Salutes from a snowy and gloomy Sunday. This is your next interview in your life. Do you still remember how many of them have you answered? When did you get first questions of your life? Maybe you can remember when and from whom did you get it ? Meantime what kind of questions you hate to be asked in such interviews?
Greetings, and thanks for the interest you’re showing in CANAAN. I don’t remember actually how many interviews I’ve done so far, but I suppose around a hundred – probably a bit more than this. I started back in 1991 with RAS ALGETHI, and I think the very first one came from some underground italian fanzine – I can’t remember exactly which one, sorry. There are no questions I find useless nor any I hate in particular.
What influenced you to create Canaan? Tell us about the message behind this project…
CANAAN was born in late 1995, shortly after the demise of RAS ALGETHI. This split-up was mainly due to lack of commitment of some of the band’s members, so we decided to put an end to the band and start rehearsing with CANAAN. We have no message to give to anybody. We just play because we need it to preserve some kind of psychic balance. The band acts as a powerful discharging valve, and it helps purging out some of the negativity we have inside us. A bit like going to a psychiatrist, but much cheaper and less intrusive. And probably a lot more helpful too…..
Canaan’s music is sure not a kind of sunny music.There is always winter in your albums;which gives them a genuine atmosphere. So,i wonder,Have you ever kept responsible for any suicides,or self-destructive attitudes?
I am answering these questions, so suicide is actually a bit unlikely. I had severe experiences of self-harming practices, and only with the external help of therapies and medicines I’ve been able to control these auto-lesionist impulses. They’re definitely not good companions of life, and it’s sometimes pretty hard to keep them under control. But since I know how dangerous they can be, it is an absolute necessity.
What do you think of the fact that more an more people in Northen Europe commit suicide? Could it be a kind of phenomenon?
I think the cold weather and the long winters (with lack of light for months) could have a pretty strong impact on many people. The open, vast landscapes and the seemingly monotonous life could also play a role in the high suicide-rates among northern countries.
Do you read much? What books have you read recently? Do you have any favourite authors? On the other hand,to what extend you are taking inspirations from the books you read? (While composing lyrics etc)
Besides music (which remains my highest priority), reading is my second favourite “hobby”. I’m trying to read as much as possible – usually at least 5 books a month. My tastes are quite wide, and some of my favorite authors include W.P.Blatty, Céline, Stefano Benni, Daniel Pennac, John Connolly, Irvine Welsh, Bret Easton Ellis, Valerio Evangelisti, William Gibson, Burroughs, though my absolute fave ones are Derek Raymond and Dino Buzzati. No one else ever depicted human condition and misery like those two sacred monsters did. The last books I’ve read were “The night guardians” (Lukjanenko), a couple of Agotha Kristof titles (including her “Trilogy of the K city”) and “Be cool” of Elmore Leonard. I don’t really know how much my readings reflect in the lyrics I write. I have never consciously taken inspiration from anything I’ve read, except for a couple of passages that were inspired by poems of Quasimodo and Nietzsche. I’m usually trying to make “tabula rasa” in my mind before I write down anything…….
How would it feel like for you if there hadn’t been any ecclesiastical viruses on this earth? Civilizations without holy books, cities without temples, churches, mosques? Have you ever though about it? And,moreover ,dont you think that any kind of ecclesiastic and dogmatic wave have already destroyed so many point of views,so many inventions, so many cultures?
I think religion is a cancer. Trying to find some kind of “escape” or consolation in ANY religion is just a proof of weakness, at least according to my own point of view. Religious cults are an extremely powerful way to keep social and economical control. Nothing else. I can’t see any reason why I should try to find a metaphysical answer to a physical problem – it simply doesn’t make any sense. Life already has a load of negative things you must face without being forced to jump into the dark swamp of “trascendental” behaviours. And I frankly see no difference if your “god” is called Christ, Lucifer, Vishnu, Allah or any other “entity” of your choice. It’s the IDEA behind deity that simply has no meaning to me. And it’s the IDEA of following a ritual of any kind or conforming to ANY kind of “moral code” that simply makes me laugh……
What is the name of the band that you hate most? Most of the people are eager to utter their fave bands yet i want to learn the band you hate most? Can you give an honest answer to this question?
