No ! Julien decided to leave the band as he didn’t feel he was into it anymore. We knew it well in advance to assure our booked shows. It was more like the end of a period, the closing of a chapter in the history of the band. Our last show was with this line up was at Hellfest 2008.
Then we took one year off to compose with the new line up. We became instrumental nearly by mistake as we were thinking about having some vocals again, but show commitments arrived & we played like this. Then we had the studio booked & we thought we will records vocals once in the studio, but we found the sound already cool without any so we stayed like this.
Yes, we’ve performed it one time, for the very special event it was designed for in our hometown, but it will be the third time in Tallinn. The choice of the movie was quite difficult because the people organizing the event had some problems finding copies and the rights of the films we had first in mind (Elias Mehridge’s “Begotten”, Werner Herzog’s “Lektionen in Finsternis…). Also because they had some ideas about the movies a “Metal” band should perform to… but we didn’t want to score for an old peplum with half-naked guys fighting each other hysterically or some bad Z-gothic movie… So, after quite long negotiations, a lot of refusals from each party, we finally agreed on “Vampyr”. But, even if it is a kind of compromise, we truly love this film, a real jewel from one of our favourite directors. Initially, we wanted to play on “ La passion de Jeanne d’Arc”, also directed by Dreyer, but it was impossible for some reason. We really wanted to play something quite mystical… and even if “Vampyr” is much more fantasty oriented than “Jeanne”, there is always this doomed atmosphere, and Dreyer’s obsession about the fight between evil and the sacred part of humanity… So, because this movie is quite “unreal”, dreamy or nightmarish, we decided to compose something more abstract, more aerial maybe, than what we had first in mind… but people have told us that it was almost our most depressing effort !
It is different from regular lives because it requires sort of a better concentration, we have to be at the service of the movie and pledge allegiance to it, like an orchestra do to the conductor… The movie is our conductor. The band is split on each side of the screen for we have to look at it while performing.
Personally, I’ve seen quite a lot of other performances like this one because each spring in Bordeaux there’s this event with musicians from very different horizons playing their own partition of old silent films. I’ve seen great ones (Victor Sjöström’s “The wind” by an improvisation collective was awesome, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis by a organ soloist which I forgot the name was also great…) and bad ones (an electronic improvisation on “The Night of the Living Dead” this year was total mayhem…) but the exercise is always interesting… We knew about KTL and it is funny because “The Phantom Chariot” was one of our choices before we learned about their performance … It is truly a fantastic movie, and Sjöström one of the best forgotten directors of his times.
Personnaly, I don’t see ourselves as a part of the post-rock movement… even if we like some great bands like Talk Talk (on their last albums), Godspeed You ! Black Emperor, A Silver Mount Zion, Tortoise, Mogwai, Sigur Ros… We are much more metal oriented. We relate to no band in particular, except for this evil trinity: Black Sabbath, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine. I don’t know about this statement about post-rock seen as a “dead” genre, I think the whole field of “popular” music is quite dead by now… I can’t really say that one particular band is truly innovative these days, even if I can still enjoy some actual productions… Animal Collective, maybe, is one exception… It is a very difficult period for Art in general. So, honestly, no, I don’t think we are particularly original, even if I don’t know so many bands doing what we do now. Maybe we have this particularity in the metal scene to be much more opened to other Logical sounds and forms as we intend them : we aim to bring together some movements initially hermetic to each other. I think our future works will follow this path, in a even more adventurous direction.
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Yes, France can be proud of these bands. We appreciate their music and their ability to bring Black-Metal towards different horizons while still keeping its unique essence safe.
I’m not sure about the “diabolical” message, I don’t think this is the appropriate word. There is a notion of danger, of anxiety, of obsession, of depression maybe… but also of transcendence… It is a music of very complex emotions mixed in a sort of direct and universal way. I think that BM, as one of the last truly innovative musical movements, is now ready to be invested by bands that wish to create something “different”. For better or worst…
There’s a lot ! Playing some festival like Roadburn, Hellfest or Dour are really great experiences, but also travelling and reaching places we have never been before, meeting new people is also a great experience. I will particularly remember the island of nessoden in front of oslo or sleeping one night in the island of Mon in Denmark in small huts…
I think nobody in the band has been to Estonia so we don’t know what to expect exactly. Personally Estonia is a country I wanted to discover for a long time, now so I’m more than enthusiastic to come and visit Estonia. Let’s hope we will have some time to discover Tallin.
The roster is really great and adventurous, that is pretty rare nowadays where most of festivals seem to have the same line up based on Pitchfork top 40 of the previous year… So once again, well done guys ! We really thank you to welcome us and can’t wait to be there !
Tristan Priimägi studied Semiotics in the Tartu University. He graduated with a BA in 2001, specializing in film semiotics. Since then has been working for different advertising agencies and been a driving force in several cultural projects like the graphic design webzine "Beta" and the "Plink Plonk" music festival. In addition to that, he has been a regular contributor to all the bigger press publications, newspapers and magazines, writing about film, music and pop culture in general, helped with translation and promotion work for Estonian films and film events and been a member of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival selection committee for several years. From 2010 has organized DocPoint Tallinn - an Estonian branch of the renowned Helsinki documentary festival DocPoint.
Aluk Todolo Black Metal Blut aus Nord Deathspell Disorder Dziga Vertov France Heliosphere Hellfest Jarmo Nuutre Joy Division La passion de Jeanne d’Arc My Bloody Valentine Nord (LP) Omega Pitchfork Tallinn Vampyr Victor Sjöström Von Krahl Werner Herzog