Interview – J. Feral

I recently had the chance to ask J. Feral from New Brunswick based band, Feral as well as Toronto based black metal band, Volk a few questions on various topics. Now, it’s your turn to find out what he had to say!

First off, care to introduce yourself?

I’m J. Feral, writer and instrumentalist of Feral, as well the bassist for Toronto black metal band Volk.

How would you describe the metal community in New Brunswick?

New Brunswick has a number of unique bands such as Thrawsunblat, but not a lot of live action. I definitely prefer the Quebec and Ontario metal scene. New Brunswick is a great place to write music as there are many scenic locations where you can make a connection with the natural energies and not be disturbed.

You released your debut full length album, For Those Who Live in Darkness back in 2014, how was the response?

The response to For Those Who Live In Darkness has been great for the most part. A lot of positive feedback regarding the vocals and instrumentals however there have inevitably been a few negative reviews.

You will be releasing your second album this coming fall, how did you writing process differ on this album compared to your last?

The ideas of For Those Who Live In Darkness had been growing long before I started writing anything. The dark and atmospheric sound of the album is the innate energy of Feral which inspired the very inception of this project. This second album to be released was inspired by the death of a loved one which shifted my focus from writing about the nature of darkness to exploring the essence of life and growth. The songs on this album were written one by one within a year of transition from grief to release thus it is reflected in the structure of the album. The writing of this album was also a journey to create a different sound, to go past the boundaries of traditional black metal.

What can you tell us about your upcoming release?

The sound is very different than any black metal previously released. The songs are very melodic and incorporate more blues and rock elements while maintaining the harsh intensity of black metal. The lyrics are very personal and as stated above explore the essence of life and growth. The lyrics throughout the album tell a story of transitioning to the higher self and pursuing a clandestine calling in the midst of grief. The lyrics also continue the lingering battle to maintain sanity while pursuing the forbidden arts, a subject explored throughout For Those Who Live In Darkness.

Do you have any plans for touring in 2016?

Feral is a studio project thus does not tour, however I’m flirting with the idea of an acoustic graveyard performance that would take place near Samhain.

What can fans that have yet to see you live expect from a Feral show?

If this graveyard performance is arranged, fans can expect it to be very esoteric. Nothing extravagant or theatrical but a form of ritual to share the real experience of Feral with fans.


What advice would you give for up & coming Canadian metal bands?

Take advantage of the natural beauty of this country to find their sound within. This is a beautiful land full of inspiration, especially near the ocean.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, who are you current favourite artists/bands?

I firmly believe that Canada has had the best recent acts in metal. Gris is easily one of my favourite Canadian groups as well as Unbowed who just released a new ep that I can’t stop listening to. Let’s not forget Woods of Ypres (R.I.P.) who’s music still continues to inspire me.

Here at Canadian Beats, we like to include a portion of questions that may help your fans learn something new about you, so here goes:

What was the first album you ever bought and the first concert attended?

The first album I ever had was Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” when I was about 7 years old. The first show I saw was Ensiferum at Paganfest

What is your favourite social media platform and why?

I don’t particularly care for social media though I hope to learn to use it as it is a great tool to reach out to fans. Facebook has been the easiest for me to figure out.

What is the one thing that your fans would be surprised to learn about you?

Being a Canadian I supposed this is not so surprising, but through high school I was a high calibur hockey player. A tenacious goal scorer that didn’t hesitate to drop the gloves.

What is your current go-to song?

“Echoes of Cernunnos” from the new Unbowed ep is a song that I constantly find myself listening to. One of the best tracks I’ve heard for a while.

Last but not least, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

I’m honored to have the fans who support Feral and I look forward to bringing a new album your way. As the Equinox draws near, a small taste of the next release will likely surface. Follow Thy Will.

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