Posted by Nick Skog on Monday, February 13, 2012 Under: Interviews
Recently, Ekove Efrits conducted a new interview with the Czech zine, Mortem Zine. The interview is available to read in Czech at the following location: http://www.mortemzine.net/show.php?id=3050
What follows below is the English version of the interview:
What follows below is the English version of the interview:
1. Greetings to EKOVE EFRITS to the faraway Tehran. How are you doing? I hope everything is OK…
Greetings! I'm fine thanks although everything is not usually OK ;)
2. You are on the scene since 2001, but not all people know the group very well. Could you please introduce EE little bit? No biography, just some interesting stuffs from your past. What does the name EKOVE EFRITS means?
Oh I'm so glad that you don't need the biography and those same words that I have to repeat from time to time, honestly its really boring for me too. Anyway about the name it came simply from brainstorming. Ekove is the reverse of Evoke, And Efrit means an evil soul in Persian and Arabic mythology. In regards to my past, there is not so much to say. Several years ago now, one day I found that I can't be stay only a metal fan anymore and that rather I have to listen to my inner sounds and follow them. There was something that pushed me forward. Like an unborn baby that kicks to his mother's womb badly. So I bought some instruments and started to play and compose those sounds completely experimentally.
3. I want to congratulate you for really interesting new album. What do you feel about the album and what reactions did you notice so far?
Thank you so much. Let me confess that I'm satisfied about "Conceptual Horizon." Well I did spend almost one year working on the album and the interesting thing is that along the process of making its music bad thoughts was starting to run in my head and I just think to myself, what if I die before I release the album! hehe I just was so nervous. You know this albums is related to my previous album "Suicidal Rebirth" in a sense so that was important for me to finish that. About the feedback I'm surprised and never thought to expect that much. Many zines has reviewed the album and some people write me their feelings about the album or individual songs on the album and seem to be sending many kind words. This makes me happy. I mean without this positive energy working would be so hard for me. Without an audience it's completely unmeaning making music just like as a writer without readers.
4. I wanna ask you what leads you to play all the instruments by yourself? Is it because of not enough quantity of quality teammates or are you prefer to do everything alone? You know, handy drummer can give every album some interesting ideas and special moments and drum machine will forever remain just drum machine (even if it’s programmed very well)…
Of course! The drum machine doesn't create that pure feeling which comes from a handy drummer. I mean it's almost impossible because it's lacks real quality both in manner of playing and also the variation. However, my problem doesn't belong to using or not using a drum machine. By considering all the things I still tend to be alone in other instruments too. In fact I always have some foggy images in my mind that force me to transform them into music somehow. Most likely if you have a full band lineup you want to record some music, play live shows, etc. but that wasn't my purpose at all since the beginning of when I started Ekove Efrits. I told you before I do care about my audience but that's not the main reason for me. My main concern is trying to get close to those images in my mind as much as possible and that wouldn't be possible if I worked with members. You know in a collaboration of members, each one comes up with interesting ideas and then the ideas are shared to get a good result, but in the case of a single artist working such as a one-man projects you know and you feel something beforehand. By knowing this it would be so much easier to understand that famous quote from " Michel Ange" that said : "all I have to do is remove those waste parts from my status" of course I'm not sure is it exactly the correct quote in English or not because I translate that into English. Well for me I think it's just like a painting. The canvas needs to have one painter! My mind tells me I will get better results by working alone in my art.
5. In your songs you work with sorrow, hatred, darkness and/or death. Are you interested in stuffs like magic or occultism? I’m asking, because your music and poetry speaks from it leads me to this imagination. By the way, what’s your relationship to faith, nature and universe?
