7.4.13

Interview: Terra Tenebrosa (eng)


Για τους τρομερούς Terra Tenebrosa τα'χουμε πει πολλές φορές. Με αφορμή το τελευταίο τους έπος "The Purging", επικοινώνησα ξανά με τον The Cuckoo για μια συνέντευξη στα πλαίσια του Avopolis: Metal.
Μπορείτε να την βρείτε ΕΔΩ.
Εδώ παραθέτω και το αρχικό κείμενο στα αγγλικά.


Let’s start with the typical question. What happened in the life of Terra Tenebrosa those two years since the release of “The Tunnels”?
We just continued recording. Three tracks on the new album was recorded even before The Tunnels was released and I have already begun writing and recording stuff for the next album. Apart from that we have been rehearsing to play live and it has been a slow process. I didn´t want to cut back to much on the songs playing them live but I wasn´t that keen on working with backing tracks. Using backing tracks you could just as well do playback. We had to figure out how to go about things technically considering all the samples and effects I use on the vocals. A couple of weeks ago we did a live performance and it became obvious we still have a few things to sort out. Although it went fairly well and people seemed happy about it I personally think there are things we could do better. Currently we´re rehearsing and looking for booking agencys.


Listening to “The Purging” I found the sound I had loved on “The Tunnels”, yet obviously drawn further. The seeds were planted in “The Tunnels” and sown in “The Purging”. Do you feel that Terra Tenebrosa has managed to develop a trademark sound that suits best for this band? 
I dont know. Anyway we never set out to do that. We just do what we do. I really cant answer this. There are no rules in Terra Tenebrosa. Writing to Terra Tenebrosa I try to translate certain images or feelings into music and if a harmonica played over discobeat will accomplish that we record it. No rules.

“The Nucleus Turbine” somehow brings to my mind early industrial acts like Einsturzende Neubauten or SPK. Is industrial music a territory that Terra Tenebrosa is willing to explore further? And I know that the track was written during “The Tunnels” sessions, are there any more tracks from those sessions that finally saw the light of day in “The Purging”?

I´m not to keen on industrial music although I listened a lot to Einsturzende Neubauten growing up. Maybe that has coloured my writing on an unconscious level.  On “The Nucleus Turbine” I wanted the music to sound like the sensations you have when you have stayed awake for a longer period of time, that weird dreamlike state when everything gets distorted and twisted and you  really dont know who or where you are and the different drumbeats overlapping each other I guess creates an industrial feel.
The other tracks on the new album that were recorded in connection to The Tunnels is “Black Pearl” and “Compression Chamber” and I think we had begun working on “Terra Tenebrosa”.
   
The opening track of “The Tunnels” was “The Ternabos Prayer”, and now we see the line “The Ternabos Crowned” in “Black Pearl in a Crystalline Shell”. What is The Ternabos? And how important it (or he/she) is for Terra Tenebrosa’s concept?
"The Cuckoo" in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman
The Teranbos is my idea of the next evolutionary step, man transformed into god. I believe that we all have the potential of becoming gods, that within is a slumbering part of ourselves that can transform us and also transform the world around us, a redeeming teratoma, a part of ourselves that will make us what we were meant to be, something that wasn´t meant to be sleeping but something we have supressed and neglected. The name I got from a dream. The figure The Cuckoo is someone/something I have been seeing in dreams even as a child. Whenever I had the fevers I used to have the same dream and The Cuckoo was part of that dream, a dream that scared me as a child but now I view it as that part of myself trying to communicate with me. I´ve had dreams about The Cuckoo more frequently as I´ve gotten older and after one of those dreams I wrote that word down in my dream journal. Since I´ve met The Cuckoo in my dreams I chose that name because of an entity in the Sandman books that goes by the same name.
So The Teranbos are The Cuckoo & co.

This time you chose to include some parts of the songs’ lyrics on the booklet of the CD. All those lines connected make a long text that could easily be a separate track’s lyrics line. Does this text work as a brief guideline for the lyrical concept, or it can be viewed as a Terra Tenebrosa declaration?
I chose to present the essential lines in one text because every track on The Purging is connected to each other, starting with the idea of that redeeming teratoma awakening and transforming us until we take the step out of this physical world in Disintegration and The Reave. The Compression Chamber being the first step of transformation, the inward voyage to the heart of the soul. Black Pearl is the manifestation of this divine spark and the continuation of the fall from grace in Eden in order to gain wisdom and power. House Of Flesh begins the process of transcending the flesh, The Nucleus Turbine the mind disconnected and in The Purging begins the transformation of the world. Disintegration and The Reave is the final stages in the process where the person steps out of this universe into another where he/she have the powers to create and destroy in whatever manner pleases them. 
Mark Twain's "Letters From The Earth"
Terra Tenebrosa is the only lyric that isn´t really connected to the others. I read a book by Mark Twain called “Letters from the earth” where Lucifer has not been cast out of heaven and both God and he laughs at those stupid humans residing on earth. Lucifer goes down to earth and gives reports about humans to God in these letters. The lyrics to the track Terra Tenebrosa is my idea of Lucifers letter to earth based loosely on that book.

