programmed disconnection and sickness we as a species carry within. We are no longer the human being and have become the human doing. This craft looks to work as a musical cleansing, clearing the poisons I’ve found to feed my own ego, through disconnection from the self! Blood of the Black Owl is here to hold up a mirror to the self, facing this ego head on! It is to share the light, through the understanding of dark, allowing growth and reflection upon being once again. It is also a voice to the awakening, to the survivalist, to those connected ones upon their own paths, and to the seekers of the flame whom fight the silent battles.
Do you get to know any deeper insights about yourself while recording?
Do you think that expression finds the artist or is it the other way round? What are your experiences as BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL?
Isn’t it both? We are all quite capable of expression and in much need of it.
Your work with BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL displays many moments where your interests in mystical and spiritual themes are revealed. What do you think about these themes and how did you find these questions fit to your work?
Under Mystery, deep within my heart, this Homo Spiritualistic being is a great wheel that forever turns. Within this cyclic flow of life, four quarters of great awareness become the foundation of being and this foundation will always be within need fire of much strength, love and respect to fulfill and balance said quarters throughout my remaining days.
One can have the impression, that the releases of BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL have a conspiratorial note to it. It almost sounds as if something should be awoken, something that slumbers deep in the earth. Would you agree to this statement?
Conspiracies not at all, but from time to time a metaphoric presentation of a personal political awareness, an intellectual observance of truth that is quite clear to those willing to open eyes and listen! I believe it was George Bernard Shaw whom said “The power of accurate observation is commonly called Cynicism by those who have not got it.” With that said, there is a triumvirate of monotheistic power that exists within the world, a sickness looking to extinguish what we truly need to release in our heart. There are those, whom have been programmed early on, to be in fear of their own self and this vital release. They have become fear itself and spread it like wildfire! Awareness is everything now and will separate the survivors from the victims. Awaken the primal flame, awaken the breath and Light the Fires!
The German author Botho Strauss had once formulated that when he was interested in something, especially something deeply rooted in humanity, was described almost magically similar to a describing a notion. Can you start to say something about these sentiments?
Not familiar with the work of Strauss, however humanity is nearly lost to me and there is not a day that has gone by where this is not overwhelmingly clear! Time to be rendered helpless again, to be born of Earth and Sky, where we look to steep these vital roots of what is called “Humanity” and drink this cleanse of self while directing cure to re-evolve.
Late last year your split with AT THE HEAD OF THE WOODS was released on Handmade Birds. What can you tell us about how this album came into being? Are there specific moments that are stuck in your mind? What was the process of recording like?
Well, it’s a fairly long story, but in short, both offerings within this split CD were recorded during the third full-length album “A Banishing Ritual (Into White)” sessions, and were initially planned to see a release just after on vinyl. Clearly that never manifested. This period of time for both James Woodhead respectively and myself for that matter, revealed quite an intense window within our lives. I had invited James into the fold, as I had already worked with him under the Black Owl sigil for the release of the B.o.t.B.O./Celestiial vinyl split. With Daniel Ellis Smith Harrod’s blessing, the man whom inspired the album through written ritual, I asked James to assist the compositional process of “A Banishing Ritual.” Along with this, he also contributed to the first and third movements of the split offering “Visions Of Strix Nebulosa” on the Handmade Birds label.
How did you get to working with R. Loren and his Handmade Birds label?
Mr. Loren and I have been corresponding now for a while. Rich opened the door to our relationship by asking for visual assistance regarding his “White Moth” project. A visual project crafted through a subdivision of Glass Throat Recordings entitled Glass Throat Visions, a design firm run by myself and life partner Rachel Boaz-Scott. So in short, I just happened to mention these split offerings in a passing e-mail to R. Loren and he expressed interest in hearing the work.
Conventions don’t seem to be important for you. How do you get the impressions that are expressed within your releases?
Self awareness and the vitality of being through Mystery.
Can it be discerned from your under the surface, background sounds and ideas, that they show an interest in sending subliminal messages?
No, I believe my spirit is quite exposed within the craft now and very much audible to those willing to listen. Some of my juvenile offerings were certainly more vague at times. However, as I grow as a man, so wills the craft.
You have a project with James Woodhead called THE ELEMENTAL CHRYSALIS. What can you tell us about the history of this project?