Hate is a way too precious thing to be thrown away easily. Let’s say I find very comical all the sunday-occultists, the crap gothic-metal bands with crap female singers, the 60-years-old-vikings, the pathetic true-evil-infernal-grim-pagan-hordes-of-satan…. Choose the names you prefer – there are literally thousands…..
If you had known all in advance; what things would you certainly have done an other way and any warnings/advice for new-coming bands?What would you advise or not advise?
If we’re speaking on a purely “musical” level, then I have no particular regret. We’ve done what we liked so far, and we’ll keep on doing it in the future too. As for an adivce to a new-coming band, the only thing I can say is: just play what you like, without any “external” influence. On the other hand – in life – there is another story to be told…. I’ve always had a lot of ghosts in my head, and I’ve never been a balanced / calm person. I’ve done a lot of mistakes, and I keep on doing them even when I know I’m wrong. And since it seems I can not avoid it, I guess I’m not the right person to give advices to anybody…….
Have you ever asked to take part in a movie soundtrack? Or have you ever thougt of creating something like this?
We’ve never been asked to compose music for a movie, and I think it would be interesting. Most of our dark ambient tracks would probably fit well a soundtrack, and it would be good to focus entirely on an instrumental album. Who knows ? Maybe in the future we’ll do one, even just as an “experiment”……
Related with the previous one,by any chance,have you ever planned about your very own “movie”? If you would direct it one day,what would be the title and what kind of movie should we expect ?
I think it wouldn’t be too far from a russian mute movie. Long framing, complete lack of action, immobility and pale colours on grey/blue side of the spectrum.
Being a mediterrean country,Has Italy has enough natural depressive sources of inspiration,i mean landscapes,old temples? When come to talk about the relation of the landscape with the music,that is…
I have actually never taken inspiration from the “outside” and I don’t really know if the external elements have any importance on my psychic “development”. Most of the times I stand locked inside my house, and I almost never go wandering outside, except when I’m forced to (i.e. for tasks connected with my job). I have my own world inside me, and more than “finding” inspiration in the outside, there are moments when the ghosts in my head wake up and start knocking at the door. And when they knock, that’s the only landscape I can see…….
You have never performed live,which i appreciate a lot. It seems that it is quite hard for some musicians (rockstar wanna-be s indeed) to understand that some sacred veins of metal music that oriented in dark arts are not suitable for live performances.Nobody has to play live in front of high school girls or wanna-be gays for some more “joy” that is oriented in “hippie” culture or some more money. I’m always against live performances particularly regarding Black Metal and the other atmospheric styles. So, what can you say about it,talking about your own reasons to not to play live? An admirable thing,indeed.
As I said before, we do have a very “intimate” relationship with music. We don’t play for “fun”, we don’t play to sell records, we don’t play to show our face in front of an audience, we don’t play because “it’s cool”. We do it because we NEED it to try preserving some psychic balance. And we really couldn’t care less about going on a stage and performing live. I tend to dislike any kind of “human aggregation” and concerts are one of the worst kind – 99% of the people going to an average concert (be it metal, pop, punk, rap or reggae, they’re all the same) are there NOT for the music (which should be the one and only reason), but just to get some “fun”, trying to find some pussy (or dick) and drink some alcohol. Sorry, nothing I would ever like to deal with.
Are you into Shakespearen tragedy?(drama?)I m a literature student;wanted to ask, with his unique style,Shakespeare can be a good source from any artist -including musicians…What do you think about his original style,that he used when creating tragedies like “Hamlet” ,or again splendid work “Richard the III.”?What makes him different and original is the difference of his plays when compared to Greek Tragedy i think…
I used to read Shakespeare’s tragedies when I was at high school. But – don’t know why exactly – I haven’t ever been a huge “fan”. They’re obviously great, bordering on perfection in language, stories, characters, everything. But they never lighted me up. Greek tragedies also had a “humorous” side that’s lacking in the greatest part of Shakespeare’s production…..
