29/06/2004

      
   OFFICIUM TRISTE:
Interview with Pim

www.officiumtriste.com     Displeased Records   album: "Reason"


 interview  by Haavard Holm__   

 

courtesy of Haavard Holm and Metal-Norge


   

 

 

 

 MUSIC MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS
 


Havaard: - First I must start off to make congratulations with having made so far one of the most memorable Doom albums so far this year. Is the band pleased with the result of the new album?

OT: -
Thanks for the compliment. Yes we are very satisfied with the outcome of the new album. Thatís of course something a band usually says after a new release. We said the same with our previous album, but after a couple of months we knew that album just didnít get the production it needed. So for this new album we recorded and produced it all by ourselves and we can only say weíre proud of the result.

- I have not really before been a huge fan of Officium Triste, as I found your previous albums okey but maybe lacking the little extra. What have you done differently this time around, do you feel to have expanded the bands horizon or approached the music in any other way than before ?

Basically there really hasnít changed that much concerning the composing of the music. I feel we still play the same style of doom/death as when we started. Of course over the years you learn a lot especially in the arranging the songs. So weíve grown on that department. And you always pick up new influences that sneak their way into your songs. Furthermore I think we had an advantage of owning our own studio now. In the past we had to record and mix our albums in just a week. This time we could spread the recordings over a longer period and that helped a lot.

- I noticed that it took the band 4 months to get the album completed in the studio with recording and mixing... That is a really long time! How come it took so long ? Was it all worth it ?

Like I said in the previous answer we own our own studio now and basically it looks like we took 4 months to record it but in ďreal timeĒ itís much shorter. We did a lot of work in the evenings and weekends, you know just bits and pieces of the recording process over a longer period of time. I guess all in all the recordings took about 2 to 3 weeks based on an 8 hour working day. We just did it in an easy relaxing way although in the end we had to hurry a bit because Displeased Records had set a deadline for us to come up with the final product.

- I suppose alot of people instantly will make comparisons in your sound with My Dying Bride and Anathema's older works. Do you feel a bit bummed out to always be compared to such bands ? Do you feel to take inspiration from these bands, and in any case, what bands would you say inspires the music of Officium Triste ?

We really donít care that people compare us with these bands. Those bands you just mentioned together with old Paradise Lost, Celestial Season and Katatonia were the ones that inspired us to start playing this kind of music to begin with. Besides that a lot of people already know MDB so if we get compared in a positive way all these people might want to check us out you know. But I have to say we do think that we are no rip off, just inspired by them, weíve managed to create our own sound in my humble opinion.

 - What lies behind the title of the album, "Reason", and also the very doomy coverwork ?

The title is kind of the red thread that runs through the lyrics of this album. The songs are mainly about the question ďWhy?Ē Why do some things happen to persons, whatís the reason for these things to happen to that person and so on. Thatís the basic idea why we called the album Reason. As far as the artwork is concerned we tried to have something dark and mysterious that goes hand in hand with the album title and the lyrical content, so this picture fitted the concept really well.

- Where do you expect the new album to take the band ? Do you think this one will strengthen the Officium Triste name ?

Hopefully we will get some more recognition, both in Holland and abroad. In the music bizz the third album very often is the make or break album for artists so we do hope we can move to the next level with this album. You really have to rely on what the magazines write and what the fans think of your material, all we can do is promote our stuff as much as possible and work our butts off to get some more recognition.

- In the Officium Triste history there has also been a few vinyl EPs and "Reason" also seems to be issued on vinyl in a limited press, is this something you consider important for the band ?

As far as I know Reason wonít be out on vinyl. Our debut ďNe VivamĒ was recently re-released on vinyl through a small label called Badger Records. (hh: det stemmer ja, mine filer var litt korrupte - som hodet en gang i blant...) Besides that LP we did 2 7Ē EPís in the past. I guess itís mainly my ďfaultĒ because Iím totally addicted to vinyl and within the metalscene you still see there is a small but dedicated audience for vinyl releases so if an album or EP can be released on vinyl weíre totally into that, even when itís a limited amount.

- It always seem to take a lot of time in between the albums of the band, is the band rehearsing regularly and do things in a organized way when it comes to progressing, or is the writing process of the band really on a individual and inspirational basis ?

Well, we used to rehearse every week but some things have changed the last couple of years. Guitarist Gerard moved to another part of Holland and Martin our drummer even moved to Germany, so at times itís quite hard to get it all together logistically. But usually we rehearse every 2 weeks. When we need to write new songs and rehearse them we do that quite intensively but when we released our last album we had quite some gigs so in that case the rehearsing was mainly for those gigs. You know getting our shit together and playing the songs as tight as possible. When it comes to the actual writing I guess we are a bit of a slow band. It really depends how we compose the music. For instance the new album was mainly composed by Martin and we just adjusted some other parts to it and arranged it all as a band. But we have written songs in a different way in the past as well. Thereís not really a blue-print to the way we write songs. Basically we do rely on our personal inspiration whether we come up with decent songs, we cannot write on command so to speak.

- What occupies the bandmembers time when they are not in Officium Triste ?

We all have a daytime job, so that takes most of the time of our lives. Gerard and Martin both have little kids so that takes a lot of their time as well. In our free time most of us like to go to the pub or visit shows of other bands and drink beer and all that. Quite a regular way of life I suppose.

