Interview for "Thrashing Rage" magazine,
conducted by Laurent Michelland.
Answers by Myrkhaal.

1- How do you see the band's musical evolution from the "Empires De Glace" demo to your debut album "Dans Les Bras Des Immortels"?

The first thing to spring to my mind is the fact that we have gotten better as musicians in the years between the two releases. Our songs are now faster and more technical than they used to be, but without falling in the "too technical" trap! For us the feeling will always come first. On the other hand, we have kept this mood of extreme darkness that has always been and will always be the backbone of Frozen Shadows. Our sound has also become more defined and unique, I believe, as that is something of high importance for a band's identity. All in all, we feel that we have developped our own unique brand of Black Metal between the demo and the album...

2- Your music mixes hateful black metal harmonies with melancholic moods and fast changes. This mixing gives birth to a musical richness that I would like you to describe... (Please develop this theme)

From the day we created Frozen Shadows, we have always strived to do with our music what very few groups (in our opinions at least) have been able to achieve: having a perfect balance between speed, anger and agression on one hand and atmosphere and mood on the other. Most bands tend to be either brutal OR dark, we want to be both at the same time. What most people told us about our music is that even tough they are first hit by the extreme speed and raging guitars, they discover afterwards the depth and feelings that hide beneath all the hatred. That is exactely our intent, having many layers to our music, lyrics and general approach. Even tough we love bands that simply bash it out to the last minute we want to do more than that with Frozen Shadows, and we like to incorporate more moody and atmospheric passages and use a bit of keyboards amidst all the mayhem. I have always believed that when you are able to create some truly dark and atmospheric moments then the hateful parts come out much angrier, and going from one extreme to the other is a lot more effective than always staying within the same emotions. I think our music is quite simply put a reflection of our characters: cold and rationnal while at the same time burning with anger, hatred and sometimes sorrow.

3- Is your music influenced by personal happenings? Do you gain a lot of experiences from the dark emotions of your life?

Our music is very much influenced by our emotions, as we usually channel and exteriorate them through the art we make. The dark side of the psyche is so much more inspiring if you ask me, just look at the greatest musicians and artists troughout the years and you will draw the same conclusion for nearly each and everyone of them: they were all tortured souls! When I write music I have to be either depressed or vengeful, and I know for having discussed the matter with both Namtar and Alvater that the same goes for them.

4- Do you agree if I tell you that everything on "Dans Les Bras Des Immortels" sounds like an open wound?

Yes, I do agree. Since we see ourselves as misfits to this mind-numbing society we are almost permanently either angry towards humanity in general or sad to contemplate what we have to endure every day. "Dans les Bras des Immortels" is for sure a cry against our environnement, a punch in the face of this hypocritical age we loathe so much, where the weak rule the strong and judeo-christianity is still squeezing all individuality out of the masses...

5- What kind of sounds and atmospheres do you want to create with the keyboards parts?

The keyboards we use HAVE to be either dark, depressed or hyptnotic, and nothing else. Don't count on us to incorporate any cute melodies or romantic moments!!! I often stick to the more "classical" sounds like the strings, choirs, horns, timpanis, organs and pianos, but I also do use some more "ambiant" sounds from time to time, most of which I have created entirely on my own.

6- What is the lyrical concept behind "Dans Les Bras Des Immortels"? What are the themes that you cherish? Explain why?

There is no concept that ties the songs in this album, except that all of them are Satanic Poems. Themes I obsess over are Death, Darkness, Damnation, Winter and Sorrow. I have always been fascinated by those five elements and I will always be.

7- Do you conceive your lyrics like poems? What charms you in the art of poetry?

There is so much that I like about poetry... It's way of giving a concrete form to the abstract or obscuring the obvious, the whole aesthetics behind it, the way the words flow when you read them. No prose will ever be as good a mirror to one's thoughts than poetry, and no ordinary text can be as gratifying to write as a good poem. If lyrics can show you someone's frame of mind, a poem will open the gate to his soul...

8- Your lyrics are written both in English and French. What kind of emotions do you want to transmit using both languages?

My poems basically come out the same way either in French or English: gloomy and obscure. The emotions I want to transmit to the listeners depends on their general outlook on life. While they always come out dark, individuals like myself tend to also find them beautiful and soothing and "normal humans" are usually scared by their ugliness/grimness. That suits me just well, since I do not want to be understood by everyone...

9- Could you explain your own philosophy of life, your own beliefs?

I believe in the dark side of the human nature or what fearful dogmas are calling Satan. Some choose a life of servitude and weakness, conforted that they are by being part of a blind, deaf and mute mass they call society, and then others embrace individuality, strenght even tough it means being outcasts. We are on this world to suffer, and those that are called "elite" have accepted this and are able to grow through this torment, while the rest are only trying to deny the truth. When I crumble into dust, at least I will have the satisfaction of having been a wolf, not a mere cattle!

10- What are your feelings when thinking about the ruins of ancient civilizations?

What man has built, man will destroy; what man has destroyed, nature will erase. This is the epitaph that comes to mind...

11- Do you feel nostalgic of the early 90's period when there was a stronger, darker spirit than nowadays within the black metal scene?

We are extremely nostalgic about the early 90's BM scene and it's long lost spirit, and not a day goes by without us being sickened by the current state of this so-called scene! There are still a few bands living this way of life, but sadly they are few and far between.

12- How do you perceive the recent re-release of your demo "Empires De Glace" on CD format? Did it bring you some memories? What do you expect from this re-release?

When Carsten from Millenium/Solistitium approached us about doing a 1000 limited edition as a tribute to the early 90's scene we immediately said yes as we liked the idea behind it. Yes, it did bring back some memories, and at the same time we had the opportunity to make something new of this old recording, and experiment on it a bit. Since Millenium is a label with a good visibility especially in Germany, we figured that this re-release couldn't hurt us in terms of visibility, but if it was something done out of pure greed we would have backed down for sure. Even tough Millenium will broaden it's horizons to other spectrums of music, I know for a fact that they still support True Black Metal in a way many BM labels don't even do anymore!

13- When can we expect the release of your second album? What about its musical and lyrical contents? How would you compare it to your debut effort?

Hopefully we will record something new by the end of 2000, in the meantime we will probably do a promo CD with 4/5 new songs for some interested labels sometimes this summer. The general approach will be generally the same, but at the same time an evolution will be seen. All in all, it's probably going to be a bit (and ONLY a bit) more technical and even faster!

14- To end, could you talk about the activities of your own label SEPULCHRAL PRODUCTIONS?

Right now we are putting the finishing touches on a compilation called "Waging the War/ A tribute to the Olden Ways" which will stand as an hommage to the old values of Black Metal. This will feature only bands that are still playing BM the true way (dark/hateful), many of them with exclusive or rare songs. We also have tried to have a good mix of know bands, cult bands and new ones that are doing something right. A few bands that are going to be on this are Lord Belial (with an exclusive cover of Mercyful Fate's Come to the Sabbath!), Thy Primordial, Ragnarok, Horna, Frozen Shadows, Antaeus, Celestia, Negura Bunget and others, all in all this will feature 17/18 bands on one CD, with an AMAZING warlike cover! If all goes as planned, this should be out in early july. We should also release two other CDs by BM bands from Québec this summer, namely Esker and Skjull, both of them being very good at what they do. All in all, we are looking to expand Sepulchral Productions quite considerably towards the end of 2000...