If you divide Hocico in two do you have Dulce Liquido and Rabia Sorda then? If only life could have been that simple but it isn’t as Rabia Sorda is the personal outlet from Erk. Why it differs from Hocico is better explained to the man himself…
HELLO ERK, EVEN IF YOUR ALBUM IS NAMED “NOISE DIARY” IT IS A BIT MORE ACCESIBLE AS THE STUFF YOU DID WITH HOCICO, NOT?
I call it “more open”, I try to blend influences from different music styles, mainly rock and punk music, along with killer melodies to create the Rabia Sorda sound.
I GUESS, SO MANY PEOPLE WANNA KNOW BUT WHY DO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR SOLOPROJECT IF YOU’RE PLAYING IN ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESFULL EBM-ACTS EVER?
Back in 2003, there was a moment when I felt like I have to explore music in another direction to feel complete. I didn’t think much about it, I just had to do it, It was an inner call.
WHEN YOU STARTED HOCICO, DID YOU EVER HAD IN MIND, THAT IT’D BE SUCH A SUCCES?
To be honest… I knew Hocico would bring us something good, but I didn’t expect it to be this good. I’m glad to know we are playing our own game after all these years. We can be loud, nasty and we can say the things the way we fucking want.
IF I HEAR YOUR MUSIC, I HEAR SOMEONE WHO IS SCREAMING OUT HIS DEMONS…SO IS YOUR MUSIC SOME KIND OF CATHARSIS THEN?
It is a way to expel my demons but it is a way to picture the world the way I see it to and to share it.
YOU CAN’T SAY YOUR MUSIC IS THAT FRIENDLY, NOT?
Well I hope it is friendly for the sick ones…
BEING AN EBM-LOVER MYSELF I GOT ASKED SO MANY TIMES THIS QUESTION : “DO YOU CALL THIS MUSIC ???????”, WHAT DO YOU ANSWER TO THAT ERK?
Fuck off and walk away! Go back and listen to your radio pop shit, I have more important things to do now.
AS FOR YOUR OWN TASTE, DO YOU LISTEN TO OTHER STUFF TOO?
I am very open minded in regards to Music, I listen to many different music styles, including world music, metal, rock, hard core punk, all kinds of electronic music…
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
Traveling, people, the third world,… in general my minds gets stimulated by any thing or any one who can leave a mark on my everyday life.
BEING HERE IN EUROPE, I HAVE A BIT OF A STRANGE VIEW ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA. BUT IF I SEE ALL THESE THINGS ON THE NET, I MUST BELIEVE THAT EBM AND GOTH ARE HUGE OVER THERE, OR IS THAT JUST A FALSE INTERPRETATION?
You are not wrong at all, the underground/industrial scene in Central and South America is fairly extensive nowadays, in my own experience Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Lima have an ever growing and very supportive scene.
YOU SOON WILL BE AGAIN IN BELGIUM, IS THE RABIA SORBIA PART OF SOME TOUR?
We were already touring clubs in Europe during the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 and we are currently playing the summer festivals in Europe too.
HOW DIFFICULT IT MIGHT TO ANSWER, HOW DOES EUROPE DIFFERS FROM SOUTH AMERICA? (MUSIC, CONCERTWISE THAT IS).
It can be very complex to answer to that, I would Say the audiences tend to be wilder in America, but we have had out of control experiences in Europe too, so there is no big differences I can tell right now. I love to play both places.
AS I’M FROM BELGIUM, I GUESS AN EBM-MUSICIAN LIKE YOU MUST HAVE A SPECIAL LOVE FOR BELGIUM, NOT?
I have a very special place in my heart and soul for Belgian bands for Belgium is the land of EBM and dark electronic music. It all began there. I’m very glad to see bands like Vomito Negro and Klinik back in the scene.
OFTEN YOUR LYRICS DEALS ABOUT THE DANGER FROM LIVING IN A BIG CITY. THERE WILL BE PEOPLE AROUND WHO WILL ACCUSE YOU OF MAKING AGGRESSIVE MUSIC EVEN IF YOUR SONGS ARE LIKE PROTESTS, ARE YOU MISUNDERSTOOD A LOT?
I don’t care for people accusing me for making aggressive music or anything else, I make the music I like and I say the things the way I want to.
I JUST WANNA KNOW, WAS RABIA SORDA A REACTION AGAINST DULCE LIQUIDO, OR IS THAT JUST BECAUSE BOTH OF YOU HAVE TOO MANY INSPIRATION?
Rabia Sorda came into my life just in the right time, in the moment I needed I and I consider it part of my natural evolution as a musician.
I KNOW WHAT HOCICO MEANS, BUT WHAT MEANS RABIA SORDA?
It means “Deaf Rage” and it pretty much defines my attitude towards life. Rabia Sorda is a feeling, a reaction and a way of thinking for me. In a very personal sense, it means that I’m deaf to other’s opinions about me.
HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELVES AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC THEN?
Michael Sele: My name is Michael Sele. I’m the singer, guitar player as well as songwriter of tBoG and my companions are Mac Vinzens on drums and David Vetsch on bass. Together we are playing our kind of dark wave or dark rock. Our style is made of contemporary sounds and moods with a mix of borrowings from the sound of the 80ties. Basically we see us as a modern acting rock band.
DO YOU THINK YOUR MUSIC IS GOTH OR NOT?
Michael Sele: There’re definitely many ingredients of our songs that can also be found in Goth music. Principally it is a matter of authenticity and as much individuality as possible. But of course, there beats a romantic dark heart in my chest.
WHAT I LIKE SO MUCH ABOUT YOUR MUSIC IS THAT YOU EXPAND THE SOUND OF THE 80’S (WAVEROCK) TO NOW….
Michael Sele: Thanks for the compliment - I really appreciate it. It’s also my point of view.
I GUESS IN SOME WAY YOU ARE MAKING POST-ROCK. IF YOU SEE THAT BANDS LIKE EDITORS CAN FILL STADIUMS AREN’T THERE TIMES YOU THINK: THAT COULD BE US IF ONLY WE HAD THAT SAME PRESS ATTENTION.
Michael Sele: There are a lot of factors that have to match at the right time and at the right place to become as successful as the Editor for example. Basically it needs a lot of work, damn good songs as well as endurance and last but not least a lucky punch.
I KNOW IT’S A NASTY QUESTION, BUT IF YOU COULD OBTAIN SUCH A CHANGE, WOULD YOU TAKE IT?
Michael Sele: Yes, I definitely would and that’s why we’re working every day on that vision. I also expect this from the other band members and our team. Especially that they develop and work hard on themselves to be ready for the next steps.
SORRY BUT I MUST AS XYMOX ARE MY FAVE BAND, BUT THE REASON WHY I LOVE THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA SO MUCH IS THAT YOU REMIND ME A BIT OF THEM
Michael Sele: Probably the fundamental mood of our songs is quite congruent. I got to know Ronny Moorings in person last year and his great feedback on my work really touched me. We have a lot of respect for each other. I’m looking forward to meet him at some festivals this year.
AS FAR AS I UNDERSTOOD YOU’RE FROM SWITZERLAND. IN ALL HONESTY I KNOW A LOT ABOUT MUSIC, BUT ABOUT THE SWISS SCENE I KNOW NOTHING
Michael Sele: In our genre of music there aren’t many bands that assert themselves successfully. But if it comes to hard rock or metal, Switzerland has a long tradition of prosperous and international well know bands. LOOKING AT THE NEW (GREAT) ALBUM I JUST THINK: HOW DESOLATE THAT COVER LOOKS LIKE…. Michael Sele: The cover picture exactly mirrors the atmosphere of the album. I’m very happy with the artwork as a whole. An English photographer who I met by coincidence took the photos of the landscapes. She’s a big fan of our music and the collaboration was very inspiring.
GUESS YOU WON’T DISAGREE BUT YOUR MUSIC SOUNDS RATHER DARK. WHAT DOES SOMEONE ATTRACT IN THE DARK SIDE OF LIFE?
Michael Sele: I think, the dark side has always mesmerized people. Just think of Bram Stokers book “Dracula”, literally unimportant but nevertheless it became worldwide one of the most famous books ever. Also the trilogy “Lord of the Rings” has broken almost any record. What the fascination exactly is has everyone to figure out by his one. But it’s definitely concerned with distinct fantasies and abysses.
YOU MADE 3 ALBUMS IN 4 YEARS SO THAT’S QUITE A LOT. WORKAHOLICS OR JUST TOO MANY TALENT?
Michael Sele: I hope both aspects are true, because the one is quite useless without the other. As a matter of fact there’s nothing better than to withdraw into the recording studio and to work at sounds as well as songs and to be creative. I’m a very disciplined person and in consequence of that, such studio sessions result in a lot of material for new songs.
MANY BANDS SAY : “WE JUST DO OUR OWN THING AND TAKE EVERYTHING ELSE AS A BONUS…”, BUT I DON’T BELIEVE IT THAT OFTEN CUZ AFTER ALL EVERYONE MAKES MUSIC TO BE HEARD, NOT?
