This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 12/12/2014.
I’ve hardly ever been as nervous as just before interviewing Billy Corgan. To many, more than a musician, Corgan is the embodiment of alt-rock, of an aesthetic, of a decade—some kind of hero. As he puts it, through the years, The Smashing Pumpkins became more than a rock band: an institution. Not that he’s making a fuss out of it: he’s lucid, high-spirited, and way more preoccupied with the future than the past.
On the occasion of the release of Monuments To An Elegy, the second album of the Teargarden By Kaleidyscope cycle, we talked about the present of The Smashing Pumpkins, its past, Corgan’s other endeavors, and the current state of rock music. Resting on the band’s laurels isn’t an option. Billy Corgan is too busy trying to prove that rock’n’roll isn’t dead, and that there are still boundaries to be pushed—that after all these years, he still would rather be an anti-hero than part of the status quo.
This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 29/10/2014.
“We believe in tradition over novelty”: when many bands deny trying to sound deliberately retro, Jus Oborn tells it loud and clear: with Time To Die, Electric Wizard sticks to its guns. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Black Masses, the band’s previous record—line-up changes, departure from long-time label Rise Above—but the core formed by Liz Buckingham (guitar) and Jus Oborn (guitar, vocals) appears stronger than ever: ending the other’s sentences and looking for the other’s agreement; their complicity is obvious.
Hearty, hiding neither enthusiasm nor disappointment, they answer our questions with the honesty they’re claiming and a pinch of self-deprecation. In between two puffs from a makeshift pipe made of a can of 1664, they talk DIY, solitude, disillusions, and plans for the future.
© Ester Segarra
This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 07/07/2016.
Is Iceland the future of black metal? Considering the amount of fascinating records released by the local scene (Svartidauði, Wormlust, Sinmara…) these last few years and the enthusiasm it stirred, it may indeed be. And that’s what legendary Roadburn festival’s programmers must have been thinking as well: not only they added quite a few Icelandic bands to their prestigious line-up, but they even picked newcomers Misþyrming as the “artist in residence” of their 2016 edition, following nothing less than Enslaved or Neige from Alcest.
So it’s during Roadburn that I managed to catch three members of the band for an interview a few streets away from the agitation of the festival, despite their (very!) tight schedule: in three days, they would play up to six sets with different bands and musicians combinations, the highlight being the Úlfmessa (Icelandic for “wolves mass”), during which no less than ten musicians would appear on stage. We took advantage of this flurry of activity to talk about many aspects of the Icelandic black metal scene, from its functioning to its influences to its… consanguinity.
D.G., H.R.H. and, T.Í., who play in Naðra, Carpe Noctem, and NYIÞ on top of Misþyrming, display just as much enthusiasm as control, and just as much humility as ambition. One thing is certain: this is just the foretaste of all they have to give.
This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 29/09/2014.
The visual dimension has always been a key component of metal aesthetics: just thinking about the amount of seminal bands who’ve been fishing in the whole art history for their artworks—Morbid Angel, Burzum, Reverend Bizarre to name but a few—shows how often the music and the art worlds blend together.
I talked about that with Costin Chioreanu a few years ago. If you aren’t familiar with his name already, you probably know his art: a multifaceted artist, he designs posters, artworks and T-shirts for many bands among which Arch Enemy, Opeth, Neurosis and Ulver, but also directs animated videos, and works on stage design, for Mayhem. On top of that, he plays himself in Bloodway, and works on several more personal projects and exhibitions.
Strong of an extremely rich and varied experience of both the music and the art world, he told us about metalheads’ relationship to art and about his own. Because in the end, the medium of expression doesn’t matter: the goal is always to serve a higher purpose.