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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hecate Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Recording, mixing, mastering and all the organization behind have already required a lot of energy on our part, so for the moment, we are taking a short break, although we have already played two gigs since that. We are currently focusing on promoting the album and its release and are also planning some upcoming concerts.

2.You have a new album coming out in March, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Broadly speaking, Ode au désert suspendu follows on from Une voix venue d'ailleurs, but we tried to push the influences and overall quality even further. Our previous album laid the foundations for a style that we were trying to find before, by experimenting with different orientations, from a Black Metal tinted with Heavy or more epic roots, to a heavier and more ritualistic kind of Black Sludge. Now that we have defined the style of a Black Metal playing on musical chiaroscuro and based on a variety of emotions and tessitura, we wish to explore this path more deeply. Also, this latest album can be influenced by Black as well as Post-Rock, Classic, or even videogames and OST from Japanese animation. This is without a doubt the release we are most proud of since the creation of the band.

3.Your lyrics cover literature, myths and cosmos themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

The informations written on Metal Archives are not up to date, alas. These themes were central for us several years ago, when we had a very romantic way to write our lyrics: influence of Baudelaire’s poetry, themes revolving around myths or literary figures, et cetera. But the more time passes and the more our lyrics are influenced by contemporary poetry, although they are still written in rhyming Alexandrines. About our lyrics, we try to focus more on formal beauty, plays of sonority or explosion of the meaning of language than on well-defined themes; but some of them can be recursive, as the flow of time, the matter of human desire and body, loneliness or oniric dreams.

4.I know that the band was named after an ancient goddess in Greek Mythology, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

With Selene and Artemis, Hecate constitutes the lunar Triad. She is often associated with the new moon or the black moon, that is to say with death or shadows, but she cannot be taken independently of the two other goddesses that complete her ; hence the fact that it is often depicted with a triple body. But even in herself, she bears a kind of bipolarity: she is as much goddess of fertility, wealth and wisdom as the goddess of shadows and dead souls. This bipolarity perfectly illustrates the chiaroscuro we wish to embody in our music, solar and lunar as well. On the other hand, we do not associate ourselves at all with the meanings more versed in black magic that can be found in certain interpretations of this goddess; not that they are false, but we don’t fit into it.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

As for our previous album, the artwork was made by Jibus, who already, for Une voix venue d’ailleurs, had perfectly illustrated the lunar and twilight glow that we wanted to transcribe. As far as the present artwork is concerned, we have taken inspiration from several existing works. First of all, from a preparatory illustration by Schinkel, dating from 1815, for the staging of Mozart's The Magic Flute (it shows the great starry vault that forms like a celestial cone). Another example is Friedrich's Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, for the compact mass that the perspective brings out, which seems as much liquid as vaporous. Thirdly, we wanted to include once again a female figure on the cover, already to create a link with Hecate (who remains associated with fertility), but also by drawing inspiration from the representations of the muses: here, the divine, manic inspiration comes from an unctuous juice that flows directly from the moon and lodges itself into the cup of the muse. We believe that this cover, in its richness and refinement, is a perfect representation of what our music embodies.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We really have great memories of a gig we played in Paris alongside Deathcode Society and Acherontas; all the bands made excellent sets, and our performance was clearly up to all our expectations. Very recently, we also played a private concert for our tenth anniversary, in our homeland, side by side with Wyrms, Devilspit and other Black formations: we had planned a special one-hour show covering all the periods of our career, and it was frankly moving to play on this occasion. Aside from that, our shows remain very regular, there’s not a lot to tell about them. We sometimes try to experiment with specific sets or costumes, but it really depends on the capacity or regulations of the venues. In general, we focus more on the effectiveness of our performance than on formal details.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

For the moment, we have already planned a few concerts in France, alongside bands such as Aetheria Conscientia and Smerter. About another project we're working on right now, we'd really like to do a small tour with two great French bands, A/Oratos and Étoile Filante, but that's still very much in the embryonic stages at the moment. Finally, we may have another tour planned in the coming year with our label, but we'll reveal more in due course.

8.The new album is coming out on 'Mourning Light Records', how did you get in contact with this label?

They're the ones who contacted us, quite simply! We hadn't even originally planned a label for our previous album and released it independently. Mourning Light liked it very much and contacted us asking if we were interested in joining their roster; they had just been created and we were one of the very first bands to join them. But we don't regret a single moment, the collaboration always went very well, we have a lot of latitude to act and they are very attentive to our requests; so we sincerely hope to keep on this way.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?

Apart from the comments we can read on the links where our music is broadcast, and a few messages we may receive, we don't really know what the listeners think about us, even if the echoes we may get are always very positive, enthusiastic and warm. We ourselves are very demanding of our own band, and we always know which points to improve first. So the pressure for Ode au désert suspendu wasn't really the opinion of the public, but our own satisfaction, and that was something much more difficult to achieve! We can in no way control the opinion of Black Metal fans, so the reactions will be as they will be, no more.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Libra, our bass player, is extremely invested in his Folk/Pirate project, Toter Fisch: they play a lot of gigs throughout France and even Europe, so he doesn't have time to get bored. F.V., our rhythm guitarist, is also doing some gigs with his Slam/Death band, Scumbags, and will be playing a few dates in France with them during the mouths to come. For the rest of the members, Nox, Veines Noires and Silence are still part of the Depressive Black Metal band Ostium, which is at a standstill for the moment, although new compositions have been written. Nevertheless, with the evolution of everyone's personal and professional situation, we can't do too much either, so from now on, we give priority to quality over quantity.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We have absolutely no idea, and all the beauty lies here. Our existence is a constant renewal of surprises, and we prefer to wait to see where the destiny leads us rather than to multiply plans which will never succeed

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

We can't really talk about well-defined influences for the band because in fact, Hecate has never claimed to fit into this or that particular lineage or to follow a trend that works particularly well at a given moment T to run out of steam later: the goal remains to make music with our guts; even if there are undoubtedly multiple unconscious influences that have forged each album as it is. We think it clearly depends on the steps we’ve gone through: at the very beginning, we were more influenced by bands as Dissection, Immortal, Naglfar or Lord Belial, bands that mix Black as well as Death or Heavy with their music. We have crossed a very short period in which you could find more Sludge or ritualistic roots (in particular on our EP from 2017, Apeiron). For the last two albums, we can just as well base ourselves on totally experimental bands like Krallice or on much more traditional and efficient schemes, coming from the Quebec Black from Forteresse or Csejthe, as well as bands like Mgła, Plaga, Misþyrming or Naðra. Nowadays, about the bands we’re listening to, and without mentioning the bands even quoted here, we could quote others like Blut us Nord, Deathspell Omega, Yeruselem, Borknagar, Atlantean Kodex, (DOLCH), Midnight Odyssey, and many more…

13/Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Absolutely none, thank you for your interest!

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