01 – First of all, I’d like to thank you very much for taking your time to answer our interview. I know that most of the underground musicians are busy, trying to make music, with your regular jobs, personal lives… and I really appreciate the fact that you are answering this interview. Please, introduce yourself to our readers/ listeners.
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Hello everyone! My name is Edmond and I’m human.
02 – Well, it’s inevitable to start by saying that Dar de Duh is an outstanding release. When I heard the Valea Omului EP in 2010, I was instantly in love with Dordeduh’s music and I yearned for more. With the release of Dar de Duh, again I was, obviously, highly pleased with your deep and meaningful music. What were the reactions from your fans and the press so far? Do you feel that you’ve reached all you wanted concerning this release? Is there anything, at all, that you would have liked to improve?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Many thanks for your words of appreciation.
The reactions were very positive and many people rated our album over our expectations.
Sol and I worked a lot for this album, starting with writing the music ending with recording it, mix it and master it. So, we actually took part of every little part in the development process of this album. Knowing so many details, it’s unavoidable to have also critics regarding our work. But, over all, it was a very important experience for us, as we learned so much as musicians and also at individual level.
03 – One thing that I find interesting is that I’ve read on some reviews (and a few friends had told me the same already) is that they couldn’t get into Negură Bunget, but they loved Dordeduh’s Dar de Duh. How do you feel about this as well as, in your opinion, what reasons could they be?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – I generally avoid making too many comparisons with Negura Bunget, mostly because a lot of gossiping was going around this subject.
I think mainly it’s about resonance. Some people resonate more with what we do and what we emanate. Some people will never resonate with what we do.
04 – This is a question for someone that isn’t familiar with Dordeduh’s works or your previous bands releases. How would you explain Dordeduh’s sounds? I’ve read that you’re not a fan of labeling music, but, generally speaking, how would you describe Dordeduh’s music?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – I’m not a fan of labeling exactly because of what I wrote earlier. It’s a matter of resonation. People can take the same music from many perspectives that fits with one’s preferences.
If I would have to describe it I would say that it’s a music that incorporates many various stiles and a variety of moods, from soundtrack like music, to extreme metal music. One hears from time to time traditional instruments, sometimes veiled in a progressive or even post-rockish flavor. It’s a very narrative music, that flows from one song to other and which might manifest visually also in one’s head. But one has definitely to offer his attention otherwise the patience of listening our music might be lost soon.
05 – A question we can not avoid is about the symbolisms in your music as well as the Romanian language. Could you explain to us about the messages or concepts behind its music and lyrics as well as, since you had some English lyrics in your previous bands, do you see, in the future, Dordeduh featuring English lyrics as well? (I must add that I much prefer when bands sing on their native languages, much more when the language sounds very pleasant, which is the case of Romanian.)
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Well, I can’t appreciate objectively how pleasant Romanian sounds. I’m pretty sure that we’ll continue playing in our native tong; but one thing that we’re struggling about is to offer the audience some translated lyrics. Unfortunately this process of translating our lyrics has become something very difficult and at the moment we’re quite stuck in it, not really knowing which direction to choose. When we turned all in English many things that are essential for us vanished. Of course the rimes got lost and some of the hidden meanings placed beneath the words; and when I say hidden it’s not meant in a negative way. Some very nice things and games with the sense of the words are inserted in the Romanian version. So, we have to choose from two direction that we can take: one is to literally re-write the lyrics, trying to follow the original lyrics, but as we already tried this with a couple of songs we saw that actually the lyrics turned into something else, different then the original, but not necessarily in a bad way, but different. And the second option is to write down the lyrics, without any care for rime and words games and writing footnotes for it. Unfortunately these things require a lot of time, which we don’t have at this moment.
Regarding the concept, this album has actually two main themes; one is given by the title of the album, “Dar de duh”. The word “dar” mean gift, offering. The word “duh” means spirit or the state of the spirit; it’s a light weighted offering from / of sprit. Besides the fact that people turn more and more egocentric and this is actually a call to liberate one from a self centered existence, for me this title had also an “occult” sense. The concept of black metal is encouraging the listener and the “practician” to go as impersonal as possible, letting the universe flowing through one’s acts. We are already dead, since this world touched us for the first time; with the first breath we inhaled the death. Then people learn to spread death all over, through their own manifestation. But only a few can make the death bow in front of them, then their moments come to pass away. Only a few learn the art of dying; dying with dignity after a lifetime spend in spreading the will of universe, without imprinting any personal touch in manifestation. The Art of Impersonality.
Of course, this is a high ideal, but actually if one does not fall into the decadence that the path tries the “practician”, black metal actually learns one this art of dying impeccably. This entire part of the path is metaphorically “the dark side of the Moon”.
“Dar de duh” starts conceptually “the bright side of the Moon”, when one become its own Sun, learning self standing after a livetime of support from Nature, Fate and Universe, serving others by offering and manifesting further the Will of Universe. Of course, this is a very long path of becoming, but every path starts with the first step. This is our first step on our path of becoming.
The second conceptual side is more concrete one and it deals with the principle of the number seven. It’s our seven material released. So, the album it’s a collection of esoteric and traditional symbolism generated by the manifestation of the number seven. The symbolism of this number is very vast and covers much of esoteric knowledge. I focused on specific aspect that actually supported the concept of the title explained previously. So the album is actually an astrologic journey through the seven days of the week. Thematically we took many aspects from the Romanian traditional culture, but there are also many other influences from different other cultures. The album starts with Saturn as every week starts in traditional culture. It goes through Sun – Sunday, Moon – Monday, Mars – Tuesday, Mercury – Wednesday, Jupiter – Thursday, Venus – Friday and it end and starts again in a new circle with Saturn. Actually every “step” has different layers in life, with ups and downs; with elevated and degenerated choices. The concept follows the path previously explained when the art of dying actually turns in an art of living.
06 – The usual question about writing and composing: do you feel that it has become more demanding or complicated to write/ composing new songs after playing in several bands before, for so many years, or is it something that happens naturally?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – In this regard, things didn’t changed too much. One always has period when feels inspired and periods when fate is channeling one to other duties then writing music. One need to listen the call… So things are the same as always were. Maybe now I’m more able to accept when I have to do something else the composing music and I’m not anymore that stubborn to insist in what I want and accept the flow.
07 – You are very interested in esoteric practices and you can sense that on Dordeduh’s music. What are the practices and studies you’re interested on (if you can share that with us) as well as how do they influence your personal life and your music. I’ve read an interview in which you explained some facts about the Energy, Magnetism and Astrocartography and found them very interesting. Could you explain to our readers/ listeners some facts about them?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – These things are important for me and I don’t see these things as something special. Spirituality is a specific way to perceive and explain things, but it’s far from being the recommended one. Again, it’s a thing of resonance; a personal option. These things work for me in the way that things found its way in my life. The esoteric view it’s not something that one can force into his life. These things have to come naturally otherwise this will do more damage then anything else. If this is not a natural call, one’s life will actually become very unbalanced. Most of the “spiritual people” are unfortunately from this category, exactly because they search to become spiritual, they think this is something special and they search for special experiences.
I had my call in this direction since a child and I can tell you that most of the time it was a burden. I could not talk with my family or in school about this without being seen as weird or even schizophrenic. People can be very mischievous about these issues. And then all these things are going to be suppressed and that’s not a harmonious life.
My practice and my studies in this regard concern my person only. These things have a lot of sense in my life and I’m not at the point where I could give any inspiration in this regard. In music it’s different: one resonates or not with what I do. Practice and study is something different. For some people this is a life time job. For others it’s only a part that completes the whole.
08 – Connected to the previous questions, for someone that became interested on such esoteric subjects, do you have any authors and themes that you’d recommend them to start reading about?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – I don’t know how it happens with others, but in my case a book always arrives in my hand at the right moment.
There are so many sources of information nowadays from so many directions and so many good authors that I would not even know with what to start…
09 – Three questions in a row that I always ask musicians because I (and I believe many of the fans as well) would like to know their personal views on some matters. The first one is: Music is truly important for many people. I’ve heard some saying that music is the soundtrack of our lives, a statement that I agree. Music helps us to go on through hard times or to increase our joy on happy occasions. How do you feel when you get to know that your music has helped and still helps people to forget about their problems, to go through difficult times?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Honestly I would hope that music helps people get inspiration from the music and deal with difficulties in their life and not making them forget about problems. Problems are there because something from us attracted that to happen. If something happens like that surely shows that there’s also a problem. I know that this statement is hard to be accepted, but if one has to be patient and focus and in the end it will see that the source of our problems lies inside us and not in the exterior world. It’s very comfortable to say that the problem lies always outside. The world has to change, not me… that’s actually a very arrogant and ignorant way of thinking. If one would only have the ability and focus to witness what music does to us at the molecular level and how the rhythm and the vibe of the music affects us… we would be astonished. Then how our inners stated which reacted to the music affect further all that’s around us, other people’s state of mind and the general vibe that we imprint around us. We are not living in a sealed bubble; we are interconnected with everything around us and we receive and share voluntarily or involuntarily.
