Acus Vacuum: Charlotte tells us more about the "Empty Purses"

Acus Vacuum: Charlotte tells us more about the "Empty Purses"

Metalheads, I salute you!

Today, due to confinement, I don’t really have any photo galleries to offer you. Therefore, it’s as an interviewer that I propose you some content.
I decided to focus on a Belgian band, coming more precisely from Bastogne and well known in the metal scene, without belonging to this musical movement.
I’m talking about Acus Vacuum! What are their origins, their projects…?

The band created in 2012 is composed of 5 members, two percussionists: Charlotte and Arhur, two pipers: Simon and Lucas and their dancer: Samantha.
We learn a bit more about them with Charlotte.

Hi Charlotte! First of all, can you tell us who you are and what is your role in Acus Vacuum?

Hello Laurent, as you yourself wrote in your introduction, I am one of the percussionists of Acus Vacuum and I’ve been playing this role in the band for more than 7 years now.

How was Acus Vacuum born, what does this name mean and what is its history?

Acus Vacuum was born in 2012. It was originally a duo project between Simon and his brother Nicolas.
I was later welcomed into the band, followed by Steeven (a former bagpipe blower) and that’s how Acus Vacuum was launched.
As for the band’s name, Simon searched for a name that sounded “serious” at first, but tried to keep a little offbeat side to it, because of its meaning.
In Latin, Acus Vacuum, means: “Empty Purses”.

How would you qualify the style of Acus Vacuum, what is its strength according to you?

Acus Vacuum can be described as a clever mix of neo-medieval, festive pagan and folk. Our music also has an instinctive side.
In our current formation, we all come from different backgrounds, each of us brings in his own way his own personal touch, his personal experience.

What’s great is that with our style, we can afford to diversify, adapt, and play in several styles of events, and therefore, it allows us to reach a relatively large audience.

Apart from medieval festivals, we mostly meet you in concerts and metal festivals. Where does the interest of the metal public for Acus Vacuum come from? Are the members of Acus Vacuum all metalheads at heart?

Let’s say that in the band, we’ve always been metalheads in general.
I think that the musical dynamism of Acus Vacuum, as well as our physical presentation, our costumes, our accessories, the atmosphere, (the hypocras?)… It allows us to get closer to the metal scene than to the folk dances.

When you created the band, did you already have such ambitions, did you think you would meet such a success?

Not at all! And it was a nice surprise to see that over the years, the craze for us from the public, but also from the event organizers has only increased.

A few months ago, you made the video clip for “Cernunnos”, a song from your second album “Viribus Naturae”. Can you tell us about this experience, how do you set up such a project? What do you remember from this shooting?

It was a great experience and believe me, it was a great organization! It was two intense days of shooting on two beautiful locations.
We had chosen the “Native-Village” in Neihaischen, as well as the forests around Laroche en Ardennes to shoot the clip of “Cernunnos”, these places were perfect for the realization of this clip.
A nice collaboration with Brice Hincker (who has, among others, directed clips for Dagoba, Smash Hit Combo, …), passionate extras both professionals and neophytes, but all with this motivation, this will to share a great moment with us.
A very beautiful artistic work, we are super happy with the realization. Once again, THANK YOU all for your participation.

Acus Vacuum: Charlotte tells us more about the "Empty Purses"

What are your plans for the future of Acus Vacuum?

Hahaaaaa, we have some surprises for you.
We are working hard on new tracks and we have some great dates planned!
We’ll tell you more very soon, but we have a lot of fiestas to catch up on and don’t worry, we’ll do it with you!

So, I’ll close this interview by thanking Charlotte for her participation, and by inviting you, if you haven’t already done so, to go and see Acus Vacuum during one of their shows.
You can also visit their website and social networks such as Facebook and Instagram.

On that note, I’ll leave you with the clip of “Cernunnos”.

Wishing you an excellent evening.
Take care of yourself,


Dear Mother, new Merel Bechtold’s baby

Dear Mother, new Merel Bechtold’s baby

On March 5th started the crowdfunding of a new band : Dear Mother. This project is headed by Merel Bechtold, guitarist in MaYaN and ex-guitarist of the symphonic metal band Delain. By her side, Joey Marin (Delain) takes drums and the Russian singer David Hruska (Deadly Circus Fire) completes this trio.

The band announces a modern metalcore style. A short preview with three titles extracts suggests, indeed, modern sounds, with heavy and loud riffs on which we’ll can headbang any way we wish, this is joined by softer parts.

The crowdfunding ended on April 1st. But, in the evening of March 24th we learned while a Merel Bechtold’s Facebook live that 100% was achieved. Congratulations ! The band had announced that if there was any extra, it would be used to release another music video. So this is not one but two music videos that we can expect for this first album.

Among available rewards, there were the classics : photobooks, signed albums, t-shirts, drumsticks, guitar picks, Skype instrument lessons, … But the trio showed originality because we could also get, for example, guitar string bracelets handmade by Merel, participation in an interactive songwritting, an online videogame party, or a motorcycle tour ride with Merel.

Album’s recording is imminent. The release is announced for February 2021 and a first single would be reveal in September 2020.

The YouTube channel of the band (Dear Mother Official) is already full of interesting videos. Merel, Joey and David take care of promoting the project themselves and we can regularly discover explanatory videos on the thirteen songs that will composed the album.

I had chance to exchange some words via Skype with Joey Marin about this first album. Here is our conversation.

Dear Mother is not a common name for a metal band. Can you explain it ?

Merel came up with the name.

Everyone has their own ‘story’ to the name, because everyone has or had a mother basically.

It sounds and looks cool.

How is organized the composition ? Who write the lyrics ?

David, our singer, has written all the lyrics for the album.

Merel is the main songwriter, and David and me add and change our parts.

It’s a collaboration between us.

What are the themes in this album ? Your inspirations ?

This is personal to David.

Some lyrics are about suicide for example, or about the world in general.

It’s not a concept album with one theme.

When do you think that the drums will be recorded ?

We’re gonna record drums as soon as possible. Because there are some issues due to the coronavirus crisis. I hope it will be very soon, we will try to make it in April.

Did you already choose what song will be the first single ?

We haven’t officially decided yet, but the strongest contender is ‘12 Years In Exile’ . We have to choose what song is more representative of Dear Mother, what song will be affect the audience. I can say you now : « it’s this song » and maybe, later it will be another. We wait that all the album is recorded to have the final result and choose the best. So, not sure for the moment.

What are your projects for 2021 ? Do you think you will hit the stage before the album release ?

I think we’re gonna do a couple of ‘test’ shows for the album release. It will depend on when we will be able to rehearse. 2021 is all about touring and promoting the album.

Great, we will be there !

Next question isn’t about music but it’s certainly the most important for our metalheads readers : what’s your favourite beer ?

Hum … I would say … Corona ! And not because the current situation. Yes, I think Corona is my favourite.

The last word is for you, what would you like to say to our readers ?

Thank you for reading this interview. Keep an eye on Dear Mother, hope to see you all in 2021 !

Picture : Dave Pelham Photography


To stay informed about Dear Mother :

Nightwish : There's too much noise on the Internet!

Nightwish : There's too much noise on the Internet!

Nightwish. Real monument in the symphonic world, the band is about to release its ninth studio album, « Human :||: Nature ». It is probably one of the most awaited album of the year. For the occasion, we had the great opportunity to meet the mastermind himself, Tuomas Holopainen (keys) and the multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley to discuss this release. The men remained quite discreet about their secrets, but they gave us some clues for a better understanding of their vision of the band and how they lead this entity to what it is today.

You took five years to release this new album. Five years while you toured the world, released personal projects, released a best-of, re-toured the world… What a journey ! Was it difficult to go back into a writing process?

Tuomas: No, it was wonderful, actually ! After finishing the previous album, « Endless Forms Most Beautiful », I felt satisfied and I knew already, at that point, that we needed to take a little breather to keep the whole thing interesting. I talked about it with the other members of the band and everybody agreed : « Let’s take a year off ! » Because we have never taken a break in twenty years so it was the time. So, we took that year off and all the band members did their own little side projects. Then, we did this special nostalgia tour, « Decades », playing the older stuff. It was all good fun ! But at some point during that tour, we got all really excited about the future again and I started doing songs and I enjoyed the process again. Sometimes, you need to give these things time, because the last thing you want to do is to force yourself to create and nothing good comes out this way.

In general, how do you work on new songs ? Is there a secret way to create a new Nightwish album?

Tuomas: A secret way ? No… (laughs) You just need to feel something. You need to be inspired, you need to have good stories to tell and, like I just said, you don’t want to create if you don’t feel like creating. So, that’s the very big thing and also, just do it for yourself, never ever follow the trends, don’t think about what people could think about that or the other band members. That’s the only way to keep the art, the music that you create, authentic and real. That’s the basic principle of my songwriting and also, just enjoy the process.

