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Interview: ANOREXIA NERVOSA
Title: Sophisticated visions

Pretty well known for truly superior Symphonic Black Metal, these raging Frenchmen fill their haunting creations with extremely obscure atmospheres of the spooky kind.

Their significant specialty is it also, to reach inhuman beautiful spheres with hellish bombastic arrangements. Their brilliant studio-album „Redemption Process” has been a huge success, and recently Anorexia Nervosa delivered a new release in CD format, „The September EP”. Unfortunately singer Hreidmar currently leaved our French heroes, guitarist Stefan Bayle reports me the bad news from their headquarter.

Stefan, how do you guys doing at the moment?

„Right now we're having a well deserved break. We've been busy touring with Vader all over Europe in September and November and as a headliner in France right after that. We've played something like 70 shows in the three last months so we feel a little tired at the moment. I just started the writing of a new album and we'll go back on tour in three months as well, so it's a very short break.”

How is the current chemistry between the musicians in the band?

„Well I guess everything is not really on top because Hreidmarr just left the band. He was thinking about it a couple of months ago and here it is. But you know the most important thing to me is that we are still friends. First of all Anorexia Nervosa is like a family. We gathered because we were all sharing the same aims, ideas, valours and lifecode. By the passing of time everyone has evolved in his own way and Hreidmarr was not feeling in harmony with the band anymore. Instead of tearing each others apart we thought that it would be better to stop right here and save our friendship and most of all our artistic integrity. In Anorexia Nervosa there's no way to lie in any sense. By now we are searching for a new singer and we are paying attention to every proposition we have.“

What is to tell in general about the new CD-EP, entitled „The September EP“?

„We made this EP for our personal satisfaction. Our label Listenable Records wanted us to release something new to go with on the Blitzkrieg tour. So we decided to record an EP like bands used to do in the old good time, haha. So we made a new mix of the song `Sister September` and added three covers and some unreleased live songs. Presented as a digipak for a low price. I've always liked EP‘s, ´cause B-sides are showing the hidden side of a band, and I like to ear things that you couldn't put on an album. The live songs are completely rough without any overdubs and they are the perfect representation of what the band was on stage at that time. And the covers were chosen according our musical influences, we would never do a cover from a band if we are not fans of this one. And yes I have to admit that we have so many (too many?) different influences!”

Please describe the readers, why especially these cover-versions were chosen!

„Forbidden Site is actually a French band, and we have always been great supporters. They are really good friends of us, we thought that they deserved more success than they had before splitting up. We had already harassed them three years ago, and forced them to reform the band to give an ultimate gig because they never did it. So we wanted to record a cover of `La Chouanne` ´cause this song is really excellent and we wanted our fans to discover it. This song is like a symbol of the French culture. We've always shared this vision of art with Anorexia Nervosa. For Darkthrone the interesting thing was to show our own vision of this song. It's crude and epic and we wanted that version to be "à la Anorexia". Slow with lots of arrangements but without loosing the original feeling of the song, insane and oppressive. Basically the cover from X Japan was included only on the Japanese issue of `Redemption Process`, to show the fans that we knew their scene too.”

What is special about „Director´s Cut Mix“ at the song „Sister September“?

„Well in fact people have been mistaken with this version. Many people thought that we had re-record it but « Director's cut » means Remix. I just wanted a rough sound, more heavy than the original one.”

Please tell the readers detailed about the included four live-tracks!

„These songs were recorded at the Clermont-Ferrand gig, which is Hreidmarr's place of birth. That's why the show was a bit special, we had many old friends and family in the hall so there was some magic in the air that night. That's why we preferred including this show instead of a big festival because there was this mystical feeling between the audience and us.”

Which of Darkthrone´s albums is your favourite?

„That's a difficult question, personally I like many albums. I think my favourite one is `Panzerfaust`, but if you ask another member he could say `A Blaze In The Northern Sky` or `Under A Funeral Moon`.“

Why do you release no fulltime album this time?