Vocals on the new album sound less distorted, this time I can surely tell there is a human being chanting those words. What was the motivation behind this new vocal direction? Some different point of view from The Cuckoo’s side maybe?
On The Tunnels the vocals were very low in the mix so people mistook them for samples also we have used different kind of effects this time. When we recorded The Tunnels we didn´t have any thoughts on playing live but this time we did so we tried to use effects that weren´t too far out without cutting back too much on what we really are. Also there are more lyrics and more vocals and using those kind of effects on everything would be kind of tiresome.

“Apokatastasis” is a track that was not included in the album, but found its way through Falling Down’s compilation. Was this song written especially for that particular release? Is it separate fron “The Purging” concept?

Apokatastasis was one of the first tracks written for The Tunnels but we couldn´t fit it in anywhere. The only place on that record where it would fit would be as the first track and we had already decided that The Teranbos Prayer was going to open the album. Then we were going to include it as a bonus track on the vinyl edition but we ended up using Breaking Open The Head for no other reason than that it was the longest track we had and could fill the d-side with it.


“My words will dissolve this prison’s walls / and I’ll burst out of this dead womb” At first it seems like a preaching, but I tend to understand this line as “I’ll reach personal enlightenment, self-evolve, and then I’ll revolt first freeing myself, and then everyone else willing to follow”. Do you believe that words themselves can set the outburst for a revolution? Are people willing to follow?
Words can plant the seeds that will lead to a revolution. But the only revolution in this case would be the one within, not without. Some will follow my example, some will not, but those who do will walk the earth as gods. Your interpretation is correct up to the point of “everyone else willing to follow”. I´m not preaching, I am not seeking to lead a revolution, this is my quest for knowledge and power. Not power over others but the power and knowledge to reach my full potential as a divine being. The lyrics are very subjective, if someone finds them inspiring thats great but this is my reality and my philosophy.

On the cover of “The Tunnels” we could see The Cuckoo blowing a signal, today we see all three members in a dominant pose. And both Hibernal and Risperdal are hooded and have abandoned the masks they had on “The Tunnels” sessions. Is it some sort of a statement? What is the idea behind this picture?
I was never that happy with the designs of the others masks and since I myself changed my first version of The Cuckoo into something I could actually sing in I might as well create something new for the others. The idea was to have the others look like gnomes, being the elementals of the earth, and the earth being the “dark” earth, Terra Tenebrosa, and that being the uncharted territories of the mind. The darkness wherein the hidden treasures lie, treasures that only a big storm will uncover and that storm will come of the igniting of the divine spark. I view it as if we´re moving in procession across the earth, maybe what The Cuckoo was signalling on The Tunnels?

Terra Tenebrosa had their first live ritual with Kongh recently. How was it for you? Are there plans for further live appearances?
It was fun but like I said, there are things we can do better, but it was a useful experience. When it was clear we were going to play live we had to listen to the records, relearning the music and trying to figure out what the hell we´re playing sometimes. On some of the tracks different guitarparts are pretty diffuse, drowned in effects and samples. We don´t rehearse them for months and then record them.  We write one, then record it and move on to the next, so it´s easy to forget. But after overcoming all the obstacles it was fun. We are definitely going to play more. We are currently looking for booking agencys.


You did guest vocals for Switchblade’s latest album, and recently joined them on stage. Apart for the “business” fact that the two bands are the only members of Trust No One’s roster, is there some other connections/relations between Terra Tenebrosa and Switchblade?
We have known them for about fifteen years and shared rehearsal studios for a long time. Also Tim, head of TNO and drummer of Switchblade, and I are very good friends. I was happy and honoured they asked me. I got the music and was told to do my thing with almost no pointers at all which was really fun. Arranging vocals to someone elses music instead of your own, where you have a pretty good idea early in the writing process felt kind of weird at first, I was experimenting a lot and all the time thinking of what the guys would think of it. But they liked it and I´m really happy with the result.

What are Terra Tenebrosa’s plans for now on? 
World domination.



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