Good evening, thank you for having me here at La Chaise-Dieu for this interview. Dyable, La Chaise-Dyable. Ok, Chaise-Dyable it is then. As you know, we made the video clip together last year and it went pretty well. We were happy with the result. And back then we were talking about the fact that it would be nice to go further and do an interview or something to discuss some lesser known or often misinterpreted aspects of the band. Now that your new album came out, we thought it was the moment to finally launch that project. So let’s do this now! The first question I want to ask you by looking at you is: why this weird outfit?! Why the outfit? Because I’m too shy I can’t face the camera so that’s why. It allows me to feel more comfortable. Anyway, we all wear a mask in our daily life, it won’t change the content of what I’m going to tell you. Ok… Ok… err… So we’re… We’re in your kitchen, right? Yeah. This is where I cook, where I listen to my CDs, where I listen to the mixes of Peste Noire too. This is also where the photo used for the artwork of the album was taken. Indeed I recognize it, it hasn’t changed much. Speaking about the album “La Chaise-Dyable”, now that it’s been out for months, with hindsight, what can you say about it? Well, I don’t even have to look back because, right from the start, it was meant to be a textual album the lyrics are almost more important than the music itself even if both fit together the music here serves more like a media with some very long repetitive riffs which constantly come back to leave room for the text. It’s a bit like rap music with samples played in a loop. So, I understand that foreigners didn’t really relate to it because you only get into the songs if you get into the lyrics. Now, as for the monotonous and boring aspect of the riffs well the lyrics deal with countryside boredom and monotony, so it’s normal that the riffs are dull too it’s a way of matching content and form. Yes Indeed, I rather agree with what you just said. Anyway, this is how I interpreted the album when I listened to it. But what can you say about how people, in general, received the album? Well, just like anyone else, I read the internet reviews but then, there are two levels, really there is a gap between reality and the internet I went to a lot of gigs last summer most of the people who recognized me there came to talk to me as if by magic they all loved the album! Maybe they are honest but there’s still a huge contrast if we compare this to the Internet reviews which are either lukewarm or very bad. So, either the people who come to me say this just to be nice because they’re happy to meet me and they like Peste Noire in general and the last album is somewhat a catchphrase or, as it is often the case in France, reviews are like personal reviews from guys who take revenge on you because they are pissed that your band is popular and that their little shitty band isn’t. That’s the way it is, unfortunately. So, if I get you well all those reviews in which guys are endlessly puking things out about albums well it’s become pointless nowadays or…? It might not be pointless, but it’s still less relevant than in the 80’s or 90’s when you really needed to buy magazines to make your own opinion when you traded copied tapes. But this is the Internet era now, you are two clicks away from YouTube you don’t need geeks or nerds to help you have an opinion on music. The reviews I like today are the ones that give you the keys to understand a concept such as… For example… a Black Metal record based on the works of Lovecraft. If the reviewer knows Lovecraft very well and if he can guide the audience then why not? As for “La Chaise-Dyable”, there’s this guy from Guts of Darkness who knows the surroundings of la Chaise-Dieu and he gave a lot of specific details about it. I completely support this… this is educational, somehow. Otherwise, most of the reviewers review their own tastes, are really just reviewing themselves… That’s true! Today, we are at Ardraos’s and as you can see it’s a very peculiar place. Can you tell us where we are exactly? It’s a priory that was built in the 11th century just like the Roman church which is located next to it. The building has been reconstructed several times throughout the centuries it’s been turned into a farm but it still possesses some remarkable elements. Anyway, I bought this building recently from a foreign owner and it’s important for me, as a French person, and as a Bourbonnais to be able to regain a part of our heritage which is way too often sold off to foreigners. In addition to your band, you also manage your own label called La Mesnie Herlequin so here we are in the label office, could you tell us about how this label works? Yeah ok. The first rule is that I don’t do wholesale. I used to do it in the past but labels spend their time trying to get some discounts on already discounted prices trying to get official licenses on T-shirts & vinyl records when I constantly tell them that I want to keep total control on my productions. Same for the concerts I keep telling them we’re not ready yet and the guys keep calling back. I waste more time answering them than actually sending parcels. So, I try to tell them without any aggressiveness whatsoever the guys, they just do their job selling CDs and everything, I’m ok with it but… Stop writing to me Stop writing to me because I won’t answer you. I only answer the mails from people who actually bought something. Yeah, the real customers… Yeah, the customers, those guys I try to pamper! But since you must spend a lot of time doing this have you ever considered paying someone to do the job in your stead so as to be able to focus on things that are way more