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lunedì 3 ottobre 2011
Cernunnos - All instruments
I want to be honest: "Denuntiatus Cinis" rather deceived me. The new work instead is very equilibrated and interesting.
What's your background as an artist and music listener?
Cernunnos: Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we had a Kohler piano in the house. It was out of tune and a bit beat up, but I remember spending hours playing it. As a child playing was spontaneous where I’d mimic themes from TV shows or movies. As a teenager the piano became inspiration for classical and solo artists, and I would spend hours at a time learning to play Beethoven, Winston, or Scott Joplin. I was also composing original pieces, some of which were adapted to the Dis demo. As I became more interested in hard rock and eventually metal, the piano took a back seat to guitar. Just a fan of music, and although I have some musical education, for the most part I just enjoy creating it.
What pushed you to compose obscure music?
I am not sure what you mean by obscure. I do not intentionally write music a specific way with preconceptions, rather it just comes out the way it does. If by obscure you are referring to extreme or underground metal, then again, never intentional, simply a convolution of influences and styles that led to Hæresiarchs of Dis. I have always gravitated to more extreme forms of composition in art, so I suppose the grandeur and extremity of extreme music took a front seat. I suppose the natural experimental element of the underground fit with me well.
In the new record I discover influences from different musical corners. Which musician particularly fascinate you, even if the not necessarily stimulate your work of composition?
A hard one to pin down, because so many different things directly and indirectly inspire Hæresiarchs of Dis. More recently I have listened to more Ennio Morricone, but I am not sure how much of his compositions influence the new release. In the realm of metal related musicians, again I do not think I can pin any one down for the newest release. Bands like Mercyful Fate, Emperor and Celtic Frost have always remained in the back of my mind when composing.
Please talk about your new record and how you developed the whole.
The latest release "In Obsecration Of The Seven Darks" was developed in conjunction with "Denuntiatus Cinis". In fact, a couple tracks were written originally for "Denuntiatus Cinis" but were cut when it appeared the album was becoming much too long. I do not think I ever intended to release anything more than "Denuntiatus Cinis" but when Moribund Cult picked up Hæresiarchs Of Dis I wanted to be fair to them and offer more than one release. "In Obsecration Of The Seven Darks" is not much different than the previous releases in as much as concept and perception. I have had these songs as riffs or ideas in my mind for a very long time, at least in one form or another. I just wanted to get them out of my head.
Let's play a game. We are in 1989 and not in 2011. How do you think would be you way to work? Which do you think would be the results?
In 1989 I was playing live in another band, a band that while the experience was fun was simply not the best outlet for me. At that time songs I had for a project called Enslaver never came to fruition. It was difficult to find musicians who agreed or wanted to explore the same avenues I wanted, probably because I never fit into any one genre. I doomed myself by possibly being open to different music. If this were 1989, I do not think Hæresiarchs of Dis would exist (although my influences for the band are clearly rooted in the early extreme metal 80s). As a solitary project today, back then it could not have existed. I think it would have been more of a hardcore thing.
How important is it for a musician to perform live in front of an audience?
That depends on whom you ask. I do not think it is important as many artists in various fields have lead solitary existences. The work is what is important about an artist. This is my personal perception having played live and toured for several years, but probably not the case for everyone. Think Kiss and one may gather images of live shows ("Alive" always struck a note with me) and performances. Entertainers through and through, but for me it is more art than entertainment. I do also feel that this kind of extreme music is better experienced in a more meditative situation, away from distraction so the mind can compile its own images and insights based on the soundscape alone.
Spontaneous... what do you think when you hear these terms? Italy – J.S. Bach – Switzerland.
Because of a couple recent films I might think horror cinema with Italy. Switzerland I would think Celtic Frost. Actually, I think Bach fits nicely into the context of this discussion. Classical artists have always been an inspiration to me. Bach is great, but I might have been a little over exposed to him when young and these days Bach gets very little rotation on my music catalogue.
Listening to your work I feel like marching through flatlands which could be the metal parts. Before reaching these open spaces I have to walk through dark forests and caverns represented by the ambient parts. How correct or false is my impression?
I think you are very accurate. I see the album and each song as a journey of sorts. It is a soundtrack that invokes an experience on a myriad of levels… at least that was always the intent. I hope that most listeners would experience grandiose impressions or ideas during a listen.
Some time ago I was concerned by rock’n’roll and its history. Heroes like Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis contributed to revolutionise the way to listen music. This style lives thanks to instruments that are totally different (pianos, guitars, choirs). They produce the same sound though. Do you think it is possible to reproduce the same effect in black metal using conventional instruments like the piano? I never heard such experiments until now, just hybrids.
Yes, I do believe the same effects can be reproduced with any instruments. I do not think the guitar is the staple of black metal, or any instrument for that matter. Black metal resides in the atmosphere or ideas. I was just listening to a CD the other day that was essentially black metal but with a piano instead of guitar. I have also been working on several ideas using piano as the main driving instrument (replacing guitar).
Do you have some amusing or interesting anecdotes from your career as a musician to tell our readers?
I do not have anything, at least that is worth repeating. In recent years everything I do is by myself and rather conventional as far as how the music is delivered and created.
You see me entering your (fictive) music shop and you notice that I keep in my hands your record, but obviously cannot decide if buy it or not. How do you wash my doubts out and convince me to buy the work?
I wouldn’t try to convince you. The choice is entirely up to the buyer. If the buyer likes what is seen in the packaging, and maybe knows a bit about the release having heard it elsewhere (maybe online), then I think that buyer can make an educated choice on whether it will be worth the purchase or not. I think that with a work like “”In Obsecration of the Seven Darks” a potential buyer would know something about it. The music is a little experimental and underground, probably does not appeal to everyone, and therefore not randomly picked up.
How do you see your musical future?
I have other projects I work on aside from music. The Hæresiarchs Of Dis project I cannot predict where it will go. The immediate future holds at least one more album, but probably a second after that. It is an artistic expression that I need to convey. Eventually I may run out of the need to express it and it will be retired. Then again it could go on for a long time. I do not know. Hæresiarchs Of Dis is about the moment.
Many parents tell that arts are no way to earn money. What do you think about?
A falsehood. As with any profession or career endeavour, success is equated to part luck, part skill and talent, and part drive. There is no guarantee any field of work will be successful. That is why we should always do what we want to do, or what we need to do. Life is successful if you are doing what you want.
Is it possible to talk about black metal today in 2011? Personally I think that the chapter was closed about fifteen year ago.
Maybe the term is becoming dated, but the description fits and the force of the music will always have listeners. It is not going to go away, because the name "black metal" is just another term slapped on music that meets specific, although not unique, criteria. Controversial, outrageous, evil, extreme… All this has been associated with rock acts long before black metal emerged out of Norway. Even Franz Liszt and Paganini were fairly outrageous in their time. To me Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost always fit this banner criteria for black metal, and they were around more than 25 years ago. The popularity of the term may have seen wide spread use 15 years ago but the musical form has existed in one form or another much longer.
Thank you very much for your time! The last word is always for my guests!
Thank you for your interest.
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