Black metal band Bane, as many of their followers know, will soon introduce to the world their third album titled “Esoteric Formulae”. Album will be released on November 30th through Corde Raide Productions (cassette), Black Market Metal Label (digipack CD) te Funeral Hymns Records (LP).
In light of this news, Metal Jacket Magazine is honored to interview Branislav Panić.
When you began writing ”Esoteric Formulae” what were your initial thoughts? Were you afraid that you will get stuck in a pattern, that it will be too similar to the previous record?
The thought process behind “Esoteric Formulae” did not really differ much from our previous records. I wrote this album based on my inspirations and limitations as a musician while trying to fulfill my inner artistic vision. To be honest, I’ve never had that thought cross my mind. As I’ve said many times before, with BANE it was never our intention to make some kind of progressive or avant-garde music. We play a specific, rather straight-forward style of Blackened Death Metal reminiscent to the early/mid 90’s era. The only exception would be looking at it from a production point of view, as we do go for a more ”modern” sound while trying to keep that old school spirit alive from within.
When you contacted guest musicians for the album, did you explain how do you expect them to sound or did you give them absolute freedom?
With very basic ”pointers”, Amduscias (Temple Of Baal) and Giulio (Hour Of Penance) put their own stamp and trademark sound on the songs, respectively. It’s very important to not change or ”spoil” an artist’s vision with too much direction, as only the most impeccable results will happen when there is zero compromise towards the art itself. Both of them had more or less of a carte blanche, and I am very happy with the final outcome! I look up to both of those musicians a lot, so it’s a real pleasure and honor to have them as special guests on our new album.
Almost everything you released so far has been mixed and mastered by Honza Kapák. He also played drums on most of the albums. How did your collaboration begin and what made you trust him with such responsibilities?
I’ve been a huge fan of Avenger as long as I can remember (Honzá’s main band who recently unfortunately split-up after 25 years of existence), and I was fortunate enough to see them live and meet him in person about 10 years ago (somewhere in 2007 or 2008, not entirely sure)…and we simply stayed in touch. Being a follower of his work (not only in the creative/musical department but also as a sound engineer and producer), I contacted him when it was time to record BANE’s first album, which we did in the summer of 2010. Since then, just like you said we’ve basically worked together on everything the band has ever released from that point on moving forward. I am very grateful to have him as a friend, as he did help me out tremendously throughout the band’s entire career. Honestly, if it was not for him, BANE would have not been the same band, but way worst, haha!
The artwork looks insanely good, care to share something about it?
Thank you, I am very happy to hear this. Bahrull Marta (Abomination Imagery) is a very talented artist based in Indonesia. As a visual artist, Bahrull understands the importance and value to ”sync” the artwork with the music, which is why I chose to work with him once more (as he also did the cover for our previous record “The Acausal Fire”). I honestly believe he is one of the best ones out there today, and hope his career will keep on growing into being a world-wide recognized Metal artist. He recently did the cover for the new Deadborn album which is also killer!
I see that there will be all kinds of physical copies (cassette/disc/vinyl). Will all of them be available for fans in Europe?
Our labels are working on that as we speak. I believe that the CD version will be available through Swedish Label Blood Harvest Records, while I am not sure who will be in charge for the distribution of the LP as the release date for this one is scheduled a bit later than the other formats. The cassette version however is a hand-numbered limited edition of 100 copies only, and a lot of them have already been pre-ordered. Therefor, I am not sure those Tapes will even be distributed in Europe as they will most-likely just sell out directly from the band and Label.
When and where can we expect promotional concerts?
We are currently looking at different options, but nothing has been confirmed so far. Throughout 2018 we toured in Europe, the USA and Canada so it was quite busy. The goal is to keep playing as many shows but also aiming towards new territories where the band has not been yet, so we will see how that unfolds.
Since Bane operates in Serbia and Montreal, can you describe how it feels to play same songs with two different groups?
Primarily from a logistical point of view, the line-up is different based on where the band is touring. To have a stable line-up is nice, however as a musician I feel challenged when playing with different band members, which keeps things interesting. There are pros and cons of course, so I just try to make the best out of every situation and so far it has worked out pretty well.
Not long ago you had a tour with Uada, Panzerfaust and Imperial Triumphant. What are your fondest memories from that tour?
Jake, UADA’s front man invited us to be apart of ”The Blood Sand Ash Tour”. We went into that run with zero expectations as I had never toured the USA with BANE before, but I was really pleasantly surprised to see how healthy and active the Underground Extreme Metal scene is over there. To play in front of nearly sold out crowds in New York City, Boston and Chicago was incredible, and co-headlining Satan’s Unholy Abomination Festival in Maryland are only some of the many memories I will cherish for a long time. We’ve meet fans who have waited years until they could finally to see us live and we are beyond grateful for the support we’ve received throughout the entire Tour. We got a chance to see some really cool bands on those shows and connect with some people whom we’ve been in touch for a long time over the internet as well such as Mike from Paragon Records, Dan from Abyss Records (our former Record Label), and so on… Also, to watch a band like UADA night after night was simply mesmerizing, as they are definitely one of the best bands to come out of the Black Metal genre in recent years.
What is by your definition of a ”good album”? Do you apply the same logic when writing your own music?
There is always an objective and subjective approach to this in my opinion. To ”like” something does not necessarily mean it’s good, and vice-versa – just because it’s a good album or band does not mean that you automatically have to enjoy it. When I think of a good album, I first and foremost associate that with good songs. Of course, the quality of the production and the artwork are things which can also help to make a good album, but in general I really focus on quality songs (well-written arrangement wise, catchy riffs and massive choruses is kind of what I usually go for).
Indeed, I do try to write with the same ”recipe” in order to satisfy my own personal taste and standards. We play our songs live quite a bit, so it’s very important for me to actually enjoy them, hehe. 🙂