This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Please consider supporting this website by disabling your ad-blocker. This website does not use audio ads, pop-ups, or other annoyances. And please support Terra Relicta by giving a little donation if you can! Thank you!!!

Random album

Kult Of Red Pyramid - Interview

Interview with: Ivan Rogar
Conducted by: T.V.

The Croatian act Kult Of Red Pyramid is absolutely a peculiar musical formation in dark electro scene. They are coming from Croatia, a country which is not really known in producing this kind of music, but since their formation in 2007 this band is pushing forward the boundaries of the genre. Recently Kult Of Red Pyramid released already their fifth full-lenght entitled Ominous + Prisoners and are already working on their next one which will be titled Vagrant. The band started as an electro-industrial act, made its debut album Dark Red Light in 2008, but soon made a musical shift by incorporating more and more elements from EDM, EBM, electro, pop, goth, trip-hop, metal, big beat and even doom. Facetiously they named their style "neo-doom", sometimes they refered their style to be a "crossgenre-goth", but one thing is clear, their music holds many surprises, it's a cohesive and in a way unique mix of many different elements. Kult Of Red Pyramid' mastermind Ivan Rogar is always full of surprises, you never know what he will make next, sometimes the one can't even know if the band exists anymore, but it seems that now the fountain of huge inspiration has been found and future for Kult Of Red Pyramid must be brighter than ever. We talked with Ivan about many things, mostly about the recently released album Ominous + Prisoners, future plans, about his side projects and yet much more.

T.V.: Hi Ivan! How are you? It's just a bit more than a month since Kult Of Red Pyramid released the last full-lenght, Ominous + Prisoners, and you already announced a new album. How so?
: Hi. Well time is of the essence and due to that, it's better to start working on it if you can and you have significant inspiration at the moment. It also becomes increasingly more difficult with each record while you're trying to make it sound as fresh as possible - which is often a devious task.
T.V.: Before we go further please tell me how are you satisfied with the album Ominous + Prisoners?
Ivan: I'm never satisfied. After many mixes and final mixes, still not happy with it entirely. But after delaying it for too long already, it had to come out. It sounds good and/or pretty good to most ears so that's probably a good thing. It gives the listener a somewhat extended Broken Mirror experience, although a very different one if you listen really really close. Also, it's more concentrated as a whole, since Broken Mirror had two discs which were entirely different. The audience was confused. I think people's short attention spans play a key role in that, in our contemporary.
T.V.: As you already mentined the in 2014 released album Broken Mirror, how would you describe main differencies between both albums. What everything has changed since then?
Ivan: I guess Ominous wants to be an evolved "product", on a will of it's own. It could be good or bad for it, depends how you look at it. The only thing I was afraid of and still am now more than ever, is that it will lose it's soul. That's the hardest part of that so called "evolution". Broken Mirror has strong emotion built into it and I personally think it's one of the best records we've made. The upcoming album Vagrant will be a heavy task to perform and Ominous still has to prove itself in general. (You can get and listen to the album Broken Mirror at this location. e.d.)
T.V.: Broken Mirror must be the darkest album you ever did. On the other hand Ominous + Prisoners is much more diverse record. I know that you also had some line-up changes and I wonder how much did this affected your sound?
Ivan: The melancholy and lyrics are strong on that album, after that comes the "darkness" element. Ominous + Prisoners probably pays the price of diversity while going that step up, for the good or bad. I'm mostly in charge of the production so the line-up has no effect on the sound and progression, it's mostly me.
T.V.: Ok, I see. Another thing, Broken Mirror was released by Australian label Xperiment XIII and Ominous + Prisoners as a self-release. Why did the collaboration with Xperiment XIII end?
Ivan: The contract expired and I didn't want to renew it.
T.V.: But still, why have you decided to release it on your own and not trying to find another label? Bad experiences from the past maybe?
Ivan: Labels aren't interested in what we do. I understand it's not a "safe ticket" and "hard" for them to sell it. Partially, that's true. You only have to browse what these labels are actually releasing and you'll know why they aren't releasing us, actually refusing to release us would be more accurate. I'm not saying all of that music is bollocks and this is magnum work, no. There are truly remarkable artists out there, but they're in the minority. It's just the law of demand and supply.
T.V.: That's the sad truth. Now, the title Ominous + Prisoners, is quite an intriguing one to not say a bit complex. Can you explain the meaning of this coinage?
Ivan: It's a joint of the current era and it's sub-era, Prisoners. Prisoners was initially meant to be an album on its own, but since Ominous was delayed indefinitely through time, we've decided to turn it all into one album. The tracks for Prisoners are also significantly different in nature to the rest of the album. They breathe release rather than gloom, an opposite side of it all.
T.V.: Interesting approach and of course it's easy for you to determine which tracks are from which album, but without giving it a proper listen a couple of times the listener might be confused which track is from which album?
Ivan: It's true but I consider that beautiful. One should explore and be rewarded for it. Why end up in something stale? Do something different all the time, even if it's just a small change. Now you understand why we're not a "safe ticket". It's not a sin to force your listeners to properly listen for a better understanding of the material. Then again, you shouldn't apply these tactics if you wanna be released and be successful.
T.V.: I see, the one can always expect surprises from Kult Of Red Pyramid. For what I know Ominous + Prisoners was released only in digital format, is there a chance to get a physical copy, vinyl or CD?
Ivan: Nope. We're not planning physical releases anymore, not by a long shot. Even the digital was pirated almost right away and you can understand the kind of damage it does to a self-released artist, especially these days. An artist which cannot benefit from live shows to add up anything from lost sales. This is not a time or the place to live your dreams. Unfortunately that's a thing of the past. Your dreams won't pay your bills, life goes on.
T.V.: Yeah, you're not the only one telling me this. Now, as the new album, Vagrant, is already announced, can you give me a bit of an insight into it with some details?
Ivan: It'll incorporate more industrial (in a good way,  a proper way) without the euro-dance "trumpets". Besides that, it explores new themes lyrics-wise, with a lot of them being not directly personal. The first track we made available for streaming, "Lakeview Hotel", offers a great insight of what it'll be like musically.

