I'm really tired hearing the same dry and average Metal day out and day in performed by people who have no individual creativity, nor any idea about what dark music is about. People still looking for dark music should direct their eyes at a great and old German band, namely Sopor Aeternus. Great and original music that is hard to describe with words. But it has nothing to do with Metal, that's for sure. Anyhow, we let you form an own opinion after having read this interview with Anna-Varney of the brilliant Sopor Aeternus!

Interview by Whodan


I think it’s correct to asume that Sopor Aeternus aren’t that known within the extreme Metal genre so I thought we could start since the beginning of Sopor Aeternus existance in the late 80’ies/early 90’ies!
As always there are two different perspectives... -the inside and the outside view. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about the inside "development" that led to the project that we know now as Sopor Aeternus because this would be far too intimate (and painful) to tell here. However what I can tell you about is the outside process...: Somewhen in the years 1987 my servant Holger and I became aquainted by a mutual friend of ours, who knew, that we were both interested in performing a certain kind of music. The meeting took place in a club in Frankfurt/Germany called "Negativ"..., and I still remember that it had been rather cold on this very evening. Some unknown band was playing down there their rather boring set, a circumstance that caused us to pendle to and from between the street and the girls toilet, always hoping that the interim the concert would have come to an end, so that we could eventually go and hide in the anonymous darkness of the stage... Well, after a certain space of time a varity of people were integrated into the action..., of which Sopor Aeternus materialised.

If you would define the music of Sopor Aeternus, how would you define it accurately? And do you think your music can be put in one specific genre, and if that is the case what genre would that be?
If I was asked to define the music of Sopor Aeternus the first term that would come to my mind is fragile. Obviously some people call it medieval- or folkmusic, others file it under neo-classic... -and even though it does certainly contain elements of all these different genres I still find rather questionable to automatically confine it merely to those types of music. Generally speaking, you have to understand that "things" (i.e. people, situations etc.) must always be looked upon individually... -and the same goes for music as well..., or albums in our case. The one thing that all of our material has in common is that it is based on Anna-Varney... -which is exactly how I would define the music of Sopor Aeternus.


What kinds of people do you think your music appeals to?
I don not know..., I really do not know.

What is it that you want to accomplish with Sopor Aeternus?
Spiritual development.

I think the new album ”Dead Lovers' Sarabande” is a bit darker and also better performed than your previous albums. Which changes do you personally think are the most evident?
Thank you... Yes, it is as you have just said..., it is a little darker, but most of all the soundquality is alot better than on the previous albums. Especially than on "The Inexperienced Spiral Traveller" CD, which was really terrible... -but necessary.

Dead Lovers' Sarabade


What goes in your head when you compose the music you do?
That is a very complicated question to answer..., so please, allow me to use a model, which I have occasionally called on before: There is a special intention working in secret behind all things as nothing ever happens without a reason or motive. I belive that it is so for all lyrics and music... in a certain moment and position within the continuum of space and time... a special melody or music is already assigned. The consequence arising from this idea is the circumstance of having no real choice regarding the selection, instrumentation and final sound of "our" music, since its appearance is automatically defined by our own individual way of being (i.e. consciousness etc.)... in the very moment of the invocation of the song. Indeed, the artist's interaction with her/his entire (spiritual) environment, and with the lyrics, that is the name of the song or poem, actually seem to create this defination. If one keeps in mind that equal things always attract each other, allow me then to illustrate thoughts by using the following model: Try to imagine an empty room. At its centre a peculiar source of light is sending out its rays. This source of light shall be the essence of the song upon which we have chosen to focus. Attracted bu the characteristically pulsating rhythm of this light, the perhaps strangest, yet still corresponding entities, or energies, (however one prefers to call them) enter the room as they follow our invitation, leaving their traces behind whilst moving through it. Those entities, or energies, are the exact equivalent to the instruments and voices of the songs. In fact, they do represent them. If we take a closer look at the resulting scanrio after a certain space of time, that is, the room, the traces that have been left behind and the source of light all together as a whole... then from this picture we may perceive a symbolic equivalent of the moment when music and lyrics unite. It is, of course, important to capture the very moment of the highest intensity, in order to be as close as possible to the true essence of the song, and therefore also to the emotion one attempts to express in the first place.

Do you have any material or ideas ready for your next album?
Yes, I do..., thank you. But please, forgive me if I cannot talk about it!

No doubt that Sopor Aeternus is heavily inspired by the medieval times. But what is it exactly that fascinates you about it? Is it only the music or do you find everything (or most things) around the medieval times fascinating?


Anna-Varney of Sopor Aeternus

I do not really see this overall romantic aspect, most people like to connect with the medieval times..., actually I doubt it very much. What inspires me about it all is indeed the music and architecture.

Speaking about times... We are heading for another century really soon. What’s your thoughts upon the comming century?
Actually, I have stopped worrying about what might happen, because it doesn't lead to anything good. Just be true(!).... to yourself and others, treat them (and yourself!) with respect, think of the consequences that arise from your actions. Take over the responsibility for what you do, because we are responsible for every single of our deeds!!! If you follow that path, you'll find yourself in good hands for a start...


If we would go into the lyrics as well, you write in both your native languge German and in English. Do you see a difference in your way to write lyrics between the two languages?
Yes, to me there is an enormous difference between the two languages..., and I am not only saying this because my German is a lot better than my English, ha! Listening to various languages, you will surely perceive that each language has a very distinctive quality..., and a certain sound or vibration. If you remember what I said earlier about the composations of music, you might understand why certain lyrics (i.e. songs, poetry) work only in a very specific language... -the language they are written for. I call it the magic of words..., and even though one might, of course, translate the meaning (or the story) into another language .... the unique magic will get lost.

You’ve been using a little of Edgar Allan Poe’s works. What’s the background for this?
I had to... -it was necessary .... for me.

It seems like it’s really hard to find your albums around the world, for instance here in Sweden I only know one store that sells your albums (and they were all sold out there so I had to order from abroad). How do you do to solve this problem?
Well, obviously not enough, huh?

Do you know in what countries you have the largest following?
No, I really don't. Is that important, anyway?

The music of Sopor Aeternus is really great and timeless and most of all, you have the essential individual creativity, something that is greatly missed in the music/metal scene of today. How do you do to capture your individual creativity without being influnced by other dull ”musicians”?

Anna-Varney of Sopor Aeternus

The influence is a very strange and..., yes, ...even a powerful thing, because everything(!) that we see or otherwise perceive with our senses (consciosly or not) always has an influence on our lives, our creativity and therefore our work. The best way to avoid any of these unwanted influences is to: a) consciously realise the source of influnce and the impact it has on you... and b) try avoid those things you do not like in the first place.

I must also add that I find it really boring with all these bands sounding the same all the time, copying what others have already done ages ago. Why do you think


people are so good at looking back at what others have done instead of looking into the future, musically speaking?
Because it is alot easier to just copy the work of others instead of creating something original (or atleast individual) on your own... -it is as simple as that.

Before we turn of the light... You have quite an odd name, atleast if you look at it with Swedish eyes. Are you aware of what the word "sopor" translates in Swedish?
No, I have no idea... -please, tell me! (Alright then...! Sopor = garbage. -ed)