It is my wish to start this interview by showing my gratitude to you for taking your time to reply to this little conversation we’ll have. I deeply appreciate this act of yours. Please, to begin our interview, introduce yourself to our readers.
Horaz: I am Horaz, one of the two heads of Imperium Dekadenz, responsible for playing Guitars, Keys and Voice. Live I perform the voice, beside Vespasian (the other head of ID, Drums, Acoustic Guitars, Guitars, Bass, Keys), Kaelt (Guitars), Naavel (Guitars) and Harvst (Bass). ID has been established in 2004 and we released our first and second album in 2006 and 2007 with the label Perverted Taste. Our third and fourth… as well our next album was and will be released by Season of Mist. We play none religious and none political atmospheric Black Metal, with epic, rough, desolate and dramatic elements.
It is a bit late, as I’ve started this new website only on the current year, but I would like to talk about Meadows of Nostalgia, which was released in 2013. Actually, I don’t think this could be labeled as “late”, since works like this one you’ve presented us are timeless. As you can clearly see, I loved the album. It is amazing. It is stunning. Now that you had more time to think about it, read the reviews and get to know the fans’ reactions, overall, how do you feel about the album? Is there something that you would like to add or to change at all?
Horaz: That question is not too late. Most of the interviews we did months after the release where we were close to the production and enthusiastic to have reached the goal. Now 19 Months after the release it is a different view… but not a very different evaluation. We think it is our best release so far, together with “Dämmerung der Szenarien”. To be honest, there are just a view little things we would change or add to that release, but our overall opinion is still the same that we hit the core as we wished. We were wanderers between the misty mountains and the cursed woods of the Black Forest, but know we are longing for darker and harsher stories in human mind and history. Our current status of the new material promises that we are on a good way to reach the goal again.
The lyrics to this album, which was written in German (two being in English), one more fact for me to enjoy this album even more, was translated into English, but, could you give an overall idea about the concepts or topics that you write about?
Horaz: These songs are based on personal experiences in our youth, experiences which are very decisive for us. The emphasis of these “stories” is acting in the Black Forest, which is our home region… and comparable to some Scandinavian landscapes und filled with legends and mysteries. The nature, the history of that region and the already mentioned personal experiences are the mental basement of the concept. Nothing special you could think, but we noticed very fast that these stories fit perfectly to our kind of art and atmospheric Black Metal and finally we learned something important about ourselves, it’s a big part of the answer why we became who we are and why we are dedicated to dark art at all. So I think the special thing on this album is pure passion for something we carried in our hearts over all these years and extracting it into authentic art.
Perhaps in a way connected to the previous question, I’d like to know what draws you to create music. What inspires you to play the style of music that you do. What influences you when it comes to your musical process?
Horaz: I think I answered this partially with my previous answer. First of all it is passion for that kind of art, that leads us to that direction and second it is an inner need to express our emotions and thoughts. That is for sure a fact for all bands and artists, so finally it is the character, the skills and the experiences which creates the “color” of a song or an album. At this point I have to say “let the music answer”, it can define that much better, as all words I could write into this interview.
While I’m typing this interview, I’m listening one more time to Meadows of Nostalgia and I think that real compliments and not being a fake person are never enough. It’s not a matter of ass-kissing, but showing real appreciation for your work. I will never interview a band that I don’t like, actually, I don’t think I’ll even upload a review of an album I don’t like either, because it’s all a matter of taste. Well, I digressed, but, having that in mind, I just can’t stop feeling amazed about this album. It feels like you can hear some of the classic elements of black metal here, but it’s not a copy, it’s an original sound. How do you manage to do that? And what should a band do to stand out from all of the others?
Horaz: Thank you. I agree that Meadows of Nostalgia sounds like classic Black Metal stuff, but on the other hand it is not. The music of ID is a result of a development that started from the day where we found our passion for music. I think an important point is when you start making music, is to keep the focus on yourself and not rehearsing songs from your favorite band. Start playing with your own melodies, learn to record them and learn to be your hardest critic. Further it is not a must that an excellent musician is an excellent songwriter at once, so it is not enough to be a master on your instrument. Stay fierce in what you doing, do it with love or hate and not with something incurious between.
I found the cover art to be intriguing and that it completely fits the mood of the album. Could you talk a bit about this, why you chose this particular one and tell us if the meaning behind it connected to the music created on Meadows of Nostalgia (MoN)?
