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Unknown Pleasures

Images are details taken from “Orgasm” album cover: nothing does represent better Atrox. Monika (vocals, keyboards) and Eivind (guitars) have answered my questions.

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteFabrizio Garau (FG): Your new album is brilliant: did you perceive any particular progression in it (compared to “Terrestrials”)?

Monika Edvardsen (ME): Thank you! Yes, I think the different parts of the songs seem more connected this time. While I can think about some parts in “Terrestrials” that they may be superfluous to the song, that it may not be only good to present even one more theme towards the end of a song because it won’t have time enough to get woven into the rest of the song… I have never thought that about anything on “Orgasm”.

Eivind Fjoseide (EF): I feel that we have taken a step forward when it comes to songwriting. We choose smarter and more intelligent solutions when it comes to combining the different ideas/elements we got. We don’t have to put everything into one song; I feel that we have become more picky towards the songwriting process.

FG: My favorite song is “Flesh City”, because it’s a mix of impact and technique: is it important for you to keep your music heavy or do you simply follow your own inspiration?

ME: To me it isn’t all that important that it should be so heavy as I have kind of lost faith in metal lately (laughs). But when we make songs we try out different arrangements and often the heavier versions of themes appeal the most to the band members. What do you say, Eivind?

EV: I just follow my inspiration, it all has to do with the way I feel when it comes to what themes I make. But I do feel that it is important to have a lot of heavy themes in songs due to the reason that is kicks ass and because I’m into metal. I must also add that I like to combine the heavy themes with soft themes; I like the contrast it makes.

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteFG: “This vigil” is particularly fascinating and “mystic”: what can you tell me about this song?

ME: I’ve used “vigil” as a metaphor for being alert to one’s problems in order to find some solutions and the lyrics go “let’s share this vigil”, meaning that it’s cool for two or more persons to find out such things together… The first part of the song is generally sweet and beautiful while the last part is harsher and the lyrics goes from being inviting to becoming more defensive, indicating that sharing such things can be very difficult…

FG: Sometimes, this album “flirts” with electronic solutions. What’s the role of electronics in your music?

ME: It’s a means to add moods and make effects, to for instance obscure voices in a way that can be somewhat like speaking low and vaguely because you don’t really dare to say what you’re saying. And then there are some noises that I think fits with the creatures on the cover — I can imagine what they sound like and these noises can really be their voices (laughs)…

FG: If I listen to your music and simultaneously look at the cover artwork, the word “irony” comes to my mind; it’s hard to find irony in metal bands: what do you think about this?

ME: I wouldn’t really call it irony cause that would indicate that we don’t mean what we’re presenting and that we do. But we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we laugh at many elements in our music, lyrics and cover paintings. It’s just about not being so uptight really. I think irony is a means that many people use as a defense, you know they present something they aren’t really sure of whether it’s good or bad and if someone thinks it’s bad, they can hide be’ind the excuse that it was meant in an ironic way. Laughing at oneself can of course also be a similar defense if it’s being overdone so it’s important to know where to stop. I think too many bands are very uptight and taking themselves too seriously. I don’t doubt that they can laugh at themselves in privacy but I think they should be able to do that in their band and their music as well. To me for instance all this viking image stuff is just ridiculous but if it was presented in a less uptight way I could accept it I guess…

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteFG: The cover artwork plays with your band’s name: do you think that “Atrox” does not fit well with your music anymore (personally, i think so)?

ME: I don’t think it fits very well… It means atrocious, cruel, disgusting… well, many people find my vocals to be somewhat disgusting I’ve learned so maybe it does fit (laughs)… The cover painting in question is a result of some sketches I made on a party when some guys and I made up new versions of Atrox just for fun. We’ve been laughing so much of those drawings that I thought we just had to use them on the cover.

FG: I think that Atrox are similar to Arcturus, because both bands are experimental, contemptuous of clichés and… absolutely crazy: do you feel any particular link with this group?

ME: They are much better musicians than us… OK, not the singer (laughs), but for instance the synth guy is probably 100 times better than me… I guess the two bands might have some inspirational sources common, perhaps Devil Doll? And some inspiration from those typical street organ and melody box tunes I guess we have in common.

FG: Usually, mainstream musicians have only one band; non-mainstream musicians (i.e. Atrox) have lots of musical projects. In your opinion, why does this happen?

ME: The kind of non-mainstream musicians that Atrox consists of are musicians with very varied musical interests and with a wish to explore more than one genre. As we use elements from many different music types in Atrox it’s pretty satisfying in itself but it’s always cool to try out even more styles. As Atrox always have its basis in metal it’s cool to make music with other genres as its basis. For instance, both Manes and Tactile Gemma are based on electronics and have more or less metal elements mixed in it.

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteFG: What can you express about the project “Tactile Gemma” and with the painting that you can’t express with Atrox?

ME: It’s easier to use a very soft and low voice in Tactile Gemma than in Atrox as it’s not made in the rehearsal room and is not dependant on how well you can hear the voice through the instruments there. With painting I feel like I can describe things much better than with lyrics and music. I think it’s a bit easier to express humour in painting also… I don’t know if you’d notice the funny elements in the albums if the cover paintings didn’t illustrate it…

FG: Final question: Atrox are shooting a Video to promote the release of “Orgasm”. Can you tell us something about this video?

ME: Actually we’re not shooting a video… We had some plans but whenever we had scheduled to meet someone couldn’t show up and now our bass player has left the band as well… I was thinking of making some figures like those on the cover, but in 3D — made of fabric or something else and make some animations. I have actually made some freaks like that too so if we ARE gonna make a video I have the freaks (laughs).


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