Recently, I had the chance to catch up with the mysterious and elusive Louisiana-based band, CRETUS. Their new EP, Dux Mea Lux just dropped Sept. 4th, on Pavement Entertainment. While very little is known about this masked collective, it was my hope to shed a little light on this enigmatic ensemble.
According to their press information:
"While it is unknown exactly when or where CRETUS formed, they began publicly spreading their message through music in 2014, with the group rapidly gaining strong support after their first show opening for legendary metal band DOWN in New Orleans. Devout followers of CRETUS pack into shows wearing the group's signature black masks and cloaks, bobbing their heads in support as hypnotic lights pulse and dense fog surrounds them, becoming a raving heavy metal congregation unable and unwilling to escape the dark energy emanating from the speakers. Multi-sensory performance rituals such as sacrificial demonstrations and strange pagan rites add an even more ominous tone to the already frightening spectacle of the four masked figures destroying the stage. Heavily symbolic imagery, esoteric subject matter, and poetic lyrics give listeners something deeper to latch onto with CRETUS, and Pavement Records is proud to be releasing their debut EP Dux Mea Lux, worldwide on September 4, 2015."
Needless to say, after listening to their newly released EP, I was profoundly curious to know a bit more about CRETUS. Without further ado, here's our conversation:
Utility Muffin: I’ve investigated Cretus online, and there’s an obvious shroud of mystery that surrounds your band. For the uninitiated, please explain how and why your band came about.
Cretus: Cretus is a group that has been around for many years in the United States. The band is a new form of outreach that will enable us to spread our message to people of a similar intellect on a much wider scale than in the past. Traditionally we have been very selective with sharing our knowledge, but we feel it's important, especially with the current state of things, to take a much more aggressive approach to spreading the message.
UM: Tell me why you’ve chosen to keep your identities obscured, and how the symbolism you’ve chosen plays into the message you’re trying to send.
C: Individuality is ego. Ego is meaningless. We do not wish to achieve celebrity. Those who seek fame do not seek truth. We only wish for our message to be heard. Our message is really about the search for truth. As for our symbolism, it has much to do with nature and the nature of the Universe. We are just animals in this world, each representing a different truth about the natural order of things.
UM: Have you noticed any backlash from religious groups because of your image or message?
C: It is not our duty to make the unwilling become willing. There will always be those who do not understand. Only those that seek out the truth may find it.
UM: Tell me about how your geographical location has played into the sound of your music, as well as how it may have played into the iconography and ideology of your movement.
C: Our land is beautiful, full of life and vibrancy while at the same time, next to the edge of destruction and extinction. Our music is similar to that natural truth, as are a lot of other groups from this area. We do find most musicians and groups have similar thoughts as us, a common ideology, even if they do not embrace our exact followings.
UM: Tell me, if you could, about robincomehome.com – What’s going on in the woods of southeast Louisiana?
C: We all make our own decisions. This is truth.
UM: Tell me a little bit about the production for your music video for “The Price of Immortality.” How did that video come about, and was it a difficult process to create?
C: CRETUS, as a whole, is very pleased with the video. We were only asked to perform in it for the musical performance. Director Andrew Michael Stubbs took some liberties with his portrayal of CRETUS obviously, but we recognize the entertainment value and necessity in this day and age to capture a young audience’s attention. If it helps with our outreach program we are willing to participate.
UM: How do you, as a band/group/collective, reconcile science with spirituality? Generally, for most people, the two tend to be vastly distinct entities unto themselves. How is this different for Cretus and your collective concepts of “known truths?”
C: As long ago as Avicenna's Floating Man experiment humans have been capable of understanding that consciousness and the body are independent of one another. Understanding their relationship and purpose is key to understanding all truth. How could you look at one without the other and claim to have any sort of knowledge of the world? Those who are seeking more may begin their search in the "Resources" section of our website, FollowCretus.com.
UM: You’ve said in a recent interview that “We’ve been misunderstood and our words taken out of context, so we are very hesitant to whom we speak with about this program…” when asked about your production process. Can you elaborate on how you’ve been taken out of context, or perhaps set the record straight on these misunderstandings?
C: You cannot tell the history of a tree simply by looking at its bark. You've got to cut it open and kill it to count the rings, don't you?
UM: Can you share the names of any bands you’d want to tour with, that perhaps may have an ideology you’d find consistent with your own?
C: We have many favorites, but we welcome any chance to play with any band or group as long as they are open to us sharing our message with the audience.
UM: Finally, do you have any plans to tour nationally, and can you share any information about how fans can learn more about your music and message?
C: Yes, we are setting up outreach dates now for 2016. You can learn much about our universe at www.followcretus.com
Check out more on Cretus at the following internet locations:
Tumblr - FollowCretus.tumblr.com
Twitter - twitter.com/FollowCretus
Facebook - www.facebook.com/DeathToCretus
Instagram - instagram.com/FollowCretus