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The Arcane Order

Interview von: arne mit Flemming C. Lund, am: 17.10.2015 ]

Mastermind Flemming C. Lund & Co. drücken aufs Tempo und inszenieren ihre acht Tracks im Death’n’Thrash-Stil spritzig und schroff-melodisch. Brutalität, Eingängigkeitswert und Technik fließen stets zu gleichen Teilen in den Mix mit ein. Mit „Cult Of None“ erscheint ein Drittwerk, mit dem die Dänen direkt wieder ihr altes Leistungsniveau erreichen. Technisch, pointiert und doch auch zugänglich: so melden sich die Dänen zurück und werden hoffentlich weitere fokussierte Platten dieser Machart vorlegen.

 

Musicscan: How big is the interest in The Arcane Order being back with a new album? Do you get lots of requests from your fans and press people? What are they asking or telling you these days? Are there unexpected questions / thoughts, or something that is different compared to when you released your previous records?

The Arcane Order: That’s actually a very good question! Because of the fact that we have been inactive in some years, and it’s been 7 years since our last album, we honestly really don’t know what the interest actually is. What we do know is that we have had a set of very incarnated fans that have been following us throughout the years and they are more than thrilled that we are back. So I cannot stress how much we look forward to getting out there and back into the scene again! So the fans have for quite a long time now been telling us how much they want us back, which of course is awesome and a major inspiration in getting back again. From the press it’s been quiet for some time. Clearly because a band without a fresh album out just doesn’t have that much value. Releasing a new album is quite a bit different now compared to last time. I mean not that the internet wasn’t very active back in 2008, but Facebook wasn’t really in use back then. Only Myspace. So for us we kind of have a whole new social media platform to conquer now. And clearly getting in direct contact with fans is much much easier now and a lot more fun. I really enjoy talking/chatting with fans. Also the fact that so much music is streamed today and therefore much easier to access for new fans is a huge advantage.

Musicscan: As (high) expectations sometimes lead to disappointments: do you somehow worry at this point? I mean In The Wake Of Collisions has been released a couple of years ago, and a lot of people only focus on current hypes and inbands and forget about what they have liked before within no time. Or not?

The Arcane Order: I wouldn’t say that I worry as such. We do not create and publish music for the money, but of course it’s nice to get recognition for the stuff that you do. We are very aware that a lot of people either kind of forgot about us and many don’t know who we are. But this can also we our strength. We come across as a new band to some, yet we have 2 previous albums that people can listen to too. We talked about the fact that since it’s been 7 years since our last release, there is more a less a totally new generation out there who probably have no clue who we are. The chances that the 1516 year old metal fans have heard about us before are minimal. So in this way I think it’s a bit fun that while we are actually an experienced band with 3 albums out, to many we’ll figure as newcomers. I remember back when In The Wake… was released, some people and reviewers said that we, back then, sounded ahead of our time. So perhaps that means that our sound today is “in” :)

Musicscan: When a band writes the songs for a record over a longer period, I'd say that these songs can easily stand for a certain period in a band's career, right? But would you say that Cult Of None is representative for what The Arcane Order wants to stand for in 2015 and beyond? What’s to say in this regard?

The Arcane Order: I agree… Typically writing songs over a long period of time could be a problem, but in our case I don’t think it has been like that. Since I write all the music, we remain true to our style, while trying some new ground here and there. The songs have been written over the last 45 years, but most songs are 12 years old. And they are definitely very representative of what The Arcane Order is today and what we will sound like in the future. If you look back at our debut The Machinery of Oblivion, those songs do not really represent The Arcane Order today, perhaps part wise the songs Infinite Ghost Anathema and Flames of Liberation. But In the Wake of Collision kind of defined out sound, and our style has then evolved from this record into what we sound like today. Though while In the Wake of Collision had a few songs that were a bit different style wise, we have tried to make all new songs follow the same direction while still varying the songs. On this new album we have had more focus on making some slower and heavier songs and mixing these with faster songs, while our previous album was mainly midtempo to faster stuff with lots of grind. And we felt that we during live shows needed a couple of slower songs to spice up the recipe. Cult of None definitely represents what we sound like today and probably will sound like in the coming years as well. Of course while trying to add new stuff to keep things interesting.

Musicscan: Btw: what has been the reason for the hiatus in 2010, and why did you decide to come back four years later? Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of The Arcane Order when the band came to be in 2000. Has that intention / the spirit changed until today? What kind of philosophy is the basis for what you are doing with your band?

