Let’s start off by introducing yourselves and Project Grey. Could you share a few words about the band’s background?
Mr. Grey and Toheras, we are the guys that stay behind all of this. Project Grey is a studio black metal project from Haskovo, Bulgaria. We’ve known each other for a couple of years and we’re very good friends. The actual idea for this project was mine (Mr. Grey) and it was being in my head for quite a long time… maybe 10 years or something like that. Back in the days, I was playing with a local black metal band and that was fundamental for myself. I mean, not about how well I can play on an instrument, but about the black metal itself. At this time, I think it started to roll down the road. The idea was just sitting there patiently, waiting, shaping itself. So one day I decided to finally realize it and asked Toheras if he wanted to be the second half of this project. And thankfully he said “yes”… that’s how it began.
I’ve got to admit that the band’s name is quite uncommon and my curiosity drives me to ask you if there is an underlying message behind it?
When we started working on the first material for Project Grey, we didn’t have a band name. But soon after that, it just popped one day – I mean the word “grey”. It embraced my consciousness and it seemed that it wouldn’t give up. And then, the part “project” was a natural choice because we are more of a project than a band focusing on studio work. To answer your question about if there’s a message behind the name – we all are living in times where reality is getting more and more grey, where a great mass of human beings is being drowned in deceptive propaganda. Everything is “much more” and in the same time everything is “much lesser” …
To my understanding, black metal is the foundation you’ve created Project Grey on, yet it goes beyond its preconceived limitations. What are the primary sources of inspiration that guided you while shaping the whole concept of the band and the way it sounds nowadays?
Primary sources of inspiration? – Life. There isn’t bigger or better source that can inspire us, that’s for sure. Of course we, listen to a lot of music which is a great source of inspiration. Nevertheless, every single thing that we can point right now is part of the whole – life.
In the beginning of 2016 you introduced Project Grey’s debut album “Dead Fragments.” When did you actually start working on it? What challenges have you faced along the way?
Mr. Grey already had some ideas and demos before the actual “start” of the project. It was 2014, we had a few demo songs and just continued working on them. We weren’t in a hurry about that, no dead-lines and shit. We just gave it the time needed. We were very excited at that time, talking a lot about the ideas in the album and the whole concept. It was a major challenge for both of us as musicians and artists – we’re writing all the music and the lyrics, recording all of it by ourselves, mixing it, mastering it, etc. At some point, we had all of the demos for the album, and after a few spins, we thought the actual result was quite a “weird” kind of black metal. It has a lot of different “things” integrated in the whole and in the end you can not put it under a single label. We think that it’s big enough of a challenge.
Correct me if I am wrong but I have come to the conclusion that “Dead Fragments” is a concept album. Can you elaborate on its lyrical context and paint a picture per se, of what it is all about?
Yes, you are correct. “Dead Fragments” is a concept album, indeed. It’s all about a voyage – very long and exhausting one. The main protagonist journeys from the mortal realm of man to the very depths of Hell. Our “hero” is not an exact person. We are not representing anyone of us as a particular protagonist. Let’s say, he is a random imaginary person. All of the songs are connected to each other and they are depicting the whole journey; all of the visions and feelings that the main character faces along the way. Of course, it’s a grim and bizarre descent, no doubt about that. We didn’t want to stay in a conventional black metal sounding – we wanted to give a real feeling of the emotions and perceptions of this human and spiritual path.
Did you have any particular influencers while writing & recording the album?
As we mentioned already – everything that surrounds us is an influence. Music-wise – at that time (as always), we were listening to a lot of music, mostly black metal but we were not limiting ourselves to that genre only or even extreme metal in general. We like a lot of very different stuff. Toheras who made most of the arrangements, have also classical and jazz influences. So it’s hard to name something specific here.
Humanity and it’s way of existence in this realm is very close to it’s highest “peak” in the most negative way you can think of. Modern society is kind of, let’s say, a “self-consuming organism” but we think there is not much left to consume anymore. The “reset” time is getting closer for us and in the end this world will take a new direction. Hopefully, it will be a better one.
Do you think music, black metal in particular, can be considered as a means of salvation or ascension above urban misery? Should it be perceived as more than just a grim form of wicked soundscapes?
Black metal in it’s origins is an extreme musical form of rebellion. It’s a “denial”, a “breaking the borders”; it is a “rebellion against all forms of manipulation”. Of course, there is the anti-religious philosophy, as well. All of this is a form of art. Unfortunately, most of people do not understand it, it’s too extreme, dark, aggressive or just a blasphemy to them. Particularly for us, black metal is a form of ascension, indeed. In any case – it’s either flowing through your veins or not, and that’s something you cannot put away or deny. So you learn to live with it, make it an extension to your thoughts and philosophy. If black metal is a form of salvation for you – it’s OK. If it is not – again – it’s OK. Sometimes a single lifetime isn’t enough to find a few little and simple answers, so keep looking for them every day!
Back to Project Grey. Have you planned any live performances in the near future?
Project Grey is a two-man studio project and we do not need or plan to change that. On the other hand, we were thinking that at some point it could be an interesting experience to play our music on a live show. But for now this is not a priority of ours. We have a lot of material to work on. To be honest, we are working already on our second full-length album and it’s been going very well so far. It’s taking tons of work, time and dedication, and that’s enough for know.
Thanks for your time to answer these questions. It’s up to you how to end this interview.
We want to thank you for the great opportunity to make this interview, it was an honor for us. Soon we’ll have some surprises for all the people out there who are interested in our work, so stay tuned!
Stream “Dead Fragments” in full below. | Follow Project Grey on Facebook