A new band — VI — new when it comes to normal musical life-span standards, but not too much when it comes from the very large and populated underground musical scene we have today. I was surprised by the fast recognition this band acquired. Their formula is simple: a strong, active and pragmatic collaboration between those who wish to take the music seriously. Aosoth members, the session drummer from Merrimack — all the people who gravitate around INRVI, who supervises the projects, and the man in control . . . well, I took a seat and put down some questions for him.
Do you consider yourself an affable, charismatic person, or do you have the simple ability of getting in contact with the right musicians at the right time and to be able to make them believe in a musical project? Is that a sign of a certain maturity in the musical scene in your country, or is there also a bit of personal craving for a little exposure in this over-crowded black metal landscape?
If I’m a charismatic person, it goes the same for all my entourage. Things come naturally. We are not so many . . . everybody works for any of our surroundings.
I’m not a sect leader, the musicians whom I work with are smart enough and critical (enough) to know what they want to do; follow me, or not.
If we have a lot of brilliant bands in France we also have many bad ones. So you will understand I can’t discuss about a kind of musical maturity linked to my country. We are what we have to be: sharing our ideas and thoughts; then the music comes, evolving with experience and time. It’s more our faith and our flesh that decides for us.
I have really appreciated that your lyrics are in French (although I can’t read it); musically, to me, the language has a very good sound; it’s too bad most of the pronunciation can sometimes get lost in the singing . . . What are the topics you mainly explore with VI, and don’t you think that a major effort could be had in writing about completely new and original subjects? Putting aside for once the Bible, Satanism, religion, the same old blah, blah . . . Can some of your lyrics be simple, but include a hidden meaning? Is it too much work or it just is not worthwhile? (Please consider the average cultural and educational level of the typical “Black Metal” kid.)
Same for me — I really love all the possibilities that (the) French language offers me. And even if I have a pretty correct accent, I wouldn’t give myself a try to sing exclusively in English for the reasons you did mention. I would (be) lost into intensity, self, and so into rage.
You have to see my lyrics as paints, they are representative and explicit, being open to interpretation, depending on your knowledge when it comes to religious matters, since most of the themes enclosed in my lyrics are strongly related to this subject. Add on top of this an obsession: of fear, oppression, sickness — and you will obtain a nightmare of devotion; massive and dirty, I do not feel like saying anything more, I already did say enough on that issue.
Interpretation and the human mind have no limits . . . all is possible.
The production of the MCD De Praestigiis Daemonum is really raw, in a good way — it sounds very guitar-oriented. Do you have a precise idea of the sounds you want to achieve in the studio or home before you record? If so, what do you reference to achieve your tone? I believe your sounds and tone should reflect your music and message. Do you agree?
Yes, definitely. The sound of this mini was chosen a long time before, as well as the sounds for our forthcoming releases were already thought (out) in advance. Sound will evolve with time. I’ve got some principles about sound that I must respect. I can’t tell you more about that for the moment, but if you had the occasion to listen the new track Et Vobis… you will note some light modifications. I wanted to keep strong guitars, a bass and a drum kick quasi-inexistent.
The album that influenced me in the choices of my sound for VI is the Antaeus’s Blood Libels.
And, of course, the sound is capital to share the message as well as possible.
Tell me about the new 7″. It looks as if it’s very common today to produce a lot of them (limited of course). Could it be that the incessancy of musical production is something to keep pace with, or “that’s just the way it goes” today? Do you think it’s hard work to keep a project or a band united and concentrated for a long time, working on a full length, even if that would take more than, let’s say, a year?
I don’t think it’s so common to produce a lot of them. For some, it’s probably a way to look more credible, and hide the mediocrity of their music by a discography more imposing year after year. This is not my opinion, I don’t think I will release a lot of splits, or at least this is not a goal.
If I’ve accepted to play with Aosoth, it’s because I’m totally devoted to its messages and former members. The idea to make a split VI / Aosoth wasn’t an easy idea. Aosoth is a part of my life that really counts to me, VI is another one. It’s the duty of a communion to be realized.
To know more about this, this split takes around 10 months before (it sees) the light, whereas the tracks were already composed. Again we recorded that at the now well-known BST Studio. A track around 6 minutes for each band with a common subject. Samples were done by Hostis, designs by Ba’al Graphics and ThornythoughtsArtwork. Released by Necroterror records.
VI is not a band, but a project, we don’t do rehearsals, it’s even (rare when) we have some contact between the members before the recording! And it works very well. And if you want to know, I don’t believe in the “band” concept or, at least, this not suitable to me.
What about the BST studio? It’s attracting more new bands today as you know?. . . What do you consider still necessary to be recorded in a professional studio versus home recording?
I’m not looking for a studio for how it sounds, but for its abilities to diversify itself. (If) a talented sound engineer tuned in, patient and creative, (he) has more value than the biggest (most) famous studio in the world.
And if ideology (is concerned) then all is perfect. It’s pretty much the case with my relation with the BST Studio. And (I) hope that’s not going to change for a while.
Tell us about the Agonia label — is it something that’s stood out from the others, or is it practically the same as the others? And what does it mean to be signed to a “label” today? Is the word “label” becoming sort of obsolete?
I do music for me and a bunch of interested people. I’m not so preoccupied about my (sales). Quality prevails over distribution. The goal is being to not (be) lost (in) money. I would not talk about money or classic contracts. I think all will be fine with Agonia, who is really enthusiast about the first VI’s release.
What bands or music do you listen apart from Black Metal? When will come the day that somebody will have the guts to play something totally outside of the box (I think non-conventional instruments, different vocals, techniques, whatever . . . experimenting) but with a morbid, disturbing feeling and not stick at each record with the same sound-style?
Honestly, I don’t listen (to) so much stuff outside of the metal sphere, except (for) a branch of classical music (and) a bit of ambient. The more important into a kind of music that would not be aggressive musically would be the violence or the interest of its message. I don’t know a lot of them, even I know there are more that I could imagine.
Is it the Scandinavian scene over? Is it an old cliché? Are the bands still thinking on geographical terms about music?
I don’t know what to answer to that. There will always be some strong identities around the world to offer us something intense and different. It’s just more difficult to find them in the mass. And though I believe in the potential of certain countries/culture more than others.
Does Aosoth influence your musical ideas with VI or vice versa? Or do you keep your mind separated into different approaches when it comes to writing music?
Neither of them. Two different bands lead by different men with different processes. I don’t take a part in the lyrics or music scripture and vice versa.
Your guitar rig — any preference ?
Is it really so important when you know how to play?
One thing is sure, I will not stay loyal to my gear.