An entity unknown, an anonymous proposition, a collective, existing only to pummel one’s ears with vicious walls of noise – not since the heady days of the Norwegian inner circle has a death cult of such malevolence existed.
In the decade since their formation, Dragged Into Sunlight have become the leading proposition in UK extreme metal today. As the UK extreme metal scene has faded into a tired parody of itself – the collective has led the way for a new generation of extremity, pushing the boundaries of the origins and conclusions of their vicious noise in an age in which genre is a fading concept.
The group, filling their ranks with a plethora of collaborators, occultists, and extreme metal alumni are one of the few daring to innovate – be it through their public obfuscation, dimly lit live theatrics, the monolithic audial torture of their output, or the tireless innovation running through their depraved walls of noise.
We caught up with one of the Dragged’ cabal to pry at the ideologies, creative processes, and abstraction behind the collective’s noise.
You have an ever expanding roster of members of contributors/members, why is this? Might you refer to yourselves as a collective as opposed to a band?
Possibly – Dragged Into Sunlight has grown steadily into a home for artists who seek to create relentlessly without the boundaries of pleasing third parties or fitting in. Some musicians are better at not fitting in, finding other musicians who share a similar mindset is not only part of the challenge but also part of the reward.
With added weight, there are barbaric levels of momentum in the themes that we are able to create and promote as a collective entity.
Your music is incredibly abstract, how would you define Dragged Into Sunlight’s sound?
If we were able to define what it is that we do, it would likely prove self-fulfilling. Labelling predetermines a product – if you want to capture a certain flavour you utilise predetermined ingredients and tools to create a familiar taste. If you strive to create something new, it’s either going to taste great like peanut butter and weed or like total shit. There’s a little more thrill to the chase, so perhaps abstract isn’t so bad.
You have a somewhat more extravagant live show than most other live acts, why is this? What influences are behind the weirdness and colour of your live shows?
Dragged Into Sunlight is the final venture for those involved and on that basis, there are elements that certain individuals seek to incorporate as a bucket list. The live show continues to evolve however, that is part of the challenge, and whilst many artists feel that their live show should be indicative of their recorded sound, the same approach would prove fruitless for those involved in Dragged Into Sunlight and is better reversed.
Those attending shows are paying to see something different, it would be a lot easier to replicate a recorded sound but would also be a compromise to the fundamentals that underpin Dragged Into Sunlight as a concept. You can stream a record, you cannot stream the corresponding live experience, and with Dragged Into Sunlight, it is that lack of grounds for comparison which justifies fans of extreme music leaving the house and supporting those bands that strive to do something a little different.
Do any of your members dabble in the occult or is it purely a thematic thing for Dragged Into Sunlight?
Suffice to say, members dabble in all sorts. We are a collective of not just dark interest but obsession with all matters extreme.
Are you influenced more by the old school autopsy/incantation version of deathly doom, or is the influence of more modern doom/sludge/drone a more prominent influence for you guys?
It is certainly the likes of Autopsy, Incantation, and Demigod that continue to inspire. That is not to say that the more modern doom, sludge and drone does not influence the sound that Dragged Into Sunlight creates but perhaps that those involved are of a generation where bands such as Autopsy carried a more relevant significance.
Widowmaker and the split with Gnaw Their Tongues have a much more prominent doom metal influence, and a more melodic strain of tonality running through these releases, than the previous two releases, what’s behind this?
Widowmaker as a recording focused on themes of loneliness whilst NV draws on the negative and industrial chill of harsh noise with elements of grindcore weaved in.
Both Terminal Aggressor and Hatred for Mankind centred on frenzied aggression and a fuller sound. Such a frenzied approach could be said to allow for a more diverse but less coherent sound.
You can read the full interview with Dragged Into Sunlight in Issue 1 of Astral Noize. Check it out here.
Words: Richard Lowe