Interview with Edward of Apostisy
RR: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. For those who may be familiar with Apostisy why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about the band.
Apostisy: My name is Edward Stoklannd and Apostisy is a solo project I started some years back after the last band I was in broke up. I have been in several bands over the years but never a band where the others were as serious as I was so I decided to quit playing in bands and try doing something on my own. I do miss playing shows but the drama of being in a band is something I will never want to deal with again. On the 2nd album my friend Blake recorded the vocals which was great because he and I had been in many bands together and we always seemed to be the only ones that saw eye to eye, and not to mention his vocals are far better than mine. For almost the same reasons my friend Dave played drums on our last album but the lives we live would never facilitate us being a real band.
RR: I understand you are preparing to release a new album. Can you give us any details about the album or is that yet to be determined?
Its more like I am preparing a home studio and learning how to record. Once that is done sometime early 2018 I will start writing the new material for Apostisy’s next album. I have tons of material now but its more along the lines of Tech Death and some of it is too brutal for Apostisys sound, so that material will be for another project I plan on starting after Apostisys next album. I personally hate it when a band I love completely changes their sound, ie. Every thing Megadeth did after Rust in Peace. Some have pulled it off successfully like Hypocrisy and Amorphis but I plan on keeping the Apostisy sound as intact as I possibly can.
RR: Its been 10 years since the release of Famine of a Thousand Frozen Years. How does it feel to get back in the studio and record again after all these years?
Apostisy: I am very much looking forward to it. I honestly thought I was done and had moved on but a part of me will always need to write music. At the time, 10 years ago I actually had enough music for 2 more albums, but a couple record deals fell through and studio time was at a premium cost so all of those songs have been lost except for 5 that I had fully written out. Finding the right studio is also extremely difficult on a budget so this time I decided to build my own studio in my house and record, mix, and master everything myself. I’m almost finished and I should be able to start recording early 2018. I am thinking that I will take the 5 songs that were written before and use those as my recording learning curve and first release those as a free digital EP. Then after I have the bugs worked out I will begin recording the full length that will be available in CD Format.
RR: I understand that life gets in the way but out of curiosity what contributed to the 10 year gap for the new album?
Apostisy: These last 10 years have mostly been about family, my career and supporting my wife. We’ve had kids, bought a house and so on. For many years I worked 16 hour days and at one point I had to sell all of my guitar gear and music equipment. Its tough when you have a mortgage, raising 4 kids and a stay at home wife in California but the sacrifice of having only one income has been worth it, our kids are healthy and balanced, which is much different than the broken home I came from. So my ambitions for music had to take a back seat for a while but now things are much more stable and the kids are older so I now it looks like I have the opportunity to work on music again, and with the major technological advancements in music recording it looks like I’m coming back at the right time.
RR: Now over the years I have seen many places categorize Apostisy in a variety of ways. I’ve seen people simply call you melodic death metal, and I have even seen you called death/doom which is a little bit of a stretch. What genre would you classify the band as and what is your aim as far as genre goes? I’ve always gotten a bit of a Viking vibe from the music myself, but I’ve never seen it explicitly defined.
Apostisy: Its interesting because all of the bands I’ve 4 been in were bound by strict guidelines in regards to genre, mostly would now be considered old school death metal, much like early Malevolent Creation or Swedish death metal before Sweden became synonymous with melodic death metal. Apostisy started as a side project with the intent of being genre-less with no rules on what I could play. Playing the same brutal song over and over became dismal and boring and I needed a creative outlet. I needed a place where I could break the rules in the way that bands like Enslaved and Amorphis did. I was just going to write what came out naturally, so placing it in a single genre would be difficult since what came out sounded a bit strange to me at the time. If you were to perform an autopsy on Apostisy songs you would be surprised to find that it doesn’t really fit any of the assigned genre’s. Heres how it breaks down; the rhythms are mostly Punk rhythms played in A Harmonic minor, with riffs that are played in a typical Black Metal Technique but in Blues Scales A, B# and D-Dorian modes. So its basically Punk Death/Black Metal Blues, But since thats not a thing I guess calling it melodic death metal will suffice. The Viking sound you might hear may have been the charging rhythms in A Harmonic minor which is heavily used by bands like Amon Amarth, and I was listening to a ton of Slechtvalk which could have possibly leaked a little influence into the sound or feelings of the songs.