The Arcane Order: In some ways it was kind of involuntary, but mainly 2 reason where behind this: First of all since we had ended our previous contract with Metal Blade Records, and therefore we all of the sudden didn’t have anyone pointing a gun at our head telling us to get moving. Not having a label gave us a lot of insecurity, because we didn’t know whether we could find a new suitable label. The other reason is that our drummer Morten got increasingly busy with the Swedish band Amaranthe, in which he plays the drums. Actually today he is way more busy with them, but back then we didn’t really know how things would turn out. So the plan was always to come back, but I gotta tell you, I didn’t really imagine that it would take such a long time! So hopefully this time things will go a lot faster. And I think it will be easier this time with a new, fresh album out and the chance to get our name out there again. Back when I started the band back in 2000 the plan was really just to do a project. But over the years I really wanted to make a real band out of it and record more albums, do more shows and so on. Back in the day the philosophy was to start a project/band in which I would write all the music myself and see my own ideas come to live. When I was in my old band Autumn Leaves from 1993 to 2000 we were 4 people writing music for the band. And while that usually worked really well, it was sometimes really frustrating not being able to follow all your ideas into the sound you had in mind. So with The Arcane Order I wanted to be able to express my music and ideas, while having fun doing so. And also I have always aimed at doing music that, while only making very few bucks, I didn’t want to have any expenses. That worked back in the day, but today everything has changed so much in the business that you have to pay for some expenses yourself. And hopefully at some point get the money back.

Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the metal scene at all as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the metal heroes you grew up with did before The Arcane Order were around?

The Arcane Order: I think we feel quite comfortable, actually. As mentioned previously we were told every now and then back when In the Wake… was released, that we sounded ahead of our time. And I think that, even though we are not influenced in any way by all the current core and tech trends that we will fit into the “current metal sound”. One thing is for sure, and that is that we won’t make music based on what is currently a trend. Funny thing is that one of the more well known record companies out there actually really liked our new stuff and told me that he very unusually had listened to our songs several times, when we send them to him. He wanted to sign us based on his personal likings, but our sound was just not what is “in” now, so he couldn’t sign us. I guess because many right now prefer the more raw, unpolished sound that fits vinyl releases so well. So it will be very interesting to see if our sound can blend in with all the other bands out there today, but I think and hope that we can.

Musicscan: Looking on the current metal scene in general you can find lots of subscenes and styles, the metal underground is changing all the time. Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar agenda to what you have with The Arcane Order?

The Arcane Order: Yeah and I think that it’s amazing how much metal can keep evolving with all kinds of crossovers of metal. I don’t necessarily like all styles, but I embrace the fact that metal is still evolving and giving metal fans so many new styles and directions to enjoy. I think for us, we try to mix all sorts of stuff that we like. I mean, we have an “extreme agenda”, meaning we will always sound extreme, but we mix stuff from Death Metal, Black Metal and some Thrash to create the sound we do. Even soundtracks can influence us. I don’t think we sound like them, but I somehow feel that we music wise have the same agenda as Dark Fortress meaning they also mix certain styles, mainly Black Metal and Death Metal, but still want to keep it extreme and epic. They end up as a Black Metal band though, whereas we are more Death Metal in our sound. As for the idea about the band, and the overall agenda of the band, we are in some ways similar to our label mates Raunchy, who play music for fun and because they love it and try to make the best of it.

Musicscan: For some time now the harder music scene seems to go even more extreme than ever before. Bands are pushing the boundaries as far as complexity, technical approach and extreme arrangements are concerned. What are your thoughts on this and where do you see The Arcane Order in the grand scheme?

The Arcane Order: To be honest I really don’t like these bands that are just trying to be extreme for the sake of being extreme and trying to impress everyone. I mean, I like bands like Origin, but that is mainly because of their live shows, which are beyond awesome. I have seen them 4 times live now, and continue to be blown away each time. But on record I tend to find them boring. And it’s even worse with these newer Deathcore kinda bands that push the extreme limits. The music sounds extremely fake and generic and it often makes you wonder if they can pull it off live as well, which in many cases they can’t. And personally I am not much into bands that don’t have a personal touch somehow. You know, where you can hear that it is actually the band themselves playing, and not some machine, and you can hear that each member on their respective instruments have their own certain styles. There is a lot of the new music where it seems like you just have to make 1.000 guitar sweeps to make a song. And it just makes no sense to me at all. Maybe I am just getting old :)

Musicscan: Has it been harder or easier to come up with new songs this time? Everyone is always speaking about the socalled difficult third album of a band. But after the break you had there surely was a lot of creativity within the band, or not?

The Arcane Order: I think it was harder to make the follow up to the debut to be honest. Because back then people would expect a lot from a second album and whether or not you could keep the same level. Writing songs for the new album did take a long time, but the ideas were there all along, and during the years that passed I have made hundreds of riffs, so there was plenty to choose from. Though I guess that we have felt some pressure writing this 3rd album, but mainly because it’s been a long time since we released the last album and wondering whether our music will still be accepted.

Musicscan: From my point of view your taste in music has become more focused over the years. True? Were there any musical elements you meant to incorporate in the music for Cult Of None by choice?

