Interview with Flood Peak:
Peter Layman – Guitar/Vocals
Pierre Carbuccia Abbott – Bass
David Fylstra – Drums
Interview by Svetlana Likhacheva
Hello! Thank you for finding time for this interview. I hope you and all the band members are healthy and safe!
You are releasing your second full-length album soon. How would you describe it?
I think “moody” is the most fitting descriptor.
What was the main inspiration in the upcoming record?
It is safe to say that mental health / degradation played a pivotal role in guiding my creative process. There were a lot of tectonic shifts in my life that obscured and will (hopefully) eventually redefine my foundation. It’s difficult to tell whether I was well enough to process these changes from the onset, or if they contributed to my self submersion.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music? Is it mostly something from the outer world, or your inner feelings?
I seem to focus more than anything on my reactions and perceptions of outside elements and experiences. I’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time (over) analyzing the past while holding in how it has impacted me, in an attempt to prevent it from burdening or pushing away the people who are close to me.
What was the inspiration for writing such deep and dark lyrics for the new record?
I appreciate you taking the time to read them. I’m constantly writing lyrics to help move beyond or accept something that is weighing me down. The main catalyst for writing these lyrics was my inability to thoroughly process the darker ideations that present themselves.. whether they’re self manufactured or just willingly embraced is kind of a fog, but writing through them certainly helps.
What is the main difference between Fixed Ritual and your previous release?
I am very proud of Plagued By Sufferers, but I believe that Fixed Ritual is overall a much more tightly woven record in terms of songwriting and production. It shows me that we’re progressing and moving in the right direction.
Which track from the new album was your favourite to work on and why?
There are two that get my vote. Feral Wraiths really encompasses the overwhelming ugliness and hopelessness that I feel and want to convey, while Way of The Sea is very reminiscent of my sleep paralysis episodes. It’s almost serenely dreamlike until the realization that an unwelcome presence is moving out from the darkness at which point fear really consumes you.. however, you can’t move or protect yourself, so you have to accept whatever might happen next and allow yourself to sink quietly with the darkness.
How would your style of doing live shows change when the shows are back?
Seeing the world suffer through this pandemic really puts a lot of things into perspective. In the past, I feel that we let a lot of life get in the way of our music. We didn’t play anywhere near as many shows as we should have or would have liked to, because something personal was going on or was prioritized over booking / playing shows. I think that will be the biggest change.
Did the way of recording change since your past record? If so, how and why? Did the current crisis affect you during the recording process?
Each recording session that I’ve been a part of has been slightly different than any of the times before, and I hope that trend continues. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with really great recording engineers. They’ve always been very knowledgeable, but also open to trying any ideas that they’re given.
Working on Fixed Ritual with Eric Leavell at Husk Recording here in Portland was an absolute blast. He has so much experience and could have easily recorded us on autopilot, but he made sure to take the time to explain what he was thinking and doing during the process. It was very inclusive and I think made for a much better overall album.
Your last record, Plagued by Sufferers, was met very well, with about 90-95% positive feedback. What kind of reaction do you expect this time?
Everyone was very kind with regard to the response to Plagued By Sufferers. I just hope that whoever has the time to listen to Fixed Ritual enjoys it.
And on behalf of the previous question – how do you usually react to listeners’ criticism? Does it make you feel upset, or motivate you to work on yourself more?
I learned a long time ago that not everyone is going to appreciate or enjoy the things that you create. I’m okay with that, but will definitely take constructive criticism seriously and evaluate what people have to say. I think the worst thing you can do as an artist (or as a person) is think that you have all of the answers, or that you’re somehow immune to being human and become unable to accept failure in any form. Our society is thankfully taking a turn for the better and becoming much more open / understanding about personal growth and how important it is.
What do you think is the best way to improve yourself as a musician?
Keep every door open. So many musicians think that they are confined within a specific set of walls that they intentionally or unintentionally construct around themselves. I may not use everything that I learn in its traditional form, but I might find a subtle way to incorporate it that makes the rest of the music stand out for the better.
Have any new bands caught your attention recently?
There are so many great bands out there. I think that I’m usually late to find bands, so most of my recommendations wouldn’t be new, but they might be new to me or have new releases. A few that I’ve been listening to lately are Koldovstvo, Pupil Slicer (played with them in London a few years back and was very into it, their new record comes out the same day as ours on January 22), Throane (the new EP is perfect), Fange (two excellent releases in 2020), Affliction Vector, Petrine Cross, Nyredolk, Iron Pike (friends from Sweden also in The Arson Project), Black Magnet, LaColpa is like a heavier and faster Terra Tenebrosa (TT is one of my favorites), Hersker, Corecass, Vonlaus, Atramentus, Hymn, Vuara, Auðn, and Dkharmakhaoz.
What are the band’s plans for upcoming year?
It will definitely depend on the state of the world, but continuing to write new music can happen regardless of whether or not we’re able to safely play shows.
Have you been doing anything to keep yourself occupied while touring is down?
I’m thankful to still have my job and I’m able to work from home, which I realize makes me very lucky. I’ve focused a lot on my work, but I’m also able to write a lot of music.
Is there anything else you would like to say or wish to our readers?
Stay safe and look out for each other. Times are very tough right now and we need to be sure to check in on our friends and family regularly.
Thank you for the interview and good luck for Fixed Ritual!