T.V.: Is the album already completed? How many tracks will be there and when it's the release date set or at least planned?
Ivan: No estimated times of arrival anymore, it'll grow with time. Also, as opposed to our notorious history of releasing and teasing all the time, we won't be pushing the album out in chunks. It'll be out when it's out. Whoever holds the real interest for what we do will wait for it and the final reward will offer a better value. The hyper-production times are best left behind. There's nothing sweet in constant delivery these days. You make the listeners not actually listening and you can't fight your way out of it because their heads are full of constant media downpour from all sides.
T.V.: Fair enough! I know that you avoid your music to be put in any specific genre, but yet you invented some interesting descriptions like "neo-doom" or "crossgenre goth"...
Ivan: If people fail to identify you, it creates a problem in your career. Not all people, but most for sure. To coin a description ourselves is partially a joke and to confidently say we're unique would also be a joke - but it wouldn't be entirely untrue.
T.V.: What about the lyrics of yours? What are the topics that most interests you to write about? Any special messages within them that you want to deliver to your listeners and fans?
Ivan: Our lyrics are exclusively drowned in metaphors although they do sometimes seem clear and/or straightforward at first glance. One cannot say without a cringe that there's a devil on your shoulder "helping" you write this stuff (as in the Broken Mirror track lyrics), but it's true to an extent. A lot of the songs view/interpret the text from another person's point of view, a fictitious someone playing a particular role - someone that could be you or me. I guess it's a form of escape, a deliverance of some kind that in the end helps you in surviving another day, so to say. They're all basically stories on the "knife edge of agonizing decisions", never to be taken lightly.
T.V.: Absolutely. And what inspires you the most? Recent things that are going on in the world?
Ivan: Not really. We try to stay away from global themes, although that was Void.Inject's (our previous side project) job for some time. As for me, a lot of things affect me. You could say I'm a bit over-sensitive, sometimes even giving too much attention to something that's doesn't deserve it in the long run. So there's always something to write about. As for global themes, they're raped all too much these days so incorporating them would be unwise, to say the least.
T.V.: I don't think that I ever came along an explanation of the name Kult Of Red Pyramid. What's the real meaning and how did you came up with it?
Ivan: It's connected with Silent Hill. We're big Silent Hill fans, huge actually. As we evolved through time, since 2007, we were stuck by that name.
T.V.: Tell me which instruments and machinery/programs you use to create your music most likely?
Ivan: We went full-on digital/controller-wise a long time ago. Previously we were using different live instruments and synths. We're using Presonus in the studio.
T.V.: Recently you announced some live activities. What can we expect to get from Kult Of Red Pyramid playing live? And can you tell me where everything are the shows scheduled?
Ivan: There's a show booked for October 2016 outside of Croatia. We'll play as a duo again since our new member will not be able to travel at that time. The set-list will include the best of Broken Mirror and Ominous + Prisoners, but will also feature new songs from Vagrant that'll be played live for the first time ever. The actual date and venue will be public soon.
T.V.: Beside you, who are other members or better said live members of Kult Of Red Pyramid now?
Ivan: Josip Facković and Tomislav Dujmović.
T.V.: A couple of months ago you played in your home town, Zagreb, and I wonder how the crowd accepted your new music?
Ivan: Due to extreme shortage of possible venues for us to play at all in Croatia, it was the only place we could actually play at. The problem was that the crowd expected "industrial"-tanz, but we don't do that. At least not anymore. So you can imagine what it was like. People not from around here are shocked when I say we really don't have fans in Croatia, except for a handful of supporters and organizers. But that's the truth. Supply and demand, once again. It's a no-brainer.
T.V.: So the scene for this kind of music is not really strong in Croatia? But still, from where do your fans come most likely?
Ivan: There is no such "scene", that's my personal and humble opinion. Our fans? Just to mention some: Greece, Russia, Austria, USA, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, UK, Mexico, Japan and others.
T.V.: You are always full of surprises and you gave kind of a shock to your fans when not so long ago you even announced some kind of an indefinite hiatus for Kult Of Red Pyramid, but soon you changed your mind and became even more productive than ever. What was the reason for that? What was going on?
Ivan: Too much private life transitions, chaos and storms.