Did you write this album like last year or did you collect the ideas during the past five years?

Tuomas : I started collecting the ideas in the beginning of 2018, during the « Nostalgia » tour. It took about a year, then I started to discuss the themes with the other members, I showed some lyrics, and everybody got excetid. It was no actual songwriting, it was more like gathering ideas. Then, last year, from January to May, I actually wrote all the songs. So, overall, it took about a year and a half.

You are the main composer, but for the lyrics, did you share the work with someone else in the band?

Tuomas: Well, for this album I made all the music and lyrics.

« Human :||: Nature ». It definitely sounds like a concept, so what can you tell me about that?

Tuomas: I wouldn’t call it a concept album, because all the songs are individual, but it’s a thematic album as there’s a running theme that goes through all the songs… Actually, I don’t like using the word « concept album ». We talked about this yesterday, it’s more a thematic album, because the songs are not connected to each other in a way that tells one big story.

Maybe it’s more the case with the second part of the album? I read that it’s a love letter to the Earth, is that right?

Tuomas: That’s a nice way of putting it. I think it’s Nightwish’s love letter to planet Earth. And I consider it as one song, not eight songs. We just put the indexes in between if people want to skip to their favorite part, it makes it a bit easier, but it should really be considered as one song.

Nightwish : There's too much noise on the Internet!

So what brought you to write this? What inspired you?

Troy: We are very interested in the world, mankind, science and everything in a holistic way. We are very engaged in it. And we love to talk about it when we’re out together. It is also a kind of extension of « The Greatest Show On Earth », which was the final piece on our last album (« Endless Forms Most Beautiful »,2015). And it beautifully segways into « Human :||: Nature » as well. But these things just evolved. I’m going to do this as it’s going to be right now, and it’s not going to change. Everything’s in a state of flux, right? A musical flux.

Tuomas: It keeps surprising me actually, how often people think that we calculate this stuff really carefully. Like before starting to do an album we thought it in advance : let’s do a heavier album, let’s take this direction, let’s do this or that… It’s never like that, it’s a flow of mind. You just pick up on something that sparks your interest and you go from it.

Troy: That’s right ! And then something magical does happen. Hence with this album we’ve explored new sounds. There’s a lot areas that we have never been in before. And again, it wasn’t a conscious decision as we didn’t pick what we were going to do, like the three-part harmonies on every single song. It just kind of told us what we had to do. The direction was given to us through the music, through the songs.

Tuomas: That’s a good way of putting it. You have to listen to the songs, what they actually tell you and how do you want them to be presented. They have an essence of their own.

Troy: They do have a life of their own. Once the song starts, which is the foundation of the whole thing, it’s like foliage, flowers and plants that start to grow around, from its source and all the flowers and plants are all the arrangements and the colors we bring. But they kind of grow themselves out of the song, out of the music. And that’s one of the really exciting things for us in Nightwish, it’s that we don’t see ourselves limited. With this, there are no limits for us. I mean, the second disc is a counterpoint to the first one. But some people might think it is really bizarre to follow eight songs with a massive orchestral suite but between us it was the absolute natural thing to do and the only thing to do. And it had to be done as I see it, as a long time coming thing. It was inevitable. It would be a long suite and especially about such a lofty subject as nature and the world.

My next question was about « Noise ». According to what you just said, it seems to be completely a chance that this song really sounds like Nightwish?

Tuomas: It’s not calculated.

So, it has nothing to do with the fact of reassuring the fans?

Tuomas: No, we don’t think about that kind of stuff at all. But when there is one main songwriter in the band, he has his mannerisms, so to say. It’s the same with every artist in the world.

Troy: It really is and it’s identifiable. It’s intrinsic to Nightwish that Tuomas writes the songs and it would be insane to try to take away your core, your essence by trying to be something else. That’s another thing that we strongly believe, this is freedom in art, the freedom to do exactly what we want without the consideration of criticism or of the fawning of compliments all the time. It’s of no interest. We really just need to make the music that we love to be ourselves and hope that the people get the same feelings that we do.

Tuomas: A band is never imprisoned into a gendra which must sound like this or that. There’s no such thing. A band is a group of people doing exactly what they want to do.

Yeah but I do think there are bands that are not like that, who do what their fans want to hear.

Tuomas: Yes, but I just have to disagree politely with them. I don’t think any artistic group needs to be bound to a certain gendra or a certain way of doing things.

Troy: We certainly aren’t. And I think that’s what makes, even objectively, Nightwish a really interesting thing, an entity. I don’t even think of it as a band anymore. It’s a it is a vehicle for freedom in art and music.

So, you released « Noise » at the beginning of this month and you already hit almost 2 million views on YouTube. Is it a surprise?

Tuomas: I didn’t think about it in advance, so I don’t know. It’s a big number, so… It gave me the « waow ! » effect. I was not expecting anything, so it just made my eyebrows raise.

In general, aren’t you sensitive to the statistics on the web or the comments or the reactions of the fans?

Troy: Oh, no. I think you get yourself into a mess if you start to get too involved in that and believe in the hype, believe in the Internet… It’s a monster! I’ve looked at comments and things like that on the web, and it’s the same old stuff: this one says it’s brilliant, this one says it’s shit. This one says it’s fabulous, this one says it’s rubbish. You’ve got to be outside looking in and don’t let it affect what you do. Otherwise, you’d go mad.

Tuomas: One thing that I did when doing the lyrics for the song « Noise », and it is something I’ve never, ever done before, and I did it deliberately: I spent about a week in the discussion forums and YouTube commentary sections on the Internet just to dwell in the darkness, to be able to write those lyrics as they came.

Troy: Really?

Tuomas: I did. I went to the Nightwish discussion forums, read everything that was on our Facebook page. Being there for an hour, I felt like taking a shower and washing my brain, but it was necessary to go there and see that world to be able to create a song.

Troy: Brilliant! I didn’t know you did that. Really, that’s the perfect way to do it.

People on the Internet are always talking, giving their opinions,…

Tuomas: It’s a part of it, not only that, but the constant flow of information there, from everywhere.

Troy: It comes from all sides, and finding only a grain of truth in things on the Internet… There’s so much noise to find the truth within all the noise is a really difficult thing to do. It’s a skill, actually, you’ve got to learn. And the irony is you can’t learn the skill of getting through the noise within the noise. You can’t do it on the Internet, you’ve got to do it outside of the Internet.

Tuomas: For some people, the Internet is a public pillow to scream into. And like you said, it’s really hard to find the truth between all that noise. And false news travels so much faster than real news.

Troy: Yeah, bad and false news are thos which got the most power.

I think we could do an entire interview about the video you released. Did the idea, the story, come from the band, from you?

Troy: Yeah, it did. And again, we talk a lot about this stuff, we’re really interested in and we love it. We love to talk about these these things. So, yeah it all grew out of a huge interest here.

Tuomas: And then, the director of the video, Stobe Harju, arjHarHHSDJFDLFJIalso put a lot of his own ideas in it, visual things, into the video as well.

And can you tell me who are your characters? Did you choose them?

Tuomas: Actually, they were written by the director. I mean, it’s up to your own interpretation. If we go too much into details here, it would take something off from the experience of watching the video.

Troy: It will cause more noise ! (laughs)

Even if the subject is quite dark here, I guess you had fun during the filming.

Troy: Well, Tuomas had a really bad chest. He had a bad cold. So he sat in the bath, covered in oil, feeling really shitty with a gas mask on. And I was leaving, I was going to get my flight home, and I looked at him and he was like… (Troy made a funny face, both laughs)

Tuomas: I was a headbanging, yeah, with all this oil… At the end of the video, you can actually see a glimpse of me without the gas mask pinning my rubber duck into the air. So that’s the revelation that we can see.

And you have two new members in the band, now?

Tuomas: Who ?!

Troy: She means the little girl and the big girl… They are actresses who were brought in by the director.

I thought the little girl was Floor’s daughter.

Tuomas: Oh no, she would never do that! But actually the blonde girl, she’s probably the most famous Finnish Instagram star, Jessica Edström. She actually agreed to come and parody herself in the video.

On another hand, you worked with « our » Tim Tronckoe for the album’s pictures…

Tuomas: Yeah, the good old Tim! He’s a true artist!

How did you choose him?

Tuomas: We worked with him before for a couple of photoshoots and we just liked his personality and the way he takes pictures.

Troy: And he’s fast, it’s truly amazing! Because we’ve been through photographers that have took hours and hours and too many shots to have to look through after. Tim just goes and that’s it!  It’s really refreshing to see.

