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A Metal Imperium encontra-se a recrutar colaboradores para redação de notícias, reviews de álbuns ou entrevistas a bandas.

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After the intense and overwhelming concerts in Portugal, Carach Angren will be returning to Portuguese soil in August to play at Vagos Open Air.  Due to all the fuss surrounding this Dutch band, Metal Imperium had a conversation with Ardek… 


M.I. - The band played in Portugal for the first time in February... what’s your opinion about the Portuguese audience? 

It was great to finally haunt Portugal and it was an intense experience. The Portuguese people are so passionate about music which made the concert really one of the coolest on the tour. Afterwards we met many fans and what surprised me was that there were people in all age categories. You don’t see that everywhere and I feel that the passionate Portuguese blood is causing this. We will be back in the summer at Vagos Open Air!


M.I. - On the tour with Rotting Christ there were many “sold out” shows… how does that make you feel?

Very excited and grateful. As artists we want nothing more than to present our music and art to as many people as possible and when that goal is achieved we feel incredible. The tour overall was insane, a package right out of Hell!


M.I. - In August you’ll come here again but to play at a Summer festival this time around. Do you prefer small venues or the atmosphere of a festival? What are your expectations?

Both small venues and big festivals have a charm but for us we are right now excited to present our new stage show. We have been developing our show constantly over the years as many of you know so you can expect new horrific surprises! 


M.I. - Did you learn anything about Portugal that you didn’t know before coming here?

That the metal community has so many fans in all age categories. Also the scenery, the buildings looked very beautiful. I remember our merch girl shouting “This is is where I want to come back to!”. So this proves your country rules. Haha.


M.I. - Is the band currently preparing new material?

Yes, but in a very relaxed way. I actually have written two songs right now and we are still exploring where this record should go. After five albums I feel this is a process that should not be rushed because both we and the fans deserve nothing less than an excellent follow up to DALATR. There are so many bands these days that just release something to be able to continue touring but that is not our style. Our albums will always be an experience and this way we remain excited about presenting it live. For now, our hard work is focused on the upcoming US tour and festival shows.


M.I. - “Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten” tells the story of a girl playing with her Ouija board. Do you believe in the “power” of Ouija boards? Have you already got a character to star in your upcoming album?

Yes, there is definitely power there whether you believe in it or not. The ominous setting of a ouija board can lift expectations in the human mind which is exactly what we tried to do with our album. The song “CHARLIE” sets the dark tone for an album full of twisted tales. For the next album we are still exploring and coming up with ideas… 


M.I. - Your lyrics are completely different from the lyrics of most Black Metal bands… what inspires you?

For me personally, I am inspired by my goal to make the most amazing storytelling music for people to enjoy. That is what drives me most and, along the way, there are books, movies and tales that inspire me.


M.I. - Why have you written a song about Charles Francis Coghlan? What attracted you to this character? Are there any other characters you’d like to write/have written about? 

I remember the day Seregor called me and told me about this story he discovered and somehow it drew images in my mind immediately. The idea and vision of a coffin floating out in the open sea and how it mysteriously ended up in his birthplace just drove me insane haha. I started composing right away, it was as if this man reached out to me and I had to write his music. I even called it “Symphony for Charles Francis Coghlan” when I wrote it in the beginning. So in a way, hopefully, his story got told again and he is a little bit more famous now. That is the cool thing about what we do. For example “Lammendam” was a very unknown legend from our local area. Now more people are into it because we made an album about it, that’s a nice thought. 


M.I. - The lyrics are mainly written in English even though you’ve used your native language and even French and German. Why do you do it like this? Because the meaning gets lost in translation?

Yes and because it is part of the stories we tell. On Lammendam there was some French because the French were part of the actual story. It gives more drama and depth to the tale to actually tell parts of it in the native language. The same goes for “Al Betekent Het Mijn Dood” which is about the infamous captain “Van der Decken”.


M.I. - The band has rather interesting videos and including contemporary/ballet dancers is not usual for metal bands. Who has the ideas for the videos? Who comes up with the concept for them?

This one I came up with, for some reason I had this vision of freaky dancers when I listened to “When Crows Tick on Windows”. And started talking to the guys and director and we made it happen. It was a great cooperation with everyone involved. Rick Jakops from Backstage Film Productions did a hell of a job as everyone else involved. On the second videoclip things got even more intense, we spent almost two months full time building the whole set for this video ourselves. Seregor created all the gravestones and my brother Namtar came up with all the mechanics, for example the coffin that is rising from the grave, etc. 


M.I. - The whole band has an awesome stage/video presence. How do you feel when you are onstage? Do you have a stage persona? Because offstage you seem to be rather shy.

Yes, the corpsepaint, clothes and the whole dark setting enable us to change and give everything. You may call it shy, I think we are just three normal guys who love to do this and at the end of the day whatever we do, we stay down to earth, we like it that way. I think one should never take success for granted because without fans for example, there is no show…


M.I. - Who designed all of Carach Angren’s stage theatricals? Was it complicated to have an articulated “arm” for the keyboard?