interesting? Yeah, I wasn’t against the idea at first I even did it but having talked with my Finnish friends about it I realized that the second you give the audio master and the artwork the guys, they just do whatever they want. They’ll tell you “we limit the CD to 500 or 1,000 copies” they sell 4,000 and they give you a percentage on the 500 or the 1,000. We’re not multinational companies that can launch a global lawsuit we don’t really have the means to control things. I did it once with Canadians from Transcendental Creations when “L’Ordure” came out I had given them almost everything. Yeah “Division Amérique” Yes, that’s it, it was Transcendental Creations that was in charge of the American division of La Mesnie Herlequin to distribute “L’Ordure” on the US terrority, South America, central America and Canada. I sent them the audio master of “L’Ordure” and I think they gave me 50 euros for the artwork because I had asked them for a contribution and the artwork had costed me 1,000 euros. License to produce sweat shirts – look how sweat shirts are popular nowadays also t-shirts, jumpers, they made all these. So I let them do it all and after a year they told me “here’s your retribution: here’s your ### euros.” For one year! That’s the money I make on my own in 3 weeks Another order of magnitude! That’s what I make on my own in the US in 3 weeks without doing wholesale and they did wholesale on top of that! So, I understood they had fucked me good, and I told them “Let’s just stop” I didn’t make a scandal out of it and I didn’t talk about it on the Internet or anything trusting them, thinking they would stop selling my items. Of course, they never did. Yeah and there’s nothing you can do to launch a global lawsuit you’ve got to be big enough for that… I don’t even have the money to pay a lawyer and launch a lawsuit. Anyway, since we’re doing this interview, I want to talk to them directly… Say it! Just put one foot on the European territory and I will personally stick a little nice surprise up your ass. Because of this con consider their version of “L’Ordure” as a bootleg. In post-production, if we could add the… the matrix number? Yeah the matrix number of the official version, my version, La Mesnie Herlequin France. Ok, no problem, so all the people who want to be sure they own the original version, just look at the screen right now. Anyway, people do whatever they want but it’s a way of supporting the band they didn’t do anything to help releasing “L’Ordure”. I’d like you to tell me how you became the drummer of Peste Noire how you met Famine, how did it happen? We met at a gig I think, in Clermont several years ago. At that time I gave him one of my demos of Sühnopfer. We met again during the gigs of Aorlhac because he liked that band. Then he moved to Auvergne and contacted me in mid-2012 to tell me he was looking for a drummer to record his 5th album, entitled “Peste Noire” the bound was made and we were able to record the album since we were geographically not far from each other anymore. So here we are in the recording studio of La Mesnie Herlequin this is where I record the vocals, where I do the mixing where I’m currently working on the live performances. Now that you mention it, about the live performances… It’s something that a lot of people are waiting for. So can you tell us more? Yeah, so the first thing is that we’re only two in Peste Noire: Florian as Ardraos who plays the drums and the accordion I do the rest: guitars, bass, vocals, lyrics and composing, etc… Audrey comes to help once in a while to do the female vocals Therefore, as we’re only two, we recruited a live lineup besides to… well for the concerts to put it simply with mates in bands like Lemovice or Wolfsangel. Thorwald from Baise ma Hache is going to do the backing vocals because in our last albums, there are a lot of questions/answers and voice dubbing plus it will allow us to have a better… A better rendition, more faithful to the version of the album? Yeah that and it will also allow us to have breaks to catch our breath in the end, the result will be even more intense. So here’s for the line-up also I’ve just met a guy at The Fall of Summer festival who is a sound engineer, he’s going to monitor the sound of all our concerts and as he’s also a pianist, he will play the organ parts on a little keyboard from a distance. Cool! Yeah, that’s the whole team, now we just have to go on stage! Didn’t you already do some gigs around 2007-2008? Wait… Yes! We toured in Canada. Back then, it was really a great opportunity for a Black Metal band to be able to have 13 dates like that in Canada. I regret that we haven’t toured much in France yet because I think the French are the best audience ever. The French have all the worst flaws you can imagine but when it comes to welcoming music people are really into it, they become possessed, they sing the lyrics. It’s also true that I did a lot of gigs in Scandinavia, the guys there are really static, almost boring. Yes, it’s true that they have that reputation We did a gig in Norway and it all went well but then excluding Peste Noire for the gigs I attended as a simple auditor the crowd was really limp. Anyway… we’re good for at least 8 concerts in France before going abroad. Could I just pass a message? guys who contact me about playing abroad don’t write to me before March 2016 because we first have to tour in France. I think we will be ready at the beginning of the year maybe a little before that and then, once we’ve done those 8 shows in France, we will go abroad. So, who are you? People know me under the name of “L’Atrabilaire”. Ok, I see, still this name may not sound very familiar even for the fans of Peste Noire