BORGNE is one of these bands that you just gotta experience to understand. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
What can you tell us about this your latest album? How does it differ from the previous one?
-Since they are a duo, it’s maybe more relevant to focus ourselves on the complementarity between the last opus “Y” and the previous one “[∞]”, instead of trying to oppose them. The previous one was an inner process, our most intimate ouroboros, a cold emanation about our thoughts, our mistakes, our doubts, the stagnation, the cyclic vision of life. On the other hand, “Y” is an explosion that breaks the chains of this infinite circle, a fiery juggernaut that moves forward into the labyrinth. It symbolizes the decisions and the consequences of these choices, the acceptation of the loss and how we suddenly realize that we can be the architects of our own decay, a reflexion about the duality of the crossroads.
I Am fascinated by how you as a band came to find your sound? Why does BORGNE sound the way you do? What would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-I’m not in charge of the music so I can’t speak about the « quest of the sound ». Same for the influences. Since Borgne is Bornyhake’s project, it’s up to him to answer these questions. But what I can tell is that we all have a very large spectrum of interests in terms of « what we listen to ». Per example, I listen to Black, Death, War, Doom, etc. but also to Rap, Ambient, Neofolk, Noise, Rock, etc. (my « best of » playlist is a mess). Another thing that links all Borgne’s members is our will to not follow the codes. One aspect of Black Metal is about transgression, so why should we blindly follow the typical Black Metal sound ? With time, more and more industrial soundscapes appeared in Borgne’s albums and we will not stop this process since it’s a natural evolution.
We live in strange times now. How does that affect you as a band? Does it affect you?
-The pandemic is of course a strange period. But it’s « strange » because it changes our habits and so we need to find a new way to live with it. About the band, it affects us in terms of cancellation/postponement. Of course we missed some good gigs like the Steelfest or the Under the black Sun. But luckily we were able to make our release party at the In Theatrum Denonium Festival right before everything stops. So these are just some minor logistical problems.
We also have the chance to be very independent band members. We almost never make rehearsal or see each others. We don’t need to make things together to keep our link alive and strong. So COVID is just a break during which we’re sharpening our daggers in order to come back stronger/more violent than ever.
Personally, it wasn’t a challenge to deal with it since I always prefer to stay at my home instead of going out and see people. I considered it as a chance to think about how I was living before it and an occasion to improve my daily life (see what is important or not, take the time to test/do/learn things that I haven’t make before, improve my daily routine, etc.). So, in the end, I enjoyed the lockdown period. About music, I miss the gigs because they are a part of my personal catharsis, a way to channel the inner chaos and keep a kind of mental/spiritual/physical equilibrium. But there’s no other option than being patient and find other ways in order to not be submerged by destructive feelings. If life was easy and demanded no fight, it would bear no interest.
Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-Nowadays, with internet/facebook/bandcamp/etc., the concept of a local scene is really blurry and brought to a second plan. Technically talking, I don’t see a scene like an important point for the existence of a band since everybody can now record something in his room and release it on bandcamp. So a band can really exist by its own if he wants to do so. But don’t misunderstand me, I don’t consider a local scene as a useless thing. It’s a microcosm in which people can connect to each others, cooperate to create new entities, etc.
It’s important to keep in mind that Switzerland is a composite country (four national languages). There is different scenes in the german or the french ones and it’s sometimes difficult for a band of one side to play on the other one. The german part is also more active in terms of bands or gigs. However, since it’s also a small country, most of the scene is made of little groups of people that create different bands. Per example, with Borgne, we are also involved (as live-members or full-time members) in other projects like Serpens Luminis, Ancient Moon, Orias, The Path of Memory, etc. We are used to work together so it’s a kind of little « hermetic circle » (like you also have on the german part with the Helvetic Underground Committee per example).
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-I see the bands in which I play as entities that we nourish through our energies, a consuming pyre that devours us but makes us feel an ardent euphoria at the same time. I would not call it a « movement » since this terms brings me an idea of an extern process. But, as previously said, I consider it as an inner process that helps me to break the opaque veil of consciousness and during which I try to reach different realms with a short run of adrenaline. I feel linked with the others as soon as we play together. Even if we all see our relation with music differently, we internalize this process and become carnal bridges. So a gig is the exaltation of our different primal energies which convergence gives birth to an eruption of rage and ecstasy. All of this being said, it’s difficult to put words on such immaterial/personal things, but I will mostly describe it as a « deep and subconscious link » instead of just « playing in a band ».
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-I consider an album like a multidimensional thing. Of course, the music is what most of the people are looking for when buying/downloading an album. But I’m really interested about how everything is linked together since I consider the cover, the lyrics, the band picture, etc. as pieces of a puzzle, a synthesis of some pictural/textual/auditive elements that together have to create a specific atmosphere. I like the term of « total art » to describe this idea of convergence between different mediums/artistic approaches which mixed together give birth to an album. Don’t over-interpret my words, because the concept of « Gesamtkunstwerk » is of course too vast/subjective, not directly linked with that subject of musical albums and it refers to another historical dimension. But the term helps to summarize my perception of these connexions with the idea of globality.
So, for me, a great album cover is the one that seems to be an important part of the music, a visible emanation of the sonic mysteries that are hidden into the different hymns. Not just a picture/painting/drawing that you can use for a thousand different albums, but one that reflects the thematics/ambiance that you face during the listening.
What is your opinion on digital versus physical? Is digital killing music?
-I don’t really care about the fight between physical versus digital. I buy a lot of CDs/Vinyls/Tapes so I’m definitely on the physical side. I consider it as a way to support the artists that I like and, as previously said, I’m interested into an album not just for its music but also for the artwork and the lyrics. I like to listen to an album while having the physical copy in hand, looking for every single detail, trying to find a piece of the puzzle, etc. But if somebody prefers to download everything, it’s his choice.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-As soon as the line-up bears a coherent aura and the place can channel the dark vibrations of our music, we estimate that it could be a soil where we can build our altar. We played in a lot of different places (in a Theater, a chalet, bars, venues, festivals, etc.), so I don’t think there is a special « kind » of scene. Our will is that our music contaminates the ambient atmosphere and drowns it into chaos. But, of course, some places are more able to strengthen this feeling than others.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-As previously said, I consider a gig as a very important element of an inner process. During the time of the concert, I completely lose the connection with reality and let my body be a vector for some chthonic vibrations, fueled by a rush of burning anger. So the lives are not a party at all since it’s a violent/painful yet liberating process. It’s a solemn moment where I can face myself, drown into my inner abyss and perceive little fragments of spectral lights.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-What the future will bring to us. I don’t like to have specific expectations because it could be frustrating to see that the thing doesn’t get in the way we would it to be and so, blinded by a precise goal, we could miss an alternative road/opportunity. It reminds me about what we discussed in the first question concerning « Y » and the idea of crossroads, choices, etc. Life is a furious stream and sometimes we have to fight to get the things we want, but it’s also important to not try to control everything.