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Bone Fragments

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Conor Fynes View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Nov 2012 at 12:48am

Bone Fragments are a pretty strange band, suffice to say. Taking all manners of the crazy and occult into mind, their brand of horror-themed experimental black metal stands out as pretty macabre and haunting, even for their genre. Given the somewhat abstract nature of their work, I had some questions about their craft that the band kindly answered. Here they are- Bone Fragments.


Hello! How are things in Virginia this time of year?


Actually, we've just relocated to Salem, Massachusetts, and previous to that we've spent the last few years in New Hampshire. Salem seems to be a pretty cool area for us though, and fitting with our sound and themes. October has been crazy here because of Halloween, but maybe it'll give us some new song inspiration.


Describe the sound of Bone Fragments. It sounds like the product of many nights spent up watching horror films.


Haha, definitely! Originally, we had a mission to combine our weird fascination with clowns and circus music with our love of black metal, and I think we achieved that pretty well on our first two CDs, Circus Maleficus and Dark Amusement. Since then, we've been taking more risks, branching out into symphonic metal on our latest release Too Gruesome to be Real and now delving into more of an avante garde style for the new CD we are working on. Lyrically, our themes are definitely inspired by horror and monsters and the deranged depths of the human psyche.


Can you give a few words about how the band formed? What was the process that made Bone Fragments into a tangible thing?


We (Phthisis and Tormentor) first met in college and really hit it off because of our mutual eccentric interests. Bone Fragments was just a crazy idea at first, a project we were going to work on for fun. Circus Maleficus was actually supposed to be a full-length album, but we became so picky about our style that we whittled it down to four songs. We made maybe 30 CDs, all by hand, and were shocked when people in Canada and Poland started contacting us for copies. I think at that point we realized that Bone Fragments meant much more to us than dicking around with two guitars and a drum machine. We really poured our heart and soul into the next two releases, and now we seem to have settled on our own style and sound.


The lyrics here seem to really fit the macabre identity and atmosphere of Bone Fragments. What is the inspiration and process behind them?


Tormentor: I love writing the lyrics. It's the pivotal point where the song transforms from music into a story. The lyrics are almost always written after the music is complete, so whatever atmosphere is portrayed by the sound can be reflected in the story. King Diamond has been my biggest influence when it comes to writing, especially for Dark Amusement which was a concept album. We weren't going to do another concept album for Too Gruesome to be Real, but we felt the album had to have a cohesive theme to it. Inspiration comes from all over the place; usually an idea will pop into one of our heads for a song title, then I just run with it.


“Too Gruesome to be Real” is the album I’ve heard from you (I own copy 45!) and it’s a pretty crazy trip. What was the process of recording it?


It was quite a convoluted process and recording was done at home in NH and in a bunch of strange locations in upstate NY. No proper studios were used, hence the lower-quality production, but we tend to like it that way. Basically the album was recorded piece by piece on rather unprofessional equipment over a span of a few months, with Gunnar joining at the end to upgrade the synths and master it. Overall, we can't believe it actually sounds as good as it does considering the nonsense and obstacles that came along with the process.


Before “Too Gruesome to be Real”, you released a demo and the debut, “Dark Amusement”. I haven’t heard either- how are they in comparison to this latest effort?


Circus Maleficus was a really rough, poorly-recorded (and played) four-track demo all about clowns, and was probably our most black-metal influenced release. Crappy production aside, the songs are still something we are really proud of because they caught the atmosphere we were going for. It can be downloaded for free here:

Dark Amusement was a giant step forward from the demo, and although the production is still lacking in comparison to Too Gruesome to be Real, this is the release that really captures our style the best. Everything on Too Gruesome is just bigger: better production, more and better use of synths, faster, more intense, etc. It was a huge undertaking for us. Our next CD is really a mix of all three of these; it's like Dark Amusement shot up with the energy from Too Gruesome and the eccentricity of Circus Maleficus.


You (Tormentor and Phthisis) are both in a band called Lepidopteran as well. Anything to say about this project?


Lepidopteran was from the Circus Maleficus era of Bone Fragments. Our EP, Shackled in Forests Forgotten, came out just before Circus Maleficus. We recorded two more demos that were never released, Blood, Bark and Fur, and The Beer Tapes. Even though Lepidopteran was mostly just a for-fun side project with our buddy, Vytautus, we had a couple songs in there that really had some potential. Who knows, maybe someday we'll dust them off and record them again.


What bands have influenced you most? I mentioned in my review that the guitar riffs sounded like something that could have been inspired by Emperor. On that note, what have you been listening to lately; anything you might recommend?


We've been influenced by a lot of different styles, mainly Bethlehem, Windir, Katatonia, Limbonic Art, and King Diamond. Recently we've really been into Katatonia and Paradise Lost. We saw them about a month ago at the Worcester Palladium with Devin Townsend; that was great show. Tormentor's recommendation is Paradise Lost's Tragic Idol, and Phthisis recommends mainly black metal gems, obscure and not, from the 90s.


What’s the metal scene in Virginia like?


It was alright in Virginia when we were there. Bands that started within a few miles of where Phthisis grew up were Pig Destroyer and Grand Belial's Key, and there was a nice metal club called Jaxx (since closed), but there was also a lot of garbage as well. Not sure yet what the metal scene here in Salem is like.


Favourite sort of cheeseburgers?


Spicy black bean burger with cajun seasoning and bleu cheese; weird, just like us!


Favourite beer?


Blue Moon and Redhook ESB.


Favourite film? (Bonus points if it’s anything by Kubrick or Lynch!)


Gummo! Then Dead Alive and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.


What advice would you give to other musicians in your sort of music- any thoughts or words of wisdom you’ve picked up along the way?


Yeah, definitely don't let anyone talk you out of expressing yourself the way you want! We've gotten a lot of crap for our weird themes; people see our covers and don't want to take us seriously. And true, we'd be taken more seriously if we laid off the clowns and octobunnies, but that's how we love making music. It would be great to see more bands taking crazy risks and coming up with weird hybrids and themes.


Final words- anything crucial I may have missed?


Thanks for the interview, and thanks for the review! We only have 6 copies of Dark Amusement left, contact [email protected] if interested. And recording is about to start on our third full-length as well, so we'll keep you posted on that.


Slainte, and cheers from Vancouver!

Edited by Conor Fynes - 03 Nov 2012 at 12:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Time Signature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2012 at 4:00am
Quote Originally, we had a mission to combine our weird fascination with clowns and circus music with our love of black metal, and I think we achieved that pretty well on our first two CDs, Circus Maleficus and Dark Amusement.

Holy shit! I have got to hear this!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2012 at 5:17pm
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