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7 juillet 2008 1 07 /07 /juillet /2008 20:11


astral travel in infinite silence through the universe, to the constellation of Vulpecula that will illuminate the nightskies of the Summer Triangle in the North Hemisphere... Their creations may emanate from a distant source of light but their incredible musical ingeniosity explores an infinite and avant-gardist space when most of the others drift through nothingness. Refusing to craft a monotonous repertoire and never falling into commercial compromises, ‘In Dusk Apparition’ delivers
their undefeatable ambiant/black/death metal again. one star vanished, another one appears... 

01 - Unholy dreamlike thoughts to you, Brother of Shadow. First of all, congratulations for your excellent album ‘In Dusk Apparition’ that still leaves me breathless after several listenings. How did you manage to achieve such a well-crafted work?

Chris and I carefully crafted what I had written over a year or so and had become proficient working in Periselene Studio. When it came time to record these pre-production demos, it came rather easily.

02 - Before going deeper into musical things, what was the strange secret that pushed your subconsciousness to turn toward a philosophy built upon observation and interpretation? Why did you choose to deal with these topics taken from such a complex science? How old were you when you started being interested in it?

I was seven when I first became interested in astronomy, and later cosmology. Also, being very musically minded, I noticed there were specific kinds of music that seemed to be a soundtrack for such topics, or at least styles of music that lent themselves to exploring that topic, so I gravitated toward those styles.

03 - In your opinion, what aspects of your music have you particularly improved since ‘Phoenix of the Creation’? How much time have you spent on your latest material compared with the previous releases?

I think I spent about the same amount of time on the songs as I did the earliest ones. My approach to songwriting was (and remains) more or less the same, though the riffs were a little more musical and involved than on “Phoenix of the Creation” or “Fons Immortalis.”

04 - When I listen to your debut, the ‘Phoenix of the Creation’ demo, it is pretty obvious to me that the band direction was unusual for the time and that you reached an out-normed musical style without caring for what was ‘hot’ back then. Were you totally able to mix your metal influences with the lyrical concept? How was it perceived by the underground scene and the fanzines?

Many recognized us for what we were, though we were also tagged Black Metal, which was a bit absurd since the lyrics and topics had nothing to do with Satan. Some people loved it, others didn’t get it…much like today. The reaction was quite positive. Those that understood Vulpecula seemed to fully embrace what we were doing, and that’s very satisfying.

05 - It was obvious in the beginning that you were the one and only propagandist, until Chris Overton joined the constellation in 1995 and proposed his service for the recording of the ‘Phoenix of Creation’ single, re-released by Eternal Darkness Creations. Was it a necessity to recruit another member, would you have prefered to do everything by yourself and keep it a totally “one-man band” project? What did he add to the music, did he bring something specific you had been looking for until then?

I’m a wannabe drummer – as a lot of guitarists are, but I wasn’t good enough to do it on my own. Chris was a much better drummer than I, and he had a similar affection for ambient music, so it was pretty obvious he was perfect for Vulpecula.

06 - How did you get that deal that allowed you to gain exposure to a wider audience?

Not much. Vulpecula was always an underground project and never meant to be embraced by the mainstream.

07 - Most of the people probably don’t remember the rehearsal tape recorded in 1996. Did it have something special that made you want to release it? What do you think about it today? Did you have to release something to maintain the audience attention because no label seemed to be ready to make you an offer?

That tape was actually the recording that later became part of “Fons Immortalis”, so it wasn’t actually a rehearsal, it was a real studio session. I’m not sure how it came to be known as a rehearsal session through the years.

We felt no pressure in terms of audience attention and already had label interest at that time. We were focused on recording the best music we could.

08 - It was nonetheless predictable that such a work would be rewarded one day, a reward that came in the shape of a deal proposed by Merciless Records, who took your under its wing and released your debut EP ‘Fons Immortalis’. Were you satisfied with that collaboration? Please tell me honestly if you had had other interesting offers? How were the relationship between the band and the label like? There were rumours about its boss’s musical tastes, it seemed he was rather listening to the current shitty commercial bands. Do you think these rumours are grounded, especially since he really despises his old productions now?

Certainly. Merciless was a good label, although they were slow to release albums. Having visited Volker and Merciless HQ before, I can say any rumors about him liking shitty commercial bands back then are untrue – in fact it was the opposite. I would know - I saw his record collection!

09 - I noticed that the track ‘Major Tom’ didn’t appear on the EP, but resurfaced later on the ‘In Dusk Apparition’ LP in a re-recorded version. You didn’t have the time necessary to finalize it the first time, or it didn’t match the concept of the EP maybe?

At the time “Major Tom” was for an Eternal Darkness tape compilation only. By the time we decided to do “In Dusk Apparition,” I felt it deserved a wider release.



10 - lyrics deal with the celestial world ma- Your de of seven layers. Did you intend to demonstrate through the lyrics that the gate to them can be (or must be) reached by a particular spiritual wiseness? About yourself, on what level of the plane do you think your soul is reflected? Do you have interest for the mystery of the conjunction of the interstellar fields with the nothingness?

Astronomy and cosmology are areas of great interest to me, and have been for 33 years. I don’t read anything metaphysical into Vulpecula, though some fans do. Vulpecula means different things to different people – like any other band, so that’s fine.

