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Worship

Worship is a band that will appeal to many a doom fan, and funeral doom fans in particular. Already going strong for fourteen years, but only released their second full-length album in 2012. A good moment to talk to the band. Guitarist/vocalist Daniel Pharos, also known as The Doommonger, found the time to talk to us.

By: Marcel H. | Archive under doom metal

Hi, how are you as Worship doing?
Great. New album out, brilliant tour behind us, some good gigs in the planning stages.

So, finally, after five years, the follow-up to 'Dooom' has hit the stores. What's the reason for 'Terranean Wake' to take five years before it was unleashed on the world?
Time races by quite quickly. Actually, two things. First, I was too busy making the necessary room in my life to record the album. I changed my job, since 2010 I am actually a fulltime professional composer. The idea was, besides never having to do some stupid hollow office job again that can fuck off and die, that I would have more free time for my band. That turned out to be bullshit. To live off that stuff is quite hard, and workloads are shifting and deadlines are backbreaking. And I like to work on my songs for a long time. I shift them around, polish them, often only in my head, for months and years. Biggest factor driving the recordings was the tour. Luckily I found Doomstar Bookings, who did a brilliant job of setting up our magical nine gigs tour last October. When that tour was heading towards me I KNEW I had to have the album done, otherwise it would seem stupid to tour without an album. I almost made it: CD was ready, tapes almost, LPs a good month too late. But I need those outside factors, because otherwise I would maybe never stop perfecting those songs…

Of course, by now it is a well-known fact that it's been little over a decade since Max passed away. Have you finally come to grips with it?
Time heals wounds, but Max is missing a lot of the time when dealing with Worship. It was his band name, his idea to start the band, and he was one half of the band.

How was it that 'Terranean Wake' is your first full effort, if I am not mistaken, without any of Max's input?
You can see that in different ways. I don't want to play down his role in the band, just the basic facts are that I have written all the songs except the covers and the song on the Persistence In Mourning split (which was written by guitar player Satachrist many years ago). So nothing has changed there. The songs for 'Last Tape Before Doomsday' were mostly done when Max heard them first. We wrote the lyrics together, and I also provided some vocals. Max provided character to the band, his interesting voice, a lot of pain, hatred and spirit. He drove the band on, had all the connections and wild ideas. All that is super and dearly missed, but I know what I want music-wise, and that has not changed. I always fully controlled the music, so I personally think it is weird that people say with/without Max's input. For the spirit, yes, for the character, the direction, styling, art, lyrics, vocals. All that is very important, and not played down in any way. But the composition, the music, almost all the instruments, production, that always was my part of the deal (with a few exceptions here and there).

Worship hasn't been too busy on the release front over the past five years it seems, whereas before you released quite a few splits, what's the reason for it?
Most of the splits were in the old days. A split is quickly done, a split can have some experimentation, where an album is a massive work in my eyes, which needs a lot of time to grow and ripen before I am willing to let it go.

Are you planning any more splits in the near future?
Not at the moment. But we will see!

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'Terranean Wake' has been released on cd by Weird Truth Productions, why not go with your own label Endzeit Elegies for it?
Weird Truth has supported Worship for a long time. Weird Truth released the demo tape on CD, with quite some success I must add. We thought about all the possibilities and it seemed right to go with Weird Truth this time. Feels good and right so far. Weird Truth are very understanding towards bands and very patient, which is what I need.

The vinyl version of 'Terranean Wake' you released on your own label Endzeit Elegies and not like 'Last LP Before Doomsday' and 'Dooom' on Paniac Records, is there a specific reason for that?
Painiac is another great supporter of the band, but this time he did not have the time to invest in this release. Maybe another time.

Worship has never really be known as a band who played live a lot, okay there were a couple of gigs supporting 'Dooom' in 2008, but it seems that as support for 'Terranean Wake' you did quite a few dates. Can we expect more Worship shows in the near future? And how was the tour with Faal?
That tour had quite some impact on us as a band. We started out feeling like a studio project boosted by three friends for live performance, and returned feeling like a tight band. It also inspired me to write new material for the next release. It was a bit like a road movie, Four friends hit the road after their other band failed a few years ago. Like old bastards trying to show that they can still do it, with some issues on board. Long roads, great gigs, crazy feedback, great and new things experienced. We did get some crazy feedback, many people were totally moved. And we felt more and more like a close band suddenly. Hard to express, but it was one of the best times of my life. I took a lot of that tour back home.

How has 'Terranean Wake' been received up to now ?
The reviews are not as extremely stellar as those of 'Dooom', but I can live with that. 'Terranean Wake' has turned out very good, and even though it's shorter, and maybe not so long-awaited, it is in some aspects the better album. And it is deep, it needs some time to grow on you. It means a lot to me, moves me a lot, and that is my personal benchmark. There are a lot of milestones on that thing: The longest song yet, the songs with the lyrics that are the closest to my core, first time with Sepulchralis drumming on my album, first time for a few guitar tricks I use and so on. My music is my own weird realm, if it moves me, impresses me, has meaning to me, then it might be interesting to somebody else, too. That has worked in the past.

What are your plans for the near and not so near future?
I have written three songs for the next album already (a lot of polishing will follow, of course), and currently we are trying to set up gigs for 2013. We are always interested in more gig offers, anywhere in the world, please send them to info@endzeitelegies.com and luuk@doomstarbookings.com

Thanks for taking the time to answer these couple of questions. Is there anything you'd like to add?
Thanks! I always have to thank those faithful diehard fans out there, too. I can't fake to be too cool to notice their support and dedication, so I won't try. The stories I heard on tour. We have some really extreme fans, and I am grateful for that. While I need to make Worship's music for myself, I also need the Worshippers, or otherwise I wouldn't feel the necessary drive to complete the next album. I would always delay it or lose myself in perfecting a song structure… If you want to learn more about Worship, you could check out our homepage or Facebook. Albums and merch is available here.

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