Tuomas: And he is always really well prepared. Everything was set up when we go there and it took like maybe 15 minutes.

Troy: We did shots at different locations but for the Natural History Museum where we did the shots with Tim, he went in there early  when it was full of the public, it was packed full of tourists. And he he checked out angles and sat the lights… He’s just brilliant and he’s really nice guy as well.

Nightwish : There's too much noise on the Internet!

Now this is a question that most of the artist hates, but I’ll ask it anyway : do you already have a favorite song out of this new album?

Tuomas: No.

Troy: No, not a chance. We have favorite moments, but not favorite songs, it’s not possible. Besides, it would upset the other songs. (both laugh)

A singer told me once that her songs were like her child, so she couldn’t prefer one of her children.

Troy: Oh yeah, that’s a common thing with songwriters, they always say that.

Tuomas: They also say that about their albumsIs, that they are their kids. I kind of understand the metaphor but it’s a bit cheesy I think.

So, I can’t ask you if you have a favorite song from all the Nightwish’s history?

Tuomas: Those things change by time. I mean, you could ask which song I’d bring with me to a desert island, maybe I could answer. But one favorite, that is not possible to choose.

Do you know which one you would like to take to a desert island, then?

Tuomas: I think it would be « The Greatest Show On Earth ».

Troy: Same.

Vous jouez souvent en Belgique, y a-t-il des choses particulières que vous aimez ici ?

Tuomas: I like Tim!

Troy: I like him too. And I liked that whole food shop around the corner, really good. (I think he’s speaking about the Carrefour Market near the hotel, actually)

Tuomas: I also really like Hercule Poirot, he’s a Belgian and it’s probably my favorite Belgian thing. But forget about his new version, David Suchet was the best.

So I had the chance to listen to your new album just before, which was a bit challenging. But a song caught my hear in particular : « Harvest ». It sounds completely different and almost made me think about a Disney song, in a positive way. What inspired you this song?

Tuomas: That’s interesting you see you see it that way. This is a wonderful thing about interviews, it’s we get lots of different approaches, lots of different responses to the songs.

Troy: For us, personally, I don’t see that at all. I see something more anthemic and classic with « Harvest ». The nature of the song for me is a classic folk song, that’s the essence of it. It’s the kind of thing where you’re looking forward to the chorus because communitywise, people want to have a chorus they can sing together and « Harvest » is one of them. I can imagine it will become a live favorite and it will be interesting to hear the audience singing it. At the same time, « Harvest » is full of incredible musical moves. It is splendid and it’s tricky and it’s weird and difficult and really easy at the same time. It’s kind of everything is in there, right?

Tuomas: And once you get the lyrics and listen to the song, it might change your perspective on what’s going on. You’ll definitely be more clarified. Actually, it’s really not fair for everybody to listen to the album once and make up your mind about it.

I did not recognize Marco’s voice on the album…

Tuomas: He sings on every single song of the album, except for « Procession » and he does the backing vocals. He also sings the last song, « Endlessness ». That’s kind of like his solo show on the album.

Troy: Well, he sings it quite hard when you listen to it again, he sings it with quite a bit of venom in his voice, actually. But the choruses are beautiful and there’s a wonderful contrast between the chorus and the verses. When you hear it again, you’ll notice.

Thank you. So I have a last question for you which has nothing to do with Nightwish, but do you plan a new release with Auri in the future?

Tuomas: Yes!

Troy: Definitely yes, we have new music for Auri. When the Nightwish ship docks, we get off the ship and we’ll do more Auri.

Tuomas: I think a 2021 release is possible.

Do you sometimes take a real vacation, without music?

Troy: We had a year off five years ago, but we have adventures outside of music… Well, music is always there but we do have adventures.

Photos: Tim Tronckoe

To follow Nightwish:


No monsters in PORN's eyes

A year ago, we proposed the interview of Philippe Deschemin aka Mr Strangler, singer of the band PORN on the occasion of the release of “The Darkest Part Of Human Desires – Act II”.

Today, I will debrief the events that have taken place since the release and present the third album that will be released on March 27th, 2020!

Hello how are you? Are you impatient to present your new album “No Monsters In God’s Eyes – Act III”? How do you feel about the end of this trilogy?

Finally an interview in French! We have just given a series of interviews in English for several American, English, Canadian and German radios and magazines. It’s always nice to chat with French media, and that in the language of Molière.

We could speak of mixed feelings. At the same time, sadness but also happiness and pride to have given birth to a complete trilogy which found echo with an audience which, with all our astonishment, doesn’t cease growing exponentially since the release of the first act: “The Ogre Inside “.
I recently spoke with Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson) who expressed his admiration. He was talking to me about the recording sessions of “Downward Spiral” from NIN, which is also a concept album, as well as “Antichrist Superstar” from Manson, on which he also worked. Finding an echo among the public and musicians you admire is certainly the greatest satisfaction that a musician can have. To hear Chris Vrenna telling me : “This is incredible”… It’s now possible thanks to Mr Strangler, and with this new opus ends our adventure with him.

So there’s a little sadness, but you have to know how to say goodbye. Everything comes to an end.

PORN - No Monsters In God's Eyes

Before talking about it further, how was the tour that followed the release of “The Darkest Of Human Desires – Act II”? Do you have any memorable concerts or moments that you would like to share with us? Have you had the opportunity to play in new countries?

We gave a series of concerts including a beautiful date in Paris at the FGO, however all the dates remain good memories.

We have crazy fans, like the characters we play with PORN! We also collaborated with several bands as part of remixes (“Hante”, “Fragrance”, “Entropy Zero”, “An Erotic End Of Times”…). It’s a great experience. And also a strange feeling because hearing your own songs remixed and rearranged in a different way is always destabilizing at the start. But it is part of the rock industrial tradition, so we are happy to do that.
We went to shoot clips in California and around Zurich. These are highlights and allow us to gain experience because the best way to learn is to work with those who work with the biggests. We had the chance to work with Tom Baker on Act II. This guy worked with NIN, Ministry, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson… For the new album, we collaborated with Brian Lucey who worked with Ghost, Manson, Depeche Mode… We are so few French bands to have this privilege, with the particularity at PORN that we are an indie and DIY band… All of this is possible thanks to our fans around the world, we are aware of it and savor it all the time…

Have new doors, hitherto closed, opened for you? (Festivals, magazines, radios,…)

We never felt like we had doors closed. Or they are, but we are not aware of it. To find out, we would have to try to open the door. For the moment, no door has remained closed when we tried to open it. To tell the truth, we don’t do things like the others, we follow our own path, essentially outside of France as you know. Therefore, there are doors that we don’t look at…
I know nevertheless that our marginality is worth to us enmities in the “medium”, there is a lot of jealousy unfortunately. When there should be mutual help… But when you’ve been touring for years with the only objective of earning an intermittence, that you don’t sell enough or don’t stream enough to produce clips, work with big producers… I understand that you can become a hater. I will advise these people to immerse themselves in Kropotkin «L’Entraide, un facteur de l’évolution» (Translated : “Mutual aid, a factor in evolution”) . There is however a good nucleus of motivated and goodwill French bands in France, it’s extremely motivating. We pay little attention to negativity and frustration, we reach out to everyone.

Together we are always stronger.

In the previous interview, you told us that Mr Stangler, interpreted by you, was fighting against this ogre who was in him and that the ogre had finally won leaving Mr Strangler to indulge in murder for pleasure. Seeing that you’re Mr Strangler, if you could kill anyone in the way of your choice without any repercussions behind. Who would he be and how would you kill her/him?

I think I would kill a lot of people… With hands of course. A strangulation certainly, of the type Baseball Choke or Ezekiel to see my victim’s panicked eyes. The name of Mr Strangler comes from there, from my taste for strangulations in combat sports, BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and Grappling essentially.

The songs on the third album were almost all written at the time. Have you changed anything since then or has time confirmed your ideas?

No, there has been no particular change.

If we follow the clips and the lyrics of the three songs “High Summer Sun”, “A Lovely Day” and “Some Happy Moments”, Mr Strangler would have been caught and gone from anger to questioning:

“I feel the end but I am not sorry. How could I be ? Teach me, I am not sorry. But I am ready for it”
Extracted from “Some Happy Moments”

Could you tell us more about these stages and its history since the second album?

In the second act, Mr Strangler arrives at adulthood, and he accepts himself. After having struggled with his own nature personified by the inner ogre (“The Ogre Inside”), he made peace with himself and became Mr Strangler. He lets himself go to his murderous desires. These desires that he held back in Act I, understanding that he was a killer, but did not accept it by social pressure. Thus, during all of Act II, he indulged in his passion with his team and ended up getting caught. He ends up in prison in this new album.