Music is an informational transmitter; information that it’s actually more subtle then we are used to consider as information. But one thing is certain. Music is affecting all of us and it’s more then an entertaining pleasure.
10 – As for the second question, nowadays music promotion is so much easier than just a few years ago. We have Bandcamp, ReverbNation, Facebook, Youtube, but still the amount of illegal downloads is always increasing (We have to understand that the world is facing a terrible economical crisis, but even before that, illegal downloads were already a big problem). What is your view concerning this matter? Do you think that people that illegally download music could be considered a fan of the band?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Well, first of all promotion is not much easier than it was before the social networking existed, because also the musical diversity developed and nowadays are way more bands compared with what existed before. I think that one has actually more tools to work with, to spread the information, but also the amount of information that is circulated increased enormously and actually people don’t have anymore time to check all the information that one can access. This has advantages, but also major disadvantages. But for having a good promotion a strategy is always needed, so this thing actually did not changed. Nowadays the promotion has to be adapted to the actually needs of the market.
Regarding the illegal downloading I think that’s something that turned out to be disadvantageous for the past way of doing musical business which was already a faulty system. It was actually a natural reaction to something that was going more and more unbalanced. The worst part is that the artist had to suffer in the past and it has to suffer out of it now as well.
11 – And now the third one: You’ve been playing music for so many years, releasing amazing albums with your previous and current band. Can you say that you’ve reached the goal you’ve set for your life (music wise), if you had one? Also, what motivates you to keep on going, to keep on touring and always outdoing yourselves?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Well, in a way yes; I could say that I reached what I aimed when I was very young. But of course those expectations were something fitting to that age, when all I wanted is to play on one of the biggest metal stages in Europe. To make something like that happen means much more than a simple idea; many other details get involved.
What keeps me alive in this scene (but I don’t actually know for how long) is the lifestyle that created around the music in my life. I focused nearly every aspect of my life around music… so, so far music remained my life.
12 – Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with Romania. Still I haven’t been able to visit it (yet), but it’s definitely one the places I’d like to visit the most in a near future. I just have these images on my mind that makes me believe it is indeed a marvelous and beautiful country. Please, tell us about Romania in general, whatever you’d like to tell us about your country, about your city Timişoara as well as what we can not miss at all when visiting Romania.
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – As it is the case of every other country, there are many things that could be said about a country. Romania has the problems and the benefits of every east European country. It’s a very warm and friendly country, with great wild nature and a nice continental weather. Most of the people have really difficult times earning their survival, especially lately, but on the other hand they have a good education and one can easily find an English speaking person in every major city.
If someone would like to visit Romania I would definitely recommend Transylvania and Carpathian Mountains. If one is fond of nice touristic places, Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Cluj Napoca or Alba Iulia would be the cities I would name. In Brasov in every direction one would choose to go, would find something interesting in nature, not to talk about ski and winter sports. But my favorite mountains are the Apuseni Mountains. Even they are the smallest mountains from Carpathians, they are the most diverse and colorful. One can visit many places in nature and one can still see how an authentic village looks like.
Timisoara use to have a very bohemian vibe with nice visionary ideas for the Romanian society. But being so close to the “western” world it became a city where people came to make money. It’s still a nice city, but the cultural aspect vanished a bit, despite the obvious development of the town.
13 – Still on the Romanian subject, but adding something that I’m a big fan, which is cinema. On the last years I’ve watched many great films from your country, especially from the “Romanian New Wave”, a lot of them winning prestigious awards around the world as well as gathering attention for your country’s cinema industry. How do you feel about the Romanian movies, do they interest you at all and if so, do you recommend us any?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – I’m really sorry but in this issue I’m completely uneducated. I’m not a big fan of movies and if I do choose to watch one, I’m very selective, mostly because my state can change very fast and I end up in different weird moods, in which I never intended to end up.
14 – Could you tell us a bit about your post-rock project Sunset in the 12th House; any news on the release of an album?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Yes. It’s a kind of a side project of people involved in Dordeduh. We recorded already some material for the album and in April we probably are going to finish it. The release party is scheduled for the end of this autumn and we’ll announce soon also some shows. We got a couple of good proposals from some good labels and we’ll soon sign with one of them. So, things are going on, smoothly, but precisely.
15 – And now we reach the end of this interview. Again I’d like to thank you for taking your time to answer our interview, as I’ve told you, I’ve been following your work for many years, ever since the Negură Bunget days. Any last words for our readers/ listeners?
Dordeduh/ Hupogrammos – Many thanks for your interest and support and thanks for this opportunity. Best regards you all your readers!April 14, 2014