We do everything ourselves, that is why it is a lot of work. The cool thing is that the three of us all are very different and have complementing backgrounds and talents. My brother Namtar is incredibly skilled in tech so when I for example told him “I want my keyboard to move up and down, can you do it?” he came back “I know something better…” hahaha! Right now he is working day and night on something new again for our stage which is going to be really incredible. Seregor is very talented visually besides being an actor/ singer on stage. So he comes up with all these masks, gravestones etc. I do most of the composition and that’s why we are functioning like a machine. Since four years we also have a great manager and more people surrounding us that make up for a great team. 


M.I. - Seregor has many masks which he uses onstage… what’s the meaning behind all of them?

They have different meanings but the main element is just to make a really dark and crazy impact during the shows. Seregor’s main inspiration is always… “Death”. So he comes up with… “Death” haha. 


M.I. - Once you said that Carach Angren is a terrifying break from reality… does it take a lot of work to keep the quality you have accostumed your fans to?

Yes, of course… because like I said before: We have more than 5 albums out and every time we have to reinvent ourselves completely and that takes courage, time, doubt, failure etc etc. It’s a process we have to go through again and again but we can never stop so haha. But, then again, the older we get and the more experienced we get, the more we appreciate each other in the band and respect and motivate each other in getting better. It’s a machine, I’ll say it again and again...


M.I. - Is 9 Carach Angren’s lucky number? Is it a coincidence or superstition? I ask this because all your albums, apart from “Lammendam” include 9 tracks.

Then why isn’t this the 9th question in your interview haha?

I don’t think so, that is merely a coincidence but it is a cool observation. I must admit that we spend a lot of time getting the album right, it must feel like a story and must not be too short nor too long, that is probably why the length of the album always ends up somewhere in the same range. This is very important. Imagine having 9 very good tracks but you decide to crank in 4 more just because it looks more impressive. The whole album will suffer because people will feel that there is something not right about it. Some people will tell those 4 tracks are the cause but others will not be able to pinpoint it and give the album a 5/10 or something… this is bad… An album is everything from the start to the end, to the artwork, to the package, back to the live show. We never try to underestimate this.


M.I. - Your first two albums were reissued in 2013. Why? Was it because you thought Maddening Media didn’t do a good job at promoting them? 

No, not at all. Maddening Media did a fantastic job, because of them we got a kickstart back in the day. Philip Breuer and Patrick Damiani (Tidal Wave Studio) opened doors for us by enabling us to work on our first full length album. After two albums we needed to take a next step and that is why we moved to Season of Mist. Reissuing the albums was something that naturally happened afterwards.


M.I. - The band have a very loyal fanbase and it’s been a while since I have seen fans screaming for their idols… I thought it only happened to bigger more commercial bands… how do you react to this? 

Again, we are very grateful for the success and it is really cool to see that people get excited over the stuff we do, really. 


M.I. - Is there a difference between Carach Angren’s audience and the typical Black Metal crowd?

Yes, we have come to define ourselves more as Horror Metal, because the term Black Metal doesn’t fully cover what we do. Of course our roots are still there but we like to expand more into other genres and like to reach more people. Furthermore I don’t think there is such a thing as the “typical black metal crowd”. There are so many bands these days and people have access to music instantly so crowds are massive and constantly changing too. 


M.I. - Are you a horror fan? Name some horror books and films, authors or movie directors that you appreciate.

Yes, for sure. One of the greatest horror movies I have seen recently is “Get Out”. It also had a very refreshing, scary soundtrack. My favourite movie is Jurassic Park, which I consider a horror movie as well. The book was originally written by Michael Crichton who unfortunately passed away ten years ago. He was a brilliant writer, combining science and horror/ thriller themes. 


M.I. - If Carach Angren could write the soundtrack to any movie… which movie would you choose and why?

Our own movie, because we like to do everything ourselves haha.


M.I. - Ardek is very dramatic and theatrical… have you ever considered/done acting?

No ,I haven’t done any acting but I do always imagine dramatic scenes in my head and gut while writing music. You will usually see me head banging in my own studio or walking and moving throughout the house as I listen or imagine new themes. I think that is the way to do it. If it doesn’t physically and emotionally move me than how the hell will it move a listener?


M.I. - Namtar and Ardek are brothers… does it makes things easier or more complicated?

It is easier, because whatever difficulty there might be, we will always be brothers. This actually counts for the whole band, we have been through so much that our connection is incredibly strong. We dedicated our lives to this purpose so that is the way it is.


M.I. - How does Ardek, with such a busy scheduled with Carach Angren, have time to release a solo album? 

Actually, I love what I do and I still consider having plenty of free time. Last year I worked on my solo album but I also worked on another album for a black metal project that will come out later this year. Then I worked again on songs for Till Lindemann. I’m always working more or less but some periods I take it easy. Some days I work just a couple of hours, and some days more. It’s not about being busy I think but being focused.  Some times I’m done with certain projects and I take the time to find a new vision for what is next.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca