Artists Name/Band: Eclipse Insomnia
Music Genre: Metal
Websites or Social Media Pages
Bill Dörfer first began his journey as a musician when he was 8 years old, when he took classical piano for a year. When he was 10, he performed alto saxophone for two and a half years in school. However, he truly found his calling when he got his first guitar at 12. He has been playing nonstop ever since, and has been working in bands since he was 16. When he was still 17, he formed Eclipse Insomnia, a solo project made to meet the needs he did not feel he met in his first few bands. Taking the name from the evening of the winter eclipse, Bill began furiously and independently working from the ground up, even when he knew virtually nothing about recording on his own. Fast forward more than half a decade and Bill now has 60 albums to his credit, most of which under Eclipse Insomnia, for which he is also known under the psuedonym “Nightspawn” (a name that he has since kept since throughout the bands he has performed with, and also maintains today with his trio Soul Conversion). Eclipse Insomnia is constantly creating new music and pushing the envelope of preconceived notions in many different styles of music, in a discography that ranges from bold and dynamic symphonic- and progressive-tinged metal to minimalist lo-fine drone and ambient. Eclipse Insomnia’s entire discography is up for free on Bandcamp which also includes Bill’s other solo projects of the past, including Whispers From The Deep Black Waters, Beefhammer and Nauseated.
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
At its roots, I have always considered Eclipse Insomnia a metal band. However, its style has been shaped by a multitude of other genres including blues, jazz, progressive rock, fusion and even world music and classical/baroque. I think this wide array of influences has helped to give Eclipse Insomnia its unique sound. Fret-burning guitar riffs, walls of symphonic and electronic atmosphere and a variety of vocal techniques and styles are all just a few aspects in the signature Eclipse Insomnia sound.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
In December 2010 I had decided to start a one-man band and was going through several hypothetical names. The 21st, however was when everything came together. A friend had texted me saying they were going to stay up late to gaze at the winter eclipse happening that night, hence the words “Eclipse Insomnia” came together. I thought it captured the mystique and surreal atmosphere of what I wanted to create.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
It’s hard to narrow down all my influences to a select few as I’ve discovered artists across multiple genres that I enjoy and take inspiration from. However, there have definitely been a handful of artists that have influenced me right from the start, and even they are pretty varied in style. Type O Negative, Frank Zappa, At the Gates, Magma, Opeth, Children of Bodom and Jimi Hendrix are just a few of the many artists who have helped shaped my sound and musical approach.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I’m currently working on a new full-length album called “Space Metal City Nights”. It’s loosely a rock opera, about an alien that goes through a phoenix-like, cosmic rebirth before heading to a large, unnamed city on Earth and bringing its people together through music. I’ve really been making an effort to make this album as epic-sounding as possible. In regards to collaborations, I’d love to do a split record with anyone that would be interested. The same goes for guitar and vocal guest spots for any artist wanting to collab.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
I know it’s a pretty common goal, but I want to write and record as much music as possible, as well as play out as often as I can. Having a full recording set-up in my room has played a huge part in helping my music see the light of day. That luxury, along with social media, are two tactics I intend to keep using to spread Eclipse Insomnia all over.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
Molten Galaxy, a song from an album of the same name, would have to be my favorite song to play live. As difficult as it is to choose from one’s own creations, there are two reasons I especially like performing this song. The first is, I feel like it’s a solid example of the scope of dynamics, influences and musicianship in Eclipse Insomnia. The other thing I like is that, despite the fact that I use backing bass/keys/drums tracks when playing out, there’s room in the song to switch or add things live. For instance, live I play a guitar solo over the opening clean guitar passage, and there’s also room in the half-spoken, half-sung ska verse for improvising words.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
I actually think being a one-man band in and of itself has been my biggest challenge. People seem to get the impression that bands with multiple members are more concrete, but I put in just as much work and have as much fruition to show from it as any band with multiple members! The other thing is, when you have a band of four or five members, you have their families and circles of friends to help promote. So in that sense I’ve been at a bit of a quantitative disadvantage doing everything on my own, but it hasn’t stopped me from working!
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
Most of my songs have started from a guitar riff that I’ve come across while plugged into my Mesa Boogie and practicing. I like using my amp when writing songs, as it gives me a better idea of what the end product will sound like. Lyrics typically come after the music is finished when I can reflect on what the instrumentation makes me think about. Sometimes I break my pattern and will write some lyrics before writing any music, and that’s proven to help add creative variety to my songwriting.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
As a one-man band, social media has been an important tool in helping me establish connections, find opportunities and reach new fans that I might not have otherwise been able to. It can definitely be a double-edged sword, but it has also lead to some nice surprises during my career.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
My playlist has been pretty interesting this year! I’ve been listening to a lot of live Grateful Dead material, as well as working my way through Buckethead’s “Pike” album series. There’s a Japanese jazz-fusion band called Casiopea I listen to on a pretty steady basis, and I’ve also spent time listening to Wu-Tang Clan and 2000’s deathcore artists. Again, my taste is all over the place!