Hi! Thank you for the opportunity to ask you some questions! And congratulations to your new full-length “Lys Noir”
Kein problem. Danke.
How are the reactions to your new album so far? Are you satisfied with them?
The reaction from my entourage is very good. It is of course pleasant to have a feedback from comrades and people I know and respect. I have not followed much the public reaction, but the overall reviews I was sent were all good.
MONARQUE was born in 2003; please tell us how and why you formed this band. And what happened in the first years of its being?
I have been part of quite a few worthless projects before forming Monarque. I could not find anyone at the time who shared my artistic vision, and passion for true black metal art. I then decided to start my own thing, alone. I finally released my first auto-produced demo in 2005. It sold out in a matter of weeks. The following year I had songs composed for my first album, and a live line up who shared the stage with me!
In 2008 Bardunor joined the band. Is he a full member of MONARQUE who is involved in the songwriting or a so-called session drummer?
I prefer to say semi-permanent member. The band would not sound as powerful without him, but composition-wise, I am still the tyrant and I compose the songs alone. I cannot really play the drums, so he is essential to the realization of the songs the way I conceive them.
In your now 10 year history you only released three full-length albums, but there are a number of split CDs, EPs , Demos and Live CDs. What is more important to you, to release new stuff and show the world how MONARQUE sounds at this particular moment or to take some songs and save them for a full-length? How do you decide if the next release will be a full album or a smaller release like a split or an EP?
I used to have the bad habit of wanting to release everything right now as soon as it was recorded. I don't understand bands who have let's say, 3 full-lengths composed already, and will have the patience to do them all one after the other. This might explain why I have a bunch of “smaller” releases. Those are the reflection of this particular moment when they were recorded, and are equally important as all the rest of the discography.
I am involved in many projects, so I am learning to be more patient and I decided to stop stressing myself to much with the pressure of everyday life and people in general. I compose and create every day, and I will take the time to be fully satisfied with everything before it gets released. I follow my instinct, always have.
When did you start writing “Lys Noir” and how do you work when you write and record a new release?
I started demoing songs in spring 2010. Those versions were immortalized on “La Mort”. A limited, auto-produced demo tape. It gave some time to the material to mature, and the drums for “Lys Noir” were later recorded in summer 2012. For the first time we used a professional recording studio for drums. The rest of the instruments were done during winter. The album was mixed by my comrade of Sorcier Des Glaces eary 2013, and the album was officially released on CD on april 30th. I have just released the cassette version on my small label “Les Productions Hérétiques” this week.
What are your main influences when you write new music?
Black metal classics of the 90s mainly. But if I have to do some name-dropping, I'd say Bathory, Mayhem, early Emperor, Burzum and Judas Iscariot.
I really like it that you chose your mothers tongue for your lyrics! Have you ever considered writing lyrics in English?
Never. I am proud of my cultural heritage, and I will always use french when writing Monarque material.
On “Lys Noir” you covered a song from Frozen Shadows. Please tell us something about this band and why you chose to cover this band and this song.
Frozen Shadows is the first Québecois black metal band. They are one of the few bands from my area who were able to create that special atmosphere. This cover was recorded as a tribute to Québec's black metal heritage. We played it live a few times, and liked the idea of having it on the record too.
I am just discovering the Canadian/Quebec Black Metal scene and there are so many good bands to discover. Please tell us your favorites and maybe some underrated bands/albums.
My favorites are probably Akitsa and Csejthe. Csejthe's last album “Réminiscence” was released on the german label Eisenwald, is my record of the year so far. A really good album if you are into atmospheric stuff. Forteresse has also a unique, quite epic sound. I play live guitar with them.
Das Review zum neuen Csejthe Album findet ihr HIER
The Canadian/Quebec Black Metal scene is very much liked all over the world. Why do you think that this particular scene is as liked as it is?
I do not really know what is the status of our scene worldwide honestly.
Sepulchral Productions are a very important Canadian record label. How your partnership did begin and why you chose Sepulchral Productions?
I have been friend with Myrkhaal for many years. He helped me out booking my first Monarque shows since the early days, so it was only a natural choice to work with Sepulchral. There are not many labels in Québec. Sepulchral Productions, Tour De Garde, Les Productions Hérétiques are the only ones that come to mind...
Much like the cover of the “Ad Nauseam” demo (and its 2009 rerelease) the cover of “Lys Noir” looks different than other MONARQUE cover arts. How did this unique piece of art and how does it reflect the music on “Lys Noir”?
This is a creation of french artist Maxime Taccardi. It was drawn with pencil and his own blood. The artwork is symbolizing the birth of the antichrist and the end of time. An allegory for the cult of death and chaos.
There are many opinions on what Black Metal is and what it should be. What would you say? What is Black Metal for you and should the genre as a whole be changed?
It is the devil's music. It has to be honest, pure, dark. People are trying to much to change everything all the time. I think that as long as the pioneers are remembered, and people still listen to Bathory and old Mayhem, there will be good bands. Integrity is what makes black metal so special, and it should not be forgotten.
How important is it for you to play live and what are your future live plans? Is there a chance to see you soon in Europe?
Playing live is cool, but in all honesty I hate to headline. I prefer shorter, more efficient sets. It has been a long time since we played live, and there are plans to start again in 2014. Yes, conquering Europe is also part of the plan. But it is too early to say more right now...
“Lys Noir” was just released but are there plans for new releases yet and if so can you already tell us when they will be released?
Our next release is a 4-way split with Forteresse, Csejthe and Chasse-Galerie. Québec's black metal elite. Everything has been recorded for a long time, and it will soon be sent to press.
Thank you very much for your time! The last words are yours!