06 oktober 2011

Interview met Julien van Glorior Belli

Geschreven door: Carl Puhl

Label: Metal Blade

Er gebeuren op muzikaal gebied interessante dingen in Frankrijk, vooral in het post black metal subgenre. Hier zijn bands als Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Aosoth en Merrimack te noemen als de belangrijkste voortrekkers. Uiteraard is ook Glorior Belli een belangrijk speler in dit subgenre, anders had ik deze introductie niet zo hoeven schrijven als ik nu doe. Naar aanleiding van de release van hun laatste CD The Great Southern Darkness heb ik een paar vragen aan de band gemaild. Julien is zo vriendelijk geweest om ze te beantwoorden.

WiM: Hails Glorior Belli. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Sure, do you have 6 hours or so? I mean, that’s almost 10 years now. It’s actually not THAT long though, so I guess I can sum it up. Basically the highlights in Glorior Belli’s history are the release dates of our records. The first and unique demo – Evil Archaic Order – was released in June 2004, followed by the first full-length album – Ô Lavdate Dominvs – in May 2005. I did those records with the “original” line-up, having Antares as drummer and friend. The sophomore album – Manifesting the Raging Beast – was released in June 2007 via Southern Lord Records. That was a major turn in Glorior Belli’s carreer. It’s like our best selling album ever. Latest offering – Meet Us At The Southern Sign – reached the surface in June 2009 via Candlelight Records. That was a major turn in Glorior Belli’s carreer but not for the same reasons this time. I guess I see it as a transition album now, there are definitely some killer tunes/songs in that one but it’s not as impressive as a whole, may be tends to get too long. Anyway, this brings us to – The Great Southern Darkness – in collaboration with Metal Blade Records. And I still rehearse at the same studio than when it all started only now that little Satan geek made his point.

WiM: Your new CD The Great Southern Darkness is out now. Are you satisfied with the result and how have been the reactions so far?
Reviews are all unanimous, we fucking nailed it, plain and simple. The new album receives high praise from all over the world and it’s fucking gratifying considering all the efforts we put into it. Our last record sorts of divided opinions, but not anymore.

WiM: The obvious influence in your black metal music is the southern blues sound. Could you tell us a bit about the origins? And why do you play the music you play?
I wouldn’t say that Blues music is really popular, as in “trendy”, but tons of people of course enjoy it. I personally have a thing for Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson obviously, John Lee Hooker, also some of the stevie ray vaughan’s best hits, more or less all the classics. I’m really in love with a record called ‘Negro Prison Blues’, the convicts where singing over a beat that they actually made while breaking rocks at the penitentiary. Primal, deep and going straight to your gut and soul. That’s how I like my Blues.

WiM: With fellow countrymen like the members of Aosoth, Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega a lot of interesting things are going on in the French black metal scene. I think you are an integral part of this (r)evolution. What are your views on this? Is there such a thing as the French black metal scene? Are you familiar with the band members of the bands I mentioned?
I’ve never been one to believe that actual geographical frontiers could be determinant in the creative process. I don’t even feel like I belong to any kind of scene, if you close your eyes for a minute and listen to the CD, well except may be for my ugly accent, I dare you to say this is French BM. What? You did?! Alright then. I guess it must be well-deserved somehow. It’s true we have a bunch great bands around here, but mostly great individuals who don’t care about any kind of limitations, just like me. Guys who don’t have to pretend.

WiM: After releasing a new album usually bands go on tour to promote them. Can you tell us a bit about your plans about playing live?
So far we have an Australian tour planed with our friends from The House of Capricorn that should happen in early 2012 and a couple of shows in November booked in Belgium/Holland/Germany as well as an exclusive Canadian date in Montreal on November 25th. The Canadian “show” is actually a festival called Messe des Morts and organized by Martin/Sepulchral Prods. It will be the first edition this year, and we’re playing with Absu, Inquisition and more. Just got in touch with Martin who has already been booking foreign bands in the past and that’s it. Really psyched about this festival though, it will be our first appearance on the North-American soil and most probably our only date there for 2011.

WiM: I understand you have a record deal with Metal Blade now. Does this mean you will be going on an extensive European tour? And maybe even visit other continents?
I’d love to tour, if it was up to me I’ll be on the road as much as possible. But we’re still at the stage of booking shows on our own. I don’t think these things really depend on labels but more on booking agencies/contacts, being at the right place at the right time… And we never cared too much about that in the past. But I guess at some point either you play the game or you just keep sitting on the replacement bench.

WiM: The art cover on your new CD is very striking, although it is in black and white. Can you tell us a bit about the picture and the artist?
The cover art was done by Canadian artist Alexandra Snelgrove and she just totally nailed it. It was designed based on “Negative Incarnate” lyrics: “From behind the nervous curtains of my trembling cosmic prison, the dark Gods are firmly waiting filled with hatred for the cosmos; outside the frame of creation lies the darkest of all secrets, the magic of the queen dragon waits for us to crush the gates!”. As you can see it’s a representation of Tiamat with the Earth wrapped around her tail as she awaits in the kingdom of eternal Darkness, outside the limitations of the cosmic scheme. Flames, tortured soul, revisited logo, unique album title font, every single element of the cover has its importance in the understanding of our lyrics. It’s sort of a key that unlocks the door to the album.

WiM: The Great Southern Darkness is the second album with the southern influences. What will the next album bring?
Yes, somehow both records are connected. “The Great Southern Darkness” is the logical continuation of our past effort. As for the next album, I think you guys are in for a sweet surprise! I won’t tell anything yet though, it’s way too soon.

WiM: Thank you for your time and energy. I will leave the final words to you.
We will defeat and bring down the cosmic scheme! See you all Froggerz somewhere down the road.