VC = Velda Cardwell
CB = Caleb Bourguigon
MH = Michael Helmont
* What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
MH: Working on being a filmmaker full time.
CB: I actually loved metal from the time I was a toddler, but what REALLY got me into music was the Guitar Hero/Rock Band craze in the mid-late 00s.
VC: I've also always had a love for metal. Growing up, my mom and dad both played a lot of metal. My dad liked the hair and nwobhm stuff, like Skid Row and Iron Maiden. My mom was super into thrash, and because of her I grew up loving shit like Slayer and Sepultura. From there, I was able to get into the more extreme shit. I honestly can't picture myself doing anything but music. Ever since I was a kid, I pictured myself with a guitar in my hand.
* What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
MC: I enjoy watching films, and most horror especially brings about lyrical creativity, especially cosmic horror.
CB: Drugs - each substance gives you a different experience, like guitar pedals for your brain.
VC: Mostly video games and reading. I love stuff like Bloodborne and Dark Souls, very atmospheric stuff, easy to get you in a certain mood y'kno? As far as reading, I'm usually reading Southern Gothic horror or occult stuff. I'm a practicing Thelemite so I have a copy of Liber Al always on hand.
* How long has your band been around?
VC: We formed in late September of 2021. I was itching to make some extreme metal, so I flew my friend Michael here to play drums and we made a quick demo. Not even a month later, we got Caleb to screech like a banshee for our debut, Screams of the Somnambulist.
* Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
CB: I’m Canadian. It’s fucking cold here. The music is gonna be harsh.
VC: South Carolina, USA. The South is a harsh place, culturally and climate-wise. Twisting trees, kudzu cascading over everything, humidity that'll make an average day feel like a sauna, and plenty
of derelict houses that scream horror. It's perfect in a pretty fucked up way.
* How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
VC: Originally, I was going to name the band Soma, the Greek word for body. But there are like 50 bands with that name. So I changed it to Somat, which seems like a simple and lackluster change, but it changes how you look at it. Somat is also of Greek origin, but it carries a certain enigmatic air to it, don't you think? It sounds otherworldly and that's exactly what I wanted. It's less about what it objectively means, and more about what it feels like.
* Tell me about your most memorable shows.
VC: I used to play in a southern rock band called Atrophy and we played this outside show once where it was so fucking hot that I threw up during our set and nearly fainted. Thank fuck, I got some water handed to me by the sound guy and went back to playing in less than a minute. Memorable, but not very fun.
MH: I once performed guest vocals with a friend's band in 2018, Cutthroat Conspiracy, on their song "One Missed Call", and it was the most energetic I've ever felt at a show.
CB: This one time Kobold (my other band) opened for Sons of Sabbath and the bassist from Anakra jumped up onto the stage and started fortnite dancing.
* What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
MH: The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas. I would also love to play Wacken Open Air in Germany.
CB: I’m not overly picky about venues as long as the sound guy knows what he’s doing, but I always had fun playing the Rockpile in Toronto.
VC: Yeah, we're not a hard to please bunch. Give us a stage and we'll be happy. I prefer stages where I can easily see the audience.
* If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
VC: Fuck, what a hard question. Triptykon would be a dream come true. Morbid Angel too. Oh, and fucking King Diamond. I have always worshipped King Diamond and Mercyful Fate. I would kill for a chance to play with them!
CB: Dragged Into Sunlight, Immolation, Blut Aus Nord, and Devil Master would be super rad!
MH: Nile, Darkthrone, and Goatwhore.
* What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
CB: Don’t focus on fitting into one specific subgenre - it’ll stress you the fuck out and limit your creativity.
MH: Just keep going at it, you have all the time in the world to improve always.
VC: Don't wait for the perfect time. It's not coming. Just fucking do it now, you're not getting younger.
* If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
MH: Start playing your instrument NOW.
VC: Fucking practice dude!
CB: Practice every fucking day.
* Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
MH: Screams of the Somnabulist, it has a dark and eerie vibe akin to Lovecraft, and it's instrumentation is phenomenal in my opinion.
CB: In Ice She Reigns - it was the first track they sent me and it’s where I decided on the vocal style I use for Somat.
VC: Enemy of Sunlight. It's the oldest song on the debut (3 years old I think?) that I wrote for an entirely different band, it was odd yet satisfying to see it grow as a song from what it was.
* Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
MH: We haven't played a show yet, but I'm most excited for Screams of the Somnabulist.
CB: People seem to like Enemy of Sunlight a lot.
VC: Yeah, Enemy of Sunlight has the most amount of listens evidently. As far as my own personal taste, my favorite song to actually play is probably All Color Gone (Abcess), there's plenty of guitar leads to keep me busy and it flows well.
* What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
VC: Describing the creative process is weird, because it kind of just happens. It's very natural for me. I have song ideas in my head and I transpose those ideas to my guitar. The music is always written first. And the lyrics are written to fit that mold. I get inspiration from EVERYTHING, from reading to playing video games to even just sitting on a long plane ride and thinking to myself. I'm constantly thinking of songs and riffs.
MH: When writing music, I find it easy to just start playing whatever you feel like, it will eventually culminate into a solid idea you can structure up from there.
* What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
VC: I want to create the soundtrack for your nightmares. I want to conjure worlds in your mind that are filled with all sorts of evil shit. As a Thelemite, I also find it important to promulgate the Law into my music, even if subtle. We're also staunch anti-fascists, so if you're not into that, don't fucking listen to us.
MH: Death is cool.
CB: Fuck capitalism, fuck the pigs, and fuck America.
* Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
CB: Hell no! I love these guys and we all try to be easy to work with.
VC: Yeah we don't argue. We're a very open minded band that is always open to new ideas. We don't want to restrict things. Even if there's something we don't want to do, we make it rather easy to change those things. We want this to be fulfilling for everyone involved. Otherwise, I'd just start a solo project.
* What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up? up?
MH: Forming my own project called Mind Over Matter, a concept band about the life and eventual death of a serial killer.
CB: I’m just working on a bunch of music - I’ve got a new Demon Semen album in the works as well as stuff for Starfucker, Amphetamine Dream, Somat, and Okichitaw.
VC: We are also in the process of writing our sophomore album as we speak, so stay tuned for that! Somat is FAR from done, there's so much evil shit we want to defile your speakers with! Hail Aiwass! Thou hast no right but to do thy will!