Say hello to BONJOUR TRISTESSE. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-When i start to write music i pretty much know what kind of songs i want to create, so it is not hard for me to come up with new stuff. I get some inspirations from other bands, but i dont try to be a part of some kind of trend. I dont care what black metal is nowadays. I just write the songs about the themes i think are interesting, for example ecocide, exploitation of humans and animals and urbanity in general.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-The whole band is about showing the world how destructive modern human civilizations are. Civilization is always based on inequality and exploitation of the environment as well as human beings and animals. The first cities could only be built because mankind subdued the natural world through agriculture – which basically means, that humans decide which plant and animal species are allowed to live in certain areas. By doing this, mankind became the ruler of the natural world and stopped being a part of it. The surplus in food produced through agriculture lead to population growth which lead to the first cities.
Cities are pieces of land with too much humans to live off the land. So you have to destroy the land around it to make it suitable for agriculture to produce enough food for the cities. This is a vicious circle, which ends in domestication, exploitation and a ruling class dominating poorer people. To answer your question: Yes, i think the concept of living in cities is morally and ethically false and so is our modern way of living, because it is destroying our planet and the communities of animals and humans living on it.
If you like to read more about this concept i can recommend the writings of John Zerzan and Derrick Jensen.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-Most of the time i know what the song should be about before i start to write the music. I have a concept of the lyrics in mind when i write the music, so it is not really hard to come up with lyrics. Music for me is a way to express myself and also a way to cope with all the anger inside.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-I think artworks are still really important. Modern technologies like photoshop have made it easier for people to get impressive artworks without having to pay an artist who spends hours and hours painting an album cover. It is quicker and therefore cheaper to get a nice artwork nowadays than it was 15 years ago. I think that there is no real loss in quality during the years. A lot of bands have really nice album art these days.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-I think all in all it is a good thing, that there is an easy access to underground music.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-No. I think if you have some connections or a good booker it is not harder to tour than some years ago. There are pretty active people in the DIY scene who work hard to set up shows and also in the more mainstream oriented metal scene, there are a lot of venues and promoters who know what they are doing.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-Dark. Desolate. With ruins all over the place.
What does the future hold?
-For mankind: nothing good, thats for sure.
For Bonjour Tristesse: A new album, probably next year or in 2020.