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lunedì 28 maggio 2012
Translation: Dope Fiend
Tom Dosser - Bass, Vocals
Tom Michels - Drums
Marc Dosser - Guitars, Vocals
Oli Scheeck - Guitars
They are death metal workers, Desdemonia is one of the bands that continue to produce music with passion and this year celebrate their fifteen years of activity.
Welcome to our site, how it feels to have in a lot of history to be able to tell?
Hi, thanx for having us. It actually feels weird to know that we are now playing for fifteen years and that we survived the test of the time. But it feels good to know that sticking to our musical believes and not changing with every fashion that came around in metal, was the right way to go.
How did Desdemonia born, who are the members of the line up and what are the bands that have inspired you?
Desdemonia was actually formed in 1994 by Tom Michels and Marc Dosser. The other members are Tom Dosser and Oli Scheeck. The first gig was in december 1996, so celebrating our anniversary this year was appropriate. Influences came from every possible corner of metal music back then but we stayed always open-minded to other styles of music. This is important to keep the creativity fresh.
What happened from 2001 to 2010, the year that saw the release of the third chapter, "Existence"? The band was put into a state of hibernation?
When we released "Paralyzed" in 2001, we went endlessly on tour to play our songs live. We kept being asked all the time to play different countries in Europe. Also every member was studying hard in different countries (Germany, France and Belgium), so we didn't find the time to get in a studio together and record the new songs. Our main idea was actually to build a studio of our own. So when we all came back to Luxembourg for good, we started building the studio and recording our new songs. And this took time as well. When "Existence" came out in 2010, we made a big release concert in Luxembourg where a audience of five hundred assisted.
If there is one word that I think might represent your way of making music is: coherence. Having listened to all three albums, I noticed a constant affinity of sounds and intentions, with the only difference that in "Paralyzed" above all, there were strange dark echoes, almost "dark wave" oriented, that flowed. How did your songs born? Who are the authors of the music and lyrics?
Yes, I think you have found the right word here for our music: coherence. Actually we never intended to sound like any band. We just write music in a very innocent way. Our music is a collaborative effort, so all four of us are in the room when ideas are being put together. We incorporate everything that feels right to every member of the band. Our songs often start out with a riff where we build a song around. We try to concentrate more on one theme in a song than try to incorporate a thousand ideas and get lost. Of course you can hear a development of the songwriting and sound from "Same" to "Paralyzed" to "Existence". On "Paralyzed" we tried to keep it compact in musical terms and straight to the point. On "Existence", the songwriting changed slightly and became a little more progressive while keeping the Desdemonia sound.
I consider "Existence" a good back on track, having heard it several times (you will find the review on the site), I noticed how much longer is this a genuine form and simply death metal, sometimes it's nice not having to "deal with" proposals that are not forcedly old school or too technically enforced. I mention these three songs to represent the inherent platter quotes: "Overload", "Existence" and "Lay Down Your Crown". What is that still gives you the incentive to play death metal and interpret it in this way?
Since day one, we never wanted to sound exactly like one of our influences. We never followed trends. It was always important to us to keep the inspiration and keep our music free from the cliché. We don’t need our songs to be a technical showoff neither. All that imports is a good song we can relate to. And if we can relate to it, hopefully other people can as well. Our songs are a collaborative effort, it comes from all four band members and it is this what makes our music sound the way it does. One main aim, I think, is always to write music the way we would want to hear it as a listener. A good groove and recognizable song patterns that make people move are important to us. On the other hand, acoustic and more melodic parts bring air into the songs. A good combination of both is what makes a song good.
Each album is a son of the time, members of the band who interpret it and emotions that are put into play at that historic "moment". The second point was and it is for you a certainty of continuity, since the line-up is established from the beginnig (or almost). If you were to submit your three works to a listener who has not yet had occasion to approach them, how would you do?
Of course, in an album you’ll always hear the way people thought and played at that very moment. You can also hear the experience and the technical possibilities of that time. I would submit a listener our work chronologically. I would start to show him "Same", our first album, on which were all the songs, we had written till that point. The songs have different vibes and were written over a long period where we were still in search of ourselves. We recorded this one in Germany and mastered it in Bruxelles, Belgium. Then of course, I'd give him "Paralyzed". With a little change in the line-up and already a lot of live experience, we knew more, what we were looking for when we were writing the songs to that album. We tried to write songs that came more to the point, shorter but more focused on what's important. Also this time, we went to Germany to do the recording but in a different studio. Because we didn't have much recording time, we worked very focused which helped to make the work sound very direct. "Existence" would be the last album to show. Nine years after the second album, this one contains songs that were written over this period. During that time we were playing a lot of shows all over Europe seeing trends in the metal scene come and go. The recording took longer because every one of us was finishing his studies but also because we had decided to build our own studio and do the recording on our own. So when we finally started in 2008 to do the recordings, we wanted to make it sound exactly like we wanted. And that is what you can hear on "Existence". The songs might have more of a progressive twist while still staying in the Desdemonia vibe of keeping the song structure easily accessible.
