DARGOR: No Compromises

Michal Kustra

Dargor is a one-man black metal project founded in Krosno, Poland by Michal Kustra, who writes lyrics, composes and records all instruments and vocals. He also mixes music and creates videos himself. Inspired by acts such Ajattara, Samael and old Dimmu Borgir, there are plenty of other musical influences in the music of Dargor.

Michal spoke for Prog Sphere about his project’s mission and the recently launched single “Decay.”

Define the mission of Dargor.

The main goal of „Dargor” project is just to create music which comes from the heart. Do everything I want without any compromises. To be able to express myself musically in ways I feel in 100%.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your newest single “Decay.”

The idea of music appeared just itself. Once, I took my guitar and the first thing I improvised was the main riff of „Decay”. It sounded very atmospheric and I liked it. I decided to compose other parts as well and make the song. When it comes to lyrics, I have always been a kind of „amateur philosopher”. Sometimes I think about the sense of purpose and vanishing. I thought that something related to these topics would fit perfectly to the atmosphere of my new song.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Decay”? 

I want to say that everything in our lives is temporary. We often care too much about many things. Good and bad things. At the end, we’ll all die and everything will pass away. I think we should get some distance on ourselves and entire reality. „Decay” is also about searching the sense of purpose in many different life areas. We hope that when we reach some specific goals we’ll get some magic state of fulfillment and happiness. In many cases, we find only disappointment. And then, we try to search somewhere else. I don’t say we shouldn’t endeavor  to something and develop ourselves. I do it myself quite a lot. But I think we should try to expect a bit less from life. Enjoy little things. Do things we like and spend time with people we like. Don’t waste time on unnecessary argue, fight and self torture. Nothing lasts forever and we’ll all decay.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

I always use Guitar Pro to save my music ideas. This program allows me to compose and document all necessary instruments.  Drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and even rhytm of heavy vocals. To document lyrics I use only a pen and a piece of paper.

Describe the approach to recording the song.

I start with composing entire song in Guitar Pro. All instruments and vocals. When it’s ready, I export drums as midi and replace it’s sound with samples. Then, I do similar thing with bass (I use VST to get the final sound in this case). After drums and bass are done, I record guitars. I always use two different sources of sound. The first one is my amplifier, Peavey 6505 with Randall 4×12 V30 cabinet. I record it with the Shure SM57 microphone. The second source of sound is distortion pedal (Mesa Throttle Box) and digital cabinet simulation (MOOER Radar). Then, I record keyboards (line in) and vocals (Shure SM7B or Shure BETA58A microphone). At the end I mix it and master the entire song.

How long did it take you to complete “Decay” from start to finish?

It took quite a while. More than four months. But I also wanted  to do many other things in my free time. I made some breaks intentionally. I don’t want to rush in this project. More important thing for me is to be happy with the final result.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the this song in particular?

I think, my biggest influences were bands like Summoning, Winterfylleth, Samael, Ajattara and Dimmu Borgir. But also some doom metal bands, like for example Daylight Dies or October Tide (I think that the guitar solo in ‘Decay’ has a bit of their spirit). In general, I am inspired by many others bands. Not only black and doom metal groups. I listen to music for many, many years. A lot of different genres and artists.

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What is your view on technology in music?

In my opinion it’s great that we have so many tools to compose and record music nowadays. It allows all people to create easily and materialize their ideas. Things like drum machines and  VST instruments are very useful. Not everyone can play all instruments. VST don’t sound as good as the real things. But provide possibility to make complete songs with all necessary elements.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Who knows…  Except the music I would also like to share my ideas, thoughts and emotions. Maybe I’ll inspire somebody to some interesting reflections. Or even to create his own content.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to compose and record more songs. Improve myself in doing that. Experiment with new ideas. Invite some people to collaborate and release first EP when I get enough material done. But first of all… I plan to have a lot of fun with all of this.

Subscribe to Dargor’s YouTube channel here.

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