MENACE RUINE - 5 Fragen, viele Antworten
Unsere Rubrik 'Quintessenz' in lang
Your first musical steps were especially appreciated by Black Metal fans. Later on, your profil changed over the years. Do you still have any connection to the world of Black Metal, musically or philosophically?
We never had any official connection with the world of BM, or any other musical ‘community’. We are just loners who make a few friends along the way, not that we don’t want to connect with other musicians, or people from specific scenes, but since we always work intuitively on our music, we don’t fit in very easily, and I guess people come more intuitively to our music, or I hope so... We have noticed over the years that the album black metal fans or musicians prefered of ours was not necessarily Cult of Ruins, the one with the more typical BM elements, such as blasts beats and BM vocals, and that nobody accused us of inconsistency, even if we went in different directions, and this is great for us. Black metal was a common musical territory for S. and I at this time, which lit the fuse of MR and was important at the time, but those elements disappeared quite rapidly, though doubtless there's a little bit that remains. I am very interested in chanelling primitive energies, and my voice is the best instrument to do this with, the rawest expression of myself. And being unafraid of delivering something more sincere and emotionally charged... I guess this is another element that brought Menace Ruine to life.
Learning that we could use such a powerful energy in service of our music, as a kind of vessel for something much larger and more important than our own little persons, and sharing it with other people without feeling ashamed or being afraid of scaring them was a wonderful feeling. There is a force at work in playing the music live as well - the second the music stops I feel so vulnerable being on stage, like a deflated balloon, but as soon as it starts again I am just driven by it. And this wonder happens to anyone who sincerely plays their music with all their heart and soul, I am sure.
I am not really into agressive stuff, but I worship intensity in music. Nothing is more moving than religious music to me, music addressed to gods, spirits, ancestors... Prayers without any notion of time and space, any materiality, only reverence towards everything that is above us, nature and whatever other powers that allow us to be alive. It is not in the typical BM philosophy, as you can see, but we still love many BM bands, and speaking only for myself I can say that it is the only category of metal that finds some resonance with me, for the more atmospheric aspects, the openness, and lyrical themes sometimes, when it is not too cliché or purely aesthetic, and the primitive energy of it. It is interesting for us to answer your questions after our tour, since we have been able to see that some BM fans are still coming to talk to us, and trying to explain how our music is not officially BM but is, in a certain way, hehe... that there is something, yes, but what is it? But do we really have to put a label on it?
I had the most beautiful comment from a metal fan in Zagreb: ‘Your voice is like an atavism’, or something like that... It stuck in my mind! I like things that don't need words, or any other language except energy, inexpressible feelings, without needing to explain or categorise, or question anything at all because those things can't lie! The rawness of our sound, and the delivery, the colour of our music and the connection to this primitive flow of energy I was talking about are probably some words I can risk to describe this 'connection' we still have with the BM scene.
On and off, I am already astounded about your sound. A guitar wall of sound without a guitar, if that is right and I am well-informed. How did you invent that sound, and how do you create it? You really don't touch a guitar??
Guitar is my favourite instrument to play, but since I have had various issues with my fingers, including breaking one and freezing some others, and because I still have chronic difficulties with my joints, especially with the long winters we have here in Quebec, I set it aside for most of the 2000s and worked on more electronic projects with S., which eventually led to MR. We did a concert with different material in 2006, and it was not a highlight for us, but we realised then that we could play 'guitar riffs' directly on synths rather than sampling them and operating them with controllers, and that it was quite fun to do this. So that is how this path of experimentation began. I started using my synth through my pedals and guitar amp which brings a certain guitar-like texture and tone to the sounds we use, and S. did the same with his bass amp and pedals. Certainly my guitar playing has influenced my synth playing, and the distorted tone of the sounds inspired me to play guitar-like riffs in the beginning, but that did not last for very long. Afterwards I went more towards density and texture, the playing having less pulsations, and the semi-random harmonic elements of the distortion began to define the rhythms and progressions in themselves, influencing the composition, and so I just allow the sounds I make to guide me... But still, people seem to think it's guitar sometimes, but no guitar in Menace Ruine, I swear.
Your lyrics aren't easy to understand and to interpret. Is there a central theme, are there some special and permanent MENACE RUINE themes on all of your albums?