Michael Sele: This is accurate for me. My aim is that as many people as possible discover my music, play it from morning to night, memorize the lyrics and come to our concerts in crowds. Nevertheless I can’t and won’t change my kind of writing songs and I don’t want to make any compromises. But it’s wrong to think that I’m composing only for posterity and that I want to demonstrate my independence by selling as little records as possible.
LAST QUESTIONS ARE QUESTIONS I ALWAYS ASK, I CALL IT THE TRADITIONAL ORIGINAL SIN-QUESTIONS… WHAT’S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME AND WHY?
Michael Sele: There are some great masterpieces and I’m lucky to own them and that I was able to discover them. Spontaneously, my answer to your question is “Disintegration” of The Cure. It’s just a perfect album with timeless songs.
WITH WHOM WOULDN’T YOU MIND BEING STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR FOR 8 HOURS AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN?
Michael Sele: With Liv Tyler and be sure, I have some very interesting ideas about how to spend the hours with her.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA IN THE FUTURE?
Michael Sele: Until today we recorded three albums and especially the songs of the new album have great live potential. That’s why I’m looking forward to play as many live shows as possible. This summer, we are going to play in Poland (Castle Party), Utrecht (Summer Darkness) and on other big festivals. In Switzerland we will play at the Greenfield festival together with Rammstein, The Prodigy, HIM, Procupine Tree and others. I’m sure that’s going to be a great experience. I still have a lot of plans and I know that there are many new adventures waiting for us.
DO YOU WANT TO SAY SOMETHING SPECIAL TO OUR READERS?
Michael Sele: One aspiration still is to play in Belgium at the very removed festival in Waregem! Dear readers, please help us to get this chance and make it happen sometime. This has to work out.
Garden Of Delight is dead, long live Merciful Nuns! That can be this album in a nutshell as this is the new band from Arthaud Seth, leader of the quite known gothic rockband Garden Of Delight. Especially in the later stage, Garden Of Delight became heavier and heavier till Chaos God made a schizophrenic band out of them (musicwise). But this is a new start, with a new band and a new album and it brings them back to old school goth, or Sisters Of Mercy in their early days. Well even just having a look at the name says enough about the link to Sisters Of Mercy. Another rip off? Yes. Original? Not at all. Any good? Better than 99.99% of all the releases you'll hear this year. www.myspace.com/mercifulnuns
Dperd are a darkwaveband from Italy who just have released their fine album on My Kingdom. If you wanna know how Kirlian Camera versus The Cure (or something like that), I guess Dperd can be an answer...or perhaps they can be as the essence is what the band tries to capture in this interview : it's about music, emotions...not about machines.
LET’S START WITH A CLICHE : WHAT DOES THE WORD DPERD ACTUALLY MEANS?
Actually, it means nothing. I remember designing our website and not having a name yet. It came out by chance, playing with the initials of the surname Valeria and I have as a married couple. Something came out with an incomprehensible meaning. I liked at once this triumph of consonants.
TWO DECADES AGO YOU WERE IN A BAND CALLED FEAR OF THE STORM, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE WITH THEM AND DPERD?
Well, there are substantial differences. The process of creation of the tracks changes completely when you can’t listen to all instruments at once, as you compose. In Dperd I play several instruments and I never have the faintest idea on what the final shape of the track’s going to be. Every track gets a life of its own as I record and overdub all the instruments.
BACK THEN YOU HAD YOUR RELEASES OUT ON ENERGEIA. I HAPPEN TO KNOW THAT LABEL QUITE WELL BUT IT WAS QUITE SAD TO SEE THAT MOST OF THE BANDS NEVER REALLY MADE IT DESPITE A GREAT SOUND…
I just don’t know. You know, Energeia didn’t like quite much Fear of the Storm’s musical evolution as of 1994. There was a lot of misunderstanding during the recording of the mini cd “1995”, and because of these problems they didn’t renew our contract for the full-length cd, which had to be released in 1996 and has remained unreleased ever since.
THE ITALIAN SCENE HAS TONS OF GREAT DARKWAVE/GOTHBANDS, BUT SOMEWHERE THE CHANGE TO BREAK OUTSDIDE ITALY ONLY SEEMS TO BE FOR KIRLIAN CAMERA AND ATARAXIA, HOW COME?
Because in Italy non-mainstream music (and any other cultural event) is in itself a more marginal fact than in other countries. Sad to say, but the acknowledgement, success and attention an Italian dark wave (or generically underground) band can get can’t possibly be compared to the rest of Europe. As for the very few exceptions, those are bands that have been around for many years, they have resisted and kept it up despite all difficulties, and have finally got to make a name for themselves on the international scene, too.
THE FACT THAT YOU CONTINUED RELEASING YOUR MUSIC THROUGH OWN RELEASES REVEALS THAT YOU DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC…
That’s for sure! Gotta admit I got the chance to do it and my job leaves me the spare time necessary to devote myself to this great passion of mine that has been part of me for a lot of years now
I WANNA ASK YOU SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE… IT’S NOT BAD MEANT, BUT DO YOU MAKE MUSIC FOR YOURSELF IN THE FIRST PLACE OR IS IT SO THAT ONCE IT’S RECORDED YOU NEVER LISTEN TO IT YOURSELVES?
We make music for ourselves, no doubt about that, and we listen to it after it’s released, too. Of course, transmitting emotions to our listeners is highly rewarding for us. But on the other hand you listen to the tracks numberless times during the mix and, after a record is released, a couple of months pass by before we can listen to and enjoy it again
I MEAN THIS WITH THE GREATEST RESPECT FOR MY KINGDOM, BUT SEEING THAT YOUR RECORD HAS BEEN RELEASED ON A METALLABEL IS FOR ME A SIGN THAT THE SCENE ISN’T ANYMORE WHAT IT USED TO BE….
With Francesco from My Kingdom we’re on a basis of mutual friendship and respect that goes beyond musical styles. Being released on a specifically metal label means you can expect a lot of reviews on metal mags and zines, and reading them is real fun! Nowadays music, not only our scene I mean, but music in general, has to face some problems. I guess it’s a matter of fact that recorded and released music is undergoing a decrease in sales, because of how easy it is to get tracks on the Internet. Just take a look at the rise of prices for big live events, which makes the loss the industry suffers from the decrease in sales less hard. The situation being the way it is, I just wonder how independent labels can still be working. Anyway, perhaps our musical offering would be a risk for any label of any style.
ISN’T IT A DISTURBING FACTOR FOR YOU THAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY ON A METALLABEL…I MEAN I KNOW METALFANS LOVE GOTH/DARKWAVE BUT STILL A DIFFERENT AUDIENCE THOUGH….
The problem might be that some wavers maybe don’t follow and know about My Kingdom releases, it being a label dealing with completely different cups of tea. But I think this is no problem for really open-minded, unprejudiced people. People able to make their own decisions and not conditioned by prejudices.
WITH DPERD YOU WENT BACK IN TIME MUSICALLY AS WELL, I MEAN THERE IS CERTAIN A COLDWAVE-FEEL IN YOUR MUSIC, NOT?
I guess you might call our music like that, although it is important not to overrate labels. We have an old-school approach to music in general, both as regards the instruments used and the recording process. If you listen to Dperd, there’s no doubt it’s a real instrument playing on that moment, not a bloody machine, a sequencer, a loop, or a fucking computer
PERHAPS IT’S ITALIAN I DUNNO, I FEEL THE SAME WITH KIRLIAN CAMERA WHO ARE ONE OF MY FAVES… THERE IS A BIG CONTRAST IN THE WARM APPROACH FROM YOUR MUSIC AND THE FACT THAT VALERIA SINGS EVERYTHING IN A BIT MORE ICECOLD WAY….
I just don’t know what to say. Valeria’s singing style, like everything else, is not the result of conscious planning and programming. Whereas we record the instrumental tracks in our home studio, and then mix them elsewhere, I wanted to record vocal tracks directly in another studio. To record Valeria’s voice, our sound engineer set up a mobile studio in our house, to make it all more comfortable. He had scheduled a couple of days to record her vocal lines, but unpredictable Valeria did her job in a couple of hours. OF COURSE THERE’S THE FACT THAT IT IS YOUR LANGUAGE, BUT WHY SINGING IN ITALIAN?, I MEAN WITH THAT YOU BUILD YOURSELVES LIMITS EVEN IF I’M ALWAYS SAYING THAT MUSIC SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!!!!
Certainly using our own language can be a drawback on the International scene, but the fact is Valeria can just speak a bit of English, and on the few occasions she’s sung in that language, she’s cursed it and the whole world. So sorry for foreign listeners, I’m afraid they’ve got to be happy with the English translations on our websites
THANKS FOR THIS INTERVIEW, THE LAST WORDS ARE YOURS…..
Thank you, Didier, thank anybody so patient as to read as far as here and willing to listen to our music.
