Trees, Clouds and Silence is a one-man atmospheric black metal act out of Spain; a nature-inspired journey behind which stands Ocram. Their new album is Let Me Die On Your Roots and is available now directly through his own label, Moon On A String Productions. Moreover, the man behind the band is also a highly-gifted craftsman and part owner in business where he creates a countless array of beautifully-designed items. Please do yourself a favor and check the etsy link at the bottom of the interview.
We are very grateful to Ocram for his time in answering some of our questions and leading us into the path of Trees, Clouds & Silence.
Where does the name Trees, Clouds and Silence come from?
One morning of January (2014) while taking a walk through the countryside with my wife, we both took sit on a stone, in silence, looking at the blue and cloudy horizon, and I said to her “Trees, Clouds and silence… What else can we ask for?” “Nothing” She said. And in that moment I say “Wow, It’s a great name for a musical project of ours”.
In the beginning it was going to be a name for a Folk project that we had in mind, but finally I decided to use it for a Post-Rock project better, considering that in that moment I was discovering Post-Rock music and I felt I needed to do something like that…
You have a pretty unique post-black metal sound. Can you talk about the musical “roots” of Trees, Clouds and Silence?
Well, I had always been a Black Metal musician and worked with bands related with this style since 2000 approx. Obviously, I also listen to a lot of music styles, but Black Metal and all kind of dark music is my strong point as a composer, I think.
I discovered Post-Rock music thanks to my wife… I think it was Sleepmakeswaves, and at that point I begun to explore this fascinating kind of music in more detail…
A fresh, pure and melodic style, just amazing.
I decided to try to write Post-Rock music… and Voila! It’s what happens when a Black Metal musician like me tries to do Post-Rock, you have Trees, Clouds & Silence… hehe!
I knew bands like Alcest or Les Discrets, both a source of inspiration for me… but I didn’t have any idea about Post-Black Metal music out of that, maybe it was my ignorance that gave me a sound a bit different to common Post-Black.
In what ways are the following things important to you in your music?…. nature, non-musical arts, ritual?
Nature… It’s all for me, it’s my drug, my energy… Definitely one of the most important things in my life, and obviously that influences my music (specially Trees, Clouds & Silence) it’s where I get all the inspiration for writing the music.
Non-musical arts are very important in my life too, it’s my other way to let my feelings and emotions out. I love to do graphic design, woodburning, watercolor, drawing and writing… But unfortunately I don’t have much time for it, apart from my work I mean, because in spite of being an artisan, it’s different to do something by obligation instead of pleasure.
Ritual is when I’m very busy, mentally exhausted or stressed and I decide to go to the mountain, woods, river, beach… they are magical places for me, in silence, contemplating all the wonders that nature shows us and learning from it. Yes, of course, ritual is also very important in my music, it gives me the life.
Are you involved with any musical side-projects?
Yes, with more than I should have… hehe! Actually, I’m vocalist in Thyrant, a promising extreme metal band from my city with excellent musicians that have released their first album with Indie Recordings. We’re now working hard with the next assault.
Ocram, my first Black Metal solo project. I have released two EP’s and I hope to release the first album soon. Here is where I unleash all my hate, wrath and dark desires.
Gates of Irkalla, a Black Metal project I have with my friend Flyshredd from France. Only a Demo has been published. It’s a very interesting project influenced by Sumerian culture.
And unofficially there are more projects that are awaiting to emerge, I’d hope to have a bit of time for them, but for the moment they only exist in my computer.
Can you talk about the writing process and the equipment you use and record with?
Basically, I start keeping melodies, experiences, concepts and ideas in my mind, and when the concept of the new album is solid enough (or in other words, when I really need to leave it out), I start to write and record at the same time during a couple of months approx. few hours each day (if I can).
Equipment… well, I have a modest home studio with low-medium-range equipment, nothing exceptional. I have a midi keyboard, a couple of guitars (Charvel and Ibanez, both low-range) and a couple of bass (Epiphone Thunderbird and Stagg). And of course, a lot of software and plugins to experiment with the sound.
It seems that you are less concerned with lyrics and would rather let the music speak for itself. Is that accurate?
Well, not truly, lyrics are always very important for me. It’s true that in this project, vocals aren’t the principal element like in other genres. But I care about elaborating brief poems inspired in the same way as the music.
In fact, if you join the lyrics and tittles of my first album they form a poem, and the same with this one.
The name of your own label is The Moon on a String. Where did that name come from?
“The Moon on a String” is the English translation for “La Luna en un Hilo”, our handicraft & Illustration shop, so both names come from the same place.
The name was created by my wife years ago, and it’s extracted from the musical thriller “Sweeney Todd”. So I thought it would be a great name for the label considering that both are bound, as well as I like so much how, even though it refers to a string (cord), also meaning string of an instrument, which is perfect for a label name.
Let’s talk about your artisan work for a bit. Can you talk about the company, the types of services and items you offer? Are you available for commission work?
We started principally creating woodburned items based on occultism, nature and mythology like: Pendants, candleholders, wooden plates… We grew a bit and increased our creations to beeswax candles, ancient games, boxes, illustrations, ceramic mugs, tiles… All of them with our personal touch for sure.
Nowadays we’re focusing on music bands and labels too. We offer services like: special wooden editions and 100% handcrafted, merchandising and graphic design (artworks, logos, etc…)
Yes, we’re available for commission work, in fact we often receive interesting projects or items for designing.
What is the most unique item for sale and what has been the most surprising country that an order has come from?
Each one of our items are unique and handmade, but I remember a wooden oval I woodburned with “The fall of the man” after an engraving of Albrecht Dürer, it was so detailed and laborious that when I sold it and I never made another one… hehehe!
We sell to a lot of countries, but we always find it surprising when people from nordic countries like Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Finland order from us (a couple of artisans from “Costa del Sol”) Icelandic mystical pendants, norse items or Hnefatafl games. And the same with orders from countries like: Poland, Slovenia, Hungary… buying items of Slavic mythology.
It’s strange but also very flattering, because it means that we’re doing very well.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?…for the label, the music and the business?
Work, work and more work.
Many plans in mind… New musical projects. New releases (I hope). New items at shop like T-Shirts. And regarding Trees, Clouds & Silence, I have in mind a new solid concept and melodies… so…
Many many years from now, in the attic of an old home, a very distant relative locates a box. Inside the box is an album of Trees, Clouds & Silence. What do you hope this person learns about your legacy if only listening to the music?
Maybe if this relative is a nature lover, would be thrilled and would know what it feels like when the woods and mountains call you.
Also please check out their craft site with some spectacular hand-crafted items.