Oh yes, I can see one, or really more than one which follow the same path. I work instinctively, by trial and error, and there is a progression within the themes, which corresponds to my personal evolution as well, I hope! As I don't feel very attached to this 'terrestrial' life, if I can put it like that, and not very able to participate in what it has to offer, I have always felt a little disconnected, or between two worlds. I would say that the themes revolve around the disconnection between the material and divine worlds, the difficulty of having a physical body and the hope of finding a way to live without it, with fewer and fewer earthly needs. And, at the same time, to try to escape to the interior, that is to say towards the infinite territories of the unconscious, and in so doing to reconnect with our deep nature which has been lost through civilisation. To rediscover our liberty and lightness, and to rejoin the light, in hope of eventually experiencing the divine. It's still in the trying stage, hehe, but to at least attempt to evade earthly life by living in such a way as to have the least dependence on what it imposes on us, of what keeps us attached to it. But it is also a search for 'self' in a more purely Jungian psychological sense, and it is there that the notions of alchemy intervene, and where everything comes together, and where the lyrical work becomes fascinating, where the magic happens... The hope of arriving at a constant fire, and to keep faith through all the hardship.
Often there are animals on your album covers. A bird, a swarm of birds and now a salamander. Is this an allusion to an issue which seems to be very important for both of you, to veganism? Or do the animals stand for something completely different?
Animals are used for their mythological significance, the specific symbolism they embody which is often related to their appearance, behavior and particular skills, and the beliefs people have had about them through history.
Yes, it is true, animals are very present in our visuals, and also in those of my other project Preterite. They are admirable and sincere creatures, with a great evocative power for we who have lost our connection to nature. Animals are more interesting, being truer to their fundamental natures, and they should stand as examples for us. We humans are degenerate. Animals have kept their instincts, unlike us, and we ask ourselves why we feel unhappy, or lost. Animals can help us rediscover these instincts, by what they evoke or inspire in us, either by direct contact or through the subconscious, and we owe them our respect. In this sense of respect, yes, there is some link to our veganism, but the animals on our covers make no direct reference to this.
More specifically, there are birds, or winged creatures, like the angel on The Die is Cast and Hecate on In Vulva, (and birds frequently serve as an attribute of goddesses, female spirits, wise women, witches... and there is, of course, a lot of feminine power at work in MR) on the covers of our five albums, and it is something we noticed only recently, after finishing the artwork for Alight in Ashes, and this says a lot to me. Birds often represent the immortal human soul, and also messengers or mediators between the visible and tangible world of the living and the upper, invisible sky of ancestors, gods and spirits... They are free creatures, transcending the limits of movement, escaping the weight of their bodies... For example, on the last album, the bird can be seen as an Earth diver, the bird who must plunge into the primal waters to bring back what is needed to build an habitable land, the beginnings originating from the depths, which goes along completely with the main theme of healing. It is fascinating when you start to notice things afterwards, as in dreams, and to realize that everything was aligned on every plane. Then you are sure you are on the right path.
You are considered to be very chary and solitary. Now you are on an expansive tour through Europe. How does this work together? Playing on stage, ist it fun or work?
Ah... very difficult. We will not do another tour as long as this one, at least not without better conditions. I decided immediately after the fourth show that this would be our last tour, and felt a bit relieved at the moment, but we still had 16 shows to play... Touring makes me feel as if my 'real' life is suspended, even if music is my main activity in life, and that I should be home making music instead of remaining in that constant survival mode to bring it out live. Of course, always being surrounded by people is hard too... I tried to close my eyes and just disappear but it did not work very well! The fact that we were travelling with wonderful people (Mamiffer being Faith and Aaron, with Joe Preston and Brad Mowen on bass and drums respectively, our soundman Chris Fullard and our driver and tour manager Ozak of Nomads of Prague) with this beautiful sense of friendship and mutual aid, with much exchange of laughter, made the experience easier, it is certain.
And, despite the fact that I was missing solitude terribly, the love of people who came to see us and thank us for coming to play for them was touching, and we thank them in return for this positive energy that they gave to us, which turned this difficult trial into an uplifting, luminous experience, and which has inspired me to make even more music. I see tours as things that suck your energy at the time, but make you stronger, more solid, at the same time. The balance is absolutely positive. Again, I am happy that I'm answering your questions from back at home, otherwise the interview might not have finished on such a high note, hehe. Thanks!
Michael We. für nonpop.de
Verweise zum Artikel:
» MENACE RUINE
» MR @ discogs
» MENACE RUINE: Venus Armata
» VARIOUS: No Red Seas Vol. II
» REI REA: Selected Works I (Still Suns)
» MENACE RUINE: Alight In Ashes
» MENACE RUINE: Union Of Irreconcilables
» MENACE RUINE: The Die Is Cast
» Neue VÖs auf dem Label von MENACE RUINE
» Drei neue Tapes auf dem Label von MENACE RUINE
» Album von MENACE RUINE Mitte Oktober!
» MENACE RUINE mit exklusivem Song auf Sampler
» UNION FINALE mit neuen Veröffentlichungen
» MENACE RUINE mit Album in 2014
» MENACE RUINE gründen Label
» MENACE RUINE mit Album im September
» Diverse Neuigkeiten rund um MENACE RUINE
» MENACE RUINE-Album jetzt als LP
» Unterstützung für MENACE RUINE in Deutschland
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