Lie Collectors...well, well, it would be a total wonder if you have ever heard from them simply as they're an Ukranian band. Can you come up with one Ukranian band? Well, I can but that's only because my wife is from there so not really a good argument... Anyway these industrial noisemakers weren't recommended by my wife (the day my wife comes up with some industrial sounds, now that would be a miracle!) but found by this man who's behind his pc-screen. You wanna have references? Think SPK, think Young Gods, think something very brutal but melodic at the same time... Worried that I give you no information? You won't find any on the net but you can give their music a listen at http://www.last.fm/music/Lie+Collectors/Deceit+Museum
Music is like love I suppose, I mean the best things come unexpected and so it happened that I got a mail from this Wakefield-based band asking me if I would give their band a chance. I did it a thousand times, so why not a band who's named after some song by Kate Bush? Well mind you, I might like Kate but this is something totally different. Still can't decide if I will categorize it as lo-fi post-punk or whatever but it's like the band says themselves : the aim is to write songs with a personal and a political message. I know they all do say that, but I can't help it that opening track "The beat generation" reminded me from the very first minute of something what early Fall or The Yummy Fur did (in case you know them ) while "Tripartite crossfire" is something like...Hefner, I think. It's all very original and original in the sense that this is a band who aren't bandwagonjumping, it's in their veins and you can feel that. Sole bad thing then? Well, if dear John Peel would have been alive he would have played it over and over but for the rest check 'em out... www.myspace.com/wearetherantanwaltz
What is wrong with Swedish bands these days and their obsession to sound like if they're on some Carabian beach? I mean, a day after having heard the genius Club 8, I have now the latest offereing from Swedish's band JJ here which is simply titled "N°3" and once again it feels like you're on some white beach in Haiti. A bad thing? Well, let me be honest...I mostly would say "yes" as this sort of tropical stuff is music that I normally relate to fleamarkets but this wonderful band made something great from it. Besides this album has been made album of the month in April by Rough Trade so... It's ethereal pop (some say it's Enya, can't deny it that much) with melancholic synths and from the moment that it's all too depressive (I never said this was like Barry Manilow) there is an addition of some Carabian rhythm. Love it, love it a lot and to make you completely jealous : this new Swedish popsensation plays tomorrow around my corner! Will I be there? What else do I have to do? So yes!!!!
Well dear friends, as I spoke with some friends about it I guess I have to share it with you too. I was thinking last week to stop The Original Sin as it's all been too much. My Dutch speaking mates know that I'm involved in 3 e-zines over here and that can be by times a bit too much. I spoke about it with a friend (remember A Place To Bury Strangers) for the first time to give this zine a go, bury it. But some days later I was kind of thinking : why would I bury my own child? I mean, I always has been proud of this concept and regarding the positive reactions I guess you keep on liking it, even if it's in a total different format. I decided to let it live, yeah...saved by the bell! I only will skip the boring bits. From now on you will find no gigreviews on here, if you wanna read 'em just jump to www.indiestyle.be www.musiczine.net www.darkentries.be They're in Dutch, I know, but be honest : if you live in Philadelphia then you're not interested how the gig from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was in Brussels. I will no longer do exclusively interviews especially for The Original Sin. I just will post the original ones from above cited sites in their original forms here. And for the rest : stick to the bone and doing what The Original Sin always stands for, supporting the alternative scene for a 100%. And yes, if you're unsigned you can contact me to me and I'll give you a listen, only not if you're the local New Kids On The Block. So yes, this fanzine is once alive again...looks like some f*** horrorsequel!
Reviewing records today feels like you're in the 80's again. I mean,who could have thought in 1992 that I was sitting here with a cd on my lap which a sleeve that looks familiar to Nasmak and is described as psychedelic post-punk? That's how these lads from San Francisco are describing their music and even if I would skip the bit of "psychedelic", it's more than just some words to fill some bio. This reminded me of the finest stuff that is made by bands like The Gadgets, Alternative TV or The Monochrome Set. Who are they? Ask daddy if he got a sublime taste...and if not, that's not a reason not to dig this. To add the typical 80's touch, they used a Tascam 388 tapemachine (mind you, I took that from their bio too) to come up with that typical 80's sound. We love it as it's spontaneous and it will be played over and over... Now where's my first album by The The?
For Dark Entries-magazine I did an interview with the very fine darkwaveband Andreas Gross. Are they darkwave? Isn't it just beautiful pop? Sadness meets beauty? What the hell...Andreas Gross let your heart melt. Here is the original version of the interview. HELLO, THE BAND IS NAMED ANDREAS GROSS. SO CAN WE STATE THAT THIS IS YOUR BAND?
Exactly. Because I released three albums at the same time on ECHOZONE in 2007, it was too late to give this musical project a different, more abstract name for further releases. In retrospect I think, the name is not so bad at all. Many bands have names of persons, for example “Silke Bischoff”, and “andreas gross” is accidentally my name.
AS FAR AS I UNDERSTOOD THE BAND GREW OUT OF GUEST MUSICIANS, NOT? ARE THAT EVERY TIMES DIFFERENT PERSONS OR CAN WE SPEAK FROM A BAND NOW?
You are right. But since 2005, when we recorded “Borderline Poetry”, at least Thomas and I are fixed members. The last two albums and the mini-album have been recorded with the same people, so you can really speak of a band now.
YOU ARE MAKING SO CALLED DARK WAVE WHICH IT IS, BUT IN ALL HONESTY IF YOU WEREN’T IN GOTHMAGS I MORE GO FOR SHOEGAZING STUFF LIKE SLOWDIVE…
I think, you can always argue of what kind of music we make. I am still not shure if we really fit in this kind of magazines or even if we are on the right label. The so called “Gothic Scene” has changed that much, that our mellow and intellectual music is strikinlgy different from the music of other so called gothic bands. This fact is even more obvious when you listen to the samplers we're on. Our music is more like marzipan, either you like it or you really hate it.
I GUESS YOU AGREE THAT WITH TABITHA YOU HAVE A SINGER WHO HAS A LOT OF CAPACITIES, NOT? HOW DID SHE END UP IN THE BAND?
She was planned to play the acoustic guitar live on our “Close To Home”-Tour in 2008. But she sang so well, that I sayd “I'm gonna record the next album with you!”. This album was “Hail To The Employee”. Actually we are recording her solo debut album.
“WE LIKE GHOST GIRLS” IS A BIT OF A WEIRD NAME, NOT?
Do you think so? I think it's merely a funny and ironic title. We always have some spooky elements in our videoclips for the songs, as you can see for example on my myspace site. The title is meant to be a reference to that.
YOU’RE GERMAN, YOU’RE ON A GERMAN LABEL. IF I MAY ASK YOU : HOW ARE THINGS FOR YOU IN GERMAN SUCCESFULLWISE AS HERE TO BE HONEST, I GUESS YOU’RE QUITE UNKNOWN…
Of course we are not so well-known as for example this ineffable guy called “Unheilig”. It's not easy to become famous when you don't play many live concerts. We all have jobs and there is not much time to prepare a gig or travel from city to city. At least we had some great reviews and articles in the established underground magazines and with our single “Stone Thrower” we actually have airplay on real radio, not only internet radio. And the last two albums sold some exemplars - not so much to earn some money with it... making music is an expensive thing.
IF I HEAR YOUR MUSIC THE FIRST THING YOU THINK IS THAT YOU MUST BE QUITE MELANCHOLIC PEOPLE…
This is half true, half not. I think, serious music must have durable elements, and you can't reach this by making happy-go-lucky party music. Life is no party and I want to reflect this in my music. The music and lyrics of a.g. are always deep and poetic, but still there are some ironic elements in it. I am melancholic and Tabitha also is, but we are not depressive...
SORRY BUT I HAVE TO ASK… YOUR WEBSITE IS CALLED NOMOREJAZZ… HATERS OF JAZZ OR JUST AS IT SOUNDS NICE?
In 2001 I recorded an album called “No More Jazz”, this was the year, my website went online. It was a good name for an URL I think and I din't change it since then. It is still a good metapher that we can't be put in any musical drawer.
ALMOST EVERY YEAR THERE IS SOMETHING LIKE A NEW RELEASE. HOW COME THAT YOU HAVE SO MANY INSPIRATION?
Between recordings songs for an album there is always a break of more than half a year. I don't think this is too less time to start working on new songs. In 2010 there will be no release of any new album; “We Like Ghost Girls” was in every way a too big thing to release another album one year after that. It still has to grow, you know.
I GUESS YOU MUST LAUGH WITH ACTS WHO ARE PREPARING THEIR NEW “MASTERPIECE” FOR 5 YEARS, NOT?
I don't care of other acts.
IF I HEAR ANDREAS GROSS’ MUSIC, I NEVER KNOW WHAT TO THINK… BEAUTY OR SADNESS, OR ARE THE TWO SYNONYMS, YOU THINK?
Good question. Due to my music they are synomums, right! :o)
ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOU ARE MAKING PERFECT MUSIC? I MEAN IT WILL PROBABLY BE ME BUT A SONG LIKE “STONE THROWER” IS PERFECT POP I THINK…
Oh, thank you!!! Maybye “Stone Thrower” is for me a little bit too poppy in retrospect. But after recording this song, it was totally clear that THIS will be the single of the album and there are many remixes of it and we even released a mini-album with the same name containing a radio version of it. I like the live acoustic version the most, maybe it will be a bonus track on the next album. THE LAST WORDS ARE YOURS…..
