Translation: Dope Fiend
Ark - Guitars
.ven - Vocals
Thorn - Drums
They come from Switzerland, "Starfall" is their second album, I speak of Moonfrost, Helvetic band which we will know better through the guitarist, Ark.
Welcome to our site. I prefer not to dwell on niceties, let's begin immediately to talk about Moonfrost: Why that name, who are the members of the band, how did the project born and everything that you think might be useful to know about your reality... the word is up to you.
Ark: Hi there. The name Moonfrost represents our expression of black metal. It encompasses two important aspects of black metal: darkness and coldness. Moonfrost was founded by Graven, Thorn and Draugrym, and although we had some additional musicians join the band, we have had this line up most of the time. Two of us changed their pseudonyms though. The band was born in 2001, the main reason being that we weren't happy with the style of our old band, Winterstorm. We wanted to play more raw and aggressive music.
Since I have not had the opportunity to hear the debut, "Towards The Twilight Realm", as you describe it compared with "Starfall"? What are some differences between the two albums released five years later?
Although most material was written around the same time, there are quite a lot of differences. "Towards..." is warm and natural sounding, whereas "Starfall" is cold and sterile. Of course some riffs are similar and the typical drumming and vocals can still be recignized, however the additional instruments are quite different. On "Towards..." only acoustic guitars were added, while on starfall synths, samples, clean guitars and more were added. We also had Seiya Ogino, our session piano player contribute to some songs, which added a further dimension.
"Starfall" is a particular job and certainly not digested only after a couple of plays, as has been composed it? There is a strong link with the black metal more classical matrix and with the atmospheric references, there are discs that you have assimilated over the years that may have affected this mixture of influences?
At the time the songs were written we were mostly inspired by norwegian black metal, but also bands like Lunar Aurora and Abigor left their traces. The music is obviously quite traditional, but we have added some new touches, as we have been influenced by various music styles lately. This may be quite a contrast, but I think it adds a certain depth to the album.
Other important components are the melodies and the atmospheric development of the synth, there is a kind of floating mood that, track to track, find more or less its own stability. There is a mood or a precise thought that you wanted was captured by listening?
We wanted to transmit a cold aura, and the synthesizer was very suited for that. Yes, you are right, the cd can be listened in one go, but also as single tracks one at a time. When we write the songs, we concentrate on the songs by their own, and when we record the album we try to merge the songs together as good as possible, so the whole album becomes a single piece of work with seamless transitions.
I know the comparison is impractical, however, having had in my ears the last Samael and then Moonfrost, I found in common more than I expected, I think there is a way of understanding the genre that combines multiple aspects and in "Starfall" I find it quite interesting in the opening and in the closing, the title track and "Cosmic Winter". Mankind need to move away from earthly dimension to open their eyes?
Noone in the band really listens to Samael, or if anything then the old stuff like "Worship Him". The last modern CD of Samael I heard was "Passage", and that was quite a while ago. But I'm sure that they also think and plan a lot in their music, and like to add small details, like we did with having the intro and outro the same, as you mentioned.
The cover of the album with the star that is about to collide with our planet has a specific meaning?
It has several meanings. To show that mankind isnt as onmipotent as it thinks it is, that a single meteor impact could wipe out our species. But also as a foreboding, that the whole situation on the planet is in quite a crisis, almost like before the world wars. There are many dangers around, and they often arent the ones we fear, or are made to fear, the most.
The scene in Switzerland is often found on our webzine, one of our collaborators (ticino1) is your countryman and needless to say that you are a nation that, thanks to ??the amount of good music that puts out every year, should be taken with much more consideration, beyond the contents cite the usual big names. How do you live your national scene? What are the most important relationship that you've established over the years with the other band?
Well I guess Switzerland still stands for quality before quantity. Though I have to admit that I dont listen to many swiss bands. We dont really care about the national scene, if any exists at all. I think its more a bunch of small scenes, if anything. Of course we go to concerts and catch up with people from other bands from time to time. Our most important relationship would be with the guys from Bestial Torment, we have been good friends for almost ten years now and played in several projects with their members.
Choose to play black metal is probably the most serious decision when you are going to extreme music, I noticed several complaints about the lack of factors such as attitude, desire to pursue certain issues, etc., what are your thoughts about this?
I think what really counts are the inner values, and not the outer appearance or some mindless paroles some people say. There are many musicians that walk around looking completely normal, yet write the coldest of riffs. And then there are bands with satanic images and really evil appearance which play riffs that really sound joyful and happy, and probably dont even notice it. The dogs that bark the loudest are often the most harmless. I think its stupid to restrict your life to some imaginary codex, only to impress some people.
The one with Thorn is a musical partnership that goes on project after project, you have been companions of adventure in Leere and Forgotten Chaos and continue to be in Moonfrost, how did you meet and what are the best and the more complex moments you lived in your career?
We were friends before we even discovered metal and started to play our instruments. The same also counts for .ven, the brother of Thorn. I guess the best moments were when we founded Moonfrost in 2001, we were absolutely fanatical back then and used every free moment to practise and get better on our instruments. Everything was new back then and there was always more stuff to be discovered.
I noticed that many interesting projects, in any field and level of music, which often lead unknown monicker but a line-up filled with famous names or heavily inspired by the past (see Vektor and Voivod), missing parts and the potential for innovation in the metal world? The new generation (not all, of course) are so coated and corroded from stuff like metal-core and other pseudo commercial bullshit and they fail to produce something that can be considered decent?
I think its a shame how many people dont look around for new music and only listen to the music thats in fashion. At least with black metal, its cool to listen to bands that nobody knows, so the listeners tend to search a bit deeper. However, this still doesn't really cause interesting projects to be discovered, because they would often be classified as "untrue". I guess the problem is also that many of those interesting projects dont last long enough to really get noticed, as the members often get bored and start a new project in a completely different direction. At least many norwegian projects got noticed, because they almost always had some more or less known person in the band.
Moonfrost have a live activity? You've already submitted on stage the songs of the album? What were the reactions of those who attended the evening?
Moonfrost performs live with the help of 2 session musicians, HNS from Excruciation on the second guitar and Esgriak on the bass. We have performed the songs a couple of times live, and we got good feedback. Some said it was almost too atmospheric in the beginning, but we have gotten more lively on stage now.
There are dates in the program that will see you play here in Italy?
At the moment there arent any dates. The next concert is near Zurich, at the Rock City club in Uster on the 12.5. We would like to play in Italy some time, as swiss crowds tend to be quite boring, as opposed to italian crowds!
I tell you some words, you respond by saying everything that comes to your mind.
Reviews: I don't read reviews, I just listen to the music on the internet and form my own opinion.
Coroner: underrated, lives in the shadow of Celtic Frost.
Female-fronted: sure, why not?
Black Metal: Venom.
Venom: Black Metal. Ok, I had to do this. No, we aren't big fans of Venom.
What are the short-term projects of Moonfrost?
As I said before, we will be playing live quite soon. Afterwards we will finish writing and arranging the songs for the 3rd album, which we plan to release next year. We already play new 2 songs live, so if anyone is curious they should come and check it out. They are very different to the songs on "Starfall".
It's the end, we just have to say goodbye and end this conversation as you prefer, then I leave you one last time the word.
Thanks for the interview!