therefore, maybe you could tell us how you came to gravitate around the band, how you met Famine etc.? We met in 2002 after “Macabre Transcendance” we met at an Ataraxia gig in Avignon, at the feet of the Papal palace. So, after that, I did a lot of little things like a radio show called “Les Chants de Maldoror” of which extract ended up on “Folkfuck Folie”. After that, I played the hurdy gurdy on the eponymous album in 2013 Now we’ve been working on the magazine for several years. Indeed, this magazine that I mentioned earlier, I think a lot of people would like to know how it is coming along because you’ve been working on it for so many years now. So ? Oh it’s like “Waiting for Godot”, we’ve been on it for so long… I did a lot of interviews In the end, we had so much material that I decided to make 3 chapters The first chapter will be dedicated to the old French scene, at the beginning of Black Metal in France. Back then, there were 2 main movements: the NSBM movement in other words Noxious and Subversive Black Metal and the more satanic, misanthropic Black Metal of the Black Legions. Of course, there are other bands, Black Metal being such a rich music genre. There never was an Euronymous gospel, to tell us that Black Metal should be this way or that way. To top it all, there will be the first part of the Peste Noire manifesto whose content is of course really subversive the Charlie spirit at its best… well, rather Charlie Maurras or Charlie Martel. Famine has a very peculiar kind of universe among French Black Metal and among Black Metal in general. You, who came from a different universe, how did you get into it, how did you make the project yours somehow? Because you are an official band member, you write the drum parts, you’re not just a live performer, how did it happen? We had one little thing in common to my own projects: there’s always been this medieval, occultist, gloomy and dirty aspect in Peste Noire. On top of that, the music perfectly matched my drumming style. We also included the accordion since I started playing music with this instrument I suggested to use it again since he already had some small parts in “L’Ordure”. It was musically interesting to work on these things and as for the universe, yes, for sure, it’s a very peculiar universe Famine develops all the concepts but we agree on many things: on the medieval, political and nationalist aspects of our music for instance. You have to work on the assumption that everything is free I mean the audio tracks, like 2 days after your album comes out it is downloadable for free on the Internet. I try to do things the right way, to make beautiful products and when people buy them I take it as a way of supporting my work. It’s like a militant purchase. This, you see, costs 30 euros, this is a beautiful product I’m a fan of the Montjoie Saint-Denis Choir I’m going to pay their CD 20 euros and I’m not going to cry about it and the thing is horrible, really. And it’s just a basic CD Yeah, this is the basic CD but I understand that behind all that, the guys are self-employed. Those are limited pressings so the costs of production are way higher than a big production run of 5,000-10,000 CDs… As a matter of fact, you know, the nice cap I have on my head I sold it at Hellfest, I had limited the production to 100 copies so obviously the cost of production was high since it was such a limited item. I always carry some products with me so I had that cap at the festival and there I saw some drunk guys who could barely walk with some sort of… I don’t know the name of that… those big 1 liter mugs of beer at Hellfest. Yeah tankards? Yeah tankards, but it has a name there, anyway… The guys were there half-dead and telling me that my products were too expensive, the cap costs 25 euros and the guys had a 18 euros drink which they would piss in the next 10 minutes. Yeah this is the price of the tankard they had drunk in half an hour… Yeah so the guys don’t really make sense to me. Under the shadow of Potence I’d like to go back to the ideology conveyed by the band First of all, Satanism: lots of references can be found such as inverted crosses on your logo lyrics that deal with the Devil or the occult aspect that prevailed in your first albums. Although, some think there are references to NSBM which is ethically opposed to the more chaotic Satanism. So where do you stand on this issue? Are you a satanist? Am I a satanist? It sounds a little bit pedantic to put it like that I consider myself as a small satanist a kindergarten satanist, a little imp I’m not Marc Dutroux Guy Georges or Manuel Valls. Let’s say I practice satanism on a low-intensity scale in my daily life just to have a ball but that’s about it. Anyway, Satan is not subversive anymore Wake up! For the last 150 years Catholicism has been ridden roughshod over by the Judeo-Masonism of the Republic. I’m not the one saying it, historians are. So maybe we should find another target to become subversive again. So for you it’s something that has become very common now, made banal… What is Satan? When Satan parades the podiums of the Grammy Awards with Watain is he still frightening? When Satan is played by Inquisition on those cruise ships, is he still frightening? When Satan is used by Hollywood to frighten who? Nobody. Satan is the metaphysical evil, some have used its metaphysical aspect, the orthodoxes mostly But we are more on the physical aspect of evil a Black Metal and actions that have an actual impact on the world. Quite recently, you were seen on stage with Shining in Paris… Yep. How did it go for you? It went pretty badly because my knife… (laughs) lapsus! my mike was not working during half of the song but anyway it allowed me to prepare