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Friday, December 28, 2018

Gorgon Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording of the new album?
I decided to rebirth the band in early December 2017 and I immediately booked the recording studio. The date of entry was early June 2018, also I had a few months to compose the content of what I thought was a mini-cd in the beginning. The French label Osmose Productions, among others showed interest and by signing with them they asked me for an album rather than a 5 tracks. Also, since Gorgon’s albums have all 11 tracks, I had finally to compose 10 new songs because Hreidmarr (ex-Anorexia Nervosia) composed an intro in parallel. The recording sessions and mixing took place at ArtMusic Studios with Seb Camhi in June. In addition, another guest came on it, the famous Italian singer Cadaveria (from the band of the same name) who came directly to the studio to make her parts. In September we finalized the artwork for the 3 versions (CD, cassette and vinyl) and everything was sent to the press for an imminent release now.

2.You have a new album coming out during the beginning of 2019, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I think this new album is the most brutal of our career, but this aspect of things came naturally. I did not try to copy what is currently being done or any particular band. The composition was made in a few months with regular work to find all the ideas I needed to achieve a satisfactory result. Moreover, this album enjoys the best sound we have ever had and it strengthens the impact of the songs, highlights some details. The vocal recording sessions were more intense too.

3.This is also your first full length since 2019, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time span?
Since our 4th album «The Spectral Voices», even if the band had not splitted up, it was no longer in activities. Meanwhile some records are out as a split CD with O.T.A.L. released by three French labels or our first demo in vinyl. At the end of 2017 I felt the need to do black metal because what I had been seeing for years, mainly in concert, was not great, so I decided to bring my vision of the thing

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore on the newer album?
The subjects are mainly based on Satanism, witchcraft, death and the dark side in general. Classical themes for this style but just too many bands calling themselves black metal use other topics in their texts, which is not compatible for me.

5.I know that the bands name comes form Greek Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?
I am not particularly interested in Greek Mythology in general even if on our E.P. there was also a track on one of these deities. The name of the band was found in 1991 on a book of demonology where from «Demogorgon», the name noted, I only kept the second part. I like old stories, but from all parts of the globe, even if those of Greece are rich in matter and relatively well known.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The artwork was made by a French tattoo artist, Stef Dess, who admired the group, offered to do work for us. Having been able to judge his artistic qualities, he made us the cover and all the interior drawings. Each song is illustrated by a specific drawing. Subsequently he also made the two visuals of the new t-shirt. The front of the cover, which he called «The birth of the Antichrist» makes really « middle-age » for me, which corresponds to the atmosphere of the album where witchcraft is very present.

7.You have been playing black metal since 1991 and where one of the first black metal bands in France, do you feel you have been a huge influence on the later bands that have came from the same country?
Yes, we are certainly among the pioneers, but I have the impression that the French scene is more inspired by the Norwegian scene and Dark Throne and Immortal in particular. The emergence of new bands often comes from a fashion and it was these two bands that were particularly highlighted at one time, hence the many French copies. Dark Funeral or Marduk have also been under the lights of the media, but for example not Beherit or Necromantia, hence the fact that there are not especially French groups in their wake.

8.With the exception of a drummer you recorded everything by yourself on the album but have had a full line up in the past, do you feel it is very hard to find musicians that share the same vision that you have for black metal?
I would much prefer to have a complete line-up with drummer, bassist and second guitarist but for this album I felt it was easier for me to make all the instruments I could, for a saving of time and efficiency. I thought for a moment that the drummer of our first three albums, seen at an Absu concert a few months before reviving Gorgon, could do the job but he didn’t answer. In addition, the last bass player of the band to whom I also proposed to do parts of his instrument declined my offer. Except for the drummer of our 4th album, which now makes guitar in a heavy-metal band, no longer any former member of Gorgon makes music. I think I can find musicians, but what I want is guys involved, for whom black metal is not something to be taken in the second degree. It has to run through their veins and not be a cool thing until finally in a few weeks they start to play death metal or something else. That is why I paid for a session drummer. He made his parts but is not an official member.

9.What where some of the best shows that the band played in the past and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We were good in concert, especially between 1995 and 1999, there was a lot of intensities and the songs were going well. In our early days we had less experience and in hindsight there were things we could improve. Toward the end of 2000-2001, I was the sole guitarist and I think it lacked power. I have two concerts in memory that I particularly enjoyed. The first date of the end of 1995 and took place in Clermont-Ferrand in France with Malveilance. It was sold-out and it was very evil. The audience wasn’t moving, and when we asked why after the concert, it was just because the audience didn’t want anything missing from the show. The second most memorable gig is the one in the town of Luynes in autumn 1997. We were never as prepared as I think that night, and everything worked out fine. It was the most powerful. Our performances were different every time, during the shows there was blood, make-up, video screenings, covers (Burzum, Venom, ..), guests like the members of Count Nosferatu and it was also related to the different lines-ups that the band knew and the new songs we had. There is no classical concert to offer invariably, each date was special and unique.

10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your recordings by fans of black metal?
Everybody does not know that the band is back, and from more, a new generation appeared which does not know us specially, except by name maybe. The veterans of the scene, mainly in France, are happy for the greater part but wait rightly for the album to judge. Where in the 90s there were 15-20 bands in France, we have to be more than 300 now. All over the world, the news of our return circulates slowly but the plague will be spread more once the album will be out. Furthermore you should not ignore the number of productions which go out and the public cannot discover everything. When our 3rd album was released in 1998, it had near 1800 metal albums released that year, all styles combined. In 2017 there were more than 7700. These numbers do not take into account E.P., demos or reprint, so in 2019, we will be among the 7000 and some metal albums to be released. However, with the web, which did not exist in the 90s, I also know that we touch black metal fans who would not have known us before. I have faith in the potential of the album and the promotion that will come from your help.

11.What can we expect musically on future releases?
Since the end of the recording of summer 2018, I have started to compose again and the future songs seem faster to me even if I only rely on the 5 songs I have already written. It also seems to be more complex musically, and it’s good that these tracks are still different from what I’ve done. At the moment, I am always alone, but if in the near future a line-up was set up, it is also possible that the guys could bring me ideas that I would not have thought of, thus bringing new blood into the composition.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I currently enjoy a lot of Finnish bands like Curse Upon A Prayer, Sacrificium Carmen or Kryptamok, but I also listen new artists that come out, thanks to the web, to make me an opinion and discover interesting things to my ears. I give everyone a chance, regardless of their nationality, label or popularity. I don’t think, however, that I am influenced by a particular band, but may be by a style of composition with two different guitars, where as sometimes black metal bands, even with two guitars, offers only one rhythm instead of a melody and a rhythmic guitar.

13.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
There are so many different and sometimes even opposite visions, that I sorted and pioched in what was right for me to make my opinion. But for my part I do not belong to any organized group even if I can support them occasionally because behind it there is usually a common idea.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I know that this new album is long awaited by some, because since the announcement of the return of the band, only rares information has circulated, and especially no concert has taken place to judge what we are currently worth. Reviews or few interviews have provoked interest. I did my best to make this album the most faithful performance of Gorgon in 2018-19. I have no regrets about its content when sometimes, in the past, I would have liked to change such and such a detail. This is a good sign………..

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