„The reason is: since the release of `Redemption Process` we've been continuously touring, and it's impossible for me to write a new album. As I'm the only one to compose in the band and I'm expecting a lot from the songs. I keep working on it until they sound perfect to me. For me it's no way to issue a fast made album. We always wanted to release "Cult" albums, something you can be proud of five years after the issue. For me every single note must sound like something sacred and must reveal what's hidden deep through my mind. We never wanted to become a kind of Metal "workers", like some bands which are still making the same album once a year only to go on tour and fall into a routine. My musical quest is mainly spiritual. All my life is dedicated to Anorexia Nervosa, in my every day life but also at a spiritual level. I think a new album should be released in one year and a half if we are not to busy touring.”

What contains a really good song in your opinion?

„A good song is a song that seems to come from another dimension and that can take you away, make you cry or give you the will to kill your neighbours. It's something that gets out of hands from the creator and becomes a living entity to reveal something which is not existing on earth.“

Regarding label-contract: are you satisfied with Listenable´s work so far?

„Yes we are satisfied with Listenable, they did a great job. This was the main thing we were looking for, this label is growing up and so do we. So the fact is that we are able to be a priority for them, also we can negociate and talk with them and most of all have a control on everything we are issuing. I think it doesn't make any sense to be on a big record company and be just one in a million although the company has many others priorities. Laurent, the boss from Listenable is able to understand what we try to go through and we did great job until then. He is a real support for us and that's the point. Even if he doesn't has the financial power of a record company like Nuclear Blast, we had everything we were asking for and in my opinion we had much more than we could ever ask from this kind of record company.“

Which one was your very best gig in 2005?

„I'm afraid I don't really know ´cause we made so many shows this year 2005! Maybe the best was Prague (Praha), we where playing at this venue with so many people, it was full as fuck! The atmosphere was just pure madness, so many people and hotter than hell! Yeah, there was no ventilation system, haha! Everything was so wet that I couldn't play, my guitar was winding, that's one of my best souvenir.“

Do you like it to play live?

„Yeah, so far ! That's my favourite part in being a musician. It's like I'm making records and all the stuff in order to play live. I mean this is the reward when you work so hard in studio you can at last share your music and your emotions with people; this is the way music was always meant to be: live. Even if sometimes life can be boring on tour we discover many new things that may be we could never see in regular life. And what comes out when your on stage is something even more powerful than an orgasm! So yes I do think I'm addicted to live performance.”

What´s special at a live show of Anorexia Nervosa?

„Well, it's no easy to answer, as I'm on stage. I wish I could see one of our performance for real. Only a fan could answer that question. I think the special thing is whenever we perform we are not playing a part, we perform with our guts and blood and generally what comes out is a real communion with the audience. It's more like a ceremony to me, or a "grand messiah" than entertainment. But our shows are also very heavy because we've been influenced by bands in the 80's that's something you can feel if you see us on stage.“

Which one was your first own bought album with Rock/Metal?

„Wow! It was a long time ago. I think the very first album I bought was `Master Of Puppets` when it was just issued. It really smashed me up. By the way it's still one of my favourites, I never spend a month without listening to it.“

In which life-philosophy do you believe?

„Mine! But this is not the kind of thing I like to talk about. You know I'm a bit close minded person, haha. I don't go out of my place really often I don't communicate that much and my circle of friends is pretty small. The only thing that keeps me alive is the will to express what comes through my mind thanks to my music. I spend most of my time in my studio trying to get this out of me. The only thing I can say is that I ever had this uneasy sensation of not being here for real.“

Which things do you prefer mainly beside making music day by day?

„Nothing more than drinking, fucking and doing interviews.”

What is your biggest dream as a musician?

„Steering a symphonic orchestra, playing live with Bathory, release the ultimate album, beat Malmsteen on guitar and why not doing all this at the same time!?!”

Which would be your biggest temptation as a musician?

„Being part of the Sopor Aeternus orchestra.“

What do you think about religions in general?

„I have a strange vision of religion. I'm fascinated by the aesthetic aspect and the inherent rituals in every religions. Beliefs are the basements of life, this is the only way to survive whatever you can believe in. And I think this world is in a decadent era. It's just a question of time for us to leave. But anyway, religion has no value anymore in this world. So wait and see.“

Plans for the future?

„Right now we have to find a new singer and then go back on tour. We are planning to go to Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, some Festivals in summer and may be another European tour. After that we'll be seriously working on the new album. 2006 is going to be a fucking busy year for us.“

© Markus Eck, 07.12.2005

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