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‘Not For Music’; the latest album by the Belgian peddles of the ultra-dark Emptiness, is a totally mindblowing trip down the steps of urban hell. Blending the line between black metal and new-wave, synthladen 80’s music and more ‘Not For Music’ is highly original and bewildering. Of course Lords Of Metal contacted the band and clarifying answers were given by guitarist, synth player and vocalist Olivier j LW.

By: Roel de Haan | Archive under black metal

Greetings! To start things properly: How are you doing?
Hi, we're a few days away from the launch of our latest album, this is an exciting time as we are looking forward to this moment.

For those who are new to your existence, could you introduce Emptiness through means of a short biography?
The band was originally formed around 1998 by Jérémie B. (Phorgath) and myself. After several demos, we obtained a deal with a Belgian record company to release our first album. Things started to move more seriously, over the years we worked with different label companies (Agonia Records, Dark Descent) until this recent signing with Season Of mist Records. Emptiness has now five albums in its discography and has been playing live along its career. Our original music style, tainted of black and death metal, forged itself into an odder genre of music, obscure but peculiar.

Congratulations with your new album 'Not For Music'! I thought it was most impressive. How are the general reactions to the album? What are your expectations for the album?
Thanks! Until now, we merely received positive feedbacks of the album. I guess it risks to stagger, as each piece wants to be a little different from each other. Somehow it got smoother to the ear, as the production work has been pushed further, but the main impression leaves a dismal and enigmatic feeling. We naturally wanted to play something different but still unclassifiable, avoiding to impose darkness in a forceful way, but letting it develop itself naturally and make it more conceivable. We expect some good shows, touring as well and play in some countries we haven't visit yet.

Compared to your previous works I noticed a definite shift in style towards a less metallic sound. Did you change your approach in song-writing to accommodate this stylistic change? How do you explain this development?
The song-writing process always comes in a natural way, but we stick to an obsessive intent to evolve, thereby fulfilling a personal longing. Our tastes also evolve though time and discoveries, as well as our musician skills, all these influences push our way of writing music. We like to be surprised in music and arts, but also like to surprise as well, all of us thrive to reach the inaccessible while relishing the feeling of frustration brought about by an impossible quest.

The songs on 'Not For Music' often contain a certain eighties vibe. The combination with more ambient and sinister soundscapes makes for a truly evil atmosphere. How do you combine these elements successfully?
We have a will to picture some kind of "urban desolation", this conceptual aspect has always been part of our music, here goes the sinister vibe. We also grown up during the 80's, and when it comes to nostalgic tunes, wherever the composition or the production work, the mood of this era grips us with its groovy and morose spirit.

band image

Is there perhaps a concept for your album? If so, can you tell us something about it?
This title is a kind of provocation, but also a way for us to say that "nothingness" is our music, referring to the band's name. Whatever one aims to create, there's a enthusiasm towards exploration and accomplishment. Some moments of wonder in front of the unknown, the craving to know more, to follow the lead, or simply to dream. And once you reach your goal, you may lose the thrill.

Your music features so many elements of different styles and genres, but all seem to convey a feeling of isolation and desolation. I cannot shake the feeling that your music seems to be of a therapeutic nature. In other words: what drives you to make music?
When it comes to jam and compose, creating ambiences prevails...and we're merely bounded to eerie atmospheres and oppressive patterns. Then comes a need to build up material, as a natural reach of achievement. We like to do arrangements in details. All individuals in the band are creative minds, whom always need to progress and not repeat themselves in a definite genre.

The production of the album is exactly right in my humble opinion. Clear but warm and without too much polish. Could you tell us something about the recording process and how you feel about the result?
We are pleased with the production work and it fits with what we had in mind while writing this album. While working on demos, we looked for different amps, effects, synths, etc, kind of different than previous record. After all takes, we went to Los Angeles to work on a mix with producers Sean Beavan and Jeordie White. Both influential figures of industrial rock music, we knew our production would have a different approach, but so far, they did a great job and felt the music right.

Looking at that the artwork of the album, it is very enigmatic and intruiging. How would you say the artwork is connected to the album?
Behind the urban feeling one can grasp, and a reference to our hometown's streets, this artwork attempts to picture a cold unearthly feeling, an impossible situation for an unconventional genre of music. We like to intrigue with images of glitched reality.

Are you going to support the album by going on the road playing live? What can the audience expect from a Emptiness performance?
There’s teamwork to prepare the upcoming shows for this year. Anyone interested to see us live will find proper information on our network. We play as we are, moving pictures in background will set the trip to a deeper mood, and dark music will swing.

I wonder what the future has in store for Emptiness? What are your plans and ambitions?
The main goal is to keep inspired, work and embrace any realistic opportunities that allow our art to expand by keeping its true identity.

Thank you very much for your time, I wish you well and as tradition demands it I hereby offer you the final words to our readers.
Thanks for this interview and your attention on our band.

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