11 - Well, on the day of the spring equinox a constellation appears behind the sun, the era of Aries (I refer to ‘The First Point of Aries’) gives way to the era of Pisces, following the reverse order of the Zodiac; the era of Aquarius is perceptible since year 2000. Do you think we are now in this era?

That’s getting into the realm of astrology, a pseudo-science I disregard, so ‘the era of Aquarius’ doesn’t mean much to me.

12 - As a prologue and an epilogue, the stormy atmosphere makes way to the celebration of the night and implies a regeneration. Among all of your “space music” influences, which one is, in your opinion, the best in the style? What synthesizer did you use to craft such a glacial sound?

It’s hard for me to say who’s best in space music, because the genre is so varied. I have my favorites: Vangelis, Steve Roach, Brian Eno and Robert Rich, as well as some straightforward ambient artists like David Hykes. The list of my favorite albums in that genre is long, too.

Honestly I can’t remember the kind of synth we used…

13 - As for I know, Vulpecula is the name given to a faint constellation in the middle of the summer triangle. Why having associated the band with such an obscure constellation, why not having chosen a more “famous” one? How would you describe the schema of the Goose in the jaws of the Fox?

Of course I could have chosen a more prominent and better known constellation, but the symbolism and obscurity of the little fox appealed to me. I also liked Johannes Hevelius’ reason for having invented Vulpecula in the first place - to place a “rapacious” animal near an eagle and swan, atop the Milky Way starstream.

14 - Having been involved in the depths of the underground scene for years (and thus having followed your “career” during all those years), to my knowledge you have never really tried to reproduce that “out-there” sound on stage. Why that?

I don’t think its possible. Vulpecula’s approach was very close and personal, while shows and concerts tend to be open - a party atmosphere, etc. I don’t believe translating the close and personal atmosphere of Vulpecula to the public stage would have worked properly.

15 - There were in the 90s kind of a thematic schism (for want of a better word) in the black metal scene that lead some bands to leave the typical satanic stuff and play a music inspired and fascinated by the cosmic phenomenons, and maybe also by oniromancy. Regarding that, do you feel as a precursor in that field? Did you follow the career of Arcturus? Do you see today a band that would be capable to provoke a comparable schism toward other subjects, both in music and lyrics?

You might say OFC was pioneering that sort of thing back in the late ‘80s when I wrote “Nucleosynthesis” and began developing the “Somnium Helios” trilogy, though at the time we felt we were more descendents of VoiVod’s tradition than the vanguard of what would become a Black Metal trend.

I like early Arcturus (“My Angel” and “Constellation”) very much and am still in awe of the pre-Arcturus band Mortem and their demo/7” EP “Slow Death” - with the most inhuman vocals ever!

16 - It is pretty difficult to obtain information about what was supposed to be the ‘Down Among Them’ full-length, and about what did happen with it and with Merciless Records. That raises questions about your relation with the label and leaves black holes haunting my mind... So I suppose that material was recorded in 1998 and was planned to be released that year, however it simply never saw the light of day. Did you simply call it quit back then, maybe because of the label? What did make you feel like changing the title years later? I think the mix cruelly lacks power and clarity, do you agree with me?

I wouldn’t agree the mix lacks anything. I’m satisfied with the production; considering the primitive equipment Periselene Studio had, we got a very good sound from that place. Musically I’m very happy with it because it reflects the Vulpecula idea very well – and yet originally was only intended to be pre-production demos! As for changing the title, I felt we had to because the track “Down Among Them” didn’t appear on “In Dusk Apparition”, so it seemed wrong to give the album that name.

Around the time of recording, I was writing newer music that I felt didn’t fit the Vulpecula model, and we decided to end the band. In fact, one of the songs that I wrote in the late ‘90s that signaled the end of Vulpecula was called “Ashen Glory,” and it will appear on the second Ares Kingdom album. It has fast become one of our favorite AK songs ever!

Looking back now I don’t agree with our thought process in 1999, but the deed is done. So you see it really had nothing to do with Merciless – they were great from the beginning to the end.

17 - Would you allow me to know why the group disbanded the following year? Do you think about a reformation? Did you have more fun with Order From Chaos?

Chris and I discussed how we felt the new material was shaping up and came to the conclusion we had pushed the limit of what Vulpecula should do and decided to end it in 1999. The rest of the music ended up in Ares Kingdom, and I gave a set of lyrics, “Descent of the Flames,” to my friends in Mournful Congregation. They are currently doing a split EP with Stone Wings based on those lyrics as well as a companion piece I wrote a few years ago called “Ascent of the Flames.”

OFC was more fun in terms of wild times and crazy stories, but Vulpecula was just as satisfying on a different level. I’m not into reforming my old bands and projects. Ares Kingdom plays both Vulpecula and OFC songs, so we get the best of all worlds!

18 - However hope revived two years ago with the release of ‘In Dusk Apparition’. It must be mentioned that Invictus Records did a wonderful job, didn’t they? Are you friends with the label people? Do you know how many copies have been sold to this day? What do you think of Invictus Records productions?

Yeah, I’ve known Darragh for many years, and Invictus did a great job on “In Dusk Apparition.” I’m very proud of the release! Not sure of sales figures, though.

19 - After all these years, what do you think of your career?

I’ve always done what I wanted to and released the best music I could. I’ve learned a lot and hope I will continue to in the years to come.

20 - I think I can’t ask you more. Doing that interview was a honor to me. Did I forget to mention something important to you about Vulpecula? 

Thanks for the support!


                                                                Interview : Kanz-Noz
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