Mystery brought us together back in 2004 I believe it was, yeah, because the debut album “A Calocybe Collection” was offered summer solstice of 2005. Upon meeting James, I had this obsessive sound in my head that needed to come out and Mr. Woodhead was there to help open the mental flue. I had imagined exploring the sorrowful emotion of Funeral Doom, but with purely acoustic instrumentation. So, sort of a “Funeral Folk” esthetic soaked in heavy psychedelic effects. The vision was to weave this approach within a vastly inspirational sound to us both. A sound of hallucinatory ragas from a deeply spirited and completely ahead of its time progressive underground of the late 60’s and early 70’s European movements. Like Sweden’s Algarnas Tradgard or England’s Third Ear Band meets the masterful funeral weep of Finland’s Skepticism unplugged! There is also this lingering spirit within the Chrysalis craft, an antiquated sound like a dusty Morricone movement at times. With the release of our second full length “A Dark Path To Spiritual Expansion” back in 2007, things became much more dank and you’ll begin to hear this spirit taking form through lethargic wet earthen blues. James brought a tremendous blend of classical and blues arrangements to the mix, which just opened so many amazing musical explorations! Yeah, it’s really quite a strange, yet deeply warming and comforting experience to perform and listen to these recordings.
What can you tell us about Glass Throat Recordings? How do you get into contact with the artists? Does friendship play any role?
Glass Throat initially began as a forum to release my own crafts, to have some sort of “control” of my own work and what hands it fell upon. Of course, along came the digital revolution and that flew out the door real quick. However, Glass Throat has since become an artistic commune if you will, a community sharing the very same intent and visionary flow. More importantly, it has become a beautiful home for a family, who have come into my life on a personal and deeply spiritual level.
I’ve never looked to Glass Throat Recordings as a conventional label or business. It was never a part of the initial intention. None of that has ever interested me at all. When it becomes art as commodity through capital gain, or how many units are moving and that “cookie cutter sound” revealing a tired “quantity before quality” issue, then I believe it soils everything in its path, including the intent of an artist and those whom claim to “stand behind” what is offered to the world. It’s so sad to see and hear what I feel, is more prevalent than ever within what was once called the “Underground” and the word “scene” itself, through genre specific traps become the beginning of such sadness. I’d like to think the intent behind G.T.R. has walked a solitary path and has been pure since 1997. Perhaps it’s sensible to say that Glass Throat Recordings fits the “Boutique” descriptive? I don’t know.
What can you tell us about the creation of the artwork through these releases? What role does the haptic element play in general?
It is just as important to visually embrace the seeker with one congruent artifact, as the visual ritual must fully embody the audible experience. Rachel and I strive with every ounce of our being, to produce professionally crafted, beautifully printed artifacts that offer highest quality custom offset print production. This process will include several techniques using UV inks upon obscure and rare paper stocks, including spot varnishing, foil stamping, letter pressing, embossing & debossing.
What releases do Glass Throat Recordings have in the pipeline?
MMXII will bring the Digital and CD release of Blood of the Black Owl's fourth full length "Light the Fires!" This will be a co-release with Bindrune recordings.
Also, at some point this year, we will see the next full-length CD offering from Fearthainne. I’d like to mention if I may, that I received a tremendous honor when Joshua asked for me to contribute the drum, percussion and opening ritual to this release. I’m currently in the recording process regarding these elements and will have more to announce through the G.T.R. blog in due time.
Six years in the making thus far, the long awaited full-length “An Offering To Mystery” from my own Cycle of the Raven Talons (formerly known as Ruhr Hunter) is gaining much clarity and should hopefully see a release late MMXII into early MMXIII. Once again, there is much more to come regarding this epic offering.
A few more things boil within the cauldron. However for those truly interested, I would suggest joining my blog for exclusive announcements and anything relevant will be announced exclusively through the G.T.R. blog in due time. There seem to be several misleading and incorrect “sources” regarding my work and related out there, as I hold absolutely no connections to social networks, so please look for anything relevant through this official source only.
Do you consider yourself to be part of a culture or more or less of a counterculture?
What music or art is inspiring you at the moment?
I’m constantly blown away by the various underground sounds of the Finnish community. A vast majority of what I listen to seems to come from this wonderful land. However, at the time of this interview, this office has heard nothing but the recently released: Pallbearer “Sorrow and Extinction” debut, 40 Watt Sun “Inside Room” and the solo works of Patrick Walker, Tenhi “Saivo”, Coyotzin “A three part Mystical Saga” and the amazing Desert Lotus “cult” offerings featuring “Ocotillo”, “Hysperia” and “Dr. Eckasha Aah Ahalaa.” I’ve also recently discovered a Wreathes release and can’t stop listening to that as well. Last but certainly not least, everything POPOL VUH all of the time! I also must admit that my own “Light the Fires!” continues to offer so much. Perhaps a strange thing to read, but honestly through Mystery, I was able to craft an album, I was always finding myself waiting for another to offer, a craft I’ve needed to journey for a very long time! Like a swarm of bees within my mind, it came out so effortlessly. A “D.I.Y.” in the most purest of sense!
As far as visual medium, I’m growing a deepening obsession with the shamanic visionary folk and mandalic offerings of the Southern quartered Huichol Indian tribe.
