Ice Ages (2008)

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

-Salve Richard. After a long period of waiting, a new ICE AGES album is about to be released... Why did 8 years have to pass for this to happen?

I had a lot of problems with my other musical project "Die Verbannten Kinder Evas". The previous female singer failed due to psychological problems, and others I tried had similar problems. During all that time I did not have the inner peace to work on other projects and so all projects got delayed for 2 years. Apart from that, I started a job as a programmer... which takes of course more time than being a student etc.

Anyway, this time was not lost as I can see now. I think that ideas that come don't get lost if you don't immediately realize them. They are stored somewhere and after a while when you need them they arise again. I believe in that because it's the explanation how I could do the new songs in such a fast way. The ideas and inspiration came totally automatically and fast and there was nothing like sitting bored around and getting angry because of lack of ideas ;-).

-What makes "Buried Silence" distinct from the previous ones?

The new "ICE AGES" still sounds like "ICE AGES" and will surely not totally surprise any people knowing me from the last album. It's never my aim to totally change a style I once developed because I prefer constancy of the style to extreme progressive style changes. If I really want to do something totally different I rather start another project with a total different music style but I will not abuse the name "ICE AGES" for any exaggerated experiences.

Anyway I think changes in music and sound come naturally, you can not even prevent them and that's how I like changes. Peoples personality change a bit during the years and therefore the things they do also change, but in most cases that's a natural change, and not a forced one.

The main change is the greater knowledge I have in new software synthesizers and sound mixing. I deal a lot with software synths like "reaktor 5" which offered a total new world for me. The comparisons between my old limited hardware synths (which I unplugged already) and the new super mighty flexible world of "reaktor 5" is like breaking out of a small room and making a world travel ;-) anything I always thought and dreamed about is now possible to realize. I am no longer dependent on the built in sounds of the hardware synths but can make total own sounds out of basic waves such as sine and sawtooth ones with technologies like FM or RING modulation. All drum and melody sounds you hear on the new album are generated on this simple base. I stop now in order not to bore the non synth experts ;-).

This new knowledge led to a more noisy sound in general but without forgetting about the tunes and harmonies which will always belong to ICE AGES.

-ICE AGES sonorities promote a less known style for Black Metal or even Dark Wave fans. Don't you think that understanding this music requires different fans?

For sure there are lots of fans of my other projects who don't understand the music of ICE AGES at all. all those people trying listening to ICE AGES cause of the romantic historic mood of DVKE or the epic fantasy world of SUMMONING will not find anything like that in "ICE AGES" and in its dark futuristic cold world. It's neither historic nor fantasy style, but yet it has something in common with the other projects. It also does not deal with present times and does not deal with anything real. So all my projects have in common that they rather "escape" from the real world than to sing about it.

Yes, for sure, the metal scene and also not the classical darkwave scene is the proper target group for this kind of music, but I also think that the classical ebm scene is also not a proper scene for it as the music is not focused on very straight beats for moving your body on stage. It's to slow and un-straight for that I think. Although ICE AGES is surely inspired by ebm bands such as LEATHERSTRIP; it left behind lots of classical ebm elements.

I made the experience that ICE AGES can catch the intention of lots of different people who are just opened for real dark melodic music. I think it's hard to find a complete scene that will all love that music. I got to know people from lots of musical styles who like ICE AGES, even people also listening to classical music, for example.

-The album's cover is quite dark and doesn't let many details to be perceived. What is its significance?

Well this depends on how you look at the cover. If you don't look at it too deeply, you just see some plain shapes that could be stone or ice blocks. But if you look closer, you will see all this rotten rather complex structures of surface of the shapes. On the other hand, you can look at any trendy super spectacular airbrush picture with lots of figures etc on it, but if you look deeper you will see just some empty plastic surface and not much to discover there.

It's like the music. If you don't listen deep to it and want some super fast double bass, or hectically electronic hi hat beets you will not find much "significant" there as the beats are rather slow. But if you look deeper you will find lots of different melodic and rhythmic layers combined.

But anyway, I think the cover looks dark, cold and futuristic, not human. So it offers a mood that can be compared with the mood of the music very much. That's actually the most important thing for any cover for my taste. Visual art and music shall melt together as much as possible; of course... seeing it from a marketing point of view, a cover with any eye catcher (like light dressed girls etc ;-) might be wiser, but seeing it from the artistic point of view, this would be a pure disaster. A music CD is not a product like you buy in a super market screaming for attention with the main message "buy me not anything else" ;-).

-"Buried Silence" is the most representative track on the album. Just as in the case of your previous material "This Killing Emptiness". Is it a part of your strategy to promote the most bombastic track on the album?

I would not call it the most bombastic; this depends of the definition of that word. "Icarus" for example, is more suited for my definition of that word as it the song with the most heavy and bombastic drums. But I think I can agree that this song is the most catchy one and its true that I always rather try to use the title of the most catchy song as album title to make it easier for people not knowing the music to get into that style.

