Piers: "The name took quite a while. We didn't want to define ourselves too soon with a name that sounded goth-or-metal-or-whatever. We knew that we were drawing on many influences, and that those should help us find a sound when we were first writing songs. Any band will tell you how hard it is to choose a name which doesn't sound stupid and we didn't want something which didn't look good written down. The name kind of came to us in the pub. You know, where you sometimes have the best ideas! I'd say we're definitely a post-punk goth band. We've been called "Gothic Grand Guignol" and I think that describes us well. We're in your post-punk with doomy guitars and killer drums. If I wasn't in this band I'd be a fan of this band."
DJ Valhalla: If I understand it right, you wanted to start a live-band after working apart with much electronic devices?
Piers: "Definitely. It was Trev's idea to rest Midnight Configuration, a band I think who were ahead of their time. If you look around, there are a lot of guitar-bass-drums-vocals bands now, and we wanted to see what would happen if we adopted a back to basics approach.. That classic set up still works, the paradigm works, so why not take it by the throat? ENDG were brilliant, could we take it further? Playing live in a band which uses a lot of technology can be a frustrating experience, as things break down. I'm sure we've all been to those kind of gigs! With our set up the worst thing that can happen is a broken guitar string."
Trev: "Yeah, that's about right, but I wanted to add that with Midnight Configuration after 18 years and 8 albums I felt that I had for the time being exhausted the midi/sequencer based format and I very much wanted to be just playing guitar once again. I also wanted to expand on what can be done with the guitar and for me part of what Arcane Winter is about is to develop the doomy Gothic/ Post punk sound into as many strange and enigmatic forms as is possible.
DJ Valhalla: You seem to be having lots of fun doing gigs? How many gigs you have done until now? You seem to have played a lot of gigs and even online gigs?
Piers: "Playing live is the reason for starting a band, it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on! The best thing is to play new material and gauge the audience reaction to it. It's very gratifying to hear their response, and drives you on to do more. Playing live is a two way thing, it's as much about the audience as the band.
"We've played a good few gigs; our debut show to launch the EP was a blast. Only a few, the Inner Circle, knew our material and the audience reaction was great, people loved it! Playing in Leeds was great, we nailed it. There is footage from most gigs on our Youtube channel if you want to have a look. Personally I'd play live every night of the week, but I'm a fan of music.
"Playing on-line gigs is a great way to reach a huge audience, people from around the world, and great fun too. The audience reaction is different to gauge as its all text based, or SMS messages, but we treat it as seriously as any show. On-line gigs are something we're keen to do more of, in fact we're just organising some now."
DJ Valhalla: The EP Cold Europe, can you tell me about the name?
Piers: "The name comes from a line in the song Sagittarius- "Cold Europe is a magical place". I think that sums Arcane Winter up nicely, a mix of north European weather and occultism. It's snowing here right now!"
Trev: "It is indeed!"
Piers: "We made a conscious decision not to produce physical copies of Cold Europe, so its available only as a download from Amazon or iTunes. It was released in September, so we'll need to get some sales figures back, but everyone seems to have heard it!
"Maybe with next EP we'll put something physical out; we're working on that at the moment."
Trev: "Due to the release being a digital one, I think that it will take about another 6 months before we have any clear idea on how its going. However all of this is tied up in how well we promote the band and continue to grow the band's name and standing in the UK and abroad."
DJ Valhalla: What kind of lyrics and message in Arcane Winter?
Piers: "The lyrics are a mix of the gothic-fantastic, if you're familiar with Todorov, and political rhetoric. My lyrical message is that you need to think for yourself and stand up to tyranny, leave the world a better place. I don't think I could write a pop song! We live in an age where the internet brings people closer, the Arab Spring comes to mind. The song King of Nothing is about that, rising up against the ruling powers. As a species I think we're pretty special, it's the c**ts you need to be aware of."
DJ Valhalla: You are working on a new EP, tell us more about this?
Piers: "We are always working on new material! The new EP has five songs written already, if you've seen us play in the last couple of months you'll have heard what some of them sound like. We have one particular track, Kerosene, which will blow you away. We're going into the studio next week to begin recording, then will come the artwork and the name."
DJ Valhalla: When is your CD going to be released?
Piers: The next EP should be out in time for the Nightbreed Radio all-day event in Nottingham in May. It'll be a mini festival with bands, DJs and a great bar. For details tune into Nightbreed Radio or visit the website.
DJ Valhalla: You guys have been for a while within the gothic sceen, do you belive we heading a third wave of gothic-rock?
Piers: "I've been a goth since puberty! As soon as I realised I was attracted to women who looked like Elvira? but to answer your question, yes, I do think the scene is evolving a third wave. All those classic first wave bands like UK Decay, Play Dead, The Sisters, Alien Sex Fiend, love them to bits. Second wave bands too, particularly Suspiria, were great but you can't live in the past. One of the reasons Arcane Winter formed was to do something new, the scene needs to attract new fans. It's an exciting time."
