German-French Gothicrockers of Arts of Erebus released their first sign of life as EP "Dawn of the dead" in March 2009 after a longer break several years. The combine Depeche-Mode-esque electronics with the 90s gothic sound of bands like The Mission. With two full-time albums under their belt since the debut in 2003, they are now about to prepare a new third album. Damien, Michel and Tommy tell Lucy more about their plans, classic horror movies and their social connection to reality.
Lucy: Hello and many thanks for the opportunity to conduct an interview. Please, shortly introduce yourself. Who is in the band currently?
Arts of Erebus:
- Salü this is Michel, Guitarist and composer.
- Hi,and I am Damien, I am the singer and writer of all lyrics.
- I am Tommy, Bassist and producer of Arts of Erebus.
Lucy: The line-up of the band has changed several times. What do you think to be the positive and negative effects of such changes within the band?
Damien: Yes, there have been a small change and a major one. The small has been the fact that Stephane became a full bandmember as live-keyboard player. The major one has been the change of the bass player. Ghislain, our ex-bass player, has quit due to personal reasons. He simple had no time for it any more. There has been no argument, it was just a normal step to be done. And we were lucky to find in Tommy a very excellent substitute. And this is at the same time the answer to the second question: These changes had been very positive, as there had been new influences coming into the band. There has been no negative impact so far.
Lucy: And how did you got the idea to start a musical career? How did it come to the foundation of "Arts of Erebus" and did you know from the very beginning, which sound and style you wanted to play?
Damien: Well, all bandmembers have been making music for a long time, in different projects mostly. How we came together to "Arts of Erebus" is simple: There has been a first project called "Yuul",which had been a purely French band and we did a few gigs. With a different frontman, not me. The frontman suddenly had quit and the band was looking for a new singer. With "Yuul" there had been songs inf French, but mastermind Michel wanted to have english vocals, so the remaining core was looking for someone singing in english. I have applied for that and made it finally. Of course we have intended to pursue that style of music from the beginning and we will continue to do so in the future.
Damien: Guitars and Synths are no contradiction for us. We like to listen to electronic music as well, like 80s or Depeche Mode. We do not see any gap between guitars and electronics. We want to put both toegether in a good mixture. Sometimes it’s more of guitars, sometimes more synthesizers. Production is quite easy. We have a strict separation of working processes. Michel writes the songs, but we arrange them together. We have played together and tried different methods, there are always changes and new things that will be added and modified. That’s teamwork. The basic song comes from Michel as well as the idea of the general sound and atmosphere. This is done by our mastermind. He does not like to hear that, but it’s the way it is. I write the lyrics for the music and we continue together to finish the song. This is how it works with our band.
Lucy: If you look back to your previous releases, how would you characterize the development until now? Where are you today and what do you want to add to your sound in the future?
Tommy: Between the debut "Negative White" and the second album "Icon in Eyes" has been a gap of several years. "Negative White" has been released in 2003, "Icon of Eyes" in 2007. In the period, besides changes in line-up, there had been changes in the style as well. Compared to the first album we have become more rock-orientated, the development towards the next album will most likely bring even more different influences. We are currently working on it and do not to limit ourselves yet. We will probably go back to the roots of gothic, less rock than on "Icon of eyes" and there will be a bit more electronic elements on it.
Lucy: Let’s go back to the EP "Dawn of the dead", that has been released on March 6,2009. You have put 9 songs onto it, all arranged around the song "Dawn of the dead". Have you selected that perticular song due to the success of the previous album? There are some very interesting and different version on the EP – who had the idea to use that common basis of "Dawn of the dead"?
Damien: Success has not been the reason to use "Dawn of the dead". The answer is quite simple. Tikwa, director of our video, had listened to the album and has picked that song and made the video based on the inspirations the got by "Dawn of the dead". Thus, we have used that song.
Lucy: "Dawn of the dead" is the title of a cult horror movie. Do you like to watch those movies or do you even get inspired by them for your music?
Michel: Well, a bit of blood on the screen is cool and we like to watch it, that’s for sure. And yes, a tiny bit of that movie has been incorporated into the song as well.
Damien: Because this is a classic, and it’s original version has surely inspired us, no questions about it.
Damien: The 90s, of the gothic-rock of the 90s has influenced us a lot, of course. Because we like to listen to that stuff a lot as well. If you make music, you cannot stay free of influence of what you like to listen personally. That’s just normal. I think, there will be no change in the future. We will continue to make that kind of music and, whenever possible, try to incorporate other elements in it. It’s natural to make that kind of music you like to listen to privately, otherwise you become incredible.
Lucy: You can look back to a rather long band history. What are the most unique or funny, or remarkable events or experiences? Are there any curiousities you can share with us?
Damien: There had been that on gig we have played on a ship, a kind of an old riverboat. During the gig the boat become to slope.. We even had to hold back our amps that had been on wheels as they tried to slip away. That has been the strangest thing ever.
Lucy: Where did you perform with Arts of Erebus? Is there a difference between Germany and other countries?
Michel: We have played mainly in Germany, the land said to have the biggest scene. But also France, Luxembourg, Belgium. There it is much easier to get the crowd into it. Germany is much more difficult...
Lucy: You are currently working on your third album. What can we expect? Tell us a bit about the inspiration for the new material and what you feel about it. When will it see the light of the public?
Damien: We are now in the creative stage of the new album. The style will be more dark and darkromantic this time, I guess. That does not necessarily mean it will be slower or something. We will not limit us now. We will follow our feelings, Michel lets his feelings float. Inspiration just depends on what mood you are in and it can be all around you – e.g. a movie or something happening around you. We want to become darker and hope, that we can transfer this into our new material.
When the album will be finished is hard to say. We are and independent-band. We are not set under pressure, our producer leaves us much freedom. Tommy, the producer is very open and liberal in that respect. We make things coming from the depths of our hearts and we will release when we feel it is done and ready to be published. We cannot name a date now.
Lucy: Who are your music idols or heroes, if you have any?
Michel: Musical idols? Who is at least a bit into electronic music will recognize it. Bands like Fields of the Nephilim or The Mission are very much appreciated among us, and I think you can hear this clearly in our music.
Damien: There are also electronic bands that have inspired us... Depeche Mode or others we like to listen to, as well. David Bowie, Sisters, The Mission, The Cure. If you create such kind of music, than you cannot get around those guys. Recently I have from a friend not into "dark music" that we sound like a mixture of Depeche Mode and Sisters of Mercy. Okay, guess we can cope with that...
Michel: Yep, we can cope with it.
Lucy: Many thanks for that interview. You can now address some words to your fans out there!
Damien: On behalf of the whole band Arts of Erebus we want to thank for that interview and hope that we will meet you somewhere on a gig. Many thanks!