on your official site that MITTERNACHT and POETICA work very well together and are "related". It reminds me of what you had said to me when POETICA was released, the fact that the album was
Poe, your connection to Poe. Is MITTERNACHT related to POETICA because it is particularly autobiographical?
Yes, I think that
do belong together. Well, at least to a certain degree...and, yes,
is autobiographical ... but then again, so are
my albums. I have always written only about myself, I have never done anything else. I mean, keep in mind that SOPOR is nothing but self-therapy. It has always been. Besides, what's the one thing that all aspiring writers are being told? To bloody stick to the things that you know ... and, well, in my case ... the only thing that I truly know and understand ... well, sort of, anyway ... is
. So, yes, all my work is entirely autobiographical. Including
I think another reason why both albums kind of belong together ... or, well, maybe not
together, but certainly work well together, is because one followed so closely after the other. I have said this before, but every album is not only a consequence of the one(s) that came before, but it's also a preparation of the one(s) to follow.
The thing about Poetica was ...
... that it ended on a very sad note, and I couldn't leave it like that. You know, depression may be kind of romantic at the age of 16 (in a twisted sort of way), but, believe me, it certainly isn't anymore when you have reached my age. To tell you the truth, I was terrified. I was really afraid. I could not leave it like this, I could not let this final note linger, echo for all eternity, without dissolving, re-channeling it ... because I just couldn't go on like this anymore. I could not allow this to be, because I felt ... I
... that it would be the end of me. I had to find a solution. Quickly. Which might also explain why I was under such an enormous pressure ... and why, consequently, this album was (and still is) so very important to me. In fact, and that's perhaps a strange thing to say ... considering the contents of my past albums ... but I can't remember ever having felt such a feeling of urgency about an album. Or maybe I have and I just forgot about it, which I tend to do. So...
I know I am repeating myself, but ... in my case ... there is no separation between life and art. And I believe this is true for every artist, or every
artist, regardless of talent and/or skill ... and, really, there
be a separation. How can there be? Life and art ARE one. They are the same thing. They influence each other, as they are forever intertwined ... because they
are the same thing
So, as I tried to find a solution to my ... umm, situation ... I encountered something that caused me even greater pain. I mean, it was ridiculous. There I was hoping to change things for the better, but it only got worse. I hadn't felt so extremely miserable in a long time. There were days when I was crying on my way home ... in broad daylight ... - and those were the good days. On others I couldn't even get out of bed. But ...
...it was all necessary. Again, this may sound strange to some people, but ... I am eternally grateful for this. I learned things that I not only had never encountered before...but that I thought were impossible. Yes, it was painful ... but it was also very interesting ... and very educational.
It was about 3:00 o'clock in the morning, and I was way too tired to type, so I just recorded everything to have it transcribd later. For the actual article my answers were translated into French ... and if you are interested, you can order the printed issue of the magazine right HERE.
As I said, it was 3:00 a.m., so forgive me, if I am basically mumbling my way through this interview. ENJOY (if you
This is a transcript. For the actual article the answers were translated into
a copy of the printed magazine
The original 12" vinyl release is sold out
, but you can download the audiofile from
Can you explain the fact that you needed to explore the question of loneliness and the need for companionship at this moment of your life?
Umm ... no ... things just ...
. It was
to happen. It was simply
, I guess. A natural consequence of the things that had happened before. I don't wish to appear rude, but I really cannot be more specific. After all, the details are really nobody's business.
It's just ... when I left the, umm, "other side" (to put it this way) to re-enter the ordinary world, which I had abandoned so many years ago, I was instantly reminded why I had left in the first place. I just didn't belong here, I had no part in this. No place in it. It's one thing to be alone on the
, where there are creatures, things, you can surround yourself with ... or even
to a certain extend ... but being alone in the hostile ordinary world ... well, that is different, and I cannot recommend it. So, my first reaction was to turn around on the spot and go straight back into darkness, but ... I couldn't ... not this time ... because that wouldn't have solved anything. It would have meant stagnation, and, ultimately, death. So I kept on walking.
And that was ... yes, almost two years ago now, and it's kind of ... I hate the word
, I really do ... but, looking at it now, that's really the best way to describe it ... umm, the things that happened in those two years, I honestly would never have guessed could happen. I really thought that they would never even be possible.
Where did the idea to record a cover version of
»La Prima Vez«
Oh, the idea? Uff, I don't know. It just develpped, as it is with art. You know, it grows. But what I
tell where I encountered this song for the first time. I was watching Wim Wenders' dance-film PINA, and on the soundtrack there is a version of that song by ... umm, gawd, what's his name ... Logan 5 ...? No, wait ... Owain Phyfe ...
... I don't know, whatever his name is pronounced. I had never heard it before, but I immediately liked it. It had a beautiful melody, and that's what drew me to it, that's what caught my attention ... as it is often the case with these things. Sometimes, you may not neccessarily know what it is at first, the thing that attracts your attention. Quite often it's entirely subconscious. But once you take a closer look at it, you see what connects you to it. You see the relevance it has for you.
