Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format


1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Coma Cluster Void is a death metal quintet consisting of Mike DiSalvo and Austin Taylor as Vocalists, Chris Burrows on Drums as well as founders Sylvia Hinz on Bass and myself (Strieder) on Guitars. We started around 2014 with some little demos which got a staggering incredible feedback within the metal community. Shortly after, Mike DiSalvo joined the band, and in 2015 the line-up was completed with Chris Burrows and Austin Taylor. The Intro, Interlude and Outro are performed by XelmYa, which consists of Sylvia Hinz on Double Bass Recorder (as well as singing into the Double Bass Recorder), Alexa Renger on Violin and for this time, I took the Violoncello-part in XelmYa. The enframing spoken words are performed by Genevieve DiSalvo.

2. Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

A twisted trip into insanity, sound and instrumentation-wise based on Death Metal but bending towards a lot of other genres while stylistically always being just Coma Cluster Void!

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

The lyrics are set into the world depicted on the album cover artwork and circle around the enigmatic Iron Empress, almost like a concept album. Like the music itself branches out in many different directions, so do the lyrics. Take for instance "Drowning Into Sorrow"; Mike's lyrics are heavily laden towards water based expressions, essentially a metaphor for anguish and a depressive state of mind. In fact, all the songs lyrically deal with deep distress, somber regret, and despondency.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Coma Cluster Void'?

It's based on the song title "Lux Aeterna Void" from a predecessing project of mine. It depicts a depressive image of the hoped eternal light being just a void, a black hole. The Coma Cluster of galaxies became a real-world meaning for "Lux Aeterna". Also, Cluster chords are my favourite kind of chords and are used throughout this record (and my music in general) in all different kinds.

5. The band members live in different parts of the world, how does this work out in the recording process?

Usually I write a complete song and then program drums and record guitars as a demo. I send this demo out to Mike DiSalvo, so he gets inspired to add his vocals and write the lyrics (and decides which parts are meant for Austin Taylor); and to Chris Burrows so he gets inspired to add his drums and drum ideas. When the drums are tracked, Sylvia and I retrack our instruments without metronome directly onto Chris' drums and often refine and enrich our parts further. We don't like to quantize drums or ignore the drummer's groove when tracking guitars and bass. We want to be a natural grooving unit. Oddly, our Drummer is the only person in the band using a Metronome and GuitarPro ;) We are constantly communicating during the whole recording process and shape the songs into perfection. Lastly, the vocals are tracked. Mike and Austin have an equal amount of vocals on the record, often backing each other up but also often dueling each other.

6. Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We had some cool offers, but none of them could release us in 2016. We didn't want to let the fans wait any longer! So we decided to go the entire way on our own. It was a hard decision, especially since our all-time-fave label was one of them. But for the next release, we'll have the luxury to choose more freely what to do.

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of death metal and avant garde music?

What can I say, the reactions so far have been overwhelming! It's great to see, hear and read that people dig our music. It's also astonishing to feel being understood.

8. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

During writing this album, I neglected a bit my writing for classical musicians and ensembles, but now I'll focus again on many new works, some of them will be premiered this year. Our drummer's other band Thoren ( ThorenDeath ), Austin's band Dimensionless ( Dimensi0nless ) as well as Mike's band Akurion ( AkurionOfficial/ ) are working on new releases. Sylvia ( ) has planned many concerts around the world, solo and with her ensembles. For example, in October she's with XelmYa ( XelmYa ) in California, some of my pieces will see world- and US-premieres there. Of the many other project she's pursuing I like to mention her colaboration with the painter Carola Czempik. It's a kind of a feedback loop between paintings inspired by Sylvia's playing, and playing inspired by Carola's paintings. A cool ongoing project, it'll be documented on Sylvia's youtube channel ( sylviahinzrecorder ).

9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

There's a lot of undiscovered territory, and a lot of things we can build upon. We want to continue telling stories about the world of the Iron Empress. It'll be always dissonant, atonal, emotional and extreme - and without any compromises, that's for sure! ;)

10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I grew up with bands like Pantera, Crowbar, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel; as well as composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and György Ligeti. I think one can find in one way or another some echoes of these. Nowadays, I still could listen for the thousandth time to classics like "Clandestine"! My two favourite composers these days are Rebecca Saunders and Brian Ferneyhough. But there are so many more ... in general, I have solely interest in music that is dissonant and extreme, and that's all i search for and listen to. Sylvia on the other hand is performing so much and is surrounded by music all the time, she rarely listens to music at all, haha!

11. What are some of your non musical interests?

When I don't fantasise music, I paint (in an "abstract" manner). I also create artworks for bands, the "Mind Cemeteries" artwork was created by me, too. Art in general interests me, at least such art that I see or hear as an outcry about the bad things in our world, because that is for me the "function" of art, if there has to be one. But other than that, really nothing ;)

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for the support and the interest in our creations! \m/

Source: /

I will be talking with Sylvia Hinz and Strieder about their new band Coma Cluster Void, This band is getting a lot of attention in many venues such as Metal Injection, Metal Sucks and other media outlets. It is exciting to be able to bring you a taste of what metal is evolving into.

