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Deep Dark River

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There have been heavy rains in Mumbai in the past couple of weeks. A album that I found myself listening during this time was King of the Forest, the latest release from Canadian act Deep Dark River. The gloomy weather further enhanced the album’s dark sound.

Deep Dark River was started by Morgan Rider (Vesperia, Crimson Shadows). He released a self titled album last year was soon after joined by Nathen Morrison on cello.

I spoke to Morgan Rider about the inspiration behind the band, King of the Forest and also performing live.

You have been performing with metal bands (Vesperia, Crimson Shadows) for some time now. What inspired you to start Deep Dark River?

Yes! Actually, I have been playing, writing, recording and touring with metal bands for over two thirds of my life. I have always loved music in every form, not ever cordoning myself into any particular ways of approaching a genre, or being too hyper critical of other styles. Music is art, afterall.

I really began going down this path when I started assembling my own recording studio close to a decade ago. I always wrote and recorded songs that simply didnt belong within the catalogue of my existing bands and after a while I had amassed a small library of unused material that I felt really strongly about.

It was in 2017 that I discovered I was to become a father the next year. I dont know why, but something clicked in me then. I immediately penned down the title ‘Deep Dark River’ on the front of a blank notebook and started writing songs without trying too hard. Within those 9 months, I had filled much of the notebook with songs and had constructed the idea of the project along with its future over the next five years.

You are now joined by Nathen Morrison on cello. How did he become of the band?

Nathen and I have been friends for a long while. He and I had shared the stage plenty of times with our previous bands, and had recruited members of eachothers’ bands to play in our bands. In 2017, I had this idea of getting a violin player on board with Deep Dark River, but found it next to impossible to find somebody talented at the instrument with available time to work on this with me.

Nathen – it turns out – had been learning the cello for the last 6-8 years and was quite formidable on the instrument already. I spoke with him a couple of times and he was eager to get involved in a project like this.

King of the Forest is a dark album. Do tell us a bit more about it.

So right out of the gate, King of the Forest is an album of lament and loss. I am a huge supporter of minimalism, helping people understand their ecological footprint and understanding how our actions are shaping the world around us. I have always been impacted heavily by what we as a species of earth are doing to our home and everything in it without much care or focus on how it will turn out for us. King of the Forest talks a little about this.

Its about a woodland guardian, a godlike figure in the element of his domain – the ancient arboreal realms of earth. He is drawn to the highest mountain of his forest and witnesses a meteor impact within his lands, which destroys and clears much of the thick forest. Much time passes and things begin to blossom anew, when the forest is finally encroached on by the humans, who come with their steel machines and poisonous air. He fights for his lands and kin, but is eventually slain by the humans who do not know what he is or what he represents.

I know as an individual, I cannot and should not dictate what other people can or should think or do. I think its important that a clean and healthy earth should be one of the most important topics people should be talking about and acting toward. Afterall, no matter what other immensely difficult topics their are to talk about today – religion, humanitarianism, the global economy – none of it matters if the world it takes place on is destroyed by us.

How different was the writing process for King of the Forest?

King of the Forest was unique for me as far as writing goes. Usually I will be couped up at home, or in my studio working on the songs for an album. But for this one, I wrote all of it on the road on my last tour. I spent over a month beside the great lakes, next to camp fires, in and on top of mountains in the Rockies, hiking, etc and really enjoying the natural beauty of Canada. I also was able to shape the new songs’ dynamics in a live setting during all the shows I did from coast to coast.

The album is the first part in a four album quadrilogy that the duo plan to release over the next 2 years. What can you tell us about the other releases?

The other three albums will be a similar format to King of the Forest. Meaning, each will be seven songs long and will feature a particular legendary animal native to Canada and the domain they call home. The next one will be about an ocean guardian in the form of a monstrous whale and we plan to release it in December.

One thing that will make each album unique is that each will have a different instrumentation. While my voice along with Nathen’s cello will be the main elements across all of the releases, the next one will feature live drums and overdriven guitars.

So far, all of the drums, guitars and pianos are done for the next one. This will give us lots of time to make cool videos and release neat artwork to accompany it.

What are you currently listening to?

At this moment I am listening to ‘Everything is Fine’ by Amigo the Devil.

King of the Forest has been release on your label North Soul Records. Do you plan on signing on other artists/bands to the label?

Actually, I hadnt considered it. Maybe one day down the road! For now, North Soul will be an avenue for me to release all of my own music.

You have been performing live quite extensively. How does the experience difference as a duo compared to a 4 piece metal band?

I have! As of this month, I have played over 170 gigs since the beginning of 2018. One thing that I am enjoying quite a bit about playing solo or as a duo is that there is far, far less equipment to haul around. On my last tour, instead of having to have a van and trailer with amps, etc, I had everything I needed plus camping equipment and luggage all packed into my little car. I even brought my little family, which was a tour first!

Do you have any upcoming shows or tour planned?

There isnt any touring plans in place right now. I have been mostly grinding away in the markets within a several hour drive – slowly building a home fanbase. I might do another solo tour next year, but that is just an idea at this point.

Otherwise, I am all over Ontario throughout the summer solo and as a duo with Nathen. Those dates can be checked at http://deepdarkriver.com

Thanks for your time. Do you have any final words?

Thank you for the interview and for your support! It is cool to see what this little project is becoming and I am so excited for all of the music we plan to release over the next two years. Cheers!

Written by trendcrusher

July 9, 2019 at 10:45 pm