For me, the heavy drums and the tunes are equally important, but I know that for most people drums are rather something made to support a song but never something to use for adding new ideas. So normally the songs focused on melodies are the more popular one for the average listeners.

-The track entitled "Curse" has a special beauty inside, and an impressive sadness is to be sensed on the background. I love this approach. What do you have to say about this particular track?

It's a typical outro song such as the last song on this killing emptiness called "Lost in Daze". The most typical thing about those two tracks is the rare use of drums. In c "Curse" they only appear at the very end and even there, they just play a very simple rhythm that's just rather a sound add-on than a real rhythm. Last tracks on ICE AGES albums are meant to be some kind of "chill out" songs leaving the listener in a more peaceful mood after all those distorted drums all the time.

-Since we are at this point, why wouldn't you describe each track? What about the lyrics? What do they speak about?

I can only talk about the music of each song, while I will leave the words to Grom, who wrote the lyrics of that album...

This is probably the most dark and "uncomfortable" song on that album. Its totally not catchy as I think, but anyways spreads a lot of mood what makes it a good intro for me. And as it's an intro, I did not add any vocals to it.

Buried Silence:
Well, I already talked about that song. It's probably the catchiest one and therefore the title track.

This is one of the straighter songs, with a straight bass beat most of the time and therefore good for clubs I guess. I always try to make more straight and less straight songs on the same album to keep some kind of variety.

From grey to ...:
That's actually the first song I started. Its one of the more slow songs, one that could be called something like an electro industrial ballad ;-). It was the first time I integrated a quite noisy melody sound, while on the older songs anything noisy just came from the drums not from the tunes.

That's for sure the songs with the most complex drums and also one of the harshest ones. It's also not really catchy one, and rather focuses on power and complexity of the rhythms.

Through the mirror:
This song is a combination of rather catchy tunes with a more obvious refrain part and a straight rhythm. You could also call it the most commercial one if you like ;-), might be also a good song for playing at pubs.

Essential loss:
It's again a slow one but also focusing more on power than on melodies. Originally this song sounded totally different, but the more I worked on it the more it got this sluggish power mood. It's the only song with lyrics not written by Grom but by Lorence Graf, a friend of mine.

Enemy inside:
This is a slow rather catchy one, although I think it takes a while to get those catchy elements. Actually it's the fave of Silenius so far.

Through the mirror:
This is one of the more melancholic ones with a very slow tempo but yet faster drum elements in it.

As mentioned before, this is the typical outro song. Most of the time it has not rhythm at all and just focuses on slow harmonies and melodies with a clam mood.

-You're not a person praiseworthy of live performances. Is anything about to change in this regard?

I think that generally electronic music is not to easy to realize on stage than other kind of music, so i am definitely not focusing on live performances. But I think that for the forthcoming live performance in Romania things might change as I finally started to deal with live video projections which will make the concert more "live" and give it a more intense mood. I already prepared some 1-2 seconds video loops which I am planning to play synchronized to the beat of each live song. It will turn the event into a kind of dark psychedelic evening ;-).

-What does Romania mean to you? Are you in correspondence with many Romanians?

The first thing that comes into my mind is of course Dracula :-). I also got a couple of fan letters from Romania over these years, but it would be a lie to say that I know very much about it, but that hopefully will change after my live performance there.

-There will be fans at the After Party. Are you a communicative guy, will you have a chat with them?

I can be communicative and non communicative as well. For example, at work I'm just programming, I am more of the silent person, but when I meet people connected with music I can also talk a lot. It's of course also a matter of the amount of beers I drunk ;-).

-When we last met in Vienna, you've told me that all the messages from the fans are important to you, but sometimes months pass until you give an answer. Why do you care about answering all of them? I guess you get a lot of messages. SUMMONING is the most frequent subject, isn't it?

First of all, I hate arrogance. Arrogant people are not stronger or better for me even if they pretend to; they are just more stupid and arrogance means just for me to live in a box and lie to yourself that you are a super god or something like that. So I never feel like i am "looking down" to any email I receive. They take their time to write to me so they deserve that I take my time to reply. I think success and popularity is mainly a result of luck. With bad luck I might never have got a contract and might be unknown and in that case I would probably be the one writing to the some guy that with more luck might be the famous one ;-).

But sure I get a lot of emails specially for SUMMONING. Sometimes 10 a day, so I naturally can not answer them all immediately so often many emails gather in my mailbox; It so happened that I had about 350 unanswered emails which took me a complete day to answer (and as you said some of them after many many months).

-Thank you for this short interview. There are many details to be said, yet I prefer to hear them at Brasov, after the concert.

Thanks as well for your interview. Sure, I am ready for any questions in Brasov and I am looking forward to it.

See you in Romania, I hope you like the concert, the visualization and the new songs!