Calling France… anyone out there? Ready for some questions on your music and maybe even something utterly unrelated?
V.R.S: Hail dude.
According to the Metal Archives entry your band dates back to 2001. Interestingly, only three releases have seen the light of day: two demos (2004 & 2006) and the debut album (2009). Could you lay out the history of Sacrarium a bit and what prevented you from spreading more stuff over the years?
V.R.S: Yes, Sacrarium was formed in 2001. At this time the line up was Nekrofoross on vox and I on guitar, Frenekross joined the band shortly after and played bass. If the first demo was only released on 2004, it’s because the band split up in 2003, and I came back alone with the name Sacrarium, but nothing happened in this period.
When it comes to band members then you had some changes as the time passed on. How did this affect the band and the music you created? Only one founding member has remained or? When it comes to the song-writing how did this evolve over the years? Did your music always have this fast and rather aggressive approach that can be found on “March to an Inviolable Death”?
V.R.S: Yes and no. Yes because the first line up didn’t correspond to the actual way, and no because since the creation of Sacrarium I created the music. I think Sacrarium could only exist with my work and only that. I’m feeling better in this way. I could only be free if I compose, I really can do what I want if I am the only one who create music. Since the beginning of Sacrarium, the way I compose changed, I evolved technically, so it’s logical that my music evolved. And actually my music is still aggressive, but the new songs are more personal.
Judging from the liner notes of your latest release “March to an Inviolable Death”, its crafting was shared between V.R.S. (Guitar, Vocals, Drums and Effects) and A.m.K. (Lyrics). Why this strict separation and will the next album have a similar distinction? What about D.A.V., is he able to participate in the band outside of this session member activity as well?
V.R.S: For a very simple reason, I am a bad writer, I never managed to write anything. A.m.K is very good to write but not a good musician, exactly the opposite of me, so we found the right balance. And about D.A.V, I just wanted a session member, with A.m.K and I it’s the perfect balance, it would be pity to destroy it - I am a little bit superstitious I know (laugh). But of course if D.A.V want to work more he is welcome.
How would you describe the music of Sacrarium? What are its core elements?
V.R.S: Just as Brutal Black Metal with some ambient elements (laugh).
What does the band name refer to? Wikipedia is able to clear matters up a bit but what were your reasons for picking it?
V.R.S: Nekrofoross and I found the name Sacrarium, at ghe beginning that was just for the fun. But actually I find a real sense in this word. It’s like my sanctuary, and apart the music, I am not really creative, music allows me to isolate myself from this crazy world.
One aspect that tends to disturb me again and again is the use of a drum-computer. Do you like this tool and are you satisfied with the result? Is there a chance to hear real drums in the future?
V.R.S: Hehe I understand, but if this tool is well used? I really like this tool, because the program I use, SUPERIOR DRUMMER 2.0, was designed by profesionals musicians, nothing to do with my old BOSS DR770 that I used for the demos. I am sorry to announce you, but I will not leave this tool (laugh).
“March to an Inviolable Death” reminds on Dark Funeral, Infernal (Sweden) and similar bands. Do you have a certain fascination for this type of music or how did you end up with such an album?
V.R.S: Bull’s eye! Actually I love the bands you mentioned. In fact I am a fan of Marduk and the Swedish scene, and you have to know that I had “MARCH TO AN INVIOLABLE DEATH” in my mind for so many years, that I was forced to go through an album like that. But be assured, the next album, MIASMIND, release in 2012, will be quite different. We are currently working on it, and we can not wait to release it.
Your music comes with one sample from Aleister Crowley – A.r.c.h. – so it seems natural to question you on the reasons to pick him above all others. Do his writings have some sort of a special meaning for you? For starters, what would you recommend of him?
V.R.S: (laugh) No, I just love the tone of his voice. In fact it fits perfectly with the intro’s sample, so why not use it? Sorry but I can’t give any advise, we are not really interesting in Satanism.
Are there other writers you would like to point towards as a source of influence and inspiration?
V.R.S: None about Sacrarium, but in my personal life, I will say without hesitation, Alain Soral.