Act III is an album on confinement, prison, psychiatric confinement. He faces his death, cut off from society. The passage to which you refer expresses its impossibility to be empathetic. He realizes it. He wants to be sorry, but he can’t be. Considered a monster, a non-human, he reminds us that he is a being of God and that thus, we are all creatures of God. Even the worst monster is a creature of God. I do not believe in God. But I find it amusing to remind this to believers, who have this tendency to consider the one who does not believe like them as being outside of humanity… This also evokes a little the Necessitarianism in philosophy…

You also told me that you had created a trilogy because you felt limited by the number of songs that a single album allowed to express your concept. Now that the third and last album is finished, do you think you were able to express everything you wanted?

Not entirely because there are things that remain unexplained in the trilogy and for which I have the answers. Like Strangler’s irrepressible urge to kill… So we will find again Strangler so that we can go further in history. Maybe in a novel or a comic book…

Your next tour “No Monsters In God’s Eyes Tour 2020” will pass through Milan, Lyon, Paris and Nantes. Can you already reveal other confirmed dates or tell us which other country (ies) you could cover? Do you think a date in Belgium will be scheduled?

We are very focused on the studio. We are touring, but we favor beautiful dates in beautiful halls in order to be able to deliver a show worthy of the name to our fans. We are more interested in the satisfaction of our fans than going to scrape a fee. We have a solid fan base that ensures the sustainability of the band without having to go to play in irrelevant festivals or in festivals at 10am, imagining that it will boost your career… After you end up whining because you still have no more than 1000 listeners on Spotify… With PORN not that. We respect our fans more than we need to scratch false visibility and we prefer quality to quantity.

What about the future of PORN now that this trilogy is over? Do you think in the future to go back on the same concept style with a story? Or maybe you already have something different in mind?

First of all as for the previous opus of the trilogy, we are going to release the remixes of Act III. We had the honor of bringing in bands like Combichrist, Orgy, Stabbing Westward, Chris Vrenna from NIN, Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self Indulgence, The Anix, Ash Code, Lluther… We are very proud of it! And what better way to pay tribute to the last breath of Mr Strangler than to involve all these large bands?
Then a new story will start, I will not say more, but it will happen very quickly.

As usual we leave you the last word to speak to your fans and our readers.

We are PORN, you are PORN. You are Mr Strangler.

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Meeting Léon from Antiq Records

Today, we decided to meet other actors of the music scene: records labels. We propose you the interview of Antiq Records, a French label that proposes diverse and varied bands while also promoting the local scene. Hungry for discoveries? Browse their catalog!

First of all, who are you and what is your role in Antiq ?

I am Léon, my role could be linked to a label manager, coupled with an artistic director. I am accompanied by Adrien and Joanna.

Briefly, how did the idea of ​​creating this label come about, what is its story?

Antiq originally came from a need to produce our projects according to our vision of the world of music. A small collective in almost autarky, with almost no connection with the rest of the professional world of music. Initially, there were three of us, including Adrien and myself, and we were helped by many of our friends involved in personal projects. Then quite quickly, we went back to two people, Adrien and I for 4 years, before adding Joanna. But we had already opened our editorial line, since the second year.

What are your key words or values?

The total work of art, and tend towards coherence between the lyrics, the imagery and the concept with the feelings that the music conveys.

How does band selection work at Antiq? Do bands apply for support or do you contact them?

Both cases can occur. But despite our status and size of a small label, one must understand that our selection is draconian: today we receive between 3 and 5 applications per week, that’s a lot. First because there are more and more bands, and secondly with our evolution we reach more people. And the selection is difficult because: there are many bands, we want to stay at a rate of 6-8 releases per year, our planning is now seen well in advance, and finally, it is necessary that the band enters our editorial line, basically that it is compatible with the universe we want to promote. Ah, and also, we must like it, it seems obvious.

What is your top 3 among the bands (and their albums) you produced in 2019?

Oh, it is impossible to answer you by keeping only 3 in mind. I love Véhémence and Malenuit, and the musical universe developed by Dorminn, and the sound and the special compositions catch me in Tan Kozh. I am also very proud of the split Incipient Chaos / Defenestration. But that is by disregarding Grylle, modesty obliges, and another release that has not yet arrived. In fact, I like all our releases equally, because there is a common coherence between the projects, otherwise we would not do them. So, no top 3, rather a top-all!

What is your favorite thing about Antiq?

The thrill of creativity. You feel it: when a known (and good) band contacts you or answers you. When a less known band sends you tracks that kill. When a new visual of a future production, of which you are already singing the songs, falls into your box and you are stuck by the force of the thing. When you send the files to manufacturing with this slight apprehension, normal for the rest, to have done everything well. When the packs finally arrive and you open them, feverishly, like a kid who gets his first record. When the chronicles fall and they are good, when customers come to see you and thank you for these novelties.

In fact, here again, everything. At every step, you tell yourself that the real pleasure is what you are doing. Before discovering that the next step is even more enjoyable. It is a sequence of crescendo shivers, all different but each with their share of unknown, and this is constantly renewed.

To all work there are positive and negative points. We have discussed what you prefer in your work. What about the worst thing or what you hate doing the most about the label?

Hmm, as you could understand it will be difficult to answer, given that I love every part of my work. The worst thing is probably having to leave the atmosphere of a festival when it comes to exhibiting. The atmosphere of a festival, the small routine of the stand and the discussions with the customers, it is such a pleasure of sharing, leaving it is always a little bit confusing.

When I interview bands, I ask them what their plans are for the coming year. I guess even within the labels, you have expectations and projects every year … What about for Antiq for the coming year?

Oh, yes, full of big, beautiful and fascinating projects. There we have our last release of the year that comes, a split of an ambient style particularly well executed. Ah, and also, the double vinyl edition of Grylle, a very beautiful object that is born. For next year, black avant-garde, black dirty punk, black atmospheric from a cold country, and always atmospheric.

Is there a band that you would have dreamed of including in your label but who is not? If so, why this particular group?

It must be at least ten years that I answer Borgia. This maelstrom of alchemical black death, served by declaimed historicist lyrics, had nothing to do with the lame concepts that often equate the style. It was to make history without doing a course of history, it was to listen to a violence whose refinement elevated the band to the degree of the sublime.

I leave you the last word of the interview.

Original interview, I was happy to answer it, I think you have all covered. I would like to add that all our productions are easy to find and to listen to them and that they only ask that we look to discover them, and that despite some current difficulties our site will soon be renovated for an optimal experience. Thank you to all readers, thank you Délia.

We end this interview with a musical excerpt from Grylle, band produced by Antiq Records.

Picture by Antiq on their page Antiq Label

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SETH celebrates 20 years of blasphemy

The French black metal band SETH celebrates the 20th anniversary of their album “Les Blessures de l’Âme”. On this occasion, the band released a live edition of this album called “Les Blessures de L’Âme – XX ans de Blasphème” under the label Les Acteurs de l’ombre. I take you to their world with an interview of Heimoth, one of the founding members of the band.

First of all, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what is your job in SETH?

Heimoth, original member, guitars.

In a nutshell, what is SETH? What is the story of the band?

In a few words ? It is a bit difficult to sum up a 25 years career in a few words. We started in the southwest of France to rehearse black metal, which was something that few people knew back in 1995. There were bands that stood out such as Marduk or Emperor. It was very motivating to be born in an era where bands in this style could still manifest themselves authentically without being overshadowed by the quantity of surrounding bands.

After a demo we were approached by Season of Mist, among its first bands, we then arrived on Osmose during our second album in 2000. We had a lot of gratitude from the first years of the band because I think we stood out from the French scene thanks to a very intense, fast BM whose melodies remained very assumed. Our singing in French has also established itself as a cornerstone of the style since 1998.

In other words, we naturally came out of the underground when certain bands of the time openly criticized our interviews solicited by large magazines. Subsequently, all the bands followed these same tracks. Today, some speak of us as the French pioneers.

Why did you choose to honor this particular album, 20 years after its release?

The bands has released albums which differ from each other over the years. After twenty years, it seemed normal to us to pay homage to what constituted the living source of our journey, by reviving the roots of our entity, by celebrating an anniversary entirely faithful to the essence of the spirit of the time. An era too often caricatured that we wanted to revive in an assumed way. It’s a pleasure for us to be able to offer this show.

On the occasion of this very special anniversary, you have decided to release a live edition of “Les Blessures de l’Âme” called « Les Blessures de L’Âme – XX ans de Blasphème ». Why did you choose to record the album at les Feux De Beltane (May 2019) ?

We did not premeditate, it is actually an idea of LADLO. Following our performance, we were made to listen to the recording of it, Gérald from LADLO offered us himself to release this in CD version on his label. We kept our live sound engineer to remix the tapes and we were seduced by the quality of the recording.

