sábado, 29 de abril de 2023


1. Bonjour Tristesse, has been active since approximately 2008, why did you decide to create this first project?

I started writing the first songs for Bonjour Tristesse between 2008 and 2009. At that time i really got into black metal. It was a fascinating time, where i discovered so many bands and learned how intense, atmospheric and radical music can be. 

2. What relationship exists between the name Bonjour Tristesse and the work of Paul Éluard and Françoise Sagan? Why did you decide to investigate the work of these writers and how important is their work to you to inspire you to use it as a name of this music project?

At the time, when i really got into black metal i read Sagans novel “Bonjour Tristesse” and i discovered the connection between her book and the writings of Paul Eluard. I liked Sagans book and its underlying dark atmosphere and i think, that Eluard is a very interesting person. He was both a talented writer and a dedicated resistance fighter. I think his poems and his life in general are inspiring. When i read “A peine défigurée” i was really impressed by its melancholy and subtle beauty. The bandname was set.

3. This “Against Leviathan!”, is your third full length that comes five years after your previous album, even Bonjour Tristesse went through a period of inactivity in its beginnings, is it very complex to deal with a solo project when it comes to have to face the whole process of composition and recording? How has been the way of working on this new album when composing the songs? 

I really like to work alone. I can decide when and what to write and there is no pressure from others. For me it is the best way to just take the guitar and write or record a song, when i feel inspired and am in the mood to do so. I am not the biggest fan of hanging out in a rehearsal space, so i really enjoy to close the curtains, light a candle and get into the zone all by myself. When it takes one year to write an album, that is fine. When it takes three years, it is also fine. The interesting thing is, that the next album is already finished and that i started working on new songs for another record, too.

4. The sound of the album can be described at first as progressive black, however aspects such as the duration of the songs allow them to become convoluted and bring influences from styles such as raw black metal, atmospheric black, etc. ..., combining both a style that may sound classic and the inclusion of more current sections, is the long duration of the songs something inherent to your sound, allowing you to express yourself musically with greater diversity by trying different styles within each song? How Would it define the sound of the album for those who haven't heard it yet? What bands and styles have influenced the sound of this album?

I would say, that the new record is an atmospheric black metal album. I tried to reduce the post black metal parts, that were much more dominant on the previous record. I wanted to return to classic depressive black metal atmospheres, but with more blast beats, more energy and mixed with more old school influences and the raw energy of classic black metal bands. I like to take some time in terms of building up an arc of suspense. In terms of creating atmosphere it can be helpful to have long and sometimes monotonous parts. That is one aspect that i really like about depressive black metal bands like early-Xasthur. You get into some form of trance while listening and i like to experiment with songstructures and atmospheres creating that form of trancelike state. The final part of „Ode to emptiness“ would be an example for that approach. In general i like long songs, because they invite us to leave our stressful everyday life. We have to take some time and use it to get into these songs tob e able to understand them and discover their secrets. 

All the bigger black metal bands have influenced me in a way. Darkthrone, Ulver, Xasthur, Agalloch, Gorgoroth and also bands like Craft or even Dark Tranquility were great inspirations for me. 

5. His lyrics somehow focus on the negative aspects of modern life and the necessary return that human beings should experience to primitive forms of life, inspired in this case by the work of writers and philosophers such as Fredy Perlman , John Zerzan and Charles Bukowski (well, Bukowski is an aside), why these themes in your lyrics and the inspiration in the work of these writers? What do you think the future of the human being should be like to become viable? How can the work of the singular and always undervalued Bukowski become a source of inspiration for a black metal project? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

There are not many poets like Bukowski. His work is insanely dark, negative and brutal, but simultanously his texts can be honest, true and very real. I like that combination. The atmospheres he creates within his poems are similar to the ones i try to create with my music, so combining Bukowski and black metal was the obvious thing to do. His sense of bittersweet melancholy resonates with the way i look at the world. A world, which is not a beautiful place - anymore. The artificial world modern man has created is paralyzing. To stare at giant concrete buildings in which people waste away, to see thousands of cars passing by or to behold landscapes, that were untouched wilderness once, but are now dominated by industrial areas and monotonous fields, makes me sad and angry at the same time. I find solace when i spend time in the woods or when i visit the mountains, but the worshipping of technology and so called ‘progress‘ within the world of man is just depressing. Within their books Fredy Perlman and John Zerzan express a similar worldview and their analysis of the history and the current state of our worldeating global civilization and our shallow mass-society is very accurate and interesting for me. „Against His-Story, Against Leviathan“ from 1983 was the main inspiration for the new record. I can highly recommend to read this book, if you want to learn more about how industrial civilization ruined the natural world and our own species alike.

6. There is not much information about the entire process of recording, mastering, etc., of the album, how did you face this process, did you take care of everything or have you had the work of a recording studio, or technician?

I wrote everything, i recorded everything and i created the overall sound of the album – which is deliberately worse than it could be. I think black metal really profits of a sort of lo-fi approach. It fits the overall atmosphere of black metal. I mixed and mastered the record together with Max of Forester Recording. He is a great guy and a talented sound engineer. 

7. How would you describe the German black metal scene today compared to when you started on the scene in the second half of the 2000s? Which one man bands do you think Bonjour's music has more affinity with? sad?

I live in a small village in a rural area in Germany. I really like to be able to disappear into the woods when i feel like it. To be far away from humans and the noise of big cities is really important for me. Years ago there was a quite active black metal scene a few towns away, which was pretty important for me. I visited the local black metal club frequently, discovered tons of bands and met people who are still my friends. Nowadays i think there are way less people who are into black metal, than back then, at least in the south of Germany. There is no local metal scene where i live anymore. But once in a while you see some people gathering for shows of bigger bands, which is a good thing obviously.

8. Is there any possibility of taking your proposal live with the participation of other musicians, or do you think that it is too personal a project that in some way would not work live?

For now there are no plans to do this. Of course i think about it sometimes and there are some friends who would join the band, but i am not sure if this band will ever happen live – which is fine for me, too. 

9. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What event in your life pushed you to want to be a musician?

I learned about metal from friends in high-school. I got from Metallica to In Flames and from Slayer to Darkthrone. I really felt a connection to the intense darkness, satanic imagery and depressive atmospheres of black metal and quickly got into more obscure black metal bands from the german underground. Two friends of mine showed me a bunch of bands and we listened to music together and went to shows. It didnt take long until i bought a guitar and we started to write songs together. 

10. Which album represents for you the essence of black metal? What last albums have you bought?

Darkthrone – Panzerfaust, Dissection – Storm of the Lights Bane, Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Gorgoroth – Antichrist. The last record i bought was the new Lustre album.

11. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the fans of Bonjour Tristesse this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my music.

Die Welt stirbt.


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