1.Slava Tchortu!First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking your time to answer this interview for the Absit Omen Web-Zine Nebel.Please give us a short briefing in the band’s biography. What was the initial impulse to create a Black Metal band?

I wanted to create a black metal band for a long time, but the impulse certainly comes from a trip to Germany and the Rhine valley. I composed the first songs at that time and the name Geisterfels as well as the concept of the first album emerged together. Aldébaran and Aharon joined me some years later.


2.How did you actually get to Metal? Who was your „teacher”, or who got you to this musical extreme branch of presentation or did you find it all by yourself?

It was during my teenage years. The first band of rock/metal I got to listen to was Rage Against the Machine in the Matrix soundtrack. Then it slowly evolved to more extreme genres and finally to black metal. I didn’t have friends listening to this kind of music, so I just tried to read reviews or anything that could speak about bands I did not know yet. I’m not ashamed to say my culture comes from the internet. Being alone with this passion, it helped a lot.


3.Could you tell which bands were the first to take your attention and how you really perceived Metal at that time? What have you been listening most to before you started listening to this type of music?

I was not really interested in any special genre until I discovered metal. It’s the kind of music that makes you realize there are musicians and composers behind the songs. It’s no coincidence that many listeners are musicians themselves and bands like Metallica made me want to play guitar. I think the second step was to discover the power of atmospheres and to place it above technique. I remember the effect Shape of Despair had on me; and I listen to black metal for the same reasons: to get lost in a universe that is dark and luring at the same time.


4. Congratulations to your great debut album. Please describe the reactions to the „La névrose de la pierre” so far.Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?

It’s a very personal project, and it was difficult to find musicians for the recording so I just thought I wanted it to come to birth. I’ve never really expected a particular reaction, but if fans of old school black metal like our album then I’m satisfied.


5.Was there a moment when you realized that “La névrose de la pierre” would become something special?Your music is very special and original to me. Would you like to hear „La névrose de la pierre” from a position of uninterested listener?

It was a concept album from the beginning so I think it has a strong personality because of the story it tells. I also have a weird way of composing, both on guitar and piano, and my classical background influences me. So it may explains why you describe „La névrose de la pierre” as something original. We just play the genre we like, but black metal is more and more about trends, so I would say i’m glad not to be part of the avalanch of dissonant and ritualistic black metal with hooded musicians.


6.How did the writing process for the debut go? Was that difficult to put it all together? Who brought the biggest amount of main themes and ideas?Could you describe your lyrics of the debut?

I composed most songs rather quickly actually, but it took ages to find the line-up I have now with Aldébaran and Aharon. So the writing process was kind of natural, but the way to recording was extremely chaotic. I am a writer, so I wrote the lyrics before I started to compose the music. These texts make a parallel between the sorrows one may feel and the decay of monuments. It is a metaphor running from one text to another.


7.How do the French audience take your music? Does your recent style raise interest in for example the young people? Is there any kind of longing for older traditional culture going on (at least in this sense), or has the so-called old culture always been there, never really going anywhere, but perhaps changing forms?

I think that now some people associate the term atmospheric black metal to post black and bands like Wolves in the Throne Room. So sometimes our music is seen as old fashioned, but many people still appreciate old school black metal. Medieval themed bands are not so common, but my guitarist, Aldébaran, has a solid fanbase with Darkenhöld, so it shows that this kind of universe speaks to the listeners. I know that in France there is an interest in regional black metal focusing on legends and traditions. Geisterfels is just a bit different because it speaks about German castle, but it’s important for me to write both in French and German.


8.Was the debut recording something like achievement of a certain level for you or it is only more stuff accumulation and you consider debut as only next series release? I am aiming there, if the debut is more personal and special than all your previous recordings…

It was an achievement because it took a long time to record it and bringing „La névrose de la pierre” to life was really great. On the other hand, I’m really looking forward the second album. I would like to develop an atmosphere much more medieval than what is presented on our first album, to add medieval instruments if possible and clean vocals following the tradition of the troubadours.


9.I appreciate very much that your music has its own atmosphere, spirit, depth and complexity. I feel there is something spiritual, transcendent, chaotic, and not only rhythmic music just for fun and head banging. Can you see your music in this direction as well?

Yes, even if my compositions bring a lot of melodies, atmosphere is still the central point and I hope it is what the listener can feel.


10.What does your creative power and energy in your music mean to you? Maybe there is something more deep and philosophic?

I am creative in many fields (literature, cinema, photography) but music has always been dear to me because it directly speaks to the soul. There is something like magic that cannot be explained when you listen to genres like black metal and I wanted to be part of that.


11.Do you have any special rituals, whether at composing, recording, or inspiration? E.g. altered states of consciousness, visiting some weird places like ossuary, mausoleum, crypts, old cemetery?

I think that some places have a soul, and it inspires me a lot. I like to walk among ruins and visit monuments or simply wander in a forest. As I already mentioned, „La névrose de la pierre” is inspired of a trip to Germany and the lasting effects it had on me.


12.Do you think the energy of music in general can have a major impact on the listener’s psyche and may alter mood to some extent?

Yes, listening to music is a personal journey. Every one has a specific landscape comind to the mind when listening to an album, and sometimes it is very different from what the booklet could indicate. I like this freedom of interpretation.


13.The French black metal scene, from its initiation has shown diversified characteristics: giving birth to some of the most vicious and distinctive black metal bands,can you help telling us what could have influenced for such vulgar development of the French scene?

Yes, I agree with you as I have created a blog for reviewing French black metal bands (Diabolus in Musica) some years ago. It contains more than 200 reviews. I really appreciate the variety of subgenres you can find here. A label like Osmose Productions may have introduced Enslaved, Marduk or Immortal to the French public. Bands like Gorgon were already active in the early 90’s and France rapidly became a scene on its own.


14.It is obvious you pay attention to everything, from the feeling and atmosphere, which evaporates from the music, enduring brutality and aggression that are in balance, through the, cover arts to the lyrics component, just a comprehensive image of the band. .. Each component must be orthodox and dark. Do you find music as the most relevant, or entirely all from these things?

To me, the album is a whole, music matters as much as lyrics because the different aspects gather to tell the same story. At least it is what I try to build with Geisterfels.


15.We are at the end of our interview. I really like to thank you. Any last messages you want to deliver through us?

Thanks for this interview and for the opportunity to speak about our universe.