Black Metal duo Automb released their first album, Esotric, back in 2018 to acclaimed reviews from the metal community. Now two years later they are back with their followup titled Chasostohy. The title couldn't be more fitting for the times we are encountering. We got to chat with one half of the band, vocalist/Bass player Danille Evans (the other half is Serge Streltsov from Necrophagia among several other bands). As one of the few women in Black Metal, we are honored to have her chat with us about what to expect from the band in 2020.
Let’s start with how you got into metal and specifically Black Metal. Were there things in your life that made you feel a connection to the subgenera specifically?
I started listening to metal in middle school. I started with bands like Pantera and Cannibal Corpse, like everyone else. But it was around my sophomore year of high school that I became super interested in paganism and the occult which kind of opened the door for me to be interested in black metal, more so than death metal. I actually stumbled upon Gorgoroth one day on YouTube while listening to music and from there I went down a rabbit hole of listening to all the classic black metal bands (Immortal, Mayhem, Watain, etc) and I really never looked back.
Have you ever had any backlash from people that are ignorant to true black metal? I feel like people who don’t listen to BM just see Lords of Chaos and think everyone is a murderer or a Nazi.
No, I really haven’t. I think we’ve made it clear that our interest is strictly in paganism and the occult so we really can’t get any backlash for anything. It is sad how narrow minded people are when it comes to their perception of black metal musicians.
How did you and Serge meet and decide to start the band? Is it hard to be in a band with your significant other?
We met through being in the same metal scene/going to the same shows and I messaged him one-day asking if he would want to hang some time, and the rest is history! It was a couple months into our relationship that we decided we wanted to do something musically together, which was really special for me considering I had never been in a “real” band before. I give him a lot of credit for giving me the chance to prove myself as a musician.
It can be hard sometimes to be in a band with your significant other because there’s so much pressure being in a band to begin with and then obviously being in a relationship isn’t always easy sometime. But, it also helps to be in a band with your significant other because we have a connection that is so much deeper than most bandmates and it really shows through the energy in our music. We also tend to have the same view of where we want to go with the band and since the band at its core is just us two, we don’t need to run our ideas by anyone else which makes things easier than most bands have to deal with. I personally wouldn’t change it for anything.
Esoterica was released in 2018 to acclaimed reviews. What was the process recording that like and did you expect it to be so well received?
Thank you! Recording “Esoterica” was awesome but also very intense. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to be received because it was my first release ever so I really had no idea, especially because I started doing vocals literally two months before recording the album. But I’m so grateful people liked it and I really feel like we took it up a notch with Chaosophy, so people will not be disappointed.
The new album is just about to be released. You had Scott Fuller do your session drums, was he on the last release? How did you end up working with him?
Yes! He recorded drums on ‘Esoterica’ as well. Serge and I saw Morbid Angel together and then ended up hanging out with Scott afterwards and we told him we were looking for a drummer for our project and since we all clicked, it just made sense. He’s obviously really talented and we all have worked really well together on these two albums.
Tell us more about Chasophy. What were you influenced by lyrically on this album? How did you end up working with Witching Hour Productions?
The main lyrical concepts of this album are about chaos and occultism in various cultures. We have songs about Hinduism, Norse paganism, Slavic paganism, and just chaos as its own entity. Serge actually wrote the majority of the lyrics on this album as he is most passionate about these subjects. It just made sense for whoever felt the most flow lyrically about these subjects, to write them. He has really developed his lyric writing on this record.
We knew of Witching Hour Productions because they have released some Behemoth, Hate and Batushka, so we sent them the record and they replied enthusiastically about releasing it with us. We are stoked and honored to be working with a label that released such legendary bands.
You were able to get in a few shows in January. Do you enjoy playing live?
I do! At first it was extremely nerve wrecking but after a few shows, it got easier. We’ve done two smaller U.S tours and plenty of off dates which have really developed our live performance and my own confidence in performing as well.
You have mastered the black metal “growl.” How do you take care of your voice especially when on tour?
Thank you! I wish I had a better answer to this but I really don’t do much except I warm up before every show and then I have some beer.
It is great to see more women in Black Metal these days. Do you feel like there needs to be more gender equality with metal festivals, tours, ect?
Yes! It is awesome. It’s been a male dominated sub-genre for so long (and probably always will be). I think tour packages and festivals have gotten better with being more inclusive to female fronted bands/bands with women in them, but it’s hard because so many bands with women in them are in the underground (like us). It’s hard to get on major tour packages and festivals if the people putting it together don’t know about these underground bands. The only way to fix this is to just keep spreading the word and pushing our message (and that goes for every band with women in it in the underground).
Do you have women in metal that you are influenced by?
Yes and no, I am mainly influenced by male vocalists like Nag from Tsjuder and Helmuth from Belphegor but I do draw some inspiration from Onielar from Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult and Angela, the previous vocalist of Arch Enemy. Most female vocalists sing and growl which is not something I am interested in doing so I don’t really draw inspiration from those types of artists.
Finally, what are you doing to self-quarantine and be “socially distant” during the current pandemic?
I’m really not doing much differently from my normal life in all honesty, just hanging out with Serge and staying home. I’m in my last semester at college which has now been moved online so that’s really the only main difference but I am not complaining. We are planning a tour for June so hopefully this virus craziness calms down by then.
Follow the band and purchase album here: