Aesthetic Death Artist- Epitaphe Interview is up

Answers by LBK (guitars)

1.Epitaphe is a mix of Progressive Death metal with a Slumbering Droning Doom overtone. How did the band come to be? 

We are 4 longtime friends who learned to play music together in high school around 2009, doing some covers of bands we like. Over the years we started to write our own songs. Back at that time, it sounded like a really primitive and raw kind of Death Metal, with some odds sonorities, and an almost Death Grind energy. It slowly evolves into something more cavernous, progressive and experimental. 
Just before we released our first demo, we decided to change our name from Epitaph to Epitaphe, to mark a difference between the two “eras” of the band, and to distinguish ourselves from the plethora of others “Epitaph”. 

2. "I" is your proper Debut album on Aesthetic Death how did you come with Stu .  We are label mates now as Stu was amazing to release an album for my band Black Depths Grey Waves as well.

We exchanged a handful of mails with Stu, firstly in order to trade some copies of our demo, then to talk about a potential collaboration for the album. We appreciate a lot several bands of Aesthetic Death’s roster, especially Esoteric and Murkrat (I have to check Black Depths Grey Waves!), and we are totally in tune with Stu’s way of working.  

3. In 5 words describe Epitaphe sound to someone about to listen to for 1st time?

Intense, eerie, experimental, primitive and melancholic.

4. What is the scene like in the French alps any local band my readers should know about ?

There’s a handful of good bands around, you can check Moonrite (70’s rock duo for Jess Franco’s fans), Satan (Possessed Punk), Blackowl (Black Metal), B├árus (Progressive Death Metal)…

5. What is the theme or story line behind "I"

“I” isn’t a concept album, but the same topics and themes flow all along the record. It mainly deals with death, and chaos, inner strife and resignation, darkness and the vastness of psyche. You can also find a strange kind of beauty beneath all those feelings of anger, insanity and despair.

6. The artwork for the album is very avant and beautiful who did it and how does it tie into the theme of album?

The cover is an outstanding work by Finnish artist Petri ALA-MAUNUS entitled “The Sky is Falling” (2015). Our singer PBFK saw it in a museum back when he lived in Finland. He shows us the painting and we instantly thought this brooding, chaotic yet utterly beautiful scene would be the perfect illustration for our album. We humbly asked Petri if we could use one of his work as a cover, and he liked the idea so much that in the end, you can find three of his paintings inside the Digipack version of the album.   

7. You released your Demo on Chaos records how does it differ from new album on Aesthetic Death?

The demo has to be taken for what it is: a demo. I think it shows a good potential, but the sound is raw and it has been recorded hastily. Our goal for the album was to sound way more massive and professional, and to work deeply on sound textures and drone/ambient soundscapes. James from Plastic Lobster Studios was the perfect person to work with, and we are really proud of the final result.  

8. I hear bands like  Krypts, Tomb Mold ,Incantation and even Esoteric is you style . What bands inspired you?

Esoteric strongly influences us in our way to use experimental sonorities and to create long epic songs. Incantation’s riffing has a major impact on our music too. I think you can also hear some hints of Dead Congregation, Portal, Disembowelment, Full of Hell…

9. If you could tour with any band who and why?

Esoteric or Mournful Congregation, for being fantastic bands, both live and studio.

10. How does Visuals really change the perception of Epitaphe ? In 2019 I feel you need to have an Aesthetic or Theater of the mind esp for a band that place more underground styles.

Having a strong visual identity is primordial. We felt in some ways we kinda failed at this point with the demo, so we took a lot of time to explore different possibilities, concepts and ideas before choosing to use Petri’s work. I think this illustration is really fantastic and has a strong resonance with the themes and emotions developed in our music. We’ll probably go on in this vein for the future, to keep in a continuity and a visual coherence between our releases. 

11. If you could band a Video for any song of "I" which would it be and what would you want it to look like?

I guess something minimalist, abstract, and disturbing. Could think of a mix between David Lynch’s Eraserhead and the music video of Convocation for their song “Scars Across”.

12. Do you feel more akin to Death or Doom metal? or can the lines cross with no issue these days?

Our music is deeply rooted in Death Metal, but in terms of atmospheres, we might feel slightly closer to Funeral Doom Metal.

13. Music or Lyrics how does Epitaphe being creating songs?

I write most of the riffs and frameworks of the songs. When I think I have something acceptable, I submit it to my bandmates, and we build together the definitive version of the song. Anyone in the band can suggest or add something.  Our drummer GRNR has a really good knowledge of arrangement and harmony, and he helps us a lot to add more depth and richness to the songs. Regarding the lyrics, I write all of them, except for “Smouldering Darkness”, which was written by our bassist DRZ.

14. If the members of Epitaphe were not doing music what other creative outlets would you express your skills to the world?

Drummer GRNR and singer PBFK would be stage actors, DRZ a writer and, in another reality, I could picture myself as a painter.

15. What are your views on the digital age ( Youtube, Bandcamp. Podcasts, Twitter , Blogs etc) are they blessings or curse?

It’s a really good and easy way to discover new bands. But when it comes to get focus and to immerse yourself deeply into the music, I think it’s better get a physical copy. The artwork, all the visuals, the lyrics, credits, liner notes, and in a certain way, even the packaging, are part of the experience. Plus, it’s still the best way to support small artists and labels. 
I use YouTube and Bandcamp a lot to discover new music, but when I like something, I surely buy a vinyl or a cd. 

16. Thank for the time any closing thoughts here.

Thanks for the interview.