Category: Interviews Published Date Written by Christine Hits: 285
Genre: Extreme Dark Metal
1. First of all I’d like you to fill us in on what’s happening in the THE GREAT OLD ONES camp at the moment.
Sébastien: Our first album is going to be released in a month and a half, it’s a long time for us. So we are working on our live set for upcoming shows. We are also composing new songs.
2. Please point out the most important moments and experiences you’ve had with the band thus far, be them good or bad.
Sébastien: I remember my first rehearsal with the band. We, Xavier and me, joined the band at the same time. We started to play together and I really thought that something special was happening: Great feeling, huge sound, cool guys and beautiful songs. I was very confident for the future of the band.
3. Can you present “Al Azif” to our readers in a few words? Give reasons to our readers to check your work out. What will they find in it?
Xavier: “Al Azif“ is our first album. It consists of six tracks, it’s about 50 minutes long. It sounds dark and dreamy, organic. It’s a journey into the H.P Lovecraft world.
4. What do you expect to achieve with “Al Azif”? Which are your hopes for this album?
Xavier: We just intended to make a good album and to concretize all the ideas we had. We hope this album could be appreciated as much as we like it. We also hope that it could help us tour more.
5. How would you describe your sound? Which are the most important, prevailing elements in your music?
Sébastien: It’s quite difficult to describe our music because it doesn’t really match with a particular style. Our music is based on atmospheric black metal, postcore and some shoegaze. As I said before, our sound on “Al Azif” is very organic, with a lot of depth. We tried, with our sound engineer Cyrille Gachet, to develop a sound very different than classic metal productions.
6. Why do you think you stand out from most black metal bands out there? What do you believe you can offer to the metal scene?
Sébastien: We are not trying to revolutionize the metal scene. We play the music that fits with our vision of Lovecraft’s work, and we don’t even really know if we are part of the black metal scene... only the listeners could tell it.
7. What kind of procedure do you follow when you compose songs?
Xavier: Benjamin, the founder of the band composed, before the band started, 5 tracks of 6 on “Al Azif”. Now each member takes part in the composition process but Benjamin still writes the lyrics. We write and record our tracks at home, then we send tracks by the Internet and each musician works before at home. Then, it usually takes two rehearsals to put in place a new song.
8. Which song or songs do you think are the most ideal to represent the whole album’s essence?
Xavier: The first song, “Al Azif” is rather representative of the album.
9. Your source of inspiration when it comes to the lyrics is obviously Lovecraft and more particularly his Cthulhu mythology. Why did you choose this field?
Sébastien: Some of us have known the writings of Lovecraft for a long time. Particularly Benjamin who wanted to transform the experience of reading Lovecraft books into music. The atmosphere described by Lovecarft harmonizes well with the music we like, so it was just an evidence.
10. Everyone who’s into Lovecraft knows that Al Azif is considered to be the original title of the Necronomicon book. However can you tell us a few more things about it for those who aren’t aware of it?
Sébastien: In Arabic, al azif refers to noise produced by the insects at night. It is also the title of the Necronomicon, an imaginary book very present in the writings of Lovecraft. It would be a book of magic, incantations and prayers dedicated to the Great Old Ones. It is supposed to make insane those who read it...
11. Why did you choose Al Azif as the title for your debut album? Al Azif means in Arabic something like “nocturnal sounds, the howling of the demons”… Do you think it describes your sound? Is this why you chose it as an album title?
Xavier: Yes, actually, this title sounds like some disturbing and dreamlike night atmosphere. This suits our music.
12. Who created the cover artwork? It’s very beautiful! How is it connected to the album title and lyrics?
Sébastien: Jeff (guitar and vocals) made all the artworks for the band. As he is a member of TGOO, he understands very well that artworks have to emphasize the music. He used to paint tortured subjects, so he had no problem finding inspiration about the artworks of TGOO.
13. Have you got any plans for live shows? How easy is it for you to play your songs live? Do you have to be in a certain state of mind in order to create the right atmosphere and feeling?
Xavier: We have concerts in 2012 and hope that the album's release will help us to achieve additional concerts. Our songs are composed to be played live, we play almost identically on stage than on disc. When we play our songs, we are in a state that is somewhere between a discharge of raw violence and trance.
14. Have you made any video clips? With YouTube I think videos have started becoming a necessity for bands again. How helpful is the Internet?
Xavier: For now we have no plans to make a video clip. But if we have to make one, it would probably be an animated film. Indeed, internet helps a lot in terms of visibility and sharing your music. Without the Internet we would probably still be unsigned for example.
15. What kind of feedback have you received thus far? Can you mention a comment, be it positive or negative, serious or funny, that impressed you?
Sébastien: For now we have, overall, very positive feedback on “Al Azif”. For the story, but I think it's a classic, a reviewer wrote that we could move forward because he perceived our influences perfectly... except that we did not know half of the bands he mentioned in his review.
16. I know you are a signed band, but still do you think that the contemporary metal scene has a place for record labels ? I mean more and more bands do everything on their own and more and more labels don’t support the bands or pay them any money… What’s your view on this phenomenon?
Sébastien: It’s a shame... but we also understand that many labels have no money at all. Our two labels (Ladlo Productions and Antithetic records) are very different but they do all they can for us. We are very lucky to work with them. In our position, to be signed helps us a lot to find concerts, be in contact with people, be visible and credible... they did a lot for us and we want to thank them for that. It's also a great thing that nowadays, bands can do everything on their own, from music production to distribution. But in our case and because TGOO is still a young band, it's an invaluable help. They handle things like promotion and distribution better than we could have handle them ourselves.
17. What kind of feelings and thoughts do you think your music creates to your listeners?
Xavier: This must be unique to everyone but probably some relaxation, which favors a dark reverie and sometimes maybe a bit disturbing.
18. Thank you! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Both: Thanks to you for this interview and I hope we will have the opportunity to play in your country!