Jonathan Hultén | Dreaming the dark

This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 07/11/2018.

“Of bodies chang’d to various forms, I sing”
Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book I, lines 1-2

The last twelve months have been busy for Jonathan Hultén. The Swedish musician released his first EP as a solo artist, The Dark Night of the Soul, a couple of months later, the album Down Below with his band Tribulation, and toured extensively in the meantime. Chants from Another Place sounding as delicate and minimalistic than Tribulation sounds wide and heavy, Hultén proves that his talent is multifaceted and that his creativity knows no boundaries.

To get some kind of counterpoint to the interview I had with Adam Zaars, his fellow guitar player in Tribulation, I reached out to Jonathan to have his own approach to Down Below. It has also been the occasion to talk about Chants from Another Place, its common features and its contrasts with Tribulation’s ambitious death metal. At the roots of both of these projects, Jonathan Hultén turns out to be an artist that creates as he breathes, looking for exploration, transformation, and ultimately, metamorphosis. Thoughtful and generous, he talked about life and darkness, doubts and convictions, creation of course, and introspection.


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Jarboe | Truth and consequences

This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 30/07/2018.

Jarboe doesn’t need to be introduced: core member of Swans along with Michael Gira until 1997, ever since then, she keeps on singing, creating, shape-shifting, and growing, working with artists as different as Neurosis, A Perfect Circle, Phil Anselmo, Justin Broadrick, and In Solitude, in the process. Ubiquitous and discreet, appealing and eerie, muse and mentor: she knows no boundaries and follows her path in the shadows, where experimental music, extreme metal, rock, and contemporary art meet.

Thanks to a lot of luck and a bit of nerve, I managed to meet her somewhat against all odds after her show with Father Murphy at Roadburn, a couple of months ago. The interview was short, but when Jarboe talks, sharp and generous, time stands still. It’s like a whole part of the history of contemporary music coming to life. Off the record, anecdotes abound: she recalls a visit of Budapest with Attila Csihar as a guide, gently mocks the members of some Swedish black metal bands, “charming when they’re alone, insufferable when they’re together…” Under the pretext of talking about her haunting collaboration with Italian occult psychedelic duo Father Murphy, she evoked seminal episodes from her childhood, her relationship to spirituality as a musician, and some memorable live performances, outlining her own approach to art, unique and visceral, humble and uncompromising, sensitive and quietly stubborn.


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Adam Zaars | Down there

This interview has been published on Radio Metal the 25/01/2018.

Down there (Là-Bas) is a novel written by French decadent author J.-K. Huysmans in 1891 culminating in one of the most striking black masses of the history of literature. Tribulation naming their last record Down Below might be a discreet, knowing nod more than a full-blown homage to the book, the record still shares its fascination for the Underworld, its esoteric obsessions, its threatening feminine figures, and a melancholic longing for something else—the Other. I got the chance to hear what guitar player Adam Zaars had to say about these topics at the end of last year, a few weeks before the release of Down Below.

The record picks up where The Children Of The Night, arguably the band’s breakthrough album, stopped, in a unique blend of proggy death metal and death rock. Since their thrashy death metal beginnings, the Swedes have come a long way, and yet the initial drive seems to remain the same: from the gruesome lyrics of The Horror to the gothic atmosphere of Down Below, they’re still exploring all the formulas of Death. Thoughtful and precise, Zaars expended on his way of working, his inspirations, and the band’s aspirations.

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