LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: “Bleeding Raven” is a very recent project. I have been involved in another project, “Gnostic Gorilla” which has released material that is ‘Gothic’ and ‘industrial’ and generally dark alternative electronic music. I wanted to do music that is specifically ‘aggrotech’ and so I started “Bleeding Raven” as an experiment in this genre. Some history though–Way back, I got involved in music and did a single. “Dark Hallway/Golgotha” and it was released just as “Dean Mason” and the so called indie label was Lonely Ghost Productions. In 2012 I decided to revisit doing music as a hobby more or less and began recording electronic music, more of an industrial bent. In 2016 I released my first album (after having released many singles) called “St. Basil’s Asylum”. I originally went with the project name of “The Lonely Ghost Project” but when I found out there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade” I decided to rename the project “Gnostic Gorilla”. I released a few albums as Gnostic Gorilla and in 2018 Cleopatra released “St. Basil’s Asylum” anew and that was a very special highlight for me as Cleopatra is a classic label with a great roster of artists, many of the more alternative type. In May of 2019, I started the “Bleeding Raven” project as an experiment in more aggressive and creepy industrial music that some call ‘aggrotech’. More or less, “Bleeding Raven” is inspired by Native Canadian spirituality. The Raven, is quite prominent in Native Canadian/American mythology and folklore. Sometimes the Raven is seen as a symbol of transformation…even from death to new life. The Raven is also common in the folklore of many other cultures. My idea of a “bleeding raven” is specifically a reference to a fractured soul…or wounded soul. More recently, I’ve released dark ambient and dark tech tracks.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: So true that this pandemic has messed us up immensely. I think after the reality of the virus itself, mental health issues have risen to new levels. Lots of anxiety and lots of depression out there. Last March I’ve recorded a few tracks… in the more ambient genre. I actually have a track called “Violet Plaque” which is about this mess. I’ve also released songs that were about the other ‘plague’ and that is the rise of hatred in the Western world, and I’m thinking more ion terms of the right wing Neanderthals being emboldened by certain people within certain conservative parties. But, to conclude this, and I know we are all hurting, but we must just hang on and we must also be aware of the many, MANY people who are suffering immensely in third world countries who don’t have what we have.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: What to expect? Expect a huge headache and then a nervous breakdown. Hahahahahaha. No but seriously, my music (noise buffet) is quite dark and even at times haunting and creepy. My songs touch upon themes that are mostly religious in nature. Salem’s Vigil for example, from the debut album, is about the Salem Witch hunt but also how modern day Christians are in a way sort of back at the persecution of those who are not of their tribe or have a life style that they feel contradicts their teaching. There have been, in recent months, sick individuals who have proposed executing people for being LGBTQ or of the wrong race. Some of my stuff is sort of ‘rave’ ‘nightclub’ oriented or horror movie soundtrack.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: So, I usually set out to record with a general idea of what kind of track I want to do. Then I start messing around with different beats/drum parts or synth lines or atmospheres or bass riffs…it all depends. Then I start to build a track and I allow it to take on a life of its own…sort of like how a First Nations wood carver allows the wood to “speak to them” …and follow through. Sounds strange but it works. Then, I usually add good and raunchy guitar or synth riffs or strings and then strange FX and so on. Sometimes a track has a clear ‘chorus’ and other times not. I don’t always write songs that have a chorus because that’s a bit too ‘pop’ for me. I like more experimental…I like that feeling of “where the hell is this going now?” and then surprising the listener. When I have a basic ‘demo’ finished I then write the lyrics and record the vocals. I decide what style I want to use. A lot of my music, as far as vocals go, is a mix of deep growl sounds and screeching bitch (lol) sound. Then the worst part…mixing. It’s such a pain in the ass to get the vocals mixed in right so that they’re not too pronounced…or too faint. It has to be just right. Then I usually finish off with adding some FX or at times, wild percussion sounds or whatever. Sometimes I get to a complete track and I’m like… “nope…that’s no good”. And it get’s trashed.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Well, there is pretty big fan base already…15 in all I think. Hahahahahahaha No. But seriously, there is positive feedback and probably negative feedback as well but I’m too creepy looking so they don’t take a chance in voicing their protests publically. hahahahahaha