Perhaps that going to work and having a house, a dog, a garden and wife ist not the goal in life. Not at all.
I guess that you’re bored of this too long winter as well and so it’s time for some record that gives us some sunshine, so what about Club 8? Yes indeed, we are talking about the nice Swedish duo who are giving us since 1995 all those nice indiepoptunes whose first releases were on the mighty Siesta Records. Back then they were compared a lot with Camera Obscura, JJ or Kings Of Convenience but more and more, we saw them going into the direction of bossa nova. After the huge success from their former album “The boy who couldn’t stop dreaming” both Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergärd decided to pack their bags and go to Brazil in seek for some inspiration. The result can be heard on this mighty cd which has been produced by Jari Haapalainen who is famous (well kind of…) for his work with Camera Obscura and The Concretes. The result is absolutely amazing and Club 8 presents here melancholic melodies that are mixed with a salsasound. If you ever should wonder how Belle & Sebastian would have sounded if they were remixed by Herb Alpert, I guess “The people’s record” by Club 8 could have been the answer!
D-Trash Records is a Canadian label that releases stuff from artists in the dark ambient, breakcore, EBM or any other industrial league. Apart from the official release they opt for the punkattitude and you can get their whole backcatalogue for free (see link below). No need to tell that this long list is an absolute must for anyone who is interested in music as such. One of these releases is the latest offering by German duo Mind Disruption from Aachen. They were inspired by hardcore techno, industrial and punk. The result has become a frightening collection of harsh sounds, distorted vocals, loud beats and the kind of noises from which people will ask you if you’re still normal or not. There are times in where Mind Disruption don’t fear some EBM-cliches (but they work) and opt for the old sound by Suicide Commando or even Skinny Puppy. “Fuck yeah” (yes we admit, it’s not the most poetic thing ever) has become a more than decent release on where you can find among some fillers, some beautiful industrial pearls which are great. Check out that free page now!!!
For Original Sin-readers (the old ones with wrinkles on their face!) Morc Records is no longer a secret as since the beginning of this mighty zine we featured this tiny Belgian label that got more and more succesfull in the undergroundscene. If you wanna know what Morc Records is, well it's the brainchild from Wim Lecluyse, a fine man who happen to be completely into drones and soundscapes. Yes sir, we do call that experimental music! Isn't experimental music boring then? It's in the way that you see it I guess. True is true some experimental dronemusic makes me fall asleep (but so do some indiepop or goth, mind you) but the greatest thing about Morc is that Wim was always precious in his choice. "It's the quality, not the quantity" he says and it can be a cliche but it's a cliche with worth!!! Anyway, never expected him to come back with an album (well, it's a minialbum) from his own band Circle Bros. This record has been produced by Michael Anderson from Drekka and once again we find Wim again with his soundscapes, guitarloops and all sort of sounds that are melted together to become that precious sound that makes you dazzling. Must say though that the B-side is more experimental. Hungry for more? www.morctapes.com Oh, and while we're on the track if Wim's music might be too experimental then perhaps try out the wonderful female lo-fi folk from Annelies Monseré. As far as I'm aware the Morc-releases are in the UK available through Norman Records.
I had for Dark Entries-magazine a nice chat with Der Graf aka Unheilig. Since ten years this German based band is a well known name among goths and in countries like Germany, Switzerland or Austria they even reached a much wore wider audience. Here's the original version of this interview...
HELLO…WELL SINCE YOU RELEASED “SAGE JA” YOU ARE ALREADY IN THE MUSICBIZ FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THIS IF YOU STARTED?
I hoped it but you can’t expect anything in the music business.
I WANNA ASK IT TO SOMEONE WHO IS SUCH A LONG TIME IN THE ALTERNATIVE SCENE, HAS MUCH CHANGED?
I don’t think so. We got older. But there are still new bands that enter the scene and there are still fans which love the music and the way of living. The festivals are an event and the WGT in Leipzig is still fantastic.
WITH ALL RESPECT, TEN YEARS AGO YOU HAD THE BIG THREE (SONIC SEDUCER, ZILLO, ORKUS) BUT NOW IT SEEMS LIKE ARTISTS HAVE TO FIGHT MORE AND MORE….. SO IN A SENSDE AREN’T YOU HAPPY THAT YOU HAD THE LUCK TO START IN THE BOOMPERIOD?
I think that it is always difficult to be successful and finally established in the music scene. You have to work hard and constant and you need a little bit luck. Some people think that there is only one way to become successful but sometimes you have to tour through the little clubs and you have to spent a lot of your time and money to reach something. I had a very hard time when I startet but I didn’t give up and that is the important thing.
“PHOSPHOR” WAS STILL IN ENGLISH TOO, BUT FROM THEN ON YOU WENT IN GERMAN, WHY EXACTLY (NOT THAT IT HAS BEEN A BAS CHOICE!!!!).
The first album PHOSPHOR was in English and german because I worked together with Grant Stevens. He is an Australian and we wrote the songs together. After PHOSPHOR Grant decided to start a solo project and it was difficult for me to make English songs for my own. I dream and think in the german language. I can explain and describe my feelings in my songs because of the great variety of the german language. You can see that in this interview. English ist not really the language that I master.
IS UNHEILIG IN FACT DER GRAF ONLY OR NOT?
Unheilig ist not only me. There are some important people in the background. Unheilig works only together. I write the songs but the planning of everything is in the hand of my management Markus Tombült and Oliver Reimann. Live I play together with Henning Verlage ( keyboards ), Licky ( guitar ) and Potti ( drums ). We are a little familiy and we work together since a lot of years.
AS FAR AS MY GERMAN KNOWLEDGE GOES (SORRY) THE LYRICS FROM UNHEILIG AREN’T THAT POSITIVE, I MEAN SOME SONGS ARE LIKE YOU WANNA WAKE UP THE PUBLIC. IS THIS A MATTER THAT ISCLOSE TO YOUR HEART?
Sometimes I want to wake up but the songs are always with an hopeful glimmer. I don’t like those negative songs. You should think about your live but you shouldn’t resign.
I DON’T WANNA OFFEND YOU, IT’S JUST THAT I DON’T KNOW… OVER HERE YOU ARE SEEN AS A GOTHACT BUT I READ THAT YOUR ALBUM “GROSSE FREIHEIT” MADE IT TO NUMBER ONE IN THE GERMAN CHARTS, SO DOES THAT MEAN THAT IN GERMANY YOU REACH A MUCH WIDER AUDIENCE?
Yes, we reach a wider audience and it startet 2008 with the album PUPPENSpIEL and the song “An deiner Seite”. They played the video at viva and MTV. A lot of people saw that and realised that Unheilig is a band that makes music not only for some people. I don’t like the crampedness that music is only for black dressed people. GROSSE FREIHEIT and the song “Geboren um zu leben” is very successful in Germany and Austria and Swiss.
DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS? TWENTY YEARS AGO GERMAN BANDS LIKE NENA TILL SPIDER MURPHY GANG WERE HAVING HITS IN GERMAN LANGUAGE OUTSIDE GERMANY, TODAY IT’S EVEN IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AIRPLAY ON THE RADIO. DOES IT MEAN WE HAVE BECOME NARROWMINDED?
Narrowminded is the wrong word. The radio stations decide what they play and their decision is often fixed through money.
AS FAR AS I KNOW YOU’RE THE KIND OF PERFORMER WHO IS CLOSE WITH HIS FANS, NOT? HOW DO YOU REACT IF YOU SEE MUSICIANS TREATING THEIR FANS LIKE SHIT?
The fans are the most important people. You are nothing without their support. I know that Unheilig is successful because of our loyal fans. I always try to talk with the fans and hold a close contact. Musicians who don’t realise that they are nothing without the fans are poor.
YOU ALREADY HAVE RELEASED TWO LIVEALBUMS, A GIFT TO THE FANS OR JUST BECAUSE PLAYING LIVE IS SO IMPORTANT ?
Both of them. The songs are in an other dress and there is this special emotion. I love to play live and you can hear that at the album. It is also important that you can hear an other tracklist and some people maybe hear a song for the first time on a concert or the live album.
FOR WHICH CURRENT BANDS SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR,YOU THINK?
That’s difficult because some will be offend if I don’t name them. Maybe Zeromancer.
YOU SOON WILL BE PLAYING AT WAREGEM GOTHIC 2010, WHAT CAN THE FANS EXPECT FROM UNHEILIG?
They can expect old and new Songs from the album GROSSE FREIHEIT. We try do give all and we try to rock the show.
THANKS….THE LAST WORDS ARE YOURS!!!!
Thank you for the IV. I hope we see us soon on a festival or an Unheilig-Show. Thanks for your support.
