/ First off, I would like to say greetings and thank you for letting
us do this interview for the Outcast Zine.
I suppose we should start off with a question regarding the history
Quam Tristis…Could you please tell us how this project began
This project is the fruit of a convergence between five people
coming from different musical horizons to share in common their passion
and love for ancient music, electro and latin language. This particulary
taste was not easily exploitable in the previous or current musical
projects in which they were involved… " O Quam Tristis… " is
a way to express some deep feelings of serenity and in a certain way
a manner of spiritualizing music by using sacred lyrics. For the moment,
the history of "O Quam Tristis…" is very short, the
band only exists since one year and a half…
2 / How did you meet our friend Guido at Palace of Worms Records
who has now released your cd ? What is your opinion of the music of
some other bands on POW ?
Some of us got in touch with Guido after an invitation to the "Storm
the Palace" compilation, showing a great interest from Palace of Worms
for medieval and Renaissance inspired musics. The song, "Laudamus te"
by OMS was composed by some of us and Guido liked it a lot. Then we
sent to the label a demo with 14 songs sung only in latin , the roughs
of what would become our first album…
We have been quickly seduced by the musical paths explored by POW
if our music cannot be compared with Bleeding like Mine or Stay Frightened
that are more atmospheric projects,
I think we share the
same interest for an alternative in music, even if the artistical
ways that we use are not exactly the same. One goal, one quest and
different songs to reach them…
/ It’s my understanding that all of the lyrics for "Funérailles
des Petits Enfants", your debut cd, come from the religious
text known as the Gregorian Manual is and why were all of the lyrics
your album written in latin ?
As I told you before, we wanted to create something more homogenous
than all that we had done in our other projects.
Even if we had sung
in latin some few songs elsewhere, we had never explored the pleasure
to sing in this dead language all along an entire album. The Gregorian
Manual is a book that was used for every liturgical ceremony. It
shows the words to say, the words to sing, the way to act and even
some musical scores for singers at church. We chosed the chapter
related to the young children’s burials because the theme was talking
to our souls in relation with the lost childhood from which many of
us are deeply suffering all along our life… We can also notice
that latin is a very singing language, these words are already a
music in themselves and you will never know how inspiring they are
putting them on our own musics.
you consider yourself to be "religious" or "spiritual"?
Any comments regarding the place of spirituality in the underground
gothic, darkwave, or similar areas of music ?
: We all have got a "spiritual" education in our
respective youths. Alas, we cannot say that we are nowadays some real
fervent faithfull guys and girls. We would like to trust in something
better than man. But without mankind, no God ! So all artistical Man’s
things done to glorificate any invented God are interesting in an esthetical
point of view. When we try to same up all the negative effects of religions
all along the centuries, we are afraid… So, I prefer to tell
you that we express in our music something more spiritual than religious.
We don’t want to be some kind of preachers, rather the Sandmen
of some lost serenity.
I think that the place of spirituality( and above all christianism
emanations) in underground gothic or darkwave is more decorative than
the real reflection of some true religious feelings..
/ I must admit, I was wondering why an album whose name in English
means "Funerals for Small Children" would
be used in connection with a religious text. Could you please tell
us why you choose this
Hugues :The explanation is quite simple. We used a French version
of the Gregorian Manual. Even if the liturgical lyrics are in latin,
the titles of chapters and every annotations concerning the ceremonies
are in French. This special chapter was just containing all songs and
liturgical facts to observe during the religious offices of young children,
going from the benediction of the corpse in the house of death down
to the cemetery including the church ceremony. Therefore, the title
is the only way to note that we are based in France.
Since most of the readers of this zine, if not all of them, won’t
be familiar with the latin language, can you please tell us what
a few of the tracks are about ?
: The whole tracks are liturgical chants, so they have not a personal
signification for us and for any listener.
They are originally
words of praise and hope in something better beyond life, some consolation
sentences for the dead as well as for the defunct’s family .
The whole musical rhythm of these words that were made to be sung is
the first reason for us to use them as well as the mysterious feeling
which is always emanating from something we don’t clearly understand.