Trev: "I am not totally convinced that we are heading for a 3rd wave of Gothic rock. In the UK there has been a grass roots upswell in the scene seemingly due to people who were in bands years ago (like ourselves) or people who were in bands years who have reformed. One concept that came out of a conversation we had with Dave from Vendemmian was the idea of "Middle youth". Essentially the idea that once a person reaches middle, middle age or late middle age. They are financially secure, their kids have left home and now their time is their own, what else can the do with their time? Might as well get the band back together!
"This is something that has been witnessed over here. When I go to gigs, most of the audience seems to be at the very least post 30 to early 50's and although that's all cool. There is very little young blood coming into the scene. For a scene to grow and expand it needs the youngsters to get involved. I am a college lecturer and I work with young people every day. I can quite clearly say that most of them have no real idea what the Gothic scene is and to them it's something "old" people are into. Most of my students fall into two basic camps. Rock/Metal and Urban/dance. With the perfered music of their generation being either extreme metal on one side, or Dubstep on the other. They are not anti Goth as such, they just don't see that it is of their generation. The only way young people will currently get into the Gothic scene is via the more mainstream Black metal acts who to a great extent seemingly are connected to our scene.
"However with all of that said, I believe that with exposure, Gothic and Gothic evolved music could cross the generation gap. We have already made plans to work with bands outside of the traditional post 2nd generation Gothic bands as well as to work with as many of our peers as possible. If this generation gap can be bridged, I have no doubt that then we could see a 3rd generation start to develop out of the foundations of the old."
DJ Valhalla: You describe Arcane Winter with a positive punk attidude, are you a political band? "Civil war" - "Invest in death" - those titles are pretty political?
Piers: "We defiantly have post-punk attitude. We're like Crass with crimped hair. It's weird how those bands from the 80s are now as relevant as ever, particularly in Britain. Back then we were suffering with high unemployment, the threat of nuclear war and a government made up of complete bastards.
"It's exactly the same in 2013, except with the threat of religious extremism. So yes, we are political in that we write about those issues, but we don't just do politics.
"The next EP has songs about a wide variety of subjects. Civil War is about how people become obsessed with minutiae of life rather than see the bigger picture. Classic divide and conquer, being obsessed with X- Factor rather than what's happening in Gaza.
"Invest in Death is about arms dealing. Those people need dismantling. How many people have died to further profits?"
DJ Valhalla: Sagittarius is your new song, what is the meaning behind the song?
Piers: "Sagittarius is about how much I hate summer! I'm a goth, what are you going to do? Winter is my natural environment."
Piers: "I've been a vocalist for a long time, and naturally have quite a low register. With Arcane Winter I'm trying to sing slightly higher, it just depends on what the song needs. I won't be singing falsetto, though. Most of the singers I like are within the range I use.
DJ Valhalla: What happens when you want to create a song? How does it come in form? lyrics? music?
Piers: "Generally Trev comes to rehearsals and says "I've got this riff?" he plays it, we jam it and it warps into something else. The bass and drum parts fall into place as we jam, and I sing phrases over the top. I then take those phrases and improvise lyrics, it's as simple as that. I try to make the lyrics fit the song..
"Christmas Day in the Workhouse was just like that, it's gloomy and dark, so the lyric fits. A dancing corpse? Oh yes. Writing music is the greatest thrill."
DJ Valhalla: Have you ever played outside UK?
Piers: Not yet, but we'd love to. If any promoter wants to get in touch, please do. I love to travel and I love to play live.
DJ Valhalla: Killing Joke is decribed as a major influence possibly because of the political messages?
Piers: "Killing Joke are an influence because they're the best band in the world. KJ are one of the bands everyone in Arcane Winter loves, they are so powerful. What they do with music is make it into a fist and punch you in the stomach.
"They're great musicians and haven't lost their love of music or watered down their sound. Our influences it would be them, Chrome, Hawkwind and The Sisters of Mercy."
DJ Valhalla: What are your future plans for the band?
Piers: "The new EP is our next project, and filming a video for Civil War with our visuals man Stuart Slate. We're lined up for various festivals this year, and we're already booking live dates. We want to play as many gigs as possible, really. Meet new people and make new fans. We'll be doing a live EP this year, and possibly a live DVD."
DJ Valhalla: Where can people find you over the internet? facebook? reverbnation? ect?
Piers: "Our website is www.arcanewinter.net we have a ReverbNation page, Twitter, YouTube, all the usual social networking stuff. On Facebook we have an Arcane Winter page and the Arcane Winter Appreciation Society.
"We like to interact with people, so join up."
DJ Valhalla: I thank you for taking the time to make this interview with me.
Piers: "A pleasure! It's always good to talk."
DJ Valhalla: Any comments or further thing to say?
Piers: "I'd like to thank all the people who've come to see us play live, the promoters who've booked us and the bands we've played with.
"A big thanks to Stuart Slate for being such a top bloke, and the Inner Circle for believing in us."
Trev: "Yes my youth! I would like to second that!"