Today we can finally present this album in a different version, far from the very compressed sound of the original CD. It is very exciting to be able to offer a new sound to these songs, slightly more current and much better for my taste.

In 1998, “Les Blessures de l’Âme” was released by the Season Of Mist label. Why did you choose the label Les Acteurs de l’Ombre for the live edition (2019)?

As I said above, it is just the circumstances, it was an idea of LADLO at the base. Gérald contacted Season afterwards and there was no problem.

In 2012, Season Of Mist released a reissue of the album. Was it following your request or that of the label? Why did you remaster the album?

We had a break a few years before 2012. We had planned to come back to Season who offered to reissue this album because as I understood it was no longer available. Then we released our fifth album “The Howling Spirit”.

Some bands sometimes tell me that they get tired of playing this or that song of their set but that they continue to do so to satisfy their audience. And you, is there a song (or several) that you get tired of but that you still play?

Not really because we are not part of the bands that are always on the road. We play quite occasionally so we don’t necessarily feel tired of playing this or that title.

How do we keep this same freshness, this same emotional power to an album that is 20 years old?

We thought a little about the best way to magnify the spirit represented by this album. We favored sobriety with a few tapers and a backdrop directly reminiscent of the cover. It was not our wish to bring any modern touch – no kakemonos or too recent devices. All this was done naturally thanks, among other things, to the charisma of our singer Saint Vincent. Some of our recent members have also pushed to rekindle the flame of “Les Blessures”.

When we listen to an album, we often have our favorite song, this little nugget that makes us travel even further than the others. What about you? Is there a particular song on “Les Blessures de l’Âme” that makes you vibrate more than the others and why?

“A la mémoire de nos frères” of course does not leave me indifferent because it is the one that had been highlighted in 1998. For many it is an essential title of the French BM scene and it is felt when we are on scene.

You already have a lot of great dates under your belt, some experience too … Do you still have dreams you wish to come true, goals to achieve with SETH? (Ultimate concert, label of your dreams, band(s) with whom you dream to play,…)

It’s always nice to be able to have good festivals without losing sight of the intimate aspect of small rooms. This year we are offered to play at the Hellfest to do “Les Blessures de l’Âme” and it is frankly a certain achievement to be able to present this album in front of tens thousands of people on French soil. I can’t wait! There is no ultimate label, there are only record companies who are motivated to release a band specifically. This is what we are looking for, a label whose motivation can be felt.

I leave you the last word of this interview to allow you to close it as you see fit and leaving you the opportunity to deliver a message that is important to you.

This anniversary of the album ends this year, do not miss our latest performances to bring “Les Blessures de l’Âme” to life forever !

I end this interview with a video of the live given by SETH at Tyrant Fest in 2019.

Picture by © Thomas Mazerolles

Want to learn more about SETH ?

Ye Banished Privateers declared Hostis Humani Generis

Ye Banished Privateers declared Hostis Humani Generis

If you like drinking rum, singing like a pirate and scream “Walk the plank !” when your friend has made a not funny joke : Ye Banished Privateers is made for you ! I interviewed Magda Malvina Märlprim, guitarist and vocalist of the band and asked her some questions to make you discover them and their past but also about their new album “Hostis Humani Generis”.

Hello how are you ? Are you impatient to present “Hostis Humani Generis”?

Hi, we are absolutely great, thank you. We are really psyched about letting our fans listen to our best album so far and to get some response to all the hard work that we have put into this project.

Before talking about it, I would like to ask you a few questions about what brought you where you are today. The first is simply, what led you to do “pirate folk”? Did you want to do folk and the pirate theme came after? Did a band inspire you?

Actually, we started off with the pirate theme with Peter having a nice costume and some beard. Then it turned out Björn had some nice songs that he had written years ago.

Our musical inspiration was quite diverse since the original members came from metal, folk, punk and singer-songwriter traditions. It was only after a couple of years as a band that we realized there are other active pirate bands around. Now, eleven years later, it’s a genre on its own, which is huge.

What are the lyrics of your albums about? Do they tell the same story? Several stories? Or are they mainly about pirate life?

Our last album, “First Night Back In Port” was all about returning to your loved ones after a hard life at sea, bringing gold and stories of great adventure.

This time, piracy is not all fun and games. The end of the golden age of piracy is around the corner and pirate hunters and fleets of the great seafaring nations make pirate life a dangerous and often short endeavor. Hostis Humani Generis tells the stories of how the end is coming closer and how every day as a pirate can be your last. We try to draw a nuanced picture of the idolized and stereotyped villains of the early 18th century, both including all the rum and swashbuckling but also giving voice to the oppressed, the ones left behind at shore and the human struggles in times of feudalistic nationalism.

How did you choose your costumes? Is it based on a character that you created for the group or is it based on a big size role-play dating from before the group was formed? If it’s group specific why did you choose this costume specifically?

Every member has a personal story about their costume, both related to a stage character with specific tasks in the pirate crew that is Ye Banished Privateers, and to the fact that spending ten years in a pirate band adds attitude, details and a lot of patina to anything you wear. Most stains are there because something happened…

I saw that the band has a lot of members, 20 if I’m not mistaken, have you ever had any problems with that? Do all of you travel for each concert? Isn’t it complicated to get everyone together for rehearsals?

I think we have been 27 members on stage once. Most of the time we are 10 to 12 when we go on tours. Sometimes it can be really crowded on stage, but most of the time it’s fine. The stage is actually more or less our rehearsal room, as our members are scattered all over Sweden at this point. Being a large crew is a lot of fun, but it does make traveling more difficult. Alestorm have said they don’t want to tour with us. They were afraid we were going to eat all their catering.

If you were offered an American show with all the special effects and decorations you would like, what would be the ideal show for you?

We would build a replica of the Swedish warship Wasa, fit it as a pirate ship, put it on a stage with flame throwers and finish the show by blowing it up with gunpowder.

Let’s talk about your new album “Hostis Humani Generis”. What are the lyrics going to talk about? Is it linked to the title and the notion of the enemy of humanity?

All the lyrics follow the theme of the duality of piracy. Today we think of pirates as pistol wielding party characters with treasure maps and hidden trunks of gold. We try to focus more on the real humans behind the myth. In the eyes of many, Pirates were violent criminals with little respect for human life. To others, pirates were devoted fathers, brothers and sisters, who had no other choice than to break the law in order to survive or provide for their families. Behind every person labeled as an enemy to all of mankind, there is usually a deeply tragic story to be told. In our album, we focus on a few of these individuals and their path to the gallows.

This will be your second album at Napalm Records, how is this collaboration going and has it brought you anything compared to the previous label?

Our team at Napalm is really good at what they’re doing. From bookings to social media to press. For us that are used to everything D.I.Y it’s a cool experience to be part of a major label. We still control everything creative and they have great respect for our values, that’s important and what makes our collaboration so successful.

Where does the drawing / painting that was used as the album cover come from?

The album cover was created by the talented artist Eliran Kantor. He has really captured the essence of Hostis Humani Generis.

Ye Banished Privateers - Hostis Humani Generis

Is it the same person / organization that created the lyric video for the song “Elephant’s Dance”? Did you make a contribution or is it something that was managed by the label?

The lyric video for “Elephant’s Dance” was produced by 4inch Media, using the artwork inside the CD booklet drawn by Felix Jonathan Jenkins. We are involved in everything released in the band’s name so we definitely sent it back and forth a couple of times before the video was finished.

Except for a date in Germany, no tour date has yet been announced. Do you have any idea if there will be a tour and if so where you could go?

We have a lot of dates in the pipeline, but we are still waiting for a green light from the promoters to make it public. If you want to stay up to date, keep one eye behind your eye-patch and the other on our social media.

We arrive at the end of this interview. Do you have something to say to our readers and / or your fans ?

Thanks for all your support throughout the years. It turns out, being a musician is bloody hard work, but you make it worth every second. We really hope you like our album and help us spread our music over the high seas!

Apart from that, remember that Piracy is about fighting the big fish, questioning oppressive norms and surviving.

Be a pirate!

“Hostis Humani Generis” will be released on February 7th 2020! If you liked the interviews, you know what to do!

Photo by Samuel Pettersson

Want to know more about Ye Banished Privateers?

SCD - interview

SCD's Misleading Weapons at MassDeathtruction 2019

At MassDeathtruction 2019, I met and interviewed Seb, singer of the French “Death Grind” band Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition (SCD). Through these few lines, I invite you to learn a little more about the band but also about the musical universe which inspires them through musical extracts from the band present by Seb along the interview. Do not forget to take a look at their Facebook page and support them in concerts if they come close to your place.

