Bleeding Raven is an aggrotech and black metal industrial project formed in Toronto, Ontario. Founded by Dean Mason from Gnostic Gorilla in 2019, Bleeding Raven’s music is the perfect mix of haunting synths and hypnotic drum beats, which is sure to get any industrial fan hooked! Every release by this project is different from the last, inciting a completely fresh and immersive listening experience.
Bleeding Raven released his first EP ‘September Campaign‘ in May this year. Mason has also been working on brand new material for his side project Gnostic Gorilla, with ‘Hide the Ghost‘ released just last March. With new material set to be released soon for both projects, we had a chat with Dean Mason (aka Bleeding Raven) to discuss Gary Numan, his new EP ‘September Campaign‘ and Gnostic Gorilla.
Where did your project name originate from?
“Bleeding Raven” is inspired by First Nations Canadian spirituality. The Raven, is quite prominent in Indigenous Canadian/American mythology and folklore. Sometimes the Raven is seen as a symbol of transformation…even from death to new life. The Raven is also common in the folklore of many other cultures. My idea of a “bleeding raven” is specifically a reference to a fractured soul…or wounded soul.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Disturbing—abrasive—dark. D.A.D. for short. Lol
Which bands inspire you the most when writing music and why?
I have always loved music. My dad was a musician. He was in a band and taught music as well– bass, guitar, and accordion. So music is in my DNA so to speak. In my younger days, KISS was my obsession. Then Gary Numan. Gary Numan is in so many ways one of the most interesting artists in modern music. So, Numan is more or less the person that most inspired me to pursue music. That said, the list is endless of artists and bands that have inspired and or influenced my own music. For example–Japan, Type O Negative, Ozzy, Sabbath, Korn, Psyclon Nine, Rammstein, Manson, Frost Like Ashes, Zardonic, Nash the Slash, Fear Incorporated, Global Citizen, CRIX IIIX and many others. As is my custom, I mention The Doors at the end of this list because they will forever be for me one of the best bands ever. Gary Numan and The Doors—top of the charts for me!
What advice would you give to artists starting out in the industry?
Who am I to give advice really? I am no one and nothing as far as the big industry goes. Ask Justin Bieber or Gene Simmons or Adele. Hahaha No but all jokes aside-I think the most important thing is to pursue ‘artistic’ expression first and foremost. I think running after that Top of the Pops dream is useless, and shallow and only leads to disappointment. Express yourself without restraint and the rest will follow. You have to remember that there are no new legends being born. It is just not that kind of world anymore. It has all been done—all styles, all shock possibilities and all gimmicks. And I agree with Gene Simmons on his assessment of the music industry. (people can look it up)
What is your songwriting process?
Usually I start out by putting down drum parts/beats and a simple bass riff/loop or synth sample. Then I start to build from there…letting the track almost take on a life of its own. Sometimes by accident, I add a loop or sample that is meant to just be background but then I manipulate it and put it through some FX etc. and I end up changing the entire track to follow this catchy riff. Then I continue to add tracks with guitar riffs or samples and synths and FX…and often I develop the ‘beat’ by adding more edgy percussion sounds or whatever. If you start a track and it’s flat all the way through without any nuances, you’ll have a boring track. Then when I have a rough demo I write lyrics and record vocals. After that is the mixing and often I add FX or remove certain sounds or add, as an example, some raunchy solo or strings…etc.
Out of all the tracks you have released, which one is the most personal to you?
SORROWFUL MYSTERIES from my Gnostic Gorilla project (St. Basil’s Asylum released by Cleopatra Records) and “VERRTRANDT” from my Bleeding Raven project—released on LGP-ONE.
How do you feel that social media has impacted your career as a musician?
Social Media is the Devil’s whore house. I hate it with a passion on so many levels. YET…it is a necessary evil to get your stuff “out there”. But for unknown people like me, it’s a real challenge to get noticed on SM. In general, people are not looking for new music on SM save for whatever they are being fed by the big wigs. Like for example, TIKTOK…the way music is a part of that app is in an OCD repetitive meme competition. And other social media apps are basically forums for many things but the pursuit of art isn’t really one of them. The big wig stars and labels buy huge chunks of cyber ads on these apps and you get flooded with appeals to get the new BTS or Bieber or Adele album or single. Nothing against these artists at all but…you know…people like me are just snowflakes in a blizzard. And I will be honest, most people are not interested in new music. There isn’t the appreciation for art anymore. We’ve become something else I think. Kind of shallow in my opinion. And I’m rambling on and on like a constipated baboon. hahahahahaha
Who would be your dream artist to work with in the future?
Gary Numan or Billy Corgan or David Sylvian.
Who would you love to support on tour and why?
Gary Numan..because he is a legend.
What’s next for you musically?
There is a video that will be released soon to promote “September Campaign” here! (On HORIZON DMA Records) Also, I’m spending time promoting my Gnostic Gorilla project too; there is some exciting stuff happening with GEISHABOY RECORDS. They released on vinyl and CD, “HIDE THE GHOST”. I’m convinced that album has loads of potential.. There’s a video for the title track here!
Bleeding Raven’s new EP ‘September Campaign‘ is now available to stream on all major online streaming platforms. Gnostic Gorilla’s new album ‘Hide the Ghost‘ is also out now. Make sure to check out Bleeding Raven via his website and Facebook, Spotify, Bandcamp and Ditzy Jam pages.