Adversum Artist Stagnant Waters Interview

1. How did Stagnant Waters come to be?

Stagnant Waters was formed some years back as a one man project by our guitarist, Camille Giraudeau, in 2007. Eventually he was joined by drummer/electronics man/sax and clarinet player Aymeric Thomas and me, Svein Egil Hatlevik, handling the vocals. We all met up after having been in touch via the internet. The members of Stagnant Waters live far from each other, and most of the music is composed by sending files back and forth.

2. Your sound is a mix of Electronica, Drum and Bass, Noise and Black metal with elements of Jazz. Was this the direction from day one or has if come over time?

The idea of Stagnant Waters has been to not really have any specific constraints concerning what styles are allowed to be part of our expression and what styles are not. A lot of people seem to say that «noise» is a part of that mix, which makes me wonder how much noise music these people have heard, but anyway, that's not important. The style of music that you can hear in our debut album is, I guess, a consequence of the musical preferences of the members of the band. It's not like we have defined a recipe of two pinches of electronica, one table spoon of black metal, three ounces of jazz etc. We make the music we believe in, that's basically it.

3. Was Adversum the label you wanted to work with all along or were there other interests? How has Adversum been as a label I know its sister label of Neuropa an amazing Industrial label?

We chose Adversum because it's a promising label with high quality acts. The people behind Adversum are friends of mine, and to me the wish to be a part of building the label by releasing Stagnant Waters through this label is also important. Adversum hasn't released that many albums yet, and at the moment I consider it a very exciting and promising experiment. It's not easy to establish yourself as a label in the over-saturated metal market of today, with all the file sharing troublematics as well. It's also important that the bands on Adversum in some way represent the same, a more or less common vision of what ideas concerning music we want to promote

4. I know Svein Egil Hatlevik from Fleurety and DHG fame were have the other members come from and is this a full time band or just a project?

Camille Giraudeau has a background from bands such as Smohalla and Dreams of the Drowned. Aymeric Thomas also plays in Pryapisme and Senoys. And in addition to that, I assume we all have other projects - too many to mention. I think we were all surprised that our first album turned out as good as it did, given that the ideas for the record were very loosely defined from the start. So I assume we will be doing more work in the future. I don't know how you would define a «full time band», but Stagnant Waters is not yet profitable enough for us to be occupied full time like regular Justin Biebers or Lady Gagas. But maybe one day, who knows?

5. I see you have a facebook page but not a proper website do you feel in 2012 social media is all bands need for promotional tools?

Regular web sites are more expensive and more time consuming to maintain. You might need a regular web site if you're a big company, but I have a hard time seeing the need for that in our current situation. It's a question of scale, but also a question about what people expect from an online contact point.. It used to be that almost every band would have their own web site, but I think that was due to the relative lack of other ways of securing your own online presence five-six years ago. I've done my share of HTML coding and javascripting in the past in connection with other bands, and it just doesn't seem tempting to me anymore. A blog can do just as much as long as you're an underground band.

6. I see you did a video presentation on youtube for the label is Stagnant Waters as much about the visual as the aural?

The music is the primary medium. Without the music, there would not have been any visuals. At the same time, there are few things that are less erotic than a bad record cover, for instance. So the visual part is of course important. The youtube presentations we did are some kind of bastard music videos.

7. Will Stagnant Waters be performing live or is it just a studio creation for now?

For now: Yes. But it's not impossible that we'll perform live at some point in the future. Personally I've always enjoyed recorded music more than concerts, with the exception of improvised jazz and noise music. If you listen to the album that we've just recently released, you wil hear that it's an elaborate construction, it's not three guys in a room playing their instruments. It's not ZZ Top. To me, the medium of recorded sound is different from the medium of sound performed in the context of a concert. At least that is the case with the album in question. The easiest comparison would be a theatre piece versus a motion picture. People who make movies are seldom asked whether they are going to adapt their movie to go on tour and play it in dirty theaters with a drunk audience.

8. What does the future hold for the band more music or was this just a one time event?

I think it's fairly safe to say we will at least make one more album. I also know there are remixes of several songs off our debut somewhere down the pipeline.

9. Whats your thoughts on Underground music in 2012 is there a rebirth or is it now just the place for the real music nerd now?

Well, the obvious things: It's easier to get your music heard, but it's also more difficult to get people to listen. It's easier to get your music released, but it's more difficult to make people buy it. It's easier to find new music, but more difficult to appreciate it. It's all dilemmas.

10. If you were asked to tell someone that never heard the music of Stagnant waters how would the band do so?

Describing the music of bands I am a part of is one of the things I enjoy the least about being a musician. Luckily I am in the situation of being the person who wrote the press release concerning our debut album, so just let me provide you with some copypasta: «French-norwegian band Stagnant Waters unleash an awe inspiring album of mutant music. Firmly rooted in extreme metal, Stagnant Waters present a higly radioactive mix of scathing guitars, otherworldly electronics, dadaistic improvisation, uncompromising complexity and unnatural tempos.» Otherwise, in a daily life situation, I tend to answer questions like these by sending people a link where they can listen themselves.

11. Do you find the mix of Industrial, Noise and Metal muscial brothers for the dark and power sounds they all create?

Music is all vibrations. Sound is vibrations. Musical genre is not an intrinsic property of vibrations. I've been advocating a kind of «music is important, genre is not» view for 20 years now, and I am getting to a point where I don't really know how to label stuff any more. It's music, that's what matters.

12. If there was one cover song that Stagnant Waters could work on what would it be and why?

Hm, I don't know. Stagnant Waters recently contributed to a tribute to Enslaved, but I refused to do the vocals on that song, because I think Enslaved sucks big time. Generally I think the world needs cover versions by Stagnant Waters less than it needs original material. So I hope to still be able to avoid cover versions in the future.

13. What are the members of Stagnant Waters currently listening to? It tell me a lot about the band as a unit.

I sent an email to the two other members of the band, who both live in France. Drummer Aymeric Thomas answered: «These days I totally love the album "Kreken" by Phonophani, absolutely beautiful. Also Synapscape, Guillaume Perret and the electric epic, Ernst Reijseger and lot's of Balinese music.» Guitarist Camille Giraudeau answered: «Currently listening a lot to Pryapisme - the forthcoming album. Beats the first one to a bloody pulp. Also, lots of Coil, and the Byla album:» Lastly, I am listening to a Spotify playlist that a friend of mine made, consisting of lots of different Miles Davis recordings from 1965 to 1975.

14. Thanks for the time any closing thoughts here..