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Darkmoon: No lyrics about killing people or Satan!

Interview with Darkmoon by Vera in December 2007

Darkmoon is one of the seminal bands on CCP Records. This Swiss based band founded in 1997 has built up a solid reputation by playing several gigs and their two albums ‘Of Bitterness And Hate’ and now sophomore album ‘Apocalyptic Syndrome’. Their mix of melodic death metal with some thrash and black metal influences creates a deep atmosphere. We liked their musical approach and sent some questions to the band to know more about this fine outfit. You can read everything about Darkmoon in our interview with the band.

Where are you from Switzerland and can you tell about your first encounters with metal? How did you get the metal vibe we all feel?
We all come from the region of Basel, a city at the shores of the river Rhine, where Switzerland, France and Germany meet. We are all Swiss, except our drummer Laurent, he comes from France. My first encounter with metal was at the age of about 11, when a friend of mine in Italy, gave me a tape with metal songs from Slayer, Anthrax, Jane’s Addiction, Testament and a few other bands I don’ t remember now. I listened to this tape every day for about a year or so. Then I bought my first CD: “Arise” from Sepultura. From then the addiction was completed!!

Darkmoon was founded about ten years ago. Can you tell something more about those founding days?
Well, those were funny chaotic days! No one of us was able to play an instrument, so we first had to learn by jamming. We kept on producing terrible noise for a few years, until the first songs were composed. Our first band room was in a really dirty farm that also was the collecting point of animal cadavers. A pig we named Freddy lived right beside our entrance. One day he was slaughtered, we still miss him, hahaha!

What were the main sources of inspiration at that time to form a band?
At first we wanted to sound like Cannibal Corpse, but while becoming older and wiser our actual sound came out. I think our main influences always have been bands like Hypocrisy, Amon Amarth, the first Dimmu Borgir and Immortal, and like everyone at that time Slayer, Sepultura and the classical death metal bands like Death, Bolt Thrower and Edge Of Sanity.

Switzerland is known abroad for popular traditional hard rock bands like Gotthard, Krokus and so on. Wasn’t it hard to go for a more brutal approach?
Well, Switzerland also has bands like Celtic Frost and Samael, so the more harder sound was already known by people. The difficult thing has always been the fact, that the hard metal scene always was very little. Only in the last three or four years it has begun to grow pretty fast. I think in the next few years you will hear a lot more from the upcoming Swiss metal underground!!

After making some demos you played at several huge festivals. Can you tell a bit more about these live experiences?
We always have been pretty nervous before playing at festivals. As we are metal fans ourselves, we always were very impressed having the honour to play on the same scene as Slayer, Destruction, Nile, Napalm Death and many more. There is hardly the chance to get in touch with the members of the named bands, but the feeling to be there is unbeatable. Also the reaction of the audience always was amazing. I think people are more relaxed on festivals as in clubs, so it is easier to get people enthusiastic.

‘Apocalyptic Syndrome’ has a huge, overwhelming sound and production-wise it just sounds ace. Can you tell a bit more about the recording process?
We use more or less a classical way to make records. First we record the drums, then the bass, the guitars and at last the vocals. Nothing really spectacular, but I think, we own pretty good equipment, and the studio where we are, has the right technical material to record a good quality metal album. But most important is our producer team V.O. Pulver and Franky Winkelmann. As members of GURD they have a huge sound experience. Franky also often is on the road with bands like Destruction. They make things in an easy and effective way in a cool and relaxed atmosphere. We can really recommend them to everyone!!

Never thought about going to Scandinavia for the final touch (as your music is a bit akin to melodic Swedish extreme metal)?
If Dan Swanö or Peter Tagtgren had the time to do the job for free, we surely would not say no!! But honestly, we have the great luck to have a perfect recording studio right where we live, so there is no necessity to go abroad.

The lyrical concept is quite dark. Can you go a bit deeper into the lyrics?
In our compositions, we try to create certain atmospheres and lyrics are very important to us. It would be a banality to write lyrics about killing people about Satan or things like this. We rather focus on the situations that happen in the real life, they are hard enough and often true.

And it would be nice to focus upon the rebellion against institutionalized power in your lyrics…
Well a few of our songs, for example “Black Domain” treat this theme. It is quite hard to see, how little courageous people are in our times. We often let us lead by incompetent people who only long for power and money, and in fact do not care about the weaker ones in our society. There are many examples in history, when whole nations let themselves being led by despotic cruel sadists without realizing, or without finding the strength to rebel against their own oppressor.

That’s true! Are there plans to support the album with touring?
We really would like to do some supporting shows for bigger bands. But times are hard. We don ‘t have the possibility to pay tour support ourselves, and this is unluckily what we would be supposed to do as we only are a little bit more than a simple underground band. We do our best taking whatever we can get, but sometimes it is simply too expensive to do certain things…

What are the records that blew you away this year in your personal collection?
There are many bands I love, I have more than 1’000 CDs in my collection! A band that always impresses me is for example Before The Dawn. It is really amazing how effective they can be. Another personal highlight has been the new Nile album, I really love this band!! The other members also listen from rock to death, almost everything, there is so much good music to listen to!

You got signed by Austrian label CCP Records. Can you tell a bit more about your contact with the label and what were the positive actions they did to spread Darkmoon’s music until now?
We have a good relationship with our label. We know what we can expect from each other. We are very happy about the publicity done in the big magazines as Legacy and the Nuclear Blast catalogue in Germany. Also very good is the distribution our label works with. I have seen our albums at many festival stands yet, this makes one pretty happy!!

Which bands would you prefer to go on tour with in Europe?
I think bands like Dark Age, Serpent Soul, and some Swiss underground bands would be a nice interesting package. We have good friendships with a lot of bands by now, as we try to live the older ideals of relationship between bands, as we knew in times when old school death metal was on top. If we could wish I think we would probably choose Hypocrisy, Amon Amarth and perhaps Bolt Thrower.

Do you see sites as and as a blessing or a curse for Darkmoon?
Without we would not have our actual booklet, as we got in contact to the artist through this site. For little bands as we are, its important to get good contacts, but I would not overrate myspace or youtube as in my opinion the best way to get forwards is the traditional: good records and good live performance!!

What are your plans for the near future?
Our album has been published right now, our new homepage is online, so next to do will be giving as many concerts as possible, and of course plan the next songs to write. We always have some interesting things scheduled, are looking forward to our next concerts and are hot as hell!! We hope to meet many maniacs and with a little bit of luck also some of your readers!!

Geplaatst door Vera op maandag 31 december 2007 - 18:13:43
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