I'm not looking so hard to find and stick with any title in my music because as I said before all things come from the foggy images which aren't clear enough to define them easily anyway. But to answer this question somehow I have to say I'm more interested to see what people feel and react while they face these things. Surely these have always been interesting subjects for humans from the dawn of time until today because of their mysterious themes. Myths and dreams gives us comforts in many cases from uniformity and stressful situations of everyday life because with your imagination you can imagine another world and another place far from what you are surrounded with and that is usually a positive thing. I believe every artform that bridges reality to the dream world could have this chance to be include as a good art, if done correctly. Most of us love these charming things more or less, myself included. But to be honest one of the most mysterious things for me is nature and in a vaster meaing, the universe. I love mountains and forests, as well as the sea and the night sky. Maybe it sounds funny to you but I felt complete as a child when I visited the mountains. It's more like that something stands there for me, a pure and mysterious feeling as a sirens' sound that whispers into my ears whenever I go. Fortunately in the north of the city we have beautiful mountains and in some days I go with couple of my close friends to climb them. Sometimes we take a tent and sleeping bags and stay there in the night. I remember many times I ask myself if we have anything more beautiful than Nature around? You know it makes me wonder and I can easily get inspiration from that as well, but life and some facts related to people are another side of story...where mostly sorrow comes from.
6. Could you please introduce and describe lyrical side of each song? Do they form a concept that combines the tracks into a one complete unit? What can we imagine under the title "Conceptual Horizon"?
Oh…each song ?! no way my friend…hehe. Doing vocals and writing lyrics are the hardest part in the process of making an album for me and talking about that could be even harder! I spend most of my energy over the music and I think because of this fact plus some other reasons day by day I tend to pay more attention to the instrumental music. On the last album, and also on past albums you can find some instrumental tracks on the album as well besides lyrical songs and sometimes it works out even better that way, letting music speak alone sometimes! But about your question they are all definitely from various concepts. Fortunately my mind is the home of my concepts and ideas and I'm very thankful for that. This ability gives me a lot of inspiration and creativity and I use that not only in music but other kinds of art too. Of course I don't talk about the quality of my works, it's not my job and we have to see what the listeners and the press will say. But I think talking about concepts is not always easy. Me and my audiences can see the final result but behind the scenes, it isn't always clear. Sometime a little event, such as seeing a beautiful cloud in the sky, Thinking about memories, feeling the energy inside that doesn't mean anything and other things.
In the case of Conceptual Horizon I can say it's a continuation of Suicidal Rebirth's story. There exists some common elements between the two albums, but it's not always so clear and with that said, you can easily think of them as both individual albums if you haven't listened to Suicidal Rebirth yet.
7. And what indicates deep emotional cover, where is at the forefront gloomy black figure and power lines in the desert behind it? Who is a creator of the artwork?
Thank you so much! In fact it's combined of few elements in the style of photographic design. There is no definite explanation that I can say right now. Maybe someone who has been drowned in his thoughts or someone who sits alone against the world that burns in chaos. But we can understand from the cover that he is deeply alone.
I do all of my artworks by myself most of the time. I studied graphic designing and it comes so useful chiefly while I want to make artwork for my projects. One of those trying to get closer to what I feel inside hehe.
8. The album was released by Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records. How did you get in contact with them? It’s on the other side of the world, hehe. :) Did you send promo CD’s to more labels and waited for response or did Hypnotic Dirge find you?
The story beings about one year ago while I was searching for a new label to publish the album. I found Hypnotic Dirge Records as a suitable company to work with. By viewing a couple of good albums they have released from some interesting bands that had a similar sound to my music I thought that this is exactly what I need for Ekove Efrits! Anyway, so I did contact them by email and sent them some samples of my album. The founder of the company Nick is a really nice guy and I consider him as a good friend. He did many things for my album and supported the release perfectly. I want to take this chance to give a special thanks to him on here.
9. Still regarding your new album… I sometimes hear from it moments like from the ancient German group Ever Eve and slightly Empyrium, sometimes even something like trip hop and of course even dark black metal and ambient side of Burzum... All these things are together really uncommon and interesting. Am I totally wrong with this feeling or not? And please let me ask you what music do you listen in your normal life, when you’re not creating and composing songs? Is there anything else that might be interesting about your person? Job, hobbies?
