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Debemur Morti

Interview von: arne mit Philippe, am: 08.02.2010 ]

“Debemur Morti Productions is the Noble Servant of Chaos leading to the Purity of original Nothingness. The Infinite Vortex of Non-Existence...” So steht es jedenfalls auf der Website des französischen Labels, das sich im Underground-Black Metal längst einen Namen gemacht hat. Zum Roaster zählen solch illustre Prügelkapellen wie Archgoat, Arckanum, Krohm, Nastrond, Ruins, October Falls, Blut aus Nord und Celestial Bloodshed. Grund genug mit Labelkopf Philippe über seine Arbeit und Releases zu sprechen.


Musicscan: First of all: Give us a short briefing about Debemur Morti Records and the involved people, please.

Debemur Morti: To make a long story short, I've always been the main man behind the label and it is nowadays a one-man operation. In the label history there was some other people involved but the main core was always myself.

Musicscan: How did you first got in contact with metal and especially with the extreme subgenres?

Debemur Morti: I was introduced to the Metal scene by a friend of mine when I was at school. He lent me a Guns N' Roses CD and since then my life has always been linked to Metal somehow. The first Metal CD I purchased was "Master Of Puppets" from Metallica. My interest in extreme subgenres came with my interest in the Occult.

Musicscan: What has been your motivation to start an own record label? Have you been an active member to a band at this time?

Debemur Morti: In 2003, my own experience with underground labels and that feeling of “something missing” ignited the idea. The ubiquitous lack of seriousness and amateurism are totally unacceptable for me; “underground” does not mean “mediocrity”. It is the will to found a structure advocating “Black Metal” as an Artistic approach that drove me to materialize the initial idea. There was no particular album I wanted to release nor any special aim besides offering Artists something better than what I had experienced myself as a musician.

Musicscan: Why did you choose the name Debemur Morti, when you once started? What's the idea behind it?

Debemur Morti: “Debemur Morti” means “Doomed to die”. I picked it up from Horace’s writing (Ars Poetica, 63). The full phrase is “Debemur morti nos nostraque” and it means “We are doomed to die, we and all our belongings”. This being said, I chose it because I wanted a hopeless name with a strong emphasis which suits my way of being. Do not mistake me though, hopeless doesn’t mean I spend my time lamenting. It is mankind that is hopeless and constructing its destruction.

Musicscan: Do you still remember your feelings when you hold the first Debemur Morti release in your hands? What has it been like, and how has your relationship to bands, music and business changed over the years?

Debemur Morti: I definitively remember holding the HAEMOTH "Satanik Terrorism" vinyl in my hands with a HUGE pride ! I guess I was like a children in front of his favourite candy !! It still happens nowadays ! I put so much effort and energy into each of my releases that when they arrive from the pressing plant I'm all excited to see & touch them ! My relationship to the music business has definitively evolved with the years... when you have to deal with so much assholes the whole time, you have to adapt !

Musicscan: There have been albums of already known and unknown groups: Is there a release you would point out to be Debemur Morti s best one so far? Which and why?

Debemur Morti: I couldn't pick any really. That's a tough question and a different mood would certainly bring a different answer so I'll pass!

Musicscan: How do you feel about the place for Debemur Morti within the metal underground? Do you feel like Debemur Morti is in a position to make people more aware of extreme music?

Debemur Morti: It's hard for me to imagine what place Debemur Morti holds within the underground really. I guess that's a question you should ask to the people that follow my activities. But so far I believe my label has served its purpose which is not to release only (good) music but to offer works with a deep content.

Musicscan: Are there any principles you would never give up to with Debemur Morti? Which? And what are your “aims” you want to achieve with the label?

Debemur Morti: My goal is to have the banner of DMP recognized as a quality seal in terms of music and content. This is why it is elemental that the Art of bands affiliated to DMP is authentic, deep and pure - in other words, "True" Art (True, in its "non artificial" meaning) - but it also needs to carry a spiritual dimension. Offering an opus that can transcend the listener is one of the missions I strive for.

Musicscan: What lessons have you learned from being involved with the extreme-underground for a couple of years now? What has it done for you? What fuels your fire to keep the label going?

Debemur Morti: Trust (almost) no one ! With time and experience you learn to take things with more distance. That's what gives you energy to focus on your own goals and not give up. When it the past some actions/comments would hurt my inner feelings, nowadays they'll draw a smile on my face. I watch things with despise.

Musicscan: Are you surprised about the fact that Debemur Morti is still active and putting out releases?

Debemur Morti: Yes and no. Yes because when I started it in 2003 and never intended it to become what it is now. No because I know I have a strong will and I'm devoted so few are the obstacles I cannot overcome !

Musicscan: What are you looking for in a band you cooperate with, and who’s responsible for choosing them?

Debemur Morti: I'm the one responsible for everything. I partly answered your question earlier but let's add that a band which does not manage to instil a deeply mystical atmosphere in its music has very little chance of signing with DMP. Mysticism can take many shapes - thus the rather eclectic panel of bands I work with.

Musicscan: Final thoughts?

Debemur Morti: Construct Destruction !

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