Do you follow any musical scene in a close perception includinmg your owns?I mean buying magazines, chec king shops for the latest albums?
Not really. I haven’t been buying a record in the past 10 years or so, and all what I need I get it through trades. I used to be heavily into the late 80s/early 90s wave of metal (including the scandinavian wave of death & black metal), but I’ve never been a huge “buyer” nor a die-hard collector (though I was heavily into tape-trading). Since then, my “job” always kept me deeply INTO the dark ambient/power noise scene, so I had no need to actually purchase something (money vs. object) as I always managed to get what I wanted through trades.
You have also had your own label,namely Eibon Records.Can you explain the aims of this label including your working style?
EIBON RECORDS was born in late 1996 mainly to give a home to CANAAN first album “Blue fire”. The feedback I got was very encouraging, and in early 1998 I quit my previous job and turned the label into my full-time activity. I had no particular aim, I just wanted to release music I considered as excellent, trying to focus on absolute quality under both the musical and the graphical side of things. I am running everything by myself alone, including graphic design, executive production, sales and promotional matters, and though the amount of work is overwhelming, I am still feeling a huge passion towards this “job”, and I think I will keep on doing it for a long time yet……
When you receive a promo from a new band; what is your understanding of music and dark arts when you plan to release an albums for them? Which kind of topics you care a lot when listening to a new band that may have a deal with your label in the future?
Oh well, I’ve been getting an average of 2 demos per day in the past 10 years or so, and the amount of stuff to check out is frightening at times. Let’s say that 98% of what I get is purely “routine” – a few minutes are enough to understand that EIBON is not the right place for that kind of music. The remaining 2% has something that hits me – most of the times music with a “soul” emerges immediately, with no need for further analysis. I have no particular method to approach the demos – I simply put them on and see if the music has something to say, or if it remains mute, in spite of the high volume…..
Can you give brief info about your current bands under the Eibon wings?
EIBON RECORDS rooster contains bands quite different from each other. From dark ambient (CAUL, AMON, NEVER KNOWN, MAATH, ASIANOVA) to power noise (CONTROL, NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES, FIRE IN THE HEAD) from dark/wave (CANAAN, THIS EMPTY FLOW, COLLOQUIO, WELTSCHMERZ) to old school industrial (PPF, REUTOFF) up to uncategorizable music (TERESA 11, IGNIS FATUUS, BEYOND DAWN). I’ve released over 60 cds so far, so the range is quite wide. I’ve always decided to produce music I do like, no matter of the actual “style”. I’m not really too much into the “business” side of things, but rather into the artistical one……
Holy Trinity: Kraftwerk, Modern Talking, Depeche Mode; which one you chose and why?
I would choose Depeche Mode as they’ve been one of my favourite bands for a long, long while. Their latest cds aren’t much of my liking, but “Music for the masses” and “Violator” are two of the records I’ve listened to the most in my whole lifetime, and they are bound to some strong remembrances of when I was younger. The other two bands are obviously excellent too, but they have a lighter “connection” with my feelings, so I would go on with DM…..
What about films or books, Tv series,anything you recently read or saw that impressed you?And one more thing,Chose : Desperate Housewifes VS Sex and the City?
I hate both as it appears to me that they try to create an exact “woman” concept who do the same things all the time without any respect to her own nature or surroundings..May be i m kinda dinasour ,dont know…I prefer Simpsons, though…
I’m really sorry, but I’ll have to disappoint you. I don’t have a TV, and I’m not too much into movies. The last series I’ve been following a bit was “X-Files”, but it was a lot of years ago. Since then, I haven’t watched/followed anything else. Music and books are more than enough to fill my spare time. I seldom go to a cinema, mostly when something interesting shows up (which is very rare). The last movie I’ve seen was “Saw”, and it was a pretty nice and tense one.
A last weird question, a question on a personal note. Do you have any pets?
No, I don’t have any, and I never had any either.
Thank you Canaan,for honouring the pages of Frost Magazine . Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (Nietzsche). Thanks for the interview and good luck with the magazine. :: NOTHING :: NEVER :: NOWHERE ::
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