Monday, August 31, 2015
AN INTERVIEW WITH PHANTASM NOCTURNES
BETTY KOSTER AKA "PHANTASM NOCTURNES" IS A ONE WOMAN POWERHOUSE THAT HAS DABBLED IN VARIOUS FORMS OF DARK AND HEAVY ELECTRONIC MUSIC SINCE THE PROJECT BEGAN IN 2011.IN THOSE FEW YEARS P.N. HAS HAD SEVERAL RELEASES, BOTH PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL SPANNING THE HARSH NOISE, DARK AMBIENT, DRONE, POWER ELECTRONICS, INDUSTRIAL AND DARK ELECTRONICA GENRES TO NAME A FEW.BETTY IS A HUGE HORROR FAN AND HER MUSIC IS THEMED AROUND CULT-CLASSIC HORROR FILMS, SLASHERS, SCI-FI AND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE EERIE AND SPOOKY.SHE WAS AWESOME ENOUGH TO LET TRAUMATIC STATIC INTERVIEW HER AND TAKE A PEAK INTO THE BLOODSTAINED, GORE-OBSESSED WORLD THAT IS PHANTASM NOCTURNES.
How did a nice young woman like yourself end up in a genre like this in the first place? And what was it about these styles of music that drew you into the dark, shadowy corners of the extreme underground?
When I first started making music I really hadn't had much exposure to extreme underground music, I knew of Gnaw Their Tongues and the artists on Cold Meat Industry, but when I started making music it was just out of curiosity, I had no idea what I was doing, or what was even possible. I started off just putting samples together that came with or that I could buy for the D.A.W. I had at the time which were pretty minimal. Being a big horror fan, I decided I wanted to do horror themed music which I discovered I enjoyed doing very much and eventually decided to post some tracks on soundcloud, which I knew very little about at the time. This is where I started to really discover what was out there in the underground music scene, which led me to more and more great artists. Eventually I figured out how to create dark ambient, industrial and noise, and from there it has been an amazing ongoing learning process.
Being that you, for the most part, are creating Horror themed music, Do you find that the Noise, Industrial and Ambient genres are the best vehicle for such themes.Often when writing reviews I find myself making comparisons to Horror scores and soundtracks.What are your thoughts on this? And what are some of your favorite Horror films and soundtracks?
Yes, I feel these genres work very well for horror and dark themes because they can be very atmospheric either alone, and even more so when combined. I do hear many things in these genres that remind me of different horror scores, and I imagine that is because like myself many of these artists are interested in and influenced by darker themes and horror. Many of the great horror soundtracks from the 70's and 80's were done by electronic musicians or musicians that fused electronics with other styles, and I think that vibe and dark atmosphere has stayed alive in different electronic genres since then. My favorite horror movie soundtracks are Phantasm, Suspiria, Nekromantik, and The Beyond. The majority of my favorite horror movies are from the 70's and 80's -Phantasm, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hellraiser, many of the Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento movies, I also like many movies in the extreme horror genre.
Do you ever plan on performing live as Phantasm Nocturnes or will it always be a studio or home
project only? If so what do you think you could
bring to the live front? If not what are your
reasons and views on live noise performances?
Phantasm Nocturnes will remain solely a studio project. I imagine if I would have started this project much earlier in life it may very well have evolved into a live project as well, but I just simply have too many other obligations at this point to be able to do so. I think it's wonderful that noise artists do play live, and that there are venues and people who organize and support these performances.
Your music spans multiple genres of underground, Electronic music. Ranging from (But not limited to) Harsh Noise, Power Electronics and Death Industrial
to Electro Industrial and Dark Electro to Harsh Noise
Wall and Dark Ambient. Was this something you had set
out to do from the beginning or a natural occurence?
Do you find it hard to blend so many varying genres
into one project? Was there a specific reason for
doing so? E.G. showing various sides of a single
entity or idea?