- The Dutch metal scene seems to go always a bit up and down, but Doom Metal is something that seems to catch people really well there. Why do you think so ? Are there now upcoming good bands that people should take notice of from Holland ?

In general I would say that the Dutch scene always has been quite strong no matter what style of metal. There are loads of bands and you can visit dozens of gigs every weekend. Concerning doom metal Iíd say it isnít that popular at all yet. There arenít many bands but lately a lot of new ones are popping up. Most of them need to grow some more I think but itís moving into the right direction. I do think that this genre is on the rise and not only in Holland. As for the reason why doom is getting more popular; I have given it some thought but havenít come up with the answer yet. I guess music moves in mysterious ways. At this moment Iíd say you have to look out for Bunkur from Holland when talking about doom, in other genres there are lots of promising bands in Holland. Bunkur is an Ultra-doom band as they like to call it. Slow Winter-like stuff and they write extremely long songs.

- I heard at one point that there are some harsh feelings between musicians and people from Rotterdam (where you come from) and Amsterdam. Is this true ?

Nah, itís not really true. There are not really any hard feelings at least not between musicians or normal people I guess. The main reason where this comes from is because of football. The supporters of Feyenoord Rotterdam and that one club from Amsterdam, which name I cannot get out of my mouth haha, (hh: hÝrte jeg Ajax ????) do not like each other that much. Thereís quite a history in fights between the two supporters groups. This grudge has something to do with the fact that Amsterdam is the capital and the people from Amsterdam come across as arrogant, know it all people. In Rotterdam the people have an attitude of working hard and not talking about things that much. Itís a bit like ďNo words but deedsĒ. I think it has been like this for ages and its not really a big deal I guess. People from both towns like to make fun of eachother.

- Are you now happy that you are on a Dutch label as well ? Does it make it easier for the band to be on Displeased Records ?

We havenít had any experience with foreign labels so far so itís a bit hard to compare but of course itís easier to get in touch with your label when you need something when they are located in the same country. We havenít got any complaints about Displeased, it seems like they do as much as they can.

- For Doom Metal in general it seems to get quite much attention again this last year and I must say that it also looks very prosperous for the near future within the genre. Do you notice this from being in a band that there is in general more interest for the genre ? Have just checked out some of the newer names within Doom recently ?

Yeah, it seems the genre is gaining some more popularity the last couple of years and it looks like itís getting even better. I do have my doubts if doom will ever become as popular as death metal was in the early 90ís or black metal after that. Anyway, thatís fine by me as long as there will be quality doom there will be fans as well and it doesnít matter if itís a 1000 people or 100.000. But like you said there is more interest in the genre and thatís okay of course. I keep focusing on the scene all the time because I really like this music and I try to keep up with the new releases. I really like the Swallow the Sun album and Mar de Grises is okay. Also bands like Orodruin and reverend bizarre are pretty cool although thatís a different style of doom. As for an upcoming band I have to say that people should check out Doomshine from Germany. Their debut album is very great, a bit along the lines of Solitude Aeturnus. Man, thinking about it there is so much going on right now and a lot of really talented bands getting out there with killer albums.


- What music is currently rolling out from your speakers of the stereo ? Are you a real Doom freak or is there other styles that stands close to your heart ?

I would classify myself as a metalhead. I listen to all genres. One of my all time faves is Thin Lizzy but I also like a lot of death and thrash and even some black metal as well. I just love metal in every form. So I wouldnít consider myself as a doom freak exclusively. Like said Iím a metalhead. Currently Iím spinning the new WASP album quite a lot. Of Empires Forlorn from While Heaven Wept is quite often in my stereo as well. I try to listen to as much music as I can.


- And what's your top 3 all time favourite albums ?

Now this is a question I really hate. Even if you ask me my top 50 I would have to think for ages I guess. I mean just think about early 90ís death metal and I can come up with 20 albums that are essential recordings to me and the same goes for doom metal or thrash for that matter as well. But let me give it a try to name 3 albums that are not necessarily my all time faves but are essential. 1. Kiss-Destroyer (because this was the first album I ever heard by a band into hardrock/ metal) 2. Thin Lizzy-Armed and dangerous (A classic live album by a band that in my opinion was responsible for incorporating the beauty of melody into heavy music) 3. Katatonia-Dance of December Souls (for being one of the albums that inspired us to play this type of music because of the atmosphere and feeling in their songs that really got to me)


- So where does now the path go for Officium Triste ? What will be the next step in the bands history?

Right now weíre rehearsing the new material because we have some gigs coming up amongst them our CD presentation overhere in Rotterdam and a small German tour coming up in September in Germany. We try to play as much as possible the coming months to promote this album. In the meantime we try to work on new stuff as well although that will be hard but weíve said to ourselves that we donít want to wait that long to record a follow up to Reason. We already have some ideas for songs but none ready yet. Thatís basically what the near future holds for us.

- Allright, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question and good luck with the new album! It really deserves all the attention it can have! If you have something else on your mind, feel free to inform the readers here.

Well Haavard thanks to you for your interest in Officium Triste. We appreciate it a lot because we can use all attention. Hopefully our album will be a success. Of course everyone interested in us can check out our website. Weíve got some mp3ís available of our old recordings and so on. A lot of new merchandise and so on. Talk to us on our forum and tell us what you think. And we hope to meet everyone out there on the road.


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