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Interview von: arne mit Antoine & Johan, am: 17.11.2009 ]

Die aus Lyon stammenden CELESTE sind keine Frohnaturen. Die Betitelung der Veröffentlichungen drückt das offenkundig aus. Auf „Nihiliste(s)“ folgte „Misanthrope(s)”, wobei beide Alben beste musikalische Downer sind und ihrem Hörer jegliche Kraft und den verbliebenden Restoptimismus rauben. Während ähnlich gelagerte Gruppen wie Neurosis, Switchblade oder Cult Of Luna immer auch den Gegensatz von fragiler Anmut und wüster Zerstörung betonen, und ihren Songs wenigstens einen positiven Ausblick belassen, wollen die Franzosen alles in Schutt und Asche legen.


Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity? What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?

Celeste: Antoine: I guess (hope) the pleasure to share, between four friends, the music we like. Before playing music, we first try to have fun. We don't want that Celeste become something too serious or professional. Since the beginning it has been clear : the day we'll get bored by what we are doing with Celeste there will be no reason to keep running this band.

Musicscan: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Celeste? At least that's what I read in the internet and what I can experience among my friends. Is this something that matters to you?

Celeste: Antoine: Actually i'm not really surprised. Celeste is a kind of mix between lots of differents music styles. It goes from the post-hardcore/sludge to the black metal or doom. So, to be honest i'm not astonished by the fact that people from various scenes might appreciate our music. And i think it's quite a good thing cause our audience is getting more and more eclectic and it allows us to spread our music in some backgrounds we hadn't thought about before, like for instance, the black metal scene. And, originaly, we are not from a specific scene so it really doesn't matter for us to be labeled as a metal, an hardcore or a sludge band!

Musicscan: There is a statement I would ask you to comment: Jamey Jasta once said, that the Hardcore and Metal scene are growing together nowadays and that both are respecting this development. What is your opinion on that?

Celeste: Antoine: Well, i'm not involved enough in both scenes so i couldn't say if it's right or wrong...For sure these last 20 years, we've seen an hardcore/metal scene growing step by step. Nevertheless i think hardcore and metal are still two really differents approaches of what music is and what music is for. From what i've seen so far, I would say that some people from both scenes are still really attached to there own identities and want to preserve them. And that's probably why, for band like Celeste, who are trying to mix different music types, it isn't always easy to be accepted or understood. Indeed, many times we've heard that we were "sit between two chairs" and that it would have been better for us to choose between all these kinds of music... So even if some people are trying hard to make growing together the hardcore and the metal scenes, which is to me a great thing, i think lots of people still have to be more open minded, tolerant and stop to be closed up on their own environment.

Musicscan: Speaking about Misanthrope(s): What sort of evolution has Celeste gone through into this new album? What did you do different to keep things progressing for you guys?

Celeste: Antoine: Misanthrope(s) is pretty closed to Nihiliste(s). Actually we just tried to push futher in the darkness and heaviness what we'd created with Nihiliste(s). So to me, Misanthrope(s) is not really something new compare to the gap we brought between Pessimiste(s) and Nihiliste(s). I guess the biggest difference between this album and the former ones is the black metal's direction we took. The black metal influence is definitely more obvious although we try to preserve our own sludgy and dirty sound.

Musicscan: I know a strong part of the Celeste sound is about experimentation. Of the albums and songs you guys have recorded, which one do you feel crosses the most borders? And what other borders, musically and lyrically speaking, do you guys wanna knock down in the future?

Celeste: Johan: One of our goal is to get darker and darker, but as you stress it, we also wan to have our own touch. I guess that every latest material we're writing is for us the best we ever did. So nowadays, as we just finish the recording of an upcoming album; some of the tracks in it are crossing borders the most. But by album I'd say. Pessimiste(s): "afin de tromper l'ennui" Nihiliste(s): "pour maintenir encore une fois la distance" or "à jamais dénudée" Misanthrope(s): "mais quel plaisir de voir cette tête d'enfant rougir et suer" Then, I don't really know which borders we'd like to cross. We already cross a lot while being on tour. Anyway we're not the kind of band which will radically change from an album to another, so if we can continue in this way, I'd simply be happy.

Musicscan: Speaking about your style of dark and intense music: How could you explain it to someone unfamiliar with the records of Celeste?

Celeste: Antoine: Hum tough question...actually it's reallly hard to describe our music and thats probably why folks can't to put us in a particular category...I guess Celeste just took the darkness of black metal, the heaviness of sludge and the dissonance of noise musics. Actually I like to see Celeste, probably wrongly, as a combination between old Shora, Breach, Neurosis, and Cult of Luna...and some black metal bands but honestly i don't know the black metal scene enough to say which bands haha...i know it's a bit pretentious! But i don't know how else explain what Celeste could look like!!

Musicscan: What I feel about the new record is a much more coherent and in "one- style" sounding with some more memorable parts this time? How do you feel about it?

Celeste: Antoine: Well i take it as a compliment, thanks! Yes indeed we tried to produce something really homogeneous and consistent. Actually misanthrope(s) could have been only one song. For us an album is like a story : you need a connecting thread and each song could be seen as a chapter. It doesn't make sense if there is no link between each of them!! I'm glad, thus, to hear that for you this new record is much more coherent cause it was definitely our purpose...

Musicscan: Right 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. You have done the opposite in a way, as you created a homogenous, dark flow for the whole record. What are your thoughts on this?

Celeste: Johan: Years ago I was interested by the technical aspect of music. In some ways I still pay attention to it, but it mainly doesn't have any influence on my final appreciaiton (of course the basics are the basics). Appart from Messhugah, now I don't like tech bands. But the art of Messugah is that if you don't know anything about music, you can't get that they are true killers. Being technical most of the time makes things look too demonstrative, and it often kill good melodies. But I have to admit that with CELESTE we still try to keep a little crazy aspect in our music to not make it too annoying. Even if it sounds very monolithic, if you pay attention, you'll find some particularities.

Musicscan: With the direction of Celeste heading a certain way and fans growing with you over the years and releases, do you feel the fans can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you are trying to tell them with your music?

Celeste: Antoine: Yes i definitely think so! I mean people shouldn't think that there is a really deep thought behind our creating process! As i told you before, our aim is fairly easy to understand : playing the darkest and the heaviest music we can. After 3 releases i guess people got now what we are looking for and where we are going.