Latin is one of these mysteries… it goes through times and
space keeping some old fashioned secrets …
What do you find to be most inspiring-both musically and non musically
? What inspires you to create your art ? What can
you tell about the
creation process for "O Quam Tristis…"? Are you usually
inspired musically or lyrically first ? What type of surroundings
do you prefer around when you create your music ? Does French Society
influence your creativity in your music ?
Each one of us has got his musical influences, some likes Vocal and
instrumental music from the Middle Ages and
some others likes also electronic musics, this melting pot gives
in the final the songs we create. When we play or compose, we also
in mind all our favorite painters from the English Preraphaelite
School that inspire us perhaps much better than other musicians in
way. Trying to put some music on images is something we do certainly
unconsciously but it’s important too.
we create, we always choose and take a text first and then we put
music on it, it has always appeared to us the more
logic or the
quite simple thing to do even if we perfectly know that there are
many other ways to process. Before beginning to compose, we usually
the shutters and the curtains, we light some candles and we burn
incense. Then the songs come…without any hurting or moral dilemmas
of any sort…
How important are certain emotions in the music of "O Quam
Tristis…" ? Is it necessary for you to be sad, depressed,
or even happy when creating your music?
:It does not represent a special condition because we mix each one
in this state of mind when selecting the lyrics,
music. First of all points, we always feel sad and depressed when
we are unable to create something "good" for the both of
us. Out of this action of creating, we feel the same things but effectively
we are happy when we have created something all five united.
11/ It seems to me that is is too common when many artists in the
ethereal, goth and darkwave related styles compose lyrics which are
very depressing with little or no question of hope. Do you agree ?
Is this too common in these styles of music ? Do you think that things
like hope and love belong in these forms of music ?
:Yes, we do, absolutely; it’s just a question of balance.
It’s common, effectively to share those feelings but we are not
of that style, just because we add hope and love in our form of "Spleen
and Ideal" creation; but anyway, music forms don’t belong
to us, we just try to belong to them.
: Therefore, singing for the Children’s Funerals is not
for us a morbid preoccupation but rather a way to help their souls
to reach any kind of better Paradise, if there is one… Someone
I don’t remember the name told one day that each dead child’s
becomes an Angel because they were leaving Earth because having been
corrupted by Man’s turpitudes.
who interviewed me in a Romanian zine asked me this next question.
It was an interesting question so I would
like to ask you… What
was the most hated, stressing moments from which you came? Is there
any nostalgia for that time ?
:Perhaps our birth and the fact of not having really having been
invited to live… We don’t feel nostalgia, happily,
because we don’t really remember those moments based between
the first and third years… but I think than the most of our sufferings
comes from that unavoidable fact and all the unconscious and repulsed
feelings that we bring all along our life…!
: Thinking about bad moments is a way to resist to adversity by avoiding
to make new errors but it’s also the better way to
stagnate and to be merged in depressive feelings. We all hope to find
the good balance between these two extremities. Nothing particular
to declare except sentimental clashes , family misunderstandings, unavoidable
ego problems… but that’s just what’s life is made
13/ If God and Heaven exist, what would you like God to say when you
: "Each Human being is a star shining at its own living,
acting and going to sleep and die, but not eternally…"
Hugues: " Don’t worry about what’s happening after
your death, I am just the creation of your intelligence . So, what
can you expect from Man’s things ! I don’t exist and you
are not God, you are nothing . Don’t fear about Beyond … Go
in peace." I would be certainly reassured!!!
I would like to know your thoughts about this quote which is one
of my favorite quotes. "A man walks up to Buddah and asks, "Are
you a god ?" Buddah replies, "No". The man asks, "Are
you a king ?" Buddah replies, "No". The man then asks, "Then
what are you ? Buddah replies, "I am awake."