The idea from the start of the project was to create dark and horror themed music, using whatever style I was capable of, and I felt I got that theme across well.Over time things have just naturally evolved as I've gained more knowledge of different genres and how to create them.
How much of what you create and release is improvised V.S. being thought out and composed? What is a typical recording/writing process like when it comes to Phantasm Nocturnes? And what are the determining factors for whether or not a piece is released or tossed aside?
I really have a very chaotic style of composing, it is usually very improvised, I generally record parts, and then just try combining them, adding effects, or combining them with parts I have recorded in the past, until one way or the other I'm happy with it. There have definitely been times I have ended up with something very different then what I originally intended, but I don't think that's a bad thing, I just end up wherever the process takes me, and for that reason I rarely scrap any track, I guess I get a bit stubborn once I start something.
Female artists are undoubtedly the minority when it
comes to Noise related genres.Much of this music is themed around rape and violence towards women as well as pure sadistic perversions.What is your stance on all of this and what are your views and reasons for not only yourself, but all women who create and participate in this kind of music? What do you think woman can offer to the scene that males can not?
That is a good question, and I guess for me, I see it as being the same as watching a violent movie, or listening to a death metal album, it is entertainment and an outlet. I don't believe that this type of material causes violence, if anything it probably helps prevent some. I really can't speak for other female artists but I would think that if your going to make aggressive music like this in the first place then you're probably not the type that is bothered by violent subject matter. I think females being involved in noise definitely brings more diversity to the genre, and they can definitely create music that is just as aggressive and heavy as a male artist, but really as with any art form it is all about what the individual puts into it and their love for what they are doing. I remember the first year that I was posting tracks on soundcloud, I would frequently get comments like "killer track dude" "dude, this is awesome" I was never upset by these comments, I didn't correct them, I found it funny, and at the same time flattering, I figured if people thought I could do this as well as a guy in a male dominated genre then I must be doing something right.
You obviously have a passion for exploring multiple genres with Phantasm Nocturnes.Are there any other styles you are planning on incorporating into your work in the future? Are there any that you have not yet worked in that you would want to?, And if so what is holding you back if anything? I know you have done many collaborations in the past. How do you feel about collaborating with full bands?, I.E. Black or Death Metal artists as they often share themes with artists in Noise and Ambient related genres.
No there aren't any other genres at this time that I would consider incorporating into Phantasm Nocturnes. I would definitely welcome collaborating with full bands particularly metal bands, I have been a huge metal fan since I was 12 years old.
Are there any specific artists or projects that
you have approached regarding this sort of collaboration? If you could work with anybody
(Alive or dead) who would it be?
No, there isn't.
I would have to say the band Mayhem.
What's next for Phantasm Nocturnes? Are there any
upcoming releases or appearances you'd like to talk
about? Or will we have to wait patiently?
Very soon I will have a HNW cassette released through Sex and Death Electronics named Blood Sucking Freaks(after the movie) and a split cassette with Black Sheet Servitude released through Dungeon Dweller Records. I have a number of albums that will be coming out eventually - a split cassette with Lalemus to be released through Enemata Records, a collab cd with Bride Wore Black to be released through Turgid Animal Records, and a split with Mausoleum to be released through Occult Supremacy Records. I am currently finishing up a collab album with an artist called Druuna Jaguar, and am working on an album to be released through Underground Industrial Records.
That is a lot to look forward to! Thank you for taking the time to speak to us! Any parting words or recommendations?
Thanks very much for doing this interview! And of course a big thanks to anyone reading it! Some recommendations, well let's see... A big release for me this year was ACHERONTAS - MA - ION , also lately I have been listening to Gnaw Their Tongues - Abyss of Longing Throats, MZ. 412 - Hekatomb, there is a really great new noise collab project called Molotov Coffee that definitely deserve more exposure, their self titled album is available for free on Bandcamp. I have also been working my way through some great releases I picked up from Exabyss records lately, definitely a great underground label well worth checking out!
You can check out Phantasm Nocturnes via the links below: