-Interview- Thine Inner Sanctum (4/26/23)

Thine Inner Sanctum talks about having their influences, the current UK music scene and much more.


From: United Kingdom
Sounds like: Blackened Doom Metal

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

I first fell in love with music aged 13/14 Korn & Deftones being my introduction to nu-metal, from there, I started listening to a load of industrial and Industrial metal Rammstein, NIN, KMFDM, Ministry and Skinny Puppy etc. However in 2004 my black/doom/melo-death musical fate was sealed when I discovered My Dying Bride, Cradle of Filth, Satyricon, Dark Tranquility, Primordial, Children of Bodom and Arch Enemy to name a few.

As for musical creativity, I was actually a late bloomer playing an instrument and writing music, first picking up a guitar while drunk at a random house party aged 18. The rest is history. With regards to Thine Inner Sanctum, the projects growth, and my creative musical journey...I started out writing complete garbage and that developed into an Industrial Metal band called TRAUMa INc that unfortunately Imploded after a few minor successes during it's 10 year tenure, my latter project and current main band MisophoniA emerged from the ashes of the former, but also set up what was to be the spark that would spur the creation of TIS.

The name was chosen as the project was essentially my own personal outlet for all my Dark/Dreary/Doomy/Gothic/Black metal tendencies that didn't fit Misophonia's musical aesthetic. TIS is my personal sanctuary and it is where I harbour my love of all things Dark and Doom, thus THINE INNER SANCTUM was born.

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

Ideally I would like to take both potential & actual listeners on a journey. I want them to feel the lyrics and get lost in the soundtrack I have created (or at least attempted to create). I am always full of self doubt when it comes to my musical output. I am in no way the best musician out there. Lyrically I think I am pretty good but ideally you would want both to be in harmony with one another, but at the end of the day it is the listener that decides if that harmony is there or if it is just an overly self indulgent by-product of depressive-dissonant-pretentiousness. If people like it then awesome, my job is done but if people don't like it then at least I have tried, this will just spur me on to try harder next time. The creation of something from nothing in my eyes is an achievement regardless of whether people like it or not.

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

I'd say sound wise it is some eclectic mish mash of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Tiamat, Draconian and Anathema with a hint of atmospheric gothic miserableness akin to German darkwave legends But the wind was stronger

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

My Dying Bride, Draconian and Behemoth.

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

If it wasn't for Covid then TIS may not have set out on its current path and what it has become. With regards to Misophonia we lost a few key members in early 2019. Disheartened by the loss of said members I started focusing more on the solo material that would become TIS. By the time Misophonia found its new members in late 2019 I had already compiled a 5 track demo & this would be Thine Inner Sanctum's debut release Entwined With a Dying Light, early 2020 saw Covid rear its ugly head and Misophonia was just treading water. TIS would become my sanity's saving grace through Covid. By the end of Covid I had written a follow up to EWADL agrand in scope but poorly executed sophomore effort Dark Sky weeping.

Covid also made me embrace my unknown inner band manager and social media manager/promotor alter ego. I didn't want either of my projects to fade away during covid so I simply used this covid downtime to broker promotion runs, video interviews, radio play, build up contact lists for both TIS & Miso. It was these factors that put me in touch with a few independent record labels looking to work with TIS and Misophonia aswell as a whole load of promo companies. All of the above seems to have set me on a possible business path I am looking to pursue, my own record label Misophonic Symphony Records... Very Early days but in short covid has opened up a whole galaxy of opportunities I feel I can capitalise on not for myself but the local and regional Metal scenes but more on that for question 7 though.

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

Good question. I am in no way a TRV KVLT or mega BM guy. BM is one hell of a rabbit hole lol, some good, some bad but I like what I like, but I will say the whole genre of extreme metal and its multitude of subgenres is thriving. There are countless extreme metal festivals happening all over the world and they are from what I have seen online completely and utterly on a different level from the mainstream. The amount of underground extreme labels I have found through Facebook and Bamdcamp is insane and there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of extreme bands all getting their time to shine. You just need to know where to look & If you know, you know. The extreme underground scene is a great place to be just now.

