The Promise of Plague - ''When the peaceful becomes violent, when the silent start to scream''
Jerry Barksdale ( guitars, keyboards, vocals) ‘’The foundation for
was laid in 1999 when me and Jim Higgins released Empyrean Asunder "Wrought In Dreams", an Avant Garde doom, black metal project, however immediately after that release me and Jim parted ways and I continued Empyrean Asunder as an industrial project. The Promise Of Plague is the continuation of the music we originally started with Empyrean Asunder.
How do you describe Avant Garde Black metal?
‘’Avant Garde means to introduce experimental or unusual ideas. As I write for The Promise of Plague, I try to write black metal that isn't particularly black metal, or doom that isn't particularly doom. I like to say that I write music incorrectly. When I'm told I'm not playing the right way I take it as a compliment.
It retains the core of Black metal, yet also allows you to explore new territories, including progressive and death metal?
‘’ I believe music stagnates when people try to constrain and restrict it to arbitrary rules and regulations. If someone tells me that a particular riff doesn't belong in said genre my instinct is to say, "oh yeah, watch."
Your Demo Let those Unjust Creatures be Burnt is just an introduction to your music?
‘’Yes and no, it's an introduction to where we are right now, each release has been different from the last. We've released electro-industrial black metal; Avant Garde black metal and this release brings in more doom and death metal inspirations so there is no definitive Promise of Plague sound.
Yet you also love pure metal? The decision to Cover Manowar’s Blood Of my enemies and how it ties in with your music?
‘’We all really dig traditional straight forward metal. Blood Of My Enemies had a sound that I thought we could capture but also turn it into something uniquely ours.
The use of dual vocals to create shadows within your music?
‘’I think it adds a lot of depth and keeps things interesting. Ashley Vega has a ton of range, and she alternates effortlessly between soft singing, more traditional rock vocals and an aggressive approach reminiscent of Dawn Crosby from Fear Of God which mixes really well with Jim's traditional black/death metal vocals.
Let all your Dreams be Dammed ‘’ that goes from the ethereal to the guttural? What kills the Soul?
‘’All of my lyrics are an exaggeration of my life. Relatively small, mundane and inconsequential events blown out of proportion to a ridiculously melancholic end.
‘’my heart is a fucking ghost looking from the past’’ is a brilliant lyric.
‘’I wish I could say it was a reflection of something deeply moving and personal but it's just more exaggeration. I was in a really gross and ran down gas station bathroom and reading the writing on the walls of the stall and someone scratched into the paint declaring their love to someone. Something like "Rick and Tasha 4 ever" inside of a heart and I couldn't get past how absolutely ridiculous it is to declare your love on these gross piss stained walls "what was once my soul, has become a stinking hole and when I talk of my life it's a dirty bathroom stall, my love is written down on the bathroom walls in the ruins of the filth and shit you've torn apart, my heart is a fucking ghost looking from the past a scab of broken dreams and decayed remembrance"
My Forever Tomb? How do you define home?
‘’I think, within My Forever Tomb anyway, my idea of home is that moment of great change, when something becomes nothing, when a great man becomes weak and I allude to that in the lines "when the peaceful becomes violent, when the silent start to scream in this space is where I call home" but my idea of home changes from song to song depending on my particular mood and from where I'm deriving my inspiration. The concept of Home and Belonging is a theme I revisit often.
What drew you to the heavier side of music ?
‘’ I actually listen mostly to synthpop/future pop, Motown, and New Wave. I love 90s era black/death metal and early grindcore and thrash but I'm not a huge fan of a lot of the modern metal coming out. The quality is top notch but it's lacking something for me and I'm not sure what it is. My first introduction to metal though was a random accidental purchase of Napalm Death "Death By Manipulation" and Ministry's "Twitch" when I was 11 or 12 years old, and those two albums basically set my path as a musician.
Extreme music is timeless, where can it go and progress?
‘’I'm not really sure what direction extreme music will go. With rare exception I feel like the genre peaked in the 80s and 90s and we're just listening to the same rehashed sounds from 30 years ago and other times I feel like we're nearing that moment of change when some new band pops up and alters the sound of metal forever.
Plans for the future and debut release.
‘’Right now, we're gearing up for live shows. Once we're set with that, we have another 6 or 7 songs we're working on. We're looking around for a label to release the upcoming material and just see what goes from there.
Top 6 albums of all time?
I tried to do 6 but I couldn't take any of these off of the list so here's 8.
Anathema "Pentecost III / The Crestfallen"
S.A. Garrison & D. Luke "Saved By The Great Yellow Bird"
Lionel Ritchie "Dancing on the Ceiling"
Napalm Death "Death By Manipulation"
Mr. Mister "Welcome to the Real World' Skinny Puppy "Last Rites"
Daniel Johnson "Welcome To My World"