Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Inquisition: 094.Dirge (answered by Stéphane L.)

1. How did you came up with the name of the band? 

Marc T. came up with this name back in 1994. The relation between the meaning of this word (« funeral chant/music ») and the very nature of the music seems pretty obvious.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it? 

At the time of the And Shall The Sky Descend / Wings Of Lead Over Dormant Seas albums, we used to improvise some parts during rehearsals, generally the most abstract and atmospheric ones. Because it was the most interesting way for us to explore certain moods and certain non-structured pieces. But beside this very specific era, we never jam. Even the most primitive structures or riffs are worked at home, then reworked, modified, transformed, adapted later with the whole band. Our songs are 80% finished when we finally bring them in the rehearsal room. Most of the time, tracks start then develop with one or two or three guitar riffs, in some other (rare) cases with a sample but I won't say there's a recurring modus operandi while creating a Dirge's song. We let things flow. Same goes for the lyrics, even though, and that's the only real standard procedure for us, words always come to life once the track is fully completed.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home? 

Our primordial roots are quite obvious : Godflesh, Neurosis, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, The Cure... But all these structuring influences have been absorbed and digested for a long time now. The four of us have really different and various musical preferences. It goes from industrial to dub, passing by movie soundtracks, blues, classical, death metal, french songs, psychedelic, post punk/goth, electro... To give you an insight (and talking just for myself), I've been listening these last months to stuffs like Dälek, Lea Porcelain, Tropic Of Cancer, Death, Emma Ruth Rundle, Marissa Nadler, Throane, Myrkur, Butthole Surfers plus a bunch of old favourites (Cocteau Twins, Einstürzende Neubauten, Death In June, And Also The Trees etc).

4. Which is the one album you can't live without? 

Too many to name it. Let's say Pornography by The Cure.

5. What's the first record you've ever bought? 

October by U2. On tape.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with? 

To stay in a realistic world, and in order to have a package connected with the same spirit, but different enough to avoid any common field, I would name artists like Lycia, SubRosa, Anna von Hausswolff or Wardruna.

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to? 

Of course all these blogs and webzines, from the smallest to the biggest ones, do help bands like us to spread their music across the world. And therefore reaching countries we'd never have thought about, like Iran, India or United Arab Emirates...

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

We have to adapt to our times and, unfortunately I don't think we have other real alternatives concerning this new way to grasp music. These days, music is often seen as a « consumer product », something to burn off quickly, something to skim through rather diving into. The time spent downloading, listening, storing or throwing and so on and so forth, has became wealthier than a simple CD or LP. But in another hand, despite these changes, despite the dematerialization, I know that a lot of people, young or old, give to Art the value its deserves. So we have to trust these people (especially with the kind of music we're doing), trust their faith in artists' « handcraft », trust their will to support music and musicians. Bandcamp, Spotify or Deezer are not my ideal, but it is the way things are today. But I also know that piece of art's lovers will always prefer a beautiful vinyl than a simple 320ko mp3. And these people will always exist.

9. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

Yes of course. Artwork, as well as the songs themselves, the production and even the tracklist are significant parts of a whole called « piece of art » (regardless of the quality of this piece). Yesterday, the cover was often the first interaction you had with an album, even before the music. And I still like this idea of visual incarnation of the sound.

10. What is you favorite album cover?

I'd say all the graphic works of Vaughan Oliver for the English cult label 4AD, especially Treasure (Cocteau Twins), Medusa (Clan Of Xymox), Tocsin (Xmal Deutschland), Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (Dead Can Dance) among others. 

I also really appreciate Peter Saville's work for the Factory label like Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures & Closer albums or New Order's Brotherhood. 

I also really love the Wildhoney cover by Tiamat, Sympathy For The Devil by Laibach, the Sumerland 12'' by Fields Of The Nephilim, Icon by Paradise Lost, All The Pretty Little Hoses by Current 93 and so many others I forgot. All these artworks have a lot to say, far beyond their graphic nature...

11. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

Because vinyl seems to be the most aesthetic response, the most graceful rebellion against our modern and disincarnate world, against the very-compact, the very-easy-to-get, the very-quick-to-listen. And it is also our favorite format, both aesthetically and sonically.

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