myself, to feel more comfortable on the stage. In the ends, it’s Shining so the track is quite slow, very instrumental, few vocals, it’s quite difficult to make this song lively on stage but I did it to promote the band and because Nikklas is a friend. Let’s watch some of it then? Go ahead! I prefer to interview clever guys who don’t share my opinions over morons who think like me, that’s my elitist side… This is the fanzine spirit that we try to keep in the magazine Just like back then, when bands were not afraid to tell what was on their mind in fanzines. This freedom was taken from them by the big labels and commercialism Labels now tell them “Ok, so, you’re gonna stop saying bullshit in fanzines, or else your music won’t be available in the Fnac stores and you won’t be published in Metallian” Yeah, restraints… Yes, and we want total freedom in this genre. Honestly, I feel ashamed when I see what Black Metal has become. I think nowadays mainstream people associate Black Metal with movies like “Pop Redemption” starring Julien Doré, have you seen it? I have. The guy is like a big Care Bear the kind of guy who gets bullied at school by scums. For me, this is what the typical Black Metal guy is nowadays. He’s gone soft and I’m not even talking about all those Bobos and hipsters who arrived all that shit coming from the USA, it makes me ashamed. The first bands were real pioneers, it was an elite, for example, in 1993 only 44 albums came out in 2013: 1,744 albums you see… This really was an elite group of visionaries people through whom the archetypes of the collective unconscious as described by Jung were expressing themselves they were trying to convey something, a type of music that had a meaning. Then, it became entertainment like any other music genre only entertainment, no sense at all. To me, Black Metal should have meaning like the music from the Middle-Ages. I’m going to play the hurdy-gurdy later on and you’ll see it’s Alphonse X the Wise, it dates back to the 13th century, a period of time when music still meant something. So it’s the state of mind in which articles in your magazine are written? Yes. We want to restore pride in the Black Metal head and tell him that this music as he knows it today used to be something important back then it influenced people, people wanted to change their way of living, they wanted to live like this all their life. In 1993, people thought it would last and they felt betrayed by those bands who preferred wads of cash. The problem with people, it’s the fact they’re super binary, nazi/not a nazi, there is no middle ground. I see a lot of NSBM fans who get into Peste Noire because of our identitarian and patriotic side and thus will classify Peste Noire as NS. It’s also our fault somewhat because we enjoy giving provocative hints that support this idea But the thing is, those are the same guys who will… …come to us at first and then will break our balls because… we don’t completely follow that sort of moral purity demanded by the NS. and they will say we’re betraying the race because… …I don’t know: we ate a kebab in 1993 or we fucked a tranny at a swingers club because we were too wasted! At our core… Good day! Peste Noire is… keep filming, no problems… Peste Noire is super decadent, the lyrics reek of vice, it’s not as if the guys had not been warned. You see, the guys from the GUD for instance, it’s a movement that I fully support it’s a movement that I respect very much, they offered me to play for the “Congrès des Nations” in Paris. The offer really made my day I attended it as a spectator only, I respect it, I support it but you can’t put Peste Noire next to… large families, old men and proud skinheads, it just doesn’t add up. “Sluuut! Sluuuut!” “The bitch is farting again!” “But take a crap my wench!” “Make your peanut cake!” I’m a very simple guy, my life is easy, I follow 3 basic rules: borders and territories, racial homogeneity which won’t exclude certain exceptional accidental mixes as long as they remain very rare and won’t change the general morphology of a people. and finally: don’t fuck children Apart from that, I don’t have rules, I’m no Petainist grandfather. There are a lot of ex people from the NSBM scene who now eat in the hands of the capital. The Black Legions, born in a vault, in the dungeons of a castle they now proudly exhibit themselves at Hellfest in front of Jacques Villeret, the guy dressed as an alien in “The Cabbage Soup” or the guy dressed as a banana, or Spiderman. We’ve fallen so low, to a level that is so despicable that yes we want to give pride back to the Black Metal scene. Noble cause indeed. Thank you very much. When will the magazine be released? Very soon, we’re getting closer to the end and it will come out before the end of the year. Anyway, I think there will be limited copies because I don’t think a lot of people in the current Black Metal community will be able to understand the mix of literature, philosophy, sociology and history present in the magazine. So it will be limited… maybe to 5 copies, the number of members who actually answered the interviews maybe a little bit more than that. I’m a big fan of DJ Himmler I often post links to his music on my Facebook page people think I’m joking I’m in fact 100% serious when I do that. Ah yeah, the Footix socks! I had them in 1998 during the Soccer World Cup, I don’t remember how old I was back then. I was young and anyway I thought it would be cool to wear them for the video clip so as to emphasize the chauvinistic side of it, our blue/white/red flag, the redneck aspect, you know, beer, soccer, and all… That was the spirit! Well that just made me real thirsty so I think we will rejoin the others. Alright? Let’s go!