Horaz: The cover was and is always an important element for each of our albums, because the cover is always the face or the first view on it. You look on it while listening to the music and so it should support the feeling/ atmosphere of the album. It is important for us that the cover tells you a mysterious story, while you have the possibility to immerse with the details. The MoN cover shows an old man with a backpack hiking thru a bosky grim mountain landscape, obviously in deep thoughts. The cover is based on a photo from the very early 20th century, showing a bagman who carries glass and cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest region from one place to another. We imagine that the man thinks about his life, when he was young and everything was much easier than nowadays… about his achievements and defeats.
Imperium Dekadenz members are the duo Vespasian and Horaz. How does the songwriting work as well as the lyrics? Do you work together or individually? And when it comes to playing live, as far as I know, you have a very stable line-up, are the live members involved with any other matter rather than “just playing the songs”? Do they help chose the set-list as well, give some ideas about accepting or not to play in certain “clubs” or something like that?
Horaz: Hehe, I see that yor are very interested in the “Laboratories” of Imperium Dekadenz. Believe me I could write a book about that, because it is such complex story to cover the whole truth… maybe I will do that someday, hahaha. The fundament of the most songs is composed by only one of us. These songs will be discussed and then we continue the composing to together. Other songs were composed in a jam session, “Brigobannis” for example.
Our live members are not involved into the songwriting process and the production, but they are full integrated into the whole live sector. I.e. Some song details have to be adapted for the live performances, the setlist has to be arranged, the logistic planned and also ideas have to be gathered for the show at all……
On the ten years of Imperium Dekadenz, which are the lessons that you learned for the studio and when playing live?
Horaz: I think that list would be endless if you looking for details. The most important thing is that you have to learn how you have to manage your life, that you can successfully accomplish such a band project, beside your daily job and duties. The next point is that you must learn how you have to manage the CD production, travels to concerts and band internal issues and tasks. So you have to learn to be a manager in general and that time is the absolutely most important resource.
You have been signed to Season of Mist since the release of Procella Vadens in 2010 and now with Meadows of Nostalgia. Are you guys satisfied with the work they’d done for Imperium Dekadenz so far? You’ve also worked with a “smaller” label before. How do you compare both situations? Is it easier to work with a bigger label, but still be one more of the many bands that are on their roster or with a “smaller”, but responsible label (as we know there are many out there that isn’t) that will work almost just for you?
Horaz: That equation is easy, big labels have a major influence to the scene and less time for you, small labels have a minor influence, but more time. But both do not have money for the bands, hahaha. Forget the money when you start something in the music business, it’s a hungry beast, never satisfied and longing for more and the artists are at the end of the food chain. We decided us for Season of Mist to transfer important management tasks to a professional network of people. We are pleased so far with their work, only improvements in the booking sector are on our wish list.
I am aware that the name and the pseudonyms were inspired by the 70’s movie Caligula, directed by Tinto Brass, starring Malcolm McDowell, Peter O’Toole, John Gielgud and Helen Mirren. I do really like this movie as well, I just think that the hardcore porn scenes that were added by Bob Guccione weren’t really necessary. Well, in addition to that, are you movie fans? Do you enjoy Italian movies? And what about the German cinema, there are/ were some amazing actors/ directors and movies from your nation. Could you share some thoughts with us concerning this?
Horaz: I think some of the porn scenes are important for the atmosphere, others are redundant and it seems they have been added to lift the arc of suspense in moments of less action. We are not especially attired in Italian movies, but they understood to shock the audience in the 70’s, “Cannibal Holocaust” is another one that has to be mentioned in that circle.
Germany has a long chronic of crime thrillers and comedies, but without own fancy ideas. But meanwhile there are a lot of great movies I won’t miss. My favorite movies from Germany/ Austria are “Schlafes Bruder”, “Die Wand” (The Wall) and “Stalingrad”. Movies are important for me, but to see one good film you have to watch 9 movies, ready to kick into waste.
There’s a time that it gets really hard to come up with questions that aren’t either too vague and neither too detailed, that would interest only someone that is starting to get to know the band or a die-hard fan. So, I ask you, is there a question that you’ve never been asked, but you would like to? If so share it with us as well as the answer, hehe.
Horaz: No, hehehe.
Alas we reach the end of this interview. I truly hope you enjoyed answering it and so the same for our readers. I would like to thank you one more time and wish all the best in the future for you and the band. Any closing words for us?
Horaz: Yes, I enjoyed the interview, very deep and detailed questions. It is always some work for us, but finally it is also a chance to start thinking about things you have not done before. So I have also to say thank you from our side, too… stay fierce.
Morituri te Salutant
Horaz from Imperium Dekadenz
October 14, 2014