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9 Quick Ones with GOG of SUMMONERS CIRCLE – December 2017

According to a recent press release: “SUMMONER’S CIRCLE, the epic metal band from the USA, released their debut music video for the track “Become None”, from the upcoming full-length album Tome. This video, originating from the otherworldly denizens of Mercury, successfully captures the essence of the band’s theatrically inspired, occult-infused brand of heavy metal. Shrouded figures, hidden books of lore, ceremonial daggers, human sacrifice and rituals of transformation all accompany the eerily anthemic musical score.”  We get guitarist Gog to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our upcoming release is entitled TomeTome will consist of two books… The Book of Earth and The Book of Fire. The first single, and accompanying music video, off of the album is for our incantation, “Become None”, which on the album will sit directly between the two Books and act as a gateway from one to the next. The singe and recently launched music video are live and available for consumption online. We are extremely excited about the music video and feel it successfully captures the essence of our band’s theatrically inspired, occult-infused brand of heavy metal. Shrouded figures, hidden books of lore, ceremonial daggers, human sacrifice and rituals of transformation all accompany the musical score. The video was filmed and edited by Norwegian artist Thomas Mortveit, and the music was recorded and produced by Canadian engineer Yanic Bercier at WaveTransform Studios. There is an Easter Egg in the video that several of our fans have found! The 9/8 bridge section is something that a casual listener might not catch on to the first time around, but adds an interesting quirk that fits the band’s personality.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Listening to recordings etched into vinyl with my cousin back when I was merely a young acolyte learning the ways of magick back home on Mercury. It simply fueled the fire that was already there. Master of Reality by Sabbath was a true revelation for me the first time I heard it. A copy of that recording still accompanies me everywhere today and receives regular attention on my playlists.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

As a guitarist, there are so many. Specific guitarists include the riff-lord Iommi, of course, as well as Randy Rhodes, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy, just to name a few. Bands other than Sabbath that inspired me include Thin Lizzy, Priest, Fates Warning (the John Arch years), Merciful Fate, Opeth, Candlemass and Jethro Tull. There are many, many more. I know I cheated, as you only asked for five. Oh well, lol. Michael Schenker once said in an interview that the best guitar solos are the ones you can hum to yourself. I try to keep that in mind when writing mine.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

This is a quite difficult question. After careful consideration, I’d have to say Rob Halford because not only is he an amazing technical vocalist, but the emotion he puts into makes it even more special. Being able to write and compose with him would be quite a thrill.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

We combine elements of doom, death, black and progressive metal into what we call Epic Metal. We strive to do everything we do on a grand scale, and larger than life and a little over the top is just fine with us, hence the epic in the epic metal tag. Our compositions are definitely epic in length, and take many twists and turns similar to a literary epic. That being said, we’d really like to just consider ourselves a metal band. There seems to be a need in the genre right now to classify and sub-classify into oblivion. We love and listen to all styles rock and metal, and I feel as if our music reflects that.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

It’s the creative outlet I need to exist. I’d be quite a bit more mad than I am now if I didn’t have this outlet. The best feeling for me is when we are on the road and all I have to do each and every day is wake up and perform the music my band has written.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Our bassist, Y’takt, is definitely the cook of the lot and regularly has the band over for drinks and dinner. Absalon would be the first to grab a guitar and start picking some blues. From there it’s blues improv jam time, which we enjoy greatly. BG Scios, our drummer, is a typical drummer overflowing with energy at all hour. We are a tight-knit group and get along very well.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

A Summoner, of course. Thankfully, I get to do both.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

The very first time I performed as a guitarist  on stage (many eons ago) I didn’t have a set list and started playing song three while everyone else was playing song two. Being my first time on stage I wasn’t used to not hearing things clearly and the chaos of sound on stage at a venue with crappy monitors. We were halfway into the song before I realized I was playing the wrong song. It was like accidental free form jazz odyssey of the worst kind. I’ve had a set list every gig since.

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9 Quick Ones with GOG of SUMMONERS CIRCLE - December 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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