The Buddah, or those who brought his sentences to us, said many intelligent
things about vanity of Man. I don’t know why
a such clear teaching has never been better spreaded and understood
around the World. Perhaps because Buddah is the typical case of the
one who is opening some already open doors. Everybody agrees with the
most of his philosophy but the World is going on the wrong way. I think
it’s more comfortable to be hypnotized by his own certitudes
than to open the eyes on his own vanity.
What’s the meaning of being awake if we are nor God and nor
King, it’s really a better solution to keep on sleeping than
to realize that we are nothing in fact. We already have a so big weight
to carry just thinking that the goal of Life is Death? Isn’t
/ It would seem to me to be almost magical, in this day and age of
computers and the Internet and also how music in the
genres can transcend boundaries of language, culture and such.
For example, here I an American, interviewing a French band who sings
in latin and who also appear on an Italian label. I’ve gotten
a couple of nice letters fromRomania and Australia. To me, the fact
people in those countries listening to POWs cds is amazing. What
do you think of all of this ?
:It’s amazing, in Europe we have many different forms
of Christianity (or christianism). It’s a chance to be accepted
hundred of years after singing in latin, which is considered as a death
language, after all… The drill, the accentuation, the tune of
of those words are very exciting and give strength to the body and
mind. We don’t know why Rome has decided to kill them while
they translated them into every national languages of Europe, perhaps
get a more modern look …
16/ Most of the artists that I have met who play music in the Goth,
ethereal styles have been very humble and true to their art. What is
your opinin of the difference of artists in the underground styles
of music like-goth, darkwave, darkwave, neo-classical, apocalyptic
folk as opposed to artists who compose more commercial music ? Do you
think there is a difference in their attitudes ? Also, do you think
there is more competition and concern in making music for money in
more commercial genres and less competition in genre such as ours ?
: Difference can permit to be classified. Commercial is an opinion,
a type of earning money easily without changing the
and customs of a people. We don’t feel opposed to them, we respect
them. They just want to go faster. The problem is we are very many
bands in competition waiting for the changing of genres such as ours.
The fight is the same, the battle so, then we will see… after
the War !
Returning now to the topic of "O Quam Tristis…",
Have you performed any live shows as "O Quam Tristis…"?
If not, do you expect to ? What type of effect would you like to
present for your live show ?
: We still have not thought about this, the band has a too small
existence. In our more foolish dreams, we could
think about many
scenical and visual ideas. We would like to restitue the atmosphere
that we share when we create the songs( projections, candles, incense… and
more) to the audience but as everybody knows it’s better to be
humble with great ideas because everything leads to the unavoidable
financial and human problems that often occurs to prevent all good
initiatives…! We will do something in this way when we will
be sure to have the perfect ways to realize it the best we can…
18/ I found the quality of the mix between the music tracks and the
vocals on your cd to be done very well. What sort of equipment are
you using to produce your music ?
: We use a simple analogic 16 track reel recorder coupled with usual
studio effects and peripherics . It’s a
very fiable equipment but even if the sound that he gives is good,
all the mixing work
is made my our human brains and hands and this is more difficult
The help of our sound enginer is also very precious to help us
to save time during sessions and to concentrate mostly on the final
and not to ask quality questions about the takes of each one of
. He makes the sound, tells us if we are good or not while performing
when we are unable to judge (it happens sometimes!) Then we make
Can you tell us of any new inspiration for music that you have had
for "O Quam Tristis…" ? Is there
any new inspiration for new music ?
:Just a return in our former days of singing at the church every
Sunday morning. New? What is new ? We are just
of our best past on this planet and trying to share them with listeners
and probably audience . At least that’s what we expect to.
We already have a brand new demo with 18 songs . So we are ready
to make a new album with a selection of these songs
. I think
that it will be both more vocalistically polyphonic and more electronic
in a certain way . The general atmosphere of "Funeral" will
be preserved. All the lyrics in latin, always, have been taken from
a small XIXth century home triptycal showing the whole ritual lyrics
liturgical celebration office. Putting in music this kind of antique
hung on one of our rehearsal room’ wall
has something very symbolical to our minds. We really hope to be
able to give a life
to this project
within the next months.