As for my take on the state of Black Metal. One word, one band BEHEMOTH! Say what you will about them, Trv kvlt fans will say they have sold out, others will say they are a stellar example of hard work and dedication. They are festival headliners, playing sold out tours, they are winning awards left right and centre, they have taken BM to a certain level and that level is on a scale unfounded in the extreme genre. They have not let it hold them back or deter them in their art.

If you want to see how the black metal scene is doing just check out German label Northern Silence Productions. What a f*cking label. Old skool, New skool, Atmospheric, Depressive, Depressive suicidal black metal (yeah its a thing) Symphonic Black metal, Blackened Death metal, Blackened thrash metal, Epic atmospheric black metal, pagan folk black metal, Northern silence has it all. One of my good friend's bands Ruadh is signed with them and God damn is all I can say. Its a beautiful time to be a fan of the genre. As for me I have recently discovered a few underground BM bands that have blown me away Ars Magna Umbrae & Cultium Interitium both from Poland, Mephorash from sweeden, Ashenspire from Scotland, who are making serious serious waves in. both the Uk and in Europe and they are self published, self released, self financed and are getting places those with a label can only dream of. Another band worth mentioning is Scotland based Saor.

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

The UK scene is thriving to an extent, thousands of bands but very few making a lasting mark on a grand scale, however with the immensely successful Bloodstock ran Metal 2 the Masses events the underground unsigned scene is killing it. Metal 2 the Masses is essentially a battle of the bands and the winners of each citys events make it to a grand final and from there the winners from every city get to play the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock. A bit of backstory on the stage name Sophie Lancaster was a 14 year old alternative/metal music fan who along with her boyfriend were victims of an unprovoked attack and Sophie lost her life as she was beaten to death. Her killers never faced the proper justice and a charity called the Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up by her late mother the foundation's ambassador and founder. She worked very closely with the organisers of Bloodstock in order to create awareness of these types of hate crimes. The UK police force at the time did not recognise attacks on people of an alternative persuasion ie Metal heads, Goths, Emos, Punks etc as actual hate crimes so therefore these incidents can and did go unnoticed and were not given the time of day by the Police force Anyway the Sophie Lancaster Stage was set up, and Metal 2 The masses gave unsigned talent the opportunity to perform on the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock.

Going back to the 'metal/Alternative scenes' Scotland's population is tiny compared to that of England, Scotland has 6 or 7 of these M2TM events compared to the 25 or so that are run in England. Scotland's whole population is the same as the city of Londons and sits at around 6 Million compared to the 50 Million that makes up England's population. England has all the big music festivals, has all the labels etc, Scotland has a few festivals and a few labels but these are not on the scale of those in England. The scottish metal scene is massive but there is like zero support for those of the alternative scenes, there are no labels, there are no grand scale promotion companies apart from a few smaller Independent event promo companies such as Red Crust and Slow Dragon promotions and you have your big live events companies such as Triple G and Live Nation. As for helping unsigned bands reach a global audience, webzines, reviewers, magazines, youtube reviews, Published media, online media, Playlist inclusion there are zero such companies that offer services on this scale. There are a few independent labels kicking about but again metal and alternative labels in Scotland are non-existent you need to scour Bandcamp or facebook for such labels even then they are few and far between. Scotland has mainstream type labels and bands but the metal and alternative communities are seriously lacking in this type of support.

I dont claim to be a saviour of the Scottish metal scene, I just want to help it thrive the way it can. These days I am not mega involved in the live scene, performance wise, wife, 2 kids, day job etc etc and I'm not 21 anymore. I am however friends with a lot of bands, promoters and venues thanks in part to being a Glasgow and Edinburgh scene veteran of almost 20 years, performance and event promotion wise so based on that I think I have a pretty good scope of the scene and just feel so much more can be done with it. This brings back in part, my answer for Question 5 relating to myself looking to hopefully start up something to help the scene in a grander capacity other than just live events or some random plays on web radio. Enter Misophonic Symphony Records. That is the dream anyway.

