Interview with Voices guitarist Sam Loynes and vocalist/guitarist Peter Benjamin | By Eric May
Voices is truly an intriguing London act, formed from the ashes of experimental death metal monstrosity Akercocke. Their new album London captures that same sense of experimentalism, but channeled through a black metal and avant-garde lens. Boasting a deep and enriching storyline that deals with a man, his obsessions, and his insanity, London comes off as a twisted cerebral adventure.
How is the work in Voices different from Akercocke?
SL: Voices is an experimental band. We want to produce extreme and challenging music. In this sense, it’s similar to the Akercocke work.
PB: We are just four inspired people making art. The whole point of this project is to do something different and against the grain of the current flow of artists in our very small U.K. scene.
What did you want to do differently on London, and how does it compare to your previous works?
PB: We’ve tried very hard to gain identity through the record, and have used different recording techniques and ideas. For instance, we’ve utilized several different instruments and also a click track to record with so that we can add different sections and layers. It is a massive progression from the first release.
SL: For us, it is not comparable. The first album was simply us finding our feet and working out what direction we were going to move. There are some moments of gold on that first record, but it was really just a vehicle to get to where we are now.
What is the meaning behind London’s deep and perplexing storyline?
SL: It would be a tad prosaic to simply explain the plot behind our antihero in London. Let’s just say that he undergoes a gauntlet of obsession, abstractions, and insanity. All of which reside in a cold and unforgiving London.
PB: I’d rather leave it open to interpretation, rather than to explain every detail. Maybe it is a puzzle that each person has their own answer to. People who live in a city might understand more than those who don’t. The record is crafted as an adventure for the listener.
Does Voices share Akercocke’s same level of adoration for Lucifer?
PB: Akercocke was more focused on the imagery and ideals of Satanism. For us, it would be boring to go where Akercocke and many other black metal bands have been. We believe that it’s time to do something different, so we have taken on our urban surroundings and all that happens within as our influence.
SL: The themes in Voices do not relate to any religious ideology. We are interested in trying to decipher the world that surrounds us. The music forms an impression of our misgivings relating to the distaste we have for this world. Yet, it is still a mystery to us.