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Vae Solis Interview (Russia)

1. january 2002

DESDEMONIA isn't that unique moniker a death metal band could possibly fix upon, don't you think? Was such a name chosen on purpose, or on the contrary, came spontaneously?

- The name DESDEMONIA came up very spontanously. In fact it has no deeper signification, it is a fantasy name. We thougt that it sounded cool. It is a word that doesn't exist. We wanted a neutral name for the band and that people would ask questions about it.

Doesn't cliche often play first fiddle when it comes to death metal? What's your opinion on this subject, as well as on the phenomenon of cliche if generally speaking?

- I think that in the whole metal-scene clichees are often taken too serious. But all these cliches are often supported by magazines and of course the labels. If you play black metal, you have to paint your face in black and white, if you play "true metal", you have to look medieval. So the whole thing is also about trends. So even in the metal scene with all the small labels who want to do some money, originality doesn't count very often. So I think cliches can be found in every society with any kind of people.

I suppose, taking part in a death metal band being of Luxembourg's origin is pretty tough experience...

- There are some disadvantages: our country is very small (population: 400 000) and so there are not so many bands, but we try to help each other fo gigs. We don't have any labels. So we are one the the few bands playing gigs in foreign countries to get in touch with more people. Our advantage is that we all speak 4 languages which helps in communication. But sometimes people don't take us serious, if they hear that we are from Luxembourg. On the other hand it gives us an exotic touch.

If I'm not mistaken, "Paralyzed" doesn't appear as the first-ever recording by DESDEMONIA. What about enlightening us a bit concerning the former efforts of yours (as well as what you've achieved and attempted to achieve putting 'em out)? DESDEMONIA still is rather far from being a well-known act, y'know...

- Here in our country, we are one the most popular metal bands. Before "Paralyzed" we already did a demo-tape "Infinity's Regard" (1997) and a first album "Same"(1998). Because of this record and the new one we were able to play lot of gigs in Luxembourg, Germany, France and Belgium with some well-known acts like APOCALYPTICA, MAYHEM, DIE KRUPPS, OOMPH!, ENTHRONED, DISASTER, SOILWORK, KRISIUN, DYING FETUS, RYKER'S, FLESHCRAWL, DERANGED and many many more. We apeared with our album in a lot of magazines like Hard'n'Heavy, Hard rock mag, Rock Hard, Legacy and more. We also did a lot of radio-interviews like on the well-known radio21 and we even appeared on television.

Do you consider your music original enough?

- Due the fact that our music is always compared to very different bands, I think we have some kind of originality. I would even say, that there are some rock influences in our music. In the death metal scene there are hundreds of very talented bands sounding like CANNIBAL CORPSE for example. They just want to be as there idols.

Furthermore, what is originality to you?

- For us originality is to play and write songs we want without limitations and without trying to copy another band.

Looks like you had to put out "Paralyzed" on your own. Why?

- At that time we didn't have the right offer from a label. As we earned enough money from our first album, we recorded it on our own and could do what we wanted. Because of experience, we are able to do the same thing or even more like small labels.

By the way, I encountered dozens of more or less worthy death metal acts thus far, and what's a bit surprising, most of them seem to be fond of releasing their offerings independently. I somehow doubt if you can help me with figuring out what serves a principal reason in their / your case, however let's attempt to come up with an explanation anyway, ok?

- Nowadays the metal scene is especially underground. This means that there is a great number of small labels who want to get a part of the money. So very often they prefer to sign young bands which are fitting in the trends and the productions are sometimes very bad and cheap. But they don't care because of the image and some advertising they are able to sell 1000 copies and get there money. So a lot of bands prefer to work alone, because the result is often better when you have the control on your work. It's nearly impossible to earn your living by playing this kind of music.

Consider it weird or not, but I'm always checking out thanks lists attached to the CDs I'm kindly submitted. And judging by the one "Paralyzed" comes with (featuring both MAYHEM and DIE KRUPPS, ENTHRONED and OOMPH!), I guess supposing that all in DESDEMONIA are pretty open-minded, would be correct...

