Introduce us to your project!
Bleeding Raven is a project that was initiated more or less in the Spring of this year. Before this, I was using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. I really wanted to pursue a more ‘aggrotech’ and creepy style than I had been able to in my previous project.
How did you start out?
Way back, as a kid, I messed around with the idea of recording music with some buddies from high school and the neighbourhood. So, I went ahead and recorded Dark Hallway and Golgotha as “Dean Mason” only, with “Lonely Ghost Productions” as the make-shift label-o-mine.
Naturally, this lead to huge successes like touring the world, playing huge stadiums… opening for KISS and VanHalen… hahahahhaha… (that’s bullshit right there but it was fun while it lasted, nest-ce pas?…hahahahhaha). After this, I did as most young people do at that age and I pursued a career and made lots of mistakes and discovered the world of mood-altering num nums, got into trouble and partied with the Care Bears and then in 2012, I woke up and as a clean and sober individual I got back into pursuing music of an electronic bent as a hobby. I released a bunch of tracks as singles, using the name “The Lonely Ghost Project” and also just “Dean Mason of the Lonely Ghost Project” and also “LGP ONE”. Finally in 2015, I released a complete album called St. Basil’s Asylum using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Then in 2018, Cleopatra Records offered to rerelease that album. That event floored me to no end. A real honour to be a part of that label.
Describe your sound
It will inspire you in the direction of a severe nervous breakdown and give you splitting headaches…. Hahahaha! No but, Darkness Consumed (my first and most likely only release as Bleeding Raven) is a strange combination of industrial and metal and aggrotech. Some of the tracks – well two – are more dirge like. The sound is mostly creepy. In my previous sonic experiments as “Gnostic Gorilla”, I used a wide range of vocal styles but with Bleeding Raven it’s all that screeching wild and creepy style. The remixes are absolutely killers! Perfect for raves and nightclubs.
What influences your craft?
What or who? As far as actual music is concerned, as a kid, I’d say that Gary Numan was the artist that most inspired me to consider doing music, though before that I was a KISS fanatic. Numan 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. In a more general way, many artists have inspired me including Type O Negative, Ministry, Japan, Korn, Frost Like Ashes, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, Global Citizen, Fear Incorporated, DJ Zardonic, CRIX IIIX and many others. But I 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.
But the second part of this is ‘what’ influences my craft. I don’t write love songs or sex songs. If you want that, look up Justin Bieber or KISS or Madonna. My subject matter, as far as themes and lyrics, more or less is the journey/struggle with the big questions with an emphasis on the dark side of human nature. NOT evil. I’m not Dani Filth or Mayhem. That’s not my cup of tea either. I believe that the question of ‘evil’ or ‘darkness’, as I approach it, is more about the psychological/sociological manifestation of ‘evil’ or darkness like deception and abuse of power and war and racism and all the ‘other-phobias’ and disease and all those things that are life negating or that baffle us. I mean look at War Pigs. That song is about war using the imagery of evil witches to make the point. Also, Shame on the Night by DIO. That’s more the tradition I follow as far as ‘theme’ goes.
What makes your project different?
I don’t subscribe to the notion of ‘unique’ or ‘different’ when it comes to music/entertainment/art. I mean, we could still use that concept in I suppose but that’s it. It’s all been done man. Every type of image and every kind of sound and pose and blend of styles. We’re just recycling what those before us have done already. I know that sounds pessimistic but it’s true.
When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
More recently, (October) I lost the hearing in my left ear completely. That’s been devastating.
What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
Getting a deal with Cleopatra Record and meeting some really neat people doing sort of what I’m doing.
How bright is the future – what are the plans?
I have lost the hearing in the left ear completely. I have to protect the little hearing I have left in the right ear which is at half capacity. I want to be able to hear the voices of the ones I love and the more natural sounds in life. For all intents and purposes, I’m deaf. Music is no longer an option. Music has been such an important part of my life obviously but that’s over. That’s the future.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
As a guy who spoke as honestly as possible.