I have to ask you the same question for »Bang Bang«… why did you chose this song? I love this provocative creation of a totally new song, turning it into an extension of your soul, from a very popular song that everyone knows.
AVC:To be perfectly honest ... I cannot remember. I really can't remember what gave the impulse ... and that is actually a good thing, because it means that the problem ... or inner conflict, if you wish ... has be solved ... -
It's a strange song to begin with. Silly even in the original. I mean, it was written by Sonny Bono ... but for whom exactly I don't even know. Either Nancy Sinatra or Cher. I don't know who came first. Iit doesn't really matter, anyway. Both versions are great. Actually, Cher has many great songs. I mean, "
Gypsies, tramps & thieves
" is fabulous ... but, of course, I cannot do that. I mean, for one the music sounds kind of like SOPOR anyway ... to a certain degree, so that would be pointless. And, let's face it, I wasn't born on the wagon of a travelling show. Thank goodness for that.
But back to BANG BANG ... yes, it's a bit of a strange song ... and, in my case, it doesn't just refer to
particular thing or person, and even keeps changing perspective. It's more about a state of mind, if you wish. A neurotic notion ... a dependency ... the sort of thing I dealt with on the
Triptychon of Ghosts
The interesting thing for me, however, was that initially I thought I would ... well, maybe not mock it, but be kind of ironic about it. Basically like I did it with Bonnie Tyler's "
Holding out for a Hero
". But when I was in the studio I couldn't do it like that. I
to do it seriously. It was the only way. And it makes sense, because there is no irony on the album at all. And that's actually a thing that
has in common with
Do you consider
the heart of the album? We can understand the
, the mantra of the song, in a lot of different ways. Is that a form of supplication?
Yes, it is the heart of the album ... and THANK YOU for recognising ... and yes, you may very well call it a prayer.
Is the album-title »
a reference to the heart of the night, the symbol of the moments when the feeling of loneliness is at its strongest?
Yes. It's like a
Dark Night of the Soul
When you sing »
, do you think about someone in particular?
I cannot tell you. But, it is more than meets the eye ... it's a little more complex than it might appear at first glance. It seems to be very simple ... and it
simply ... but it's not one-dimensional.
You sing in a totally new way on certain songs like »
You cannot make him love you
« for example. Could you tell me more about this experience of the voice recordings of MITTERNACHT?
There is nothing to tell, really. Recording the vocals was the same as always. You're in the studio and then ... you do it. If it sounds different than how I usually sound (which I don't actually think it does) it because the song, the content, demanded it.
Do you think that the "quiet" feeling of the album is due to the totally new way that you had to deal with your energy, as you
on your homepage?
:No, it has nothing to do with that ... because I do not write the music in the studio. When I go the studio, as in when I rent studio time, it means that the music is already
. Well, in theory anyway, because it obviously still needs to be recorded. But the writing is done. Though, admittedly, it's never written in stone, and there is always room for chance ...
, you might call it. Sometimes things that suddenly fall into place. And then, yes, there are the vocals, of course. I never know in advance what is going to happen there, because ... as you know ... there are no rehearsals.
Would you say that this album is "quiet", because you are in a
moment of your life?
Music box and theremin have become an essential part of your music; how would you explain this? Now, I feel that those instruments
Yes, indeed they are, aren't they?! I agree. I have talked about the theremin (or theremin inspired sound) before, as in it being this beautiful bridge between the "cold" synthesizers and the warm violins. And, yes, there is something quirky and childlike thing about the music-box ... and all those percussive
instruments that keep haunting my albums, like the toy piano, for example.
When the album was recorded, it slowly dawned on me that the damn toypiano is in every bloody song. Well, at least on the first half of the album. And, admittedly, I did worry for a second, thinking "
have I perhaps overused this?
". But ...well ... there was nothing to be done about it. That's just how it was, and how it has to be. But then again, I
worry. I can't help that.
Is the perspective of releasing MITTERNACHT harder than it was with the previous albums? You explained on your homepage that "
it has to be done
", but the sharing of this work seems particularly delicate for you … - why?
Well, you have to understand that what
hear, when you listen to a SOPOR album, is not what
hear. Remember that the music is like a byproduct, a waste product, almost, of a psycho-spiritual process and of magical work. What
get is only the end-product. Meaning, when
listen to a SOPOR album, you only hear the "stories" ... whereas when
listen to it, I see and re-live all the events that have led to this album.
So, what I am trying to say is, it may very well be that what
hear is just a nice collection of singles with lyrics that may not nccessarily make any sense ... whereas for
who has all the keys to its (I almost said "symptoms")... to all its symbols, it's incredibly intimate and revealing. I feel naked and vulnerable.
Why does it seem more delicate to me this time than with the previous albums? Well, probably because I actually
naked... and wounded.
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