Fans from dark music always have the pleasure that they get releases with great artwork and in the case of French-basedYear Of No Light it’s not different .. A desolate island photographed in black and white and with this you already get a glimpse of the very dark mood of this dark release, as this is indeed the kind of release for people who like to see life a bit darker. This is the following up from the album “Nord” that saw its light back in 2007 and the big difference here is that the new album is completely instrumental. You get 4 songs on here (all four of them are just under the 10 minute border) which are into an atmosphere of self destruction, dreams and a feeling in where you’ve been beaten to death. Musicwise this post-metalrelease sounds like an instrumental doommetalrecord with influences from both post-rock or shoegazing. We can imagine that after 50 minutes of this doomnoise changes are rather small that you will be in for a cosy afternoonwalk but then again it’s no secret that the dark side of life has its own beauty. Absolutely recommended.
I know it isn't the greatest thing to read a review from something that the reviewer has no information about. Most of the times I kind of shrug my shoulders and keep on skipping to the next record but this one is just too good to left unspoken. Not that Das Projekt (don't know who they are or where they're from) do anything new as this is old school goth rock (in fact even very old school) and admit it with a title as this (and such a sleeve) you can do nothing wrong. And the sound? Well, true is true this is old Sisters Of Mercy and perhaps a bit like Garden Of Delight, but they already were something like a Sistersband, so there you go... On this fine EP (how you have to search it, I dunno) Das Projekt are offering you 3 topgothrocktunes and a remix. If these guys should ever read then please comment some info, as your band is a bit too good to be just overlooked!
Click on Google the word “flutter” and you’ll see it is some tool to help people who suffer from cardiac diseases but add music on the click and you’ll come accross the wonderful (but I guess frightened too) world of Christine Ignaldson. Christine has got a classical training in music (which can be heard), not that it translates itself into some neo-classical stuff (even if some parts have beautiful pianopieces) but in something more electronic. To be quite honest, I haven’t heard other stuff from Christine (or do I have to say Flutter?) as this woman is already active since 1997 but on this record (great sleeve by the way) it’s like if she is wanting to explore all the electronic types of music that are available. It goes from new age (without the boring bits), laid back electronics, trip hop, clubkillerstuff, harsh electronics in Nine Inch Nails-style till the more mellow moods from Goldfrapp. Throughout these various insights it doesn’t make “And there is light” that much of an easy record but still worth checking out nonetheless.
It’s hard to believe but Les Nuits Botanique are almost over but this Friday we were lucky to wellcome 4 bands on stage even if 4 can be too much, but tell this to a student with a tiny budget!!! Botanique already cares about new Belgian talent since ages and today they gave the chance to Driving Dead Girl to climb on a big stage, not that they could convince me that much simply as I never was into straight plain rock but true is true, they know how to handle a stage. And then there was a band named Wintersleep. You read it more than once on these pages but there’s something good going on in the Canadian underground even if I never would count Wintersleep among them but as the press gives them so much coverage with their soon to be released “New Inheritors”, I thought I had to give them the benefit of the doubt as well. I never was keen on pianomusic as it reminds me too much of Keane (hey, that even rhymes!) but true is true that these Canadians were much rawer (and kind of better) as there was from time to time a shoegazeguitar, not that it could hide that awful Neil Young-like voice. The problem with Wintersleep is that on one moment (“Black Camera” for instance) you are thinking that you discovered the next big thing but soon there after you hope they disappear in the dressing room as soon as possible. Indiepop with ups and downs but mostly downs though. And then luckily for the evening there was the arrival from Zaza. You read it on these pages before and you will read it more (believe me) but if you wanna hear great indiemusic with a shoegazesound then the US is the place to be. Not that Zaza are again another My Bloody Valentine-copy as they use their shoegazeinfluences in a more original way. Their “Cameo EP” (released on Kanine Records from Grizzly Bear) can be best described as Galaxie 500, Sonic Youth (when Kim Gordon sings), Mazzy Star and of course…how can we forget…Slowdive. Zaza’s music is more one of the quiet kind even if the sound was terrible that evening, something that would be the case too with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as by Zaza you hear loud drums with a too heavy bass but the subtile shoegazeguitars couldn't be heard most of the times . Anyway at the end of the evening, Zaza couldn’t believe it themselves that they played for such a wide audience and that this audience embraced them… I myself couldn’t believe it either that finally an underground band has been given such a chance. And then there was time for that bunch named after those bikehooligans from Marlon Brando’s “The wild one”. It’s a sort of contradiction. You just watched some new shoegazerevelation (Zaza) but the band who came together throughout their love for Ride and who were responsible for the reincarnation of the Jesus & Mary Chainsound is know more going for the Led Zeppelin/Doors-route. This could already been heard on their latest offering “Beat the devil’s tattoo” but whereas the cd is still fine, on stage it became more and more boring not in the least as once again the public had no respect (speaking during gigs should be forbidden!) and of course that terrible noise again…and two hours hearing them is just too long! Plus Black Rebel MOtorcycle Club forgot an essential thing : no tunes... Of course it stays a fact that BRMC are a bunch of well trained musicians and they can play, but more than once I started yawning and if it wasn’t for the sake that is against my principles, I would have left earlier as they’re simply too boring. When BRMC were once the band who gave you a straight in the face-touch, they are now becoming the sort of musicians who care more about boring guitarsolos and the awful “look ma how good I can play!”-attitude. Not a wasted evening as there was Zaza but BRMC are out of my books….
2005 saw the release of “At the soundless dawn” and this record immediately evoked a real storm among the post-rockpublic because of its great soundscapes. But when Josh Graham decided to give it a go, the future stayed uncertain for a while till Cliff Meyer, known from Neurosis-fame, decided to join the band. If you know that there are already members from Isis involved, you kind of expect this to become a sort of metalalbum but that’s surely not the cause. “The fear is excruciating, but therein lies the answer” has become the ultimate post-rockalbum in where soundscapes and guitaroutbursts with an emotional touch are the main ingredients. Typical for Red Sparowes-tunes is that they all have an upbuilding character, it starts slows and little by little they add some drones or some ambient atmosphere till it explodes and you can float away on delicious guitartunes that even have a bit of a shoegazetouch. Haven’t we heard this before with bands like Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor or Saxon Shore? Somewhere we did of course, but Red Sparowes are the kind of band who are led by emotions and luckily enough, just as too many post rock bands do, they’re not trying to convince us how intelligent they are till all the listener can do is just start yawning… And that’s why I guess Red Sparowes can reach a wider audience (with a good taste though). By songs like “A swarm” or “A mutiny” you kind of expect to hear suddenly Syd Barrett sing while a track like “In illusions of order” might remind you of Savage Republic. “The fear is excruciating, but therein lies the answer” has become a perfect soundtrack for the musiclover who is in search for the real emotions in life. I would definitely give it a chance if I were you! . www.conspiracyrecords.com
Reviewing Lisa Gerrard is not the easiest thing for me. She has one of the most extraordinary voices in musicland and no one can doubt the impact (or importance or beauty) from Dead Can Dance but since the band got split up, I can't help it thinking that her voice is kind of wasted. Don't get me wrong, the albums aren't that bad but every fan knows deep inside that there is much more to do with such a voice. Sadly enough, we have to say the same about the colloboration with KLaus Schulze, the man behind Tangerine Dream. This rather short cd is nothing but beautiful soundscapes while Lisa's voice is just a lame excuse to add some eternal beauty. Sorry, even if Brendan Perry's latest offerings are reaching the sublime you can only think of one thing : get the two back together!
The world of music has their own geniuses, the so called enfant terribles of this world and I myself always had a soft spot for people like these and I guess that’s why I like so much artists like Mark E. Smith or someone like Terry Bickers. Honestly said I was unaware who Matthew Sawyer was and the cd just got my attention as his music has been praised by my fave journo, Everett True. But as soon as I opened my package I couldn’t help smiling to see Matthew used to be in …well the collection of the enfant terribles : Television Personalities. Their classic “And don’t the kids just love it” is still having lots of airplay in my room and you can see me often taking a shower while I’m singing the notes of “Stupid Girl”, not that you wanna see that! We all know what happened with Dan Treacy but if you ask me, when hearing Matthew’s music I guess it hasn’t been that much better. Why would it? I mean those who think, suffer… it’s as simple as that…a cliché! But what is not a cliché is the mighty album from Matthew that’s been in my cdplayer. This following up from “Blue Blood Ghosts” might only reach a handful of people (I mean I don’t expect this genius showing up in Later with Jools or so) but just be sure that you are one of them who give it a try. Just try his My Space and mark my words : you’ll be hooked! Listening to this album is a real adventure. Okay, it’s singer songwriterstuff but it’s so bitter (think Mark E. Smith) that you won’t fall asleep (I mean this is not an Elvis Costello-record!) and the beauty lies in the details as they say, and these details can be a bit of everything. Musically it’s damn hard to give a proper description, but it lies somewhere between the schizophrenic lo-fi pop from Daniel Johnston and the theatrical beauty from Current 93. Looking at the index of my blog we have reviewed over 100 records this year, but this one belongs to the top, no doubt!!!
Support your underground that's the least we can do! Void Of Sadness are a Belgian gothmetalband that soon can be seen at the prestigious Waregem Gothfest in Belgium. For Dark Entries I made an interview, here's the interview! How would you describe your music?
