I am sure most of our readers don’t know a thing about you – could you please introduce yourself and tell a bit about your background?
Lacrymae – Formed in 06’, we’re a progressive metal band from Perth, Western Australia. Our current line up consists of musicians from a wide range of musical genres, starting from Agostino who’s studying a bachelor of classical music to Teaguen who’s heavily involved in all things blues and jazz!
What kind of hopes and expectations do you have for ‘The Hallowed Design’?
Lacrymae - To develop an audience outside Perth, expose ourselves to the world and show that Australians are capable of music that extends beyond AC/DC and Jet.
If you had to choose one song you feel represents you, which song would you choose and why? Personally I would pick the title track, a song I feel captures the essence of Lacrymae pretty well.
Lacrymae - Musically the title track is probably the best representation of Lacrymae. It was the most recent song on the EP to be written and in fact the only song written with the complete 2009 line-up. It clearly shows our huge range of influences - the bridge alone borrowing heavily from death and black metal and segueing into a baroque interlude with counterpoint harmony and harpsichord. Sounds kind of haphazard, but maintaining a natural musical flow is something we put a great deal of emphasis on, so it doesn't sound too pretentious. It's us in a nutshell.
How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?
Lacrymae - Don't know for sure! The recording process was an extremely long and dynamic one with so many small changes here and there that we lost sight of the initial picture and replaced it with a thousand more different versions. Either way, we're happy with the outcome.
Can you give us a brief introduction on the lyrical concept behind ‘The Hallowed Design’?
Lacrymae - Fundamentally, The Hallowed Design is a loose concept album that explores oppression - not on a societal level but rather a more personal, individual level, seen through the eyes of one (or several!) unnamed protagonists. For instance, The Forgotten is quite literal in this regard, following an anonymous homeless man who is prevented from fulfilling his potential not only by a society that doesn't want him, but also by his own reluctance to be accepted; self inflicted oppression. He's caught in limbo, and the only sure way he knows out is to simply wait and die (I know time will save my soul - the final lyric from the song). Similarly Theorem deals with indoctrination into religious extremism and the taking away of individual thought through the application of fear, oppression in a different context.
Why did you choose to call your album ‘The Hallowed Design’ as the title for the EP?
Lacrymae - The title track basically describes the culmination of this idea in the most tragic way, an unswerving acceptance with no desire to escape. Ignorant denial is perverted form of perfection - it's how those who manipulate design you to be.
Tell us a bit about the artwork… quite simple…
Lacrymae - We commissioned our friend and professional illustrator, Chris Nixon to create the artwork. We decided early on to shy away from the typical vague abstract pieces in favour of grittier representations which gives a little bit of context to the lyrics. The decision for the inclusion of only partial lyrics was mainly an aesthetic one; we wanted to let the artwork do the talking, so to speak.
Perth – remote, most say isolated, does that contribute to your music – and others – because the few bands I’ve heard from there, does not sound like others?
Lacrymae - Perth's a fairly boring medium sized city, although it is a little bit out of the way, I can't imagine living in it is too different to any other of the hundreds of boring, medium sized cities around the world. Maybe it's the fact that we have such a small, but excellent close knit music scene and every band is trying to do something different to the guys next door. We push each other... there's a lot of friendly rivalry, I think.
Is the camaraderie strong among the bands in Perth, do you all try to spread the word for each other?
Lacrymae – To an extent, yes. The one drawback of being relatively remote is that bands don't get the exposure that they probably deserve, and it's incredibly frustrating. Everybody knows this, and the only way any of us are going to get ahead is if we all support each other in the scene and work exceptionally hard at it.
You are releasing this EP on your own; why and do you see this as an advantage?
Lacrymae - Simply put - cost effectiveness. We're hardly living like kings... However, it turned out that the recording process was one big learning experience and we are all the richer for it (metaphorically haha). We do have someone taking care of distribution which does make things a lot easier for independent artists.
2010 has just begun, but which albums impressed you in 2009?
Lacrymae - Local guys Karnivool - Sound Awake and Voyager - I am the Revolution, Carach Angren - Lamnendam, OSI - Blood, Pain of Salvation - Ending Themes. Scar Symmetry - Dark Matter Dimensions, and countless others which were probably released in 2008 but didn't pick them up until last year. Unfortunately most of the guys that Agostino listens to have been dead for 200 years or more.
What tasks lay immediately ahead of you – any plans taking the EP our on the road, single shows or…?
Lacrymae - Immediately in front - writing. After such a long haul focusing on recording, production, reproduction, rerecording, rewriting, re-rerecording etc. it's time to get the creative juices flowing and start to have fun again. Otherwise, it's just feels like hard work. Later down the track towards mid / end of the year, hopefully we will embark on our first tour down the east coast of Australia.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?
Lacrymae - If you like us, tell your friends. Spread the word as we’d love to play to European crowds one day!
Interviewed by Kenn Jensen