Semen Datura Interview is Up. 12/23/2009
1. Tell us a bit about semen datura as you are very new project to most of us?
We found the band 1997 to play a dark and mysterious form of metal. In the first years we were mostly inspired by the second wave of european Black Metal...later we discovered other atmospheric and 'dark' music like Post Rock, Ambient and so on...
Up today we released one tape 'MXVII', one EP 'Black Wings' and three full length. Because of different problems (line up, labels, depression...) a lot of time passed between our releases. The new album 'EINSAMKEIT' is our personal 'top of the mountain' so far. We invested a lot of energy, time and blood to make this work happen...to find our purest expression and to push inner and outer boundaries. The name SEMEN DATURA is our metapher for 'origin of the night'. The Datura is a nightshade-plant and Semen is the latin word for the seed you put into the earth. The name has nothing to do with the seed of a man or other stupid pornographic interpretations.
2. How did you come to work with ATMF Label?
We observed some selected labels, listened to their backcataloque and send them a personal promo-package. We got three or four positive answers and then we decided for ATMF because of their unique releases, the quality and our impression that ATMF is more than another recordlabel.
3. Would you call Semen Datura Black metal or are you more a mix of style with Martial, Prog and Black metal elements?
I think SD is Black Metal (sometimes I personally prefer the term Dark Metal). It's not our ambition to mix styles. But I think I'm a 'split personality' and I'm always searching for something that is given me freedom and appreciation. So it's more about the atmoshere than a genre. Sometimes people told me about parallels to bands I never heared. Another point is the distance of four years between the records. In this time you get a lot of different impressions and so it's normaly that you find more than one element on our releases.
4. Your new album EINSAMKEIT is very experimental in sound are the early 2 releases similar??
No, they are different but always with the ambition to make something original and to avoid the mainstream. The first album 'this love is dead' was written in a different line-up with a lot of 'session musicians'. There was a second guitarplayer, a other vocalist, a female vocalist and a fixed keyboarder. I played the drums on this album. The second album 'Vineta' was more structured and a bit cold and mechanical because we wrote the album as a two-man-project without rehearsals and without this 'organical' development in the session room. Interesting too. I think it's more blackened Death Metal. For the new album 'EINSAMKEIT' we worked very organic with a fixed drummer, a bass player, guitars and vocals. Without doing lot concerts or thoughts about future or other people. Just three guys isolated for the outerworld. Month for month, year for year. Reduced to the essence. Like disillusioned monks in a dark monastery.
5. Semen Datura seem to like to add images and theatrical elements into the band do you feel underground extreme is something that need to shock the eyes and ears??
In generally I think art should catch eyes and ears...in different ways. It's not our ambition to shock. I personally never was 'shocked' by something like music or pictures etc. because I'm not interessted in simple shock effects. I'm maybe shocked by real happenings like suicide (Dead of Mayhem, Ian Curtis of Joy Divison or Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and a lot of 'ordinary' people), the church burnings in Norway or the murder of the Mayhem guitarist. With our images or 'theatrical elements' we try to underline the concept of the band in a artistic way.
6.Is there a running theme on EINSAMKEIT release or is it just a collection of Dark themed songs?
The main theme is 'exploring the depths of the own psychology“. What has brought me so far away from the light and how can I handle the situation. There are a lot of aspects. I'm searching for answers by study history, society, philosophy, religion, occultism... Every answer offers ten new questions. So yes, it's more a collection of dark themed songs than a whole story or concept. We tried to find a concept with our last album „Vineta“ which was a sunken island in the baltic sea. A kind of atlantis that was destroyed by selfishness, greed and dekadenz. But we note that it's important for us to break the chains of a concept because life is a collection of themes. I mean four years passed since our last album and so a lot of things happened that makes us confused. If you have one release in four years you have to put the essence into the lyrics. It's not a musical project it's our life and our death.
7.What are you thoughts on the modern digital age and being and underground artist? Do you feel this is helping expand the scene or is it just a good promotional tool?
Betwixt and between. I'm afraid that the digital age will kill a lot of music and culture. I like to own vinyl and reading a well layout booklet. To hold a physical output in my hands and to collect real high valuable works. The mp3-world is for kids who drink coke every day and watching stupid daily soaps. It doesn't help to expand the underground scene.
As a musician you can not download a guitar or a drumset for free...
Alone the term 'friends' on myspace shows the lie. A big grey mass without personality or response. The digital age will people isolate more and more. You have to go out into the nature, the storm is blowing into your face and you're freezing, vistit concerts, meet real girls and own real vinyl or CD releases in good quality. In my opinion two real friends are better than twothousand virtual 'friends' and twenty gramophone records are more satisfying than 2 GB mp3. On the other hand, the kids can do what the kids wanna do.
8. Will Semen Datura being touring or playng any shows for support of this release?
We hope to do some shown in europe. It depends on organizers and the feedback we get related to the new album. We are totally underground and furthermore we are not a 'party band'. If we get a good offer we will make things happen but we are not able to pay for play or something. This stupid entertaiment sector is not really part of our world.
9. your website is very well done http://www.semendatura.com/ . Do you feel its important to have more then myspace today for a band to properly get there voice to the world?
For us personally it's important to have a own, autarchic website. It's a little statment against the overwhelming conformity of todays world. Also the myspace-continuum is observing you. Do you really think that the 'News Corporation' is interested in culture or support underground music and art? They are interested to spread the plague of stupidity, standardization and strong imperialism. All the advertisment of mainstream labels and music television abuses my eyes. But that are just my personal thoughts...it's not the main theme of my musical work or something.
10. Do the members of Semen Datura follow a Heathen Doctrine or does religion play no place in your musical output? Is it more just an occult side...
I think heathendom is a kind of religion and Atheism means that you're not religious. I believe in magnetism, the power of stellar constellations, the energy between people, nature and culture. If the moon is able to move the oceans the stars are also able to move the blood, the water and the hormons into humans. They guide our life...call it fate. I'm very sensitive for seasons, for the nature, for the environment. If I was a teenager I thought I know the truth. As older I am I feel that I know nothing. I'm searching, reading books and so on...but most important is that I create my own life that touches me everyday. This is sometimes very difficult because the dark energies are so overwhelming like a unseen voice that speaks „be negative, be dark, do suicide...“. I which there would be a god or something who is responsible for all and is given eternal hope. But I'm not able to believe.
11. Do the members of Semen Datura play in other projects as well? or Is this your main and only focus?
I have two other projects. I play drums in an instrumental, post rock influenced band called EMPTY OCEAN together with a very talented guitarist from rome. Also there is my solo project 'FALLENDE MODERNE', acoustic, sad and meditative. Our drummer left the band because he moved to another town. I don't know if he has a new project. He just told me that his future is not in the metal scene.
12. Are there any project out there that Impress the members of Semen Datura.
Today I listen a lot to bands like Joy Division or Portishead. Also GYBE, HRSTA and Woven Hand are very impressive. Also I can't stop to suggest german BM bands like Lunar Aurora or Todtgelichter.
13. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here...
Thanks for the interest in our work.