Hi there! Thank you for the interview. You’ ve completed the recording of your new album. How did the recording sessions go?
It was okay. Cool thing is that we ‘really quarantined’ ourselves. so we really shut ourselves off from the outside world. It was nice to have heavy snowfall, so it wasn’t really possible for us to drive out of the valley. The Belgian Ardennes is quite an inspiring area in our country. Look it up. We all played a bit of everything, and all went according to plan.Yet we are never happy, so it’s always dissapointing for us to have to stop recording. It is just never good enough. We don’t like recording at all. It’s like ending a relationship.
Once again you’ve worked with Billy Anderson. What’s it like working with him?
Very at ease, he always encourages us, not to be so perfectionist.
Last album was darker and more subtractive than the previous ones. Was this on purpose? What should we expect from the next album?
I have to conclude that I really have difficulties with interviews about new albums. Marketing strategics always would force me to say that this one is the best AMENRA album, and we really outdid ourselves again etc. But I simply don’t feel like it. It’s a continuation of our lifeline. It is how we translated the last four years of our existence, both individually and collectively, into music and image, sound and text. It’s our stories continued. We grew together as a collective, it’s the first one where Levy for instance had an active role in the writing process, in comparison to previous ones etc.
It’s different, this album is going to be different, thats all I can say. Up until now, we kept our guard up, into what Amenra ‘IS’ or ‘should’ be, now we chose a different path, in ways that the CORE sentiment/emotion of AMENRA was the thing to safeguard, and not nescesarilly the way to achieve it.
Mass VI will be your sixth album. In my opinion , all of your albums have a ritualistic tone. Would you like the listener to perceive your albums as a cathartic experience?
I will not imply others how to perceive our music. To each his own. I know we personally see and feel it that way. And we can only hope the music and lyrics carry that same weight to others. I only would like other people to really see the genuine honesty, and nescessity of our musics existence.
What aspects of everyday life urge you to express yourselves through music and art in general?
Whatever casts a shadow on our existence, whatever makes us lose hope, whatever makes us have the urge to attack, whatever brings us to our knees, breaks us and whatever brings us back to our feet again. We are who and what we are. Amenra does what it does, it won’t change in the course of writing another album.
How is music produced in Amenra?
We used to solely write to jamming and discussing way to much, why what and what not. For this one most of us came with ideas that were formed within the confinement of our homes. Due to an extreme lack of time, most of us have families, lil kids and we all have full time jobs and a zillion of other bands, we were forced to adjust our modus operandi a bit. Like I said Levy, joined us for the first time in the writing process, and he really outdid himself and made the whole process easier for everyone.
Two of your band members and Scott Kelly participate in a project called Absent in Body. How did this collaboration come to be?
I think originally the goal was there for Scott and Mathieu to do a normal split 12” together, so one side Scott Kelly and the other side SYNDROME ( Mathieus solo project).
But then after talking about it they decided to create something new together. During the writing process, I toured with Scott solo, and Mathieu kinda kept me in the loop. They both decided that it might been a cool idea to get me involved, and AIB got formed. I am really honored that I am a part of the newborn project. I am really looking forward in taking this to a new level, or chapter and write more.
There’s a perfect correlation between your song ‘’A Mon Âme’’ and the respective video clip. The director managed greatly to bring out one’s inner torment. How did you decide to make a video clip for this song?
Well we teamed up with Willy Vanderperre. He’s grown to be a good friend of ours and he is a brilliant photographer. And he was the one whom proposed the plan of attack, of having just us in the video. We wouldn’t have dared to do the approach. it is very confronting for us personnally. But I agree its nakedness and minimalistic approach made more than sense.
What does your logo (the 3 crow claws) symbolize?
Conmemorating death. live a life as good as possible. being a ‘good’ human being. making your limited time here on earth
as senseful as possible. live with the knowledge that death can take everything away in a split second. Make your life worthwhile, not only for you but also for the people around you. It’s a certain stance of life.
What’s the main philosophy behind the Church of Ra?
Something that I try not to pin down in words because I will do it no honor, and limit it to a couple of frases.
it’s very sad that everyone is trying to push us into that corner, of having to write it down. I think it’s about whatever every religion in the world intended to be about in it’s original state. it’s about realising there is a meta consciousness out there, it’s about the undeniable connection between every human being on earth. It’s mainly about trying to share the beauty of life with eachother, even if it might only be for some seconds, a brief moment. It’s about love, it’s about warmth, it’s about losing that warmth, that love. and trying to find it back, together. It’s about the fight we are in together, it’s about protecting what is dear to us..It’s about making another human smile, it’s about being a hand on eachothers shoulder. It’s about being stronger together, it’s about helping eachother on our feet again, it’s about being able to shed that tear, to be able to go on again. forever onwards. it’s about creating something to believe in, something that ca make us stronger.. It’s about so much more than words. I still learn every day what it’s about.
How do you feel about your upcoming gig in Greece? Do you have a message for your greek fans?
We are looking forward to it. It’s been too long. Nothing but (very) good memories.
*Photos taken by Stefaan Temmerman