Speaking of "passion" for the metal, what is your thought about the scene today? Is there something that bothers you in the contemporary way of making music (marketability, too clean production, aesthetic factor in many cases put in the foreground)?
It's interesting to put some thoughts on this. Our passion has always been the music, in our case metal music. It’s the most intense music that we want to play. Over the fifteen years, we have seen so many trends coming and going. Some bands were changing entirely to match these trends but as soon as the trends changed, these bands disappeared. So for us, the only right thing to do is to stay strong to our musical beliefs and build and follow our own trend within the band. We always liked most of the styles in metal because it showed how open this music is to other influences. It inspired us but we knew how our music needed to sound. What I have remarked though is that in the years 2000, the internet has grandly changed how things work. Today, the looks and artwork seem to have become more important than the music itself. Young bands want to sound exactly like their heroes whereas when we started, bands wanted to have a sound of their own. Young bands don't have the time to develop their own sound because everybody can make a great sounding recording of their music even if they just play for one year. With the use of mp3 players that contain a thousand songs or more, the listeners aren't devoted to certain bands anymore but just to certain songs. I think that today too much time is being spent on the things around instead of keeping an eye on the music. But at the same time, I can see that our local scenes have become really strong. Live shows play an important role now, maybe because people try to find here a reality and a community that’s real.
There is however some peculiarities of the past decades, in terms of sound or of the cultural metal field, which you feel the lack?
As I said before, of course everything changes. I'm not the one to say that changes are bad. I really like change. But I think changes need to be, because the songwriters feel it and not because the market says so. Sound evolves with technology and that is always interesting. But I think that sometimes, it's better to have a record that sound less clean but where the songwriting is great.
How is the Luxembourg scene? Do you feel part of it?
When we started there was hardly a metal scene in Luxembourg. Of course, you had metal heads but they weren't organized. For bigger shows everybody traveled to Germany or France. So we had to start from scratch. The few bands we had around these days, organized everything themselves. Without any internet back then, we even organized ourselves shows with bands like Soilwork and Krisiun on their first tours in Europe. Because Luxembourg is small, we started early on to tour neighboring countries and that was tough back then. During the years more and more people and promoters got the attention of Desdemonia and metal music in Luxembourg. This brought opportunities to play with bands like Apocalytica, Gorefest, Dismember amongst others. During the years 2000, a boom of Luxembourg’s metal bands took place. It has become today a very active scene with some concerts every week. It's good to see that young people who came to our shows are still committed to this music and now play in these new bands that make the Luxembourg scene very exiting. So today it is possible to have, like we did for our "15 Years Of Desdemonia Jubilee Show", five hundred people with only Luxembourg bands and virtually no radio airplay. Video from "15 Years Of Desdemonia Jubilee Show": www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4C_p5JdGL8. Here's a list of all the luxembourgish metal bands today: www.metal-archives.com/lists/LU.
I think that for a band the best thing is can play live their music, how is important this aspect for you? Have you kept it alive for these years of compositional "stasis"?
We are a live band. For us playing live is why we started in the first place. Of course writing is the most important part but bringing your music to the people is always exiting because it's always a great exchange of energy. This exchange makes people go forward and keeps the scene alive.
There is a performance to which you are particularly attached for the memories that she had left you? Positive or negative.
This is a difficult question. There are so many memories. To pinpoint one is really difficult but what's for sure is that every experience, good or bad has helped us to become what we are today. There have been really difficult times on tour where it was all about battling our way trough grim stage and tour managers but then you have great shows with a thousand or even fifty people who make you feel great.
Who are Desdemonia outside the band? Extra-musical passions, work, everyday life?
Well, two of us are teachers, another one is working as doctor on Luxembourg University and one works also at school. And everybody has different passions going from sports to family to partying.
Future projects, there are something in work? Can we expect soon a successor to "Existence"?
We have played a lot during the last two years, so now we want to take some time off and concentrate on songwriting. It's difficult to write new songs when being on stage all the time. Now we can really take some time to work on our ideas. Some crops of songs are already finished. So watch out.
The interview ends here, I leave you the word for a last message, perhaps hoping to see you playing on our own stage.
I would like to thank you very much for your time and energy put into your project. I'd like to thank all your Italian viewers for their interest. Italy is one of the countries we haven't played at all. So that should be our next place to play. Maybe see you there.
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