Have bands like NEUROSIS had any influences on your work?
There really is no other craft that exists, other than the works of Popol Vuh, I take more personally into my being than that of Neurosis. I’ve been listening to the tribe now since “The Word As Law.” However, it wasn’t until I was able to see them perform on the later portion of the “Souls At Zero” tour, that everything I had known and felt about deepening musical art and expression, had become in every ounce of my being, completely and utterly changed forever! Neurosis changed my life in so many ways and I still feel this strongly to this very moment! Listening to a record, but more importantly seeking the journey through their live offerings, has and always will be a deeply humbling and tremendously sacred experience!
Are there artists with whom you would like to collaborate?
Florian Fricke (Popol Vuh) without a doubt, would have been number one on the list! I would be deeply honored to work with Norwegian Vardlokkur Einar Kvitrafn Selvik as well. There is another individual I would add to this list, however it turns out I’ll be collaborating with this inspirational spirit and I can’t express how deeply honored I am to be doing so. More to come, as I’m not at liberty to speak of this union quite yet.
Many individuals look forward to being famous or well known for something, what are you looking forward to as an artist? What continues to inspire and motivate you as an artist?
Personally, I find those things to be unsettling. The craft, a musical ceremony through mystery to the Vardlokkur, Is held forever close, focusing deepening song as sacred knowledge. It has beautifully become a fountain of energy, a conduit through a vital cyclic self, keeping my spirit’s intent and spiritual integrity clear. It is this gift, a path, being intact without faltering towards ego, that my spirit continues to walk steadfast. A stream woven exorcise of personal anger, sadness, sickness and sorrow that cycles back towards the light, with deep powerful strength, healing and blossoming love. To share this personal cyclic flow, with those also willing to explore the vast self and vital breath we all keep within is my motivation. This is why I’m here.
Are there havens or places to go to relax in your city? If yes, can you describe these places? Which types of refuge are maybe even holy for you?
Simply, there is no haven for me in any city! I no longer wish to be a part of their society. It has become quite evident that to be surrounded by human sickness and man made artifacts, perpetuates my own imbalance of self. The rural outer woodlands, mountains, lakes, rivers and ocean of the vast Pacific Northwest region are deeply sacred for my spirit. I make sure to retreat within them and spiritually re-charge as often as possible. I’m in the process now, of obtaining land within one of these removed and off the grid locations. It is also a dream of mine to visit the very few old growth forests or “Mother’s Wombs” we have left within the world. However that dream seems to be slipping away from me, as I continue to remain within their society.
Can you give our readers hope for live shows with BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL in Europe or especially in Germany in the near future?
Well, I’m sorry to those whom wish for something of this nature, as a Blood of the Black Owl live performance is never going to happen. As you already know, it’s just little old me handling everything and not an actual band. More importantly, I’ve never intended for this voice to be on display within a live forum.
I will mention, there are plans for a few ritual performances once the Cycle of the Raven Talons (formerly known as Ruhr Hunter) offering has been released. For those who may find a stronger connection within the ritualistic and purely acoustic element, or Galdr work of the Black Owl voice, I would recommend seeking a Cycle of the Raven Talons performance. However, said live rituals are most likely to manifest within a wild location here in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Taking into consideration, the logistics of offering this overseas is next to impossible. I would love to offer this to European folk trust me, as their support has been ten fold greater than here in the states. Not to mention, I’ve been invited many times throughout the years, to perform privately and within festivals throughout Germany, England, Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Spain. But again, I just can’t see how this would all be possible without the financial and logistical backing to support it.
What can you tell us about your future plans?
Well, I’m not a liberty to speak in full detail as of yet, however I’m in the beginning stages of another Cycle of the Raven Talons offering. This ritual offering will focus its full supportive intent towards one highly endangered totem. One hundred percent of the proceeds regarding this medicinal musical, will go towards the fight against those, looking to oppose the life and land of this deeply important spirit. As a deeply vital element towards the strengthening of this offering, I will look to stay for sometime, learning from the First Nations of this area, in support of the fight for this endangered spirit and the native stewards of this crucial and sacred land for which it slumbers. My journey will take me to one of the most vital Old Growth forests within the world, located within central British Colombia. This location is the only known place within our vast Mother, where this being can be found.
Also, there is going to be an Arnica / Cycle of the Raven Talons collaborative ritual at some point. It is going to be quite an honor to work with my spirit brothers from Spain.
I’ll mention here first, that a currently untitled 5th Blood of the Black Owl album is already underway…
I’m deeply humbled folks. Thank you both very much for providing this forum to discuss my craft. I’m truly honored to have such wonderful support and interest. Also, thank you to those who took the time to read this interview and support Black Online Germany.