Cyn: I wanna thank you for joining me today, today I have with me Coma Cluster Void which consists of Strieder, Sylvia Hinz, Mike DiSalvo, Will Smith and Chris Burrows. They are an Avantgarde Metal Band with Dissonant Death Math Metal. And it's an awesome, awesome pleasure to have you on my show today. So tell me a little bit about Coma Cluster Void, and how you got all these players together.

Strieder: Hi, really starting were Coma Cluster Void in 2014, the year I bought this guitar *laughs*, and of course it was in my head for a long time, and I had some previous projects like Indifferent Magma, and of course all the years my compositions which are performed by ensembles all over the world, and I am between those worlds of contemporary classical music (or dissonant art music, or how you'd like to call it) and metal, and I always wanted to create a project where it sounds like metal but gets its inspiration more from the dissonant art music. And so I started to convince Sylvia to get on the bass again (Sylvia laughs), started writing songs and one of my favourite singers was Mike DiSalvo, and we started searching a singer who might sound a bit like him, and eventually we got the e-mail adress of Mike DiSalvo and Sylvia wrote him and he was immediality hooked by the sound of our demos and became part of this band. And we got a very nice e-mail from Will Smith who wanted to be part of this, and the last memeber we got was Christopher Burrows who is drummer in Thoren and Vihaan, and he completed our line-up. And we are very happy with this line-up!

Cyn: Well, the first time I had actually heard of you was an article on metal-sucks, and they had your demos up there and it blew me away! And that's why I contacted you to get you on air. I'm very interested in the music that you guys are creating, because it is so different and it is something me myself as a listener to all different types of metal, it intrigues me. It's not garbage, it's not ... you know, cause there's a lot of garbage out there these days (Sylvia agrees - Cyn laughs), the final product I can not wait to hear. Tell me a little bit more about the band as a whole and what you have on your agenda right now.

Strieder: We are mainly just finishing the songs (I haven't finished all songs yet *laughs*) but most of it, for example, the drum recordings for Christopher will start in march, Will will in february record first vocal tracks, of course we want to post some video stuff, a lyric video and finally release the album ... when it's finished! *laughs*

Sylvia: The writing process is a little bit difficult because we are like in germany, in the US and Canada, and we can't meet in person, so we have to do it online which is pretty okay, but everyone needs some time to get ... yeah, to listen to the tunes and to get their own ideas and to has some spare to record something, of course, too. And we won't go on stage, so it's really ... how do you call it?

Strieder: A studio/online project ... just about creating the music

Sylvia: ... and its very much about communication.

Cyn: *laughs* Well you know, I know a lot of bands that atually are doing this type of recording where they working with many different musicians from all over the world, and I think it's an interesting way to put an album together, because it's not like you're all in the studio together, you can get tracks from all of the players and then mix them and then all of you get to hear them at the same time. But it's challenging to, to say the least, being a musician and trying to put an album togehter that way. Would you say it is?

Sylvia: Yes, absolutely *laughs*. You need clear ideas and you need to talk about who is doing which part of the album, so not everyone is like trying to compose a song and then you have 5 unfinished things, so the steps need to be clear, and yeah, there's a lot of communication going on. But we are pretty well set up I would say, and we're talking a lot or writing a lot and ...

Strieder: ... but not too much *laughs* ...

Sylvia: not too much, yes! *laughs* and basically it's all about music, and we love it. And if you have that as a basis, then the rest is not a piece of cake, but you can manage. Ja. Absolutely.

Strieder: And you need to be a bit uncomplicated (Sylvia laughs), moreover you shouldn't overcomplicate things.

Sylvia: Yes, and no Egotrips or Divaism *laughs*

Cyn: I like that! No Divaism. So tell me, a little about each one of you, because both of you are fine musicians in your own right. Give me a little bit of the history of you Strieder and you Sylvia.

Strieder: Well I started I think playing guitar really late, like in 2000 or so, and my childhood were music not seen as something good and I wasn't really allowed to make music or get instruments, so this playing instruments came really late. What was first, was composing stuff and write it down. And I got into metal and contemporary music pretty much the same time. Metal was a bit earlier. it was listening Pantera - Far Beyond Driven, so I got into metal; and Alban Bergs Violin Concerto, so I got into contemporary music (or dissonant art music) and well I composed stuff, I got musicians interested, especially Sylvia who is a recorder player and conductor, and got played, ... and that is what I do mainly, composing and see that it get's performed and that people get interested and ask for pieces and so on. And now this band. And of course, there were some smaller projects like Indifferent Magma. That's it I would say *laughs* just music.