Before continuing with Seb’s interview, I would like to thank Pedro, the organizer of MassDeath for his welcome and for allowing me to interview Seb in a very professional setting. Support the local scene and local organizers like Pedro and his MassDeath, it is thanks to all these people that we can still attend excellent events like these!

Let’s start with the presentations! Who are you and what is your job in Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition?

I’m Seb, singer of SCD since 1996. So it’s going to be 25 years soon. For 25 years, there have been small line up changes within the band but the current guitarist and drummer have been around for about 16 years.

For those who don’t know you, what is SCD?

So, we come from Paris. We made the band with friends that we met in concert when we were teenagers and then we decided to create SCD knowing that at the time in the same band there was the drummer and the guitarist who made Arkhon Infaustus (Black Metal) and Antaeus (Black Metal) so we shared the same studio since we had members in common. At the time what influenced SCD was really the whole underground scene with Grind, Crust, Gore, Porno gore with bands like Catasexual Urge Motivation, Gut, Last Days of Humanity, etc… Then there was the whole Death scene that we listened to when we were kids. We were in the scene for quite some time and we wanted to participate in the thing without knowing that years later we would continue to do so.

How do you feel after this moment on stage? What did you think of your performance, the atmosphere and the audience?

It’s nice to come here because it’s the third time we’ve played at MassDeath. We played the year there was Entombed (2011) and the year after (2012) with Obituary. At the time, it was not in the same venue. Then the MassDeath stopped for a few years and when we saw that Pedro started to do it again, we thought that we absolutely had to be there. Now we’re regulars. We also wanted to discover the new place. If I understood well, this is the third concert to be held here. We were told there had been The Nutcracker before. So it seemed to us that after The Nutcracker, they needed at least SCD, otherwise it was not a real baptism of the venue. So we are super happy to play here.

When we started listening to Grindcore, Death, etc., there weren’t a lot of concerts in France at the time and we often came to Belgium in Ypres, Gent, etc., where we have seen a lot of bands. They were small underground venue, but a lot more was going on in Belgium than in France at the time. There was very very little. We had all the big bands playing but in the really extreme underground scenes, there was not so much bands playing in France. It was mainly in Belgium that it took place. There was in particular Agathoclès who organized the Wee Lawaat festival in Zichem where we went every year.

We ended up doing more concerts in Belgium than in France in certain years. It has changed a lot in the past few years. It became a lot more Hardcore and less Goregrind etc. I think that for this album for example, it is the first concert we do in Belgium but we have already toured in the United States, in Canada, played Hellfest for the second time, Obscene Extreme Festival for the third time, SWR Barroselas Metalfest in Portugal for the third time.

Honestly we were super happy to come back to MassDeathtruction because it’s a festival where there are a lot of people, where the conditions are really great. Besides, it’s been a while since we last came. It’s always a pleasure to come back and we’re neighbors so we consider ourselves a little bit at home here.

Want to know what SCD at MassDeath 2011 looked like ? Check this here, it was filmed by 666Vassil.

On the occasion of this MassDeaththruction 2019, did you play “Misleading Weapons Of Mass Destruction” (Inventory of Fixtures, 2007)?

We didn’t play it today, we will have to come back to do so! It was one of the pretexts we had imagined. For today’s setlist, we started with songs from the first albums and then, chronologically, we moved forward. We played two songs from Inventory of Fixtures. Then continued for about half of the set with songs from the last album.

2019 was a year full of big dates with in particular the Hellfest and the Obscene Extreme Festival. So, are there still places after such big dates where you would dream to play?

Honestly, there are still plenty. Let’s say that in Germany there are still a lot of big festivals and we don’t play there a lot. We did the Berlin Deathfest not long ago but the very big festivals, we didn’t do them. So it would be great to play there. We were discussing Japan when we did the American tour with Viscera Infest, a Japanese band. In fact, their manager is Naru who was in C.S.S.O., whom we have known for years. We met in Germany at the Fuck the Commerce where we played in 2001 with C.S.S.O. So it’s been while since we know him.

So in the United States, Naru accompanied Viscera Infest. So we talked about playing dates in Japan which is a little more complicated because today, the European scene, is one of the best in the world between the number of festivals, the amount of people who come to each concert and festival, the people who buy merch, the reception conditions which are almost incomparable with other places …

People often think that the United States is great, but it’s not the same than Europe. Even the Maryland Deathfest where we replayed for the second time, it’s not the same, I would say that there is something like 3000 people attending the fest. When we compare with what we can have with Hellfest where we have about 50,000 people during three days. Even at the Motocultor I believe it was 42,000 people last year.

We, what we would really like to do too, is all of northern Europe with countries such as Norway, Finland… We haven’t been there often and these places welcome a lot of stuff in the Crust and Death scene. So, yes, these are scenes where we haven’t been enough yet and where we would like to keep going.

What is the date that marked you the most this year?

Hellfest, honestly it’s always extraordinary. When you listen to bands’ opinion, it’s still something you don’t see all the time. You should know that now the Altar and Temple tents can welcome about ten thousand people. In addition, with the giant screen at the back of the tent, there are still people outside the tent area and it is full. It’s just amazing because even big bands that tour a lot, they rarely play in front of 10,000 people.

It was the second time for us so we could enjoy it differently than the first time when we were a little bit more nervous. We had anticipated it, we had it filmed by the guys from Sombrero Production who work for Arte. We had the sound taken by the engineer of the Hellfest. So there was a little organization upstream and it was also very timed in order to be able to do it. It is not that there is a particular pressure but we wanted to leave Hellfest with satifaction towards our performance.

Hellfest completely exceeds the “environment” of metal. At work, or anywhere in fact, there are people who do not listen to metal music and who do not know metal at all but who know Hellfest and talk about it. So, playing there was great because everyone knew where we were going and what it was.

Obscene Extreme is also great because it is more specialised in the style that we play. It’s also different atmosphere. The public can jump on stage and do stage-diving so we are in something else. However, we are much more used to this festival since it’s been the third time we play it, we are getting to know it really well.

Each time it’s different, it’s not the same thing at all but we keep, for different reasons, a great memory.

Hellfest is great but at the same time I am almost sure that if you put a band playing chess on stage, you’ll have 10,000 people coming to see them. At the Saint Vitus (New York), you are in a venue where people have come to see the headliner in the first place. So this is a great memory too.

I liked more New York than the Maryland Deathfest. New York was really nice because we were headliners at Saint Vitus, a venue in Brooklyn where Joan Jett played for example. So we were happy to go there because it was a venue that marked the music history and it was full, we had a great sound and people really came to see us.

Your last album “Raping Angels In Hell” was released in 2017. So, what can we expect for 2020?

We still have a lot of concerts. Some are announced others are still under negotiation but we still have a lot of stuff in 2020. I think we will tour all year. On the other hand, we are already starting to project ourselves and say to ourselves that we have to start imagining putting ourselves into composition mode too. It’s quite complicated right now with all the dates we have because we play almost every weekend. So, it is complicated to succeed in working more on these new songs but we are starting to work on it.

With a name like Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, I wonder where you get your inspiration from and what themes do you express in your songs?

It’s mostly porno gore on the last album. However, it has changed quite a bit in terms of style along the years. The first three albums had no lyrics so it was really just the covers and the graphics that set the tone with the music. We were really into porno gore.

Then we had a rather crust-oriented period which also remains a big influence that we had at the time. Then we became a little more death we will say and on the last one really we tried to get back to the roots. So a mixture of everything but with porno gore texts.

In terms of influences, I would say that it concerns everything related to the dirty atmosphere that even I found in bands that have influenced me very much like Gut who was born in Germany and with whom we played in Holland. It was the first time we played with them. It was a cult moment. We met in the lodges, I didn’t know them personaly. So I went to give them T-shirts religiously. So they offered us to help ourselves in their merch and we took photos together. Honestly, they are super nice people. Besides, the guitarist played with our T-shirt on stage, a great moment of emotion. It was a total accomplishment. Now what we do is a little bit of all those influences that we had when we started.

What is your best and worst memory as a member of SCD?

So, it is both the best and also the worst because we ended up laughing about it. We had a tour that was to do Canada, United States, Canada. It was around 2008, something like that. This tour was to last approximately 4 to 5 weeks. We were flying to Montreal, we had dates in Canada. Then we had to fly to the United States and then we had the dates in the United States. After that, we would return to Canada to play a few dates before returning to France. Until then, everything is great.

We take the plane, we arrive in Montreal and we are told that the instruments are to be picked up at another spot. So here we go, we get the instruments and there, plainclothes cops stop us to take us to customs. When we get to customs we are asked if we are really Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition and if we are going to play in such and such places.

To put things in context, at the time, we didn’t need the same permissions to play in venues that sold alcohol or food.