We take our inspiration from goth, new wave, metal and dance. We are not the usual metalband who like heavy riffs and long solos but we like a good rhtythm, well thought drumpatterns, heavenly keys, a good bass and a good singing. That’s how you can describe our music.
Can you tell us something about your history?
Just like so many other bands, I guess we have our ups and downs, different members and various ideas about the musical direction we wanted to go into. Our two founders Andy and Jona found the right musicians. Jonas got on keyboards and Kris took the bass and so Void Of Sadness got its shape.
I understood you will record a demo, something else in the pipeline?
We are totally busy writing songs. After the summer we go into the studios to record our full album.
You are making goth metal, so I conclude that you like gothstuff too?
Even more than metal I guess, so yes goth is the stuff for us and for some of us it’s even a way of life!
Soon we can see you at Waregem Gothic, how did you get there?
We and our fans try to convince the organisator to book us there. It was the organisator himself who got our demo, saw us playing live and he decided to put us on the bill.
I guess for gothmetalbands it’s not such a logic thing to get gigs over here….
Absolutely not as we’re outsiders. Thanks to some relations we could play at some pubs, we took part in some band contests and throughout that point we got some mouth to mouth adverts, hoping that someone give us a chance.
No fear that other collegues would look down on you?
We hope for everyone the best, and with this attitude I hope to obtain the same.
You can say what you want but over here in Belgium it’s a very sad state for the undergroundmusic I think….
Same old story as ever, if you don’t have no money or if you have no connection in the small club then you can forget it. The word “sad” isn’t even an exaggeration I think. We live in Belgium and we are aware that our type of music will never get its attention it deserves….
The band’s name Void Of Sadness isn’t exactly the most uplifting of all names either. Does this reflect your personal state of mind too?
We think the band’s name suits perfectly into the whole scene, just look at google and the two first pages are referring to us. We stand with both feet on the ground and we are intelligent enough to realize that it’s not all wine and roses. Music stays for us fun and a gig is still the best thing that can happen to us!
What can we expect at Waregem Gothic?
At every gig we give the best of ourselves. At the Gothic Fest we will surprise our fans with some new songs and we will play an extra-ordinary gig.
Op iedere gig geven we het beste van onszelf. Op Gothfest zullen we de fans verrassen met enkele nieuwe nummers en een stevige gig neerzetten .
The Last word is yours!!!
We are ready for you bitches... are you ready for us?
Normally an album by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is some kind of guarantee that the press adores it but with their 5th album, it seems the storm is quite over. That’s what usually happens with pressdarlings, one day hyped and then rejected. Is “Beat the devil’s tattoo” so bad then? At the contrary I think, it’s just a cd without surprises as the raw sound we knew from the beginning belongs to the past and now you get a perfect rockalbum. Read the word again please, rockalbum cos that’s what matters. Rock has become too much a sort of definition of everything that isn’t enough alternative to be described otherwise. Rock was never supposed to be bland, rock was never supposed to be seen as average and that’s what Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have understood even if I’m aware that by times (especially the ballads) the sound is a bit too polished. But still important enough….
People can be quite imaginative if it comes to finding names for their bands. I mean if you’re named Annie Stevenson and there isn’t an Annie around, or not even a woman? What does that say? Perhaps 4 guys who are longing for a sex change who knows? Well perhaps, as their four-track demo has something of a glam feel that found its roots in the 70’s and seeing that they come up with T.Rex and Marc Bolan as references, it gives me hope that my ears are quite allright. These Glasgewians are offering you here 4 songs and if you like Rachel Stamp (does anyone remember fanzinedarlings Rachel Stamp, anyway?) or early Manic Street Preachers then you will like them either I guess. I heard a lot of demos in my life, some crap, some very crappy and of course great ones too but Annie Stevenson are a band who have a real strong sound and it sounds like it’s ready to be pressed on vinyl. Now where’s that recordcompany?
It always has been difficult for in The Nursery-fans to find their old stuff and even if they did, it was mostly at prices you can’t afford. Even if it’s very quiet on the front for In The Nursery-releases, our twins from Sheffield recently have released this new compilation. “Audabe” (the first track they ever played on stage) compiles everything which has been released between 1983 and 1985. True fans from the band know that this is totally different from what we’re used from Klive and Nigel Humberstone. In stead of their cinematographic (and often Wagnerian militaristic) sound, it feels like you’re listening here to some old band on factory. The 18 tracks on here (among liveclassics such as “Mystery” or “Deus Ex Machina”) refer a lot to the coldwavesound from Joy Division even if you can hear step by step how the band is evolving though. It’s clear that the usual In The Nursery-fan who loves their electronic neo-classical sound will be rather surprised when he hears this. But a coldwave-tip nontheless!
This years Les Nuits Botanique is getting better and better and yesterday evening that was the same when we could attend two signings of the mighty Subpoplabel. In the 90’s the Subpoplabel might have been famous for its grunge crusade (Nirvana were on them) but last years the label has broaden their horizons and some months ago, they could happily announce that they signed Dum Dum Girls. Dum Dum Girls might be a name for the press but publicwise there wasn’t that much of a storm to be noticed. Are we speaking about some hype? Yes indeed, Dum Dum Girls are perhaps one of the most hyped bands from last months. But first it was time to watch another hype : Male Bonding. The name from the trio speaks for itself and it’s true that these London boys see their noisepop in a different perspective. Bassist Kevin Hendrick learnt the bass by hearing his 33rpm records at 45 rpm, so that speaks for itself, they’re not your average boys… Anyway, yesterday Male Bonding gave us an uppercut from 25 minutes. At times the guitars were so loud that you couldn’t recognize them (My Bloody Valentine revisited) and neither the voice from Kevin or John could overrule the wall of sound. A very fine mess indeed and more than once I was thinking of the godlike sound from gone glories like Fugazi, Big Black or even Unwound. Indeed, nothing new but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s bad, at the contrary!!! And then it was time for Dum Dum Girls! Anyone who is into alternative music knows that today good music is to be found in the US. Dum Dum Girls is nothing more than a bedroomproject that got out of its shape. Singer Dee Dee (even husband Crocodiles singer Brandon Welchez is forced to name her as such) started with some friends, like the example Vivian Girls, an all girlband in where 60’s garagerock was melted with a Phil Spector-sound, added with some Jesus & Mary Chain-guitars. The dirtier it sounds the better and that can be heard on their debutalbum “I will be” even if it’s closer to Nancy Sinatra as it’s to My Bloody Valentine. You could see that too when they entered the stage. Those who were expecting that Dum Dum Girls are the ultimate rockbitches, were definitely wrong as these girls who are named after that album by The Vaselines, are more from the shy type. After minutes of waiting and hesitating, the four girls finally decided to give it a go and they started with a magnificent version of Rolling Stones’ “Playing with fire”. Already from that moment, they stole the public’s heart even if it wasn’t that much from their side, as apart from a timid “thank you” and introducing Sandy as their new drummer, the L.A.-foursome weren’t that much of a talkative band. After 30 minutes of shiny garagerock that was mostly taken from their debut we knew that the name of Dee Dee wasn’t chosen out of the blue as their music isn’t that far away from the early outputs by The Ramones. Those who will tell you today that Dum Dum Girls are the best band around, simply don’t know what they’re talking about as you can find hundreds of them, just think of The Raveonettes. But it’s clear these women don’t want such glorifying titles themselves either as apart from having a short set, these women are sober and aren’t pretending that they’re the next big thing. What is true is that I saw a band on stage that has so much freshness around them that you’re aware that they are one of the finest things of the moment and we can only hope that they’ll stay for a couple of years. .
Finally some darkwaverelease we are wild about and what a release it is! Andreas Gross are a new band from Germany who just have released their "Stone Thrower EP" on Echozone and already after hearing 5 songs (well there are 7 on here, but 2 of them are remixes) we are looking forward to the full album. Their label might speak in terms of gothic trip hop (what's in a name?) but you better don't believe this completely, even if it's clear that their stuff is influenced on 90's sounds and then in particular bands like Cranes, Slowdive or Hooverphonic. All spotlights are targetted on Tabitha's voice which is quite similar to Rachel Goswell from Slowdive, or in other terms : magnificent! If Tabitha doesn't sing like on the instrumental "At the edge", Dif Juz comes above. I'm normally not into remixes but the ones that are featured on here put these German dreamchildren in an other dimension! We're really looking forward to their album which soon must hit the shops. Tip!
