The multi-instrumentalist, Daniel Belasco, chats about his exciting new goth band, The Necromancers Union, with DJ Jason
DJ Jason: When I first saw the band name, I thought it must be a side project of several band members, but I see you are the only person listed on the Facebook page. Are you the sole member of The Necromancers Union?
Daniel: I’m currently the only member of the band. The Lone Necromancer!
DJ Jason: Would you like to tell us about the name and how you came to choose it?
Daniel: I came up with the name when I was 20 years old and it was intended to be some form of industrial or otherwise dark electronic act. I even have some old mock-ups of artwork for intended cassette releases using that name but nothing ever developed. Fast-forward to 2008 and I started working on this version of the project and the name seemed to fit. I like the idea that a group of Necromancers would have a set of unionized rules and regulations. Haha!
DJ Jason: Was the entire EP written and performed by you, or were there studio musicians or other contributors involved?
Daniel: Yep, I wrote everything and performed all the parts except the drums, which were programmed. I had always intended to outsource the various parts to other people but it never materialized, unfortunately. Next time!
DJ Jason: That’s really impressive. Congrats on being a multi-instrumentalist!
Do you have plans to add members?
Daniel: Absolutely! Not only for future live performances, but for the next set of new songs. The Necromancers Union can only benefit from outside sources. I feel that having input from other unique musicians is what will really make this project shine. I’m lucky that I know a lot of amazing musicians, so I’m excited about the prospects.
DJ Jason: Do you perform live? Are there plans for live performances once the Covid 19 lockdown is lifted?
Daniel: No live performances yet, but I am planning a live stream wherein I’ll be singing along to pre-recorded video of me playing all the parts! And then, as soon as we’re able to, I’ll put a band together and start playing a bunch of live shows. There’s a local band, called The Electric Dead, that are old bandmates of mine that will comprise some of the live members of The Necromancers Union. It’s going to be awesome.
DJ Jason: Sounds great! That’s wonderful that you have musicians on hand for the future too.
How has your EP been received? Are you getting much feedback from fans and industry?
Daniel: Yes, actually. It hasn’t had a lot of exposure, but it definitely built up a small fan base very quickly. I think, with a proper re-release of the two EPs and some live performances, that it will pick up very quickly.
DJ Jason: Are you recording new material? Do you have plans for an upcoming release?
Daniel: Yes! I’m literally ALWAYS writing new material for my various musical projects and The Necromancers Union is always on my mind as well. I have a few new and old re-worked songs that will be used for a future release, but ultimately, once I get the next album for my main project out of the way, I’ll focus more on The NU stuff and give it the proper time of day.
DJ Jason: Are you interested in signing to a record label?
Daniel: I’m kind of a fence-sitter when it comes to labels. They have to offer something unique that I couldn’t just do on my own. There is one label interested in The NU right now that really seem to want to focus on the right things and do a limited release of physical merch and help the project break into Europe. …which, to me is fantastic. So we’ll see how it goes.
DJ Jason: Tell us about your other band and how they relate to what you are doing with The Necromancers Union.
Daniel: My main project is a synthpop band called Glass Apple Bonzai, which is again another solo effort, though I do have some collaborators and a regular live band member that influence some of the writing of that material. I also have an old-school EBM/Industrial project called Razorback Hollow that will have its first full-length album out in a couple of weeks. Glass Apple Bonzai, Razorback Hollow, and The Necromancers Union are all tied together in that they are individual facets of expression where I get to focus on specific types of music that have influenced me through out my life. They are all fairly retro in nature, but not glued to a pair of nostalgia-coloured glasses.
DJ Jason: I like that The Necromancers Union doesn’t have the trendy or gimmicky sounds the last decade of so-called “post punk” and “dark wave” acts. It’s refreshing to hear bands that aren’t afraid to be goth again. Before Covid 19, there was a lot of optimism for a resurgence of actual goth. Did you see yourself as part of that movement or was the good timing of your release by chance and/or circumstance?
Daniel: I love the resurgence of post-punk and darkwave. There’s so much good and amazing music in it, but I myself have never really been into intentionally modernizing older types and styles of music. I do what I do trying to be as authentic to the music that influences me as I can be. In a sort of ironic twist, that actually ends up making a sort of modernized collision of authentically retro music. I DO see myself as part of that movement, but I also stand outside of it and think that it was good timing on my part as well.
DJ Jason: What is the goth scene like in your native Toronto for bands?
Daniel: I’m honestly strangely not too familiar with the current gothic scene in Toronto, as where I’m living right now is pretty isolated and distant from the Toronto area. However I know that the gothic scene is still very much awake (or, undead I suppose haha!) and, while it may be seeing a bit of a lull, it will come back very soon.
DJ Jason: You have cited many bands as influences on your Facebook page. Of those, would you tell us which bands contributed the most to your sound, style and inspiration?
Daniel: With the current set of songs it really boils down to some of the real, true classics in goth.
Bauhaus, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Death Cult, Fields of the Nephilim, and, one of my all-time favourites, Nosferatu.
DJ Jason: What are you looking forward to next for The Necromancers Union?
Daniel: I’m really looking forward to performing this material live and turning The Necromancers Union in a tour-de-force of genuine gothic rock. The future’s so dark I gotta wear shades.