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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Euphrasia Interview

1.Can you introduce the musical project for those that have never heard of you before?

Hi, my name is David and I am 19 years old. Euphrasia is a musical project from Zurich, Switzerland, I started on my own about 3 years ago. The desire was to create my expressions and views of how I think about the world, or how I see it and feel about it, in a musical way I can completely define by myself. I have not been very long into the whole spectre of Black Metal by the time of the first trys creating songs, but I had a very clear view of how I wanted this project to be.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is present on the demo?

That’s difficult, because on the demo you’ll find songs that were created 2 years ago, and songs I’ve finished just before I started recording everything. So there’s a lot of time, where I – like all the time actually – discovered new bands, new styles of music, that influenced me again in a special way, especially for how I write my music.
I’d define the sound on the demo as a combination of Atmospheric-, Depressive- and Post-Black Metal.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

The project serves as a personal dispute for topics that have – at first sight - a personal background, like beeing overwhelmed from feelings of despair when thinking about today’s condition of the world. But this refers to the other topics, which are about my political awareness and my beliefs, which I express in a lyrical and emotional way.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Euphrasia?

Well to be honest, there’s is not that much of an „inspiration“ behind the name Euphrasia. I came across the name by accident, while searching for a name I like.
It’s the greek botanic definition of a plant, the german name is „Augentrost“ (could be translated in „solace for eyes“). It is used mostly in the alternative medicine as an aid against disorders in the area of the eyes. The greek expression means: joy.
I see it as fitting, because behind all my pessimistic views of the ongoing history of mankind there’s is also always this little hope and a little optimism, which can also overwhelm me in certain situations. You can call this some sort of solace.

5.Currently there is only 1 person involved with the project, are you open to working with other musicians in the future or do you choose to remain solos?

Yes, I’ve planned working with other musicians for future releases and songs.
There are no clear statements I can give, but there will pretty sure be guest vocals from a friend of mine on one of the next songs. For the whole writing process I’ve decided to stay on my own at the moment. There are also thoughts about getting this project ready for concerts, but this is not sure at all in the current situation.
What I definitely can confirm is the planned Split Release with Syrgðr Skógr somewhen next year.

6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

I’m not actively looking to get signed at a label, but if there will be offers from labels, which I find interesting to work with, then I’ll maybe change my view.
The important thing to me is not to share stage with NSBM bands or bands that sympathize with reactionary, far-right policital views.
The only offer I’m really thinking about, is the one from Fragile Branch from the US.
If there really will be future cooperations with them, I can’t tell at the moment.

7.How would you describe your Anarchist views?

First of all: I do not see myself as an anarchist. I’d say that I sympathize with the radical left, but my political influences cover a lot of different origins and so I’m not sure what sort of political name I’d give me (I also don’t see this as an important thing to do). I believe that the current situation of worldwide capitalist societies does not have it’s source in the „destructive nature“ of mankind, neither in some sort of „greediness“. Modern society is the result of a historical process, a historical process I understand as a history of class war. This is a statement firstly published by Karl Marx, which I think has done some of the most important essays and writings about capitalism – the form of society we unfortunately live in, for it has made it’s way around the globe. I therefore take a lot of my understandings of society from his writings. I think also a big influence for me and especially for Euphrasia are the writings of the „Critical Theory“, specifially the ones from Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer.
They have made really important and interesting notes about the history of civilization, how modern society works and how, despite the whole process of the Enlightenment, we have seen a mass genocide on jewish people during World War II.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your project by fans of black metal?

I don’t really have an overview of where the people, that listen to my music, are actually from. So the feedback is mostly from people I know personally. I had a few feedbacks online, mostly positive, but also some critics on the sound of the demo (which I completely agree with, by now – wait until the new version!)

9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

Difficult to say, because I don’t want to make something static and so I don’t want to set myself limits in experimenting with different musical aspects. I once recorded a song only with acoustic guitars, I never released it – maybe I’ll decide to make a pure acoustic release once in the future, who knows?
My approach is to express something through music. I have a lot of different concerns that could be expressed, and so will the musical forms of expression be different. I will of course not leave the musical territory of Black Metal, I have explicit projects for the other genres I want to explore.

10.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Probably my favourite question, because I love to talk about music and the different bands out there and how much of an influence some of them can be!
I think the most important band or project, which finally inspired me to start this project, is Panopticon. I was completely thrilled, when I discovered his music.
He was like my ideal of connecting political statements I can agree with, with beautiful music.
Another big influence is the whole musical pantheon coming from the Cascadia Area in the US, with all this really great bands like Ash Borer, Fauna, Addaura, Alda, Falls of Rauros, Agalloch - to name a few - and of course: Wolves in the Throne Room, who left me completely stunned the 2 times I had the pleasure to see them live. Besides these - more or less - „modern“ bands, there are of course all the „traditional“ Black Metal bands I listen to, like Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Kvist, Ulver and Taake. So, I think most of the time, I listen to music you could associate with Black Metal. Besides that, there is a lot of Crust, Hardcore Punk, Post-Hardcore and all the new bands who make some sort of mix out of it – the best example and also my favourite would be Alpinist (or Converge).
But for quiet times, when I’m doing something I need to focus on, I also love to listen to Ambient, more and more I’m getting into Singer/Songwriting and the whole Bluegrass stuff, and yeah, even Reggae. I’m actually listening to music all the time – except for while I’m sleeping (even then sometimes).
A band I’m listening to a lot at the moment, that I really recommend, is Nhor.

11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Like said above, I’m almost permanent connected with music, be it by writing or doing it myself, listening to it or searching for it, so there’s almost no „outside“.
But I like running a lot, that’s something I’ve been doing seriously since this Spring.
Next to that I spend a lot of time reading books & essays, mostly about political stuff.
Then of course I love walks in the forest and here in Switzerland we have a really great hiking road system, so I try to spare me some time I can spend on hiking through special places. And I try to see the people that are important to me as often as I can. And because I like to eat good food, I also spend a lot of time on cooking vegan meals, mostly with my girlfriend.

12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Yeah, thank you very much for offering me to do this interview, it was quiet interesting getting asked these sort of questions. And I’d like to thank the people reading this and showing interest in my music for doing so, it is really an honour that my musical expression is getting heard out there!
My last words are: check out Syrgðr Skógr, he’s from northern Germany and does some of the most atmospheric music I’ve heard in a while!


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