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Not a love act. Never will be I think.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Honestly, I don’t know. I will be promoting what I have, and I’m really promoting my Gnostic Gorilla project too; there is some exciting stuff happening with GEISHABOY RECORDS. On March 15th, they released on vinyl and CD, “HIDE THE GHOST”. I’m convinced that album has loads of potential. See link below. Thanks for the interview. https://www.geishab0yrecords.co.uk/category/gnostic-gorilla
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: I write all of the lyrics obviously, but to your question, I write about a lot of things, but mostly about the human struggle. I investigate in my lyrics a lot of dark themes but NOT in celebration of evil but as an honest search or journey through the dark realities of human life like addiction and depression and mental illness and racism and hatred etc.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Me myself and Pie R squared. Hahahahahaha. No. Seriously…it’s all me. BOO! hahahahahaha
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: In my early years, as a lad, I’d say that Gary Numan was the artist that most inspired me to just consider doing music. He remains an inspiration in many ways, but throughout the years other bands have had an impact on how I approach music. I’d say that this album, “Darkness Consumed” is inspired by the more industrial type bands, like Psyclon Nine and Die Sektor but also in a general way, many artists have inspired me. To name a few, Type O Negative, Ministry, Japan, Korn, Frost Like Ashes, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy and many others. But I have to give a shout out to The Doors who will forever be for me one of the best bands ever in the history of modern music. Gary Numan and The Doors are in many ways my biggest inspirations, even though my music itself is not like theirs.
I have to add that I’m very impressed with William Westwater and his many projects, including and especially “Fear Incorporated” and “The Pandemonium Bureau”. William has been at it for many years and in my estimation is a legend in his own right. A real blessing to know him.
any artists have inspired me. To name a few, Type O Negative, Ministry, Japan, Korn, Frost Like Ashes, Zardonic, Global Citizen who actually inspired me to get off my arse and record (we are on same label) CRIX IIIX, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, Maiden, Sabbath, and many others. But I have to give a shout out to The Doors who will forever be for me one of the best bands ever in the history of modern music. Gary Numan and The Doors are in many ways my biggest inspirations, even though my music itself is not like theirs. I have to add that I’m very impressed with William Westwater and his many projects, including and especially “Fear Incorporated” and “The Pandemonium Bureau”.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: For me it’s just about trying to find an outlet for the creative energy.
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: I’d like to see it less about ‘star gazing red carpet obsession bullshit’ and more about art. There’s this elitism bullshit in this industry that makes me gag. It should be about art. There are THOUSANDS of great artists who are not known because…most of us are like a snowflake in a blizzard.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: The label deals with Cleopatra Records and Geishab0y Records.
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Billy Corgan or Gary Numan. Neither will ever happen of course.
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: If I were a live act, Gary Numan or KISS.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Again, if I were a love act–OZZFEST
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Replicas by Gary Numan. The Doors Live. KISS Alive. Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne. Tin Drum by JAPAN. World Coming Down by Type O Negative. The Idol by WASP.
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: I’m from Canada. The Metal scene here is quite strong. Hey…this is the home of RUSH and Neil Young and Justin Bieber and The Guess Who and Gordon Lightfoot. LOTS of great stuff from this country.
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: BATMAN. Dracula. Peter Steele. Jim Morrison. Gary Numan
LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: Have you got a month? It’s all weird. FEED THE SQUIRRELS! Hahahahahaha (a bit of fun here)
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: There’s a LOT of hate out there these days. We are on the brink of disaster if we don’t wake up and evolve. Contribute to the world in a positive way!
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: I’m sorry…that’s classified. hahahahahahahaha
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time!
Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven: I THANK YOU!