EMQ’s with BLEEDING RAVEN
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Canadian one-man Aggrotech project, Bleeding Raven. Huge thanks to Dean Mason for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hello, I’m Dean Mason of Bleeding Raven (and Gnostic Gorilla). Bleeding Raven is a one-man aggrotech project so, I more or less do everything, including making the muffins! Hahahahaha! So, I started off in music as a tiny little boy in school and put out a single with some mates from the hood. It was a cross between Maiden and Bauhaus…lol! The tracks were “Dark Hallway/Golgotha”, and it was released simply as “Dean Mason”;
It was released on “Lonely Ghost Productions” indie label. In 2012, I revisited the idea of doing music strictly as a hobby, as I have a ‘career’ and thus was born [initially] “The Lonely Ghost Project”. I recorded a few singles
and released them, but never really took myself seriously (still don’t)! In 2016, I decided to release an entire album, but used the name “Gnostic Gorilla”, then that album was rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. I was offered a deal with them in January of 2018, and I admit I was immensely surprised. Quite an honour. So…I released a few albums as “Gnostic Gorilla” (with other labels as well) and then finally, in May of 2019, I wanted to do a more aggrotech type project and thus was born “Bleeding Raven”. (also released on Cleopatra Records)!
How did you come up with your band name?
The idea for the name comes from First Nations lore. The Raven is a significant character/image in Indigenous Canadian (First Nations) spiritual storytelling and folklore. Depending on the tribe, the Raven is seen as either a little trickster, or as a sort of spiritual entity that carries the soul to the Great Spirit or warns of impending death. The ‘bleeding’ part of the name is a reference to the suffering of my brothers and sisters of the First Nations, but also of humanity in general. In case someone tries to slam me with false claims, the ‘bleeding’ part has NOTHING to do with sacrifice. Just for the record!
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from Canada. The ‘metal’ scene is very vibrant. My brother actually was a member of Summertime Daisies, a Death Metal band from the 90’s. But anyway, whatever you find in Europe and the US, you’ll find here.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
“Darkness Consumed” released by Cleopatra Records.
Who have been your greatest influences?
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, Zardonic, Global Citizen, CRIX IIIX, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, Maiden, Sabbath, and many others. But I also 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”.
What first got you into music?
My dad was in a band before I was even born. It’s sort of in my DNA. I was singing Elvis tunes as a kid along with some French songs, like “La Poupee Qui Fait Non” by Michel Polnareff. Check it out man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDkVjrYNyLo
Then KISS and Gary Numan inspired me as a young lad.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Gary Numan, Ian Astbury or Billy Corgan. None of this will happen of course but hey…you asked. LOL!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
And that is a BIG IF. I’m not a live act. But if I could, I really don’t know. Ozzfest. (does that still exist?)
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We’re in deep shit folks…run to the hills. Hahahahaha! I don’t know honestly. There’s so much hate in this world, we all need to fucking get along. It really doesn’t cost anything to be nice. BE NICE! Lol!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Jim Morrison. Like…duh…
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The most important aspect of being into music for me is actually the lyrics. The music for me is a vehicle for the lyrics. But that’s me. As for what I hate, I don’t know. Mixing…lol! I’ve lost more equipment that went flying through the window….lol!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I don’t know. It would be slightly arrogant for me to make suggestions, I think. I’m just a really, REALLY small guy. But I do have to say that I’ve noticed there’s this hierarchy, or a sort of ‘caste system’ within the celebrity ‘elite’ in rock and roll-dom. Established celebrities don’t give a rat’s ass about new acts, they just want to keep their thrones polished and they associate only amongst themselves. I mean, there are exceptions of course (Gary Numan is quite approachable), but in general, there is this attitude of “better than thee” amongst the established artists that makes me gag. It’s a total ‘caste’ system, which is kind of ironic, considering that rock is supposed to be more or less anti-establishment etc. But it’s just the same ‘royal’ bullshit, but with long hair and makeup as opposed to three piece suits and tiaras.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Replicas” by Gary Numan (solo act) and The Doors Live (band)!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I like vinyl, and there is something so special about vinyl. BUT we do live in a digital age and we can’t go backwards. And I LOVE the convenience of having so much music available without having to rent a U-Haul. But I DO like the tangible aspect of a vinyl record with inner sleeve etc. Cassettes? Really? Do we really want to go back to that? I mean, CDs ok, but cassettes? I don’t get it myself.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Music is a hobby. That’s all it is. I got a label deal (a couple actually) and that includes three albums with Cleopatra Records which is quite neat, but music isn’t my livelihood. I don’t discuss my ‘real career’ in interviews.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Pope Francis. Dracula. Boy George. Ian Astbury and Sophie Tweed- Simmons.
What’s next for you?
Sadly, the only plans I have for the next few months—years, is promoting that which I have released already. Well…there is also another Gnostic Gorilla (my other project) release in 2020, but that’s it. You see, I lost my hearing…completely in the left ear and the right ear is vulnerable…functioning only with an aid and it’s touch and go at that. The left ear can’t be helped with a hearing device. It’s completely gone. Toast. Its what they call sudden hearing loss. It’s what I call being shit out of luck royally. Hahahahaha! I joke but it’s not easy. So, there we are.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Never had them! I don’t think we have these here. Must be an English treat or something. But whatever they are, they are probably delicious!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
No, thank you! Keep promoting the ‘little guy and gal’ man. Cheers and enjoy your Jaffa Cakes…lol…
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