From The Plague to Metamorph, Margot Day’s life and music is a journey through fantasy, as she speaks with ReGen about her latest offerings.
An InterView with Margot Day of Metamorph
By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
First, I must ask… how are you? How’s your health?
Day: My health is great – I feel 20! I had what I consider a miracle healing both spiritually and medically in 2016. It’s shocking to be pain-free after years of pain, so I’m grateful. Metamorph began because after the healing, I felt summoned to make and share music again. We made a Metamorph healing documentary that you can view on YouTube.
Day: Late at night long ago, I was in upstate New York (where Rip Van Winkle went to sleep) walking alone through the dark-eyed night deep in the woods with the large, towering trees and I heard this ethereal voice singing. This mysterious unearthly voice was the inspiration for The Plague vision – music that was both eerie and beatific, utterly goth. ‘Empress’ was the first Plague song. I wanted to make music that embodied darkness and luminosity. The Plague was part of the early ’80s NYC goth movement. My vision for goth and my music was and is merging the dark and light, beauty in the darkness, and revealing other dimensions visible in nature – magic to help us remember who we are, find our path, and follow our dreams.
Performing the song now, how much did you find that your perceptions have changed from when it was first written?
Day: The song’s message is timeless and remains the same. These ‘Empress’ lyrics summarize, ‘Wear your cape of darkness, wear your cloak of light… in the dark-eyed night, you are the Empress… hear the voices calling… voice of your dreams…’
Day: Erk Gustafson is the Metamorph producer and alchemist. His goth expertise is immeasurable, and we have a working telepathic connection. With the help of the guitarist Don Sinclair, I laid down the basic guitar tracks in LogicPro, creating a song skeleton. In the original Plague version of ‘Empress,’ we used the inside of an old piano to make the dissonant weird chords that you hear in the background. Don recreated that dissonance with dark guitar chords. I added a catchy melodic pre-chorus, recorded flute and vocals. The tracks were sent to Erik to produce and add more guitar, instruments, and beats – amazing alchemy. As Erik says, ‘Why go black when you can go midnight?’
Conversely, what sorts of challenges or obstacles did you encounter?
Day: The original Plague version of ‘Empress’ felt sacred to me, like a beautiful jewel – how dare I touch this? How to honor the song? What would Bones, the original Plague bass player, think of this new version? I treaded carefully and with respect, merging the old with the new.
Day: Julifer’s voice is so similar in tone, and yet different; she has the same three-octave range. But there is also a honeyed smokey sound to her vocals. Then there is that fresh sound and vision of youth that is merging with me in my ageless elder self. Julifer has always been my muse. Julifer’s vision and perspective are integral to Metamorph; she is a deeply woven part of Metamorph and this new album Kiss of the Witch. She contributed vocals, lyrics, and vision.
Throughout history, the younger generation is always simultaneously seen as ‘the hope for the future,’ while also having to face the derision of an older generation struggling to maintain authority or relevancy. This might be a broad question, or one that seems a bit like poking the bear, but what are your observations of your daughter and her generation and what you feel they will be bringing further to the world?
We do seem to be living in an age of nostalgia – many older styles of music are seeing resurgence, older bands reuniting or dipping into past material, remasters, reissues, vinyl and cassettes have returned, etc.
What are your thoughts on this?
Day: Such a blend and diversity of genres, options for technology, respect for old and new… love it!
Outside of music, what are you most enjoying right now? Watching movies? Reading? Hiking? What gives you the most joy?
Photography by Victoria Zolnoski – provided courtesy of Margot Day