The Arcane Order: I totally agree. This was our attention as well. The first album had songs that were written between 1999 and 2005. And in that time I was influenced be a lot of stuff, but mainly Thrash and Death Metal. We had some songs that had some groove, some had grind, and some were quite thrashy. On In the Wake of Collisions the songs were written over a much shorter time span, and we became a lot more focused on the sound we wanted to achieve, but still there were 12 songs that stood out a bit. On Cult of None I think we have managed to make all songs very focused and in the same style while somehow all being different from one another. And this actually made it very hard for us to choose the first song to release to the public, since each song kind of has something different to offer. I think along the process we ditched 45 songs mainly due to the fact that they didn’t follow the exact same path as the songs that ended up on the album. A couple of songs were ditched because they ended up being a bit too thrashy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we just wanted this more focused sound. The only thing we wanted to keep in the songs were the epic vibe that most of the songs on In the Wake… had. But somehow that just came along very naturally, since those kind of riffs just come very natural to me. But we really wanted to follow the style from In the Wake… and then evolve from there.

Musicscan: Your comeback album finds separation through passion and brutality. It’s aggressive but having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting and a lot of melodies to keep the album memorable. How did you go about writing the songs?

The Arcane Order: Actually I think that description is very accurate on the music and how we perceive the music ourselves. In general it comes very natural to me to write very melodic and epic sounding stuff. I’ve done so since the beginning of the 90’s when we started my old band Autumn Leaves. At the same time I have always loved more brutal stuff like Suffocation, Entombed, Behemoth and so on, so it feels natural to combine the melodic stuff with the more brutal stuff. Mainly also to give the music a more interesting twist. That’s one of the things I really think about, when I compose the songs; I try to make them sound interesting by including different parts, feel and influences, and I also try to say to myself “Okay, now we have a song sounding like this. What else can we do with other songs to make them a bit different?”. Also I am alert not to create all songs at the same BPM/Beats Per Minute and not to create songs that all start in the same key. I also try to avoid building up riffs around minor and major scales, because in my opinion that makes songs too easy to decipher. I’d rather use weirder/darker scales and harmonies that aren’t as easy to “digest” so that you would have to listen to the songs several times to fully remember and understand the riffs. The hope is that by doing so, the songs have more longevity. At the same time I always try to incorporate some sort of chorus to make the songs more memorable. And the guitar leads are important aspects of the songs as well, so I often spend a lot of time trying to find the right riffs for guitar leads, because the riff behind a guitar lead is in my opinion the thing that can make a guitar lead stand out and sound awesome.

Musicscan: Did all of you guys have had an equal vision about how the new album should sound like right from the beginning of the working process? What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the band during the writing and recording? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the final album?

The Arcane Order: Well after the previous album we discussed what kind of direction the new songs should pursue. We all agreed that we should continue the style from In the Wake… and then try to evolve from there, add the epic stuff, add some drama to the sound. As mentioned I write all the songs so I had these things in mind when I made the songs, although it more or less was natural for me to write the music in this fashion. So when we put together the music in the rehearsal room it went really smooth. Actually the biggest problem was for Morten (drums) to keep up the pace, because the style he has played since the last The Arcane Order album has been quite simple metal with Amaranthe. So he really had to get back in the game with his grinding technique, double bass and speed in general. So he was struggling quite a lot for some time to pick up where he left on In the Wake. Since we have played together for quite some years now, getting into the flow of writing the Arcane songs were very natural. When I write the riffs I know that Morten usually plays this and that, and this also inspires me, because I know what he can do, and this opens up a lot of possibilities for me when composing the music. And this time around it was more awesome than usual to work with Kasper (vocals), because he really understood exactly how I would like the vocals to sound and where it would sound natural to place the vocal parts in the songs. We talked a lot about, that it is important to give the riffs the possibility to “breathe”, meaning there should not necessarily be vocals all over each song. If there are certain hooks in a riff in a song for instance, it’s often much better to hold the vocals in that part. So I think that he sounds better than ever on this new recording and he has evolved tremendously since our first album.

Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with Cult Of None?

The Arcane Order: I don’t think any guideline is needed, but I hope people will take the time to get into the music and listen to the album a couple of times to really get into it.

Musicscan: Just let's briefly talk about your plans in 2015 and 2016. What are the most important aims and plans with the band? What is about to happen to support the release of your comeback album?

The Arcane Order: Well we really want to get out there and play again and get our name spread. We know that we in many cases more or less have to start from scratch so we are currently trying to book all the gigs we can. But it takes a lot of planning, because Morten is touring constantly with Amaranthe, and Kasper Kirkegaard (guitar) is playing with Hatesphere the next year or so. And the obviously tour a lot too. So planning is of the essence. We have a stand in drummer though, so that part is covered, and we will play our shows this autumn and winter with this stand in (Bastian Thuesgaard from Dawn of Demise). Other than that we just take it bit by bit. To be honest we really don’t know what is going to happen, since we have no idea how people will welcome the new album. Hopefully people will like it, which can animate us to do more shows, more songs and get things going again. And then hopefully extend our album deal with either Massacre Records or another label. And then the plan is to release a new album a bit sooner than the 7 years that has passed this time ;)

 
 Links:
  thearcaneorder.net
 
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