So to come back to customs, we answer them “Yes, maybe, it depends on the organizers, ask them.” There they told us to stop telling them shit and they detained us and then we were inadmissible to Canada. They put us in the cell behind the customs at the airport. We were entitled to the photos with the small plates etc. then, we spent the day in the cell.

At the end of our detention, they said to us: “Either we send you this evening to Marseilles then you return to Paris and you are inadmissible. Either, you discuss, you are prohibited 10 years of territory. Either , you discuss because you want to go back to Paris directly and we keep you in detention for a week. ” Finally we went back to Marseille and without having slept we did Paris-Montreal, a day in Montreal. Then, Montreal-Marseille and from Marseille, we took the train back to Paris and the tour was over.

We still went to the Canadian Embassy in Paris to try to negotiate. They told us: “You are not Aznavour so it’s over.”

Last year, when we went back, even if we had all the papers in order and the regulations had completely changed, we were not reassured.

Today it is much simpler but when we went through customs, we were still stranded. The customs officials asked us if we had already come. We explained to them that we had been evicted and we presented the papers. As the laws no longer exist today in the Canadian Code, they could not find the reason of the eviction and they did not understand why we were expelled so we were blocked again for a while. It is therefore both a good and a bad memory for us.

What is the song, the album that makes you crazy?

So there are several. First, Behind Enemy Lines album “The Global Cannibal” (2003) which is really great from beginning to end. Then there is always Nasum with the album “Helvete” (2003). Then there is “Bolt Thrower” which from beginning to end, is a masterpiece. Finally, there is also Napalm Death and their fabulous “The Harmony Corruption” (1990).

I leave you the last word of the interview.

First, I would like to say thank you to all the readers, some of whom may have been following us for quite a few years. Otherwise, today I am 45 years old including 24 years of singer of Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition and what I hope is that in 24 years I’ll still do the same thing. And that’s thanks to everyone we meet here. Thank you all.

We leave you with a video extract from SCD’s performance at MassDeathtruction 2019 filmed by Yohann Thibaut.

Video of SCD at MassDeath 2011 by 666Vassil.

Video of SCD at MassDeath 2019 by Yohann Thibaut.

Picture by SCD

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Brutal Sphincter - interview

Our 5 rising stars: Brutal Sphincter

For some time now, they have been getting more and more attention. We interviewed for you Spermain from Brutal Sphincter, a Belgian goregrind band who were awarded a place at the famous Hellfest festival (Clisson, France). From the underground to one of the biggest and most famous metal festival in Europe, how did they get there? Spermain tells us everything in this interview.

To begin, who is behind Brutal Sphincter and what is your job in the band ?

Brutal Sphincter is a band composed of 5 members, namely: Spermain (bass), GG Stalin (vocals with effect), Major Diarrhea (vocals without effect), Leopoold II (drums) and Corde Sensible (guitar).

In the band, everyone has its role. Personally, I take care of writing the music (bass + guitar) / structure of the songs, band management (distribution of tasks, meetings, etc.), booking, Facebook page, emails, management budget and merch (orders and shipments).

GG Stalin is responsible for collecting the information for the preparation of the concert (tech rider, hospitality rider, accommodation, etc.) and writing the lyrics for the songs.

Major Diarrhea also writes lyrics, is in charge of everything related to the use of Photoshop software (design, memes, flyers, banner, etc.), mastering (sometimes recording) of our songs and technical problems (live, internet, etc.).

Leopoold writes the drum parts, manages Brutal Sphincter’s Instagram and regularly relaunches festivals that have not anwsered our emails.

Finally, Corde Sensible helps me in the composition of the songs and manages the YouTube channel through the creation of content.

How did you come to create Brutal Sphincter, for what purpose?

The creation of the band actually emerged from a joke with one of the group’s founding (ex)members (Jason ANANIA). During our studies of social worker, we studied (too) often the psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud. In his theory, he talked non-stop about the anal stage and sphincter control. Therefore, we thought it would be funny to call a goregrind band Brutal Sphincter.

A few months later, the delirium saw the day. I was personally looking for a more extreme band than what the scene in Liège offered at the time. In addition, I wanted to be the creator so I could direct the project where I wanted… I never thought the band would work as well as it does.

Musically speaking, you define the band as a “POOlitical” goregrind band. The goregrind, I see what it is. What about “POOlitical”?

Truth be told, bands from this scene tend to always describe their goregrind with stupid adjectives. Generally, the themes of porno / gore grind revolve around everything that is fecal, sexual, sick or gore… Here, without denying where we come from (SHIIIIIIIIIIT), with our second album “AnalHu Akbar”, we wanted to change the game because we found the previous themes boring.

We think that goregrind must be shocking as death :etal was at before and as the style was in itself when it emerged in the 90s. What better way to offend people than to joke on sensitive political subjects like Islam, pedophilia, Nazism, etc. ?

However, even if the titles are extremely provocative, the lyrics behind them make sense. These are generally criticisms, observations or simply massive trolls. It would have been silly to provoke without wanting to make you think…

In addition, our lyrics should soon be uploaded to certain websites dedicated to lyrics.

Since the release of your second album “AnalHu Akbar”, the band continues to gain popularity. How do you explain this success?

First, there is the musical element. We have, I think, created a fairly unique form of goregrind. The song structures are quite complex and the riffs more or less technical compared to the rest of the scene. Then, we went to a professional studio (Blind & Lost Studios) which made us a production just as we wished. Add to that original themes and varied vocalizations and we get the Brutal Sphincter style. This is what allowed us to stand out in the scene.

However, music is not self-sufficient. The band’s image and reputation must be taken care of. It is important to be well perceived by the public and to build good relationships. It’s about creating a network.

Finally, add hours of networking and management, per week. It is a constant work that requires great assiduity. That’s why most big bands have managers… It takes a long time.

You did quite big scenes this year including the Obscene Extreme, one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. What remains to accomplish or rather to conquer for Brutal Sphincter ?

We saw the OEF as a “springboard” scene. It was a very important show for our credibility among the general public.

This interview was sent to me a few months ago. At the end of December, I only find the time to answer it. A few months ago, I would have said that I would have liked to play big scenes like the Netherlands Deathfest, the Summer Breeze, the Brutal Assault, etc.

Not so long ago, we have been confirmed for Hellfest and for Netherlands Deathfest. While this is still surreal to us, we don’t want to stop there. We want to make our participation in mainstream events something regular. Other continents also remain to be conquered.

In terms of popularity, we would like to become a reference in style. What may seem a bit pretentious.

You released a clip rather “cartoonesque” but “trash” enough for the song “Make Goregrind Great Again”, what were the feedback about it?

About 4 months have passed since its release and the reactions have been gigantic… No less than 220,000 views, more than 16,000 likes, thousands of shares. This clip has allowed us to assert ourselves even more and gain a lot of visibility.

In addition to these advantages, the clip allowed the new Belgian talents of Shit Knuckles to be brought to the fore when it was their first video. We are also continuing to work with them.

What are your projects for 2020?

Play as many concerts as possible, gain popularity, create a lyrics video for our song “Autistic Meltdown”, clip “Prohibit Anime”, re-record one of the “cult” songs from the first album, create new merch and write new songs for our third album.

If there is one thing to remember from Brutal Sphincter, which one would it be?

Come and party at our concerts and have a drink with us. You will see, we are nice guys!

If you had to recommend an album or a band to begin the discovery of goregrind, which one would it be (apart from you of course)?

“Shit Beast” by Gutalax. Our friends of Gutalax are without doubt the most easily entry door to begin with Goregrind. Their music is simple, groovy, efficient and personal. Note, however, that they would be more likely to describe themselves as gore ‘n roll. There are actually few Goregrind elements musically speaking.

Albums like “Paraphelic Elegies” by Spasm, “Splatter Tekk” by Ahumado Granujo, “Keep On Smiling” by Rectal Smegma or “Gargle Cummics” by Rompeprop remain excellent alternatives. These are personal choices which benefit from good production and which have perfectly balance blast passages and more groovy passages.

A last word for our readers?

It would be nice to have more goregrind bands in Belgium. Go ahead and twerk on stage with us.

Photo par J.Huyssens Photography.

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Imperium Dekadenz - Interview

Authenticy, one word for Imperium Dekadenz

During the Night Fest Metal X, I had the opportunity to meet Vespasian, Horaz and the guys from Vagsheim representing the live line up of Imperium Dekadenz. The band was at that moment on tour to present and defend their latest album “When We Are Forgotten” which proposes a more intimate approach than before. Leaving their historical background behind, Imperium Dekadenz goes deeper into emotions and intimaticy without forgetting their authencity.

Let us first start with a short presentation of the band. Who are you and what’s your job in Imperium Dekadenz ?

