Interview with Akim for Thydoom
1. Lets start with the announcement of the current official line-up:
R. Tschirner: Iskandar Hasnawi, Sébastien Roland and Renaud Tschirner: various instruments, sound-design, programming, mixing. David Kempf: violin, orchestral direction. Esteri Rémond: soprano. Lyrics by Hasnawi. Music and vocals by Hasnawi and Tschirner.
2. Tell us please about last news from ELEND?
We are working on the next album, part 3 of the cycle of the winds, which is going to be released in 2006.
3. My opinion, each your album - a masterpiece. What is your muse, your inspiration for that unearthly depth?
Thank you... but I don’t know about inspiration. The only thing I know is that we have the will to create the kind of music which we would like to listen to, but which does not exist. Since nobody else seems to be crazy enough to do that, we have to take care of it ourselves.
4. What is the essence of your art, and the meaning of your lyrics?
Contrast, or tension.
5. Who, from ELEND has musical education?
Both composers had a basic musical education in their youth (including the study of classical instruments such as the piano or violin), but there were no further studies. We are autodidacts. The solo violin player and the solo soprano have a more thorough classical education, obviously. And so have most of the sessions musicians we work with, of course.
6. Who is responsible for creating music and texts How passes creative process?
The basic ideas come from Iskandar Hasnawi, who has always been the author of the texts. I have been less involved in the composition process recently, although all decisions are still taken by the both of us. At the time of the Officium Tenebrarum the lyrics, or rather the conceptual context, provided the main structure for the pieces of music and the overall dramatic development of an album. Musical themes written independently were mutually assembled or revised later according to the needs of the pieces. On the new cycle, a piece is treated quite autonomously and the texts are (more often than not) secondary to musical logic.
7. Tell us about work with an orchestra at record of your albums? Can you remember some interesting, maybe funny moments during the record time?
You know, when you have to record that many people in a very short period of time, on your own, with a really limited budget, you don’t have the time to enjoy the situation much. Your primary concern is to finish everything in time and according to your expectations. But particularly, I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed by the mass of strings in the clusters of "Ardour". Although you know what it will sound like when you write it, hearing it live is still beyond your imagination. This is where you become aware of the shortcomings of any recording: there is no satisfactory way of transposing the effect of a live mass of instruments on record. The piece as it appears on Sunwar the Dead lacks the violence of the session that produced it.
8. For all time of existence ELEND played live gig? Maybe you have plans on it?
The only concert we have done so far was in France in 1995. We were the headliner of a small underground metal festival. Due to budget restrictions we could not even use a small ensemble and had to have recourse to playbacks for most of the music except the vocals and the main violin or piano/keyboard parts. We had an additional keyboard player, but that was it. The people who were there seem to have liked the concert quite a lot, but we believe that this is not the proper way of performing the music of Elend in public. We are eager to perform live with Elend, but such an enterprise must meet certain aesthetic criteria which we still aren’t able to achieve with our limited budget. At least, we are able to produce albums on our own now, which is a great improvement compared to a couple of years ago.
9. Are you being influenced by any kind of literature? Is it reflected in the creativity of the band as such?
The literature we appreciate is not necessarily reflected in the themes we approach in the context of Elend. In order to produce a coherent album there needs to be a very specific focus, which is automatically a restriction of personal preferences, especially when there is more than one creator involved.
10. What was the biggest problem that you had to solve in the history of the band?
I would say that the only problem we had, and still have, is of a financial nature: how to record and produce this kind of music under the laborious circumstances involved and with the concomitant marginal public interest.
11. What other stuff do you do besides music? Hobbies? Interests?
You’re not the first journalist who doesn’t believe that music is the only thing we do...
12. What’s your favourite way to spend free time?
Not having to work for money is delightful enough in itself.
13. Do you personally have a place in your country or perhaps abroad from where you derive the feelings or emotions, which later help you to form songs and texts?
I don’t think so. I don’t believe inspiration can be pinned down that easily to one particular spot. This assumption may work for Romantic artists. We don’t see ourselves as artists, and certainly not as Romantics, either.
14. Thank you very much for this interview! What would you like to say to your fans?
Thank you for this interview. I also would like to thank all those who have bought one or the other Elend album since we started with this project.