T.V.: I see and I'm sorry to hear that, but I hope now everything is on the right place. Beside Kult Of Red Pyramid you are also a mastermind behind the dark ambient project Shinrei Complex and more extreme act Trianglemouth. Shinrei Complex recently released a new album and what can you tell me about it?
Ivan: It's not a pleasant piece of work, but it is exactly what I wanted it to be. An exercise in cruelty, an endurance test, a bitter ode to our self-destructive media manipulated contemporary in which everything is possible, rules are bent and erased, ideals and traditions are smothered to nothing and everything goes. The cover art says a thousand words.
T.V.: And what was the reason in the first place that you started with Shinrei Complex? Just a fan of dark ambient or is there something deeper behind it?
Ivan: Nope, never been a fan of it. Also, I can't say I'm a fan of music which people usually compare to Kult Of Red Pyramid. I come from a domain of older goth, post-punk, industrial and metal bands of all sorts and flavors. I started Shinrei Complex (then Shinrei Project) because I wanted to get more into film music, as I was doing some independent film work at the time. Recently I began working on an actual film soundtrack so we'll see how it'll all turns out.
T.V.: Not long ago you also did a collaboration with a mysterious act Hunter Niven. Is this also one of your side projects?
Ivan: Yes. It was originally meant to be the "rock only side" of Kult Of Red Pyramid. It didn't get much attention, though.
T.V.: Yeah, I see that you also quit the facebook page for it. So, I believe that you are over with it?
Ivan: For the time being. "Polaroid" single is available still on it's Bandcamp page. A lovely track, by the way.
T.V.: And what can you tell me about Trianglemouth?
Ivan: We've imagined Trianglemouth as some kind of rebirth of the old Void.Inject project. It still has a lot to say, but we put it on hold due to time deficit in our lives. We'll eventually release something for sure, when we get angry enough.
T.V.: Ha ha, ok, I see. Now, please tell me which bands/artist influenced you the most as a musician?
Ivan: That would be a long list, but let me mention some of them; Dead Can Dance, Zoar, The Sisters Of Mercy, Joy Division, Paradise Lost, Big Black, The Cure, The Cult, Danzig, Killing Joke and many many others.
T.V.: And which album released recently enthused you the most? Can you recommend something to your fans and our readers as well?
Ivan: That's a tough one. I can't think of anything spectacular lately. Besides that, I'm mostly listening to older stuff like Alice In Chains or Tori Amos. And if it has to be something newer, I must say everything by, for instance,  Fleshgod Apocalypse is phenomenal. Have enjoyed that immensely lately.
T.V.: Beside music, what else you do in your life? Who is Ivan in private life?
Ivan: I'm a software developer, besides being a jack of many trades.
T.V.: I know that you are busy in making a new album and having some gigs, but what are the other plans in the near future for Kult Of Red Pyramid?
Ivan: Besides what you already know, the future is unset.
T.V.: Thank you for clearing many things up. Now, the last words are all yours and if you want to add something you have your space for it!
Ivan: Thank you for this interview and thanks to all our supporters up to this day and beyond, wherever they are.

Kult Of Red Pyramid links: Facebook, Bandcamp

Related articles