Sometimes you have releases you really can't judge simply as they're not to judge. Well, okay you can say something about everything but in case of a band like the Italian electro outfit White Pulp you can only conclude that they're victimized by a schizophrenic feeling as one part wants to be Marilyn Manson and the other part opts for futurepop blended with some Depeche Mode. Just like if it's not complicated enough this duality can be split up in a further two parts : sometimes it works in a perfect way and sometimes you grab your discman in search of the almighty skip-button. Opening track "Malediction" is perhaps one of the best openers you'll hear this year (genius futurepop with metallic guitars) and there are tracks on which they can obtain this quality (with its Spanish guitar "Just like me" you can hear the best Depeche Mode-song this year which is not made by Depeche Mode) but too many tracks are too bland. Their cover from "Mad World" by Tears For Fears just don't work, and I wanna hear that other (beautiful) Italian doing it anyway : Spectra*Paris. And we could go on and on, some really misses but then again some really hits either. www.myspace.com/whitepulp
We are not really used to review here black or death metal records on these pages, the reasons why not are just the wrong ones, but the fact is that The Original sin is invented to give a shout to new bands and so we happen to have no boundaries. Just bear in mind that there are genres around I know not that much of and black metal is one of them, but I got this sent from Firebox (who seem to distribute this) when they mailed me some mighty releases you find elsewhere on these pages. Firebox means Finland and so Chthonian are Finnish too. The band originally found its shape in 1998 but due to several changes (they went from band to band), this "The preachings of hate are lord" is their second release only so far and it's out on Woodcut Records. Some tracks on here actually quite brilliant as they try to melt old school hardcore with a black metalsound ("You should be ashamed of yourself" and closing song "The preachings of hate are lord"are fine examples of this melting pot). With its 8 songs it's a rather short release but still vivid enough to shake your mind and in all honesty much better as many of the so called "intelligent" releases which are waiting here for me.... www.myspace.com/officialchthonian
Thank God there is something like the internet, not? I mean, music from Finland… Admit it, if you’re not from there then something like 20 years ago you only were aware of some crappy entry from the Eurovision Songcontest and that was your portion for the whole year. Today it's different. You get a mail from someone (hi Leeor!) who informs you about something brand new and there you go! Well enough bollocks, let me now introduce you to that band called Regina Preps. They probably would end up in the latest position from that famous Contest as they’re being far too original but believe me, this band from Helsinki know what pop means. No, mind you…you won’t able to sing one word along with Lisa …unless you’re Finnish. God, what do I love her voice that is something like a cross between Nina Persson and Stina Nordenstamm. But understanding it or not, singing along or not, who was it who said that music is an universal language? Can’t remember who said these words anyway but but this is heavenly pop even if Regina Preps are the kind of band who are not satisfied with taking the easy way as they search influences in avant-garde, jazz or 60’s pop but the essence is always those three words : pop. Recommended stuff. And look, there’s not only internet…there’s something like My Space too… http://www.myspace.com/reginaxxx
Thanks to Dark Entries magazine some childhooddream comes a bit true as I am able to interview people whom I really admire and as it is all kind of important in my life I wanna share them with you on these pages too, in their original form. I guess most of you need no introduction to know who Andi Sex Gang is or was. Andi is the man behind Sex Gang Children, one of the founders of the gothscene. I am absolutely proud I could do this chat with Andi. With the greatest respect there is….
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEX GANG CHILDREN THEN AND NOW, YOU THINK?
Everything and nothing! In spirit..nothing has changed..in circumstance..nothing has changed, we're still seen as outsiders. We have never thought about what is good for the career..we have just always followed what felt right to do musically at any given time..and over the years, whenever members of the band doubted that simply philosophical rule, when their spirit faltered and became corrupted, then they ceased to become part of SGC. We've always had to fight for position..we've always had to fight in order to do what we wanted to do, so we've always lived in that siege mentality..but there never was or ever will be any question about conforming to fit in. Artists are not performing monkeys for big business and not bound by fickle market forces and commercial tastes. You NEVER compromise your art!
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING THERE WAS ONLY ONE ALBUM IN THE HIGH DAYS, “SONG AND LEGEND”. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY IT HAS SO MUCH IMPACT ON THE SCENE? APART FROM THE FACT THAT IT’S A BRILLIANT ALL TIME CLASSIC OF COURSE….
I appreciate that compliment, but it's not the only album. However, on the subject of Song and Legend, it does have a timeless raw energy and speed of flow about it and an urgent sense of spontaneity and that's exactly how it was made. It's like a Max Beckmann painting crossed with a cubist Picasso..jagged, geometric and harsh, yet rich in colour, layer and form..and there you have it! However, that same spirit and application was applied to all of the SGC and ASG albums, just in different ways. For example, the follow up album to Song and Legend, 'Blind!'.. which for another generation was their introduction to all things Sex Gang..had more of a cinematic feel to it, more layered and baroquial..and in many ways more accomplished in it's idiosynchratic song style..it was the next step up in the Sex Gang evolutionary ladder..but you don't need me to talk about the music..it either speaks for itself, or it doesn't. The main and most important thing to know here is that Song and Legend and all the albums that followed, were made with a total sense of freedom, adventure..and risk.. or as I like to call it.. 'the beautiful challenge'.
IAN ASTBURY ONCE TOLD THAT YOU CREATED THE GOTH-IMAGE… JUST A STORY OR IS IT LIKE THAT?
I normally avoid this question...so I'll be brief. The story he related is true.. but no one person creates anything solely..and to be honest, I have no real idea to the degree of impact I may or may not have had on the modern Goth scene.
YOU WERE AT THE CRADLE OF THE GOTHSCENE IN THE 80’S. DO YOU THINK THAT TODAY IN 2010 A SCENE LIKE THAT CAN BE CREATED AS WELL? I MEAN SO MANY PEOPLE SEEM TO BE SO NARROWMINDED THESE DAYS….
There are and always have been narrow minded people..and there'll always be creatively open ones. I agree, we have regressed as a society..we have become more slavish to consumerist convention.. and big business now has more control than ever before.. with a more subtle stranglehold on individual creativity like never before. However, look at it this way..the bigger struggle, the greater the glory. Yes, I absolutely do believe something new and creative can be done today..but it must be done for the right reasons and then with the right application. Ask yourself.."do I really want to do this and why do I want to do it?" If you have a fire that burns deeep inside you..the desire and motivation to change all that needs to be changed..then be an Artist. The greater the control, the more the mediocrity...then even more reason for art..good art..not insipid, self indulged and cliched, but heartfelt, pure and raw in emotion..now..more than ever! Remember.. 'the beautiful challenge'.
YOU WERE A BAND WHO WEREN’T AFRAID TO SAY SOMETHING, EXPRESS THE INNERFEELING EVEN IF IT SHOCKED THE CONSERVATIVE ONES. IF YOU LOOK 30 YEARS LATER, IT SEEMED THAT IT WAS A REVOLUTION FOR NOTHING…. I MEAN LOOK AT OUR SOCIETY NOW! YOU CAN START IT ALL OVER J
No..it was not a revolution for nothing.. if only one person is inspired by it..then it is worth everything. Cultural revolution is so important..now more than ever. Revolutions with guns are fast becoming obsolete..for various reasons that I won't go into now. The new revolutions will be cultural..without them we descend into our lowerselves..'untermensch'. I do not exaggerate when I say there really is a war for the hearts, minds and souls of all people. It's a war that's always been with us and it's a never ending war. Those who hold the reigns of power, those who would keep us culturally in the Dark Ages, they fear such revolutions. Let them be afraid.
I GUESS I CAN SAY YOU WERE IDEALISTS BACK THEN, STILL NOW TODAY OR IS IT CASE OF “SO WHAT ABOUT IT?” THESE DAYS?
Nothing has changed.. we're still idealists..and we'll die idealists. I cannot think of a better way to live.
YOU ARE SEEN AS A GOTHICON, BUT ISN’T THAT IMAGE KIND OF DISTURBING FOR YOU?
I MEAN THE MUSICPRESS TAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE EXCEPT THE GOTHSCENE….
What matters is who you really are. If the music press chooses to be blind on something, then isn't it better that they don't see it?
BEING GOTH DOES MEAN BEING DIFFERENT, BUT IN ALL SENSES I GUESS, NOT ONLY CLOTHWISE…. WHAT DOES GOTH MEAN TO YOU AND ISN’T IT VERY RELATED TO THE PUNKSPIRIT?
Yes..it is related to the punk spirit because it is about true individualism, a rebellion against the norm. It incorporates a love and respect for the arts..films, books..philosophy.. and all things avant garde. A love and thirst of knowledge..and a healthy curiosity towards the unknown. Most importantly..it's about being true to who you are..knowing what you like and what don't like.. and being yourself.
JUST LIKE VIRGIN PRUNES YOU WERE FLIRTING WITH THE AVANT GARDE. CAN YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF DOING SOMETHING LIKE THE THINGS GAVIN FRIDAY IS DOING THESE DAYS?
I'm not really familiar with the music Gavin is up to these days..but I'm sure it's interesting! I have alot of respect for that man.
YOU ALSO WERE, OF COURSE, INVOLVED IN THE BATCAVECLUB. WAS IT REALLY THAT REVOLUTIONARY OR HAS A LOT OF THINGS BEING MADE UP?
The Batcave was definitely a central attraction as a club where like minded lovers of music could gravitate to. That club fed a scene that had already emerged and established itself as a new and influential force in the U.K. and those musicians needed somewhere to hang out, and the Batcave came along and provided that haven..and the music and atmosphere was great.We played a secret gig at the Batcave once, in it's very early days, because they asked us..and as I used to go to the club socially in the beginning, I agreed to do that show. However, there was no association official or otherwise between SGC and the Batcave..we were not one of the Batcave bands, we just became friendly with the guys who ran it. Other bands chose to come under that umbrella..maybe they felt they needed to..I really don't know.. but we stood alone on our own ground..we always had..it's as simple as that.