RR: What made you go with the name Apostisy? I have a feeling many people are not as familiar with the meaning of apostisy vs the more commonly seen apostasy.
Apostisy: I was young when I came up with that name and honestly it means nothing and has nothing to do with apostasy. After being in dozens of bands finding new band names becomes arduous at best. You could say its miss spelled; think Megadeth or Gorguts but I didn’t even know what apostasy was at the the time, it just sounded original at the time. In the past I tried to make sense of it but ultimately it means absolutely nothing. Sorry, sometimes artist create something people think has deep meaning when it means nothing at all.
RR: How far back does Apostisy’s roots go? The earliest release I can find is in 1994, but how far back does the band really go?
Apostisy: There were some demo tapes I did back then but nothing serious. At the time what I was doing sounded nothing like death metal but that was before death metal spawned 30 different sub genres. I always messed around with different music while I was in bands but Apostisy wasn’t really a thing until my last band broke up in 2004.
RR: Is it correct that Apostisy was once a solo project? How was the transition between writing solo to having a full band? Also have there been any lineup changes since Famine or are you going into the new album with the same lineup?
Apostisy: Its still a solo project or maybe its a semi solo project. I still plan on having Blake do the vocals as long as we can figure out how to record them across the Pacific ocean. As far as the rest of the music, I will be writing and playing everything including the drums, and don’t worry my drumming has improved quite drastically since the Blood album. I know it was horrific, but now my blast beats can hang with most of the bands out there today.
RR: Will any of your old material such as the cassette demos become available digitally or even better yet remastered? I know there are some great songs on the earlier albums that may be less accessible to some due to the production quality. For example First Frost of a Winters Day, Among the Shadows of Remembrance and others.
Apostisy: It may be a possibility, especially in regards to the Blood album. I have always hated the fact that there was so many cool riffs going on in those songs but it mostly got lost in the horrific production and drumming. So I have always wanted to re-record those songs and give them new life, possibly throw some old demo stuff on there too. A lot of the old demo stuff today would probably be considered atmospheric black metal along the lines of Burzum. It was very low-fi and simple but maybe people will like those songs to.
RR: Are you staying with Black Winter Records or have you sought out a new record label for this new release?
Apostisy: I have no record label, Black Winter Productions was just an umbrella that I planned on using to release all of my material under. It never ended up happening but now that I have the ability to record my own music without a studio, I plan on releasing an album every year or two. I have some tech death and old school death metal projects I want to get started and then maybe finish off the Apostisy project with another album or two. All will be released under Black Winter Productions.
RR: What bands or artists have been your major influences when it comes to Apostisy?
Apostisy: The band that influenced Apostisy’s sound was almost entirely Slechtvalk. Their sound has an almost victorious sound to it, almost like your getting ready to charge into battle. I wasn’t trying to copy their sound but rather I was trying to write music that invoked the same feelings. So much of my time playing in metal bands has been focused on sounding brutal and dark, and I found Sletchvalk’s sound extremely refreshing and inspirational. I needed a new direction and they definitely sparked my interest again.
RR: Are you planning any live shows in promotion of the new album or are you more of a studio project?
Apostisy: I wish I could play live shows again but forming an actual band will never be a thing, at least in the near future. Maybe after all my kids are grown up but for now I would consider the band to be more of a project. I’ll keep writing stuff because I have to and if people want to buy the CDs thats cool, but I’m not trying to do anything or make any money doing it. I plan on releasing EPs that will be digital only and those will be for free. Cds will cost a little money but all of the money will be donated to an organization that works in ending human trafficking and child starvation.
RR: Is there anything else that you would like to tell any readers?
Apostisy: I do want to apologize about the Famine album cover. When I commissioned Jason Beam to do the piece, I gave him a description of what I was looking for and that is what he came up with. Even though I did the final layout and text in the booklet I honestly never noticed that she was topless until someone pointed it out a year later. Its real subtle but it is there. We are a Christian band and I would never purposely make a move like that, honestly I’m surprised it wasn’t censored. Maybe it was meant to be. Hellrider was sent here to wage war against man and temp man, so I guess it fits. Either way, I promise no more nude women on our covers.
I would also like to thank everyone for the kind words through the years. I honestly never thought that the music I write would have such a positive affect on so many peoples lives. Thank you for the letters, emails and YouTube comments, this is what has truly inspired me to continue.