Music Interview: BLEEDING RAVEN

Dean Manson, Canadian musician from Gnostic Gorilla, has been working on a new “dungeon trash” music project called BLEEDING RAVEN.

In this interview, Dean describes his music style, creative processes and inspirations for his latest project. Plus he shares his personal experiences of suddenly becoming a musician with hearing loss.    

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Artists Name: BLEEDING RAVEN (Dean Mason Music/Lyrics/Vocals/Beautican)
Genre: Aggrotech/Industrial/Dungeon Trash
Founded: May 2019
Originated From: Ontario, Canada
Discography: Darkness Consumed
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 How would you describe your music?

This album, the one and the only “Bleeding Raven” release is quite abrasive and creepy. It’s very industrial/dungeon trash with some ‘black metal’ highlights (without the philosophical mindset)…more or less perfect music if you want to completely lose your marbles. It’s actually soundtrack ‘friendly’…that is for movies like ‘Sinister’ or ‘Underworld’ or ‘Underwear-wolves’… etc.

What is your musical creative process like?

I usually begin with a vague idea/mood/style I want to pursue.  I start with beats or bass line samples and or loops or even an atmosphere and then I start experimenting with guitar parts or synth or whatever. Then the song evolves somehow and when I have an almost finished instrumental demo I write lyrics and then record vocals.

The lyrics are of paramount importance to me. I’m very inspired by Jim Morrison in that regard. I don’t write like him, nor do I wish to, but the value he placed on words…I’m with him on that.

Anyway, continuing here, I then record vocals and that can be very tricky. I sometimes have to piss around, often trying to find the proper vocal style and it’s a pain in the ass.

After that is the final mix (hate that part because I’m not Ade Fenton or Zardonic) and often add more instruments/FX etc. And voila polished ‘dungeon trash’.

How did the BLEEDING RAVEN project begin?

Most of my musical output has been as “Gnostic Gorilla”. In the Spring of 2019, I wanted to pursue a more aggrotech style project, even though some of my “Gnostic Gorilla” stuff fits that category, especially with the album Freak’s Mind (now rereleased as Rotting Empire).

So, before my medical crisis (sudden hearing loss in left ear—COMPLETELY) I recorded Darkness Consumeand the rest is KISSTORY.

How did you come up with your project name?

The name “Bleeding Raven” is inspired by First Nations folklore.

Who influenced you within the music industry?

 The biggest influence or inspiration I should say is Gary Numan. I make a distinction between ‘influence’ and ‘inspiration’ because I don’t record music “Numan-style” but he is for me an inspiration since I was merely out of diapers. I have to say there is not one album I don’t like of his. Not one.

Even though the classic of course is Replicas and Dance. But there are so many other artists who have been both influences and inspirations: Type O Negative, Japan and David Sylvian, Global Citizen, Fear Incorporated, Zardonic, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Bauhaus, Psychedelic Furs, Adam Ant, Frost Like Ashes, and so many many more.

Now, I always conclude by saying that The Doors and Gary Numan are my all time absolute favourites. They’re top on my private charts.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

 For me it’s about art and having a creative outlet. That’s all.

What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far as a musician

Well, as I alluded to earlier – in early October, what I thought was just a slight ear infection or wax blockage ended up being complete sudden hearing loss in the left ear. I mean, it’s completely dead. It’s been 7 weeks now and all I have left is terrible tinnitus, and I mean terrible sounds…constantly…like a furnace going or drain emptying and other sounds. A hearing device doesn’t remedy this problem. The doctors are still sending me for tests to see why the sudden hearing loss occurred: Tumour? Virus? Other?

Plus the other ear, is only at half capacity without a hearing aid. Even with a hearing aid, I have to make people repeat themselves often and it’s tiresome for them and for me. So it’s affecting my ‘real’ career as well. But as for music – it’s over. This is it.

What plans have you got coming up this year?

My label, Cleopatra Records will release one final “Gnostic Gorilla” album and I will continue to promote what I have now released, which is a lot actually, I mean, not just as “Bleeding Raven” but as “Gnostic Gorilla” as well.

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Visit BLEEDING RAVON on his website and Facebook. You can also check out BLEEDING RAVEN’s music on Spotify.

If you’re in a band or a musician and would like to appear on this blog, please contact me and I’ll forward you an interview template.

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