-Interview- The Magician Reversed (11/7/22)

The Magician Reversed talks about conveying deeper emotions from their music, the current state of Doom Metal and much more.


Sounds like: Doom Metal
From: Ohio

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

I started in music initially as a young child taking piano lessons and discovered guitar around age 13 when a friend at school gave me a copy of a copy of Metallica's Master of Puppets. I fell in love with metal instantly and had a very foundational middle school experience to the soundtrack of Anthrax Persistence of Time, Megadeth Rust in Peace, Testament Souls of Black and Slayer Seasons in the Abyss. I took guitar lessons from some locals and obsessively played along to these albums over and over.

My stepdad was a music reviewer for the local newspaper and in my mid teens he would receive boxes and boxes of promotional music from labels everywhere which started to expand my music interests, first with a promo of Godflesh Selfless, and contrastingly with My Bloody Valentine Loveless. At the same time my metal tastes leaned more extreme into death and doom metal. When I discovered UK electronic music in the late 90's it really blew the doors wide open for me. Over the years as my interests have flucuated back and forth from guitar to synths (and the infinite void/amazingly inspiring world of modular synth in particular), the different instruments have started to resonate in a similar theme for me, the result of which culminated in my starting The Magician Reversed and the sound that resulted.

The name came from my interest in the occult and in the tarot and those who study these kinds of things will know how huge The Magician card is in the deck. I spend a lot of time in my head and in modes of introspection, and in thinking about what I wanted out of doing a metal project and what I wanted it to say, I came to the conclusion that it seemed to me our society has drawn The Magician Reversed card collectively (*my take on tarot is as a mirror rather than fortune telling tool of any kind). I find it alarming that we all know that nothing is what it seems however it is contrasted with a full retreat into a dark age of concrete thinking, willful ignorance and intolerance. I hope that others read something similar into this and my concept for the project is for those who want to follow their own path and turn the card right side up for themselves.

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

Again it's about considering things beyond their face value and to be an advsersary to the dogmas and the reactionaries that seem to be dominating our time, to turn The Magician upright in ones life and tap into the forces available when the mind, body and soul are aligned. This first release, "And Deeper Still," is meant to depict a journey of the soul which can only begin when one goes within, deeper, and deeper still. For me, it is somewhat autobiographical and I consider the album to be an auditory grimoire. I encourage others to leave the comfort of nostalgia and of institutionalized religion and seek out the path that is unique to them.

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

A dark atmospheric long form doom metal narrative with layers of low tuned guitars and synths hinting at horror cinema on a journey crecendoing and fusing other genres.

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

Esoteric, Portal, and Nadja.

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

It had a huge impact in that it ended some other projects for me and allowed me to focus and think for a very long time about what direction I wanted to go next. It turns out that feeling like you have a front row seat to the end of the world is a great place to be for doom inspiration.

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

I think it's fantastic, I feel like there are so many great bands out there both past and present that it's hard to keep up.

7. What's the current music scene like there in Ohio?

The music scene as a whole here is huge but I feel like I am somewhat of an outsider as far as trying to start a theatric, visual doom project. There are some incredibly talented people across a multitude of genres, but I can't say I'm thrilled with the state of how different things are now venue wise. Ever since the pay to play promoters came to town years ago things have not been the same from my perspective. To top that, the pandemic drove some really excellent venues out of business.

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

In a word, unsustainable.

9. What’s next for The Magician Reversed?

I am in the process of recording a follow up album to hopefully be released in the coming months as well as working on the follow up video for "The Incantation" which so far is looking like it will be a trilogy of songs with different horror themes from "And Deeper Still."

10. Any shoutouts?

Shoutout to The Satanic Temple and the legal battles they are fighting, to my friend Dakota for helping me realize the visual aspect of this project as we venture into the film world with our new company 7337 Productions, and to my wife Anna for keeping me confident and motivated while tolerating my endless search for the right music gear.