Photo by Erik Wijnands (www.negakinu.com)
Power of Metal- Hello, congratulations on the new album, ‘Where The Corpses Sink Forever’. A lot of good feedback on the reviews as far as I can tell…
Hello, thanks a lot! Yes indeed, the response has been overwhelming so far, both from the press and fans.
PoM - It took several listens for it to really sink in and even more to really immerse myself into the album. Would you agree if I say that it is by far your most complex album out of the 3?
Well, to me it felt like the writing process for this CD went very smooth and natural somehow but indeed we have grown as musicians and I hope this comes true on the album. I tried to get more and more experienced regarding orchestration and composition so I always try to get better and better with every release.
PoM -It seems this is your most ambitious album as of yet and it’s apparent as you’ve even stated that you’re afraid of 'drowning' out the sounds… I‘m trying to tab out one of your songs at the moment and some parts are so keyboards driven that the guitars are difficult to hear. I asked for a second opinion from a professional musician and he says the same. Haha Do you think you went overboard with the orchestrations? How do you respond to something like that and other form of criticisms in general?
Yes there is a lot of stuff going on and on some points I can imagine it's difficult to filter out one guitar line for example. Overall I tried to blend in the orchestra instead of making it very apparent on this release, in my opinion the orchestra was much more audible on DCTAPS for example and this time we wanted a powerful and emotional mixture. I don't think I went overboard, this is how we like to do it and of course there are people who don't like it, that's ok.
PoM - Assuming it wouldn’t degrade the layers of sound to the point that it would still be cohesive - if you were able to add more tracks to any song, what sort of elements would be added to ‘Where The Corpses Sink Forever’? I believe you wanted to add more sounds in there…
Interesting question, I don't think I would like to add more because there is a lot of stuff in there already and everything is balanced out with very great care.
PoM (T.K) -Your albums are progressive in nature and the songs are organized around one story. How do you approach composing the whole: Do you write the story, lyrics or music first? Do you try to match story elements with fitting musical ideas?
Usually we try to come up with the basic story before really going into detail with the music. This doesn't mean we only start working on the music after this stage but what happens is that music that is read before, starts falling into place once we have a concept. So basically you could say we start with the overall theme and story, then create most of the music and in the end put the definitive lyrics to it. Through all of this we have the end result in mind, the emotions we want to communicate through the music. Sometimes a piece of music can inspire Seregor for lyrics and sometimes the lyrics can inspire me to write a particular piece of music.
PoM (E.H.) - Your music is quite unique and seems to tap into every eerie chill that someone can hear. And as I implied, the music can be so elaborate that it almost begs multiple listens in order to begin to appreciate it in its entirety. Do you have a muse, Zen or specific state of mind for writing?
Thank you. Not really but the main thing that drives us is our enthusiasm for what we do and the album we are working on in particular. I remember for example when Seregor gave me a phone call and talked about the story for 'the funerary dirge of a violinist'. It immediately drew pictures in my mind and I started to compose the basics for that song. We are not the type of musicians that just write a song. We must feel that something great is going on, a story that needs to be told.
Photo by Erik Wijnands (www.negakinu.com)
PoM (E.H.) - Do you ever have trouble writing, what process do find the most difficult?
Of course, sometimes you can sit there for days and nothing comes out. On the other hand, sometimes you can write half an album in a week for example. The more we write, the more confident we get and we know that sometimes you can't force creativity. That doesn't mean it is not difficult to let loose sometimes haha.
The most difficult part is the last part where deadlines get pronounced and we have to record the album, often within a limited time-span with a tight budget, that's how it is these days. Fortunately we have a great producer in the studio; Patrick Damiani, without him we could not put out such quality.
PoM - First the legend of the white lady (La Madame Blanche) of Lammendam, then the flying Dutchman with a brutal and demonic twist… now the horrors of war built around your own story telling. What other ghostly one next?
Good questions! We don't know yet, we will come up with something but it takes some time. We definitely want to do more albums so it's only a matter of time.
PoM - Did Seregor use the same effects as what was used in DCTAPS? His guitar tones always have a distinct sound and distortion to it. What contributes to his sounds and what has he done differently with this album?
As I always tend to say is that Seregor is not your typical guitarplayer. To me he is like a pianoplayer on guitar. He doesn't obey certain typical guitar 'rules' if you know what I mean. As a keyboardplayer and composer I tend to write stuff in all kinds of tonality and he is like 'ok' and finds an incredible riff that goes along with it. As for the sound; this is also Partick Damiani's work, he has an incredible ear for detail and overall production. Usually we enter the studio and we try to find the best possible sound and go for it. It's not like we sit down and talk about it for weeks.
PoM - Lammendam appears to be sold out everywhere. What’s going on with that?
Yes you are right. This is a problem and we hope to solve it very soon!
PoM (E.H.) - In one of the videos you have released on youtube you give Seregor the title ‘He who loses everything’. Would you mind letting us in on that joke? How about the ‘evil goose’?
Haha. Yes it's exactly like that; he loses stuff a lot all of the time. The Evil Goose was an old goose who lived at me and Namtar's mothers place where we used to rehearse in a big caravan. The caravan was actually parked within its territory so every time we would come and go the goose would try to chase us no matter what we did. So at one point our friend and sound guy Rob decided to call it Evil Goose haha. The poor thing died two years ago but it was very old, 30 years old I think.
PoM (H.G. / E.H.) - Judging from the videos that I’ve seen, Carach Angren is a great live act - very visual, filled with awesome theatrics! If you were to suddenly be able to finance a large extravagant live show, what would add?
I think we would add an orchestra, choir and lots of theatrics. Think of actors and complete movie decors moving over the stage. We try to do as much as possible now but indeed would like to build it in the future. One thing I would like to mention is that it shouldn't take over the music if you know what I mean. After all we are a band playing and I know for example that Seregor is the strong visual point in the band, he can do so much live, he's really like an actor if you ask me so it would be a shame to do things that constantly distract from this.
PoM (H.G. / E.H.) - Having a new label must be milestone for you as Season of Mist has conjured up many big bands from their roster many times before. How are they treating you so far and have they spoken of any tour dates in support of the new album, perhaps even in the ‘States? What can we expect from Carach Angren in the future?
Yes it has been great so far, they treat us very well and I think this collaboration can lead to great new things. I hope we can tour the States sometime but there are no plans yet. For now we are promoting the album as much as we can and see what opportunities arise!
PoM - Could you give Mr. Droomers a slight bump in the head because he’s forgotten to send the answers back to our little interview about 2 years ago?
Haha, now you know what the sentence was about!
PoM - This space is yours… A message to your loyal supporters and surely the new listeners of Carach Angren!
Many thanks for this interview!
Thanks for reading and stay haunted! See you at one of our shows!
All photos by Erik Wijnands (www.negakinu.com)