Is there any special reason for preferring English over your native tongue French? How important are lyrics to you and what do you try to express through them?
V.R.S: Yes we prefer English, we love French, and at the beginning I wanted to sang in French, but English really sounds better.
A.m.K: I think that the most important is the music, but if I want to share my ideas, music it’s the best way for me. The most important thing about writing lyrics is to be honest with myself, talking about what I like, what is important for me and to give my vision of the world or my point of view of what we call ‘humans’.
You use the platform Jamendo, which has become quite popular in France; for numerous reasons and one does relate to the harsh treatment of copyright infringement. Why did you choose to use it and why do you spread your debut album for free? Was it ever released on CD or did you pick this way of distributing it back then already?
V.R.S: It’s just because I thought it could be a good thing to promote the band, and whe have to be honest, the album would be very quickly ploaded on illegal download sites, and it’s better for us, if people like the album maybe they will buy it.
What is your opinion on downloading music anyway?
V.R.S: Personnaly, I think it’s a good thing, and even more since the French government create the Hadopi law, wich is a fucking disgusting law! I don’t think downloading actually kills artists, download is a door for people to know new bands like Sacrarium for example, about bands like Dark funeral for example, who have already popularity, there will still have fans who will buy their albums. Our governments have to steal less money from the artists and come back to a “TVA” at 5.5%, it’s a cultural product, isn”t it? But they prefer to invent a legal downloading card to buy MP3’s, what the fuck? But stop it there, we can talk about a day!
As someone who is active in the black metal scene for some years, how do you see the change in the images of a lot of bands? Those corpse paint pictures tend to vanish and are replaced with some dark and grim ones. What would you opinion on the development of the scene be? Do you prefer the old-school branch of it or are you able to enjoy modern interpretations as well?
V.R.S: The only thing I hate is the new way of young metalhead with a Justin Bieber’s style. Is this a joke? You know, warpainting is not the most important thing, in the beginning of Sacrarium I was a warpainting head, but now I prefer simples but darker things. Otherwise I can fully appreciate an old school band, but with a good sound, and a band more modern and progressive like Opeth, or avant garde like Aborym, Vulture industries or Code.
I tried this question in another interview with a French band before: is there any good beer from France? Something you can wholeheartedly recommend?
V.R.S: Damn it! That’s a fucking question (laugh)! I couldn’t answer sorry, because I prefer some Belgian beers, but mostly I love German beers, I live near Germany, and French beers doesn’t really interest me, there is a beer, called Kronembourg, manufactured near from where I live, but please, never taste it! (laugh)
A.m.K: You have to try some beers from Britanny, but I forget their name… (laugh).
This year marks your tenth anniversary. Do you have anything special planned for it? Some new release with which you will ‘celebrate’ it?
V.R.S: Yes, of course! For the tenth anniversary, we are currently preparing a best of with 8 tracks of our ancients albums and two covers. But the best of will only available by free downloading.
And this is the tracklist: 1. Reign of Terror 2. Land of Forgotten Souls 3. One With Gaïa 4. Under a Silent Nightsky 5. Phantomatic Landscape 6. Through Centuries 7. The Last Day of a Man 8. The Grinding Truth 9. Morbid Metal (Samael Cover) 10. Of Hells Fire (Marduk Cover)
Do you have some stuff for sale and in case this is the case, how or where can people acquire it? In case someone wants to get in touch with you, what would be the best way to do so?
V.R.S: Currently no, because we are waiting on the date of the official release. But this may be done directly via the label DE TENEBRARUM PRINCIPIO, and some distributors, but I don’t know wich ones, and the easier is to order directly by the band, we have a facebook page and a myspace page, I am preparing a platform “BIG CARTEL”, and all the news will be available on the myspace page.
Any final words or comments you would like to share with the universe?
V.R.S: Nothing to add, just want to thank you for this interview and the interest. Long live to HolyMetal!
Siamo alla ricerca di un nuovo addetto per la sezione DEMO, gli interessati possono contattare lo staff di Holy Metal, nel frattempo la sezione demo rimane temporaneamente chiusa.