Hi, how’s things over in Canada?
Hi Marcel! It’s going well although we had a shitty summer in Montreal weather wise. September is a great month for shows though. There are so many!
As this is the first time we at Lords Of Metal interview you, could you introduce the band to the readers and tell us something about the history of the band?
We’re a band from Montreal who’s been around since 2007. We’ve had many line-up changes through the years and our style has been constantly evolving. I like to think that we are at our best right now line-up wise and that we’re ready to move forward to even better things.
Like every band out there I am sure you also have your influences. What are they musically and non-musically?
Each of us has a lot of different influences, sometimes bands that don’t even sound like us influence us greatly. It’s their essence, their spirit that is conjured up in our music. We like music that comes from deep within. Sometimes, a band will have awesome musicians and sound amazing, but they will have no soul. Being good at playing your instrument is not enough, the soul of the artists has to be felt in their music. We listen to a wide variety of genres, from old blues to krautrock, experimental music, soundtracks, world music, etc. Non-musically, we draw lyrical influences from old legends and fairy tales of the likes of Grimm (whose stories are often very grim, actually, lol), film noir’s gloominess, and magic realism fantasy.
Where did you get your band name from and what does it actually mean?
It comes from the Bethlem Royal Hospital and it’s infamous “shows”. Founded in 1247 in London, which makes it Europe’s oldest psychiatric hospital, its story has always fascinated me, mostly because the public (i.e. people unrelated to the inmates), were allowed to visit. I guess, they too, were drawn there by an unhealthy curiosity and, to top it off, they paid for it. For ten shillings, they could poke the inmates with sticks to watch their reaction. Lack of compassion has always been an issue among human beings and it when it comes to mental illness, I'd say it is a very serious one.
How would you describe the music you play?
I find it hard to describe something that you work on, because you don’t see it as objectively as others do. Also, we’re not that kind of band that started with a clear idea of what kind of music they wanted to do. We didn’t say “Oh, let’s do this and that kind of music”. We just moved with the flow and the music went along. Anyway, some reviewers have described us as “Avant-garde doom metal” which could suit us. At least, it is flattering. But I don’t think we are fully doom metal. Sure, there is a clear influence there, but it is mixed with elements of sludge, progressive, and post-punk/goth/deathrock. We also have industrial/electronic influences, that’s why I guess we don’t fit completely in the doom category. We are bastardized.
Recently you new album ‘Transfiguration’ was unleashed. How has it been received up to now?
The reception from webzines and the such was amazing! Most reviews were really positive and we’ve had the best coverage we’ve ever had so far. I guess we owe that a lot to our new partnership with Sentient Ruin Laboratories, Dawnbreed Records and Désordre Ordonné. With the addition of the PRC Music input, the release has had a great amount of attention I think we are really lucky for that. We can’t say we’ve sold a lot of albums, but it’s OK. We’re an underground band and not the most accessible one, so I guess we are progressing at our pace. The most awesome thing for us is that we might not have a million fans, but those we have are so supportive and show their admiration in the most touching and moving ways. Just like our music, it's quality over quantity.
In my review I likened Pauline’s vocals to those of Dawn Crosby of Fear Of God and Diamanda Galás. How do you feel about that?
Well I don’t really know Fear Of God so I can’t tell you about them, but Diamanda Galas is definitely an artist that we admire. So to be likened to her is really flattering.
The vinyl version of the album was co-released by Dawnbreed Records and Sentient Ruin Laboratories. How did you end up over at those labels?
Actually, the vinyl was co-released by Sentient Ruin, Dawnbreed and Désordre Ordonné, as mentioned before. Mattia from SRL contacted us a few years ago saying he would be interested in working with us. We weren’t ready at the time so we kept on working on our recording. In 2016, Mattia released Alaric’s second record on tape. By then, we were ready to get into the releasing part, so we asked him if he was still interested in putting the record out. He agreed and then he arranged the partnership with Dawnbreed and Désordre Ordonné. We are amazed to be on labels that are spread on two continents and to have pro-active people working with us. We are most happy with the experience.
The album has just been released, what are your plans now and for the future? You already started working on new material?
Yeah our main goal is to come up with new material. We have already played these songs so many times due to the lineup changes and the release of the new album. The good news is that we already have some extra tracks, either completed or in the process of recording. We are going to finish those up and then move on to new things. We can’t wait. It’s been a while since we have been able to focus on new material and we are thrilled to get back at it. Doing more shows with good bands is also something we look forward to as well as touring.
Is there a possibility you might come over to Europe for live shows? If so. Who would you like to tour with?
Touring Europe is something we have wanted to do for a long time. It’s our dearest wish, to be quite honest. There are a few bands we’d like to tour with, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter, as long as we play live in Europe. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to do it yet, but as soon as someone comes up with a plan, we’re in! I think the European public could dig what we have to offer and to us, Canadians, Europe seems like the Eldorado for music. Everything seems to be better organized, and there’s a true passion and respect for music and arts in general.
This wraps it up. Thanks for answering the questions. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks Marcel for the interest you have in our band and for the support. We want to thank the people that support us and help us keep this ball rolling. We are grateful for the opportunity to have our music out on all these formats, and that it reaches people in many ways. We hope to be able to bring it on tour as soon as possible.