P. Emerson Williams – an interaction

Alright as was said, here’s the interview that is just the beginning of a lot more to come.

emerson williams

Loosening up right now is P. Emerson Williams. Emerson is a musician, artist and an illustrator who grew up in Norway and is currently working in London. Known for his blackened industrial band Choronzon for which he plays all instruments, Emerson is part of two other bands Veil of Thorns and Kkoagulaa, add to that many other collaborations. Emerson is an artist and has worked with Katatonia and Primordial and very recently he did the artwork for Indian band Rat King (who are with Roadcrew Records, India) for their 2009 offering Larva. He has come a long way as a visionary artist and an illustrator, and his work is collected in the books Enshroud and Panic Pandemic. Also a chaos magick practitioner, his knowledge includes a lot of stuff that would require going beyond the usual. Here’s the conversation.

Hey Emerson, hows it going?

Emerson – Roiling chaos and uncertainty surrounds, as is usual.

Metal. What does it mean to you?

Emerson – A vast country, comprised of rotting, primitive structures to Wagnerian grandeur and creepy soundscapes. I always come back to metal.

choronzon cover

Artists you look up to…

Emerson – I spent many hours gazing at art books of Albrect Dürer, Hans Baldung and other late Gothic artists as a young’un. The surrealists were an obsession in my teens, and photographers like Imogen Cunningham and Joel-Peter Witkin have probably been more influential on my imagery than any other form of visual artist.

Some metal bands that excite you at this moment…

Emerson – Rat King blow my mind every time I listen, and hearing Rose Kemp makes me want to pull together a three-piece and see what kinds of unholy noises she could make. Blackdeath from Russia and the new Burzum.

Whats on your playlist right now…

Emerson – I’ve gone back to Mordor (Swiss version), off late. I find myself missing the raw, lo-fi aesthetic of early underground metal of days gone by.

veil of thorns cover

Black metal is…

Emerson – In its on parallel universe away from market conventions.

When you hit the bar you look for…

Emerson – First choice ould be an mid 20th century Armagnac, but a ’77 vintage port is never to be resisted. I tend to like to be able to taste the dirt in which the grapes were grown. Or a well aged single-barrel bourbon.

Your bands and collaborations…

Emerson – Main bands are Choronzon, Veil of Thorns and Kkoagulaa. Recent collaborations are with FoolishPeople on their last four productions, Manes on the How the World Came to an End album and John Zewizz of Sleep Chamber fame on his new solo album 2012.

Band you wish you were part of…

Emerson Killing Joke.

Your opinion on the Indian scene…

Emerson – There is real quality coming out of India. I’m seeing a lot of activity all the way around, with labels and event organizers making things happen. This DIY ethic is precisely what is needed to create fertile ground for creativity and gives everyone reason to be excited about being involved. I wonder if there’s as healthy a scene for Industrial and Goth in India as there seems to be for Metal…

Kkoagulaa cover

How is the Indian metal scene perceived around you…

Emerson – Well, most US/Euro people around me have been introduced to Indian metal by my playing Rat King to them, which has awakened a great deal of interest. Blind Image are definitely making a name for themselves all over the place. I’m distributing their album More Than Human at Veil Of Thorns store along with both Rat King albums and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding both artists.

Your opinion on…

God – Anthropomorphising the ineffable.

Religion – Should never involve more than one human.

Satan – Every good propaganda effort needs a bogeyman. Creating one out of the gods of the vanquished peoples is, well, diabolical…

Your Indian connections…

Emerson – Brilliant and wonderful people.

Few words for Roadcrew Records…

Emerson – They’re doing a wonderful job, the dedication to their artists and quality of releases is inspiring. I see great things coming from Madhav and Roadcrew in the future.

Any Indian trip (work or pleasure) in the pipeline…

Emerson – That will require the right circumstances. I would love to bring a band and full theatrical production and collaborate with Indian musicians/visual artists/theatre troupes/multimedia artists and do something different. Just putting that out there and we’ll see.

life blood

Your views on Burzum’s comeback Belus…

Emerson – A breath of fresh air from an ancient forest…

Releases this year you are looking forward to…

Emerson – Well, since I’ve been wrapped up in a million projects, I haven’t had time to keep up on what’s coming down the pike. Two releases I’ve had a hand in are 2012, John Zewizz’ (Sleep Chamber) solo album is due out this spring as is the Sleep Chamber classic Satanic Sanction – remastered and expanded. I did the cover layouts and art for both and had the honour of playing cello on 2012. Trev has another Midnight Configuration album cooking and it’s shaping up to be amazing and there’s the return of Killing Joke‘s original lineup with Feast of Fools late in the year.

When I say absurd history, first thing that comes to your mind…

Emerson – Wide-ranging, society, travel, photos – Metal!

There are only 1411 tigers left in India (or thats what we are told), your views/does it matter..

Emerson – There are too damn many of us. From the time of the first migration of humans from Africa, the arrival of homo sapiens has been accompanied by mass extinction of other species. We can’t expand into the stars soon enough.

Life is a bitch, is it?

Emerson – Life is pure joy. Reality tunnels we construct in ever narrower dimensions mask this fact.

Do you miss Chuck Schuldiner…

Emerson – Yes. Funny about Florida’s death metal guitarists and brain cancer…

emerson on cello and maynard la paz playing berimbao

Lamb of God playing in India on 15th May. You want to say anything on this…

Emerson – Good fortune for Lamb of God. I have no doubt they’ll get a thundering reception.

Details about any of your work that has released recently or is going to release…

Emerson – Latest releases are Veil of ThornsSalon Apocalypse and Necrofuturist, available from Inner-XMusickSoleilmoon, Market Apocalypse and Roadcrew, as well as Manifestation Objective which can be found on iTunes. Released just this month is KkoagulaaAurum Nostrum Non Est Aurum Vulgi with members of Manes, 3rd and the Mortal, Atrox, Chton, Shining (Swe) and more, and KkoagulaaImpressions of Ardour digi-EP on iTunes. There is much more to come from Kkoagulaa. And then there’s a continuous experiment from FoolishPeople


Primordial or Katatonia

Kkoagulaa or Manes
– Can never be an either/or proposition.

Rat King or King Diamond
Rat King, hands down.

Port or Bourbon

Black or Death

Iron Maiden or Dio

Melodic or Brutal
– Strange.

Burzum or Irgum Burgum

Last Words…

Emerson – Gjev meg gamalost!


To know Emerson more than what you know about him now you could visit Choronzon.org, Alterati.com and Greylodge.org

also read :

album review : Ihsahn – After (2010)

album review : Burzum – Belus (2010)

About Itihas Shetty

Is a verbomaniac. And a human being. And that's where the problem begins. View all posts by Itihas Shetty

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