Greetings over there and thank you very much for taking your time to answer this interview. Like I always say on my interviews, I conducted those only with bands that I admire, so, I am very enthusiastic about this one. Please, introduce yourself for our readers.
Thanks a lot to give us the opportunity to talk about our music. We are A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm and we’ve been dooming around since 2009 in the outskirts of Toulouse, France. Our music lies somewhere between doom, sludge and stoner rock, with quite a bit of black metal influences. As of today, the band is a trio composed of Lundi Galilao, Gloria Tetanos and myself, Victor Bestiole.
The band has released a new album named “La came crude”. For those who haven’t had the chance to listen to it, please, tell us a bit about this album, how similar or different is it from “Primary Septagon” and why did you choose to feature “only” two very long songs.
It’s actually a single song, we just decided to cut it in two on the bandcamp website so that the sound quality of the uploads is not too shitty, but it should really be taken as a whole. Initially, we had the idea of a single-track album to challenge ourselves in the composition of a long piece that would be musically coherent from the beginning to the end and that would follow a story. Overall, “La Came Crude” is much darker and more complex musically than “Primary Septagon”. The atmospheres are also quite changing over the 45 minutes, unlike classical monolithic single-track albums like Sleep’s Dopesmoker. It also took us much longer to finalize than our first effort (about 3 years) and it didn’t go without difficulties (we lost two drummers in the process). But we’re pretty happy with the result. It’s probably the most accomplished piece of work we managed to produce so far.
La came crude” release includes a short story. What can you tell us about it? What’s the theme of the short novel/ album? As far as I’m concerned it’s about a rural French mythological tale, is that it?
You’re right, this story is based on a mix of two rural tales from the south-west of France : La Goulue (the glutton) and La Jambe crue (the raw leg). It tells the story of the birth of La Came crude, a frightful bogeyman from the Gascogne area in France, which is described as a single leg with wings and an eye on the knee. The story has been initially written in French but an English version is also available here: http://lacamecrude.pressbooks.com
“A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm” self-released “Primary Septagon” in 2010 and now in 2014 has released “La came crude” via Peccata Mundi Records. Why the band took four years to release a new full-length album? And please, tell us a bit about the label Peccata Mundi Records.
It took a long time because it was hard work (we composed, recorded and mixed everything ourselves), but also because we’ve been working on other projects as well. A split CD with the band Wheelfall was released in 2012, and we’ve also been working on the new albums of our other musical projects Dead Mountain Mouth (progressive doom-death), Prognathe (brutal death/grind) and Monsieur Boniface (post-rock). All of these albums are out now via Peccata Mundi records, which is a label created by Lundi to gather and distribute the projects he plays in but also albums from other bands, like BIZARRE LIZARD or OPUS OCTOPUS, that were previously self-produced.
Both of your full-length albums feature album covers that completely fit the music and, in my humble opinion, look great. What can you tell us about them? And how important is the cover art for the band?
Thanks! We like to make efforts on the art so that the final object is somewhat original. For “Primary Septagon”, the CD came with painted cards representing each of the songs (by French artist Jean Chauvelot, who also did the cover). This time, we decided to release the CD and the short story in a DVD-sized booklet format and the art is based on paintings by Arthur Rackham, an English book illustrator from the late 19th century. We thought his painting style was fitting well the atmosphere of the album and the novel.
As far as the band name, it’s a different and interesting one, “A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm”. How did you come up with this name? Is there some history behind it?
Lundi has always been frightened by ghosts, so that was naturally the scariest band name that came to his mind! More seriously, we thought it went well with that gloomy-rural vibe in the themes of our music. For the anecdote, the name is also too stupidly long that nobody ever uses it, not even us! People usually refer to us as Le Vieux Fantôme (The Old Ghost).
I’ve read an interview with the band in which it was stated that the best ghost stories that worked better when being kids are the ones you created yourself. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Is “A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm” compositions a continuation of these stories and these days? And connected to this, please, share with us some of your favorite ghost stories/ writers, especially the ones that aren’t well-know.
Indeed, many of your lyrics are based on stories we created, some are influenced by the local folklore and some are totaly born from our sick minds. Anyway, some of our favorite writers are Hoffman, Maturin, Lewis, Lautréamont or Poe.
Generally speaking now, how does the band work when composing an album? Do you think about the thematic first or lyrics and then the music or the does the music comes first? Besides that, does the band member work individually and then present what was composed or do you work as a group?
Usually the theme of the songs comes first. Thy help us to know in which direction we want to go. Then the base of all the music is composed by Lundi, each member works his parts and we discuss together about the possible modifications we want to apply here and there. The lyrics come at the end and are generally a collaborative effort. For the first time, we decided with La Came Crude to do also the recording and the mix ourselves. The mastering was done by James Plotkin (Khanate, Lotus Eaters, etc.).
About touring now. Are you playing shows to support “La came crude” release? If so, can you share some dates for us? And, by the way, is “A Very Old Behind the Farm” a band that like playing live?
We do like to play live but it is difficult today because we have rehearsals difficulties due to the distance of some members and we’d better not play live than delivering mediocre shows. Hopefully, that will change in the future, however.
In a way we can say that “A Very Old Behind the Farm” is a new band, but has already release a demo, a split-album and two full-length albums, the last one being this year. What advises would you give to a young band that wants to play their music out there, to release an album?
Our advice would be to try to do something new and original that really passionates you. And to produce as much material as you can, that’s the best way to learn. Releasing an album is not that hard these days but that’s no excuse to make it without passion and rigor. Finally, you must keep a critical point of view towards your own work, that’s how you involve.
And for the fans, tell us a bit about yourself, what are the main things you enjoy besides playing music. Are you more a going out or home person? Reading, cinema, whatever you’d like to share with us.
We have pretty different personalities and centers of interest: Lundi is a book-eating hermit, Gloria is a party animal and a lover of shoes and I am a nervous wreck who goes out occasionally if there is Belgian beer to drink. But we do have a common love for booze, wine, cats and duck (middle-rare).
And so we reach the end of this interview. Once again, thank you very much for this opportunity and I hope you enjoyed the interview. All the best for the band. Any last words for our readers?
Many thanks to you and to metal-maniac.com. A last word: quack !
Cover photo by Fabien Labarbe.June 4, 2014