You absolutely right! That's because there is a wide range of music styles that I enjoy. I hardly can imagine someone who listens to just one or two genres of music only specially in these days that borders among styles are going to fade more and more so probably you will tend to listen to many different bands easily. If you look at my playlist you will see how many bands and composers are listened to on there from classical music to electronic and from rock music to its extreme sub-genres and many others. Only Hip-hop and Rap music haven't been listened to on there because that type of music is really far away from my taste. For example these days I listen to a lot of Matt Eliott, Archive, Max Richter and Clint Mansell but there is not a definite list for all days. Well those all have effected me somehow but let's focus on Black Metal music now. I belive Black Metal still has a great potentional to make its listeners wonder but before that it needs few important elements because its not enough alone. Just take a look around, you will see more than half of the black metal bands out there do nothing but repeat themselves every album and it's not good, it's boring and they will lose their fans sooner or late. People nee something fresh. I think this genre of music needs creativity although many metal fans believe Black Metal is dead. On the other hand that's true, the climax of this genre already occured in the 90s and after those years we see a slow gradual downfall. It's ok if you play just some insensitive riffs and shriek over that brutally but that wont be satisfier as an effective music so much anymore, at least not today. To me, there's lack of feeling.
Well for example please consider darkness, you know it could be so mysterious and a catchy element but first you have to create some contrast beside it. It's like a clay that needs to be shaped. About considering darkness as an element, probably you need something like a contrast even by a little light to improve the effectiveness of both. Without that light, your scene is lack of story. Same about music too. if you want something mysterious and dark enough, you have to use the light, or in better explanation soft moments beside that, it helps to make a paradox in your performance. a virgin and the wolf hehe! I try to use different elements in my music which will add useful layers to its foundation. I read and hear in some reviews and from people that the form of my music is near to soundtracks in many ways, so I think it's not bad if I try to push a story forward in its best way even by changing atmospheres and including some light moments in my music as well.
About the second part of your question most of my hobbies are related to art. I'm a freelance graphic designer and it's a good job because it gives me this chance to have time for myself and pays for other activities. I love reading and watching good movies. oh don't forget this nice Iranian movie "A Separation-Nader and Simin" if you haven't seen that yet! There are also several great writers that I like a lot. These days I'm reading a book from "Murakami" based on his real story, that's really great! Also beside music sometimes I write short stories too. If things go fine I have plans to prepare them as a book in the future for publishing and asides from that I also have an intersting idea to make a video for one of my tracks but in another music project. Of course, these ideas all depend on life, time, and energy.
10. I hope I'm not too presumptuous, but it’s hard to connect in myself black metal and a strict country like Iran without a doubt is. Have or had you any problems with your music? Some prohibitions or persecutions…?
That's ok my friend. I understand how it could be strange to people out here but you know Black Metal has many bands in many different ways. We learn from each other and our viewpoints are growing too. If I'm into a band it doesn't mean I have to do a work against something or someone. You know this is chiefly more related to previous generation of Black Metal bands. In Ekove Efrits all I care about is my music and making something pure from inside with emotions and I try to keep away myself to not get straight effect from around happens in my art. It may also remove a fast expiration date from my art somehow. Fortunately there haven`t been any noticeable problem so far for me.
11. What is the scene in Iran? And how about concerts (and its organization), festivals, magazines and zines, and vice versa with the audience, fans etc.? Are they going to concerts, supporting bands? Are you in contact with some other bands, even from the surrounding states? Do you know any Czech group?
In general this kind of music is forbidden and metal bands are banned to play in live shows or release their CDs officially and it's obvious in this situation there isn't any official magazines here too. But underground music in here exists and is alive strongly. Bands continue their activity and release their songs via the internet and some internet zines support them also. But no I'm barely in contact with any bands from here.
12. How’s life in Iran generally? Is it hard or you simply like it, because you was born there? Have you ever think of migration?
Well I always tried to find and see the beauties in the life but what can I say now? I love Iran but honestly I`m not happy so much to see the situation these days... Yes I think about migration sometimes but I'm not sure what will I do in the future. Most of people that I see around are thinking about the same thing and each year I have to say goodbye to someone from my friends or family who leaves and pass many things behind. Thanks gods that left hope in Pandora's box for human hehe!
13. That’s pretty much all from me, thanks a lot for your answers and time! Wish you all the best! Last words are yours…
Many thanks for the interview and I wish the best for you and your readers.
In : Interviews
Tags: ekove efrits iranian iran black death doom metal middle eastern