Benjamin Guerry (Guitar / Lead vocals) of the black metal band The Great Old Ones took some free time to answer a couple of questions for Distrolution. Learn more about the band’s main inspiration, as well as their latest album, “Cosmicism“.
Hello The Great Old Ones, thanks so much for your time. How are you guys doing with this worldwide crisis?
Benjamin: Hi! It’s a weird situation even if in France, I hope we are at the end of this crisis. No one was sick in the band, which is already a very good thing. But like all musicians, all the concerts were canceled, and it was financially and psychologically difficult. We can’t wait to get back on the road!
Your name is inspired by the Great Elders of Lovecraftian mythology. How have you all discovered the universe of H. P. Lovecraft?
Benjamin: I discovered Lovecraft when I was a teenager, with the role-playing game “The Call of Cthulhu”. I was transported into this universe, the game giving me the impression of being one of the protagonists. So, I wanted to know more about the writer’s work, and about himself. And this passion has not left me since. I discovered a fascinating universe, populated by frightening entities, occult knowledge, and an underlying nihilistic dimension.
Would you say the author is your main inspiration when it comes to writing songs, or are you also inspired by other things? If yes, could you please elaborate?
Benjamin: It is a mixture of several things. Music usually comes first so there are our influences mixed with the emotions we want to express. Black Metal is very emotionally powerful music, so it’s important for us to include deep feelings in it. But generally, after a few notes, the universe of Lovecraft imposes an atmosphere, and the subject of each song imposes itself. It’s a different job depending on the albums, depending on which Lovecraftian story we’re going to tell. This is what makes composition fascinating.
From all the albums and EPs you’ve released over the years… is there one that has marked you with its creation (writing, recording) process?
Benjamin: All albums have their own writing history, be it at the line up level, label signatures or other things. I am very proud of our latest album, “Cosmicism” because we were able to really experience a lot of elements, make varied songs, while telling a story for each track. This is for me our most successful album. Working in the studio with Francis Caste in Paris was also a great time, both humanly and musically. Since we don’t want to offer the same album twice, it took a lot of work, but we are very satisfied with the result. And the feedback from the public is excellent.
The current worldwide crises must have intensified your desire to hit the road again. How excited are you for your tour with VLTIMAS?
Benjamin: We are of course honored to participate in this tour with Vltimas. All the members are big names in extreme metal, and their album is really excellent. It should also allow us to present our Lovecraftian show to a slightly different audience, which is a very good thing. We are going to go to a few countries, notably Scandinavian, in which we have never played, which motivates us even more!
The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey, here’s your chance!
Benjamin: Thank you for the support and for your interest. Be ready to experience intense Lovecraftian shows, and feel the advent of the great old ones.