Sylvia: Ja, as Strieder just said I'm a recorder player and conductor specialised in contemporary music and improvisation. I started when I was like seven or something, playing the reorder, and played a few other instruments like piano (you always have to play when you want to study music, at least in germany), I played the oboe a little bit and I started to sing very early in choirs and someone had the idea i should be professional singer. That was nice but not enough for me, so I started singing in a punk band which was okay so i liked singing a lot and the recorder playing and the piano playing and the oboe playing but my classical singing teacher heard of my punk things going on and freaked out, and so i had to stop with that, because it would ruin my voice and blabla. So i stopped that and started to play the double bass instead, sine I'm left-handed i had to search for a teacher who was left-handed too, found one who was pretty much nice guy nice ... I thought ... he was nice looking (you know the type), but then he started talking and I realised then he was more more an idiot and not a very good teaher. So that was the first reason I stopped playing the double blass, and the second reason was that I had very thin skin on the finger tips because of the reorder playing and so when I played the double bass my fingers always started to bleed which is not so nice *laughs* and then I toyed a bit around with the electric guitar later and some day on the electric bass. And that worked very good, and it works with the finger tips too, I don't know why the strings are different, maybe they have not so much tension. So I can manage now to play the recorder, and the electric bass, and the piano of course, still. The singing I stopped because there was not so much into it for me, so I just sing maybe under the shower, or we sing together sometimes, a little bit like Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg or stuff like that *laughs*, when we are in a crazy mood.

Cyn: What inspires you as musicians? Is it something in the music or is it a feeling, is it maybe a piece of music, nature ... what inspires you?

Strieder: What me inspires is emotions, feelings, that kind, and of course the world. More precisely, what's going wrong in the world. That's pretty inspiring. Which might make you and angry and that goes into the music, or it makes you despaired and that goes into the music. So, that's the source of inspiration for all my music. It's music from the inside, from the "heart", it's not really descriptive music ... or how do you put it ... it's not like an image, it's more emotion, stuff from the inside ...

Sylvia: Yeah, and it's much about disturbances, I would say. We like music not to comfort the listner, but to keep him awake, and yeah like dissonances very much. It's not about this elevator music or something where you put some icing (???) on, but it's really about keep people awake and get into their minds, basically. Via emotion. It's very hard to talk about music, basically *both laughing*

Cyn: It is very hard to talk about music especially when you are creating the music. It's kind of like a writer talking about what he's actually writing about before he releases it to the public, and feelings that he felt or the emotions that he felt while writing that piece of poetry or maybe a book. Who do you find as when you listening to music actually is delighting your ears. Is it something maybe that you listening to right now that's really eargasmic to you, or is it something that you heard in the past that is maybe a favourite of yours?

Strieder: We are listening a lot to Baring Teeth at the moment, I would say that's eargasmic *both laugh*. As well as a lot of the music Sylvias performs. She's at the moment in contact with many women composers, and there's really great stuff which is unheard partially. And that's we listen a lot to. And we have a lot of bands we like, and a lot of composers, but I would say we like most music that's similar to the stuff we make our selves.

Sylvia: Yeah, I agree. And we like bands like Slayer or Napalm Death, and Bone Dance, who split up last year ... a pity! ... sometimes I think it'S like Metal, really *Heavy* Metal on the punkish side for me, at least I like it a lot ...

Strieder: ... and on the deathy side for me *laughs* ...

Sylvia: ... yes, and we really need dissonances, yeah, so Eargasm is about dissonances, for us, absolutely. And the "normal" classical music, we don't listen to. Like Beethoven. You know. We don't do that (cyn starts laughing) ... it' just ...

Cyn: I like that. I like that answer. *laughs*

Strieder: ... the brutal stuff!!! ...

Cyn: ... hey, you gotta have a little metal in your day, otherwise it is just not the right kind of day, right?

Sylvia: Yaaaayy *applauds* totally ...

Cyn: ... so, when can we expect to have a release of this album from Coma Cluster Void?

Strieder: We haven't set a precise date yet, but we aim for autumn 2015. Then it should be finised.

Sylvia: Ja.

Strieder: Ja.

Sylvia: Ja.

Strieder: And of course, we release some stuff before.

Sylvia: But that's secret for now. *laughs*

Cyn: So cryptic! So we're able to purchase the album after you release it. I'm really excited, because just the demos - they are an amazing listen, especially if you listen to all the demos and just sit there and take everything in, because they are so layered and so different than anything that is currently out there to listen to.

Strieder: That's very nice to hear!

Sylvia: Yeah, thank you very much great to hear that you like it!

Cyn: You are very welcome. Alright. Last thing: Where can people actually go and listen to your demos, where can they hook up with you on your social media and everything that is Coma Cluster Void?

Strieder: There's a facebook page, and we're on soundcloud, on twitter and soon we'll have a website, and there we are and there you can find us.

Sylvia: Thanks you very much for having us and for supporting Coma Cluster Void! And we really want to just destroy everything.

Strieder: Yeah.

Sylvia: Yeah. That's our main mission.

Cyn: Oh I bet, i bet! *laughs*

Coma Cluster Void, featuring vocalists Mike DiSalvo from Cryptopsy and Will Smith from Artificial Brain, Strieder (10 string guitars), Sylvia Hinz (bass) and Chris Burrows (drums) is proving to be one of the years most anticipated projects, that doesn't suck. This group of talented musicians are putting the final treatments on their album with the addition of dual vocals from Mike DiSalvo and Will Smith and drum tracks from Chris Burrows. The international project will be released sometime later this year and has been featured on Metal Injection and Metal Sucks previously.

Author: Cynfully Luscious