- It's true, that we all listen to a lot of different music but all kinds of metal being our main interest. As i said we are some influenced from other styles, but we try to use them in adeath metal interpretation. All these bands you mentioned we played with and we like to play gigs with different bands. You can reach other people who would never come to a gig of us. But then when they see us they sometimes enjoy and get more familiar with this style.

Hey, haven't we broached musical matters yet?? Well, I believe it's time to rectify the mistakes I've made. "Paralyzed" was quite excellently executed, wasn't it? Obviously, yes. Therefore, let me wonder if we could "blame" it on German studio? I hardly believe that you have recording places of this kind in Luxembourg...

- There is a very good recording studio in Luxembourg, but it is not very much in metal music and because it's the only one, the prices are very high.

Unfortunately, just like in case with many other modern day metal acts, "Paralyzed" drum tracks aren't exactly live... "Triggers + sequencer = most excellent outcome"... is this what you were guided by?

- You are right, we used triggers. We used them especially on the bassdrums but with a mix of acoustic bassdrums. I think triggers can help a lot to get a good sound with a lot of power in this kind of music. But a lot of people are not used to work with them and don't understand what it can bring for a good album and for live-use too. So we had some problems in the studio, but after some hard work, we were happy with this outcome.

Who came up with an idea to cover "Zu Arel Op Der Knippchen", formerly a traditional song?

- Actually, RTL the biggest commercial Luxembourgian-speaking Radiostation was planning to release a sampler-cd containing covers from old traditional songs with Luxembourgian lyrics. Different bands coming from different musicstyles had to play these songs in their own way. We too were asked to participate. I don't think they knew what musicstyle we were in. So they were a little bit surprised when it came out. But it did so well that we were the first metal band ever to reach the Top 20 of RTL Radio. When we later released "Paralyzed", we thought that, because it fitted absolutely with all the other songs, it would be great to throw it in as a bonus track. It is the first DESDEMONIA-song which is completely sung in our mothertongue, Luxembourgian.

Haven't you ever had hard times promoting "Paralyzed", taking into account the fact it was you who had to take care of every single thing?

- Well, you know, of course doing a record like that is sometimes nerve wrecking. It takes an awful lot of your time and sweat to organize the recordings and to do the promotion work. But as we did pretty well with our first release "same" we got in touch with a lot of different distributions and labels all over the world and we can use them now for our new release as well. They know what we do. But for us, the most important thing is playing live, and that's what we've been doing for the last years more than any other Luxembourgian metal band.

By the way, regarding promotion... It strikes as DESDEMONIA is doubtlessly active live act... correct? Where do you reckon gigs to, a realm of pleasure, or more of promotional department?

- As said previously, playing live is the most important for us. There you can get the energy from the people. It's a very good feeling, if you see people sing along our songs. All the motivation comes from playing live.

You have answered lotsa interviews, haven't you? Can you recall most entertaining as well as most stupid one?

- There was one interview on a small Belgium's radiostation which was very cool and very funny. At the end we were all laughing, even the speaker and it was a live show. There are often some stupid questions from people who are not in this kind of music, like if we were satanists (bullshit!)

Lastly, here's a place for you to speak about:

a) merchandise

- Lately we did some 2-side / 2-coulors printed T-shirts about our new album "Paralyzed" which can be ordered on our homepage. There can also be ordered our pevious releases and some sampler DESDEMONIA took part on.

b) upcoming fests and gigs you're going to take part in

- After playing a lot of gigs by the end of 2001, we took a little break because of our studies. But for February and Spring 2002 we already got some gigs. One will be in Germany in the Pressewerk, others will follow.

c) future plans (Spring 2002)

- Our plan is to play some gigs this year, but also writing new songs. If this will happen we will record some songs as an EP this Summer.

... and finally, few conclusive words...

- First I want to thank you for your interest in our band and also all the people who supported us for the last years by listening and enjoying our music. Maybe we gonna see you next time on the road. 

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Email: contact@desdemonia.net

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