- Can you tell us some news after one year since the album "Tourments Et Perdition"?
We didn't really "tour" for "Tourments & Perdition", but had shows here and there, around 15 shows in France I think; last one was Hellfest, in June. In the meanwhile, we had a proposal to cover a song from Norwegian band Arcturus, so we took some time to compose and record this very special song, which was a real challenge because we've been (too) much compared to this band; the result just sounds like Orakle, so with this song we say "fuck you" to all boring spoilsports. We took some rest during two months this summer and just started to compose next album.
- How long it took to record "Tourments Et Perdition"?
First it took a long time to compose, needless to say. As far as I remember, we started around June 2006, and ended the last song during the winter of 2007… One year and a half. Sometimes I feel like "wow, so much pain and effort for something only a few will appreciate", you know? But at the end this is also our pride, our reward, and that's what is truly important.We are really obsessive about perfection, I spent countless hours working on the most insignificant arrangement, trying to give the best of myself. Given the complexity of our music, the necessity to deal with everyday life – regular job, girlfriend… – and also the fact that unfortunately I'm not a genius, it took a long time. Expect the same for our next album (laughs). The recording process really started in February 2009, and we did the mastering in March 2009.
- What is the main concept and the essence behind the project Orakle?
There's no defined concept. Orakle is just our precious tool to bring some ideas and personal thoughts to light: mostly of a dark and "serious" character, because this is basically what our instinct dictates us, and we wouldn't see any point at expressing futile things. But speaking of a specific concept would be far too restrictive.
- I really like the song "Dépossédés (Le Miroir sans Tain)". Can you tell us more about this song?
Well, "Dépossédés" was the second song we composed for this album (first was "Vengeance Esthétique"); musically, I think it speaks volumes about our tastes and wishes, about the different facets we tried to conciliate in our music. You have this first riff, quite "classical" for metal music, basically double-bass and palm-muting, quite powerful with the addition of horns in the background; and suddenly, a crazy dynamic clean part, almost unexpected. Most of the song is based on the same formula, with really wild moments vs. more solemn ones. I wrote the lyrics for this one, it deals with the quest of surrealists, basically how reality can be widened beyond pure utilitarianism. Many allegories can be found in this one, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
- All songs are complex and with a high technical instrument level. How do you think about the song structure?
I don't see our songs as being especially "complex"; I mean, yes compared to average mainstream music it certainly is, but it's very much a relative point of view. We all appreciate classical music within the band, and also more or less experimental bands like Pink Floyd, The Mars Volta, things like that… which are often more complex compared to what we do ourselves. We love experimentation, developing our ideas under different forms, trying to create contrasts and depth within the songs, so the structures comes naturally in that way; that's not really something we think a lot about, it's not that rational.
- What are the main differences between "Tourments Et Perdition" and your previous records?
Hopefully there are differences between all our releases. Our first "real" EP "L'ineffable émoi..." (2002) is definitely the less massive in terms of sound, much more focused on minimalist riffs, mid tempo and atmospheres evoking nature. Then Amar Ru joined the band the year after so he brought his very rhythmical and razor-sharp death-metal style of riffing, balancing with our traditional melodic parts and integrating perfectly with them; thus our first album "Uni aux cimes" (2005) is less experimental, but definitely the most aggressive. "Tourments & Perdition", despite its obvious connections with the previous work, has less "primitive" attributes of extreme metal, we kind of limited the basic parts and on the contrary tried new things. We focused a lot on layering different guitars rather than the two playing exactly the same part; we also used much more keyboards and effects, etc. Lyrically it's also a very pessimistic and tragic album, compared to the previous one.
- In your music it's present a very strong Arcturus influence. Can you describe your concept of "Avant-garde music \ black-metal"?
You're not the first to mention this Arcturus influence, and as always I'm afraid I've no answer… We appreciated this band a lot, because of their taste for experimental, challenging music, but it was one amongst many others, you know, so it's never been a direct influence for us. That's more a statement that comes afterward, some similarities in the music that are more or less relevant, which is quite logical because of them being a portion of our musical heritage. I guess it's merely due to my voice, which I often use in a close range, and our taste for unusual arrangements and all this shit. By the way, this is precisely my idea of "avantgarde" in black-metal: bringing adventure and unexpected things on the conservative grounds of black-metal. And, by chance, getting out of its narrow fields.
- Which bands inspired you over the big Arcturus?
First bands that had a strong influence upon us were undoubtedly Metallica and Sepultura; in a sense, we started Orakle "because" of those bands… we were something like 14 years old.Quickly we've been involved in more extreme metal (Slayer, Morbid Angel, Supuration, Loudblast…), and especially black-metal: it was circa 1997, we were 17 yo, and I still consider this period as the golden age of the genre, with such masterpieces from Emperor, Enslaved, Abigor, Arcturus, Ulver, Borknagar, Ancient, Satyricon and a few others. More than a band in particular, this whole scene inspired us a lot. Since a few years, I listen to less and less metal bands… Not that I don't like the genre anymore, but I'm no longer surprised by something new you know? Too much bands doing the same thing again and again. I also listen to less and less music in general, because most of my spare time is dedicated to creating my own. Yet as I already stated above, my interest also grew for other musical styles.
- What are the other kinds of music you listen after metal?
Slowly we shared a growing interest for classical music, drummer Clevdh and guitarist Amaury being also into it; amongst my favourite composers I would state Dvorjak, Malher, Bach or contemporary Arvo Pärt, along with more experimental stuff from Schöenberg or Alfred Schnittke for example. Apart from that, I also love old stuff from Pink Floyd, the Doors, and more or less alternative rock, Radiohead, Muse, The Mars Volta, Ghinzu, Tom Mac Rae, amongst others...
- Can you speak about the French black metal scene today in continuous turmoil and evolution? Do you follow the current scene?
No, I don't really "follow" our scene. I've had the chance to work on the first album of Obscurus Advocam (RIP), featuring Infestvs on guitars / bass / vocals; the band was really
interesting, but now the guy goes on with his main project Glorior Belli, which I also find quite amazing. Apart from black-metal, you can also check our keyboardist's band named Lyr Drowning.
- Do you have some projects for the future? I hope you'll play in Italy :)
We would love too, of course! But don't expect live performances before next year, if we succeed in composing the right album. In 2010 we'll be very, very busy, yet will mostly remain silent in terms of public appearances, being 100% dedicated to composing. I really hope we can record something new at the end of the year.
- You are free to close the interview. Thank you.
Well, thanks a lot Andrea! I hope people enjoyed reading those few words about Orakle, and will give its chance to "Tourments & Perdition". All contacts, sounds and more at
www.myspace.com/orakleband. See you!