-Interview- Black Stag Rising (3/4/22)

Black Stag Rising talks about how they got their start with music, upcoming plans and much more.


From: California
Sounds like: Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Black Stag Rising" and is there any meaning behind it?

I got started with music after my father inspired me to pick up the guitar when I was a teenager. Over the years, I got better at playing music and quickly began experimenting with music production software. FL Studio began eating up most of my time as I worked on a parody black metal band. Unknowingly, I was getting better and better at music production through making silly music with no real direction. Eventually, I started a metal project called Dead Limb, which then evolved into Black Stag Rising after I developed a backstory to a mythical black stag character and its fictional universe where its music takes place.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

Genre isn't as critical as you may think. It's a great base, a starting point for your sound, but don't let elitists and purists prevent you from branching out of your genre and trying something unique or new. This can really help you find some sort of singularity with your music. Don't limit yourself. Find yourself.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

This one is always tricky, but I usually just say it's a blend of metal including black metal and power metal, as well as including electronic and ambient elements. Like the name, the sound is often rising and rising, building up until it explodes and then cools off before it picks back up. If you're into that, it's a ride.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

While touring sounds nerve-wracking, I'd love to tour with Haken, Sabaton or Wintersun.

5. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

To be honest, and I hate to say this, but it has been a boon for me. People are staying home, listening to more music, and therefore running out of bands to listen to. Now is a good time to discover new music digitally. Live shows and tours may be hindered right now, but digitally, things are booming. Only downside is there's a lot of other groups and artists to compete for exposure with, so... all in all, I'd say it's helped me more than held me back.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Metal?

Love it. I think metal is shedding the skin of decades past and really becoming something giant. Look at the state of progressive metal - some of these bands are going absolutely crazy in the best way when it comes to their creative flow, what boundaries they break, what genres they defy... like I said, I love the state of metal these days and welcome its sustained life and evolution over the years.

7. What’s the current music scene like locally there in California?

Highly saturated, but very rich. I'm based out of the Bay Area, so you've got SF and Oakland and Berkeley with tons of great historic venues. Down near LA you have a mountain of folks seeking fame and fortune, and while there is a lot of opportunity, there's a lot of competition. It's tough no matter where you are in the state, really. I'm pretty much exclusively digital right now, so I haven't dipped my toes into the local music scene myself, but that's what I've gathered on it.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

Step up. Get on Tidal's level, or go beyond that. These massive streaming services can certainly afford it. Greed is what it boils down to, and artists are sick of it. I certainly am.

9. What’s next for Black Stag Rising?

A pause while I get affairs in my life in line, and once I'm in a more comfortable and stable place, I plan to begin writing a twelve-track concept album going into the story and universe of the Black Stag. It will also explore other characters and settings I've developed in this world, like the enigmatic Phlox Hermit and a place known as The Liminal.

10. Any shoutouts?

Obviously my amazing wife, family and friends, but I'd really like to shout out a great local band from my old hometown in Florida known as Epic Ganesh. Just listen to them, they're all laden with talent and have been one of the driving forces behind my morale and inspiration to keep Black Stag Rising alive and well for years now. Epic Ganesh. Check them out! Love you guys, and thanks for reading my interview!