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

This is a very touchy subject. I had a similar interview question a few months back with either Breathing the Core or Petes Rock Views and News, I can't remember what one specifically but I went off on a proper rage fueled tirade relating to this same question. I will keep it as brief as possible here though. The industry and scene have changed since I started this musician/band sh*t way back in 2003. The idea of streaming is absolutely amazing...Metallica hit the nail on the head with their Napster lawsuit back in the early 2000's. This type of platform would kill the industry. (unless you're already a multi million selling silver gold or platinum artist0 Unsigned bands will pay in the region of about $3-5k to deliver an album to the consumer.with that being said lets break it down into figures (not exact but an example).

Rehearsals $1k.
Studio time, around $250/500 a day or say £2.5k for a few weeks studio time (including mixing).
Mastering $500+ different engineers=different rates.
4 week Promotional campaign through promo company $100-200.
Physical CD run of 200 Cds $500-750.
Merch $100-500.
Spotify/streaming access via distrokid (or similair) $50-100 (depending on level of support from basic to premium).

Spotify pays $0.003 per stream.

In order for an artist to make back the $5k spent to make their record, the artist will need in excess of 1.5 million streams paid at $0.003 per stream. F*CK THAT!!! 500 consumers/fans whatever we want to call ourselves could each just buy a cd directly from the band for $10 along with a t-shirt or something. The idea of a galaxy of music at your fingertips is amazing, It is musical heaven for a consumer but not for the artist. Meanwhile Spotify CEO/Owner is worth about $4 billion. It doesn't seem fair does it? Consumers who aren't musicians won't be aware of the amount of money an artist puts into their craft. Now the spotify/ streaming spiel is out of the way I advise you not to mention venues taking a cut of a bands merch sales...LOL (not a laughing matter). Musicians are struggling, not just independent artists but signed artists with label backing and fans and money in the bank the whole industry is crippled. Covid has only crippled the industry more.

9. What's next for Thine Inner Sanctum?

If you have gotten this far in the interview, well done I applaud you!!! LOL Joking aside, what IS next for TIS? Currently I have 2 releases on some form of horizon. I shall be releasing a 6 track EP titled ...In Silence, I Wept... Featuring 4 full tracks and 2 Demo recordings. This is a slight departure from previous output, in part due to the heavy presence of female vocals, courtesy of the immensely talented Anca Scurtu and Jhyl Noble who feature on 4 out of the 6 tracks between them. This EP is very downtempo and is very Gothic Doom in sound and scope. A newfound love for Swedish Gothic Doom Legends Draconian is to blame for this switch in pace and tone...

Next up is the big one... Callous Heart If everything goes to plan this will be my most grandiose release to date. It is to be an 11 track concept album following the intertwined story of two siblings Lucien & Yelena. Growing up as orphans Lucien & Yelena have been by each other's side since the death of their parents. Yelena, first born & with a heart of gold has always been Lucien's saving grace, Lucien however grew up cold with a Callous Heart. Years have now passed since the death of their parents and both are grown adults, but still they never part, one fateful night tragedy again befalls them... Bound by a promise made on the night their parents died, One would not go where the other couldn't follow.

...A trail of blood and broken glass led them to their chamber, upon the walls severed heads adorned and the bodies now rot. Also on the horizon the project is hoping to make the jump from home studio project to an actual live band... I have musicians waiting in the wings wanting o make it a reality, timing is key though so watch this space...

10. Any shoutouts?

First and foremost a massive shoutout to anyone and everyone that has supported the project so far, but speccial mentions go to Rafael @Ancient Entity Records, Neil Dunnachie, Scott McDade, Liam Lockie @Profit Zero, Enzo Satera @Comharra solutions/Comharra music, Tam o War @Red Glen Productions, Zach Moonshine @MDPR, Liam @The Death Doom Metalhead, my wife Cristina, John Perry, Teri @EGHRocks, Esteban @The doomsday report, Narcoleptica Productions, Via Nocturna, Erik @Misanthropik Records also a big thank you to yourselves @From the Depths Entertainment here's to the future!!!