APART FOR BEING A MUSICIAN, YOU ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN ART. CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?
Yes I still paint..I have loads of finished artwork just sitting round my apartment doing nothing! I paint in waves..flurries of creative energy..then I work really fast..fast and furious. Time permitting..I intend to paint more and maybe even exhibit again. I first started to paint and draw around the age of three. Had my first official exhibition when I was about four and a half.. I was very serious about it then..it was my tool of expression. Then music became my chosen tool..it's much more multi faceted..and it's the most frontline of all art mediums..and that definitely suits and satisfies my personality more. I'm not really a typical musician..I don't like to sit and play for the sake of playing an instrument. I'm a bit of a fascist when it comes to instruments..they are purely just a tool to translate the music in my head.. and I use them more like a paintbrush anyway.
DO YOU THINK MUSIC HAS TO BE SEEN AS ART?
It is an artform..one of, if not the most, potent of all artforms!
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU’RE STILL AROUND. WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW, TRYING TO CONVINCE A NEW AUDIENCE OR GIVING THE OLD ONES A SORT OF HAPPY FEELING BY YOU BEING BACK?
Apart from my spell in a U.S. jail, I didn't realise I'd been away! Aside from that, I'm doing what has to be done..it's what I have to do. Take it or leave it.
ONE OF THE MAIN ELEMENTS THAT GOT YOU SO INFLUENTIAL AND POPULAR WERE THOSE TRIBAL DRUMS. HOW DID YOU COME TO THAT IDEA?
Influences from around..(early Adam and the Ants/Theatre of Hate) triggered the root of using heavy drums..but early SGC drums were more pounding and throbbing than tribal..and that's because the songs suited a more heavy drum. I spent many hours in the rehearsal room with Rob Stroud building up those drum parts, beat by beat and gap by gap and it might sound non-sensical to you, but the gaps were the most important part of those beats..gaps MAKE the beat! Drums are more like scissors..and must be used accordingly. The drums played to the song..not the other way around.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM SEX GANG CHILDREN ON STAGE IN 2010?
Alot of songs from the new album that due for release later this year.
YOU SOON WILL BE PLAYING AT THE GOTHIC FESTIVAL IN WAREGEM. THERE CERTAINLY WILL BE BANDS THERE WHO ARE INFLUENCED BY YOUR MUSIC, SO HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE SOME KIND OF GODFATHER THEN?
It's funny, but I really don't see myself like that. I feel I have contributed no more and no less than I was supposed to..and I feel my job is definitely not over yet..that's for sure. If any bands have been and continue to be in some way influenced by SGC..then it makes the argument for continuing the struggle with your art all the more important.
BEING MYSELF A HUGE GOTHFAN I ALWAYS HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT, SO NOW IT’S UP TO YOU ANDI… WHAT’S SO ATTRACTIVE OF LOVING THE DARK SIDE OF LIFE?
There's no concrete explanation! It's just the way one is..surely not? Well, what can I say..personally I've always been attracted to that 'dark side of life'..and I've never questioned it. There is a certain melancholic pathos to be found there.. and that's a very important and necessary ingredient in our make up. I've always known what I like..and what I don't. Simple as that. . RESPECT ANDI….
The most interesting, or perhaps weird release we heard in a long time, is coming from Germany. Les Sirenes Debrouillards might be a French name but in their daily time you can see them hanging around somewhere in Germany, Nordheim. The little (but interesting) Plastic Frog Records-label just released their debut "Lena" and this analog minimal synthmusic sounds like it's been made in the early 80's by artists like A Blaze Colour and Martin Dupont. If this release wouldn't have a datesign added, you would automatically store this record among your releases by the likes of Crash Course In Science, Neon Judgement or No More. Most of the tracks tracks do have that typical 80's approach, a devil's laugh and an erotic female voice,...and hey sometimes "Electric Salsa" by Off (does anyone remember that song?) came to my mind. Genius release even if we have absolute no other further information left, but I guess you know enough.... www.myspace.com/lessirenesdebrouillards
It has to be said, a gothmetalband that's been named after the city where Batman lives, isn't the most original thing men can think of. Luckily enough for me, their "Disbeliever"-album isn't suffering from the same lack of imagination even if I never would categorize these Finnish hardrockers under the term goth rock, as something like heavy dark rock is more to the point. It's all melodic, never too hard, honestly said all a bit too American for my taste but this definitely can compete with bands like Paradise Lost, Amorphis or even the late Killing Joke. I really digged the uptemposongs even if they're quite close to FM-hardrock (sometimes like the soundtrack from those teenmovies from the 80's, John Hughes indeed) but sadly enough I was never that keen on hardrock ballads and they're some among here. All by all, we can recommend you this new release on Firebox to anyone who is interested in melancholic rock with a heavy touch! http://www.myspace.com/gothamod
Is there still future left for futurepop ? After so many VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk-clones, it can be a question to be asked and honestly said the drive has somewhere disappeared in this genre. From time to time thouhg, there are releases left which try to create some new breathe into the genre. Lost Area are a band as such and with the release of their “Memoria”-album (released on Echozone), they succeed in it partly. “Memoria” is the following up from their 2008 release “Man Machine” (agreed, it’s not the most original thing ever) and even if it’s a good step forwards, it’s not the perfect album anyway. Sadly enough, this already happens from the start as songs like “Memoria” (a weak opener) or “Bloodrain” are nothing more than flat And one-melodies with the needed futurepopbeats. Once the first ten minutes of boredom are over (you can always use the skipbutton) you easily find access to songs like “Mirror”, “Lies”, “Evil eye” or “Live your dream” that reminds us of the early work from Project Pitchfork or even Angels and Agony. The highlight is without any doubt the melancholic “Gauardian Angel” that can stand next to the best from what Clan Of Xymox did on their “Hidden Faces”-album. Besides some beautiful synthpopsongs we also get some dreadful stuff like “Ikarus” (very much like Goethes Erben) or “Dream on” which is nothing but SPOCK but without the fun. No, “Memoria” isn’t exactly the savior from futurepop but due to some excellent tracks, this is one of the better releases from last months even if not every reader will get used to the very strange voice from singer Jan Bertram. Was there someone around who was mentioning a mini-album??? . http://www.myspace.com/lostarea
The most boring and useless question I can think of is if someone comes up to me and wonders why I'm still into gothic in 2010. "Isn't that the genre from Sisters Of Mercy or The Cure?" and while asking you see that they tend to forget the other 10.000 bands from now and then. Are they living in the past? Yes, they do but I can't understand why that's never been said about bands who are playing like Led Zeppelin. Why do I defend goth? I don't know...maybe it's because of all these prejudices that a band like Legion won't get the chances they deserve, I dunno... Legion are a new three piece-gothband with a drummachine and they're from Leeds (I know it couldn't be more original, but it's nothing but a fact) who just have released a quite genius mini-album called "The hereafter". O yes, I love it especially as a track like "Lust" is so similar to what once Danse Society did whereas something like "Premonition" can be best described as Play Dead with Clan Of Xymox-synths. So yes you lovely critics, nothing new or innovating here, just old school goth with class and you can start laughing, but it's better than 90% from what the so called serious press is offering us these days. http://www.myspace.com/legionleeds
In the metalworld Throes Of Dawn need no longer introduction even if lots of reviews think they’re a bit too soft (but then again there are others who are falling for their beauty though). Yup, in all l honesty, they might be released on the well respected Finnish metallabel Firebox Records but sometimes you wonder if you’re dealing with a metalrelease or not. Throes Of Dawn are already around since 1994 but even with several line up changes, this band always has been the child from founders Henri Koivula and Jani Heinola. After 6 years of silence, the Finns are back and they never sounded so melancholic as before. Admit it : beautiful piano-interludes, a voice that sometimes sounds like ian Curtis, beautiful melancholic gothsynths…it aren’t the usual ingredients of a metalrecord. It’s damned difficult not to be touched by the melancholic beauty of this record which lies between Anathema and the later work of Love Like Blood. One of the better records we heard this week. Fantastic.
We will bet for some bottle of beers that you can’t pronounce the word Originalljudet when you’re drunk (you can’t even do it sober) but before you think we need some psychical assistance, Originalljudet stands for odd/original music (as it’s Swedish ha!) and somewhere these guys from Stockholm couldn’t have found a better word to describe themselves. It’s an impossible thing to sum up all the instruments these musicians are using, but it goes from a tuba to some accordion and their music is rather unclassifiable. But as it’s our job to do so, I guess there’s no other way so let me say that this could be the perfect soundtrack from some unreleased movie by Jim Jarmush as indeed John Lurie isn’t that far away. Sometimes it’s jazz (albeit never difficult), sometimes it’s avant-garde and sometimes it’s “I don’t know what” but throughout the whole cd these Swedes succeed in creating an atmosphere that is more than interesting!