Horaz: I am Horaz, the singer. We founded the band in 2004, it was just me and Vespasian. Vespasian and I are coming from the south west of Germany, Baden-Württemberg in a region called the Black Forest.

After two albums, we found the guys from Vargsheim to join us to play live. They come from Würzburg, a town in the middle of Germany. Since they joined us, we played a lot of festivals and stuff and we had a signing on Season of Mist, a French label.

For the last release “When We Are Forgotten” we did a signing on Napalm Records, an Austrian label.

Vespasian: My name is Vespasian and I’m playing the drums. Studio wise we share the guitar recordings; I play the bass and we both play synthesizers. So, all the productions are made by us.

All the live activities have been done with the guys from Vargsheim for about eleven years, I think. So, they gave us that opportunity to go on stage. Before we met them, we had only released two albums: “…und die Welt ward kalt und leer” and “Dämmerung der Szenarien”. But this was the next big step to make live happening.

We almost got two main goals when it comes to live music : it’s this kind of rock and roll factor and the action on stage. You can’t realize it with only two guys. It’s possible but it’s no fun because maybe you have some samples of keyboards and stuff like that and it’s not what I understand when it comes to rock and roll.

So, these guys (Vargsheim), they have their own band. We immediately became very good friends and we shared so much hours on the road together the last eleven years and that’s great fun.

It’s like the other side of Imperium Dekadenz. There’s the creative part of it: albums, records, composition, lyrics and stuff like that. The other part is to go on stage where our music is rougher. You have these two guitars but sometimes on the album you have like a pile of guitars for example. So, we have to reduce it to the atmosphere we want to communicate.

The guys from Vargsheim perfectly understand, to be honest, and they are perfectly able to reduce all the stuff they hear an album to make it functional in a live situation.

Do they (Vargsheim) have their word to say about the composition or not ?

Vespasian: To be honest, no!

Horaz: But everything that happens live, they have a word because they have to manage what they do. You know writing songs and playing songs live is a completely different thing. They have to think about how they can make this song happen on live. So, they have to manage all our guitar tracks and they are doing that brilliantly in my opinion.

Vespasian: We have a little tradition going on with Vargsheim and Imperium Dekadenz. It’s, if they recorded an album, we get the first listening when the album is finished and the other way around. But as Horaz already said when we are in the rehearsal room and we are discussing some parts then of course they have their word to say.

Horaz: And about today’s performance, don’t forget that we had a sound engineer today who was not used to our music and who does not know how we sound. So was doing his own stuff and he was mixing all together hoping it would sound good. And of course, that could be different from the album. If we have had our sound engineer from the album, it would have sound like the album.

Vespasian: But there are always different opinions about that. Some people say that it sounds like the album and that they love the album version much more. Other people say they like this rough version more. So, everybody has got his opinion about that.

Horaz: Sometimes it’s better for bands if something comes rougher and sometimes not.

In your opinion what do you think is best for your band ?

Horaz: We do what we want to do. We feel like a metal band. It’s Black Metal but we are ourselves. We could wear makeup and costumes but that’s not how we are. We just go on stage the we want and it’s just about emotions and how we feel. If you look at the other bands, they are not really into headbanging and all that rock n’ roll stuff. But we do that and maybe it does not fit with the atmosphere of the album, I don’t know.

But that’s how we are, and some people say “Hey, that’s Imperium Dekadenz. I never expected that. They are fucking rock n’ roll and they do metal.” Others say “That’s not the stuff I like. I imagined more steady guys, doing more atmospheric stuff.” But we’re doing what we are, what we want and what we feel, that’s all. We will never change it; people can accept it or not.

Imperium Dekadenz (2) - Interview

About the composition and the lyrics, what are your sources of inspiration ?Is there one of you who’s in charge of the composition and the other of the lyrics or do you cooperate ?

Vespasian : It’s always mixed up. So, we are both into films, books but also daily life which is maybe the biggest inspiration. The emotions you are experiencing day and night. I think you cannot divide music and lyrics because sometimes it’s like a battle of inspiration: if I write a riff, he has got inspiration for some lyrics and the other way around.

Horaz: The point is that each of us has a home studio. So, I come home from work or I’m sitting at home at the weekend I’m take my guitar and I start working on a new song and when I have the feeling that that’s a good song, I send it to Vespasian. So, he is the first person to ever listen to the song and then he says, “Hey the song is… shit” *laughs* or to be friendly, he says “The song is pretty good, maybe there will be something cool.”

So, we send material to each other and that’s just the first step to decide whether if a song comes on the album or not. About the lyrics, for the last album most of them came from me because I’m a singer and it’s a good practice when I write the lyrics by myself because it’s easier for me to put them onto the rhythm and to bring the song to life on stage. But he wrote his own lyrics to for songs he’s very into it.

Vespasian: In the end, the main goal is that both of us are satisfied for 100%.

You are currently defending your latest opus “When We Are Forgotten”. What is his album about ?

Vespasian: I think first of all we have to take a look at the previous albums because their lyrical themes were related to some historical events. This time, we wanted to change, we wanted to have more intimate atmosphere, more thinking of ourselves not this historical context about Rome or stuff like that. We wanted to reduce the epicness so to say. We wanted to get more to the core of our heart.

Horaz: When we listened Dis Manibvs and we noticed that the songs became pretty long and the whole album is an extremely epic conclusion of songs. So, we decided that this time we wanted to be more compact, more rock n’ roll, more old school and more intimate.

We always use the historical background for the lyrics but this time we decided to make lyrics about ourselves. So, about what we are thinking. I think this will be the way we will continue because you get more satisfied with the song and if you listen to it later, it’s closer to your heart, to your current situation. We still love the old school stuff from the 90s and now we said decided to do a step back to a more old school stuff.

Vespasian: Now we have to make something different. We don’t want to repeat it. We want to challenge ourselves. So, it was a challenge for us to make us happy with the new stuff.

Are you happy with the new stuff and do you think that you are going to continue in that way ?

Vespasian: Yes, definitely. We now feel the time is right to make experiences, to make stuff we never did before. From my point of view, we have more freedom than we ever had. I don’t give a shit if people want to buy the old Imperium Dekadenz because they expect it to be this way. That’s OK for them but they have already six albums, hopefully in their collection. But for us, we see this new stuff differently. It’s more what can we do together to give us that special feeling of progression.

What are your hopes and projects for the coming year (2020) ?

Vespasian: There are more things to come but we cannot announce it yet.

Horaz: We just released the new album, but we’ve already started with new song writing. That’s what we want and what we want to do.

How was today’s show ?

Horaz: I was the first time in Belgium so we were pretty excited of what would happen. There were a lot of people looking to Imperium Dekadenz.

Were you happy about the reaction of the crowd?

Horaz: Yeah, absolutely. I think that during the first song, some people came in. They probably had never listened to our stuff.

Were there more people than you expected or not ?

Horaz: No, because I watched the other bands playing since we are here and there were a lot of people that are interested in looking to the bands. And I was pretty sure that they were going to check what we are doing.

Vespasian: We have played live for 10 years now but it’s always a big pleasure, a big surprise when you enter for the first time in a foreign country. There are people who are interested in music. It’s amazing. We started in the Black Forest as a duo and now here we are in Belgium answering your questions. It’s always a great pleasure for us because I think these are experiences most of mankind will never have.

Horaz: It is also kind of legendary that people from Belgium are really into live shows. You are more focused on what’s going on. I thought that many people would come because of 1914. They are really actual; a lot of people like them. They talk about the First World War. I talk to these guys and they are very passionate doing their stuff.

I leave you the last word of the interview.

Vespasian: If we would see us as business partners, it wouldn’t work because there’s so much emotions in the music and the lyrics. It’s like a voyage. We are going through hell and we are entering heaven. I think it’s rather romantic. The last romantic topic for tonight it’s magic. Do you know so much bands who played together for twelve years ? It’s not usual. So, to me we can sum things up as: authenticity, friendship and magic.

Horaz: The whole week, I was just looking for the drive. We have 4 hours to come here. I was waiting to sit in this new van and listening to music and talking all the crazy stuff we can. We are on tour with friends, not just any mercenaries playing your songs and going to the hotel after the show. We are still here and when we have finished the interview, we will raise the beers, the wine and the cigarettes together. Together we walk, together we fall.

Vespasian: The main topic concerning Imperium Dekadenz is stay real. The most important thing is friendship. We are not business guys trying to earn as much money as possible and who change their musicians. We are bunch of very good friends and this is more important for us than to be the most technically perfect band.

It’s about emotions because the gig is one highlight of the day. But I can assure you that driving to the gig with this bunch of men it’s also a very big highlight every time.

Picture by LauPi Photo

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