Why We Do What We Do – Draug Dae

Draug Dae is a project that has existed for more than two and a half years whose main style is unspecified – Dungeon synth, Dark Ambient and even Black Metal. Hailing from Varna, Bulgaria, Draug Dae is a project about fantasy, about nature, and space horror.

The project was created when a friend of my showed me a program for creating music. By that time (January 2014) I had only some minor plans for creating a black metal band or one-man project, but nothing serious. When I created few ambient tracks I decided to put one of them on the internet (in a Bulgarian video sharing site). So Draug Dae was created on the 5th of February 2014. I continued creating some tracks, learning by trial and error. I started by making Norse mythology themed music, as well as few Lovecraft influenced tracks.

My main inspiration the whole time has been Burzum. Burzum is a project that I found when I was around 14 years old.  I first listened to the self-titled album and I was blown away by the atmosphere (although I was just starting to listen to black metal and didn’t understood a lot from the specific sounding). The track that caught my attention the most was “The Crying Orc,” I started to listen more and more of Varg’s music and I completely fell in love with it. When I found out his Dungeon synth albums (the infamous “jail” albums) I was fascinated. I’ve never heard this type of music before. Dauði Baldrs became my favorite album quickly, and it is the album that has influenced me the most to create music in Draug Dae. And Burzum is the main reason for the existence of my project.

Now back to 2014 – in May I decided that is a good time to release my first demo, The Beginning of the End. 9 minutes, 4 tracks, a friend of mine created the album cover. I would say exceeded my greatest expectations.

I have to mention that the first name of the project wasn’t Draug Dae, it was “The Count”, but I decided that Draug Dae sounds better (that was also my LARP-ing name at the time). The meaning behind Draug Dae lies in Tolkien’s works. In Sindarin (one of the Elven languages) it means “Wolf Shadow”. Anyhow, I have always been a Tolkien fan, he has influenced a lot of Draug Dae’s newer material (although it is not Tolkien themed). I wanted an interesting and unknown name (I’ve never seen a band with such a name). Also reading fantasy and sci-fi novels is a thing that drives me to create music and to keep dream of more interesting worlds and places.

After the demo album I continued to write music and in August 2014 I announced that I will release a full length album called “Tales.” A few months after this I abandoned the project, I wrote some songs from time to time, drifting between styles (black metal, dungeon synth, dark ambient, DSBM, even tried with death metal once). There were two planned, but never released, albums. And finally in July 2016 I decided that it is time to finish the work and continue seriously with the project.

What is the whole meaning and idea behind Draug Dae? It is much more than just a musical project to fill my spare time. The idea behind it is to create a whole new “magic” world, to bring the listener to a state where he enters that world and starts exploring it in his own mind and imagination. To a world where magic and such “fantasy” creatures are real, a world of dangers, cold mountains and deep forests. A place where the listener’s mind can rest and escape from the “real” (and boring) world. I do what I do to rebel against the reality that surrounds everyone. There are no rules in my music, opposing the real life system that makes us follow and obey. Everyone is free to imagine whatever they want when they listen to my music. That is the whole idea – to make them image another “magical” world. It is mainly music dedicated to other people who are not “okay” with reality and who are free and untamed, who want to live another life.

I had always wanted to create an old-school atmospheric and melodic black metal band (more like a one-man project) and Draug Dae gave me this chance. To this day I have recorded few metal tracks that will be a part of some future releases (in the unknown distant future though, since now I’m focused on dungeon synth and ambient music) Anyway, black metal has always been an inspiration to.  Artists like Burzum, Darkthrone (only their early material though), Gorgoroth, Summoning, Moongates Guardian, Emperor, Mayhem, Dunkelheit, Hypothermia and many others.

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