I was mightily impressed by IN SHADOWS AND DUST that I had to interview them. Stephane Thirion answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the project when you started compare to the vision you have for the project today? What is this project really all about? What do you want with your music?
-Music is my life and Metal is in my blood. I played music back in the end of the 90’ in a band called “The Evil One” and that was early days for Death / Black Metal mixed together. Then I stopped playing music for a while until 2014 where I started In Shadows and Dust.
At first this project was to lay out the music buried in me for all these years. and then i felt I could do more and I could learn how to play better, faster, how to reach the sound I’m always looking for. My music is always evolving because I’m listening a lot of music and I play every day something I record to keep it for later.
This project is about my vision of the world around me, sometime very personal sometime just lurking across the world window to be submerged by the world’s worst side of humanity.
With my music I want to express myself and just write what I want to make it sound how I want to. I just want to play and record. Share in the end, if it’s working and people get into it, that’s cool, if not, that’s cool too, I will continue anyway.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-France and Paris are cool places and I never felt someone changing its attitude because I come from Paris. I travel often in other countries and when it’s about Metal, i mean the underground community, this is very simple to communicate and share music taste around a good beer.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-When I do have good feedback it’s great of course, it’s always nice to read good words about my work with all the time I spend building music.
I am a fan of several band and I know what I’m waiting for when one of my favorite band is getting ready to get a new album out. With In Shadows and Dust, I never ask myself and I don’t think I will, how I should write music to stay in the same category of Metal or to don’t change too much stuff and keep the same sound and style of blend Metal. I just do what I do when I do it
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-The biggest chalenge is to create the whole piece, something that will stand a one, 10 to 15 songs and the artwork that needs to be bring together to make one piece in the end.
I don’t know if I’m writing cool songs, what I know is that some are more “spot-on” buy listener than others, and often these are not the one I though would get out the album first.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-I do have recorded analogue back in the 90, recording on a 4 tracks, blending everything to have additional tracks available etc… That was pain in the ass but music was less polished and very raw in all kind of Metal.
With In Shadows and Dust, everything is full numérique, almost 0 analogue. Today if you want to record a good quality sound in analogique mode, you need to crack the wallet and spend a lot of money to acquire the material needed.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-Finishing an album is weird, because this is where I tell myself after hours of listening of my own stuff that it’s ok, I can click on send to submit the tracks for distribution. And then, it’s done and nothing can be changed…
Of course I like to know what people think of it, not really people that I know because they will just want to please me and that’s not the kind of feedback I’m looking for. I’m looking for criticism and truth.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-Lyrics are important to me but often the last thing I do while writing an album, so I think lyrics could be better with a much better articulation and more variety of word used. English is not my native tongue and I would have to spend more time writing lyrics. Thi si one of my target for the next In Shadows and Dust album.
I don’t really have a message, i just write what I have in mind the day I’m writing the song. It can be about apocalypse, love, hate, nuclear warfare, betrayal, alcool etc…
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Of course, this is the same for all of us Metalheads, we like great artwork, I think it enhance the music so much. Luciana Nedelea (https://www.facebook.com/LucianaNedeleaArt/ ) is an artist I like working with because she is humble, honest as well in person than in her art.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-i don’t play live (yet).
What do you see in the future?
-The near future I see the new In Shadows and Dust album taking form to be ready the 21st of December 2018 (like each year the same day)
Have a good day